I co-wrote this story with Narnia3 for The Collaborative Contest.
Star Trek: The Collaborative Story
Compared to 20th century standards this crime-scene would be thought to have minimal personnel activated. Only two Starfleet Security Personnel were present in the room where the body lay, with their tricorders humming away. The gentle sound seemed conflicted with the brutality that lay before them. Another two security personnel were stationed outside, keeping back the shocked
onlookers, and a third officer, wandered around the deceased’s sleeping quarters.
There was no tricorder in his hand, but his keen eyes did their own scanning as his senses were completely aware.
Careful not to disturb any evidence before any DNA scans could be taken in this room, the officer knelt down to examine the rumpled sheets.
With out the use of any equipment he could deduce that their had been two bodies that had occupied the material, and from the remaining residue present, they had been engaged in sexual activity.
Yet there was only one body that lay in the living area floor.
Even with his experience expanding over a century, this finding disturbed him greatly.
"Peterson, get these people away from here!" A familiar voice barked. "Hasn’t anybody ever seen a murder before? Don’t answer that Ensign, just get them away."
The officer straightened himself once again in a standing position as the Admiral entered the quarters.
"Commander, is it safe to assume that this was done by the same perpetrator?" the stocky Bolian greeted.
"I believe so Admiral. The removal of the victims eyes, tongue and heart do seem to conclude that this murder, like the other two, were done by the same human male." Tuvok answered. "The initial DNA scans on the body confirm this."
"This is the third human female in a month, and we still have no idea who the maniac is." The Admiral dabbed at his sweaty blue, bald head with a handkerchief. Tuvok arched an eyebrow at his appearance. "I came here as fast as I could. I basically had to race the press from the Airship here."
Suddenly a loud belch broke the tense atmosphere.
"I was eating when I got the com." Admiral Chek patted his stomach. "Tell me what you’ve got."
"Unlike the first two victims, the murderer engaged this victim in sexual activity before he carried out his crime." Tuvok indicated the bed.
The Bolian was about to lift up the sheet for a better look when the less superior officer stopped him as politely as he could. "Admiral, this room has not been scanned yet."
"Oh." The Admiral looked around the room further, holding his hands to himself.
"If there’s semen, will it help catch the killer quicker?"
"We already have the DNA from the saliva of the perpetrator on the first two bodies. But I believe there is something else here that may yet lead us to the convictor of the crime."
"Like what? He left his name and phone no. for the dead date to call him afterwards?" the Bolian laughed at his own joke, but as usual the Vulcan was not amused.
"By the killer’s urge to attempt to procreate with this victim first at hand, he has allowed us an insight into his motive."
"How." Admiral Chek eyed his officer.
"During my experience onboard Voyager, and with the time I spent studying and counseling the serial murderer Lon Suder…" Tuvok began but seemed to falter. "I believe I have some experience with the mind of psychopathic killers."
"I know that Commander, that’s why I put you on this case." Chek rolled his eyes. "Now get to the good part. My wife is going to need a good excuse why I missed her Bakka Bakka Pudding Cake."
"These have been ritual killings. As Lon Suder had taken life for the sheer pleasure of it, this killer is unsure if his victims had been correctly chosen for their fate. There is method in this madness."
"What makes you think he was trying, Commander, to procreate rather than just have a good time?"
Tuvok picked up and handed the half-opened wrapper of the contraceptive to his superior officer. "The killer abhorred precautions of pregnancy. He stopped Lt. Winger from swallowing this."
"So we’re after a religious nut?" Chek looked confused. "When I first joined Starfleet, at the Academy I studied human history since it was their planet I was staying on. I remember reading about the wars carried out on the behalf of their beliefs."
"And indeed the multiple homicides that occurred by their own countrymen. Apparently ‘human rights’, coupled with idea in religious tolerance, quite often conflicted over the issues of contraceptives and indeed abortion."
"Well, that’s been a sticky issue in many a race, besides the humans." Chek shifted uncomfortably. "Thank Logic after First Contact that they seemed to concentrate on moving forwards into the future rather than still bicker over their differences of the past."
"You are correct with that assumption Admiral Chek, that the humans on this planet may have indeed moved on beyond this." Tuvok said calmly.
But Chek got the hint. "You think our perpetrator is a human from another planet?"
"It is logical to assume that through Starfleet Medical, we would have a list of every DNA sample of every man, woman or child that has been borne on this planet, or had to seek medical treatment. Only two hours ago I received a communication back that the DNA sample we had sent in did not match any listing on file."
"So our problem has just gotten bigger." Chek seemed to throw protocol in the air and sat tiredly on the bed stained with evidence.
"Not necessarily Admiral. My contact at Starfleet Medical also scanned for any matches in the DNA listings for any genetic similarities. He also
concluded that there were never ever any listings of any family members we may make enquiries to as we track down the killer."
"Is that suppose to make me feel better?"
"This news should at least improve your emotional balance Admiral. From the lack of evidence we have found in the medical database it has indeed pointed the way to look for our perpetrator. When the first human scientists formed some of the first terraforming colonies under the United Earth Space Probe Agency it was a regulation that full medical ‘check-ups’ were taken of all
personnel. Under this regulation we had records kept of all crew members and colonists in our databanks."
"But you just said we don’t have this guys DNA on file. Besides, that was hundreds of years ago."
"One hundred and ninety years ago would be the correct estimation Admiral of the first colonists leaving Earth." Tuvok raised his eyebrow. He never understood non-logical life forms using exaggeration to make a point. "But 100 years ago there was a terraforming colony that put through a demand to the UESPA to annul their Federation citizenship and transfer all remaining records
to them, including Medical."
"Eh?" Chek looked up at him skeptically. "So from this one planet gone renegade you immediately think our psycho killer has come from there?"
"Since my source at Starfleet Medical has examined every DNA record on our Database or any known Human Federation member’s Database it would be logical to assume the killers identity would come from the one known Human database our
knowledge has been severed from."
Admiral Chek leaped up and surprised the Vulcan by embracing him. "Tuvok, let it be known that Vulcan logic is one of the best crime fighting tools I have ever come across! Come! We’ve got to get you on board a ship as soon as possible."
"From my sources I believe the Enterprise-E is the best option available, sir. It is currently engaged in a survey mission of the Gamma Hydra System." Tuvok said stiffly, smoothing down his tunic after the outburst. "It will then be
only two sectors away from Heaven."
