Disclaimer:  Paramount owns all things Star Trek Voyager.  I don’t.  Only borrowing                 

                     them. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Rating:          NC17.

Summary:     Behind her crew’s back, Kathryn makes a deal with an alien leader to

                      ensure Voyager’s safe and speedy passage across his space.  As

                      Voyager travels on, following her orders and believing that she will

                       rejoin them soon,  she becomes a subject for cruel medical

                       experiments which threaten her very life. 

WARNING:   This story contains graphic material of a violent and sexual nature.

                        If you are offended by such, please do not read on.


By Kat Lady.


Voyager’s Captain sat quietly in her readyroom with her elbows on her desk, her head in her hands, as her fingers kneaded her scalp.  Her headache throbbed inside her skull and her stomach reacted accordingly, sending her rushing once more to her bathroom, where she retched, causing the pain in her head to increase.  She knew there was nothing left in her stomach to bring up and she slid to the floor, resting her forehead against the coolness of the toilet bowl.

“All right, I give in…”  Her words reached no one and she stood shakily and made her way to sickbay, managing to slip into the lift without Chakotay or the rest of the bridge crew seeing her face.  Within minutes the Doctor had worked his magic and her migraine vanished, leaving Janeway wondering why she had delayed as long as she had in seeking treatment.  With the Medic’s stern warning ringing in her ears, about self neglect and stress being the main causes of her constant migraine attacks of late, Kathryn left sickbay and returned to the bridge for the last hour of her shift. Once there, Chakotay gave her news which almost undid all the Doctor’s good work.

“Captain, sensors indicate a vast area of space ahead of us which, according to Neelix, is claimed by a race known as the Katani.  It looks as if it would take us about six months to go around but only two weeks or so to pass through.  It all comes down to whether we can negotiate passage through this area with these people.”  Chakotay stood to attention almost, as Kathryn sighed deeply and took the offered padd from him.  She glanced quickly through the data, feeling the faint edges of her headache returning.  She drew in a deep breath, forcing herself to try and relax and looked up at her First Officer.

“Any reason to believe these Katani will refuse permission for us to cross their territory?”  Chakotay stayed at attention and the gesture was not lost on Kathryn.

“Captain, from what Neelix knows, they appear to be a thriving warp civilization who place great emphasis on acquiring scientific knowledge.  They dominate this area of space and basically control all the other races within their territory.  These other races lay claim to their own planets but they pay a levy to the Katani government for protection and for the fact that their planet is in Katani space.  These Katani appear to be militarily superior to all the others and despite having a small population, they control all around them with an iron fist.  Neelix had once heard rumours of the other races rebelling, but apparently it never came to anything.”  Kathryn nodded and rubbed at her temples.  If Chakotay noticed, he gave no indication.

“All right Commander, I’ll look this over.”  She scanned through the data.  “I see Neelix has included a report also.”  Chakotay nodded.  “Right then, how long until we reach the Katani borders?”  Chakotay didn’t move.

“About twelve hours but we will be within hailing distance in ten.”  Kathryn nodded and sensing the conversation was at an end, dismissed him.  He turned and was gone within seconds.

Kathryn threw the padd down on her desk and sat back.  Chakotay’s strict adherence to protocol was becoming a major pain for her, even though she knew she had asked for it.  She accepted she had pushed him away one too many times and hurt him badly in the process and that this was just his way of dealing with his pain, by distancing himself from her.  Their last dinner together had been four weeks ago now and since that time, when she had almost read him the rule book on why she thought they couldn’t have a relationship, Chakotay had stayed well away from her during their off duty time and was always totally professional when they were on duty.  He was less successful though, at hiding the hurt he felt or indeed, how he felt.  Hell, the entire crew knew how he felt.  Kathryn wished desperately that things could be different, that she had the courage to just take that step and allow him into her life but something always stopped her and she never quite had the guts to dig too deeply into her mind to find the answer to why, afraid at times that common sense might win out over her own self imposed objections.

