Special thanks to everyone at JetC10. You guys are great!
Okay, don't get me wrong I loved the ep 'Distant Origin'. But after re-watching it lately I starting thinking what it would have been like if for the whole ep the Voth had been watching the Voyager crew...
Also, some of the ideas have changed. They do not believe that humans are distant relatives, they are just a species who silently observe new people that they come across.
Please send opinions, ideas, grumbles.
Disclaimer - all characters the property of Paramount, including the ship. I am most certainly not getting money for this.
DISTANT ORIGIN - TAKE TWO
Gegen tapped at the cloaking device on his arm. "Interface is stable." he told his protogee.
Vir watched as a crewman walked past, completely oblivious. "Curious. I didn't expect the smell."
Gegen sniffed the air at his words. "Well..they are mammals after all." He turned and noticed something interesting. "Ah, over here." They walked to a computer interface on the wall of the corridor. Gegen pressed some buttons on his scanner. "Ah, this appears to be a computer access terminal. Simple binary system. I've downloaded their database."
The turbolift doors next to them swished open and Paris and Torres stepped out in the middle of an animated conversation.
"I'll bet you it's an anodine relay." Paris stated.
"No way, it's a plasma conduit." Torres replied.
"Relay," Paris insisted "I'm telling you. I checked the conduit network."
B'Elanna stopped walking and turned to face him. "My point exactly. You're not an engineer." She continued walking, leaving him behind.
Running after her, he shouted "I'll bet you."
Gegen turned to Vir. "Male and female interacting. Let's watch." Vir nodded in agreement and they chased after them.
In engineering, Tom Paris pressed some buttons on the console and smirked as the information came up.
"Well?" he asked saucily.
"Well?" Torres replied sarcastically. "Go ahead and gloat."
"The anodine relays. Who would have guessed..?"
"Just a shot in the dark."
"And it hit the bullseye." Paris turned to face her and she folded her arms across her chest. He continued. "Tonight you pay up. Holodeck two. Klingon martial arts programme. No getting out of it this time..."
Vir started talking. "Courting behaviour?"
"Exactly." Gegen replied. "Note how the female, through her feigned antagonism encourages the male in his attempt to mate."
"But there's no sign of vasodialation in the skin."
"Obviously they never evolved that ability. Which would explain their reliance on crude verbal interplay."
They brought their attention back to the couple.
Paris was just about to leave. "I'll see you tonight. BYOB."
"What?" she asked, exasperated.
"Bring Your Own Bat'Leth." And with a cocky smile he left.
B'Elanna turned back to her console and mumbled "Bat'Leth.." in a sarcastic imitation.
The two Voth observed as Captain Janeway entered the bridge from her ready room and headed towards her First Officer.
"We've completed long-range scans. If we maintain our present course we'll enter an area heavy in Tetryon radiation within two days."
"What's the alternative?"
"A three month detour." Chakotay replied.
Janeway nodded, then spoke to various members of the crew. "Tuvok, enhance the shields. Lieutenant hold our course. Harry, continue your long-range scans." She took her seat to the right of Chakotay.
"Yes Ma'am." the young ensign replied.
Kathryn turned to her First Officer. "Let's access everything known about Tetryon radiation. I want to take every precaution necessary..."
Vir and Gegen moved forward slightly.
"Well Vir, what can you observe about their social structure?"
"It's obviously hierarchical, with clear differences in status and rank. The males appear to be subordinate to _that_ female." he said, pointing at Janeway.
"My conclusion exactly." Gegen informed his student, glad that the young Voth had learned so much. Perhaps he _would_ make a favourable suitor for his daughter.
Janeway continued talking to her First Officer.
"Very well Commander, make sure all precautions are taken."
She tapped her arm lightly on his. "I'll be in my ready room. You have the bridge."
He nodded and she got up and entered the ready room.
Gegen and Vir watched the First Officer as he went about his duties. Every now and then he would glance at the door to her room.
"Hmmm..." said Gegen. "I think we have evidence here of a non-reciprocated romantic relationship."
She knew who it was. "Come in Commander." she told him, then realised that probably everyone on the bridge had heard her.