"The terraforming colonists who annulled themselves from the Federation. The planet they terraformed they then christened ‘Heaven’."
"Well it would certainly go with the religious nut theory." Chek patted the ridges at the back of his head thoughtfully. "I’ll speak to Admiral Janeway to see what we can do to get you another ship to rendezvous with the ‘E’. But first of all, I think you’ve earned yourself a slice of that Bakka Bakka Pudding Cake. The chili’s have just come into season and you haven’t eaten
yet until you try my wife’s dessert sauce."
"Thank you Admiral Chek, but I must decline. Your commendation has been sufficient." The Vulcan tried to keep the horror from his voice.
“Markus should not have come back to Heaven.” The handsome council member exclaimed as he paced nervously.
Zack Bridgestone had the demeanor of a nineteenth century Earth cowboy, but now he was feeling the tension in the town hall. An informal meeting was called to make sense of the sudden disrupting news.
The leader of the council, Simon Phillips, spent the last half hour attempting to calm the flustered members. “Zack, please have a seat. What’s done is done. The same righteous path that Markus was compelled to follow when he left, also
led him back to Heaven.”
Zack walked over to his chair and pulled it out from the table. In a swift movement, he hurled it across the room.
With some satisfaction from his sudden burst of anger, Zack pushed his thick blond locks out of his face and joined his council at the table.
The fact is that Heaven has enjoyed its independence from outsiders for 100 years. This little escapade from Markus might cause the solitude of their entire planet to be violated. Reliable sources told Markus that Starfleet
investigators were on to him. He hoped that if he came back, the council would hide him. It wouldn’t be long before Starfleet would be knocking at Heaven’s door.
All eyes that were on Zack now went pleadingly back to Simon in anticipation of additional remarks.
Simon continued. “As you all know, Markus is dying. It is my decision that after this evenings dinner, Markus will be gone.”
Everyone’s head dropped in solemn bow. Markus had been a part of their lives for as long as they could remember. No one would dispute the leader’s decision. It was for the best.
Becca Ray broke the silence. “What will happen after that? Starfleet will still come here to look for him.”
“But they won’t find him. Will they?” Simon suddenly snapped as he lunged forward with his hands slapping the teak wood table.
Simon’s composure came back to him. “We will live our lives as usual. Nothing will be changed. In a few days, we will have our annual harvest festivities. The parade will go on, and the parties and games will commence the same as
always. If Starfleet tries to come here, we will make it clear to them that outsiders are not welcome. I will do all that I can to keep them away. If they still insist on boldly going where no outsiders have gone before, there will be
no Markus for them to find. We will do nothing to make them feel welcome. Satisfied that Markus is not here, and feeling not wanted, they would leave immediately. Now, let us all join hands and end with a prayer.”
Kathryn Janeway had always pushed her former security officer into social situations he had, at times, felt uncomfortable in. Even once on Voyager she had to flat-out order him to participate in one of the ships holodeck
functions. He may have understood her logic in that situation; since the bridging of space between her officers should not seem to be so far apart as the distance Voyager had been from home once upon a time. But right now he could not understand why his former Captain had placed him on a shuttlecraft with Lt. Tom Paris, piloting him to the Enterprise.
"Tuvok, if I hadn’t of been stuck on a ship in a remote area of space for seven years with you, I might have taken this personally." Paris joked at the Vulcan’s dismay. "Come on, when has my flying ever let you down?"
Logic dictated that he remain silent on that remark.
What was most surprising apart from the paring of this two, of who else Admiral Janeway had seen fit to almost chaperone them on this short ride, but none other than 7 of 9, or Anika Hansen as she now preferred to be called. Gone was the simplistic dress of the functional jump suit, now a gray-blue Starfleet uniform took its place. Seven, or rather Anika, had found trying to fit into social functions just as uncomfortable as the Vulcan did, which is why Tuvok assumed she had decided not to follow Chakotay when he left Starfleet a second time, to return to his home planet.
It was true that since a year ago after their lost ship had found its way home again, the crew seemed to scatter simultaneously. Aside from Chakotay, many of them had also chosen different paths away from Starfleet. Tuvok thought he could use this topic as a start of a conversation to ease the uncomfortable silence that had engulfed the shuttle, partly for which he was responsible
"Lt. Paris, I understand that you and the former Lt. Torres have undertaken positions at Starfleet Command in the Space Engineering facility."
"That’s right. B’Elanna left Starfleet but she and I work as consultants in that department. We’re working on a new design of shuttle in the Runabout class." Paris answered congenially.
"I would assume this arrangement would be more beneficial for you and B’Elanna to spend time with your child."
"You assume rightly. B’Elanna consults on a more casual basis. She has memories of seeing little of her own parents growing up and we didn’t want it to be the same for our kid." Paris agreed. "How about you Seven, er, Anika? How are things in your sector? Aren’t you on the USS Cairo now?"
"That is correct." She stated.
Paris waited to hear more. The former drone picked up on this. "There is no more detail to report."
"Well, are you happy there? Is your position as Chief of Astrometrics satisfactory?" Paris urged her to go on.
"When I first came on board I had to completely realign the spacial grid to expand the sensor relays. Also the computer data system was inefficiently organized…"
"I mean, how are you fitting in with the crew?"
"The crew performance is satisfactory." Was all she would say.
Paris shared a look with Tuvok. The two men could now guess why the former drone now had changed back to her human name and put on the Starfleet garb rather than her previous attire.
"I know we can be a funny bunch sometimes." Paris alluded to humankind. "But all new crew members have a rough time coming aboard their new ship
"There have been no violent altercations." Anika gave Paris a typical 7 of 9 glance.
"That’s not what I meant…" Paris faltered. "You know my background. When I first came on board Voyager straight from the Corrections Facility on New Zealand… well it took some time for me as well to let the crew learn that they could trust me."
Seven was silent for a few moments, before announcing, "We are now in Communications range of the Enterprise."
Paris took the hint and returned to business at hand. He hit the Comm button and greeted, "USS Enterprise, this is Shuttlecraft Runaway. We should be docking in approximately 15 and a half minutes."
"Enterprise to Runaway, we receive you. Please proceed to Docking Bay 4."
"Acknowledged." Paris took the shuttle out of warp to complete the rendezvous on full impulse.