Kathryn swivelled her chair around and stared out at the stars streaking by the viewport, a part of her wishing she could just step outside and let herself be carried along with them, leaving everything else behind.  She sighed deeply and closed her eyes, willing the returning pain in her head away.  She knew she badly needed some time relaxing when off duty but with the situation as it was with Chakotay, she now spent all her off duty time alone in her quarters, refusing the invitations to the holodeck she had received from Tom, B’Elanna and Neelix, most of the senior staff in fact.  It dawned on her now that the holodeck just wasn’t the same unless she was in Chakotay’s company and so she opted to spend her time on her own, despite how lonely she felt.  “I miss you, my friend…”  she whispered to the silent room. 

Pushing these thoughts aside before they went too deep and her self-blame for her situation swamped her, she forced her mind back to the matter at hand and picked up the report Chakotay had brought her, focusing on the words in front of her.  An hour later, she was starting to see double and knew she badly needed to see the Doctor again as the pain returned full force.  With her shift over and despite needing to stay on top of things, she surrendered to her body’s demands and returned to sickbay.  The Medic tutted to himself as he gave her another painkiller and ordered her to rest under threat of keeping her in his care, and knowing he would be true to his word, Kathryn promised to return to her quarters to try and get some sleep.

Kathryn managed to sleep for six hours and awoke feeling a lot better.  The fact that she had slept so well, told her that there had been more than painkiller in the hypo the Doctor had administered to her and she smiled to herself, promising to get even with him.  She showered quickly and donned her uniform then returned to her ready room, determined to have all the information she could at hand when they spoke with the Katani.

No hails were received by Voyager until they reached the borders of Katani space and Harry Kim called his Captain to the bridge immediately.  Kathryn had decided against trying to hail them first, feeling it better that they appear not to know anything about this race or their area of space.  The face on the viewscreen as Kathryn entered the bridge was almost humanoid as far as eyes, nose and mouth were concerned but the alien who had hailed them had skin of an almost bluish colour with pronounced ridges at each side of his nose and across his forehead.  Kathryn smiled as soon as she made eye contact with him and remained standing as she addressed him.

“I’m Captain Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager.”  She waited for this alien to introduce himself.

“Captain Janeway, I am Pakar and my people are the Katani.  You have reached the borders of our space.  You cannot enter without the proper permits.  Strangers are rarely welcomed here.  You require a permit.”  His face retained the same expression yet there was something unreadable in his eyes, which sent a slight shiver down Kathryn’s back.  Forcing her face to hide her thoughts, she tried her best diplomatic smile.

“We understand.  Perhaps you could tell us if it is possible to procure a permit to cross your space.  I can assure you our intentions are strictly peaceful.  We’re just trying to reach our home…”  Pakar cut her off.

“Captain, your intentions are of no concern to me.  Peaceful or hostile makes no difference to us.  Peaceful would be better but hostile would be no problem to us either.  You are no threat to us.”  Kathryn drew a deep breath and risked a glance at Chakotay.  He merely kept his face neutral.

“Pakar…I’m sorry I don’t know your title…”  The alien waved a hand.

“We have no titles on our world.  Pakar is how you refer to me…”  Kathryn nodded and continued.

“Very well.  Pakar, I assure you we simply wish to cross your space to save ourselves the six months we believe it would take us to go around.  Our home is far from here and we have a long journey ahead of us.  We have been travelling for some years and…”  Pakar shook his head and waved his hand again.

“Please Captain, I don’t need the details of your life.  What do you propose to trade with for this permit to cross our space?  I am my people’s leader so all business is conducted through me.  What do you propose to trade with?”  Kathryn smiled to herself.  Straight down to business suited her just fine.

“We don’t have much to trade with but what we do have, I can transmit details of to you now…”  She nodded to Harry Kim to send the required information then watched as Pakar received the data and waited as he studied it.  The minute he looked up at her again, she knew there was nothing of interest to him contained on the list.

“Captain, there really is nothing here of interest to us.  From what I can see from this and from our scans of your ship, we are far more advanced than your race.  You obviously have nothing of interest to us.”   Kathryn ground her teeth, determined to keep the smile plastered on her face.  This alien’s habit of repeating himself was starting to annoy her.  She felt Chakotay’s presence beside her, wishing she had his gentle patience.

“Pakar, there must be something we can trade with.  Perhaps we could meet face to face and discuss this.  You could visit our ship and…”  Once more the hand waved her quiet and she watched as he thought about this, his eyes studying her closely.  Once more, she felt a chill run through her under his scrutiny.

