Buried Treasure

By Jade East (jadetrekeast@yahoo.com)
© February 2007
Rating: K
Series: Star Trek: Voyager

In the beginning of the episode Unforgettable, Chakotay didn't believe the stories Kellin told him. What if he was correct in not trusting her?

I don't own Star Trek: Voyager or the characters. I just wanted to fix the mess the original writers made.

Spoilers: For Unforgettable — I've decided to put this in since Sci-Fi channel is replaying Voyager.

Something wasn't right. Commander Chakotay thought to himself as he strode through the corridors, trying to figure out what it was that didn't sit well with him. He'd spent most of the day with an alien female who called herself Kellin. Voyager's's crew rescued her when her ship was badly damaged in a firefight with another. Both vessels were cloaked.

The Ramuran woman had asked Captain Janeway for asylum. Kellin seemed to know a great deal about Voyager and the crew, especially Chakotay. In sickbay, she told him that she came back because she'd fallen in love with him that last time she was on board.

Kellin told him that she was a tracer — a kind of bounty hunter — who found members of her race who tried to escape and took them back to their planet.

Chakotay had briefed the senior staff with the information. The meeting had been pretty normal until the rest left the room.

Captain Janeway approached Chakotay. "I agree we should take precautions but you seem very suspicious of her." "I just want to make sure we're not being manipulated." He walked to the portal. "She's told me things I find preposterous." Dull ache throbbed in his temple. That's what I get for skipping my morning coffee.

"I agree. If we grant her asylum, we'll be in the position of having to protect her. If we commit to that we should certainly find out if she's telling the truth. I'd appreciate your thoughts on that." She rubbed the back of her neck.

Chakotay thought he could remember a time when he given her a shoulder massage, but when he tried to grasp the details, the memory slipped away and his head hurt more.

Kathryn tilted her head as she looked at him. A soft smile flitted across her face before she turned away. "You're dismissed."

"Aye, Captain."

Later, over a meal, Kellin once more tried to convince him that the two of them had met before and that he had loved her, too. While they were still in the mess hall, they'd been attacked by two heavily armed vessels. With her help, they disabled weapons on the other ships. The Ramurans left, but not before Voyager sustained damage to the propulsion system.

Kellin seemed worried that her people would be back again to try to capture her, so she offered to help make permanent modifications that would make sure Voyager's sensors could detect the tracers the next time they came. Since the work on the Astrometric equipment needed command code authorization, Chakotay volunteered to help.

Janeway agreed, but there was something in the look Kathryn gave him that made him uneasy. It couldn't be jealousy he insisted to himself as he'd followed Kellin off the bridge. Protocol had always prevented them from pursuing any relationship other than friendship, hadn't they? As he pondered this, his head began to ache.

During the time, they worked together to make the changes, Kellin flirted and told him bits about the time they spent with one another before. She promised to tell him about their last night together. However, no matter how warm and inviting her voice was, he felt not a tug of desire but a vague sense of dread and a dull ache in his temples.

Chakotay tugged on his ear as he made his way to the bridge. This Kellin was a beautiful woman — there was no doubt about that. However, the more he thought about the possibility, the more difficult it became to believe her, especially after hearing her story about her xenophobic race of people.

On the other hand, the more Chakotay tried to understand the reason he didn't trust her, the more his head began to throb. He shook his head as if he could dislodge the pain. Maybe he should see the Doctor. Later, he thought, because now I have to see to the captain. I need to be with her. Like lightning, in a quick bolt of a recall, he was sitting on his sofa with his arm around Kathryn's shoulder. I must be remembering a dream. It was the only explanation.

A sharp, stabbing pain in his head knocked him into the bulkhead. Chakotay pushed against the metal with one hand, trying to stand upright as he pressed the fingers of the other to his temple.

A crewman grabbed the commander's arm to steady him. "Are you all right, Commander?"

Grinding his teeth, Chakotay forced out, "I need to see the Doctor. Help me get there."

The young man helped Chakotay lean on his shoulders as they headed to the sickbay.

"Commander, what's wrong?" the Doctor asked as soon as the door slid open. He helped the crewman get Chakotay on to one of the bio-beds.

"I have a Borg cube of a headache," Chakotay tried to jest, but the grimace ruined the effect. He lay back against bed and sighed as the pain eased a little.

As the Doctor used his medical tricorder to scan Chakotay, he remembered that he'd been headed to the bridge when the pain hit. He lifted his hand and tapped his commbadge. "Chakotay to Captain Janeway."

"Janeway here."