Captain Jean Luc Picard was enthusiastic about becoming acquainted with Admiral Kathryn Janeway. He met with her several times after the Voyager had returned home from its historic journey through the Delta Quadrant. They have, in fact, become quite fond of each other. It was for this reason that she spoke candidly to him about Tuvok, Tom, and Anika during her communication
She had said, “Jean Luc, this mission will mean a lot to all three of them. Tuvok has found his place at Starfleet Headquarters Security. He uses his intelligence and talents out in the field at crime scenes, instead of being stuck behind a desk. Tom Paris is an extraordinary officer. He loves his wife and child dearly, but quite frankly, Tom has been acting like a caged up bird.
B’Elanna is one of the most wonderful people that I know, but her idea of them both working as consultants at an engineering facility so that they can be with their child all of the time is tearing Tom apart. I’m guessing that a little
flight like this to visit your ship will be just enough to give him the adventure that he craves.”
Janeway had paused before she continued. She went on in a tender, heartwarming way. “Jean Luc, I am so concerned about Anika. I have become very close to her during our time together. She is not fitting in as well as I hoped. Perhaps a visit with your exemplary crew will make her feel more like a part of our world.”
The three visitors now stood before Picard on the bridge. “Splendid! Welcome aboard! Your timing is excellent.” Picard now directed his comments to Tuvok. “I have just concluded the assembly and briefing of an away team to accompany you down to the planet.”
Tuvok was anxious to continue the investigation. “Most appreciated Captain. I would suggest that we disembark immediately, as every passing moment is crucial to the investigation.”
“Agreed”, was all that the captain said to Tuvok. “Mr. Worf, please notify Data and Troi that the three of you will be meeting Commander Tuvok and myself in transporter room two.”
The captain glanced at his other guests, and tried to form a smile. He spoke in a gentle voice. “Geordi, if you would be so kind, please escort Tom Paris and Anika Hansen to Ten Forward. I believe that Guinan is expecting to meet
Picard’s stern voice returned as he walked to the turbolift with Tuvok. He barked out one last command. “Number One, you have the bridge.”
Tuvok stepped onto the transporter stage along with Picard, Worf, Data, and Troi. He realized that this was one of the best groups in Starfleet.
“Beam us down to the planet, ensign.” Captain Picard nodded to the ensign assigned to the task.
“Aye, sir.” The ensign assured Picard as she worked her control console, but nothing happened. “Sir, there seems to be a strange energy field encasing the planet. My readings suggest that this field is manifested directly from the
planet itself, and it’s fed into the atmosphere. I am reconfiguring the controls, and adding power from the auxiliary systems.”
The ensign worked her controls with added determination. This time, Captain Picard dematerialized, and then vanished.
“Ensign, report.” Commander Tuvok demanded.
“Sir, there is nothing else that I can do. The captain is down on the planet, and it is impossible to transport the rest of you down.”
Worf leaped off his transport pad and took over at the console. “I am unable to retrieve the captain. The energy field has increased.”
Deanna Troi was confused. “Why is it that the captain was beamed down, and not we?”
With a shrug, Data made it known that he didn’t even know that answer.
Commander Tuvok didn’t hesitate in talking on his comm. “Lt. Paris, report to docking bay four at once.” He turned toward his group. “We will shuttle down to the planet in the Runaway. As this planet is the home of a suspected serial
killer, I believe that the captain’s life could possibly be in peril if we don’t locate him soon. It is imperative that we make this our primary task.”
As soon as Tom Paris received the Communication from Tuvok he curtailed off from Geordi and Anika and re-entered the Turbo Lift they had just
Lt. Anika Hansen and Lt. Geordi La Forge exchanged a surprised look before Geordi tapped his own Communicator Badge to find out what went amiss.
"La Forge to Com. Riker."
"What’s happened to the Away Team?"
"It looks like there was some trouble beaming down, Geordi. Capt. Picard is down on the surface alone so the rest of the party have to shuttle down to find him, and the killer."
"If there are troubles with the transporters, why did the Captain beam down?"
"That’s what we’re trying to work out. I think we need you back in Engineering."
"Acknowledged. La Forge out." Geordi turned back to his guest. "Excuse me, it looks like our tour will have to wait."
"I understand. May I offer my assistance in this dilemma?" Anika stepped forward just before he could race off.
"Yeah, that would be great. I’ll start some diagnostics from Engineering, maybe you could check out Transporter Room Two and start a diagnostic there."
Anika nodded and the two went their separate ways.
Lt. Hansen entered the Transporter Room just as the flustered Ensign was about to give up.
"I don’t know what happened. The transporter logs show it as a normal transport in the case of Capt. Picard, but the others seemed to just go through the transport buffers before beaming back right here."
Anika joined the Ensign as she studied the readouts. She looked sympathetically upon the distressed younger woman. "You performed your duties well. You did not make an error, rather, you may have prevented one. When Couns. Troi, Lt. Worf, Lt. Com Data and Com. Tuvok’s patterns began to repeat themselves in the pattern buffers you were correct in retrieving their data
from the cycle pattern. I will analyze this in the Medical Labs. Please transfer the transporter logs to the databanks in the Medical Labs of this
"Aye sir." The Ensign let out a small smile and obeyed. "Can I help you with anything else?"
"Your assistance will not be required. But I believe you should stay alert incase Lt. La Forge makes progress in Engineering."
"Aye sir." The Ensign began her task as the Lieutenant instructed.
Anika tapped a few commands in the ships data screens on the wall of the corridor to find where exactly the Medical Labs were, then continued on her way.
When she entered she found the ships doctor, already at work inside.
"Excuse me, I did not know that these Labs were already in use." Anika stopped short.
"It’s alright." Dr Crusher smiled at her. "There’s enough room in here for one more. Infact, I think you may be the person I may have been waiting for."
"Elaborate." Anika said confused.
"Com. Tuvok’s contact in Starfleet Medical, Dr Van Gogh, just sent some new information in his communiqué to Tuvok. But since the Commander has already left for the surface, I thought you might like to know this." Crusher stepped aside to show what was on her computer screen.
Lt. Hansen stepped forward to have a closer look. "Those are two human DNA strands, from two different people."
"That’s what I thought at first too. But in genetics, particularly human DNA, from a predecessor to a current family member’s DNA there are usually two distinct similarities in the segments. If you look here, close enough, you
would see that this would be the DNA from a parent and their child."
"You are correct. The sequences are the same, here, here, and here." Anika pointed out.
"That’s right. But what I can’t figure out is how." Dr Crusher sighed loudly.
"Explain." Seven prodded.