Fighting down the feeling to berate herself she smiled at him as he entered.
He looked at her, puzzled. "How did you know it what me?"
"I'm the Captain. I know everything."
Chakotay smiled. She reminded him of Matia, who he had known when he was a child. She had been like a mother to him and always said that 'mother's know everything'. Kathryn was like the mother of this ship, so perhaps Matia had been right. Of course the big question was, if Kathyrn was the mother, who was the father...?
Diverting himself from that train of thought, he handed her the PADD he held.
"I have that data you wanted." He could have just told her over his commbadge. Her raised eyebrows told him she knew he could have done that as well. Obviously he had some kind of motive for coming in here. Although that was no real surprise these days.
"Is there something else Chakotay?" she asked, knowing full well that there was.
"Well.." he began.
"He looks nervous." Vir told Gegen.
Gegen nodded. "Yes, like he wants to ask her something but is unsure of the response."
"It really is fascinating the way this species start their mating process. It seems much more complicated than our own."
"Perhaps it is because they have not yet developed the same traits that we have." he raised his scanner at them and pressed the buttons to get a bio-reading. "However, many of their physical reactions are similar to ours. They have skin-tinting, although to a lesser degree, and both of their heart rates have risen. It also appears that they are sweating more, the way that we used to."
While they had been talking, Chakotay had gathered the courage to ask her to come to the holodeck with him that evening.
"Any particular programme you have in mind?" she queried.
"It's a surprise."
She studied him for a full thirty seconds, mulling over the choices that were fighting it out for dominance in her mind. Finally she made her decision.
"Okay Chakotay. What time?"
As he informed her, Gegen started talking to Vir.
"Interesting. Even though it is clearly against her better judgement, she is going with him anyway."
"I suggest we join them tonight." Vir told him.
The Doctor pressed the hypospray onto the artery at the top of the baby's arm.
He turned his attention back to the mother, who was carefully watching over everything he was doing. The Doctor sighed. It was a perfectly natural maternal instinct, however, it was also extremely annoying.
"There you go Ensign Wildeman. She should feel better almost immediately."
Sam Wildeman looked up from her baby and cast her worried gaze on the doctor.
"So it's nothing serious at all Doctor?"
"Well..if a less experienced doctor had looked at the baby, I daresay that they would not hav-.."
"Of course not, Samantha." Kes' quiet voice cut in, assuring the Ensign and annoying the Doctor. "It was just a slight swelling in the lymph nodes that is easily treated." She indicated the monitor. "See? The swelling's gone down already."
Samantha smiled. "Thank you Kes. Is it alright to take her back to our quarters?"
The Doctor looked surprised. "Well of course."
She picked up the baby, still wrapped up in the blanket the Captain had made for her, and left sickbay feeling much better.
"Their maternal instincts are also similar to ours." Gegen noted.
He pointed his scanner at the Doctor, and frowned.
"What is it?" Vir asked.
"I am not getting any reading from this being. It is as if he is not there."
He waved the scanner around the room. "However, I am reading holoprojecters in several locations around this room. They appear to be culminating in that location." he said, indicating the Doctor.
He brought up the information that he had downloaded from the ship's database and accessed what he could about holographic systems.
"Hmm...they have several holodecks, which appear to be somewhat similar to our own holobooths...ah...he is a doctor!"
"A doctor?" Vir asked, confused. "How could a hologram be a doctor?"
Gegen continued to study the information as it appeared. "According to the records their Chief Medical Officer was killed on the vessel's maiden voyage. This 'Doctor' is the Emergency Medical Hologram. He was meant for only a temporary replacement but they had to make him a permanent replacement as they had no other medical staff."
"What about the other one?" Vir asked, indicating Kes.
Gegen moved his scanner to the female. "Hmm...we have encountered this species before. They are native to this quadrant. She is an Oocampa."
"I'm not surprised you have not heard of them. We have only seen them once before."
Kes picked up a hypospray vial and paused with her arm in mid-air. Suddenly she turned around and stared exactly where Gegen and Vir where standing.
Vir was worried. "Can she see us?"
"Highly unlikely." was Gegen's reply.
The Doctor noticed Kes' distress.
