|Disclaimer: Paramount owns all things Star Trek Voyager. I don’t. Only borrowing
them. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Summary: With Voyager safely returned home, Kathryn and Chakotay finally have
the life they deserve but an old enemy of Chakotay’s lurks close by,
determined to smash that life.
WARNING: This story contains graphic material of a violent and sexual nature and
depicts sexual molestation. If you are offended by this, please do not
read on. NC17 means NC17.
PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES.
“B’Elanna, have you any idea what time it is?” Chakotay opened the door wearing only a pair of black boxer shorts and squinted against the early morning sun.
“I think about eight.” Voyager’s former Engineer was wide awake and seemed ready to take on the world. Chakotay rubbed at his eyes trying to wipe the sleep from them.
“OK. Have you any idea of what day it is?” He was tired and not in the mood for visitors but B’Elanna’s bright mood refused to be dulled.
“It’s Sunday and a beautiful Sunday it is too.” Chakotay just shook his head.
“Right, it’s Sunday, that day at the end of a long working week, the day after Friday and Saturday, you know those two days I have to spend in San Francisco, away from home, away from my new wife, the day I get to lie in, the one whole day I get to spend with Kathryn.” B’Elanna just shrugged her shoulders.
“Yes I know, but you’ll both just love this…” Chakotay just stood back as the tough Klingon woman turned and waved to her husband and then pushed her way into the house.
“B’El, I love what I have right here, a home, a beautiful wife, a baby on the way…” B’Elanna just smiled and wagged her finger at him.
“OK OK so I can’t compete with that but this is something you have to see. Come on old man, Tom’s waiting. Go get Kathryn and hurry up. I’ll wait outside.” She laughed and left him standing in the middle of the kitchen as she hurried back to Tom. Chakotay knew it would be far easier to give in and he reluctantly went to get his wife.
An hour later, they both forgave the troublesome pair for getting them up on their day off. They stood in the middle of a field, their entire former crew spread out before them and gazed around in amazement at the hanging banners and tables laden with food and drink. Tom smiled at the expressions on their faces and explained.
“Look, sorry for getting you two out of bed but this would mean nothing if you weren’t here.” Kathryn linked her arm through Chakotay’s and smiled back at him.
“Tom, what is this?” The pilot scanned the people around him before speaking.
“Since we’ve all agreed to stay with Starfleet, we decided to resurrect an old American custom called the ‘Company Picnic’. It was an annual event and a great way for the families of the workers to get together and get to know each other and so this is year one of the Starfleet/Voyager Company Picnic and as the two of you are the top brass of the company and therefore the guests of honour, you had to be here. Let’s face it, we wouldn’t be here at all without you two so…” Cheers erupted among the group and Kathryn blinked back tears which everyone noticed anyway. Chakotay squeezed her hand, knowing it didn’t take much to start his wife crying these days.
The day passed in a haze of happiness with only the occasional child sick from eating too much or from excitement. There was no rank present, no Captain or Commander, no Lieutenant or Ensign, just good friends breaking bread together and sharing memories and as the sun set over the group of friends and kids fell asleep leaning against the nearest adult body, each person present knew that a day had passed that would forever live on in their memory. As people cleaned up and slowly drifted home, Chakotay hugged Kathryn to him.
“Guess it was well worth being dragged out of bed for.” Kathryn smiled at him, her face radiating happiness as she looked around at their friends.
“It was worth it Chakotay and you know what I was just thinking…” He smiled down at her, dropping a kiss on her head. “I was just thinking that this time next year, we’ll have our own little one, that in a few years time, it’ll be our child who will be eating themselves sick and falling asleep in their Daddy’s arms…” The image filled both their minds as they moved off slowly. Chakotay pulled his wife closer to him. “I can’t wait.”
Neither of them was aware of the man watching them from the far hill through a pair of field glasses, whose plan was to crush that dream and leave their lives in ruins. Gul Zarruck was Cardassian but blended in on Earth since the Peace Treaty had been signed some years back and everyone was supposedly friends now. It was not unusual to see many Cardassians around Starfleet Headquarters and on the streets of San Francisco and other cities, just as many humans now visited Cardassia, but there was one difference with Gul Zarruck as opposed to others of his planet visiting Earth, in that this man had a mission and a long memory. He also had a heart full of hate and all that hate was directed towards one man and that man was Chakotay.
