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

Rating:          NC 17.  Kids go play elsewhere.  Contains adult material.

Summary:     When Voyager is boarded by alien soldiers, Kathryn is separated
                      from her crew and held on the bridge.  As she struggles just to stay
                      alive, Chakotay must come up with a plan before it’s too late for
                      them all.







THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF YOU…

by KAT LADY.



PART ONE.


The large vessel was cloaked in a manner they had never seen before.  It wasn’t there and then suddenly it was, sensors having detected nothing, and before they even had time to register this fact, the soldiers were already aboard Voyager and there was nothing they could do.  Their cloaking technology obviously extended to life forms as well as ships and Voyager and her crew were prisoners before anyone even had a chance to fire a single defensive phaser shot.

They entered the bridge and had disarmed everyone in a matter of seconds and the emotion that rose up in Kathryn, surpassing even her fear for her crew, was anger.  Anger that they had not even had a chance to defend themselves, that they had been unable to see this coming and that she now appeared powerless to stop whatever was about to happen, the weapon in her face daring her to even try.

She forced herself to try and remain calm, knowing that her calm would somehow give reassurance, she hoped, to the bridge crew.  The invaders were not of a race they had ever come across before and yet seemed to resemble the Kazon in manner and appearance, a fact which appeared to have already imprinted itself on the others on the bridge.

One of the invaders, obviously by his manner the leader, strode towards Kathryn and before she had a chance to register his hand rising, he backhanded her across the face, sending her sprawling backwards onto the floor.  Chakotay had reacted immediately but the speed of the soldiers surpassed his own quick movement and the next thing he knew, he was on his knees, holding his head, which had been hit with the butt of one of their weapons.   He quickly realized that two of these soldiers were holding him in place and it then registered with him that the leader was hauling Kathryn to her feet, screaming at her, telling her to control her crew.  Chakotay watched helpless, along with Kim, Paris, Tuvok and Torres, as Kathryn was dragged by her hair to the centre of the bridge.  He saw the leader nod to two of his men, who stepped forward and gripped Kathryn’s arms like vices.  The leader then proceeded to, as he put it, teach her a lesson on behalf of her Officer, and he indicated to Chakotay to show who he meant.

Chakotay fought against the strong hands holding him down to no avail, as he was forced to endure the sight of Kathryn being punched in the face and stomach.  He couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that she fought so hard against crying out, despite the obvious pain showing in her eyes and he knew she was using her anger to control both her fear and her pain.  Thankfully, the leader seemed to tire of hitting her pretty quickly.  He leaned forward and again grabbed Kathryn by her hair, pushing her against one of the consoles.  He withdrew a length of cord from his belt and roughly pulling her hands behind her back, proceeded to tightly tie her wrists.  When he appeared satisfied with the tightness of his knots, he shoved her to her knees and pushed her head down. 

“That’s the way you’ll stay, until I decide otherwise” he spit at her.  “If you cause me any problems, it’s your crew who will suffer.”  He turned towards Chakotay and the others and looked them over.
“Take these to the cargo hold and place them with the others” he ordered. 

As they were pushed forward and into the turbo lift, Chakotay craned his neck to see Kathryn.  She was still on her knees with her head down, denying Chakotay the chance to even meet her eyes and silently communicate with her. 

When Chakotay and the others entered Cargo Bay Two, he quickly realized that the entire crew was being held there.  He noticed however, that there was no sign of the Doctor and this gave him a small feeling of hope.  He glanced towards Tuvok and instantly registered that the Vulcan had come to the same conclusion and as their eyes met for those few seconds, he suddenly realized the extent of the respect he felt for this man.  He reflected how he had once thought him his enemy, when he had discovered that the Vulcan had been Kathryn’s spy, but he knew that at this moment, there were few others he would rather have on his side.

