DISCLAIMER: All things Start Trek, people, places, aliens, that have been used in the shows and movies are copyright to Star Trek, its creators and Paramount. Some of the characters and information was taken from the show and some from book Mosaic by Jeri Taylor. I have mentioned parts from different episodes, some minor some major (Year of Hell), and have taken several lines from the show and incorporated them into the story. A special thank you to Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan for bringing Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine to life.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have differed from parts of the seventh season…Neelix's return to Earth with Voyager is just one of the differences. Also please note that Chakotay is somewhat of a dubious character towards the end of Voyager's journey, I'm not a fan of Chuckles so if you are, don't say I didn't warn you. I forgot to thank my beta readers, shame on me, Sarah and rt. The awards used are ones that have been mentioned in the Star Trek universe except for the Purple Heart.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Odyssey
By Joan


Part Four

Chapter Fifteen

"Captain's Personal Log, Stardate 55704.7. Odyssey left on its maiden voyage today; I can't believe we actually got her ready on schedule. And I can't believe Seven is on my ship. I actually thought that when I left Mars, I'd more-than-likely never see her again. I'm not sure which was more painful, seeing her as we readied the ship and thinking my actions so long ago on Voyager had damaged us beyond repair or the thought that I would never again gaze into her blue eyes or see her wield her beautiful smile that makes my knees weak.

"But she's here and she does care about me and we're going to try a relationship. God, I'm scared; I can at least admit that to myself. If this doesn't work, I'm not sure what will happen. In losing her before, I lost myself. I don't think I'd survive if it happened again. Mom knows about us, though we've asked her not to say anything, even to Phoebe or maybe I should say, especially to Phoebe. She would take it as a personal challenge to make sure the relationship succeeded and that would just distract us from concentrating on each other. That and I really don't want to be one of her 'causes', though she means well.

"I need to get ready for Mom's dinner, she's requested no uniforms which means I need to find something to wear. It does give me a chance to come up with something that Seven hasn't yet seen me in.

"End recording."

Gretchen was smiling as she finished the story. "So, since there weren't any hills they considered steep enough, these two decided to wait for the snow to build up on the roof of the house and used it instead. Thank god, they landed in a snow drift, even so Phoebe knocked out her two front teeth and Kathryn dislocated her shoulder."

"How old were they?" Seven asked.

"Kathryn was thirteen, almost fourteen and Phoebe has just turned ten." Gretchen picked her fork up. "Doesn't this make you want to run out and have children?"

"Speaking of children, sis, have you and Richard talked about kids?" Kathryn quickly asked trying to steer the conversation away from her mother's stories.

"We both want kids, but decided we want to wait for awhile."

"I really think the grandmother ought to have a say in this." Gretchen voiced her obviously well used opinion. "By the time either of you get around to giving me grandkids; I'll be too old to enjoy them."

"Well, Mom," the captain grinned devilishly, "if we get back to the Delta Quadrant, I'll take you by and let you 'enjoy' mine."

The wine that had just entered Gretchen's mouth, exited across the table and Phoebe was doing a fairly good imitation of a large mouth bass. "Excuse me?" Her mother finally choked out while wiping her chin.

"Are you telling us you had a child and left it behind?" Phoebe managed to get her vocal cords working.

"No," the captain calmly answered. "I had three offspring and Tuvok and Chakotay decided it would be better to leave them on the planet."

Gretchen finally noticed the look on Seven's face. "Wait, something's fishy here." Which broke Seven and her oldest daughter up.

"Well, that is one way of explaining them I suppose." Seven stated. She knew of the story, by reading the mission logs, since it had happened before she had come on board.

"Care to let the rest of us in on the joke?" Phoebe glared between the two amused women.

"Oh, it's no joke." Kathryn explained. "It all started when, B'Elanna, Harry and Tom, were trying to break the warp ten barrier…"

"So, Captain, is that what is called payback?" Seven asked as they walked towards her quarters.

A low chuckle was heard. "Yes, that'll teach her to tell embarrassing stories about me."

"I think they were… adorable, as I imagine you were as a child."

"If you ask my Mother, she would probably call me a handful. Sometimes I think a parent's sole purpose in life is to see how ill-at-ease they can make their grown kids, especially around their… better half." They stopped in front of Seven's door.

Seven smiled at the sentiment and at the thought of being a 'half' with the woman standing with her. "Would you like to come in?"

"Yes, but I probably shouldn't."

"Kathryn, I promise I just want to tell you goodnight."

"And why can't you do that out here?"

"Because, the proper way to end a date is with a kiss." She keyed in her code and the door opened. Taking the captain's hand, she gently pulled her into the room and into her arms.

Kathryn felt like she had come home when those long arms wrapped around her shoulders. Even seeing Earth for the first time in seven years hadn't felt this good.

Seven felt the captain's arms encircle her waist and pull her closer. "Kathryn, you are different." Seven stated as she ran her hands up and down her back and sides. "More… solid than you were."

"Yes, well I had a lot of frustration to work off… I started running and working out, then I took up several martial art disciplines that I had started when I was at the academy. It helped me sleep at night, when I had trouble."

"I did not realize the review board bothered you to that degree."

'Honesty or evasiveness? Not talking to each other is what got us into trouble before so…' "It wasn't the only thing on my mind," she admitted. "I was having problems before Voyager made it home."

Seven leaned back slightly to look into the captain's eyes. "After we made love you mean." She saw the truth in the blue-grey eyes before her. "I am sorry."

"No… no more 'sorry'. It's in the past and we are going to concentrate on the present and future only. Agreed?"

Seven was still mentally kicking herself, but agreed. "I will comply."

