|Disclaimer: Paramount owns all things Star Trek Voyager. I don’t. Only borrowing
them. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Summary: While on shoreleave, Kathryn and Naomi are kidnapped by a lone
freedom fighter. Kathryn makes the ultimate sacrifice to ensure
Naomi can escape and get back to her mother safely. Can Chakotay
and the crew find her in time and if so, can Kathryn live with her
decision and save her relationship with Chakotay?
WARNING: This story contains graphic material of a violent and sexual nature.
If you are offended by such, please do not read on.
NOTE: I recently saw the film ‘A Stranger Is Watching’ in which Kate Mulgrew gave a wonderful performance (when does she not?) and decided to use the basic storyline for a JC story. This film was made in 1982 and if you haven’t seen it, shame on you. Rectify this immediately.
FOR THE CHILD - WHO IS THE FUTURE OF US ALL.
Naomi ran blindly down the tunnels, her Captain’s scream following her and she stopped for a second but when silence followed, she ran again, her tears almost blinding her. She wiped at her eyes and tried to stop her sobbing. “Always obey the Captain’s orders. Always obey the Captain’s orders.” The young child used the words to push herself on, repeating them over and over, fuelling herself with them. She knew everything depended on her getting help now and she tried to remember prayers her mother had taught her but only Kathryn Janeway’s scream and her words about orders stayed with the girl.
Finally she saw lights and burst out into the park. She kept running, despite falling over unknown objects in the darkness and pushed herself forward. Even though everything looked different at night, Naomi was able to pick out the landmarks she had noticed in the daylight and she ran on. When she came to the market, memories of her shopping trip with her Captain came back to her but they felt as sad as the marketplace looked now, deserted and dark.
Suddenly she saw two men, weapons over their shoulders, walking through the empty stalls and she stopped, desperately pulling air into her lungs. She saw that they looked like the Security Officers on the ship and knew she had no choice but to trust them. Using the little energy she had left, she ran towards them, crying out that the Captain was hurt and needed them.
Kathryn lay on the table, tears pouring from her eyes and tried to control her breathing. She was aware of her captor looking down at her and felt the tendrils leave her body and then he was pulling her up into a sitting position on the table and pain ripped though her again. She saw him look around the room now and search for Naomi then notice the open door.
“You evil traitor.” His hand came across Kathryn’s face and knocked her off the table to the floor but he pulled her back to her feet immediately.
“Trick me like that, would you? You’re nothing but a cheap whore. Well I’ll find the girl and then I’ll give her the same treatment.” He saw the fear on Kathryn’s face but also the determination not to let him succeed. He pulled back from her but Kathryn grabbed for him, buying every last second she could.
“Whore’s like you have to be brought down, Captain.” Kathryn didn’t see him reach into his pocket and bring out a long spike. He pulled Kathryn into his arms and bit at her neck again.
“They have to be brought down…” Suddenly Kathryn felt an agonizing pain at her side as the spike was driven deeply into her body and she grunted in pain and shock. She knew immediately she’d been stabbed and slumped against the body holding her, her hands gripping him tightly as she felt the sharp object being twisted in her. Her words were barely heard by him.
“Oh my God….Oh Chakotay….” Kathryn felt herself slide down his body to the floor and fall away from him. Her hand went to her side in a desperate attempt to stem the flow of blood she could feel leaving the wound. She saw the man above her wipe the spike on his sleeve and heard him laugh.
“That’s how you bring them down Captain, that’s how you bring them down.” His face blurred then as Kathryn felt herself lose consciousness. She vaguely felt his foot push against her head, checking to see if she was alive and her head rolled to the side, her eyes closed. His footsteps leaving was the last thing she heard.
When word reached the ship that Naomi had been found, Chakotay and a team beamed down to the surface immediately. When they entered the offices where the child was being looked after, Naomi jumped up immediately and ran into her mother’s arms sobbing her heart out.
“Mom, tell them. Tell them we have to hurry. He was hurting the Captain. Please….” Samantha hugged her daughter tightly to her, relief flowing through her.
“I will sweetie, I will. We’ll find her.”