"Dr Van Gogh found this sample in some very old primitive archives, a blood type and a computer print out from the archaic computer databanks of the early 22nd Century. At this present day, these can’t be found in any computer database, but rather these were recorded on paper and filed away. Dr Van Gogh would have had to do a lot of research to find this information, and then
download it himself into the computer to recreate this sample and send it to us. If he is this fastidious in helping out an old friend he must have been quite the physician on Voyager." Dr Crusher smiled at her.
"If there was a medical mystery the Doctor would quite often leave himself turned on until he discovered the answer. The Doctor was a friend to all of us on board Voyager." Anika said simply.
Dr Crusher continued. "This DNA strand is a sample of one of the original colonists who left Earth to start the Terraforming of Heaven nearly 150 years ago. This DNA sample, from the murderer that Tuvok is chasing is the child of that original colonist. Now that would mean that the killer could be over 100 years old, but this DNA sample is from a 28 year old."
"What are these molecules attached to the segments?" Anika pointed again at the screen.
"I’m running a scan on it now. So far the computer can’t recognize those components, due to the anaphasic nature of the material." Dr Crusher replied.
"Doctor, I believe I may have an explanation for you." Lt. Hansen went over to another console and brought up the transporter logs.
"That’s the same anaphasic energy signature that’s in the DNA strand." Dr Crusher stared. "Where did you get this?"
"When Capt. Picard, Com. Tuvok, Couns. Troi, Lt Worf, and Lt. Com. Data attempted to beam down to the planet’s surface there was something in the
atmosphere that countermanded their transporter patterns. Only Capt. Picard successfully reached the surface, as the rest of the Away Team’s patterns were merely recycled through the buffer. It would appear that the anaphasic materials in the planets atmosphere are only compatible with completely human DNA." Seven stated.
"Of course!" Dr Crusher realized. "It’s a kind of symbiogenesis! The anaphasic energy in the planet’s atmosphere could be responsible to giving the inhabitants a kind of long life. But for how long, that would have to be studied… these are just trace amounts of the anaphasic energy. To use it would require massive quantities, or consumption to live for that many years longer."
Lt. Hansen was struck by Dr Crusher’s words, and her own shocking thoughts that followed. She tapped in a few more commands, and the transporter logs disappeared to be replaced by Autopsy reports of the three female victims.
"What if the murderer was indeed trying to do just that? By the nature of the removal of organs, such as the liver in the first two victims, would indicate that the murderer had actually cannibalized these women trying to prolong his own life."
Dr. Crusher was silent for a moment, before swallowing. "That could be a way of the Colonists trying to achieve unnaturally long lives. For the anaphasic energy to give them that amount of long life, they would need to consume similar biology with the same anaphasic energy signatures in similar DNA to their own."
"And Captain Picard is down there now, how long would you conject that it would take for his DNA to be radiated with enough before the Colonists consume him?" Seven asked her.
"Not long enough. I have to tell Will." Dr Crusher rushed out of the Lab.
Captain Picard noticed immediately that he was transported down to the planet alone. He quickly looked around in all directions, and realized that he was standing in what seemed to be an empty alley.
He tapped his combadge. “Enterprise, where is the away team?” There was no response. He tried again. “Enterprise.” There was still no acknowledgement.
He proceeded to study the surrounding area with his tricorder to assure his safety. His readings
indicated a low level of thoron emissions. His tricorder would be useless.
Picard exhaled a deep sigh, and cautiously walked toward the front of the alley. He peaked out from around the corner, and beheld a breathtaking sight. “Norman Rockwell would have loved to paint this,” he thought.
The pastel colored buildings of this quaint town, seemed to glow in the warmth of the sunlight. The street was lined with generously flowered trees. This seemed to be a main street, which contained dozens of small shops such as a tavern, an ice cream shop, and a hardware store. Apparently the people of the community were tenderly decorating this street. Festive banners spanned across the
street from one charming street lamp to another.
Children were painting pictures of fruit trees in the large store windows. One boy of about twelve
years was painting at a window right outside of the alley. Picard decided to approach him.
“You there, boy,” the captain began. The startled boy gasped when he saw that it was Picard who spoke to him. Picard motioned with his hands for him to calm down. “Don’t be frightened. I mean you no harm.” Picard thought that it was best to turn their attention to the boy’s artwork. With a smile, he continued speaking. “This is a very impressive painting. An apple tree, is it?” The boy looked slightly more relaxed, but still seemed reluctant to speak yet. Picard conversed some more. “This brings back fine memories of my
father’s vineyards…” Picard stopped talking when he saw an abrupt look of fright on the boys face.
The boy was looking directly behind Picard.
The confused captain spun around just in time, to see the object before it knocked him out. Zack Bridgestone used a large, unopened can of paint, to forcefully strike Picard in the head. Zack nodded as if in admiration of his own handiwork.
He readjusted the gold- leathered cowboy hat that complimented his tanned skin and yellow-blond hair, and smiled to his two comrades in
anticipation of commendation.
The usually composed Becca Ray was now waving her hands and howling wildly. “Zack, you colossal imbecile! Of all the numb-skulled, asinine ideas… What possessed you to do something so absurdly foolish as this?” Her face was flushed with madness as she pointed to the unconscious Starfleet officer who was now sprawled out on the ground at their feet.
Zack removed his hat and nervously pushed his strong fingers through his thick, wavy hair as he began to speak in his defense. “Now Becca Ray, you know that outsiders can’t be trusted. What was he going to do with little Bobby here?” Zack paused to motion in the direction of the boy, who seemed to be one breath short of an asthma attack.
He calmed his voice a little when he saw that Becca looked slightly appreciative of what he was saying. “Look at all of these metal gadgets that he is decked out in.” The boot of the handsome colonist carelessly nudged the phaser at Picard’s side, and went on with his speech. “If I didn’t get to him first, he might have zapped Bobby along with all of the other children on the street."
Trevor Collins, who had been standing with them the whole while, seemed to be taking it all in with amazement. He now decided to dictate the scene on the street.
“Listen you two. Simon told us that if we saw any Starfleet, we were to bring them to the council meeting room at once. He said that he wanted to convince Starfleet to go away. Simon happens to be there now, so give me a hand with him Zack, and let’s go.”
Picard stirred as Zack and Trevor lifted him to his feet. With one man on each side, they managed to get him three doors down to the town hall.