Chakotay knew he had to start thinking straight and push the images of Kathryn out of his mind, that he would be useless to her otherwise.  He quickly set about establishing for certain that all crew were indeed present and once this had been achieved, he assigned one crewmember to a group of twenty or so, matching abilities as best he could.  He knew it was far easier to communicate plans to a few, who could then pass them on to their respective groups.  Having covertly spoken with as many crewmembers as possible during the next several hours, he took the scant information he had gleaned back to Tuvok, Paris, Kim and Torres.

They sat together, feigning an air of resignation, and quietly discussed the situation.  They noticed that there were only ten guards assigned to them, obviously with the belief that being armed, there was little need for a greater number.

Chakotay and the others were quiet, all deep in thought, the soldiers glancing their way occasionally.  Tuvok was the first to notice the change in temperature, being used to the Vulcan climate.  Chakotay was aware of him rubbing his hands up and down his arms and was just about to ask if he was all right but Tuvok saved him the question. 



“I believe Commander, that the temperature has fallen by several degrees since our arrival here.” 
Now that Chakotay thought about it, he realized that it was indeed colder, and looking at the others, had this confirmed.  He looked towards the soldiers and noticed that they actually looked more comfortable and this told them much. 

“Obviously our temperature is unsuitable for them.  This is something that we might be able to use against them…”  Before he could finish, the door of the Cargo Bay opened and two more soldiers entered, carrying some supplies, water and food.  These were set in the middle of the floor and the two soldiers returned to the door and brought in more then left.

Chakotay suddenly realized that at least ten or twelve hours must have passed since they were all brought to the Cargo Hold and feeling guilty for even thinking about it, realized that he was actually hungry.  He knew they all had to eat and drink as much as they could in order to keep their strength up, that to do so could make all the difference to any plans they would try and execute.

When the soldiers were satisfied that everyone had eaten, the lights were suddenly dimmed. 
“Obviously lights out time.”  Paris tried his best to keep spirits up but his audience were unwilling recipients of his humour. 


“It would be wise to try and sleep Commander”   Tuvok stated matter of factly.  “A lot of the crew have been working all day and will be useless to any plans we come up with, if they are fatigued.” 
Chakotay knew he was right.  He knew that to be armed with a full belly and a night’s sleep was almost as important as being armed with a phaser.

As everyone around him tried his or her best to settle and get some rest, Chakotay’s mind refused to leave Kathryn.  He prayed she was all right and that they hadn’t hurt her any more.  The image of her being beaten burned itself into his brain and he cried inside to think of how helpless she must be feeling, knowing how much being in control meant to her.  He finally forced his mind to shut off and tried his best to get some rest.

Kathryn had rarely felt this helpless in her life.  The leader of these invaders, whose name she had discovered was Trajor, strutted around the bridge showing an arrogance beyond belief.  He had taken the habit of smacking her in the side of the head every time he passed and he and his men seemed to find this highly amusing.  Kathryn fought her pain bravely but it was wearing her down.  She had tried earlier to ask Trajor what he wanted of them, but this had only earned her a barrage of painful kicks, which knocked her backwards off her knees and with her hands bound tightly behind her back, most of the kicks had landed on her exposed ribs and thighs.

After some time, Kathryn also noticed the drop in temperature and the cold was starting to affect her, making her pain worse and clear thinking harder.  She heard her stomach grumble and realized that she had not eaten in a long time.  Her thirst was also getting to her.  She risked raising her head to look at the chronometer and realized that about twenty hours had passed since Voyager had been boarded.  Trajor instantly spotted her raised head and was on her in an instant, screaming at her again.  Kathryn once again felt his hand grab her hair and she was painfully pulled to her feet.  Trajor’s face was inches from her own and the venom in his voice terrified her. 



“You don’t learn, do you Captain?”  He pulled her head back and dragged her to the centre of the bridge.  “Do you want your crew to suffer?”  Kathryn was afraid to answer and afraid not to.  “This time, I’ll let your crew off, but you Captain, you have to be taught to obey.  You need to be shown your place.”

