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them. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Rating: NC 17. Kids go play elsewhere. Contains adult material.
Summary: Kathryn is taken by slavers and forced to work in their mines. Voyager
eventually manages to rescue her and the Doctor treats her life
threatening injuries but far greater problems have to be faced. Before
they can even start to address the psychological issues, Kathryn must
battle the drug addiction forced upon her in the camp.
SHADOWS IN THE DARKNESS.
By KAT LADY.
Chakotay leaned against the door to Kathryn’s quarters, drawing in several deep breaths and mentally prepared himself for what lay ahead. Finally he lifted his hand and entered his code into the small panel and waited as the doors slid open.
He entered into the dim and silent sitting room and with just a small hesitation, made his way to the bedroom. He paused in the doorway and looked at the woman sitting in front of him before making his way to her and gently stroking her hair. She turned slowly and looked up at him, her face tired and pale.
“How’s she doing?” He kept his voice low.
“Sleeping at last…” She didn’t need to say any more. Her short and simple words told him all he needed to know.
“It was bad? Earlier…?” She nodded and he saw the tears come to her eyes.
“Chakotay…” He dropped his hand to her shoulder and squeezed gently.
“It’s OK B’Elanna, I know. Go home to Tom now and rest. I’ll take over.” His eyes settled on the sleeping form of Kathryn, her peaceful pose giving no indication of what had been or what would be again shortly.
“Chakotay, you can’t keep this up either. You’re worn out as it is. Let Tuvok take over for a while and run things. He’s offered enough times.” She knew he was near breaking point. He just nodded his head.
“Maybe you’re right. I’ll talk to him in the morning. Has the Doctor been yet?”
“He was by earlier when she was… He’s due again any time now.” Chakotay met her eyes.
“How bad was it?” The Engineer debated diluting her words but knew her old friend would be able to tell. He needed her honesty more.
“Pretty bad. Doc needs to talk to you actually.” Silence followed for several minutes as they watched the gentle rise and fall of Kathryn’s chest.
“Go on B’El, you’ve done enough, more than enough for one day. I’ll see you later.” She patted his arm gently.
“You know where I am if you need me and Tom will take over in the morning. Take care of yourself OK?” He nodded, barely hearing her words, his attention on the woman lying in front of him. He vaguely heard voices in the other room and realized that the Doctor had arrived.
“Commander, I need to check…” Chakotay stood back and watched the medic as he ran his scans. He waited until he saw the Doctor turn from the bed before moving to the other room, the Doctor knowing to follow.
“Well?” There was no need for anything else. The Doctor hesitated a moment and then spoke.
“As you can see, she’s sleeping peacefully for the moment…” The Doctor finally met Chakotay’s eyes and he saw the questions there.
“I take it Lieutenant Torres told you she had some…problems…earlier in the day?” Chakotay nodded.
“You should have called me…” The Doctor pressed a firm hand on the Commander’s arm.
“You have enough to deal with and anyway, I got here quickly and we dealt with it.” Chakotay sighed deeply. He briefly wondered when they had all started to speak in code so much, none of them actually saying the words.
“How bad was it really?” His expression dared to Medic to hide anything from him.
“As bad as it’s been. She did more damage to herself than to Ms. Torres.” The Doctor saw Chakotay’s look of fear and reassured him.
“Commander, it was only bruising, nothing serious. As I say, I was here almost immediately and together we got things under control. The Captain’s exhausted so there wasn’t much fight in her…” Voyager’s First Officer sat on the sofa and ran his hands through his hair.
“How much longer…?” The Doctor moved towards him, wishing he had more answers.
“I wish I could say. It will be at least another week and after that, well… after that it will lessen, you know that. Physically, she came through the worst before… This…” He sat also.
“Commander, I have to tell you that…well with this stage of…” Again they avoided the words.
“With this stage… I believe we haven’t seen the worst of it yet.” Chakotay’s head shot up and he groaned. “Commander, you can’t do this alone.” Chakotay shot him an annoyed look.
“I can. Anyway, I’m not, I have the others…” The Doctor cut him off.
“That’s not what I mean and you know it. You’re taking all this on yourself, emotionally and physically, as well as trying to run this ship. I’ve personally had enough. I’m ordering you to hand the reins over to Commander Tuvok until this…situation is… Commander Chakotay, again I’m telling you that you can’t do both and you know it. Take a leave and look after her. Anyway, even when you’re on duty, your mind is here so you might as well be here physically also. Let the others take care of her from time to time and get the sleep you need, take the breaks you need. In that way, it will be better for you and for her.” Chakotay nodded knowing the Medic was right.
“All right Doctor. I’ll let Tuvok know immediately.”
“I’ve taken the liberty of already informing him.” Chakotay smiled for the first time in weeks.