The following morning Kathryn and Chakotay left for work together, Kathryn to her desk job at Headquarters and Chakotay to his teaching post at the Academy, both of which were housed on the same campus. Kathryn was content working behind her desk, especially with a baby on the way and found that the yearning for space she had always had, no longer existed. Five years in the Delta Quadrant had been enough to satisfy her and the life she had now, a loving husband, imminent family and good friends, was all she wanted. Chakotay for his part adored his teaching post, passing on his love of archaeology and anthropology to his eager students. The only drawback he found was the necessity of staying overnight at the Academy on a Friday in order to fill in for another lecturer on night exercises and another class on the Saturday, while that lecturer was on maternity leave herself. He knew the overnight stays would only last for another two months but he still worried about Kathryn during his absences. He was away from her from early Friday morning until late on the Saturday afternoon and these days he found that an absence of even a few hours was too much for him.
This particular Friday, he managed to slip away for an hour and he met with his wife for lunch. They decided as the day was so warm, to spread out on the grass of the campus and share a picnic. They lay back on the blanket Kathryn had brought and stared up at the sky, giggling and finding shapes and strange animals in the few clouds which floated high above them.
“That one is definitely old Admiral Barnes. See the pointed nose…” Kathryn was relaxed and in a childishly happy mood. Chakotay tickled her nose with a blade of grass and she laughed out loud and turned to him to tickle his ribs but he caught her hands and a very brief struggle ended in a passionate kiss.
“I want to stay here for the rest of the day.” Chakotay nuzzled Kathryn’s neck.
“Well Mister, we can’t. Work is…ohhh” She leaned her head back, allowing him more room in his quest.
“Work is irrelevant. Resistance is futile…” He nibbled at her shoulder as she squeeled.
“Chakotay, we’ll be arrested if you keep this up…” Kathryn didn’t try and stop him though and he continued for a minute more before stopping.
“Oh all right. I guess I’ll just have to wait until tomorrow. How about you be in bed and waiting for me when I get home?” Their eyes met and they kissed again.
“You have a date there. What should I wear?” He ran his hand over her stomach, caressing the life growing there, not yet showing.
“Oh I wouldn’t bother with anything. It wouldn’t last too long anyway…”
Gul Zarruck watched from a bench close by and observed the happy couple. He smiled to himself and his thoughts were spoken aloud but whispered so no one passing would hear. “Soon you bastard, very soon. You’ll pay back what you took from me. This time tomorrow you’ll know the meaning of loss.” He stood and walked away, smiling to himself and ignoring the curious stares of those passing him.
Kathryn arrived home late afternoon and entered the empty house which had been her childhood home and was now hers and Chakotay’s. She smiled to herself thinking how the laughter of a child would once again fill the rooms in the years to come and stroked her stomach tenderly. “I hope you’ll be as happy growing up here as I was, little one. Your Daddy and I have great plans for you.” Thoughts of Chakotay filled her and she missed him, even though they had just been together a few hours ago.
Kathryn replicated something light but healthy for herself and settled on the sofa with a good book. For the first time in her life she was conscious of the food she put in her body and found she could manage quite easily without coffee when she knew it was for the good of the one growing inside her. When her eyes found the words more difficult to read, she stood up and ordered the lights on then made her way to the kitchen and replicated herself some tea. Realizing she was more tired than she thought, she headed upstairs with the cup and got ready for bed. Within half an hour, she was sound asleep, leaving the house quiet and dark. The Cardassian watching from outside saw the lights go off and sat back waiting, the darkness hiding his evil smile.
Kathryn jerked awake, not knowing if she had heard something or if some dream had disturbed her. She found that she dreamed more now that she was pregnant and she and Chakotay laughed frequently at the images which filled her sleep when she told him of them.