Within minutes, Chakotay, Tuvok and their team left the Security Station, the Doctor with them. A strong Security detail of Storians accompanied them. Naomi led the way with her mother, refusing to be left behind and Chakotay knew they had no choice but to bring the child with them, desperately needing her directions, despite the excellent detailed information she had already provided them with. The Storian Security Chief nodded his understanding, stating that he knew where she girl spoke of. As they headed out, Chakotay prayed silently that they wouldn’t be too late.
Reedol ran through the tunnels desperately searching for his escaped captive but the girl was nowhere in sight. He cursed loudly at how wrong everything had gone but blamed the woman he had left lying in a pool of her own blood. Screaming loudly at the walls, he turned and made his way back to the small room, determined to take out his anger on the Captain he still held. Even if she was dead, he would still smash her head open.
Kathryn came round to agonising pain and fought to focus her eyes. She knew she was bleeding badly but tried to pull herself towards the door, crying breathlessly in agony. She prayed Naomi had made it out of the tunnels and had found help, giving no thought to herself, knowing that the safety of the young girl was all that mattered. Inch by inch, she eased herself painfully towards the exit, not sure of why but some survival instinct inside her urging her on. After what seemed like hours, she made it to the door and using some boxes there, managed to pull herself to her knees. She cried out in pain constantly but pushed herself on, eventually managing to get to her feet, a scream leaving her lips. She pressed a hand tightly over the wound at her side and felt her blood warm and sticky between her fingers. Using the wall for support, she pushed herself forward, one hand unconsciously closing her dress over herself.
Stopping every few seconds, Kathryn slowly made her way towards where she knew the entrance to the tunnel was. She knew she had little hope of making it and when she looked behind her, saw that she had only managed to travel a few feet. When she turned back, a scream tore from her throat when the figure of her captor suddenly loomed in front of her. Before she knew it, he was on her, forcing her to the ground, his hands going for her throat. Kathryn screamed out in rage and pain, desperately trying to fight him, a strength coming from deep within her she didn’t know she had. The thought came to her that there was no sign of Naomi and that with him here, he wasn’t looking for the child. They rolled on the ground but Kathryn was no match for him and then he was straddling her, his hands tightening around her throat, cutting off her air as he banged her head painfully off the ground. Kathryn’s hands fought his at first and then trashed around her, searching for anything she could use as a weapon and her fingers brushed a stone. She desperately clawed for it and managed to grasp it then swung her hand up, connecting the stone with the side of the man’s head. She heard him cry out and felt him lean back off her but nothing more. Kathryn watched horrified as she saw him bring his own hand up, clutching the spike again and her mind registered his hand dropping towards her. Suddenly an explosion of pain tore across her chest as the spike sank into her and Kathryn screamed out again. She felt the weapon ripped from her, her body jerking up with it and then his hands were back at her throat. Her head slammed to the side and her eyes made out the spike lying beside them, her own blood coating it. With superhuman strength, she reached for it and closed her fingers around it. Time slowed then as Kathryn watched her own hand rise and saw it ram the long spike into the throat of the man above her and she almost felt as if she were standing back watching someone else as revulsion and horror washed over her. She felt his hands leave her neck and saw them reach to his own, a gurgling sound coming from him as his fingers clawed at the object embedded in his windpipe. He staggered to his feet still clutching at his throat and then fell forward, face down on the hard ground, the spike driven deeply into his body. Kathryn watched almost in a trance as his body spasmed several times and was then still. With her mind in turmoil and her body in deep shock, she managed to roll onto her side, desperately clawing her way along the ground, not knowing where she was heading, just that some instinct was forcing her on. She was going in the opposite direction for the exit but was unaware of this as she inched her way along, the tunnel getting darker. Chakotay’s face in her mind drove her on and it was only the massive blood loss that stopped her and she lost consciousness, her hand stretched forward, reaching for something which wasn’t there.
With tears pouring down her small face, Naomi Wildman tightly gripped her mother’s hand and pointed with her other hand to the opening in the rock. She had run the entire way to the parkland, the others trying to keep up with her. The child knew her job was still unfinished and would remain so until her Captain was safely back aboard Voyager.
“There, in there. It’s a long tunnel. The Captain said about five minutes but she walked slow…” Chakotay nodded and made for the entrance, the area well lit now with high powered lanterns the Storians had brought with them. Naomi let go of her mother’s hand and ran for the entrance, disappearing inside as Sam called after her. Voyager’s First Officer made a grab for the small figure but missed as it flew past him. Shouting to the others and grabbing a lantern, he quickly followed.