Then he moaned as the two men roughly dragged him inside. He was becoming completely conscious now, though he still felt understandably dazed. Simon swiftly walked over to the chair that Picard was being thrown into.
The husky, dark-haired man began to speak hurriedly. “What is this? You found one? What happened to him?”
Becca, who had followed the group inside,reported to the council leader. “Zack had another one of those abrupt temper tantrums that he’s prone to, and hit him over the head with a paint can.”
Zack had his finger in her face and was just about to say something when Trevor broke in. “Will you stop it, both of you?” He now looked at Simon and continued the explanation. “This Starfleet was out on the street, talking with the children.”
Picard was now feeling alert enough to speak. All heads turned to him at the sound of his voice. “I am Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starfleet,
Enterprise. I did nothing to justify being attacked. I simply meant to talk and to find out information. There have been several murders, and Starfleet has linked them to this planet. I am here to ask permission to investigate. Surely you will agree that…”
Simon Phillips, who wanted to make it clear that no investigation was to take place, harshly interrupted Picard’s words. “We don’t trust any outsiders, and that’s why none are allowed here.” He thought for a moment and added, “…and
that includes you and your Starfleet.”
The disgust clearly showed on Simon’s face. Simon tried to reason with Picard. “I assure you, no one here on our planet is a murderer. It is, in fact, impossible. You see, once a person leaves, it is our policy and procedure that they never come back. It’s a shame that you wasted your time and ours with this matter. You will understand why we must confine you to a jail cell until we could figure out how to get you back to your people.”
Simon noticed that Picard was still in possession of his phaser, so he removed it swiftly along with his combadge and tricorder. He then directed his attention to the other council members. “Take him away, and lock him up.”
The shuttlecraft seemed to skip and jump over the planets ozone layer before taking a sharp nosedive as it entered the upper atmosphere.
"Hold on! This is going to be a rough ride!" Paris called over his shoulder.
Tuvok was seated in the second forward controls chair, as Couns. Troi , Lt. Com. Data and Lt. Worf were bounced up and down in the rear section.
"What’s happening?" Troi called out alarmed.
"There appears to be anaphasic particles in the planets atmosphere…" Tuvok blurted out before reaching for a steady hold. "It is causing a negative charge against our shields."
Just as suddenly it began, the shuddering and jarring stopped. But then a high, ear-piercing whine began as if the metal hull of the craft was almost being bent out of shape.
"We’ve cleared the ozone layer and entering our descent into the atmosphere. Hold on… what the??" Paris began his report, while trying to pilot and see the computer read outs at the same time.
"What is it? What’s wrong?" Couns. Troi asked.
"We have lost shields and are losing power. From the level of Thoron radiation in the planets atmosphere the shuttlecraft can only operate at minimal output." Tuvok finished Paris’s report.
Data opened his tricorder and seemed to scan the shuttlecraft interior and waived over Couns. Troi and Lt. Worf before closing it again. "Correct. The thoron particles are also interrupting sensor scans. We may not be able to scan for Capt. Picards signature to beam him back."
Couns. Troi looked from Data and Worf to the two less familiar officers in the front section. She almost blurted out, "now what do we do?" but thought better of it.
"I’ll land near the main settlement. Without sensors or primary weapons I don’t think it would be a great idea to just land on in the middle of Main Street and demand the Captain back." Paris suggested.
"Agreed. From Starfleet records Database, the inhabitants are considered hostile to any foreign person or technology." Tuvok concurred.
Worf took out his phaser to check the settings. "Stun is useless. Only the highest setting seems to be working."
"Great. So if we don’t get a warm reception we fry ‘em." Paris retorted.
"Perhaps it would be wise for you to concentrate your thoughts of landing us on the planets surface, or I believe we will be the ones who will fry." Tuvok reminded the younger officer.
As the ship dove lower in the air the whine of the metal became less.
"Well, would you look at that…" Paris let slip out as he took a breath.
As the cloud cover cleared, the view from the controls became a little more bearable, and almost even delightful.
Serene rolling green hills with paddocks of crops or animals met their eyes. Amongst the hills were spots of humanoid habitation with farmhouses and villas and ponds of sparkling vision.
Couns. Troi, Lt. Com Data and even Lt. Worf who as a Klingon would not normally show any interest of peace or serenity left their seats for a better view.
Then the shuttle seemed to do a sideswipe but the view remained intoxicating of the homey township that was the capital of Heaven.
"I’m taking us over the sidelines of the town. With sensors playing up I can’t get a definite number of the population. I wouldn’t want us to find out the hard way if we flew directly overhead." Paris offered.
"Good idea." Worf grumbled, taking his seat again.
"Our killer came from such peaceful beginnings. It is logical to assume that even benevolence can reside under such serenity." Tuvok thought out loud before turning to Couns. Troi. "Counselor, what can you sense about the people down
Deanna Troi frowned as she concentrated. "There are a lot of people down there… with a lot of mixed emotions. From the majority I feel excitement and anticipation. There is also some apprehension and fear. It’s almost like there is some form of preparation going in place."
"Preparation for what? For us?" Worf asked. "If they are looking for a battle, they will find it."
"No… some other kind of preparation… for something good? I don’t know… but it’s not quite right somehow." Troi sighed.
Paris landed the shuttle in one of the out laying paddocks just outside of the town.
As the Away Team disembarked, Data handed out extra phasers to Troi and Paris.
"I believe our first priority should be to find the Captain’s position." Data suggested.
"Agreed." Tuvok nodded as he adjusted his phaser settings. "Since our phasers can only kill and not stun in this atmosphere, we should use them only in dire need. Since this planet is no longer apart of the Federation, the Prime Directive may apply."
"Counselor, since our Tricorders are not working, we will need your help in sensing Capt. Picards presence." Data pointed out.
"I’ll do my best Data." Troi smiled weakly.
"Hey guys, I think I can guess why Couns. Troi felt anticipation." Paris called out over his shoulder as he walked a small distance away. He pointed towards the entrance to the main street.
They joined him in the middle of the field to strain their eyes to see what he was pointing out. It was a banner hanging over the entrance to Main Street, flapping gently in the breeze.
"Heavens’ Anniversary Feast. Join in the Celebrations, Festivities start 6pm Tonight." Worf read out loud.
"What time is it now?" Troi asked.
"The time zone in this particular region of the planet makes it approximately 4:45 PM." Data replied.