“When she’s…better, I’m going to get her to teach me her famous ‘death glare’ then I’ll have a weapon against you.” He felt the Doctor pat his shoulder.
“I’ll leave some hypos with you for later…” They both understood the meaning behind that.
“Isn’t there anything else you can give her… stronger? They don’t work…” The EMH looked down at the carpet.
“We’ve been through this before. I can’t take the risk and you know that. Using what I did before… well I couldn’t have known then and either way I’d have had no choice, but now if I give her… Commander you know we have enough problems as it is.” Chakotay stood and nodded.
“I know. I’m sorry. I do understand, it’s just…seeing her this way…” The Doctor was at a loss. Nothing in his databanks equipped him to deal with this.
“Perhaps you should take a break tonight and let someone else…” Chakotay shook his head. “Commander, later it’s going to be bad and you’re tired after your shift…” Chakotay’s glare was close to Kathryn’s.
“No. I’m fine and I’m staying with her. Please Doctor, I’ll call if…when…” The Doctor let the matter drop.
“All right. Call me the minute…” They both knew the Doctor would be returning before too long.
Taking the opportunity while Kathryn still slept, Chakotay quickly replicated something to eat and drink for himself. He used his new special codes to operate the replicator and sighed deeply to himself, knowing there had been no other choice but to deny Kathryn access to it.
He finished his small meal quickly and re-cycled the dishes then moved to the bedroom. She was still sleeping, hadn’t moved position and he was glad of that. At least for the moment, she was free of the terrifying nightmares which plagued her. He pulled a chair over to the bed and fell wearily into it then just sat and waited for what was to come.
“Oh Kathryn…” He felt tears come to his eyes as he looked at her. Even like this, she was beautiful.
He sat back and watched her, taking in the sight before him and let his mind drift back, back to when life had been normal, as normal as it could be in the Delta Quadrant.
They had finally moved towards a relationship together and neither of them had ever been happier. They had both decided to take things slowly and just savour what was happening between them. They hadn’t slept together yet and had planned some time off on the holodeck, a ‘weekend away’ from the ship. Both of them wanted their first time to be special, something which would carry them into their autumn years with the memory of it. They never got that chance.
It had been a routine stop at an average planet. Nothing had warned of what was to come. Kathryn had simply gone down for shore leave and had been there one minute and gone the next. It had taken almost three weeks of bribing for information and exhaustive searching before they discovered what had happened to their Captain.
Kathryn Janeway had been taken by slave traders and sold to work in the mines of a brutal race. The crew had been covertly told that their Captain had not been the first and would no doubt be the last to be taken in this manner. It had taken Voyager another two weeks to locate the mines and a further two days to rescue their Captain. What they ‘rescued’ was a shell of what had been. The fact that Kathryn had survived as long as she had was a testament to her own strong will and Chakotay knew when he first saw her that it was her spirit which had gotten her through and nothing else.
When they beamed her back to the ship and finally managed to escape the planet’s fighters, an even greater battle awaited them in sickbay.
Chakotay remembered looking down at her as she lay on the biobed. There had not been a part of her skin unmarked and whip marks had marred her back. Cuts and bruises covered her small frame and she was skin and bone. Her hands and feet were the worst, cut and bloody, her toe and fingernails almost torn out. Her eyes had been swollen from the constant dust and grit in the mines and bruises littered her face and neck. He remembered her hair, dull and matted with dried grasses and other unknown dirt. Her skin had been filthy and Chakotay had held himself back from gagging at the stench that filled the air around them. He had stood back then as the Doctor fought against time to treat the injuries they could see and the more serious ones which were hidden from view. He had watched the battle to save her and the fight to control the seizures which gripped her.
Chakotay had suddenly been aware of the Doctor standing beside him and one look at the EMH’s face told him there was bad news to come. He knew the Doctor had taken blood and tissue samples and was awaiting the results. His eyes had asked the questions for him and the scene played itself out in his mind again now.
“Commander, can you come into my office please?” The Medic moved off and Chakotay followed.
“What have you found?” His worry was clearly evident in his voice.
“Her injuries were easy enough to treat, although if much more time had passed…. Mostly broken bones, cuts and bruises, some of which were quite deep and a lot of the cuts were badly infected. There was some internal bleeding and bruising but that’s healing now. Most of these injuries I believe, were the result of beatings, meant to injure and not kill.” Chakotay knew about that from the Cardassians and he barely held his anger in check.
“You know I performed a full blood screening to determine what was causing the fitting?” Chakotay just nodded, not trusting himself to speak and the Doctor continued. “There is a drug in her system which I can’t identify but I know of similar ones. This drug was probably injected in a crude manner. I found puncture wounds on her arms…” Chakotay broke in now.