She lay quietly in the bed, letting her eyes adjust to the darkness around her. Suddenly she made out a shape beside her but before she could scream out, a hand clamped tightly over her mouth. Kathryn struggled desperately and was able to sink her teeth into the hand then slide out of the bed but the figure was on her again quickly. She managed to shout for the lights and stopped dead for a minute at the image of the large Cardassian standing before her. Her mind took her back briefly to the time she had been a prisoner of the Cardassians with Admiral Paris and that small hesitation was all the man before her needed and he grabbed her as she fought him fiercely. She was aware of furniture being knocked over and items crashing to the floor as they struggled together but she was also aware of his superior strength and knew this was a fight she would lose. She felt his fist explode against her face and blood gush from her nose and lip and then his hand in her hair and she found herself being propelled across the room by him and her head smashing into the mirror on the wall. She heard it shatter as the side of her head connected with it and she felt the shards of glass cut into her. A wave of dizziness and nausea washed over her and she felt her legs give way beneath her. She became aware of herself being dragged back across the room and forced face down onto the bed, his weight coming down on top of her. A rasping voice came from the mouth at her ear.
“I’d stop this fighting if I were you. We don’t want that bastard you carry inside you getting hurt now, do we?” Mention of her baby stilled her struggle and she heard his deep gutteral laugh as he pressed down heavily on top of her. “Good girl. That’s what I like to see. A woman obeying the commands of a man.” Kathryn’s heart thumped in her chest and she felt him reach for the hem of her nightdress and pull it up and then stroke his way up her thigh. She felt him sit up off her and his hand continue upwards, caressing her back. His other hand had a tight grip on the back of her neck and suddenly both hands were ripping the satin gown from her body and Kathryn fought again but a heavy punch to her kidneys stilled her and she cried out in pain.
“Bitch. You’ll take what’s coming to you.” Within seconds Kathryn’s nightgown was in shreads on the floor and he was pulling her over onto her back, his eyes raking across her body. Satisfied that he had the situation under control, the large Cardassian sat back and watched as Kathryn fought to control her breathing and her tears, winning the first and losing the latter. His laugh filled the room.
“What do you want from me?” Kathryn continued to fight to control herself, desperate that he not see her fear but knowing by his face that it was useless. He knew the effect his presence had on her.
“All in good time.” He watched as Kathryn tried using her hands to cover herself and when she reached for the sheet, he snatched it from her. “Maybe I like the view better this way.” Kathryn managed to keep her hard won control and folded her arms across her chest as best she could, grateful she had worn panties to bed. She saw him look around the room then bend and pick up some sweat pants and a shirt she had left on a chair but which now lay on the floor, along with most items in the room. He threw the clothes at her.
“Put these on quickly. We don’t want you dying of the cold, well not too quickly anyway.” His leering face sent shivers down Kathryn’s spine and she grabbed quickly for the pants and sweatshirt, turning slightly to put them on in an attempt to hide herself from his eyes.
Once she had pulled the clothes on, he advanced on her again and forced her back down on the bed, pushing her face into the mattress. She felt her arms pulled roughly behind her and a rope or cord was tied tightly around her wrists. She felt him move down her body and then more bindings being tied at her ankles and knees. When he seemed satisfied with the tightness of the ropes, he pulled Kathryn back to him and pulled out a roll of tape, tearing bits off and pressing them over her mouth and eyes. Kathryn struggled against the restraints but there was no give in them. She felt a bag or hood being pulled over her head and secured around her neck and then she was lifted roughly and slung over his shoulder.
Time lost meaning for Kathryn as she was carried from her home and bundled into a transport of some kind. She was aware of movement and jostling for some time, perhaps an hour but her captor never spoke to her. She strained her ears for any sound which might give her a clue to her whereabouts but the hood muffled anything which might have been of use to her.
After what seemed like hours to Kathryn, she felt herself lifted again and carried for some time but within minutes, she felt the cold seep into her. She became aware of his hand stroking her backside as he carried her but she forced her mind to ignore it and think clearly and she came to the conclusion that they were perhaps underground. She knew the weather at this time of year allowed for warm nights and wherever she was now was far too cold to be outside. She knew they hadn’t travelled long enough to have left orbit of Earth and she’d have felt a transporter if he had used one so she surmised that they were most likely below the surface somewhere.
Eventually her captor stopped and she felt herself falling from his hold and grunted loudly as her body hit the ground, landing on what felt like stone. She was dragged across the hard floor, her bare feet scraping off the surface and slammed against a wall. Kathryn was then roughly pushed forward and she felt him working at the bindings on her wrists and then they were cut. Instinct made her lash out at where she felt he was but he quickly grabbed first one wrist and then the other and she felt each one pulled above her head and snapped into metal rings of some kind. She pulled against these and heard what sounded like chains but once again there was no escape from her restraints.
