Chakotay heard the door chime. He took a deep breath. He let it out. He touched the phaser rifle, hidden next to him.
"Come in," he called, careful to keep his voice as normal as possible.
The door slid open. Kathryn Janeway stepped inside. She was alone, weaponless, with an unusual, rather odd look on her face, which did nothing to put Chakotay at ease.
Who came to a mutineer without a phaser or an entire security team?
He hadn't thought she'd meant 'talk' literally.
"Captain," he greeted her.
"Commander." And her voice had the strangest quality to it.
"Have a seat," he offered, gesturing to the chair across from him.
She sat down. Janeway was looking straight at him, but she said nothing.
"You said you wanted to talk," he prompted.
She took a deep breath, like she was preparing to speak for a very long while.
"It's been brought to my attention that the former Maquis are less than pleased with conditions on Voyager, but have kept their resentment to themselves."
Well, that was one way of saying it.
Out loud, Chakotay said nothing, wondering where the hell she was going with this.
"It's a disappointment, Chakotay, to say the least."
Disappointed? She was responding to a mutiny by being disappointed?
"I was under the impression that the many Maquis-Starfleet differences had been resolved."
"I was in error, obviously."
You were an idiot, that's what you were.
"It was in a conversation with Lt. Tuvok that I came to realize the scope of my mistaken assumption."
She kept talking, but Chakotay only kept one ear peeled to her words.
She talked about her questionable judgment of the feelings of his crew. She talked about the necessity of resolving the lingering difference between the Maquis and Starfleet crews. She said something about organizing group counseling sessions to discuss crew problems. She said she hoped they could reach a true reconciliation of the two crews.
Not a single word about the mutiny.
Because she didn't know about it, did she?
No, she didn't.
He tried his damnedest to keep the grin off his face.
She was finishing talking, "I truly hope we can reach a resolution, Chakotay."
"As do I," he lied. "And this time, we'll work harder."
She left his quarters. Only moments later, B'Elanna entered.
Her eyes screamed questions.
He was trying to keep from gloating, but not doing a very good job of it.
"She doesn't know a thing. Everything continues as planned."
B'Elanna's vindictive smile joined his own.
"Tomorrow Tom Paris dies..."
"And in three days, Voyager is ours."
In the Brig, Tom was brought a cold lunch by Tuvok, of all people. He asked where Neelix was, and it was explained to him that the Talaxian had taken ill. Neelix was in his quarters, after being examined by the EMH. Tuvok left then, and Tom Paris was alone, save the Security guard. And he had the most disturbing feeling, which he couldn't quite identify, creeping up his spine.
Part 16 | Index page