"I'm going to be late for our briefing." Chakotay tried to make his voice sound normal, but the pain was increasing again.

"Is there a problem, Commander?" Her voice held concern.

"Excuse me, Captain, but I'm trying to exam the commander," the Doctor interrupted. "I will keep you informed."

"See that you do. Janeway out."

The Doctor grunted and hummed as he finished his examination. Finally, he set his tricorder aside and picked up a hypo-spray. "This should help relieve the pain," he told Chakotay as he pressed the instrument against the commander's neck.

Almost immediately, the throbbing began to ease. Chakotay closed his eyes as the relief washed over him.

Chakotay opened his eyes again. "Do you have any idea what caused the headache?"

"Not yet," the Doctor answered. "Since I can't find anything specific that would cause the pain, I'll analyze the scans I took and get back to you as soon as I know."

"Thank you, Doctor," Chakotay said gratefully. "I'll be on the bridge."

Chakotay took a deep breath as he exited the turbo-lift. He walked to his chair and sat down. The sights and sounds of the everyday activities on the bridge soothed him. He decided to wait a few minutes before heading for the ready room.

Suddenly he felt a kick of pain in his temples. Chakotay shook his head to try to clear it. The ache lessened after a few minutes.

He needed to let Captain Janeway know what else he learned from Kellin. The pain pushed at the base of his neck as Chakotay made his way to the ready room. He all but stumbled in when the captain called out for him to enter.

"What's wrong, Chakotay?" Janeway moved from behind her desk and helped him sit down. "Weren't you just in sickbay? The Doctor just told me that he was going to need time to go over the results of the scans, but that he gave you something for the pain."

Chakotay sat with his eyes closed for a few seconds before he answered, "He did and it worked for a while." He rubbed the back of his neck. The pressure in his head eased as he thought about what to tell the captain about Kellin and the work they accomplished.

When he opened his eyes again, Chakotay saw the concern in the captain's eyes. "I'm feeling better now." He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "We made the modifications to the Astrometric processors. They should do the trick if we have more Ramuran visitors."

"Good, but what about her in particular? Are you still hesitant to trust her?"

"As I told you in the staff meeting, Kellin claims to have been on Voyager before, and she knows a great deal about us, but that isn't the most outlandish thing she's said."

"There's more?" Kathryn asked incredulously.

"Yes," Chakotay pulled a face as he responded. "She told me that she and I were involved."


"That we were 'in love'." He shrugged dismissively.

Kathryn stood and began to pace. She moved her right hand to her temple and began to rub it. "It just doesn't add up, Chakotay. Do you believe her? What does she want from us?"

Chakotay joined her in the middle of the room, stopping her movement by touching her arm. "I have no memory of her at all. Log entries from her ship show that she was along side Voyager for weeks. However, those could've been falsified, or she could've observed us undetected, which would explain her knowledge of Voyager."

Frowning, Janeway lifted her other hand to rub the opposite side of her face. "I wonder if headaches are contagious."

"You have one too?" Chakotay's voice was full of concern. "Maybe you should go to sickbay. Let the Doctor have a look." As he spoke, his own throbbing worsened again.

Suddenly Kathryn stared ahead without focusing. For several seconds, she didn't move or speak.

"What is it, Kathryn?" Chakotay concern turned to worry.

"I just had an odd flash of something like memory, but I know it isn't a real one." Kathryn closed her eyes and shook her head.

He reached out to touch her arm when a vision of Kathryn wrapped in his arms made him gasp, first with longing and then in pain. Chakotay grimaced as he asked her, "What kind of memory?"

Kathryn shook her head again. "It's nothing, nonsense really. Actually impossible." She continued to rub her temple.

"You look pale." Chakotay said softly. "You should see the Doctor."

"I'll be fine, Chakotay." She moved away from him and sat behind her desk. "Get back to Kellin, but keep your eyes and ears open. And see if there is more she can do to help us defend against a Ramuran attack. They don't seem too interested in communicating with outsiders."

"Aye, Captain," he replied without further comment even though he was worried about Kathryn. At least as he turned away, the pain in his head had begun to subside again. "I'll see what I can find out."

Although he was reluctant to leave the captain in such obvious distress, Chakotay knew how to follow orders. Walking through the ready room door, he glanced back over his shoulder. He saw that she was busy reading a PADD. Her face was no longer registering any discomfort. Reassurance that she was okay fortified him for his next duty.

As he rode the turbo-lift to the crew quarters' level assigned to Kellin, Chakotay tried to understand what had just happened. The answer seemed as elusive as an old tune whose lyrics teased and evaded the conscious mind. No matter how hard he tried to remember, the answer wouldn't come to him. He sighed, deciding to let his psyche work on the problem and reveal the solution in due time.