"Kes? What is it."
"I...there's someone else here. I can feel that someone else is here."
The Doctor looked dubious. "Computer," he asked "who is in sickbay?"
"The Emergency Holographic Doctor and Kes." the feminine voice replied, unaware that almost every ship in the Federation had the same computer voice.
"I don't care what the computer says, it's wrong." Kes insisted.
She moved forward slowly, still staring directly at Gegen and Vir.
She lifted her right hand up and moved it slowly in front of her. Gegen and Vir stood where they were, afraid to move.
As her hand touched the edge of their cloaking device, she could _feel_ them. Their curiosity, their friendliness, their intelligence.
And then she passed out.
Kathryn arrived in sickbay several minutes after receiving the Doctor's urgent message to join him. As she entered she could see that Kes was lying on a medical bed.
"Doctor, what happened?"
He didn't even look up as he replied, but kept running his medical tricorder over her still form. "I am not sure. Kes stated that she could feel that someone else was in the room with us. I asked the computer, but it confirmed that Kes and I were the only ones here. She then walked forward to the middle of the room, arm outstretched, as if reaching out to someone. Then she collapsed."
"And you've know idea what happened to her?" she asked, worried.
Finally the Doctor looked up at her and frowned. After all, was he not an EMH?
The odds were highly unlikely that he would be wrong.
Kathryn almost felt ashamed. "Sorry."
He sighed loudly as if dealing with someone who was incredibly stupid.
"It's alright Captain. I'm used to it now."
Clearly he wasn't.
"Keep me updated as to her condition Doctor."
He nodded, once again intent on his patient.
Kathryn left, unaware that two unexpected guests exited the room just after she did.
"There you go Mr Vulcan! I certainly hope you enjoy it."
The Vulcan frowned ever-so-slightly at the Talaxian. Even just showing that small amount of emotion proved how much Neelix was irritating him.
"Mr Neelix, as I have already informed you I have no interest in tasting your latest attempt at Plomeek soup."
If the truth were to be told, Tuvok would have to concede that Neelix was getting slightly better at making the soup. He had first convinced Tuvok to try his version of Plomeek soup over two years ago. He had never forgotten the experience.
Every month since then he had presented Tuvok with a slightly different version of the soup. After eating 23 different attempts, he had no desire to try a new one.
Gegen observed him with obvious interest.
"He is quite obviously annoyed with that other being, but does not show it directly. He seems very dispassionate." Gegen entered a description of Tuvok into his scanner and soon came up with a match.
"He is a Vulcan."
"Which one?" Vir asked his mentor.
"The one with the pointed ears. Apparently their race are able to suppress their emotions."
Vir frowned in disapproval. "Doesn't sound very healthy."
Gegen tutted at him. "Perhaps not for us, but the Vulcans have lived like this for centuries. Obviously it must be appropriate for them. If not they would have died out or changed a long time ago."
They watched as Neelix kept goading Tuvok, trying to get him to try the soup.
"Interesting. Even though the Vulcan is clearly not interested, this..." he checked the records. "...Talaxian is very persistent. I wonder if he is a typical example of his species."
Vir examined them thoughtfully. "I can imagine a Talaxian getting whatever they wanted eventually. This level of persistence can be very annoying."
Neelix eventually gave up, Tuvok's control not slipping one bit this time. Finally he took a seat opposite from him.
"So...have you heard about the Captain and Commander?"
Tuvok raised an eyebrow. "What about the Captain and Commander?"
"They're having a date tonight."
"A 'date'?" The Vulcan said the word with slight distaste. "How did you find out?"
Neelix grinned at him even more than usual. "That would be telling Mr Vulcan. I can't let you know who they are - they'd never entrust me with such crucial information again."
"I hardly think that Captain Janeway's and Commander Chakotay's personal lives are deemed crucial."
Neelix gave him a disgusted look. "So you say. Personally, I think a relationship between them would be great for morale. And I know that almost everyone agrees with me."
"Well there's always going to be someone against every idea, whether it's if we use warp or impulse, if we have leola root or tomatoes, or if someone should have a relationship or not."
"I suppose you are correct." Tuvok agreed.