Kathryn felt the suffocating hood removed from her head and grunted against her gag when the tape from her eyes was roughly ripped off, pulling hair with it. It took a few minutes for her vision to adjust to the dull light and she slowly took in her surroundings. Kathryn quickly realized that she was in a cave of some sort and saw water dripping down the walls. The dampness of the place seeped into her and she found herself shivering. She became aware of her captor watching her and hardened herself as she looked at him, trying to get her eyes to show her defiance.
“Not the high and mighty Starfleet Captain now, are we?” His laugh echoed off the cave walls. “Still arrogant though, I see.” He brought his hand up and ran a finger down Kathryn’s cheek but she pulled her head back. The Cardassian’s answer to this was to grab Kathryn by the throat with one hand and twist his other hand painfully in her hair.
“Don’t try that with me bitch. You’ll learn quickly who’s in control here.” His hand around her throat tightened, leaving Kathryn struggling for air. When he finally loosened his grip, he just sat back and laughed as she fought to get air into her body through her nose. When her breathing eased, he moved close to her again and sat beside her.
“Let me clear some things up for you. You’re my captive and I’m in total control. You’re here because I intend to get payback for an old debt.” He clearly saw that the woman before him didn’t understand and he let his eyes look her over. “You see my dear, your husband owes me big time.” He saw her confusion grow and laughed. “Oh before your time, long before your time. His Maquis days you see? He stole from me and now I intend to take back from him. I can’t replace what he took from me but I can have… what do you call it… oh yes…payment in kind.” He brought his hand to Kathryn’s neck and moved it down to her breast where he squeezed painfully. Kathryn closed her eyes and a cry caught in her throat as pain shot through her from her over sensitive breast.
“Quite tender there at the moment I see. Amazing what pregnancy does to the body.” He moved his other hand up and grabbed her other breast and squeezed there too. Kathryn squirmed under him as pain filled her and he squeezed tighter. Finally his hands were removed and Kathryn opened her eyes, tears spilling down her cheeks.
“I understand this condition also has other…more pleasant…side effects…” He grinned at her and reached out and pulled her sweatshirt up, exposing her to his eyes. “Quite swollen I see. Cardassian women have the same reaction.” He brought his hands back to her breasts but this time his touch was gentle as he caressed her nipples then leaned his mouth in and sucked at them. Kathryn tried her best to pull herself away from him but with the wall behind her, there was nowhere to go. She felt his hand on her thigh and then it moved upwards until he pushed it between her legs and cupped her mound, the rope at her knees cutting into her. Kathryn twisted in any way she could but there was no escape from his roving hands. His hand now moved to the waistband of her pants and slipped in under the elastic and down until his fingers slid beneath her panties and into her hair and between her folds. She twisted all she could and tried bringing her legs up to hit off him but he was ahead of her. She felt one of his legs move over hers and push down, using it to hold her legs to the ground while his hand continued exploring her. Kathryn groaned again when she felt one of his rough fingers slip into her and suddenly something inside her gave in and she fell limp, all the struggle gone from her. Sensing her change immediately, her captor stopped at once and looked into her eyes. He saw her tears and something he couldn’t quite name.
“All right, we’ll play it your way for the moment. We have plenty of time later for some fun.” He pressed his finger deeper inside Kathryn and laughed. “Plenty of time for me to fuck that little bastard out of you afterwards.” He saw the fear on Kathryn’s face and pressed deeper again then withdrew. “I have some business to take care of regarding that husband of yours and then I’ll be back and we’ll take care of some business of our own.” He smiled and pulled her shirt back down and patted her stomach.
“You two stay here and wait until I get back now.” He stood up and looked down at the woman before him then walked away and came back with a holoimager and took several images of Kathryn shackled to the wall, her hair dishevelled and her face blood smeared, cut and bruised. “These should give him something to think about for a while.” He came back and knelt back down beside Kathryn. “I’ll be back to you later and then we can have our fun. I should only be gone a day or so…” He laughed when he saw the panic in Kathryn’s eyes. “Oh you won’t starve. Maybe you’ll get thirsty but so what. You’ll get used to the dark too and I’m sure the rats will keep you company. Well I’ll see you later…” He stood again and picked up the light and left, leaving Kathryn in the dark, terrified and alone.
