Unhappy Returns - Part 2

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Submitted by halfofone on Thu, 18/12/2008 - 13:09.

Star Trek Voyager


Part 2 - The Lintai

Thu, 18/12/2008 - 13:00

18 or NC17

Some nine years earlier than part 1. Voyager is approaching the first of the four wormholes whose locations were given to them by the Ev'Ha in 'Unacceptable Losses'.

TPTB are many. In a perfect world I would be one of them but it's not and I'm not. No infringement of copyright/trade marks or other intellectual property is intended. This story was written for fun and not profit.

Warning: This story includes same sex relationships between women. If you are offended by this or it is illegal where you live or you are underage then please read no further.

Full warnings, credits and disclaimers can be found in the contents page and chapter 1.



"I didn't mean it."

"Nonetheless you said it. How many times will you say things you do not mean? And how should I know if you mean it or not?" An awkward silence followed. "We are not compatible."

"But I love you..."

"It would appear that love is not enough. Please leave now."

B'Elanna tried to find the words to contradict her sometime lover. They wouldn't come. Seven was right. They were not compatible. All they had in common was a shared feeling of not-belonging, comradeship on a ship lost in a vast and unfamiliar space, and physical attraction. They agreed on nothing and fought about everything, fights which too often became bitter and hurtful. Six months of quarrelling and yet the half-Klingon captain could not quite give up.

"You're right I know...but sometimes it's okay and sometimes between us, it's wonderful..."

Pained blue eyes locked with hers. "Eighteen hours and forty-three minutes in six months is not an acceptable ratio."

"Who knew you were counting..."


"On my way," B'Elanna responded quickly. She still held Seven's gaze.

"This isn't over Seven."

Seven broke the eye contact.

"Yes it is. I will be in engineering. There are still some tasks to be completed before Voyager is fit for a wormhole traverse."

B'Elanna watched helplessly as the slim ex-drone uncoiled herself to her full six foot height and strode to the door. It slid open, Seven hesitated on the threshold.

"I will miss you," she whispered.

The door closed behind her with a dismissive hiss.

"Not compatible," repeated B'Elanna aloud, trying to convince herself. "She's right of course, she's always right. I hate that she's always right. And she's arrogant, uptight, humourless and self-righteous. An arrogant prig."

The captain of Voyager, a title she still found strange after ten months in the role, sighed miserably. Seven of Nine had not fully stated the case. B'Elanna would miss the ex-drone too, all six-feet of arrogant priggishness.

She sighed again. Today of all days, B'Elanna had to put aside any personal woes. Today Voyager would traverse the first of the four wormholes whose location had been supplied by the E'vha. Of course it was possible that the wormhole had travelled away from this part of space. The end was not fixed and the E'vha had been vague about the exact time at which the wormhole entrance would disappear. There were some incompatibilities in space/time calculations between Voyager and the information provided. She knew the time-frame was tight - possibly only one or two days before the transition. The other information they had about the wormhole was also a little mysterious: there was some implication that it was guarded or occupied. She could only hope that the guardians were friendly.

B'Elanna marched onto the bridge of her ship. Even though nine months had passed since the captain's death she still had to suppress the expectant glance towards the captain's chair where Janeway would have been slouched waiting for her report. Instead it was the young half-Klingon herself who barked "Report!"

"We've been hailed by a warship commanded by a race of people known as the Lintai," said Harry Kim who had been on duty overnight as operations officer. "They claim this area of space as theirs and they want to know what we are doing here."

Harry still bore some visible scars and marks from his brief assimilation by the Borg although his hair had grown back now. It had not proved possible to entirely remove all of the Borg additions from some of the affected crew members despite many operations. In the end the EMH had settled for making the implants safe and bypassing them unless the original organ was irreparably damaged or assimilated. Harry did look older. His physical scars were not nearly as significant as the mental ones that had resulted from Janeway's death and his own subsequent actions. The attitude of Voyager's crew towards him was neatly divided between those who felt he had crossed a line no Starfleet officer should cross and those who sympathised with his desperate anger and grief. The former much outnumbered the latter and even the sympathisers were not friends; socially, Harry was alone except for Tom Paris who had stubbornly stuck by his old friend. Tom needed to be stubborn: Harry had rejected his friendship for months; refusing to talk with Tom or sit with him at meal-times. Most of the time Harry stayed in his quarters away from the critical eyes of his crewmates, imposing an effective solitary confinement on himself. B'Elanna was aware of Harry's self-imposed exile but the young Captain had too many pressures of her own to contend with so she was grateful when it appeared that Tom's determination was paying off and Harry started to take the occasional meal in the mess-hall. Professionally, Harry was everything he should be, perhaps better than ever because he seemed more dependable, more grown-up. B'Elanna was happy to leave him effectively in charge on the bridge during the Gamma shift though some of the crew resented his command.

"Hail them," B'Elanna ordered.