"Then may I suggest we hurry? It is imperative we find Capt. Picard before the population of Heaven gets any larger." Tuvok ordered, then led the way to one of the smaller lanes branching off from the township.
“All of these little streets are starting to look alike.” Announced Counselor Troi. Her face was blank with bewilderment and weariness.
“…And it all looks too perfect. It almost seems too good to be true.” Paris added in a skeptical tone. He continued. “Tuvok, it pains me to say this, but I think that we would have better luck finding a needle in a haystack, than we would have of finding the captain on one of these streets.”
Data’s eyes squinted in confusion with the Lieutenant’s utterance. He was quick to ask, “Why would one desire to find a needle in a haystack, and what relevance does this serve us in locating the captain?”
Worf vocalized something that sounded like a growl, and cast an irritated glance at Data. He then directed his attention at Tuvok. “Commander, I see a tavern. Someone in there might know where the captain is.”
The Vulcan seemed to ponder that deeply. “Perhaps you could be correct. I will accompany you.” Tuvok then looked confidently at Troi, Data, and Paris. “…While you three should continue to search the streets for any evidence of the captain’s whereabouts. We will meet right here in exactly twenty minutes.”
All nodded in agreement before they went their separate ways.
Worf and Tuvok entered the tavern, pausing just inside the entrance.
The inside was dimly lit, and had a strong smell of liquor. Ten men were sitting at various tables, laughing and talking loudly. These sounds quickly turned to mumbles, as the small crowd noticed the new guests. “Over there.” Tuvok
gestured to empty seats at the bar.
The two Starfleet officers weren’t halfway to the seats, when one of the patrons jumped up from his table.
He stood in front of them smirking, and began to slowly pace around in a semicircle. His icy stare never left them as he spoke in a tone that was clearly meant to rouse the crowd. “What do we have here? An elf and an Ogre?”
The groups at the tables laughed wildly. Some of
them were already standing up to surround the outsiders. The man continued to speak. “I suppose they both popped out of a children’s fairy tale book.”
Worf began to speak loudly over the laughter. “I will not find honor in a battle with intoxicated, unarmed men. Just tell us where our captain is, and we will leave peacefully.”
The largest of the men stepped up to put his face within inches of Warf. “Too bad you two beasts weren’t so filthy and disgusting, or we would dine on you at our banquet.”
Tuvok spoke quickly. “Are you implying that the inhabitants of this planet, all practice cannibalism?”
The man’s whole body jerked as the infuriated Worf grabbed his shirt with strong fists. “Where is my captain?” Worf’s howling voice rumbled over the room.
The man broke free of Worf’s grip and adjusted his shirt as he began to speak.
“I’ll tell you exactly where your captain is.” He spit on the floor before he continued. “The first two floats of the parade traditionally carry the
delicacies for our feast. These will be the first to arrive at the fairground, where gourmet chefs will be waiting to prepare the meals. In these floats are all kinds of vegetables, meats, and everything that is needed to prepare Picard
Stew.” Having finished his dramatic little speech, the man dared to step close enough to the wild-eyed Worf to spit in his face.
Worf grabbed the man and hurled him, headfirst, into a near-by wall.
Tuvok’s brow rose at the sight of a wooden barrel being broken over his fellow officer’s back. Worf didn’t seem to flinch.
Tuvok dodged a speeding tankard, and was able to quickly render two people unconscious with a Vulcan nerve pinch. He blocked the punch of a third attacker, by swinging around a heavy chair.
With a swift glance around the room, Tuvok noticed that he and Worf were the only two men left standing. The frightened bartender broke the new silence by darting up a staircase, and
slamming a door to an upstairs room.
A calm Tuvok called over to the Klingon. “I suggest that we get the others, and find the captain at once.”
As soon as the two were out of the tavern, they saw Troi, Paris, and Data waiting at the rendezvous point down the street. Both parties hurried to meet each other.
Troi frantically began yelling over as she was running. “Tuvok! Tuvok!”
With the group now once again united, Troi took a few deep breaths, and resumed talking. “The captain is in desperate trouble. I have the sensation of awful feelings coming from that direction.” She made a gesture to the west. “I am sensing anger, anxiety, and a feeling of helplessness. What’s more – every person who we spoke to was lying and trying to hide something.”
“Counselor…” Tuvok interrupted. “The people of Heaven intend to consume Captain Picard after the festivities of today.” Tuvok now directed his
attention to the group. “Come now. We must find the captain immediately.”
Tuvok started to run to the main street, but was stopped by Paris. “Commander, the colonists are sitting on the edge of the curb all along that
street. They’re waiting for the parade to begin. I think that we should take one of the parallel side streets. This town is set up like a grid, so it will basically lead to the same place.” Tom Paris surprised himself by talking so fast.
“Very well.” The commander replied as he led his group down the deserted back- street.
The away team stopped abruptly, and hid next to a building as they gazed down an intersecting street. The floats and participants of the parade were set up, and getting ready to begin. Some band members were scattered here and there to
tune up their instruments. A group of young girls were gathered to practice difficult baton twirling moves.
Worf spotted two floats cheerfully decorated with magnolias, gardenias, and green leafy plants.
“Commander, those two floats are parked up in the front. The captain might be brought to one of them. I will watch that area closely.”
"Simon!" Becca Ray ran into the room.
"What is it Bec?" Zack was seated comfortably in his chair, leaning back as he kept a watch on Picard in his cell.
"Finishing up some last minute preparations for the feast." He gave a nod in Picards direction.
"There are more of them." She said quickly, in a panic. "Orion just ran into two of ‘em in the tavern, and Tommy saw four more down the end of Main Street."
Zack let out a laugh. "Only six of them? Gees, you’re not thought of very highly, are you? I thought Starfleet would send more of a rescue team for a Captain let alone a little lieutenant nonetheless!" he aimed that comment to Picard.
Picard remained quiet as he watched the two of them from behind bars. He knew the Colonists weren’t being honest with him. He wanted to learn all he could for his report to Starfleet.
"C’mon then. We better get our ‘important’ guest down to the parade. He wouldn’t want to miss anything now, would he?" Zack lazily got up from his chair and fiddled with the keys.
He opened the door and stepped aside to let Picard out.
Picard looked from Zack to Becca Ray as if weighing his chances of escape from the two.
"Now I wouldn’t want to do anything stupid if I were you." Zack guessed what he was thinking, and raised his jacket to show Picards phaser underneath. "It would be a pity to cook the turkey even before it reaches the oven."