Chakotay headed for home delighted to be finished for the week and smiled to himself wondering if Kathryn would remember their plans of the day before. The thought of her lying in their bed naked and waiting for him filled his mind and he quickly turned his thoughts to something else. The last thing he needed was to embarrass himself in public.
He quietly opened the front door and caught himself before he called out as he usually did. He tiptoed his way up the stairs and looked down at the bunch of roses he carried and smiled. He’d already felt very self-conscious at carrying the flowers through the campus of Starfleet but didn’t care really. The smile on his wife’s face when she saw them would easily make up for that. Boothby had cut the stems himself and handed them to Chakotay, Kathryn Janeway being one of the few he would even consider handing his beloved blooms over to. Chakotay stood outside the bedroom door and inhaled the scent of the roses deeply then slowly pushed open the door, a big smile plastered over his face.
Chakotay dropped the bouquet he carried as his eyes took in the devastation of the bedroom. He felt his legs carry him into the room as his eyes scanned the destruction within, the upturned furniture, the smashed ornaments and vases and the mirror on the wall. He saw Kathryn’s nightgown on the floor, ripped to shreads and her blood splattered on the bed and around the room. Somewhere in the distance he heard his own voice scream out Kathryn’s name and then his training kicked in and he was back downstairs calling in Starfleet and Security.
Some time later, he found himself sitting in a chair as Starfleet personnel roamed his home and whispered in small groups. He was aware of Admiral Paris talking to him and heard himself repeat what he had found and how, going back over the past week, how nothing had been out of the ordinary, how they had met for lunch the previous day and he reluctantly told the old man of their plans for this afternoon. He saw the sadness in the old face before him and looked past him as he watched a young Ensign carry the roses outside, Chakotay’s eyes following them. He felt the Admiral pat his arm and attempt to say something comforting but it didn’t reach him.
Snatches of a conversation came to his ears a little later and he saw Admiral Paris and a young Lieutenant talking quietly nearby, unaware of Chakotay’s close proximity. ‘It looks like he took her in the bedroom’ ‘the place is pretty badly smashed up’ ‘probably taken from her bed’ ‘middle of the night by the bloodstains’ ‘found rope and tape, probably used to tie her up and gag her, blindfold her too’ ‘seems there was quite a struggle’ ‘judging by the mess and the blood, it looks like she put up one hell of a fight’ ‘you see the mirror, looks like he smashed her head off it’ ‘fair bit of blood around’ ‘her nightclothes were ripped off her’ ‘can’t say if there was any sexual assault but…” They both looked up into the agonized face of Chakotay.
“Chakotay…” Admiral Paris reached out his hand to the man before him.
“Don’t… just… I need to know…” He saw the two men exchange a look and nod to each other. Admiral Paris spoke finally.
“Look Chakotay, we know little at this moment except that there was a struggle and she was taken.” Chakotay pulled back.
“How much blood? Could it have been the baby…” The Lieutenant shook his head.
“No it wasn’t that. We have a team up there… It was most likely a head or face wound, nose bleed probably… Sir, there isn’t enough blood for that, I assure you…” Chakotay looked around him.
“What about… you said her nightgown was… I saw it…” He watched as the two men looked uncomfortably at each other.
“We don’t think he would have taken the time…I’m sorry for how that sounds but… He’d have wanted to get out of here quickly…” Chakotay was pacing now.
“But later on…wherever he has her… Oh God…” He felt a strong hand grip his arm and looked up into the sad eyes of the old Admiral.
“Chakotay, you need to be strong now for her. We badly need your help here.” Chakotay nodded, knowing the old man was right. “I need for you to go back upstairs and try and see if anything is missing. Lieutenant Jenkins here will go with you…” Chakotay closed his eyes trying desperately to pull himself together.
When Chakotay and Jenkins came back downstairs later, Jenkins was practically holding him up. Admiral Paris saw the pain on Chakotay’s face and hardened himself.