"Good, now give me my goodnight kiss."

"I will comply." Seven tilted her head and covered the captain's lips. It was a tentative kiss that lasted several seconds. She pulled back intending to end it there.

Kathryn removed her arms from around Seven and placed her hands on the small waist. As the kiss ended, she reached up and cupped the taller woman's face, pulling it back to her.

Seven couldn't help it, she moaned when Kathryn's tongue brushed against her lips. She remembered the incredible feelings that small muscle had invoked in her during their night together and opened her mouth to grant access.

After a long minute of exploration, the kiss ended. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that." The captain leaned her head forward and rested her forehead against Seven's shoulder. "I'd better go before I can't." She smiled at the unintelligible sound that escaped her companion's mouth.

"Maybe I will try this 'working out'."

The captain laughed. "Or a cold shower. Sometimes that helps. Believe me, I speak from experience." She pulled back and looked at eyes filled with desire. "Goodnight, love."

Janeway stayed in her ready room past the alpha shift waiting for their arrival at DS4, to pick up the negotiating team.

"Bridge to the Captain, we're coming into range of the station."

"Acknowledged," Janeway said. As she arrived on the bridge, "Drop to impulse, Mr. Long," she ordered. "Hail the station."

"Channel open." The Bolian junior grade lieutenant at the ops station announced. "It's audio only, Captain, seems they're having a problem with their image transmission."

"DS4, this is Odyssey requesting docking clearance and instructions." Janeway stated.

"This is DS4, Odyssey, permission granted. Docking bay zero-one-one is awaiting your arrival." There was a brief pause. "Odyssey, I don't suppose you could con the Captain into giving permission for a few tours of the ship? There are several people here that would love to get a look at her."

Janeway grinned and the bridge crew held its collective breathes. "Well, I don't know about con, DS4, but you might be able to bribe her. Got anything to trade?"

"How about several brand new holoprograms? Or, I happen to know the officer's lounge just got in a shipment of liquor. It's the real stuff mind you, not synthehol, I'm sure they wouldn't miss a bottle or two."

Half the crew on the bridge was trying not to laugh; the other half was looking at the captain with wide eyes, wondering what she was going to do.

"Really, well, I just happen to know the Captain happens to indulge in a glass or two of whiskey now and again and I do have a little influence with her if I say so myself… you're positive they wouldn't miss a bottle?"

"They haven't yet." Came the response.

Some of the crew, along with the captain did start laughing then. "Well, DS4, I'll see what I can do… Janeway out."

"Oh my god, you idiot, that was the Captain." Came the nervous voice from the station.

"How was I supposed to know the Captain would be on the bridge during the beta shift?" was heard just before the link was cut.

Janeway shook her head and grinned. "Bring us in, Lieutenant." She sat down in her command chair.

"What are you going to do with them, Captain?" Lt. T'Lora asked from tactical. She was in Tuvok's station during the beta shift. A young Vulcan that had two previous tours of duty aboard starships prior to getting the posting on Odyssey.

Just about everyone on the beta shift was new to her. They hadn't had time to become familiar with one another and she knew that whatever she did now would be the catalyst of how they saw her and related to her, along with the stories flying around the ship about what happened in the Delta Quadrant. "Let this be a lesson to you all, never try to bribe someone when you can't see who you're talking to. But seriously… this is not accepted Starfleet behavior and if it had been something other than a holoprogram or a bottle of liquor, I'd have them in their Commanding Officer's office so fast their heads would be spinning." She made eye contact with each person on the bridge making sure they understood her. "But I'll admit; I'd be one of the first in line to want a look at this ship." It let them know that she would be willing to bend the rules, but not break them. "And when this little episode is passed around the ship, as I know it will be, make sure the limits to my indulgence with them are also passed around."

Janeway was in her quarters reading. After learning of the delay in the team boarding Odyssey, she had contacted Seven asking her to dinner, but she had already scheduled a meeting with the astrometrics staff since she thought Kathryn would be unavailable that night.

"Bridge to Captain Janeway."

"Janeway here."

"Captain, there is a Captain Thomas that wishes to speak with you."

"Put it though to my quarters, Ensign."

"Yes, ma'am. Their image link has been repaired also."

She grinned, "Understood, Ensign, Janeway out." The screen on her desk came to life as she sat down in front of it.

"Good lord, it is you."

"Anna? Well, I'll be damned."

"Did you have to scare half my docking crew to death, Katie?" She laughed. "They were in my office confessing before your ship even docked."

"Oh no, and I wasn't even going to turn them in." Janeway admitted.

"I figured as much." The captain leaned towards her screen. "How are you, Katie, really?"

"It was one helluva ride, Anna. You have some time tonight? You could join me for a drink and we could catch up, Captain Thomas. And we could start with that last name of yours."

The captain was escorted to Janeway's quarters on deck two. "I really can't believe it's you." The two old friends hugged. "I wanted to come see you when I heard you were bringing Voyager in, but Starfleet said families only."

"I would've loved to have seen you, but I had very little free time before the debriefing and review board started."

Anna shook her head. "At least they got something right, Captain." Referring to her being cleared by the board then motioned to the display case that housed the medals Janeway had been awarded in her career. Her mother and Phoebe had hung them in her quarters.

"I think it was touch and go for a while. I bent so many rules out there, I'm not sure they'll ever get the kinks out."

Anna laughed. "It'll do those stuff-shirts good to get ruffled a bit. Besides, I'd like to see any of them do what you did. They wouldn't have lasted a week."

"What about you? I don't suppose that last name originally belonged to Blake?" Anna and Blake had been friends with Kathryn and Cheb Packer when they all attended the Academy Institute the year before Anna, Blake and Kathryn were accepted into Starfleet Academy. "And how is your daughter?"