Fear grew quickly in Kathryn as Trajor pulled a knife from his belt and then stood back from her.  She was unsteady on her feet but managed to keep herself standing.  Trajor studied her for a minute or two, knowing the effect this would have on her, letting her own imagination do his work for him.  He watched her battle with her fear and felt satisfaction when he saw fear winning.  He stepped back to her and slipped the knife into the neck of her jumpsuit, pulling it downwards slowly and laughing as the material cut easily against the sharp blade.  Kathryn did her best to fight the tears that were starting but quickly lost her battle and Trajor laughed as he saw them, gaining even more satisfaction from his work and relishing the reaction of his audience of soldiers.  He continued cutting until Kathryn’s uniform fell away from her body, leaving only her polo neck and tank but Trajor was determined to rid her of these also. 

Kathryn now stood only in her underwear and endured the laughs and sneers of the soldiers and Trajor.  She knew this game was called humiliation and knew also that he had won.  Trajor pushed her down on the floor onto her back and for a horrifying few minutes, Kathryn feared the worst.  Trajor seemed to read her mind and once again decided to let her imagination work in his favour.  He walked around her lying helpless on the floor and took great satisfaction in her fear.  Suddenly he reached down to her and pulled her legs up, removing her boots and socks.  Kathryn closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable but it didn’t come and when she opened her eyes, she was met with Trajor’s sneer. 


“I don’t think so, Captain.  Your species is too ugly for me, but break any more rules and I might be forced to reconsider.”  His sneer bored into her and then she was once again pulled by the hair to her feet.  “Stand there until I say otherwise, head down.” He physically spit at her this time.  “Move and this time your crew will suffer and maybe also you…”   He let his words trail off and slowly slid a finger down her arm, letting the meaning of his words sink in. 

For the next ten hours, Kathryn was forced to stand, semi-naked on the bridge of her ship.  The cold seeped into her bones and despite that same cold, a dreadful fatigue bore down on her.  Many times, she felt herself falling from lack of sleep, food and water.  Her thirst was desperate but she knew better than to ask for any water.  Her mind wandered to Chakotay and the others constantly and she prayed that they were being treated in a kinder manner than she was. 

Once Trajor had witnessed her struggle to stand, he had assigned a soldier to stand beside her and prod her painfully every time she wavered.  Kathryn fought desperately and found herself reach into reserves of strength and courage she never knew she had.  She saw how the skin on her thighs and stomach area was rapidly discolouring and her ribs felt as if they were on fire, but she refused to let herself give in and used the image of Chakotay’s smiling face to give her the strength she so badly needed.  She knew she had to survive this for him and for the crew.  She refused to deny the promise she had made herself and them.  She would get them home.

Chakotay’s face at that moment was anything but smiling.  He had spent the last ten minutes trying to convince B’Elanna to stem her temper.  One of the soldiers had taken a keen interest in her, appearing fascinated by her cranial ridges.  Chakotay had realized that there was nothing sexual about the soldier’s interest, that he was genuinely mesmerised by the half Klingon and saw this as an opportunity to gain some semblance of trust and hopefully learn something useful.  He also desperately needed to find out about Kathryn and saw this as a way of achieving this.  As he explained this to B’Elanna, he saw her instantly soften and knew that Kathryn was the reason for it.  Mention of her name turned the key that would lock away B’Elanna’s temper in order to obtain the information they needed.  He knew that B’Elanna and Kathryn had started to develop a good friendship alongside their mutual respect for each other and had openly encouraged it and he prayed now that at the end of all this, they would be able to continue that friendship.  He knew in his gut that Kathryn, if she came through this, would need good friends and prayed that she would allow him to be there for her also.  He knew he would always be there for her as a friend at the very least, but he constantly craved for more.