"Enter," Kellin called from inside.

As the door slid back, she jumped up from the sofa and ran to him, a bright smile welcoming him. She all but wrapped her arms around him. With both hands on his chest, she leaned against him.

A flash of memory exploded in his mind. Kathryn's head tucked under his chin, her cheek warm against his chest, and her arms wrapped tightly around his waist. Then nothing but pain filled his head. Chakotay stumbled away from her and slumped into a chair.

Kellin hurriedly offered him a glass of water. "Chakotay, are you all right?"

He took the glass and drained it. Chakotay took deep breaths and with each one the throbbing lessened. "Thank you. I think I'll be okay now."

Taking the empty goblet from him, Kellin disposed of it. "Do you think you should go to see the Doctor?"

Chakotay looked up but she didn't meet his gaze. "Not right now. I'll be fine."

"Did you come to hear about our last night together?" She smiled flirtatiously.

He ignored her coyness. "Captain Janeway would like you to help us to do more to defend ourselves against the tracers."

Kellin set down opposite Chakotay, crossing her legs. Through half-closed lids, she surveyed him. "We won't have to worry about them for at least a day or so. Tuvok took out their weapons, and those repairs will take that long. Besides what we did today will give us the advantage."

"Are you sure?" Chakotay asked, not trusting the look of satisfaction on her face.

"Chakotay, my love, why don't you believe me?" She put both feet back on the floor and leaned forward. "I don't think you're even trying. Just let me tell you the story of our last night together."

Since Kellin seemed so determined, Chakotay merely nodded, hoping to she would be quick about it, so he could leave.

"Excellent!" She beamed as she began her account. "We came back here to celebrate finding my runaway. You were instrumental in his capture."

"Me? What did I do?" Chakotay was skeptical.

"You came up with the idea of using a magneton sweep, to disrupt his polarisation cloak. It worked very handily. After we found Resket, I used the neurolytic emitter on him, and he was more than ready to go home."

"Neurolytic emitter?"

"We use it on runaways. It wipes their memories of the outside world," Kellin told him proudly.

"What other kinds of devices do you have like that?" The feeling of nameless unease he felt before was back, even stronger.

She ignored his question and continued, "We came back here to celebrate. We had something to drink, something with bubbles." Kellin reached over to pick up a tall thin vase and gestured as if to toast with it.

"Champagne?" he filled in.

"Yes!" She smiled happily before she continued her tale. "You'd become much more than a friend to me. But I knew I had to go home and you'd forget about me within hours. So I took the initiative."

Chakotay tensed as Kellin stood up and closed the space between them, while keeping up her running narrative. "I moved closer to you. I thanked you profusely for all your help, told you that I couldn't have done it without you. Then I touched you." Sitting on the arm of his chair, she caressed his cheek. "And I told you I cared very much for you, and I wanted something to remember you by, and then I did this." She pressed her lips to his.

She's lying! He was certain, though not sure why. I feel nothing except guilt when I'm with Kellin. But, why guilt? Another pinpoint of memory filled his mind for a brief moment. He was kissing Kathryn and he was at peace.

Chakotay pushed Kellin away and stood, putting space between them. His head began to ache once more, but he ignored it. She lunged at him, grabbing at his arm. Avoiding her grasp, he said, "Goodnight Kellin."

Without another word, he left Kellin's quarters and hit his commbadge as he hurried along the corridor. "Chakotay to Janeway."

"Janeway here."

"I need to see you right away." Chakotay gasped as the full force of original headache hit him once more.

"What happened, Chakotay?"

"My head," he ground out "It started to hurt again after I listened to Kellin's latest story."

"Go to sickbay, Chakotay, I'll meet you there."

"Yes Captain, Chakotay out."

The pain became so intense that as he made his way to sickbay, Chakotay nearly ordered a medical transport. However, he finally staggered through the door and over to a bio-bed.

"Commander, I was just going to contact you." The Doctor was going to say more when Captain Janeway entered the room.

She hurried to where Chakotay stood leaning against the bed. Kathryn helped him to lie back on it. Suddenly, her face turned pale and she grabbed her head.

The Doctor caught her before she hit the floor. He settled her on the bed next to Chakotay and gave them both hypo-sprays to dull the pain.

"What's going on, Doctor," Kathryn demanded breathlessly.

"Give me a few moments to run a diagnostic on you, Captain. I need to confirm that you are suffering from the same problem as the commander."