"Of course I am." Neelix hopped up from his seat and headed towards the kitchen. He had some meat cooking that he didn't want to burn.
Vir looked at Gegen.
"I nearly forgot! What time is it?"
"They should be reaching the holodeck in approximately four of their minutes."
"Then let's go!"
In fact, Chakotay was already there trying to make sure that everything was ready. He'd programmed most of it himself, but had to get a little help from Tom along the way. He'd refused to tell Tom what it was for, but he had guessed anyway.
Finally, everything was ready. Now that he had nothing to do he could feel the nervousness building inside him. This was silly - why was he getting so worked up about this? They'd certainly gone to a holodeck program before. And even though he didn't admit it to himself, he knew why. He'd never been in a deliberately romantic situation with her.
When they reached the holodeck, Kathryn was standing outside the doors, frowning heavily. She couldn't decide what to do. When Chakotay had invited her he had seemed much more nervous than usual, so she knew this wasn't just a normal visit.
Neither of the silent observers said anything. It was obvious what she was thinking by the expressions passing over her face.
Suddenly she spoke. "Computer, locate Commander Chakotay."
"Commander Chakotay is in Holodeck 2."
Well that confirmed it. He was there, and he was waiting for her.
She stepped forward and the doors parted for her as she entered. Gegen and Vir were not far behind.
They watched as she moved around the holodeck, confused as there was no program running. Then they heard the man's voice as he said "Computer, run program Chakotay beta 2."
Suddenly they were surrounded by a beautiful landscape. They were on a beach, the sun shining brightly above them, the sea crashing into the sand.
Kathryn seemed to recognise it immediately. She turned around to see Chakotay looking at her. They smiled at each other.
Chakotay moved forward until he was almost touching her. "You look so beautiful."
The female seemed to appreciate this, but was also clearly nervous. A typical reaction, even in the Voth species.
She turned away from him, looking at the sea as an excuse to hide her feelings.
"What are we doing here?" she asked quietly.
He moved forward again, until her back was almost resting on his chest.
"Remember when I introduced you to your spirit guide?"
She nodded slightly.
"I told you not to tell me where you were. It would offend your spirit guide."
She nodded again, more slowly.
"That wasn't exactly true. There are certain circumstances where it would be acceptable."
"Such as?" she asked, though she knew where he was going.
He sighed slightly, trying to build up the courage to tell her. "I asked you here because I wanted to explain this to you." He stepped forward and engulfed her in a hug.
She gasped, the experience more pleasurable than she wanted to admit.
Gegen turned to Vir. "Maybe we should leave."
"Yes, this is too private."
They activated their communication devices and transported to their ship.
His hands rested on her stomach, his face buried into the side of her neck. He moved his mouth next to ear and whispered "I love you."
Kes woke up shortly after B'Elanna and Harry had finished their scans of sickbay. She knew instantly that their visitors were gone.
The computer alerted the Doctor to the fact that she was awake.
He hurried over to her bed. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine, thank you. It was just...a bit much for me to handle."
"Do you know what happened?"
She frowned, trying to remember everything. "I think so..but it would be best if we waited for the Captain."
"Doctor to Janeway."
Her eyes shot open, and she could feel his arms tighten around her in reflex. Since his admission they had both stayed where they were, neither saying a word. It was a glorious feeling. She hadn't wanted it to end. But duty called, after all.
"Go ahead." His hands started to move on her stomach.
"Captain, can you please report to sickbay? Kes has woken and wishes to speak to you."
"I'll be right there." Her voice cracked, as Chakotay's hands continued their exploration up the side of her body. "Janeway out." She quickly turned around, surprising him. "You know, you were hardly playing fair."
He assumed a face of innocence. "Me? It's hardly my fault we were interrupted."
She smiled. "Well if you had let me know what you were planning I could have planned for some privacy."
He smiled, but then it faltered slightly. "To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would have the courage to actually tell you." He looked ashamed.
She raised a hand to his face and lifted it up. Looking him directly in the eye, she told him "I'm glad you did." The relief on his face was joyous. She practically giggled, then picked up his hand with her free one and gently kissed it in the centre of the palm.
Reluctantly she told him "Come on. We'd better go."