Chakotay pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind now and concentrated on the matter at hand.  He had already discussed with Tuvok, a way to get one of them to sickbay in order to activate the Doctor and get his help. He knew now that the reason the Doctor was nowhere in sight was due to the fact that he must have been deactivated.  “First things first” he thought as he noticed B’Elanna smile towards the soldier, who seemed to have developed an even stronger fascination with her. 

He watched as the soldier slowly approached and looked more closely at B’Elanna.  She stood slowly and moved a little closer to him.  He was immediately on the alert but settled a little when Chakotay motioned to the others to move back a bit.  The soldier gave what they took for a smile and went to reach towards her face and then drew back, glancing towards his fellow soldiers, but they appeared almost comatose with boredom.  Chakotay knew better than to think rushing them at this point would be wise.   They needed more tactical data to go on, before they could make a move.

“It’s all right, I don’t bite”  B’Elanna smiled at the soldier, and Chakotay thought she deserved some kind of award for her acting skills.  “You can touch them, it’s OK.” 

The soldier reached out his hand hesitantly and let his fingers gently feel the ridges before his face broke into what they all recognized as a smile.  B’Elanna spent the next half hour explaining to the soldier about her race and told him about their journey and where they were all from. He seemed genuinely interested and grew more at ease with each piece of information he was learning.  Finally a breakthrough, and he started to tell B’Elanna about his race and how they had lost in a war with a rival sect.  He told her how their ship had been failing and how they were now trying to get home too.  He got so lost in his story that his loneliness for his home and the family he constantly mentioned eventually broke down his training and he repeatedly let slip much of the information Chakotay and the others needed. 

Quite suddenly B’Elanna doubled over in apparent pain and the soldier showed instant concern. 
“It’s a medical problem…I’m pregnant…please…I have to go to sickbay…please help me…”  B’Elanna struggled with each word and the soldier immediately called to the other soldiers for help. 

For a minute, Chakotay and the others almost fell for it themselves and shock and worry showed on each of their faces, convincing the soldiers of the truth of B’Elanna’s pleas.  She had bargained on this and knew that this was the only way to act.  Her ‘new friend’ immediately helped her to stand up and gently took her hand.  “I’m sorry but I can’t let anyone else go with you.  My orders…please understand…”  He sounded legitimate in his words and Chakotay nodded understanding.  He locked eyes with B’Elanna and tacitly reassured her as the soldier led her away.

Kathryn had reached the stage of thinking where she now believed she would die before any kind of rescue could be undertaken.  The pain in her arms and hands was getting worse from them being pulled back and bound and the bindings dug into her wrists.  Trajor seemed at home on her bridge and was having little trouble with the ship’s controls.  She had started to notice with the odd stolen glance at the soldier beside her, that a semblance of pity seemed to be entering into his demeanour and his prods when she faltered, were not as painful as they had been.  “Maybe I just can’t feel anything anymore” she thought. 

Kathryn’s thoughts at this stage felt as if they too were freezing.  She felt herself fall forward again but this time the prod was agonizing and she cried out.  She looked up to see Trajor in front of her and he was shouting at the soldier, yelling at him for not doing his job. 

Once he had finished bawling out the soldier, Trajor turned on Kathryn. He pushed her to the ground and kicks rained in on her, several landing on her head and face.  She felt her nose gush with blood and gagged as she felt it run down her throat.



“I’ll keep you awake whore.”  Trajor walked away and returned a few seconds later with what looked like a hypo spray.  He pulled Kathryn up into a sitting position, causing her to scream with pain and fear.  Before she knew what was happening, he had injected a drug into her. 

“That will keep you awake.  Either that or it will kill you.”  He laughed at his own joke but this time his audience didn’t respond.  If he noticed, he didn’t let on.  “We use this with our species all the time, to keep awake.  I can’t say Captain, what it will do to you, but then who cares.”  He pulled her to her feet again and despite feeling the drug starting to work, mainly causing nausea and dizziness, Kathryn was cognizant of the maniacal look on Trajor’s face.  She knew something was coming apart in his mind. 