“How harmful is it? Can’t you just flush it out?” The Doctor held his hand up.
“Please, let me explain. This drug is slow acting, time released if you like. It was probably given to all the prisoners. Commander…” Chakotay knew he was trying to ease his words.
“Doctor, just spit it out.”
“Very well. From what I can see, it’s highly addictive. Probably used to keep the prisoners under control. I believe the seizures we saw were the first stages of… well withdrawal from this drug. She probably would have received another dose at this stage although I can only speculate on that. Of course it could also be a side effect of the drug or a result of being on it as long as she has.” The medic waited to see if what he had spoken of was understand by the man sitting in front of him and saw realization slowly dawn.
“You’re saying she’s addicted to this drug?” The Doctor nodded.
“Wait, let me get this straight. She’s addicted to it but surely you can just…” The Medic stood.
“Commander, what I’m saying is that, yes she’s addicted. However, because this is released slowly, it will be a day or two before she begins to feel the withdrawal fully. There’s nothing I can give her. The drugs I’ve used to save her life will only have added to the problem. All I’ll be able to give her will be very mild sedatives if it gets too bad and mild pain relievers. Even that won’t help much.”
Chakotay just sat stunned. The Doctor felt it better to discuss things as they arose and leave the matter for the moment. As he explained this, Chakotay just nodded. Finally he had gone to her. At least he could feel he was doing something for her this way.
Chakotay had gently bathed her, using her favourite soap and then had washed out her hair, the familiar scent of her shampoo filling the space around them and replacing what had been before. He had spent over an hour teasing out the tangles and matts in her hair and brushed it until it was free of all the debris of the planet. He knew it would be some time before the shine returned to it and wished he could wash away the memories which would come to her later, as easily as he had washed away the dirt and grime on her skin.
He had then sat quietly and watched her as she slept, her mind at peace for the moment. Chakotay had thought about her injuries and knew that her captors would have known the fine line between hurting and killing, knowing that if they injured a prisoner too much, they would be down a worker. This drug had obviously been given to each prisoner to keep them in line, their quick addiction to it ensuring they stayed close to their supply.
Chakotay sat now, once again watching Kathryn sleep. That had been five days ago and she had been back in her quarters three days now.
When Kathryn had regained consciousness, Chakotay had slowly explained everything to her about the drug. She had been fairly lucid then and had sat quietly as the Doctor explained that only time would rid her body of the effects of the drug. Kathryn had not spoken of her time in the camp and Chakotay hadn’t pushed her for any details, knowing she would speak of it all when she was ready. She needed all her strength now for the immediate fight.
He remembered how proud he had been of her as she had faced what lay ahead, telling them she knew it would be bad but that she wanted to fight this with all she had in her. Chakotay and the Doctor both knew she had little understanding at that time of just how bad it would get and they tried to prepare her for it but Kathryn was being the Captain, desperately needing to feel in control again and believing that there was nothing she couldn’t face.
Chakotay had watched helplessly as she struggled against headaches and muscle cramps, freezing one minute and sweating the next, kicking the thin blankets off herself to try and cool down. He knew this was nothing compared to what was to come and tried his best to help any way he could. She was still fairly lucid and kept telling them that she could take this, not to interfere, that she would beat this.
Within another day, it all changed. The Kathryn they had known disappeared. She went through spaces of agonizing spasms then stages of shivering or sweating, screaming at them to help her. Others moments of clarity came and then she would cry for minutes then switch to anger and then fear. She ran the gamut of emotions within minutes, throwing herself at Chakotay or the Doctor, yelling at them that they were trying to kill her.
Eventually, the Doctor used one of the mild sedatives but it had little effect. Kathryn had finally collapsed with exhaustion and it was then decided to move her to her own quarters and keep the round the clock watch which was now in place. Chakotay and B’Elanna, along with Tom took most of the hours, Tuvok filling in when he could. The Doctor had advised keeping this from the crew and they all agreed. They also knew that whoever sat with her, needed to be strong enough to restrain her if that need arose and it came about many times.
It had gotten worse since the return to her quarters. During Chakotay’s time with her, he had witnessed her usual shivering and sweating and he could help with this, providing cool clothes or warm blankets. When her body locked itself in agonizing cramps and spasms, he tried his best to work them out for her. What he found harder to deal with was her screams. She would scream in pure terror at horrifying images visible only to herself, throwing herself around the rooms in a desperate attempt to escape. Other times, these monsters invaded her sleep and he would pull her to him, trying to talk away the horrors for her. The worst time had been when he had exited the bathroom to find she had replicated a knife and had slit her wrists and cut at her throat. The Doctor had healed the cuts and her replicator was taken off line. They also removed every sharp object in her quarters.