“Very well, I will meet with you and discuss this further but I really do not think anything can be achieved.  I will come to you in one hour.”  He nodded curtly and closed the transmission.

Kathryn turned to Chakotay and raised her eyebrows.  She saw a softer expression on his face than she had seen in some weeks and smiled softly at him.  “Guess we wait then.”  He nodded.

Kathryn and Chakotay, along with Tuvok spent the next two hours in tough negotiations with Pakar once he had had a brief tour of Voyager.  So far the only item they could offer him which was of vague interest to him was the comprehensive star charts they had compiled during their long journey.  No matter what they offered, he either already had or could go one better.  Finally the alien leader stood and requested to speak with Kathryn alone.  Tuvok was instantly on the defensive but seeing no alternative, Kathryn nodded for him and Chakotay to leave her with Pakar, knowing how badly they needed this permit.  She had been aware of the alien watching her closely during his time onboard and she was uneasy with it, constantly feeling he had a hidden agenda.  The fact that he now wished to speak privately with her, only confirmed her suspicions.  Once they were alone, Pakar’s entire manner changed.  He smiled for the first time and sat, gesturing for Kathryn to do the same.

“Let us speak plainly Captain.  I suspect you are someone who prefers straight talking.  You want something I have, yet so far you have offered me nothing of interest in return.  From our earlier conversation as we toured your ship, I understood from you that you are a scientist?”  Kathryn nodded, uncomfortable in the presence of this man.

“I am a scientist.  That was what I trained at before assuming command.”  Pakar smiled and pursed his lips.

“Then Captain, we are cut from the same cloth, you and I.  We will understand each other.  There is something you have that would give me reason to grant you the permit you require to cross Katani space.”  Kathryn sat forward, knowing that whatever he asked would have a high price.

“What do we have that would interest you when you’ve already seen all we have to offer?”  Her suspicion sounded in her voice and she saw that he heard it.

“Oh, it’s something I’ve already seen.”  He smiled at her, arrogance showing behind it.  “Like you, I am also a scientist.  I am also a medical man.  Your race interests me greatly Captain.  I have studied many races and species in my time but yours is completely alien to me, especially coming from an entirely different Quadrant.”  Kathryn felt the hair at the back of her neck stand on end.  “Now perhaps you could trade me a chance to study a member of your species in return for this permit.”  Kathryn’s eyes widened at what she had just heard.

“Excuse me Pakar, let me understand you.  You want a member of this crew as payment for crossing your space?”  She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.  Pakar laughed.

“Captain, you make it sound like I require a ‘specimen’ for my laboratory.  Please, we are a civilized race.  I am merely asking if one of your crew would allow me to study them, observe them really, with perhaps the occasionally test, blood or something, the odd scan, nothing serious.”  Kathryn sat back, shaking her head.

“You can’t honestly expect me to agree with this…”  Pakar’s face grew serious.

“Captain, it would be a small price to pay and besides you would be cutting six months off your journey.  Can you really go out there and tell your crew that they must take all that time to pass around our space.  It increases every day you know, six months is an under estimation.  I would say it is now nearer to seven months.”  Kathryn closed her eyes.

“Captain, we have a more advanced transporter system than yours.  Give me someone who can stay as our guest for the two weeks it takes you to cross our space and at the end of that time, we will simply beam them back to your ship.  All they need do is submit to simple tests, as I said nothing serious, and let me observe them.  They can inform me about your race during their stay.  I have found that speaking with someone tells far more than any medical test.  I assure you, my intentions are honourable, and this way I also ensure that you pass through our space peacefully.”  Pakar sat back and gave the woman before him time to digest his words.  Kathryn’s mind raced.

“Surely our Doctor could just present you with all the information you require.  He could provide you with blood samples, even DNA, any data you require?”  Pakar shook his head and smiled.

“Captain Janeway, you know as well as I do, that is just data, nothing like the real thing, no interaction involved.  I like to get to know about a race, not just the physical side but what makes them tick shall we say.  This is my offer to you.”  He sat back further and watched her.

“How do I…?”  Pakar leaned forward now and smiled at her, the gesture making Kathryn’s skin crawl.