Trajor watched as she studied him and something snapped inside him.  “You arrogant bitch.” He screamed into her face, grabbing her and shaking her.  “I’ll teach you to look at me like that.”  He suddenly jerked Kathryn around and pulled her towards the turbo lift and she was in no position to fight him.

Once in the turbo lift, Trajor roughly pushed her to her knees again.  “Let’s see what your crew make of their almighty Captain now.  You won’t feel much like a Captain once they see you like this.  This will teach you a lesson in respect and show you who’s in charge here.  It will also show your crew who’s in charge.” 

As if to further emphasise his point, he stepped towards her and going around behind her, stomped on her feet, letting his full weight down on them.  Kathryn screamed out in pain, but this only delighted Trajor even more.   When the lift stopped, Trajor hauled Kathryn up and proceeded to drag her down the corridor, the pain in her feet making walking almost impossible but this made little difference to him.  The drug was starting to kick in but it wasn’t having the intended effect.  Kathryn felt disorientated and the corridor appeared to swim in front of her eyes and she felt her stomach churn.  What thoughts she was capable of seemed to float around her mind, attaching themselves to nothing.  Her mind was going as numb as her tightly bound wrists and hands.

B’Elanna had returned from sickbay, apparently feeling ‘much better’ and was chatting in an almost friendly manner with the soldier.  He saw her into a sitting position and told her he hoped all would be right with her and her baby, then excused himself and went to join his comrades.

Chakotay and the others were around B’Elanna instantly.  “Good thinking, Lieutenant”  Chakotay was really proud of her.  He noticed a strange look on Tom’s face and looked back at B’Elanna. 

“How did you fool them?  Surely that soldier was with you in sickbay and wouldn’t have been fooled…”  Tom stopped his words as he searched B’Elanna’s eyes.  She was smiling at him and him alone. 

“Well actually, I didn’t need to fool him…and once he knew I was, well…telling the truth, he stepped aside and gave the Doctor and me the privacy we needed…”  Chakotay’s eyes flew to Tom’s face and the look there was priceless.  “You mean…” was all he got out. 

“Congratulations you two, but let’s hold the celebrations until later.  B’Elanna, did you achieve your other business…?” 

“Oh yes, it went perfectly.  Doc even managed to scan my little friend without him even noticing.  He was so busy watching my scan…” she stopped suddenly.  “Love I’m sorry, it should have been you first..seeing that..”

“Honey, getting us all out of this is more important.  Protecting this life..” and he gently laid a hand on her stomach, “that’s more important than anything.”  They shared a secret smile for a few seconds and then B’Elanna got back to business. 

“Doc is going to access the environmental controls and bypass them.  He’ll use his own codes, which only he will know and literally turn the heat up.  We were right.  Their body chemistry can’t take anything above a certain temperature.  It’s going to take about an hour to achieve but by that time, they should be dropping like flies.” 



Chakotay patted her arm.  “Maquis training.  That’s my girl.  I knew we could depend on…”

Suddenly his words were cut off as the door to the Cargo Bay opened to the sound of screamed abuse.  Chakotay’s heart seemed to stop at the sight that met his eyes and he was dimly aware of the cries from the others.  Trajor stormed into the Cargo Bay dragging Kathryn roughly alongside him.  She could barely stand and Chakotay was on his feet instantly.  Trajor spotted his movement and put his weapon to Kathryn’s head.  “Do you really want to try that?” he sneered.  Chakotay didn’t move.  He knew he couldn’t risk Kathryn. 

A surge of raw pain went through him as he took in her appearance and the fact that the bastard had stripped her.  There didn’t seem to be an area of her body that wasn’t badly bruised and he could clearly make out the imprints of boots on her skin.  He felt his tears come and didn’t even try and stop them.  “Focus, man, focus.  You can’t help her this way.”   He knew he had to detach himself as best he could but the sight of the woman he knew he loved before him in this state made that almost impossible.