Day after day, she grew worse and her paranoia built to dizzying heights. She accused them all of trying to kill her, of keeping her prisoner in her own quarters, of mutiny and trying to take the ship from her. Within a short space of time, she would switch and a few times now she had thrown herself at Chakotay and even Tom, demanding that they ‘fuck her’. The first time she had tried this, Chakotay had been too shocked to move but eventually pulled her off him and managed to get her into the shower, knowing the water would switch her thoughts to something else. He remembered how embarrassed Tom had been when he reported the same behaviour to him and the Doctor. They were used to it now. When they turned her down, she would fly into a temper telling them that they all hated her and just wanted to see her dead.
She had other moments when she would beg them to get her some of the drug, to just take the edge off what she was feeling and then in her now lesser lucid moments, demanded that they ignore anything she said. It was during these moments, that Chakotay knew the real Kathryn still existed somewhere in there and this gave him the will to carry on. She had times where she re-lived all the terrible moments of her life and she cried her very soul out then, Chakotay feeling totally helpless.
The Doctor was giving her nutritional supplements. Nothing she tried to eat or drink would stay in her stomach and Chakotay would hold her head as she knelt over the toilet, her small body heaving with the retching. Afterwards, he would clean her as she lay limp on the bathroom floor, staring off into nothingness.
She started to stir slowly now and Chakotay was instantly alert. He listened as she started to cry out but her words meant nothing to him. He knew most of what she spoke of and did meant nothing to her and that she was, for the most part, totally unaware of her words and actions. He knew the drug she had been given was still coursing through her system, working it’s evil despite the best efforts of their Doctor and realized that this had been the plan when the drug had been administered in the first place.
She cried out louder this time and he knew the pain she must be in. At times, he had tried different herbal teas and old remedies his mother had taught him about, but they helped little.
Within minutes, Kathryn woke fully and Chakotay tried to gauge what was to come this time. As he reached towards her, she sprang up on the bed and jumped back away from him. He saw the wildness in her eyes and tried gently talking her down from the level of fear he saw building in her.
“Kathryn…please…” He saw her absolute terror.
“Who…who…are you….please…don’t hurt me.” That she didn’t know him, tore at Chakotay. He prayed for strength.
“Kathryn, it’s me, Chakotay. You know me. Come on love, you’re safe. I’d never hurt you…”
Kathryn quickly jumped off the bed, trying to escape him. He caught up with her in the other room and stopped short for a minute. Her screams filled the room as she huddled in the corner, yelling out at the creatures and horrors she saw before her and cried out at the voices only she could hear. Within seconds, she had changed and turned on Chakotay now, shouting that she wanted to be free and demanding to know why he was doing this to her, asking why he hated her so much.
He stood and let her work this out for a minute and he saw her appear totally confused but moved to her quickly as she started on herself now, pulling at her hair, crying out that she had to get it off her as it was eating her. She fought him fiercely as he tried to restrain her without causing her harm but she had a strength that shocked him. In desperation, he ordered the computer to summon the Doctor and within seconds the Medic appeared. Together they held her down but she quickly fought them off and began throwing herself at the walls and furniture, screaming about things crawling inside her, her nails tearing at her skin causing bloody scratches to rise. Once again they managed to get hold of her and bodily carried her back to the bedroom.
As they held her down on the bed, she screamed at them that they were trying to rape and kill her and finally the Doctor tried one of the sedatives but with no effect. As a final resort, hating themselves for it, they secured her wrists and ankles to the bed, knowing there was no other way to stop her doing serious harm to herself. When she realized that she was restrained, her tears came and she begged them to kill her one minute and let her go the next.
Finally exhausted from her constant struggles, she fell quiet and cried herself into a fitful sleep. Chakotay moved into the other room, unable to take it. The Doctor, having healed her scratches, followed and stood awkwardly, waiting for Chakotay to gather himself together.
“She should sleep for an hour or so now.” Chakotay just nodded, not turning to face the Doctor. Finally he found his voice.
“You wouldn’t want to treat an animal the way we…” The Doctor cut in.
“Commander, you can’t beat yourself up over this. What we have just done…well we have no other choice. She’s capable in this state, of inflicting serious harm on herself. You know we have to do this.” Chakotay finally turned and faced the Doctor.
“I know that. It just doesn’t make it any easier…” Silence followed as the two men sorted their thoughts. The Doctor broke it.
“As hard as this is, I suggest we keep her…restrained…at least until we deem it safe to…” Chakotay rubbed at his face before nodding his agreement and the Doctor left.
Once again, he took his place beside her bed and continued his vigil.
ON TO PART TWO.
BACK TO STORY INDEX ONE.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX TWO.