He ran the tricorder over her head and Chakotay's again, before he turned to the monitor and pushed buttons. Changing the position of the screen so that they could see it, the Doctor began to explain,"I studied all of the data I complied from examining the commander earlier. Captain, you do have similar symptoms."

Pausing for effect, the Doctor pointed to the screen. "These are just a portion of the scans I performed on both of you. Each of your memory engrams is different just as they should be until this section here." He indicated a segment.

"It looks like they are missing something," Janeway observed.

"That's precisely what I thought at first. I figured it might be evidence of the memory loss this Kellin person told us about until I magnified it. For want of a better term, this is a cloaked memory engram. From what I can tell there are many bits of your memories that have been cloaked."

"Are you saying that the memories are still there, just hidden?" Chakotay leaned up on an elbow to get a better look.

"Yes, that's what I'm saying." The Doctor nodded his head. "From what I can tell, the headaches result from the actual memories trying to resurface."

"That would explain what has been happening to me," Chakotay said. "Vivid scenes keep coming to me, but they don't seem like they could be correct given what I think is true."

Kathryn gasped, "I've had several of those, myself."

"It would seem my theory is on track." The Doctor puffed out his chest.

"How does the cloaking device work?" Kathryn asked impatiently.

"Using reprogrammed nanoprobes. I don't know how it was done, but I found hundreds of tiny nanoprobe cloaking machines."

"I can answer that." The deep voice startled them as someone materialized next to the Doctor. He held his hands in front of him to show that they were empty. "I promise I mean you no harm."

"Who are you?" Chakotay had moved to stand between the man and Kathryn.

"My name is Curneth. I've been sent to retrieve Kellin. She's a rogue tracer and wanted on Ramura for the murder of the tracer sent to retrieve her, destruction of Ramuran property, and criminal memory manipulation." He shook his head at the incredulous looks on the others' faces. "I know that you must think poorly of all Ramurans by now, but I'll explain a little about our edicts.

"Although we are an extremely private people, we have strict rules to govern our rare dealings with outsiders. The pheromones that make it impossible for memories of us to stay in the minds of other races do only just that. Other than the computer virus we leave that deletes any reference to our being on alien ship, we are forbidden to change any other recollections.

"Kellin spent weeks observing you before she allowed herself be discovered. Something she saw on Voyager gave her the idea to make the memory cloaking devices. Using Resket as an experiment, she perfected the technology. She cloaked his memories of his family. We discovered this after she left Ramura on another tracer assignment."

Curneth paused as he rubbed his face and frowned. "It is so egregious an offense that I'm having trouble believing one of our well-trained tracers would do such a thing."

"Why did she do it? What did she have to gain?" Kathryn asked pointedly.

"We'll have to ask her for sure, though I have a pretty good idea," Curneth said.

"Tell us why she did it." Chakotay reached out for Kathryn's hand and squeezed it. The proverbial lyrics were becoming clearer to him.

"I would prefer to take her into custody first, if you don't mind." The Ramuran sighed. "I don't want her to escape."

"Of course," Kathryn agreed.

She raised her voice a notch. "Computer, locate Kellin."

"Kellin is in her assigned quarters."

"Computer, beam Kellin to a brig holding cell and erect the force field."


"Janeway to brig security, a new prisoner should have just beamed there. Watch her until we arrive. Ask Commander Tuvok to join us there," she ordered.

"Yes, Captain."

The captain was the first to enter the brig. A visibly upset Kellin paced her cell.

"Captain, what is the meaning of this?" she yelled.

"Hello, Kellin." Curneth came into her view. "I think you have some idea already."

Kellin made a sound in the back of her throat that could only be called a frustrated growl. When she saw Chakotay, she brightened. "Oh darling, I'm so glad to see you. Please make them let me go. Your captain said I would receive asylum."

"The captain only promised to look into it, and that was based on you telling us the truth."

Tuvok arrived and stood to the side, observing.

Kathryn turned to Curneth. "I'd like to ask your prisoner some questions before you take her back to Ramura."

He nodded. "Of course, although I can tell you what you need to know. You already have the means to reverse what she has done." Curneth waved his hand toward the holding cell. "Ask her whatever you'd like."

Kellin glared at her fellow Ramuran. Dropping onto the bunk behind her and crossing her arms, she refused to look at Chakotay or Kathryn.

"Why did you try to convince us that you wanted to leave Ramura and join us? And why try to get Chakotay to believe you two were in love?" It was the first thing Kathryn thought to ask.