Captain Picard didn’t particularly like that metaphor.
The Away Team still held their position down the back street as Tuvok was going over a strategy and Worf who stood a small distance away, was half listening, but mostly watching what the population were doing as he stood guard at the
The crowds had grown considerably in the last half hour, and people were lining the street to applaud the girls and their batons and a few remaining touch ups were being applied to the floats.
There was one particular float that caught Worf’s eye though. It was one of the two that were covered in sweet-smelling flowers, which Worf recognized had an earth origin, magnolias, camellias and gardenias. On top of the flowers people were putting baskets of vegetables and herbs.
Worf was keeping an eye on this particular float,
but then he didn’t have to wait long.
Picard was soon seen crossing the bustling street, with two other people walking closely behind him. The Away Team looked on as they joined another two men, and small discussion followed.
"Captain, I am so glad that Starfleet decided to send you on this mission to visit our sleepy little planet. You could say that our Celebration Feast just wouldn’t have been the same without you." Simon smiled on the captive man.
"Yeah, you could say our whole town is glad to see you." Zack chuckled in Picard’s ear.
"Smile and wave, everyone." Simon instructed, and everyone did so, except Picard.
"Six more of them have been spotted." Becca Ray warned her leader.
"Why Picard, you really are too kind. Never let anyone again say that the French are stingy dinner guests. He’s brought entree, soup, main and dessert all in one visit." Simon, who was feeling in a much better mood Picard, noted
then when he last saw the man. "Keep an eye out for the Starfleet people. We wouldn’t want the Captain to be lonely during the feast."
"So the murderer did come from this colony. And what he tried to do on Earth was only what he practiced here, on Heaven?" Picard looked on them with disgust.
"I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him." Simon’s smile faded. "But you did come here to find the man, didn’t you? I won’t keep you waiting much longer."
Zack, and the other man with Simon grabbed each of Picards arms and pulled him towards the float with the flowers and food.
"Captain, I’d like you to meet Marcus."
Picard almost wretched at the smell let alone the sight of a chopped off human head that lay in a straw basket, amongst the peas and carrots.
"You and ole Mark there will soon have a lot in common. You’ll be so close, you could almost pick each others brains." Zack patted Picard on the back.
"Your planet ritualizes cannibalism?" Picard uttered in disbelief.
"This is our culture. And from the benefits we have been reaped. Long life and prosperity for all!" Zack cried out, mostly to the surrounding people rather than to the prisoner before him.
It was met with cries and cheers from the onlookers.
"Tie him to the float! Everybody’s here now, and hungry. It’s time for the parade to start." Simon ordered.
Zack and the other man pulled Picard on top of the float and tied his wrists and ankles down with rope.
Picard sweated. He looked about himself towards a sea of strange faces, all yelling and cheering and pointing at him.
The two men jumped off and slowly, the parade started, and the float with Picard on it, who was strung up like a paper mache swan, moved through the crowds.
"Welcome to the celebrations!" a huge voice boomed out, which Picard recognized to be Simon’s on a loud speaker. "Almost two hundred years! Happy Anniversary Heaven!"
The crowd roared and flags and small banners were waved about.
The baton twirling cheer leaders went first, then the float with Simon, Zack, Becca Ray and several other council members, then came the Picard float
"This makes things look a little bit more complicated." Paris muttered, pulling out his phaser, along with everybody else in the Away Team. "The Captain looks like he’s the prized ham in a country fair."
"Lt.Com. Data, you and Counselor Troi will untie the Captain, while Lt. Paris and Lt. Worf and I will create a diversion. We will meet back at the
shuttlecraft as soon as you are able to." Tuvok had to quickly change their plans.
Data and Troi nodded as they adjusted their phasers to the highest setting.
"Are you ready Counselor?" Data asked Troi.
"It’s not exactly the investigation that I imagined it would be. But yes, I’m ready." Troi nodded.
The crowds were all turned with their backs to the Team, facing the Main Street, so they found it easy to leave the back street with out being noticed.
The Away Team separated once again, for what they hoped would be the last time, as Data and Troi went right and Tuvok lead the other two officers left.
"What did you have in mind for a diversion, Commander?" Paris asked Tuvok as they deftly ran behind the town’s people.
"In Heaven, I believe nothing else but the touch of God would suffice." Tuvok replied.
The three men pushed their way through the crowds to the side of the street, when Tuvok aimed his phaser at the float carrying the head council and fired.
The paper decorations on the float immediately burst into flame, as the council members were forced to jump for their lives.
Screams and shouts broke out as the crowd turned into a frightened mob and people immediately scattered in all directions.
The parade came to a violent stop as townspeople ran which way and what. The baton twirlers quickly dissipated and many of the men of the town marched angrily on the cause of the disruption.
The cause of the disruption was three Starfleet personnel, standing in the middle of the street, phasers aimed in all directions. Tuvok aimed his weapon on the council group.
"You will release Capt. Picard immediately!" Tuvok ordered.
"Or what? You’ll shoot? There are more of us here then you could possibly fire on!" Simon shouted back, but not to take any chances, grabbed Becca Ray and held her in front of himself.
"Simon! What are you doing?" Becca Ray struggled, but was held too tightly.
"You’re not the only ones with guns here, Starfleet!" Zack cried out, pulling out Picard’s phaser and then he ran towards the Captain with it.
But before Zack could press the trigger button Data, who had reached his Captain, had his weapon ready.
Zack was vaporized to nothingness.
What remaining onlookers of women and children there were now also ran away. But many of the men of the town stayed on, ready to fight.
"You’re looking awfully outnumbered here. Only six of you, and at least fifty of us? Put down your weapons! You might be able to kill only half of us before we get to you!" Simon shouted out again, but still clung to Becca as if she were a human shield.
"Let go of me!" Becca panicked, stamped on Simon’s foot, and when he flinched and momentarily let go, she also ran away.
Data and Troi had managed to untie Picard. But a group of angry, strong looking men barred their way from leaving. As Data, with his inhuman strength attempted to push their way through, there proved to be just too many. When one man was removed out of the way, two more took his place.
"See? No escape!" Simon sung out.
Before Worf could let out a battle cry and charge the angry mob, another loud roar echoed from the sky and the noise seemed to be traveling right at them.
Three new shuttlecraft zoomed overhead and one of them let off a warning shot at the float that was carrying the food.
Vegetables flew into the air as the mobile wooden stage also exploded into a ball of flames.