“How do you know I will keep my word and how do you ask that without offending me?”  He laughed for the first time.  “Oh Captain, you are quite the diplomat but I am far more clever than you.”  He sat back once more and smiled to himself.  “You really have no choice but to take my word for this.  I’m not forcing this on you in any way.  You can take my offer and be through our space in two weeks, or I can return to my home and you can be on your way, taking all that time to go around our borders.  The choice is down to you.”  Kathryn forced herself to hold eye contact with this alien, determined he see her strength. 

“There is no way this crew will agree to your ‘terms’.  I can tell you here and now that I would not even ask any of them to do this.”  Pakar just leaned back and smiled.

“You could always come yourself Captain.  You seem to me to be a very good example of the best your race has to offer.”  Kathryn knew his words were not meant as a compliment and didn’t take them as such.

“They would never agree to that either…”  Pakar was losing patience.

“You are their Captain, are you not?  Do you not issue the orders around here?  You simply tell them that you have agreed to be my guest until they pass through and that you will join them at the other border.  You need make no mention of our agreement.”  Kathryn stood now, turning her back on her guest. 

“I need time to think about this…”  Kathryn couldn’t believe she was even considering this and knew that as she spoke the words, she was letting Pakar know he had most likely gotten what he wanted.  She turned back to him and saw him smile and nod.  He stood slowly.

“I can expect to hear from you within the hour then Captain?”  Kathryn merely nodded and looked away.

Needing some time to herself to think things through, Kathryn informed Chakotay that she wanted him to arrange a senior staff meeting in half an hour and didn’t want to be disturbed until then.  She tried to ignore the worried look she saw on his face and promised him answers to his many questions when they all met.  She returned to her quarters and paced the floor, trying to anticipate every angle of what would happen if she took Pakar’s offer.  In the end, it boiled down to one thing.  There was no way she could tell her crew that an additional seven months had been added to their journey and Pakar had seen this.  The fact that he seemed to read her so well, irked and unnerved her.  Kathryn’s guilt over stranding the crew in the Delta Quadrant in the first place, never left her and so now she rehearsed in her mind what she would tell her senior officers, preparing herself for all their arguments.  She knew Tuvok and particularly Chakotay would be the hardest to convince but in the end, believed they would obey her orders. 

She briefly tried to think of any other way around this situation, find another solution, but none came to her.  Knowing now she had no choice, she turned to leave her quarters for the meeting and stopped at the door a moment.  She gazed around the space where she had lived for the past number of years, remembering happier times when she had enjoyed dinners here with Chakotay, when they had laughed together or simply shared comfortable silences.  She swallowed the lump which rose in her throat and forced her mind to the matter at hand.  Taking a deep breath to steady herself, she left her ‘home’, wondering briefly if she would ever see it again.

The meeting went exactly as Kathryn had known it would, all of them objecting and with Chakotay and Tuvok joining forces as never before. 

“Captain, there is no way you can even consider this…”  Kathryn stood and cut Chakotay off.

“Commander, I have made my decision.  I’m simply an insurance policy for Pakar if you like.  I have his assurances that I will be perfectly safe as his guest.  Besides, you’re always badgering me to take some time off and now I can.”  She smiled, hoping her small joke would break the tension in the room but Chakotay was in no mood for it.

“You’re telling me you believe that’s all he wants, that simply by having you with him, he will be assured that we pose no threat as we cross their space?  Forgive me if I seem just a little suspicious, but if this is so innocent, how come he waited to ask you this when you were alone with him?  He already informed us that we were no threat to him.  I know you and there’s something more going on here…”  Kathryn hardened her face.

“Commander, we simply came to this decision as we had exhausted everything else.  He prefers doing business one to one.  That is their way apparently. All we can offer him are the star charts we have.  This is just a way to ensure we stick to our end of the deal.  He also has a Council of Ministers he must report to and they will be more assured with this.  Once Voyager has reached the far borders,  I shall be beamed back here and we can be on our way.”  Kathryn stared hard into his eyes until Tuvok broke the silence.

“I must concur with the Commander.  I cannot allow you to undertake what you are proposing.  We have no idea what you would be walking into nor do know if we can even trust this man…”  Kathryn had had enough and was getting edgy.