Within two minutes they came to the door of the room and Chakotay stopped dead for a second when he heard Naomi’s scream. He ran to the child, his heart in his mouth and saw what had caused her reaction. One of the Storian guards kicked at the figure on the ground and then leaned down and turned it over. The open eyed stare of the dead man met them, the handle of a weapon sticking out of his throat and blood covering his neck and chest. Chakotay pulled Naomi away and passed her to her mother but Naomi dashed into the room instead and Chakotay followed. He saw the child in the centre of the small space, tears running freely down her face as she looked horrified at the pool of blood on the floor and the trail which led to the door.
“Where is she? She was here. I left her…” Sam had joined them in the room and closed her eyes, trying to shut out images of her daughter being held here and what she must have gone through. Naomi took off again and dashed back into the tunnel. More Storian guards had joined them now and the area was well lit. Almost immediately the child’s eyes picked up on the fresh trail of blood, Chakotay seeing it at the same moment. Calling to Sam to take Naomi and making sure she had a tight grip on the child this time, he followed the blood trail deeper into the tunnel and within a minute saw Kathryn lying face down unmoving, just ahead of them.
Holding his breath, Chakotay ran to Kathryn’s side, the Doctor with him and reached out his hand to her. “Kathryn…please God….” He was pushed to the side as the Doctor moved in and then Tom was there and they were gently turning her over. Chakotay cried out when he saw the amount of blood which soaked the dress she wore and covered her chest and neck and down her side.
“She’s barely alive. Give me a minute then let’s get her back to the ship…” Chakotay saw the Doctor and Tom work over their Captain, instruments and hyposprays changing hands and being used. Within a minute, a stretcher had arrived and Kathryn was gently placed on it and carried to the entrance where she could be beamed back to sickbay. The short distance seemed an eternity to Chakotay and he prayed the whole way.
Chakotay paced the Doctor’s office the entire three hours Kathryn was in surgery. He’d allowed Naomi to stay long enough to be checked over and then ‘ordered’ her back to her quarters with her mother, satisfied that the sedative Tom had administered would work within ten minutes. When the Doctor finally returned to his office, Chakotay turned to him, the desperation on his face asking all his questions for him.
“She’ll live but it was very close, too close for my liking.” The Medic nodded to the man before him to sit. “What I believe was the first stab wound, the one to her side, damaged her kidney and liver and caused massive internal haemorrhaging. By the entry site, I’d say the weapon used was twisted around. How she managed to move at all… The second wound, to her chest, barely missed the heart. Both wounds…Commander I can honestly tell you it’s a miracle she didn’t bleed to death. How she crawled the distance she did…I mean much longer and…” The Doctor lowered his head, not needing to state the obvious.
“She’ll be all right though…I mean with time… a full recovery…” Chakotay’s eyes pleaded for reassurance. The Doctor gave it to him with a nod of his head.
“She’s still unconscious. That much blood loss and the body goes into shock. She’s receiving transfusions still. She also suffered a concussion, there’s a wound on the back of her head and there’s bruising around her throat and what looks like a bite. I’d say he tried to strangle her. There were also some facial injuries but they weren’t too serious.” Chakotay shut his eyes and shook his head.
“How long will she be unconscious?” The Doctor finally looked at the worn out man before him.
“I can’t say but she will regain consciousness. Basically it’ll be when she’s ready to come back to us. The human body knows better than I ever will.” Chakotay stood slowly and rubbed his hands over his face, trying to wash away all that had happened. The EMH stood also. “Commander, sit with her a while and then get some rest yourself. I’ve to meet with the Storian Doctor who last treated…” He didn’t continue and read the look on Chakotay’s face well. “Just as well he’s already dead.”
Chakotay sat with Kathryn for over two hours, talking quietly to her and stroking her arm and face. Finally he stood and kissed her forehead softly.
“Rest now Kathryn, everything’s all right. I’ll be back later.” He walked slowly to the door and looked back at her, lying so still and pale and sent a prayer of thanks to any Deity listening. Exhausted, he returned to his quarters and slept for the next six hours.
Having checked on Kathryn when he awoke and found her still unconscious, Chakotay called by to see how Naomi was doing. He knew the Doctor had been by also to check on the child but he wanted to talk to her himself. Sam’s face when she opened the door showed her lack of sleep.