"Who’s outnumbered now?" Paris shouted back, as the men of Heaven now also turned and ran.
Simon and the few remaining council members raised their hands in defeat, as the shuttlecrafts landed in a now empty street andnearly sixty armed officers poured from the ships.
Leading the rescue teams was Commander Riker. He held his phaser at ready as his officers quickly went about rounding up and arresting the strays of population who were still running. When he saw all was being taken care of he crossed over to his Captain.
"Number One. Your timing is as impeccable as always." Picard smiled at his second in command.
"You have Dr. Crusher and Lt. Hansen to thank for that. They discovered what inhabitants of this planet were up to and contacted me immediately." Riker smiled back, relieved to see his Captain was unharmed. "We tried to contact you and the Away Team with the news, but the anaphasic energy particles coupled with thoron radiation in the planet’s atmosphere barred communication."
"But I don’t understand. How was cannibalizing other people making these people live longer?" Troi asked Riker.
"The amount of anaphasic particles in the planets atmosphere wouldn’t have been enough to sustain the metabolic rate in a person’s body. But if that metabolic rate was somehow consumed by another living creature with similar biology that
had the same anaphasic signature in their system at the cellular level, it would have doubled the dose of anaphasic particles." Riker tried to explain.
"But for the amount of particle absorption in a human’s body, and for the amounts the inhabitants of this planet would have had to consume to achieve longevity, would have meant that regular consumption would have taken place." Data calculated.
"Heaven giveth, and Heaven taketh away." Picard thought out loud. "On one hand these people had the opportunity to extend their lives… but through this action I doubt if they achieved betterment from it."
Picard turned to see Tuvok, Paris and Worf arrest the council members and hand them over to the newly arrived Starfleet personnel to take into custody. Then the three officers came to join the Captain.
"Captain Picard, I am glad to see that you are still in ‘one piece’." Tuvok greeted.
"Well done Commander." Picard nodded to the Vulcan. "From your investigations in this case, and from the help of your former crew members, you have managed to stop ritualized cannibalism, and any future murders from taking place on
this planet and in the Federation caused by these people."
"Thank you Captain." Tuvok answered. "But I cannot guarantee that the murders and cannibalistic nature of the attacks have been stopped indefinitely."
"Why do you say that?" Riker asked him.
"We may have arrested the ring leaders of the circus, but the people on this planet still regard the lack of importance in humanoid’s lives, particularly in the case of outsiders. To avoid any issue or circumstance of the kidnapping of Federation citizens and bringing them back to this planet, so they can eat them, I believe a total band on technology should be placed on Heaven, with warning beacons placed in orbit. Then no one may land here nor any of the
people build a ship to fly out."
"Agreed." Picard nodded. "I’ll contact Starfleet command with that exact suggestion. Thank you Commander.’
"Ready to go?" Troi asked Picard.
Picard looked around the main street once more.
Apart from the Starfleet personnel rounding people up and the arrests that were taking place, it still was a pretty place to be standing in.
The sun was setting and the soft, pink hue of dusk had settled over the trees and flowers. The painted buildings still had a homey and cheerful look to them. He looked over to see the picture he had seen the children paint just that afternoon on one of the windows.
"It’s just such a pity. This all could have been…" he stopped himself.
"Like Heaven?" Troi smiled at him sadly.
The shuttle flight back to Earth was a quiet one. The crew inside knew it would mean that it could be a long time before they would see each other again.
Paris would go back to work in the Engineering section at Starfleet Command in San Francisco designing the new type of shuttle craft. Seven would be leaving Earth’s orbit as she rejoins the USS Cairo, and Tuvok would be… "Actually, what
will he be doing now?" this train of thought stumped Lt. Tom Paris.
"So what will you be up to now Tuvok?" Paris asked from behind the controls. "I’ll be going back to San Francisco back to the wife and kid. Seven is back to her career on the Cairo. What will you be going back to, if you don’t mind
Tuvok looked up from the PADD with the report he had been writing.
Normally the Vulcan would mind the human’s inadvertent blast of curiosity as Vulcan’s
revere privacy. But this was Tom Paris, a blatantly loud human being whom the Vulcan suddenly realized he would miss, like many other humans that he served on board Voyager that he missed. Along with the human female beside him, the former drone who also consisted on a verdict of logic and relevance that the Vulcan found some solidarity with when there were times that logic and relevance ran scarce.
"Huh?" Paris looked back at him, waiting for his answer. "Don’t you wanna tell me?" he teased.
"Mr. Paris, you’re childish behavior and lax attitude towards people of higher authority caused me great concern once. Now, I find, that I will miss it."
Tom and Anika looked at each other in surprise at this sudden revelation.
"Er, Tuvok, are you feeling alright?" Paris asked a little nervously.
"And Seven of Nine, now Lt. Anika Hansen. I will miss our discussions we had on board Voyager and your analytical thinking and logical way to confront the problems you are faced with. I believe that you will become an invaluable crew
member on board your new vessel." Tuvok continued.
"Thank you Commander." Anika replied, a little shocked at the compliment.
"In answer to your question Mr. Paris, I have decided to take a sabbatical from Starfleet, and return to my home on Vulcan."
"So you do miss your wife and kids then." Tom said.
"My mate T’Pel knew she would be joined to a Starfleet Officer when she undertook her vows to be my wife. From this decision she has adjusted herself to my long absences. But I believe now from these past two months that our parting has been sufficient, and our re-joining, in light of current events, would be the logical choice."
"Of course. There’s nothing like a look in the face of death that can put one’s priorities in place." Paris agreed. "Especially when you’re standing against a huge angry mob that are looking at you like you’re the fly that landed in a turkey sandwich." Then he turned and faced his former commanding officer. "I’ll never forget how strong and indifferent you were to danger, Tuvok, down on the surface. How getting Capt. Picard back alive and in one piece seemed your only goal."
"I thank you for your compliment, Mr. Paris. But do not mistake logic for being fearless. When there are little options left from danger when the price of life is so high, I believe that sometimes your only choice is to take your
stand and create yourself an option out. I learned that from Admiral Janeway."
Paris gave a nod of recognition, before sharing another look with his co-pilot, then they returned to their duties at the control panel.
Tuvok observed this before turning back to his own work, the report. The three crew members knew that they were only sitting there, not only on their mission, but even for not completing it in the Delta Quadrant, was thanks due to one
The report he was writing was attentioned to Admiral Janeway.