“I think… she had a sweatsuit, grey… she wears it at home…she says it’s comfortable…I can’t see it…” The older man nodded and motioned for Jenkins to sit Chakotay down then came over and pulled a chair up.
“Chakotay, listen carefully to me now. I have some answers to this…” He saw the former Maquis look up at him.
“We’ve received a ransom note…” He put a hand on Chakotay’s chest to keep him in his chair. “It arrived at Starfleet about fifteen minutes ago…” Chakotay pushed against the hand holding him down.
“Who is it from… what have they… where is she…is she all right..? Admiral Paris pushed harder.
For God’s sake man, hold it together a minute. I’m sorry…” Chakotay shook his head.
“I’m sorry too…it’s just…” Paris and Jenkins nodded their understanding, both men knowing they would be the same if it were their wives.
“There’s a list of demands, mainly precious metals, gems, works of art…” Chakotay nodded, his face showing his desperation.
“So pay it… I’ll find some way…” He saw Paris and Jenkins exchange another look.
“Chakotay, you know Starfleet policy. We can’t pay this. We don’t negotiate with terrorists…” Chakotay jumped up.
“So we what? Leave her there? Let her die there? Let him kill her? Let…” Owen Paris stood up.
“Chakotay, it won’t come to that. We’ll find her…” Chakotay turned suddenly.
“When? When it’s too late?” He started his pacing again, his mind racing. Suddenly he stopped. “You said ‘terrorists’. How do you know who…?” Admiral Paris lowered his head a moment then met Chakotay’s eyes.
“There’s… there’s one other ‘item’ on the list…” He saw Chakotay’s eyes demand the rest and he shifted on his feet.
“You.” Chakotay stared at the men in front of him.
“Me? They want me?” They both nodded. Chakotay’s thoughts were everywhere but slowly began to order themselves.
“So I take it we know who?” Owen Paris nodded slowly.
“We know who and we were hoping you could perhaps tell us why. We assume you know since this is so…personalized…if you like…” Chakotay just continued staring at them, waiting for them to tell him. Owen Paris indicated for them all to move to the kitchen and then closed the door.
“It’s not a ‘they’, it’s a ‘he’. He signed the note, wants you to know who.” He regarded the man in front of him and then continued. “Do you know the name ‘Gul Zarruck, a Cardasssian?” Chakotay’s face told the Admiral he knew him only too well. He watched as Chakotay fell into a chair at the kitchen table, his mind revisiting a past the rest of them knew nothing of.
“He… bastard… all these years later…” Owen Paris and Brian Jenkins sat also and waited for the man before them to share that past. Chakotay stood and made for the kitchen sink where he splashed cold water over his face, drinking some. Finally he dried himself and sat again then drawing in a deep breath, he spoke of something he had considered long dead.
“It was way back, before… I was in the Maquis…some time before the Delta Quadrant… Zarruck was…evil beyond words…even his own found him too much…Oh God Kathryn…” He covered his face with his hands.
“Chakotay, we need to know this. Come on now, this is the only way we can help her…” Chakotay nodded at Jenkins.
“I know, I’m sorry…it’s just…you have no idea what he’s capable of….” The two men before him nodded their sympathies.
“He knows me all right, hates my guts. He was involved in the war but it was only a part of it with him. He worked to his own agenda. He used anyone, even his own. The Maquis were always on the lookout for him because we knew what he was capable of. I think even his own would have been glad to see the back of him. I foiled him a couple of times so he was always on the hunt for me. It became almost personal.” He looked up at the two men sitting watching him, knowing they had no real idea of what it was like.
“We rescued some Colonists from him, people he was holding hostage. He wasn’t too happy with that. Later on, we learned that he had his own personal ‘camp’ if you like. Basically a slave camp he ran, many different races and some of our own. It was his own personal ‘breeding ground’ for his own use. He used the people there for slaves and… his own ‘entertainment’. Anyway, one night we ‘liberated’ the camp. After that he wanted my blood.” Chakotay leaned backed in his chair, his eyes haunted by the images his mind was reliving.
This…place… he used those people. As I say, as slaves mostly but also…his own perverted tastes. He used the women and girls for his own… you don’t want to know. Some of the girls were as young as ten or twelve. That bastard was even into young boys… Race didn’t matter either…there were even some Cardassians there…” Chakotay saw the disgust of his own face reflected on the faces of the two men in front of him.