The view-screen flickered for a moment and then the picture cleared to reveal a thin-as-a-stick though clearly humanoid alien glaring at them aggressively. Probably aggressively. The Voyager crew had made enough first encounters to know that you shouldn't assume anything about such encounters. "Who are you?" the alien hissed in a manner that did not dispel the first impression.

"I'm Captain B'Elanna Torres of the Starship Voyager."

"What do you want here. This is Lintai space."

"We are peaceful explorers on our way home to a distant quadrant. We have been told that there is a wormhole in this area that will take us part of the way home and shave a few years off our journey."

The alien put its head on one side and blinked its very dark eyes. It stared very hard at B'Elanna.

"We're being scanned Captain," Harry said.

A long silence ensued until suddenly the alien inclined its narrow head.

"I believe you," it said with the same sibilant intonation. "You may pass - we will guide you to the wormhole entrance though you will need to hurry: the wormhole will transition in less than two hours. Also I should warn you that the area is extremely busy with shipping at the moment because of the imminent transition."

B'Elanna managed to disguise her surprise barely. To meet a polite and un-aggressive race hardly seemed credible. She had been expecting arguments, threats and injunctions: the Delta quadrant norm.

"Thank you," she said hardly able to believe their luck. "Sorry your name is...?"

"Lord Ting. Follow us Voyager. You can complete the paperwork en-route. Is your destination Harsing or Lintai-Shar?"

"We do not know your names for the sector we are travelling to. Basically it's the other end of the wormhole."

"Harsing. You will need to apply for an exit Visa from the wormhole from the Chow-Wing before you try and leave the wormhole or the Harsing defence grid will destroy you when you enter their space..."

"What or whom is the Chow-Wing?"

"It is the border between ourselves and Harsing. It is a diplomatic station at the midpoint of the wormhole."

B'Elanna was puzzled. "Then where is Lintai-Shar? How can there be an alternative destination in a wormhole."

"Lintai-Shar is the sector where this end of the wormhole completes its transition. If you wish to travel there then I can issue you with a visa now. Of course you would not be able to return here for four years so I hope you have left your affairs in this sector in order."

"Where are we now?"


"Captain," interrupted Harry quietly. "I am detecting a vast number of ships. About 4 parsecs distant."

"How many is vast Harry?"

"Several hundred thousand! They seem to be converging on a single point."

"What?" B'Elanna yelped. "Umm Lord Ting. Our sensors have detected many thousands of ships. Is there anything wrong?"

"The time of transition is a time of migration for many Lintai. Many are travelling to see family from whom they have been parted for four years; even more are on pilgrimage to holy places in the Lintai-Shar; and some just wish for a fresh start. There is naturally much excitement and overcrowding within the wormhole as it transitions. It will be necessary for you to be extremely vigilant to avoid collisions at least until you reach Chow-Wing station. After that point it will be quiet. No Lintai will enter Harsing space."

B'Elanna filed that away under the heading of things she would think about later; several of her crew had exchanged glances too after overhearing Lord Ting's throw away comment. She did not ask for clarification; it often paid in the Delta quadrant to not know too much, the odds might seem too great. She lost her opportunity to ask anything further when Lord Ting cut communications without further formality. Though seeming friendly, the Lintai were a brusque race and not interested in niceties.

Tom Paris appeared on the bridge summoned by Harry Kim; given the extreme density of ships they were about to join, Voyager would need her best pilot. B'Elanna was pleased - one of the major reasons she had kept Harry in a senior role was his ability in taking the initiative - Susan Nicoletti might be first officer in name but Harry easily assumed command when needed. In general the crew were working well together and had adapted to the changes in leadership. She was proud of them although they had not been severely tested since their last encounter with the Borg and the Ev'ha.

Tom dropped into his seat and whistled when he saw the slew of warnings from the navigation systems.

"Wow!" he exclaimed, "and I thought the traffic around Risa was bad." He picked up the signal from the Lintai ship guiding them and proceeded to follow.

"Dammit!" he yelled and Voyager sheered sharply.

"Should we raise shields captain?" asked her security chief, Lieutenant Ayala.

"No, the Lintai might mistake it for an aggressive act and so far they seem well-disposed towards us. We'll just have to trust Tom to get us through."

A not very muffled curse came from the pilot. "Some of these guys should get a licence for those buckets. Actually some of them shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a starship - look at that idiot" he grumbled.

"Just take it steady Tom. We only have to keep up - it's not a race."

"Tell that to our guide. They're increasing speed to full impulse."

"Match course and speed Tom."

"Aye captain."

B'Elanna didn't trouble her pilot further. Tom needed all his concentration to weave between the myriads of vessels, small and large that seemed to be converging into a tighter and tighter channel.

"Wormhole dead ahead captain," warned Harry.

"On screen," she ordered, hoping the rising excitement she felt was not audible in her voice.

The wormhole was open. Surrounded by a glowing circle of high energy particles, its broad mouth gaped darkly like a whale as thousands of shiny little fish swam willingly into its jaws and the depths of its throat.

( categories: Torres/Seven )