Trajor was acting demented.  “I see you lot have eaten and been given water, well good for you.  I hear you’ve had a good night’s sleep, well that’s good too.  Please do though, spare a thought for your dear Captain here.  Look at her.  Would you believe that she’s had nothing to eat or drink at all since we arrived?  Poor woman, she’s had no sleep either.  Can you believe that in the last, what is it now?  Almost two days and a night?  Well, she’s stood to attention all that time, well most of that time, the rest she spent on her knees, oh and the odd bit of time on her back…”  He roared with laughter and let his words sink in, knowing his last words would make them think. 

“She’s not so high and mighty now, is she?  Strip away the uniform and suddenly you find there’s nothing underneath”  His laughter and entire manner seemed to shock even the soldiers.  Chakotay stared at Kathryn and his heart was breaking.  “Please, oh Spirits, don’t let him have…not that…” 

He tried again to detach himself and assess her injuries.  Trajor had pulled her head up and he saw the dried blood on her face and more bruises.  He also terrifyingly noticed the glazed look in her eyes and how she was unable to focus on anything.  “She’s been drugged…oh Kathryn..please fight this, please love, don’t give up.” 

He tried to will his thoughts to her.  He could see the trouble she was having trying to stand and realized that this was due to the bruising he could see forming on her feet as well as her exhaustion.  As Trajor pulled her around, he also noted that the circulation was almost cut off from her hands, giving them a bluish tinge.  She appeared to be having some trouble with her breathing and he knew that the cold would exacerbate a lot of her injuries and that they had to act quickly now.

“Lesson over.”  Trajor pulled Kathryn back towards the door but she stumbled and he reached for her hair again and dragged her out the door.  Not once had she cried or screamed out, not even seeming to know where she was.  Chakotay almost felt that if she had, he’d have felt a little better.  He knew her lack of fight was a dangerous sign.  “Don’t give up, Kathryn.” He willed her in his mind again.  “Don’t give up love. Fight please.”

When Trajor and Kathryn were gone, Chakotay slumped down on the floor and B’Elanna was beside him immediately.  “She’ll be OK Chakotay.  She’s strong. We’ll get her to the Doc very soon.”  She didn’t sound as sure as she was trying to be and Chakotay just patted her hand. 

“She has to be OK B’Elanna, she just has to be.  There are too many things I’ve never said to her…”  He stopped, half realizing what he had admitted but one look into his old friend’s face and he knew that this was not news to her. 

“I know you love her Chakotay and I also know she loves you too. She’s never said it directly to me but from one woman to another, I got her meaning.”  She could see that this gave comfort to him and silently prayed that they would all get the chance to see that love bear fruit. 

Tom noticed almost at the same time as Tuvok, that the air around them was starting to get warmer and they all shared knowing looks.  Chakotay knew that this was the start of it and prayed that they would be in time to help Kathryn.  Suddenly B’Elanna’s soldier friend was there, appearing hesitant and she stood up and walked to him. 

“Your Captain and him” he pointed towards Chakotay “they are perhaps…mates?”  B’Elanna played her gut instincts.  “Yes they are.  You can understand how he feels…seeing her like that.”  She saw the look of pity on the face of this alien and decided to play this out. 

“He never used to be like that...so cruel…a lot of us feel now…”  The soldier seemed aware that what he was saying could amount to treason and cast a glance towards his comrades. 

“What happened to make him like this?”  B’Elanna walked away from the others a bit, motioning for her ‘friend’ to do the same. 

“He lost all his family in the war.  He’s nothing left, only us and his desire to get us home to our own world and our families.  I think it’s all become too much for him, the constant struggle, the loneliness…” 

B’Elanna saw her opening and grabbed it with both hands.  “What’s your name friend?” she asked him. 