Anna smiled. "Yes, Blake and I started seeing each other again just before you took command of Voyager and got married a year later. He's a science officer aboard the Nimitz. And Sierra will be a senior at the academy next year, believe it or not. And don't be surprised if she requests a position on your ship after that, she can't believe her Mother knows the famous Kathryn Janeway."

"Please, infamous is more like it." She shook her head. "Congratulations on the marriage, maybe we'll run into the Nimitz and I'll be able to say hello."

"Good, I know he'd love to see you again."

"Wait; did you say a senior next year? She can't be that old… I can't be that old."

"I feel exactly the same way. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was bugging Cadet Katie Janeway for her notes from quantum mechanics and astrophysics. And to think we all thought you would end up heading up Starfleet's science division, not commanding the most sought after ship in the fleet. Are the rumors true? Is the new drive on here?"

"Yes… but you didn't get that from me."

Anna stood and moved to the viewport. "When I heard you had taken command so soon, I thought it must be because of all the losses we had suffered during the war, but…" she turned back to her old friend, "Kate, you could be lost out there again. What if…"

Janeway stood also. "I know that and so does everyone on this ship. Anything can happen and not just getting stuck thousands of light years from home and I have no doubts about us being back in the Delta Quadrant at some point or maybe some point even further away. But it will be dangerous here also. This ship cannot fall into the hands of the Federation's enemies and not just because of that drive."

"Then the other rumor is also true… the Borg enhancements?" She whispered as if she would be overheard.

Janeway inclined her head in acknowledgement. As much as HQ wanted to keep it a secret, it was already all over Starfleet. "Seven made several… upgrades, shall we say, that are being added to other ships as we speak."

"Seven? She's the ex-Borg?"

"She's an ex-drone, but she'll always be part Borg. And that was fortunate for Voyager; she saved our butts several times."

Anna sat back down. "I can't imagine having to face them alone. Wolf359 was bad enough and we had hundred's of ships there. Hell, you know what it was like."

"I do. But we had to traverse Borg space; there was no other way. Even if we had tried to go around it, there was no guarantee that we wouldn't still run into them."

They spent several more hours catching up and Anna left with a promise of dinner the next time Odyssey was in the area.


Chapter Sixteen

The next morning Janeway was on the bridge when they were notified that their new passengers were on board and settled.

"Alright, Mr. Paris, take us out of here. Let's see what we can find to get into out there."

"Aye, Captain, any particular direction you had in mind?"

She chuckled. "Pick one, just don't head for the Badlands, I don't have fond memories of that place… and since we're not in any hurry, warp four sounds good."

The first officer grinned at his commander. "Dr. Janeway has requested the Captain's presence at her earliest convenience to brief our new crewmembers."

She frowned, "I haven't had a chance to look at their files; can you give me a quick rundown?"

"There are four members of the team-two male, two female; one is Bajoran the other three are humans, all civilians working for the Federation. Each member has their own assistant. The head of the team is Rinaldo Casale, he's got a reputation for being a hard nose but fair in his negotiations. Two of the members have been with him for many years; the newest member is a philosopher working with the team, analyzing the beliefs of alien races and the values by which they live."

"Thanks, Viktor, you have the bridge." As she entered the turbolift, she asked the computer for Dr. Janeway's location. She smiled as she was informed that the astrometrics lab was the current whereabouts of her mother. "Good, I haven't had a chance to see Seven today."

"Dr. Janeway to Dr. Hansen."

"Hansen here," Seven replied as she continued to work on her console.

"Would you have time to give a couple of the members of the negotiating team a tour of Astrometrics? They've expressed an interest in seeing it." Though Gretchen had a feeling that they were more interested in seeing the resident Borg.

"Of course, Doctor, I am in the lab now."

"Thanks, I'll have them meet me there. Gretchen out."

Seven continued her commands until the map of the Gamma Quadrant appeared. It wasn't very detailed she noticed and wondered if the captain might be up for filling in a little of the missing information. She could add some from her memories from the collective, but it would be interesting to see it as an individual.

Seven stood in her customary stance, feet shoulder width apart, hands clasped behind her back and hair pinned behind her head. Her biosuit had been replaced with a Starfleet civilian science uniform. It was cut the same as the new Starfleet uniforms only the tunic was a solid teal color instead of the dark grey, almost black shoulders. She didn't have a Starfleet rank on her collar, but did have the pin that designated her as the department head.

Seven turned her head as the lab door swished open and Gretchen entered with a middle aged man with dark hair and eyes. A neatly trimmed mustache and beard covered his face; it was rare for her to see facial hair, most people in Starfleet seemed to prefer the clean shaven look.

"Dr. Annika Hansen, this is Rinaldo Casale, the head of the negotiating team. Dr. Hansen is head of the Astrometrics Department and the lab's primary designer and builder."

"My dear, it is a pleasure to meet you." He stood before her. "Dr. Janeway did tell me you were exceptionally astuto, but she failed to mention you were also extremely belli." He smiled winningly at her and waited for her to offer her hand so he could place a kiss to it in greeting, but she only offered a raised eyebrow or raised optical implant in her case.

"Dr. Janeway sometimes has a tendency to over emphasis my 'smarts'. And my 'beauty' has no bearing on my duties, Mr. Casale."

Before the conversation could continue or the participants could become any more uncomfortable, another of the team members entered and was recognized by Gretchen and Seven. It was the same person Seven had seen in a photo in the captain's quarters aboard Voyager.

"Mark?" Dr. Janeway stared at the man.