Everyone was surprised when Kellin snorted out a laugh. "You would ask about that. The two of you were so cozy, so involved that he —" she stopped and pointed at Chakotay and continued, "he didn't even notice me. It didn't matter what I did. I even broke into his quarters and crawled into his bed."

She raked her hands through her hair. Her eyes narrowed as she snarled, "He was so upset when he woke up that he nearly called security on me. He told me to take my runaway and go back to Ramura."

Chakotay moved until he stood in his usual position behind Kathryn. His head was throbbing, but he put his hand on her shoulder. It felt so natural.

Kellin leaped to her feet as she saw Chakotay touch Kathryn. The scowl on her face made his flesh crawl. "I decided to use what I found out about you to my advantage. I didn't want to erase your memories, so I cloaked them. The nanoprobes I found in sick bay and Ramuran polarization cloak technology were easy to combine. I wanted you to fall in love with me, and then I was going to expose your infidelity. Your precious Kathryn would find out that you'd betrayed her. You are so noble that even if she knew you were brainwashed, it would come between you. I wanted to enjoy your humiliation."

Chakotay froze as a memory shot through his mind. A ring made of three shades of gold entwined in a braid lying in a bed of white satin. He'd replicated it for Kathryn. He looked down at Kathryn at the same moment she looked up at him. Even as the pain overwhelmed him, he knew he loved her. It was the last thought he had before he passed out.

The first thing he noticed when he regained consciousness was the lack of pain. Next he remembered was how much he loved Kathryn. Memories of Kathryn's final battle and victory over protocols, their first kiss, the secret courtship, the many candlelit dinners, and the decision to make their secret relationship public when they announced their engagement flowed unimpeded through his mind.

Chakotay leaned up on his elbows and scanned sickbay. It was then that he saw Kathryn on the bed next to his. She looked pale and his heart squeezed with concern for her. He swung his feet to the floor and moved to her side. Taking her hand, he kissed it.

Kathryn's eyes fluttered open. "Chakotay," she whispered. "Are you all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine." He kissed her hand again. "Especially now that I remember about us."

"Us," Kathryn sighed in awe. "I remember I love you." She cradled his cheek with her hand.

Chakotay felt that he couldn't wait another second to kiss Kathryn. He leaned down and covered her mouth with his. Even though he remembered every kiss they'd shared before, this one seemed as if it was their first. He relished the rush of warmth and longing that surged through him. The wonderful knowledge that they were going to be married made the caress even more meaningful.

"You're going to be my wife." Chakotay's voice was thick with emotion. "And to think I couldn't remember that."

"But we do now," Kathryn said, reassuringly. "That's all that counts."

"I see my patients are awake." The Doctor's voice boomed from his office doorway. He picked up his tricorder on his way to them. "I just got word that Curneth transported to his ship with his prisoner. He told me that she will be tried before a secret tribunal, a tracer administration council. She will likely be confined for the rest of her life."

Chakotay and Kathryn looked at each other and asked the same question at the same time. "How did we get our memories back?"

"Oh I'm sorry, you did miss that part, didn't you?" The Doctor smiled as he thought what he said was humorous. "I was told that we have the commander to thank for that."

"I don't understand." Chakotay looked confused.

"Curneth said that you were the one who thought of using the magneton sweep to disrupt the runaway's personal cloak. Since Kellin had adapted the nanoprobes to make very small versions of that cloak, I only had to set up a similar sweep for each of you. It worked well since you obviously have your memories back." The Doctor's grin was his usual slightly pompous and self-important one. "I would like to write a paper about all this, but Curneth informed us that he has planted a virus in the computer that will wipe any evidence of their time here, so none of us will have any memory of it by tomorrow."

"Thank you, Doctor, for briefing us on the situation." Kathryn sat up and asked, "Is it all right for us to leave now?"

"Oh yes! Now that your memories have been restored, you'll suffer no ill effects." The Doctor turned to go back to his office, when he stopped and looked back and winked. "Your secret is safe with me"

Chakotay pulled Kathryn into his arms. "I'm more than willing to let it out."

Kathryn chuckled as she looked deeply into Chakotay's eyes and replied, "Don't worry, Doctor, you won't have to keep quiet long."

Waiting until the Doctor was out of the room, Chakotay drew Kathryn close for another kiss. Wonder and joy swirled through him. He had loved this woman for a long time. Forgetting wasn't something his heart would allow.

He pulled back slightly and grinned. "I'm going to make sure we have a paper marriage certificate and have it framed. I want the kind of document that will prevent someone from erasing our memories and pulling a stunt like this again."