"Is something wrong?"
"I told you nothing is wrong and I would appreciate it if you didn't call me that on the
"No one heard me. I whispered."
"That's not the point."
"All right. I'll keep my mouth shut."
"I didn't mean that. And obviously you knew it because you have a huge grin on your
"Ok. Really are you all right?"
"I'm fine." With that she stood and headed for her ready Room. "You have the Bridge,
Commander." She got almost to the door when she collapsed to the floor.
Chakotay and the rest of the senior officers on duty shot to their feet and into action.
Chakotay was at her side before she even hit the floor. He quickly slapped his
commbadge. "Chakotay to sickbay, prepare for an immediate transport. The Captain just
collapsed." The transporter caught Janeway and Chakotay almost immediately after he
broke the comm link.
The senior officers stood on the bridge staring at empty space for what seemed like an
eternity before Tuvok broke the silence. "The Captain is now in the Doctor's care.
Please, return to your duties." Everyone returned to their posts, but no one seemed to be
concentrating on their work. They were all thinking about their Captain in sickbay.
"I told you I'm fine. Let me out of here, please, Doctor." Captain Janeway was doing her
best to persuade the Doctor to let her return to duty.
"Captain, you collapsed on the Bridge in front of your senior officers. Do you really think
I am foolish enough to let you return to duty without running some tests first."
Janeway looked pleadingly at Chakotay. "Don't look at me. I'm in complete agreement
with the Doctor on this one."
"I skipped breakfast that's all. I know I shouldn't have after not eating dinner last night,
but I was in a hurry." She looked from one man to the other hoping that one of them
would take that as an adequate excuse for her fainting on the bridge. Of course, neither of
them gave in.
"Captain, you should have eaten something. I have told you on a number of occasions
that you simply must eat something when you're on the go so much."
"I know, Doctor." She gave a sigh of resignation as the Doctor began the first of his tests.
Two hours later, Kathryn Janeway strode defiantly through the corridor on deck two. She
was just stepping into the turbolift when she realized there was already someone in it. She
looked up to see Chakotay looking at her with concern. She said nothing to him.
They rode in silence for only a few seconds. "What did the Doctor say?"
She answered calmly, "Nothing yet. He's finishing going over the test results." She
turned on him. "You know, you could have said something to back me up. He prodded
and scanned me for almost two solid hours. I also got a very fascinating lecture on the ills
of skipping two meals in a row when also having not had a good night sleep for two nights
as well." She couldn't help but notice the snicker he was trying desperately to stifle.
"Excuse me, what is so funny?" She put her hands on her hips in her standard don't give
me any shit mister stance.
He let part of the laugh escape as he spoke. "I'm sorry, Kathryn. It's just...when you
started talking about the doctor's lecture..." He started laughing again.
When she thought about it she realized why he found it so humorous. She gave him a big
grin. "All right, laughing boy, stop it." Now she too started laughing.
Chakotay straightened up a bit, "Laughing boy?"
"You heard me."
"Ouch. I guess I must really be in the dog house."
"No, just in a kennel."
"Aghh, bad dog humor. Ok, enough of the bad jokes before someone else gets on and
catches us acting like this."
"Like what, Commander?"
"Like a couple of teenagers."
"...couple of teenagers." They said simultaneously.
"All right." She seemed to be concentrating on something that wasn't visible.
"Kathryn?" concern flooded his voice and his features.
"I'm sorry. What?" she still had a vaguely far off look.
"Are you all right? You seem to be a million miles away."
She turned to face him again. "I was just thinking abut something. You know, I think I'm
going to go get some sleep."
"And something to eat?" he gave her his best command look.
Her features softened when she looked up at him. "And something to eat."
The lift opened and she stepped out. "See you in the morning, Chakotay."
Captain Kathryn Janeway strode onto the Bridge with a smile. To the distinct relief and
pleasure of everyone on the bridge especially Chakotay.
"Good morning, Captain. Are you feeling better?" Harry was hoping desperately that he
wasn't overstepping his boundaries.
Janeway turned to look at him as she took her seat. "Yes, I am. Thank you, Harry." She
was rewarded with a huge smile. That's what she liked to see, a happy crew.
"Did you sleep well?"
"A few bizarre dreams that I can't quite remember, but all in all I slept quite well." She
leaned toward Chakotay and whispered "The Doctor hasn't contacted me yet, but he said
that he should have the results of his multitude of tests this morning."
"Sickbay to Janeway."
"Speak of the ...' She looked at Chakotay and grinned. 'Don't tell him I almost said that."
"Captain, would you and the Commander please come to sickbay?"
Janeway and Chakotay exchanged a quick look. Why would he want to see them both.
"We're on our way. Tuvok, you have the Bridge." With that they both exited via the
They exited the turbolift on deck two. Neither of them spoke until after they entered
sickbay. "You wanted to see us?"
"Ahh, Captain yes." The doctor walked to a nearby biobed and gestured for Janeway to
"One moment Commander. How are you feeling this morning, Captain?" he asked as he
began scanning her with his medical tricorder.