"Gretchen? You're the last person I would've expected to see. What are you doing here?" The brown haired man asked.

"I'm coordinating the civilian science departments. You're part of the team?"

"Yes, as of a year ago," he smiled at her. "I um, I sent Katie a letter when I learned she was back, but I never heard anything from her. I guess she was pretty busy. How is she?"

"Why don't you ask her yourself?" Gretchen said; she and Seven were the only ones that noticed the newcomer to the lab.

'Well, isn't this turning into old home week.' Janeway had almost turned around and left when she saw her ex-fiancé standing there. If she hadn't been so stunned she might have escaped before her mother said anything.

"Kath?" Mark spun around and hugged her, picking her up off the floor. "My god, it is you."

"Mark, put me down." The tone came out in her command voice and he obeyed before he realized it.

Seven noted that she was extremely pleased by Kathryn's lack of enthusiasm at seeing this man.

"Mr. Casale, I'm Captain Janeway, welcome aboard Odyssey. I hope you and your team will be able to make the commemorative dinner tonight."

"Thank you for having us aboard, Captain Janeway, and we are honored to participate in the inaugural ship's dinner," he formally stated. "I take it the two of you know each other."

She nodded. "We did, quite a few years ago."

Her remark and cold shoulder confused Mark; he was under the impression from the one and only letter she had sent him not long after his confession of marriage to another that she understood why he had moved on with his life. 'Maybe she was more upset about losing me than she admitted. Well, since I'm single again, maybe I can fix that,' he thought.

"Viktor to Janeway," his voice sounded eager.

"Go ahead, Commander."

"Sensors have picked up a Cardassian ship near Federation borders in the demilitarized zone."

"Type?" the captain asked.

"Heavy Cruiser, Keldon Class. It's not cloaked and seems to be the only ship in the area."

"That doesn't mean that there aren't more cloaked ships waiting. Set a course to intercept, warp eight. How long?"

"Ten minutes." Viktor answered after consulting with Paris at the helm.

"Go to red alert, I'm on my way. Janeway out. Seven, you're with me." She hadn't even realized what she had requested. She was so used to Seven being apart of her bridge crew.

"Yes, Captain."

"Seven?" Mark questioned after the two women vanished.

"Dr. Annika Hansen, also known as Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One, I think I have that right, late of the Borg Collective." Gretchen explained. "Kathryn severed her from them when she decided to go through Borg space instead of around it."

"Through Borg space?" Mark sounded a little stunned.

"I forgot that Starfleet probably didn't give you a lot of information other than 'We've heard from Voyager, they're okay, it's still just 30 or so thousand light years away', when they notified you Kathryn and crew were alive."

"That's about it actually, though they did say they had started out over 70,000 light years away and had found ways to shorten that considerably. By the time I was notified, I had given up hope and… married. I sent a letter, explaining everything to her… she wrote back saying she didn't think I would or should've put my life on hold." He looked at Gretchen. "I felt so bad… I almost wished she had gotten angry with me."

"Mark," she looked curiously at him, "you and Kathryn were engaged for quite a while yet you married fairly quickly after you thought she was… gone."

"Too quickly it seems like… the marriage didn't last. And it was Kath that never would set the date. I would've married her when we were teenagers if it had been my choice."

"Ah," Rinaldo said, "young love, so romantic. And to think you had lost her only to find her again, makes such a wonderful story. Don't you think?"

Gretchen stared at the man she had actually forgotten was there. "Mr. Casale, there is nothing romantic about thinking a loved one is dead. I went through four years of that, and let me assure you it was pure hell. And as for love lost and found, seven years, almost eight now, is a long time to hold a torch." She really didn't want Mark causing a problem for her daughter and Seven before they had a chance to work things out. She had always wondered if Kathryn had really been in love with Mark in the first place.

Phoebe was sitting in the mess hall waiting on Richard; they were meeting for dinner during his break from the beta shift. She was drawn to a conversation between an ensign and junior lieutenant a few tables over, when she heard Kathryn mentioned.

"I'm telling you, Toric," the ensign said, "it was all I could do not to laugh. You should've been there; the Captain kicked butt and took names."

"I'm sorry I missed it. I heard Lt. Kim talking about it last night at the dinner; he said he really thought the Cardassian ship was going to fire. Did the Captain actually threaten to blow his ship out from under him? I was under the impression that she usually tries a more diplomatic approach first."

"Yeah, she did. It was almost like they knew each other… Gul Camet said something about 'having known an Ensign Janeway' at one point in the conversation… I really think the Captain hoped they would fire on us."

"I wonder what they were up to this close to Federation Territory."

"They said they were escorting a Ferengi ship out of their space, but our sensors couldn't find any other vessels in the area."

At that point the two officers got up to leave and Richard sat down beside his wife. "Sorry, I'm late."

"It's okay; I was listening to a conversation about what happened yesterday. Why didn't you tell me?" she questioned.

His eyebrows shot up in surprise. "I was unaware that you were interested in what happens on the bridge."

"Well, I am."

"Okay. You not eating?" he started on his dinner.

"No, I had a late lunch with Mom. So, tell me what happened," she demanded.

"You mean with the Cardassians?" She nodded and he put his spoon down. "Well," he leaned closer and lowered his voice, "I was just coming on duty and had walked onto the bridge… oh, Phoebe, it was great, the Captain sent them scurrying back to their border with their tail tucked between their legs."

"The Ensign I overheard said one of them spoke of knowing an Ensign Janeway; do you know what that was all about? Kathryn hasn't held that rank since before the war with them, that was what… 15-20 years ago?"