“After that, it was almost impossible for him to try that again. He got away with a lot, with his own but even they drew the line at children… Anyway he was watched more closely and… He swore revenge at me and now… Oh God…I tried so hard to forget…” He dropped his head and covered his face, great racking sobs shaking his large frame. Owen Paris nodded to Jenkins and they left the man to himself, giving him some privacy.
Kathryn had no idea of how much time had passed but she had cried herself dry. Her ears picked up scurrying sounds in the darkness and twice she had felt something crawl on her legs but when she had shaken them, whatever had been there quickly ran off, probably more afraid of her than she was of it. The cold and damp of the place seeped into her bones but she forced her body to relax itself, knowing that this helped. She could make out nothing in the thick blackness which surrounded her and she fought desperately to control her fear. She found herself terrified with thoughts of her captor returning yet equally terrified that he would not return and would leave her to die in this place, chained to the wall. Her legs felt numb from the tight bindings and her arms ached from being shackled above her head, the metal at her wrists digging painfully into her skin.
Thoughts of Chakotay and their home came to her and her tears started afresh. She knew the pain he would go through when he discovered what had happened to her but she was more worried about what this Cardassian would do to him. She quickly forced these thoughts from her mind and instead filled herself with images of what had been between them and what was to come, how happy they would be with the baby and what good times lay ahead. She knew she had to keep thinking along these lines if she wanted to stay sane and so she spent her hours thinking of happy times, dreaming of a wonderful future, singing songs and reciting poems in her head, anything that would deny reality and in between all this, she prayed.
Admiral Paris and Brian Jenkins stood on the porch of the Janeway home and spoke quietly. The old man shook his head, not believing what was happening around them all.
“Do you think we should keep the images we received from him?” Jenkins looked out over the garden then turned to search the face beside him. He saw his superior shake his head.
“I don’t think he could handle them. That son of a bitch…” A voice behind them startled the two men.
“What images?” Both Starfleet men jumped slightly and locked eyes with each other a moment before looking back at the distraught man before them. “I said what images? Admiral, I have a right to…. I need to know…” Jenkins looked down at the decking while Owen Paris moved to Chakotay.
“Son, I really don’t think…” Chakotay stood his ground and held out his hand.
“The images Admiral, now please.” The old man sighed loudly and handed Chakotay an imaging chip which he took, then walked back into the house. Jenkins went to follow but Admiral Paris laid a hand on his arm and shook his head.
Chakotay inserted the chip into his console and the pictures that came at him almost stopped his heart. To see his wife beaten and abused like this was too much and he squeezed his eyes shut to block out the images but they were already there. Even with this eyelids tightly closed, he still saw her, her face cut and bruised, her arms chained above her head, the tape gag, the tears and fear in her eyes and he found himself making a vow to get her back and then kill the man responsible for this. Guilt sat heavily with him also that Kathryn was suffering for something from his life but he quickly shut it off knowing there would be time for that later. For now, he channelled his hatred into getting his wife back and making Zarruck pay, knowing he would not rest until that had been done.
Gul Zarruck would have given anything to have been a fly on the wall in the house he watched from a distance. He knew his message and the image chip had been delivered and received and hoped that the man he wanted to get at had seen them also. He knew there was a chance that Starfleet would try and keep the images at least to themselves, but he knew his prey well, and felt sure that if Chakotay knew of their existence at all, would demand to see them. He laughed to himself thinking of what effect those same pictures would have and delighted in the pain he knew they would cause. Once he had had his fill, he silently crept away and made for the cave where his hostage lay waiting for him.
Kathryn wasn’t sure if she had fallen asleep or passed out but suddenly she found herself jerking awake with some sound. All at once light began to filter into the area around her and then the form of the large Cardassian filled her field of vision. Kathryn struggled desperately to control her fear as the man made his way towards her. She watched carefully as he set the light down and stood studying her for several minutes, not speaking any words, letting his presence do his work for him. Kathryn refused to look at him but when he suddenly moved towards her, her eyes turned to him and she saw he carried a flask of some kind. He knelt beside her and reached out to her, quickly tearing the tape from her mouth then simply held the flask to her lips and let her drink.