"Fine actually. I ate and got some sleep, now I feel fine."
"No further bouts of nausea or anything else?"
"No." She and Chakotay exchanged a look as the doctor seemed to be thoroughly
perplexed by the readings he was getting.
"Captain, you will be pleased to know that there is apparently nothing wrong with you."
"For some reason you don't sound pleased by that."
"As a matter of fact, Captain, I am quite perplexed. The results I got from the tests I ran
on you yesterday gave me very different results than the scan I just did on you now."
Chakotay used the Doctor's pause as an opportunity to ask a question. "Are you saying
that there was something wrong with her yesterday, but not now? Is that why you wanted
to see both of us?"
The doctor's head popped up quickly from the console he was using now. "No, not
something wrong. Well, depending on your point of view." The doctor noticed the
confused look that passed between Janeway and Chakotay. "I feel duty bound to tell you
what those test results were."
"I was hoping you would."
"According to the tests I ran, and I rechecked them a number of times to be certain there
was not something wrong with the equipment or the test routines. According to those
tests you were pregnant, Captain."
Janeway's eyes widened and her jaw dropped slightly. "Pregnant?" she asked quietly.
"Yes, Captain. Approximately two weeks along."
She turned to see what Chakotay's reaction to all of this was. He looked as if someone
had just smacked him across the face. "But I haven't..." she let the comment trail off as
Chakotay continued to stare at the wall.
"Are you certain, Captain?"
She turned to the doctor again. "I think I would remember if I had. For crying out loud I
haven't since before we got stranded in the Delta Quadrant." Chakotay turned to look at
her. She returned the look and lightly shook her head. He smiled at her.
"Captain, don't worry. I believe you. The scans I did also revealed that information.
Chakotay and Janeway both looked at him.
"However, I think it prudent to tell you both that I had determined who the father was."
"Who?" Chakotay and Janeway asked simultaneously.
"I determined the father to be Commander Chakotay."
This time Chakotay's eyes widened and his jaw dropped slightly. He shook his head then
spoke up. "That's why you wanted to see both of us. But I haven't either." He shook his
head slowly as he tried to comprehend how this could have happened and also why she
was no longer pregnant.
"So what happened?" Janeway asked once she had pushed past the confusion of how this
had happened and the unexpected announcement that Chakotay was the father.
"That's what I am so perplexed by. Did anything happen last night that would indicate a
"Are you certain, Captain?"
"Yes,' she paused as she remembered something. 'except for the strange dreams I had."
"You mentioned them to me earlier, but you didn't say what they were about."
"Can you remember anything about them?"
Kathryn looked up at the Doctor. "I remember a person in my quarters then a room that
made me think of an examination room, and then being in my quarters again and the
"And you can't remember anything else about the dreams? Smells, sounds, things that
were said, instruments, the sensation of a transporter?"
"Doctor, you think she was abducted from the ship." The look on Chakotay's face
mirrored that on Kathryn's.
"Commander, have you been having strange dreams?"
"You're not suggesting that someone abducted both Chakotay and myself without anyone
on board knowing it."
"It would certainly explain things. As I told you, I had determined that the Commander
was the father."
Kathryn turned to Chakotay, "Have you been having strange dreams?"
"Not that I can think..." He let the statement trail off as a memory of a dream resurfaced.
"Chakotay?" Kathryn put her hand on his arm.
"I'm sorry. I just remembered a dream I had a few weeks ago. I was laying in bed and a
person was in my quarters. After that I remember an examination room, then being in my
quarters again and the person disappearing." He and Kathryn looked at each other as they
realized that the Doctor's theory that they had been abducted and experimented on gained
more credence with the amazing similarity of their strange dreams.
The Doctor began scanning Chakotay. "Absolutely fascinating."
"You have genetic material missing. Nothing that your body will miss I assure you, but it
is highly fascinating. You, Commander, are missing a small amount of sperm and you,
Captain, are missing an egg."
"So, someone has abducted us, taken samples from us, impregnated me using the taken
samples, and then abducted me again to remove the baby."
"But for what purpose?" Chakotay pondered.
"Likely for experimental purposes. Or possibly to use for organ donor purposes as the
Vidiians do with captives."
The idea that someone would take the baby for such purposes sickened all of them. Now,
the question was who and exactly why.
"Doctor if there's nothing further we'll be on the bridge doing some investigating of our
own." With that Janeway quickly made her way out into the corridor with Chakotay hot
on her heels.
"Captain, slow down. Please?"
She stopped and turned. "I'm sorry, Chakotay. I'm just so mad and stunned and...I don't
"I know what you mean. It just seems so...unreal." Chakotay shook his head.
"That is an understatement." She headed for her quarters. "I'm going to my quarters. If
you would like to we could talk for a while." She saw his uncertain look. "I would like to
talk for a while."
Chakotay gave her a soft smile. "All right." They continued on to her quarters in silence,
both of them lost deep in thought.
They had been in her quarters for almost an hour before they were able to broach the topic
they both wanted to discuss. The conversation thus far had been about the crew, sensor
reports, the ship, Neelix's recent attempt to make cotton candy for Tom and Harry, and
eventually the upcoming staff meeting to setup an investigation into their abduction.