Richard pushed his empty soup bowl to the side and regarded his wife. He had always made it a point, when being assigned to a new commanding officer, to read whatever was available on them and this posting was no different even though she was his sister-in-law. "Um, Phoebe, how much do you know about your sister's career?"

She opened her mouth to reply that she knew all about it, but then closed it and starting thinking. What do I know? The academy… then science officer… a change to command… her posting as a first officer… then promotion to captain… her first ship, then Voyager. "I… I guess I know the highlights; why… what do you know?"

Boy, damned if I do, damned if I don't. I'm not sure which sister I'd rather have mad at me. Phoebe has a temper, but from what I've heard about one of the captain's dressing downs, she could peel paint of the hull. "Uh… look, sweetheart, I'm due back on the bridge in a few minutes. When I get off, I'll bring up her service record and let you read it if you want. Or you could just ask her." He added; her sister would down play the more dangerous and unpleasant parts. "You okay? You look a little… rattled."

She smiled. "I'm fine," she reassured him. "Go back to work, Richard, I think I'll head to our quarters and do some painting."

Phoebe did try to work, but after losing concentration more than once, gave up. She kept coming back to the realization that she knew almost nothing about her sister's career and that made her wonder about her sister as an adult and about the things she didn't know.

'How could I know so little about something that is so much a part of her? How could I not know her?' she wondered.

Sitting down at the desk, she stared at the blank computer access terminal. "I wish I'd paid more attention to the instructions on how to operate this thing."

She drummed her fingers, thinking. "Computer…" she heard the chirp signaling the computer had acknowledged her and was awaiting further instructions. "I want to see the files on Captain Janeway."

"Please specify which Captain Janeway." The female voice replied.

"Oh, right… Dad was a captain at one point, Captain Kathryn Janeway."

"Which database do you wish to view?"

"Which one… how many are there?"


Phoebe looked puzzled. "Um… what are they?"

"Starfleet Academy, United Federation of Planets, Starfleet, The Federation News Agency, Starfleet Academy Ledger, The Scientific Journal, The…"

"Starfleet," Phoebe interrupted, "the Starfleet database, please."

"Working… some files on Captain Kathryn Janeway are classified and need a security clearance."

"Classified… I wonder why?"

"Please clarify and restate your question."

"Can I see the unclassified records?"

"Working… Starfleet unclassified records on Captain Kathryn Janeway retrieved; how would you like them displayed?"

"Uh… what are my choices?"

"Records can be retrieved by audio or computer interface."

"Can they be displayed on the computer in this cabin?"

"Affirmative… records transferred to computer terminal."

"Well, that was eye opening. I really should get Richard to teach me about interacting with this ship." Phoebe admitted as she sat down and began to read through the extensive file on her sister's career.

An hour later, she had read through the file and couldn't help but wonder if this was the unclassified stuff, how much worse the classified information would be. "How could I be this ignorant? And why didn't Mom or Dad or Katie tell me?" she questioned the empty room. "Because, Phoebe, you never wanted to have anything to do with anything Starfleet," she answered herself.

Phoebe wasn't ignorant about what went on in the Federation, she knew about the wars with the Klingons, the Romulans, the Cardassians and the Dominion, she knew about the Borg attack, and she knew people were sometimes hurt and killed while exploring new worlds and civilizations. She had known it first hand when her father had been killed and Katie injured.

But her father and Justin, who had also died in the crash, had been the only two people that she had actually known that had died. The 'artist crowd' that she knew and hung around before Richard had nothing to do with Starfleet and paid little attention to current events.

Phoebe never knew that her sister had been decorated by Starfleet earlier in her career, had help defend a Federation Outpost being attacked by the Cardassians, been captured and held prisoner by the Cardassians during her first posting to Admiral Paris' ship. And then captured and held a second time during the war.

She remembered the two of them had a huge fight right before Katie left for her first ship. A sixteen year old Phoebe had blamed her sister for not being able to go on a trip with her friends; she couldn't even remember where they were going, because their parents made her stay at home since it was the last time Kathryn would be able to be there for a while. The last thing Phoebe had said to her sister was something about hating Starfleet and Kathryn and hoping she stayed gone.

Phoebe put her hands over her face. "God that could've been the last thing I said to my sister, if…"

She jumped up and headed for the door. "Oh wait… um computer, locate Dr. Janeway."

"Dr. Janeway is in her quarters."

She touched her communicator; it had taken her a few days and a bruise or two, to learn she didn't have to punch it. "Phoebe to Gretchen Janeway."

"Yes, dear."

"Mom, can I come talk to you about something?"

"I was about to head to bed, is it important?"

"Yes, it is."

A few seconds of surprised silence, then, "Okay, come on up. Gretchen out."

Phoebe rode the turbolift from her quarters on deck six to her mother's on deck three. She wasn't sure why she was heading for her mother instead of her sister; she wasn't even sure what she would say when she got there. By the time she entered her mother's quarters, she had decided she definitely wanted to know why she had been kept in the dark about a few things. "Why in the hell was I not told about Katie's capture by the Cardassians?"

Gretchen stared at her youngest like she had lost her mind. "What are you talking about?"

Phoebe paced as she proceeded to explain what she had heard and read. "Mom, you should've told me, I had a right to know."

"Oh honey," Gretchen wrapped her arms around her daughter and led her over to the couch, "the only reason your father and I knew about her capture when it happened was because he was at HQ when the communiqué came in. Otherwise we wouldn't have heard anything until after the fact if then."