Kathryn drank deeply and greedily as he laughed. She wanted to spit the liquid into his face but knew she needed it more for her own body and the small life she carried inside her and for that reason, she would suffer his taunts and humiliation tactics. When he had decided she had her fill, he withdrew the flask and re-fixed the tape across her mouth, then sat back and studied her.
“Missed me, did you? I’ve been gone a day and a half you know.” He looked from Kathryn to the walls surrounding them and was silent again for some minutes, his thoughts his own.
“He knows I have you now, all of them know. All those Starfleet pigs running around the place, trying to look important. They’ll fail of course. Even if they find me, they’ll never find you.” He studied Kathryn closely and saw the fear and pain on her face. “All those dreams you had, nothing but ashes now. Nothing will ever come of them now, you know that. A dream in exchange for a dream sounds about fair to me.” He laughed. Suddenly he reached into a bag he carried and pulled a blanket of sorts from it then reached around Kathryn and pulled it around her.
“Can’t have you dying on me too soon. The cold here is bad and I need a live hostage. Well for the moment anyway.” He threw his head back and laughed as Kathryn stared at him, fighting her tears as best she could. As quickly as he had started laughing, he stopped and stared at the woman before him.
“You’ve been a guest of my people before, haven’t you?” He saw by her eyes that she remembered only too well. “I’d say they were kinder to you than I’m going to be.” Kathryn’s terror showed and he laughed again. His hand had started running up and down Kathryn’s thigh but he seemed unaware of the action.
“I remember those days well, how good it was…” His hand continued it’s exploration of Kathryn but he seemed unaware of where it travelled as he lost himself in recollections of a past he appeared to savour. Kathryn fought her tears as he idly molested her and tried to listen to his words as he spoke at length about the ‘good days’ when he was in command of all around him, how he had had wealth and respect and how the war had brought him a lifestyle he had never had before. Slowly bitterness crept into his voice as he spoke of Chakotay and the Maquis and how they had been against him from the start, how they had tried to foil his plans for his own betterment, even turned his own against him in the end and how now their leader would finally pay. He told her of how much he hated Starfleet for their part against him and as a result Kathryn herself as she was part of it all, connected to both his enemies. “Time waits for all men my dear, especially a patient man with revenge on his mind. Those bastards, him in particular, took from me and denied me, now I have you and I’ll do the same to them. They’re all going to suffer the way I suffered.” His grip tightened on Kathryn’s leg painfully but she refused to make any sound that might alert him to the fact that he was hurting her.
Suddenly he seemed to come back to the present and his eyes dropped to where his hand was on Kathryn’s leg and she saw the evil grin on his face. His grip loosened and he stroked up and down her leg then looked into her eyes, his laugh reaching her ears. Kathryn prepared herself for what was to come but he had something else in mind.
His mood changed back to bitterness and hatred in a flash and instead of the sexual assault Kathryn had prepared herself for, a vicious physical and verbal bombardment came in it’s place. Zarruck screamed obscene abuse at the woman chained helplessly before him and his fists rained down on her. Kathryn tried to scream out but the noise stayed in her own head, having nowhere else to go. Pain tore through her as blow after blow met her small body, her face, head and chest taking the brunt of the assault. Kathryn drew her legs up as far as she could, twisting herself onto her side as much as possible, trying desperately to protect her lower body and the tiny life that fought to survive within her but his heavy boots kicked her legs repeatedly. Eventually it seemed to be tiredness that stopped the heavy Cardassian and when he had finished, Kathryn lay, still chained to the wall, almost insensate from the beating, blood and tears mixing freely on her face. Zarruck was still screaming at her, words she could no longer understand, as he staggered backwards, his mind somewhere other than the cave now. Finally he seemed to calm down somewhat and stared down at his own handiwork, appearing shocked at first and then pleased with his results. Once more he snapped off images of Kathryn, telling her that her ‘bastard husband’ would get a thrill from seeing her as she was. Without another word, he picked up his light and left the cave, his laughter the last part of him to leave as it echoed around the walls of Kathryn’s stone prison, staying with her and mocking her, long after her tormentor had gone.
ON TO PART TWO.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX ONE.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX TWO.