“Enough, both of you.”  She scanned the other faces at the table and saw that they still agreed with Chakotay and Tuvok.  “It’s simple.  I am the Captain and I give the orders.  Now I will stay with Pakar until Voyager has crossed through Katani space and then re-join you.  Commander Chakotay, you will be Acting Captain in my absence and Tuvok will act as First Officer.  That is the end of this discussion.  Dismissed.”  No one moved.  “I said dismissed.”  The hardness in her voice shook them and slowly they moved, each one staring back at their Captain, their disapproval showing clearly.  Kathryn turned away quickly but instantly sensed that someone had remained behind.  Turning back, she saw Tuvok and Chakotay standing side by side, staring at her.

“Gentlemen, there is nothing further to discuss here.  I have made my decision and that is final.  Now you will both follow my direct orders or spend time in the brig.”  She saw that her words weren’t having the desired affect.

“Captain, I must insist that you tell us all of what was discussed between yourself and Pakar.”  Tuvok met her eyes and Kathryn held his gaze.

“I have already been through this.  He’s just being careful…”  Chakotay was not going to be as diplomatic as Tuvok had been.

“Bullshit Kathryn…”  He ignored the shocked expressions which turned to him.  “I know you too well and while Tuvok might be more polite with you, I won’t be.  You’re not telling us the truth here and I’m sorry for how that sounds but I just know there’s a lot more going on here than you’re telling us…”  Kathryn forced herself to keep her temper in check.

“You know what Commander, I don’t care what you think.  I’ve made my decision and it’s final.  Now kindly return to your duties, both of you.  I need to contact Pakar and set matters in motion.  You are both dismissed and don’t think I won’t call security here to have you both removed if I need to.”  Her expression was icy and her eyes dared them to say anything else.  Knowing nothing more would be achieved for the moment, they turned and left.  As they reached the door, Chakotay turned back.

“I’m not finished with this yet Kathryn, don’t think for one minute that you’ve won this…”  She had never seen him so serious and she looked away quickly, only looking up again when she heard the door close.

Not wasting any time, Kathryn quickly checked that all her personal business was in order, her will and transfer of command then contacted the planet and spoke with Pakar in private.  His smile when he appeared on her screen, sent even more chills down her spine.

“Captain, you have a decision for me?”  Kathryn nodded.

“I’ll come but I want to beam down now.  My people are not too happy about this.  They know I’m holding back from them and the longer we delay, the more questions they will ask.”  Pakar kept the smile on his face.

“Why not let one of them come down with you, inspect the quarters you will have, see for themselves that you will be well taken care of…”  Kathryn considered his proposal a moment and nodded her agreement, drawing a little reassurance from his gesture.  She cut the transmission and called Chakotay in.

“Commander, I shall be beaming down to the surface in a short time.  Pakar has given his permission for someone to come with me and check things out before Voyager departs.”  She watched his face closely and kept her own expression serious.

“Very well Captain, I shall come with you.”  He was back to being professional with her, hiding behind protocol.  He had had a good teacher for that. 

Within fifteen minutes, they had beamed down to the coordinates Pakar had issued them with and Kathryn followed behind the two men as the Katani leader showed Chakotay around parts of the city and the main Government buildings, hiding nothing from him. 

“Commander, I wish I could put your mind at rest.  You must understand that my Council simply require an assurance that you will pass through our space peacefully.  Not every decision is mine alone to make.  I assure you that your Captain will be quite safe here.  You may contact her on a daily basis and satisfy yourself that she is well.”  Chakotay silently nodded but his eyes rarely left Kathryn.  Finally Pakar left them alone and Chakotay turned to her.

“I still don’t like this.  I’ve always trusted my gut instinct over everything else and it tells me that something is very wrong here.  It also tells me that you know more than you’re telling me.”  His eyes searched hers but Kathryn had her emotions well hidden.

“Chakotay…”  She hoped using his own name would soften him a little.  “Look, I know you don’t like or trust this but you have to trust me when I tell you it’s all fine.  I don’t mean to sound hard but at the end of the day, I’m the Captain and you must follow my orders.  You’ll do this if you have any respect for me at all, care for me in any way…”  She saw the hurt in his eyes.

“You certainly know where to hit Kathryn, right where it can hurt.  All right, I’ll obey and respect your orders and do what I’m told but know this and hear it well.  Don’t ever use my feelings for you like this again.  I’m obeying your orders as a First Officer to his Captain.  Don’t ever bring anything else into it.  You know only too well how I feel.  Don’t dare ever belittle those feelings by thinking you can use them against me or to get me to do what you want.  That’s just cruel Kathryn.”  She reached out a hand and placed it on his arm.