"Before… before she left, we had a fight, I… I said something horrible to her, Mom." She cried on Gretchen's shoulder. "What if…"

"Shh, honey, I know. Kathryn told me, which is one reason why I think she asked us not to say anything to you; she saw no need to upset you. And since everything was okay…"

"What do you mean, okay? Do you know what happened to her… what she went through?" Phoebe stood up and paced again; wiping her eyes of the tears that blurred her vision.

Gretchen sighed. "You mean do I know about the metal box they kept her in? Or are you referring to the implant they threatened to torture her with? Or maybe you mean the Cardassian she killed face to face while escaping? I believe she had nightmares about all of it for a while, though of course she never said anything about them." Gretchen rubbed her temples. "She was going to be a scientist for god's sake. Next thing I knew she was a prisoner of an unknown enemy, then later, a soldier fighting for some hunk of rock that probably meant nothing in the long run, then captured a second time. Then she was lost years from home, facing god only knows what. She could've easily not ever made it home."

"I never said I was sorry. The next time I saw her we acted like it never happened."

Gretchen looked at her youngest daughter. She and Edward had always thought they had to shelter Phoebe, and Katie had followed their lead and continued. Maybe it was time, or more likely past time, to correct that. "Computer, locate Captain Janeway and state the time."

"The Captain is in her quarters… the time is 2117 hours."

"Gretchen Janeway to Captain Janeway," she always felt a little funny saying that.

"Janeway here, Mom." The 'Mom' let Gretchen know that she could be informal with her communication.

"If you're not busy, dear, could Phoebe and I come by to see you?"

"I'm in my quarters reading, come on by."

"Thank you; see you in a few minutes."

"Sure, Janeway out." She put her book down wondering what they could possible want, especially since her mother had sounded rather upset.


Chapter Seventeen

"Captain's Log Stardate 55746.5—We're in orbit around Mordox. The inhabitants have asked the Federation to mediate the proposed treaty between the three warring factions, hoping to settle their differences and to be admitted to the Federation. The team leader Mr. Casales has asked that there not be a security detail sent to the meetings with them. I have granted his request against my better judgment. After meeting the concerned parties, my gut is telling me something doesn't seem right, my head keeps reminding me that I'm not in the Delta Quadrant anymore. I hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the butt.

"Computer, delete last sentence.

"End log."

It was late afternoon of the fourth day of negotiations and Kathryn was sitting in her mother's office. They had just finished going over the reports from astrometrics and astrophysics on the class-eight nebula the ship had studied last week.

"So," Kathryn sat back and yawned, "how did you like your first couple of weeks in space?"

"You know I have been on a space trip or two in my day."

"Yes, mother, but it was before I was born, so it's been awhile."

"You act like it's ancient history." Gretchen laughed as she retrieved two cups of coffee from the replicator. "Here, you look like you could use this."

"The past few days have made me feel ancient." She picked up the mug. "Thanks."

"You know, I've been so busy, I haven't even had a chance to explore all the ship. I've been meaning to take Phoebe down to the Hydroponics and Aeroponics Labs to see what they're growing, but haven't had time."

"T'Lora to Captain Janeway."

"Go ahead, Lieutenant."

"We've just received a communication from Mr. Casales, they're under attack."

"Beam them up," she stated as she headed out the door towards the nearest turbolift.

"We tried, there was an energy field of some kind that disrupted the transport beam and when we were able to re-establish a transporter lock, the only thing we retrieved was their comm badges. Captain, there were nine badges."

"Nine?" She pinched the bridge of her nose. "I'm on my way to the bridge, Janeway out."

She re-activated her comm badge, "Janeway to senior staff, report to the briefing room on deck one."

As she stepped from the turbolift, Lt. Toric at the ops station gave her the report on the ninth person. Though one look at her beta shift helmsman and she had known who it was.

Now she sat in the briefing room knowing she had to tell her mother that her sister was in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation. She straightened in her seat at the head of the table as her staff filed in.

"We have a possible hostage situation. The negotiating team was taken by the Traks or a rebel faction of them as they left the administration building. Witnesses say they were split into three groups of three and taken in separate directions."

"Weren't there just eight of them?" Harry asked.

"It seems they had a hitchhiker that went down with them today." She ignored the curious looks and proceeded with her instructions. "Lt. Kim, you are to find a way to disrupt the energy field that is preventing the bio scanners from locating our people's lifesigns. Lt. Torres, you will be assisting him." The two of them were excused from the meeting to get started on finding the team members. "There will be three teams of three going down."

"Captain, do you not think that it would be prudent for larger teams to be attempting the rescue?" Viktor asked.

"I don't think so, Commander, I've been informed by the Archon that the Traks have very limited sight, but that their hearing is exceptional. I believe the smaller the groups, the better the chance of success."

"I concur with that assessment. With the cover of night, we should have ideal conditions to carry out a rescue attempt." Tuvok stated.

"Viktor will lead one, Tuvok another, and I'll lead the third."

The commander had been careful in questioning the captain so far, sticking to operational topics; not really settled into his roll as first officer yet and still trying to get a feel of how Janeway operated. "Captain, do you really think that is…"

She stopped him and her chief of security before he could add anything. "Your objections are duly noted, gentlemen, but I'm going. Tuvok, choose four of your people to accompany us; two to go with your team, one to go with Viktor and Dr. Hansen and one to go with Lt. Long and myself. Mr. Paris, you will relieve the Lieutenant at the helm."

"Captain," Tom leaned forward, "no offense to Lt. Long, but I think I have more experience on away missions than he does."

"You probably do, Tom, but he has pleaded his case and I've agreed."

Gretchen knew something was fishy. She thought at first Kathryn might be going because Mark was one of the hostages, but now that Richard was insisting on being included… that was something that was setting off all kinds of warning bells in her head.