“Come in Commander. Sorry I’m a bit of a mess.” Chakotay smiled softly.
“Did you get any sleep?” The Ensign smiled guiltily.
“Not much. I just kept watching her. I was afraid if I fell asleep, she’d be gone when I…Sorry, that’s silly I know…” Chakotay gripped her shoulder.
“Sam, it’s called being a parent and it’s nothing to be sorry about. How is she?” Sam shrugged her shoulders.
“Not talking too much. She keeps asking about the Captain. The Doctor said it would be good for her to talk about what happened but…” Chakotay nodded.
“I agree and she will in her own time. Can I see her?” Sam waved him towards the child’s bedroom and followed him in. As soon as they entered, Naomi jumped up in bed.
“Commander, is the Captain all right? Is she…? Can I…?” Chakotay smiled and reached for the girl then sat and hugged her to him.
“Naomi, the Captain is fine, I give you my word on that. She’s asleep at the moment though.” He saw the worry slowly fall from the small face to be replaced by tears. “Honey, what is it? I promise you, she’s fine…” The little girl shook her head.
“No…I know…but…I…I…” Chakotay rubbed a thumb over her small cheek and kissed her head.
“What is it honey? You can talk to us, you know that.” He saw Sam sit quietly on a chair in the corner and waited for the child to open up to them.
“I left her, abandoned the Captain…” Chakotay hugged her tighter.
“Naomi, you did what the Captain told you to do. If you hadn’t got out, we’d never have found you. You did the right thing.” He saw that the girl accepted his words but he knew she would feel guilty for quite some time. “Honey, sometimes we have orders we don’t like but we have to follow them. In the end, the Captain knows best and we always do what she says. Can you understand that?” He saw the small head nod.
“But he was hurting her real bad and I ran. I know she said to run but…and I heard her scream when he pushed at her…” Chakotay frowned.
“Honey, what did you see?” The thought that the child had witnessed her Captain being stabbed sickened him.
“When he pushed her… and…and the things stuck on her…” Chakotay frowned and exchanged a look with Sam and she nodded, telling him it was all right to go on, that this needed to come out.
“Naomi, can you tell me about all that happened?” Big, sad eyes met his and she nodded. She reached for her stuffed toy from the bed and played with it, gaining a comfort from the toy as she spoke. Chakotay kept a tight arm around her.
“We were…I bought perfume for Mom in a pretty bottle and the Captain told me it would still be good…the bottle I mean…when the perfume was gone…but I dropped it when the man came…I’m sorry Mom…” She looked to her mother and Sam just smiled.
“It’s all right sweetheart, we can get another one. I know I’d have loved it anyway.” The child dropped her head again.
“I asked the Captain if she was going to buy you a present…but I remembered I wasn’t to say about that…” She looked up into Chakotay’s face. “Captain Janeway told me it was all right to say, that you were in love together…” Chakotay fought to hold his own tears back and just nodded. “We went to buy you something…for the man…” She stopped and thought hard. “The man who…had everything…” A small smile came to her face a moment and then disappeared. Chakotay bit his lip.
“I moved and I know I’m not suppose to do that and then the man was there and he took my badge and he had a phaser and pinched my shoulder.” A small hand came up to show where. “The Captain saw and came over and she looked afraid at first and he took her badge but she told me it was all right and then the man told us to walk.” She hugged the toy to her.
“I watched all the places we passed and later the Captain said I was good at that, that I’d have her job…” She smiled at them both and saw them smile back. Then her smile vanished again.
“I was afraid of him and the tunnel was dark. He made the Captain walk in front and…then we went into the room and he shoved me onto the bed.” Chakotay saw the worry and shock on Sam’s face.
“The Captain ran over to me and then went to the man, and she asked him why he had taken us. He was mean and I didn’t like him.” Chakotay stroked her hair, silently telling her she was going well.
“He grabbed her arm and pulled it behind her and pulled her at him…like a hug but not nice…and he was…I don’t know…I think smelling her neck…his face was there…” She pointed to her own neck and Chakotay felt a stab of fear build in him and risked a glance at Sam and saw the same with her.
“All right honey, you’re doing good.” He gave the toy a rub so he didn’t have to look at the child for a minute until he controlled his expression. “What else?”