“Chakotay, I’m sorry, forgive me please.  I didn’t mean to use how you feel as a weapon.  What I am asking you to do is trust my judgement here and to follow my orders as Captain.  I’ll join you all in two weeks and you heard Pakar, you can call me every day to reassure yourself…”  Chakotay cut her off.

“And what if we’re a week away when something goes wrong?  How do we get back to you in time…?”  Kathryn searched her mind for an answer that would satisfy him but before she thought of anything Pakar was back.

“Forgive me Commander, I couldn’t help overhearing.  Perhaps I can suggest something that will help allay your fears.”  Chakotay looked towards him and saw a younger looking male with the leader.  “This is my first born son, Alla.  Perhaps if he travelled with you for the two weeks of your journey while your Captain stays here, perhaps that would reassure you…?”  Chakotay glanced from the young man to the older one and saw immediately the resemblance but still wasn’t satisfied.

“Forgive me Pakar, but how do I know this young man is indeed your son?”  Pakar didn’t look offended as Kathryn had thought he would.  He simply smiled and had a ready answer.

“Might I suggest we return to your ship for a short time and have your Doctor check our DNA?”  Chakotay thought a moment then nodded.

“That would help…” 

Within an hour, the Doctor was able to confirm that Alla was indeed the son of Pakar, three other Katani males having joined them to provide their DNA for comparison testing.  Chakotay spoke quietly with Tuvok and they both agreed their hands were tied.  Kathryn was within her rights to order them to go on without her and there was little they could do outside of an all out mutiny.  He had even suggested that Pakar simply send along a few guards on Voyager to ensure they would not deviate from their course, but Pakar had informed them that his Council insisted on a fair swap, both of them now having an assurance.

In the end, Chakotay beamed down with Kathryn to see her settled, while Alla stayed aboard Voyager.  He kept his manner formal as he told her he would see her in two weeks time and watched as she unpacked some of her clothing.  The fact that she had brought no personal items outside of clothing bothered him.  He desperately wanted to get down on his knees and beg her to reconsider but knew it would get him nowhere.  As he prepared to beam back to the ship, he let his formality slip and held her eyes for a long moment.

“Kathryn, please take care of yourself…”  She nodded, not saying anything.  She knew how upset and worried he was and prayed she would see him again.  She fought desperately to hide her feelings of fear at what lay ahead and hoped that Pakar would keep his word.  Just as he reached to his commbadge, Chakotay stopped and moved to her then whispered quietly to her as he embraced her.

“Kathryn, when I talk with you, if there’s anything wrong, refer to me as Commander Chakotay.  If everything is fine, then constantly use Chakotay or just Commander.  Don’t use rank and name together with anyone else either so it won’t sound strange.  That way at least, I’ll know you can get some kind of message to me.”  Kathryn hugged him back, using the gesture to hide her face.

“Chakotay…”  She pulled back with her smile in place.  “Look, if it makes you feel better, I’ll do that.  Now get back to my ship and get her across that space.  You’re wasting time…”  He barely managed a smile as he called for his beam out, not taking his eyes off her for a second.

Voyager was now three days away from Katan and Chakotay was calling twice a day to make sure Kathryn was well.  He noticed that she looked a little tired but she constantly reassured him that she was fine and never once used the code he had given her to use if anything was wrong.  She told him simply that she was staying up too late at night, catching up on some reading she had badly missed, as well as attending some ‘outings’, letting him believe that she was socializing and enjoying herself.  Her performance was perfect and he believed her but she saw the hurt on his face from the belief that she might be developing a friendship with Pakar.

As Kathryn cut the communication with Chakotay, the second one that day, she heard Pakar come up behind her.

“Excellent performance my dear.  I couldn’t have done better myself.”  Kathryn hung her head, not trying to hide how she felt now that Chakotay couldn’t see her.  “I’m so happy you got the names right.  Can’t have you passing secret messages to them, now can I?”  Kathryn simply nodded. 