“Gaal.”  He kept his head bowed. 



“Well Gaal.  We understand that and our Captain understands better than anyone what that is like.  I told you about us.”  He nodded.  “Gaal, you know, all you had to do was ask at the start and we’d have given you a lift home, helped you in any way we could.  All you had to do was ask.  Despite all this you know, we’d still do that for you.  Ask my Commander, he’ll tell you.”  She indicated towards Chakotay who she knew had been able to hear.  Chakotay stood up, reading the entire situation quickly. 

“It’s true Gaal.  We would help you and your friends get home.  It’s what we are about also.  And yes, we still would.”  He let his meaning sink in. 

Gaal held up a hand and walked away from them.  They watched as he approached his fellow soldiers and they held their breaths as they watched him speak with them, occasionally indicating towards the small group.  They saw two of the soldiers leave the Cargo Bay and prayed that they weren’t going to report this to Trajor.  Their fear was unfounded when Gaal returned to them. 

“My friends feel as I do about this.  They are as sick of war and fighting as I am and as desperate to see their families.  There are only about thirty of us in our unit and two of us have gone to talk with the others.” 

Chakotay didn’t want to push but had little choice.  “Gaal, we don’t have much time.  Kath...our Captain doesn’t have much time.  You saw the way she was.  She needs medical help now.” 

“I understand, I do understand and I know if it was my mate…”  He looked towards the sound of the door opening and moved off to the other soldiers.  Once of them met him half way, said a few words and then nodded to the others behind him.  They all approached together.

“We have little reason to trust you, less now after what we’ve done but...”  Chakotay cut across him.  “We give you our word on this and where we come from, that means something.  We know you were all only following orders and we understand that but please believe us when I say we are sincere in this.  I give you my word of honour that there will be no action taken against you and your men, only that Trajor, your leader will be taken into custody.  You and your men have been kind to us and we won’t forget that.  When we reach your home, we will hand him back to you and what happens then is up to your own people.  Understand that we are trusting you as much here.  By taking you home, we open ourselves up to possible arrest and who knows what else but that is a chance we are willing to take.”  Chakotay held his breath while the soldiers talked among themselves for a moment.  Finally they turned to Chakotay again and one of them spoke. 

“I am Nardar, Gaal’s superior and second in command to Trajor.  My men agree on this but I also think we have no choice.  We know what you have done with the environmental controls and we accept that.  In your situation, we would have done the same.  I agree that your mate has little time, knowing the way Trajor is now, so working together is best.  All right Commander, we have an agreement.”

Chakotay and the others heaved a sigh of relief.  Visions of Kathryn lying dead or dying filled his mind but he pushed them aside in order to think and act clearly.  “What about your men on the bridge?  Can you contact them?” 



Nardar nodded.  “This will take a little time and we may have to fight them.  Trajor keeps those he trusts the most closest to him and they might be harder to turn.  Let me assess the situation there and you wait in hiding to hear from me.”  They had no option but to go along with this.

No one had noticed the lone soldier leave the group and head towards the bridge.  Trajor indeed had special loyalty from some of his men.  Within minutes, Trajor had been apprised of the situation and was responding. 


“Those who wish to come with me, those who are truly loyal, come forward.”  It took great courage but three of the soldiers stepped back and dived for the turbo lift.  Trajor roared after them for their treachery then looked to the four men who had stayed with him.  “All right, your loyalty will be rewarded but now we have to move.  We must get to one of their shuttles and leave here.” 

“Won’t the others try and stop us?”  The young soldier showed his fear, despite his training. 

“No, I don’t think they will, besides we can use their transporters to get to the shuttle bay and remember, we do have something else on our side.”   He sneered at this and walked towards Kathryn, still kneeling in the centre of the bridge.  He hauled her to her feet and she screamed out in pain. 



“We have a hostage, remember?”



ON TO PART TWO.



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