He nodded, but was just as reluctant to leave as she was.
They meandered to sickbay, neither one of them wanting to be in the presence of anyone else at that moment. They touched each other whenever they could. He loved her hair, and she couldn't stop herself from rubbing her fingers over his tattoo. Stolen moments. That's all they had for now.
Finally they reached sickbay and turned to each other one more time before entering. This wasn't the last time they'd be together, but somehow it felt like it. They briefly held hands, then let each other go as the doors slid open and entered.
She walked over to Kes, trying to put the man standing behind her out of her mind.
"Kes, how are you feeling?" How was she not going to touch him on the bridge?
"Much better thank you. But I need to tell you about them."
"The people who were here. They were friendly. I know without doubt that they didn't want to cause us harm. They were..investigating us."
"Investigating? Are they here now?"
"No, I'm sure that they're gone now."
Chakotay had just noticed that B'Elanna was also in the room. His attention had been focused on the woman he loved. B'Elanna seemed to be studying him intently as if realising something.
When she realised the topic of conversation she stepped forward and interrupted.
"After the Doctor's report about Kes, Harry and I ran some deep level scans of sickbay. We found a very slight spacial distortion. As if someone had been cloaked."
"Why didn't we detect it before?"
"It was so small that our normal sensors didn't pick it up. It must have been incredibly advanced technology."
Chakotay looked at Kathryn again. How was he not going to touch her on the bridge?
B'Elanna continued. "We were also able to track where they have gone throughout the day. They first appeared on deck 14, but then they went to engineering, the bridge, your ready room, sickbay, the mess hall and then holodeck 2."
Kathryn, eyes wide suddenly looked over to Chakotay. He looked as horrified as she did. She turned her attention back to B'Elanna, who looked like she was trying not to smile. "How long ago were they in Holodeck 2?"
"About ten minutes, but they left. Sensors show that they transported themselves to something about 1000 kilometres away, probably as ship. There's no sign of a ship anywhere, so it looks as if they're gone now. However, now that we know what we're looking for we can keep an eye out for them."
Kathryn was horrified. Had they witnessed everything in the Holodeck? That was so...violating. Their intentions may have been purely scientific, but they had no right to invade her personal life like that. From the look on Chakotay's face he felt the same way.
Gegen finished entering the information into his computer. He turned to Vir and then saw that Vir was already looking at him.
"You know..I'm glad we left when we did." Vir said.
"I know," Gegen agreed. "That was something that we didn't have a right to observe. Maybe we don't have a right to observe anyone.."
He entered her room and watched as she came out of the bathroom, rubbing her wet hair in a towel. He smiled. "Why don't you use the dryer?"
She flicked her hair back, spraying him with moisture. He didn't mind.
"I prefer to let my hair dry naturally. It always looks better when I do."
He moved forward and brushed a lock of her hair from her forehead. "Then by all means let it dry naturally. You have wonderful hair."
"Yours is pretty nice as well you know." She said teasingly.
He laughed. "Mine? It's not that long."
"I know, but it has that nice ruffled puppy look."
"I look like a ruffled puppy??"
"In the best way of course." She said laughing, and ran a hand through his hair.
"I refuse to do a dog impression."
She fell onto the sofa, pulling him down with her. "You know, we're going to have to sort this out. We can't act like this in private and not when we're on duty. Obviously we're going to have _some_ restraint when on duty, but we can't act completely oblivious."
"So should we tell the crew?"
"It would probably be for the best. Anyway, nothing has really happened...._yet_."
He grew silent as he contemplated her statement.
"I hope it does."
"So do I."
He leant back against the arm of the sofa, and she laid in his arms. She loved the feeling of being held by him.
"You do know I love you?" she asked, although it was more of statement.
She smiled, feeling wonderful about her life as she studied the stars passing by the window.
"So you love me and would do anything for me."
"Of course." He replied, trying to understand what she was getting at.
"Well then Chakotay....won't you please do a dog impression?"
The Federation Starship Voyager moved silently through the Delta Quadrant, trying to find its way home. And if you had the ability to hear through a vacuum, you would have heard delighted laughter coming from the Captain's quarters.