“The Captain said…something like…the child…not in front of her…and she told him…I think that he… could have anything…I don’t remember it right…” Chakotay kept the false smile on his face.
“He said he knew and he pinched her face. He threw her onto the bed then…” Chakotay felt his hands wanting to make fists but controlled it. He felt Sam tense but kept his eyes in Naomi.
“She hugged me and…said nice things…he went away then…” Chakotay let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding and looked across at the girl’s mother and saw the relief there. Naomi looked at him.
“I helped then. We looked around the room and found a piece of metal and the Captain used it to open the door…” Suddenly her tears came back. “He was outside when we opened the door and he was angry. He shoved me onto the floor and hurt the Captain…” Sam rushed over to her daughter and rubbed her leg but Naomi was determined to tell them what had happened.
“He hit her and hit her and pushed her on the bed and kept hitting her for ages…and then I tore my pocket off and wiped her face cause she was bleeding and crying…her nose and mouth…” Naomi was crying and Sam and Chakotay hugged her.
“You did real good honey. Momma’s so proud of you.” The child smiled softly.
“He told us about the war and showed us a..a..bomb…he put it on the door and said it would blow us into millions of bits?” She looked to the adults to confirm she had the right word and they nodded, each hiding their anger well.
“When he went away this time, the Captain told me we had to talk ship’s business, just between Captain and Captain’s Assistant and she gave me my orders…about trying to run and said I was to run and…she’d dis..dis.. distruct…” Once more she looked to the adults.
“Distract? Was that it?” Chakotay was fighting a ball of fear in his guts. The child nodded.
“Uh huh. We heard him coming back but he was cut…on his head…and he didn’t look at us and the door was open. The Captain squeezed my hand and told me to ‘watch for the right minute’. I tried to do good.” The adults smiled at her and Chakotay kissed the top of her head again.
“You did real good honey and you’re doing great now.” The girl leaned into him and they saw her frown as she picked at the fur on her toy.
“The Captain was nice to him…said she’d help him…clean his cut…he gave her cloth and water and she wiped his face. I saw her move him round so he wasn’t looking at me and I moved real slow. The Captain talked to him and I saw him hug her…” She pulled harder at the fur on her bear.
“I was sure he’d look at me and I was afraid but the Captain kept his head turned and…” She frowned again and they saw tears balance on her eyelids. Chakotay tightened his hold on the child and Sam stroked her leg.
“I don’t know what it all was…some I did…” She pulled at the ears of the toy. “I saw him smell her neck again and she cried like he hurt her and then she looked at me and told me with her eyes to run and then he went to look at me again and I saw the Captain kissing him and she tore his shirt then he tore her dress and her…I don’t know the name but my Mom wears it…” Her small hand moved across her chest and Sam just nodded. The girl’s tears ran down her face now and Chakotay felt Sam’s other hand grip his free hand.
“I saw them…the things…green long things and they stuck in the Captain and she cried…they stuck here…” She pointed at her mother, at Sam’s breasts. Chakotay felt the hand gripping him tighten.
“I was nearly at the door but I stopped…and I saw him…he put his hand under the Captain’s dress and pulled her panties off…and I couldn’t see his hand…” Chakotay barely controlled his breathing. “He pushed her at the table…pushed and pushed…and the Captain saw me…and I was so afraid but she just smiled at me but she looked scared too…and then he kind of lifted her and pushed her real hard and I ran and I heard her…I heard her and she screamed real loud and I stopped for a minute and there wasn’t any more sounds and I ran and ran…and I cried and I…then I was in the park and I fell some times but I ran and then I saw the market and two men…with rifles like here on the ship and I ran to them and told them the Captain was hurt…” The young girl was shaking at this stage and Chakotay turned away to hide his face and fought himself for control, telling himself to hang on just a bit longer. He looked at Sam and saw that she was doing the same and he felt her nails dig into his hand painfully.
“The men took me to a room and called the ship but they wouldn’t come with me and I told them and told them that the Captain was being hurt but they waited and then you came and we went and found her and I… I saw the blood and …” She turned her tear stained face up to Chakotay. “Is she really all right? Really really all right?” Chakotay nodded and pulled the child into a tight embrace.
“She’s going to be fine honey. I promise you.” He spoke the words meaning so much more than the child would understand from them. With the little girl turned from his face he let his tears fall and then Sam was hugging him too and they rocked together for several minutes, Chakotay needing the support as much as Naomi. When he controlled himself, he lifted the girl off his knee.