"Do we know why they've been taken?" Viktor asked.

"We've received no communication from them, though the Archon has speculated that they want the talks terminated and want the petition for entrance into the Federation to be denied. He admitted that some of the Traks have been the dissenters each time that item was discussed."

"Captain," Gretchen had been silent throughout the meeting, but her composure was slowly falling apart, "who is the ninth person?"

"Could I have a minute with Dr. Janeway please?" She watched as the rest of them filed out of the room and moved to the chair beside her mother.

"It's Phoebe isn't it?"


"Oh god." The older woman bowed her head.

"Mom, I'll get her back, I promise." She knelt down and turned Gretchen's chair towards her, taking her mother's hands in hers.

"What was she doing down there, Kathryn?"

"I don't know and Richard had no idea she had gone with them either." She leaned back but still held onto Gretchen's hands. "I'm so used to issuing orders and having them obeyed, I didn't stop to think that Phoebe would assume that they didn't apply to her. And I feel that it's my fault; I never should've agreed to not having any security personnel at the meetings."

"I know you can take care of yourself, but I don't want you hurt either, honey." Gretchen cupped her daughter's face.

"I'll be alright, Mom." She hugged her and the two women spent several minutes in the embrace, taking comfort from one another.

Seven entered the briefing room, "I am sorry to interrupt, but we have located nine lifesigns on the planet and we thought you would want to be informed." She had been assisting Lt.'s Kim and Torres on recalibrating the sensors. The captain had already discussed the away mission with her and asked for her help which she was happy to give considering she liked Kathryn's younger sister.

"Thank god." Gretchen breathed a sigh of relief.

"Good, let's see what we're going to be dealing with, shall we?"

The three teams exited the weapons storage room and headed towards the transporter room. They were dressed not unlike a swat team from the twentieth century except they wore no Kevlar vests or helmets. They did wear hooded jackets and thin black gloves that covered their hands. One member of each team carried a backpack that contained three black outfits for the hostages to don once they recovered them. Each member also carried a phaser rifle.

They were beaming down two kilometers from the three areas where the hostages were being held, due to the energy fields surrounding them. With a few last minute instructions from the team leaders and a whispered 'be careful' between Seven and the captain, the transport commenced. The last communication the teams had with the ship was to confirm their arrival on the planets surface.

Viktor, Seven and Ensign Parsons made their way slowly towards the non-descript building that looked abandoned. About a kilometer from the structure they stopped and checked the readouts on the tricorders that had been modified not to produce any sounds.

From the readings, they knew their people were in the building along with half a dozen Traks. A curious look from Viktor and Parsons and a raised eyebrow from Seven were the only clues that all three of them found it curious that so few guards were present. Viktor gave the signal to proceed and they started forward quickly, but quietly.

Viktor watched as Seven took point. Before the teams embarked on their mission, Janeway had pulled him into her ready room to explain that Seven was accompanying him not because she didn't trust him, but because Seven was highly resourceful and would be an asset to the rescue team. He assured her he didn't take it personally. He knew that the senior officers had worked together for seven years and he alone was the untried and untested commodity and that he would have to earn their acceptance. And he also knew that if Captain Janeway had any doubts about him he wouldn't be on her ship in the first place, so it was just a matter of time and doing his job before he was an accepted member.

Tuvok and his team headed northeast towards what turned out to be a power storage facility. They used the hum of the machinery to their advantage and quickly moved through the large cavernous building.

The bright lights would hinder them slightly, but there were shadows they could use to hide them from the guards. A quick tricorder reading and they were moving toward a far corner that held the three people they had come for.

The teams considered themselves extremely lucky this world was not as advanced as the Federation and their technology was not more superior than it was. The energy fields being the one exception they had run across.

Janeway knelt down behind a stone wall and surveyed the building a quarter kilometer from them again. It was a two story structure made from metal. The small windows had bars that crisscrossed them making them unusable as an entrance. The tricorder showed three lifesigns located on the ground floor near the center of the building. Ten others were scattered around the building, but only two of them were near their people.

As they silently moved into the open area around the building, they encountered an energy beam. A quick analysis, showed it to be a warning system. At least they knew that if they had to exit the building in a hurry, the beam wouldn't do them physical harm.

Richard placed his hand on his commanding officer's shoulder and showed her his tricorder. He found one of the relays had malfunctioned and left a break in the beam just large enough for them to squeeze through. A little luck was a much welcomed commodity.

Viktor had suggested that a diversion to draw out the guards was the best course of action since they could not gain access to the small building without alerting them. Seven and Parsons agreed with the assessment. They sat up a series of explosions slightly away from the building, hoping to draw out the four guards.

Tuvok and his security people made quick work of the Traks. It had been surprisingly easy to dispatch them. Only one of the guards had been killed during the rescue and that was only because he had fallen from a catwalk after being stunned; the rest had been rendered unconscious by way of the phaser rifles or the Vulcan neck pinch.

Tuvok sent his two security people with the three rescued and unhurt hostages to the beam out site while he headed for Commander Viktor's objective.

Three of the four guards exited the building to investigate the diversion, and as they moved towards the area where the explosions occurred, Viktor, Seven and Parsons entered the building. A rifle butt to the head of the remaining guard rendered him unconscious.

They found the three people tied to together by ropes, a crude but effective way of keeping them secured. It only took a second to release them and give them the dark clothing to don.

Luck continued to be with them as they made their way towards the entrance to the building and through it without being detected. Lt. Darby led the way as they headed towards the area where the tricorders told them the hostages were being held. Janeway paused and tilted her head, the other two heard it a second later; the sound of a hovercraft landing nearby.