Pakar had shocked her within an hour of Voyager’s departure by letting her know he had heard Chakotay’s words to her, about using rank and name together if anything was wrong.  She instantly realized that her quarters were covered by surveillance equipment, audio and probably visual also.  He quickly let her know who was in charge, going into a long speech about his planet’s military capabilities and how his ships could easily take out a vessel like Voyager.  His threat was made and understood, Kathryn knowing that they were completely at his mercy.   

Pakar had left Kathryn alone for the rest of her first day on Katan, offering her only a small meal, but within an hour of her waking the following morning and letting her speak with Chakotay, he had had her dragged to a laboratory.  Here she had been ordered to strip and suffered a humiliating examination at Pakar’s hands, his rough handling bruising her repeatedly.  He had then subjected her to several painful blood and skin tests.  He had also scraped the skin on her legs and arms with several different needles and covered the scratches with a kind of linen covering, telling her he wanted to see her body’s reactions to different substances.  Within hours, most of the scratches had started itching and many became painful, some even swelling and developing blisters and open sores.  He had also smeared her body with different creams which turned her stomach from their stench. 

It was evening before he allowed her something small to eat and drink, having denied her access to anything since the previous evening.  Despite her hunger and thirst, Kathryn’s stomach barely held down the meagre offering, which was placed in her room for her.  She felt dizzy and nauseous from the drugs he had pumped into her body earlier in the day. 

This third day had been worse, Kathryn having been ‘examined’ by Pakar and two other males, as they had used long biopsy needles to extract samples of her internal organs, refusing her any anaesthetic.  They had merely laughed as Kathryn had cried out many times in pain, unable to get away from them when they strapped her to the medical table in the lab.  She had also been scanned continuously and had what seemed to be some kind of imager forced down her throat and others into her ears and nose, so they could look inside her.  Despite the straps, the assistants had had to hold her down as Pakar pushed the imager into her mouth and down the back of her throat, causing her to choke and gag repeatedly.  She had little struggle or fight left in her when he moved to the end of the table, pulled her legs into stirrups and forced other imagers up inside her, the instruments pushing painfully up through her as the assistants held her down. 

They had left her alone this evening and all she had been capable of doing, was lying curled up on her bed, fighting the pain and nausea that washed over her.  They had pumped more drugs into her veins and forced her to swallow foul tasting liquids, some of which she had vomited back up almost immediately.  This time, when her small meal had come, Kathryn had been unable to even look at the excuse for food, instead rushing to the small bathroom and attempting to empty her stomach of something that wasn’t there.   As she had lain back on the floor, she had looked at her arms and legs, and saw the deep bruising there from all the needles and scratches.  Sores and blisters now covered her body and an itchy rash had developed on her back, chest and stomach. 

Eventually, she had been called for her communication with Chakotay and it had taken superhuman strength for her to take the call and put on the act she had.  Once the conversation had finished, Pakar had appeared.  He stood behind her now and stroked her hair.  He watched her in the mirror, pulling her head up so he could see her face.

“You know my dear, if you smiled more, you would be quite pleasant to look at.”  Kathryn pulled her head away from his hands.

“I’m not here to look pleasant for you…”  He just laughed and grabbed her head again, forcing her to look in the mirror so he could see her expression.

“My dear Captain, you are here for whatever I want you here for.  I can have that fine ship of yours blown from the sky at a moment’s notice.  Don’t ever forget that.”  Kathryn was shocked at the hardness of his words.

“Even with your own son on board?”  His laugh was mocking.

“He’s just one of many offspring I have.  He can easily be replaced.”  Kathryn stared in horror at him as he continued stroking her hair.  Seeming bored now, Pakar just smiled evilly at her and left the room, his voice calling over his shoulder.

“Rest well Captain, you’ll need to be fresh in the morning.  I’ll have some water sent to you.  Make sure you drink it all.”  He slammed the door behind him, leaving Kathryn alone to give in to her tears.  She looked down at her bare feet and the thin robe she wore, all she was allowed.  Pakar had taken her clothes, telling her all she would need was what she wore now and laughing as he added that even that would not be needed most of the time.  Kathryn had seen Chakotay look at her when she spoke with him, knowing he had noticed what she wore, and knowing that he would get the wrong idea and how much that would hurt him.  Finally she tried to force his face from her mind, needing all her energy just to survive and more importantly to her, to make sure that her crew survived.  Nothing else could matter now to her but Voyager’s safety and she knew she would die to ensure that.