“Tell you what. I’ll take you to see the Captain and then you can get some more sleep. Is that a deal?” The small head nodded and hugged him again.
When Chakotay entered sickbay, Naomi in his arms and Sam at his side, the Doctor frowned at the sight before him.
“We just needed to see the Captain before getting some sleep.” The two men exchanged a look of understanding and the Doctor led the way to the biobed where Kathryn lay.
“She’s asleep Naomi. I gave her some medicine to make her sleep better so she’ll probably be asleep for a while. She’s fine though, you can see that.” Naomi squirmed in Chakotay’s arms and he let her down.
“Can I touch her?” The frightened eyes looked to the Medic and he nodded. “She’s warm.” She sounded surprised and the Doctor smiled.
“Well of course she is. No one goes cold in my sickbay.” The child smiled at this then leaned over and kissed the side of her Captain’s face.
“I’m glad you’re all right Captain. I have to go asleep too but I’ll see you later. I did what you told me.” At this even the Doctor nearly had tears in his eyes.
As Sam led her daughter away from Kathryn, Chakotay briefly filled the Doctor in on what had happened and the Doctor passed another sedative to Sam on her way out.
“I’ll see you later honey. Get some sleep OK? Make sure your Mom does too.” Chakotay forced the smile on his face and then met Sam’s eyes. The look between them spoke of so much but mostly there was love and support from the woman to him and he nodded his thanks. He turned then and entered the Doctor’s office and dropped into a chair in front of the hologram.
“You knew already.” It was a statement and he saw the Doctor nod.
“I thought you had enough to deal with, that there was time enough later…” The Medic saw the pain in Chakotay’s eyes. “Are you sure you want to know this?” Chakotay closed his eyes a moment then looked the Doctor square in the eyes.
“No, I don’t want to know but I need to. Can you understand that?” The EMH nodded his understanding.
“I spoke with the Doctor who treated Brel Reedol, that was his name by the way.” He saw that Chakotay didn’t give a damn. “Most of it was what we already knew about him, still believing the war was on and so on. He could be fine for months and then just snap. He’d never hurt anyone before though, mainly hearing battle sounds, that kind of thing. They’ve no answers as to why he snapped this time. He just did.” Chakotay stood, then thought better of it and sat again.
“What Naomi saw…what she said…” He couldn’t go on. The Doctor nodded.
“It happened. Their bodies…the males…thin tendrils from the male’s chest attach themselves to the female…like needles digging in…their woman are of course able for this… Commander, do you really want this…” The man in front of him nodded.
“It’s as I said…not want but need to…” The Doctor rubbed his head a moment then continued. He saw the pain his words were causing but forced himself on.
“Pene…penetration would have been extremely painful. Their…their males…are…larger…and…” Chakotay had dropped his head.
“Here also there are tendrils…they attach and enter…in front of and behind…the anal and clitoral…Commander…” Chakotay was almost pulling his hair out. “Commander…I’ve healed her…repaired the damage…some tearing and bleeding…puncture wounds…Commander please…” Chakotay finally looked up.
“Will she be all right….I mean physically…” The Doctor nodded his assurance.
“She’s fine now and I’ve made sure there will be no... She won’t be pregnant… Commander I…I have to tell you…she wasn’t…didn’t…there were no other injuries relating to…” Chakotay’s face broke into a strange grimace and he stood.
“I know Doc, she wasn’t forced and she didn’t fight it. In a court of law it wouldn’t count as rape. Well in my book it was. It’s the same thing. She did something to protect that child, the ultimate sacrifice. She’d never have wanted that in any other circumstances so I call that rape. You can call it whatever the hell you like…” He stared directly at the Doctor, daring him to dispute his words.
“I agree with you Commander. I feel I know the Captain well and I know what she’d do for her crew but especially a child. She’d give her life and I believe that is exactly what she believed she would be doing. Later on, she’s going to have to deal with this and I can tell you I’d prefer her thinking your way in order to deal with it than the way I believe she’ll see it. However, one step at a time. First, let’s get her sorted out physically.” The men shared a look which spoke volumes. Both knew there was a long road ahead.
ON TO PART THREE.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX ONE.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX TWO.