Taking less than a second to decide to use the noise for cover, Janeway darted around them, not worrying about any sound they might make. They quickly disabled the two guards by the doorway where their people were being held.

Richard pushed his hood back and hugged his wife. Lt. Darby removed the articles of clothing from the pack she had been carrying and passed them out. The captain had remained by the door as a lookout. A quick check of the tricorder made her wince. It seemed as though their good luck had just run out as a dozen more Traks had arrived.

Janeway motioned them to hurry and whispered to Richard as he passed. "Stay with them and get them to the beam out site. Darby and I will give you cover if they discover us. That's an order, Lieutenant." She stated before he could say anything.

If looks could kill, Mr. Casale would no longer be breathing. His exuberance at seeing their rescuers would more-than-likely be bringing the guards back to the building if the reports on their hearing hadn't been exaggerated.

Tuvok had arrived just as six people ran from the building. He took up a position to give them cover and started firing at the three Traks that where moving to cut off their escape. He dropped two of them quickly, but one found cover before he could get a clear shot, and opened fire.

Seven and Parsons had stopped running and traded volleys with the remaining guard to provide Viktor and the team members a chance to get away. Tuvok took the opportunity to move around the guard and disable him, but unfortunately not before he was able to hit Seven.

Tuvok knelt beside Seven, "We need to get her back to the ship." He quickly scanned her with a medical tricorder he pulled from his pack. He and Parsons half dragged half carried her outside the range of the energy field interference.

"We can't risk the transporters this close; they might alert them to the Captain's team." Viktor stated.

"Commander, a communication to the ship this far away from the Captain's position would not be detectable. I suggest we contact them to see how the situation stands now. Seven, Dr. Hansen, needs medical attention."

"Viktor to Odyssey."

"Kim here, Commander."

"What's the status of the Captain's team?"

"We are showing weapons fire at their location," he reported.

"Beam up all but myself, Tuvok and Parsons directly to sickbay, Dr. Hansen is injured and needs attention."

"Understood," Kim stated as four people dematerialized.

"I assume, Lieutenant, that you can not at this time beam the other team up." Tuvok stated.

"No, Commander, they're still within the energy field and we aren't able to get a lock on them." B'Elanna's voice broke in.

"Can you beam us close to their location?" Viktor asked.

"Yes, we can. Standby for transport," Kim stated.

Janeway and her team had made it out of the building only to be pinned down and unable to cross the open area that would lead them to the stone wall that would at least give them ample cover.

Richard crouched down with Phoebe, Mark and his assistant behind two metal barrels that didn't provide very much cover. The captain and the lieutenant were also pinned down about ten meters from his position. They seemed to be in a worse position than he was.

"Lieutenant, if you can give me some cover, I think I can get around behind them."

"Captain, shouldn't I be the one trying to do that?" the lieutenant asked.

"Lieutenant, I appreciate the concern, but I make a helluva lot smaller target than you do."

Darby blushed. She was six and a half feet tall and weighed about 250 pounds. Granted it was mostly muscle, but it still made for a big target. "Aye, Captain."

Janeway waited for the lieutenant to start her diversion before she made her move. The lieutenant's cover fire had the Traks hunkering down and not seeing the captain's movements and she was able to move around them with relative ease and take out several of the guards that had them pinned down. And as the rest concentrated on her, Darby was able to get a clear shot.

"I can't believe it was that easy." She mumbled to herself as she motioned to the others that it was clear.

As she headed past the downed guards, she was rushed from behind. She turned at the lieutenant's warning, throwing her arm up in time to block a knife that was headed for her and caught her across the forearm. Her rifle was no good in close quarters so she butted the Trak in the face with it. Hearing the grunt of pain let her know she had done some damage, but his forward motion took them both to the ground. She had dropped the rifle and grabbed his wrist, barely keeping the knife away from her.

With her attacker intent on attaching his weapon to her anatomy, she was able to use her leg strength to roll him over and gain the advantage. Little did she know that if she hadn't, Darby would've had a clear shot to take him out. Now the only thing the lieutenant could do was head towards the two of them and hope she got there in time.

Janeway used her position to grab her own knife that was strapped to her calf and stab her attacker. God how she hated killing, especially when it was hand-to-hand. She had lost track over the years, especially after spending seven of them in the Delta Quadrant, of how many individual deaths she was directly responsible for. When she had taken her first command, she had started out asking how many lifesigns were on a ship she was about to order her people to fire on, but somewhere along the line she had stopped. She wasn't sure if that was a good or a bad thing. One thing she would never stop remembering, were her people that had been lost, she made a point of remembering their faces and names, sometimes in the night when she was alone, but mostly they came in her dreams.

For a while she had disturbing dreams and memories about destroying Voyager and her crew along with over five hundred Vidiians, even though it had been a duplicate ship and crew. Her mind hadn't quite known how to handle that. Normally, when a captain destroyed their own ship, they didn't have to live with the end result of their actions. But then not much on Voyager had been normal.

Darby reached the captain in time to help her up. "Are you okay, ma'am?"

"Yes, Lieutenant, let's get the hell out of here before any more of them show up."

Janeway and Darby caught up to Richard and the others just as Viktor, Tuvok and Parsons materialized. The captain noticed Seven's absence immediately and looked at her first officer as he removed his hood.

"The other six hostages have been rescued and beamed to the ship. Dr. Hansen's been injured and beamed to sickbay," he explained.

Kathryn's heart stopped for what felt like an eternity before starting back double time, pumping her veins full of what felt like ice water. She pushed her hood back and hit her comm badge. "Janeway to Odyssey, nine to beam directly to sickbay."

"Aye, Captain."

Part 5

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