Janeway scanned the information scrolling down the screen. This wasn't just a malfunction, that she knew. The Maquis had to be responsible for it and there had to be a reason for the sabotage. Most of the reasons she was imagining made her stomach churn. She raised her head to see Chakotay's reaction to this alleged malfunction, expecting to see him smirking.
She didn't see him at all.
She saw a flash of yellow. Yellow sparks, it looked like.
A wave of yellow sparks flying straight towards her. She had time to perceive that the wave was some kind of wide energy beam, being projected from something Chakotay was holding in his hand.
She didn't have time to move.
The wave seemed to be coming so slowly, yet she couldn't move out of the way or reach down to her belt for her phaser. No one else on the Bridge seemed to see it, let alone attempt stop it.
Now she could see Chakotay, his face appearing behind the sparks. His eyes were yellow with the wave's reflection. His jaw was tight. His face was totally still with concentration.
He wanted to kill her.
The wave came closer, blocking Chakotay from view. She felt the heat of the wave. Not even her wildest suspicions of the Maquis' activities had included her murder. Not like this. Not with such obvious relish. Not on her own Bridge. Not by Chakotay's hand.
Not without a goddamn fight.
The yellow wave narrowed into a beam, still moving towards her.
Then she couldn't see it anymore.
There was an explosion in her chest. Fire scorched her breasts, her stomach, her shoulders. Flames licked down her pelvis to her legs. Her arms were spared the blaze, only to tingle with every nerve shrieking. She thought she may have screamed as well, but all she could hear was the pounding of her boiling blood in her own ears. She felt extreme heat on her face, her hair suddenly an enormous weight. She couldn't see any fire, but it was burning her to death. Her knees trembled and collapsed, sending her lurching forward.
She saw the console coming closer to her face. When her head bounced off the console, she barely heard the cracking of her teeth over the din of her raging pulse and her own cry. The force with which she hit the console sent her ricocheting off, dropping her hard to the floor.
Now she was on the floor, face resting against someone's boot. It was so much cooler down there. She still felt her entire body trembling, still in unqualified agony. There was blood in her mouth, spilling over her chin and dripping down her neck. Her eyelids were unspeakably heavy, eyes hard to focus with.
As her eyes fluttered shut, she managed to identify the blurry white thing in front of her face as one of her teeth.
Part 29 | Index page