"What do you plan to do when we find out who did this and what they have done with the
"I want to know why they did this and how they did this." She whirled around from
where she stood, looking out the viewport, to face him. A torrent of mixed emotions
flashed in her eyes. "I also want to know why us. There are 148 people on this ship and
they picked us. There has to be some reason why."
"Perhaps they know we're the leaders of this group." The look she gave him made it quite
plain to him that she didn't agree with hat idea. "Or maybe they just picked us at random."
"At random?! She let all the anger and violation she felt come pouring out at Chakotay.
"Excuse me?! What are the odds that they would pick the two of us at random. I want to
know what gives them the right to do this to us; to push into something like this and then
just go on their merry way like we're just breeding animals or something. I am not some
piece of livestock on a farm for their baby making use. And how could some one use a
baby for experimentation or organ harvesting. That's just flat out demented." She swung
around to look at Chakotay again, just now realizing that she had been pacing while she
ranted at him. He stood there not saying a word, merely letting her vent out her feelings
without giving her any reason to actually turn her formidable wrath on him. Her features
softened and the turmoil of emotions in her eyes and her mind settled. "Chakotay, I'm so
sorry. I didn't mean to let loose on you."
"It's all right, Kathryn. I know you just need someone to vent at. I feel the same way, I
feel the same anger and sense of violation."
"I'm going to get some sleep. You're welcome to stay if you like. The couch is more
comfortable than it looks."
"Thanks I think I'll take you up on that offer."
She turned to head into the bedroom. His next words stopped her in her tracks.
"By the way, did you realize that from the first time the doctor told us that you had been
pregnant you have referred to the baby a number of times. Not a scientific detached term
like fetus, you used the word baby." He waited as she stood there unmoving for a
Without turning to look at him she said simply and quietly. "I know, and I don't know
why." She continued on into her bedroom leaving Chakotay to ponder what was going on
in her head and his own.
Chakotay awoke as soon as he heard a whimper in his sleep. He sat up and looked
around. Kathryn was still in her bedroom, and that was the direction the whimper was
coming from. He quickly entered the room expecting to find her sitting on her bed or at
the vanity crying, but instead she was sound asleep crying softly. He realized she was
dreaming, and that something in her dream must have provoked the tears. Quietly he sat
down on the edge of the bed. He waited for some hint of what she was dreaming about.
A few minutes later she started tossing and turning. She mumbled something he couldn't
quite make out. The next time he heard her quite well.
"Don't hurt her... She just a child... She can't defend herself... No, don't take her from
me... I won't let you... We won't let you... You can't take our child..."
Chakotay perked up, now fully awake at hearing the words we and our child. He thought
better of staying. He returned to the other room and attempted to go back to sleep.
She looked up at him. "Good morning. How did you sleep?"
"I was about to ask you that. Did you sleep well?"
"Actually, I had some unpleasant dreams about this situation."
"What do you intend to do if we find these people and they have the baby?"
She looked at him and gave him a small smile. "I'm not sure." She stared out the
viewport, her smile fading to be replaced by a far off look. "I'll see you on the bridge."
She quickly got up and left her quarters.
Chakotay entered the ready room and found her where he expected she would be. Sitting
on the couch staring out the viewport with that far off look. *Oh, Kathryn, talk to me.
Tell me what you're feeling.* he thought. He cleared his throat to get her attention.
She didn't even turn to look at him before responding. "Hello, Chakotay."
She turned to face him. "You want to talk about the aliens and all this."
"Actually, you're pretty close to right. I want to know what you're feeling." Before she
could reply he held up a hand. "I don't mean what you want to do about this. I mean
what you are feeling about all this. It can't be any easier for you than it is for me, and I
know that you need to talk to someone about what you are feeling about it. I know I do."
"And who better to talk to than the other person involved?" she gave him a small smile.
It was an improvement.
"Exactly. I know this isn't easy for you, Kathryn. It's not easy for me either, but we have
to deal with it. Unless you have decided to leave this area of space without investigating?"
Her head snapped up. "Of course not. I want to know who did this and why as much as
you do. It's just that... I've been... having these dreams."
Chakotay had a pretty good idea what kind of dreams from what he saw the night before.
"Dreams about the baby and the people who took it." It came out as a statement of fact
rather than a question which is not what he had intended.
Kathryn stared at him for a moment. "How do you know that?"
"You were talking in your sleep. Sort of. I could tell you were having a nightmare of
sorts. I heard you shouting at someone not to take the baby from you."
"Well, that explains your interest in my feelings. I know, that's not the only reason. You
are genuinely interested. You don't know what this is like for me." She saw him open his
mouth to protest. "I remember what you went through when Seska made you think she
had your child, but there is a difference here. We... I know this is our... my child. I have
proof. This child was inside of me even if it was briefly. I never realized before what that
would actually mean to me, especially in a situation like this. I thought that because I
didn't know until the doctor told us I had been pregnant, but now I wasn't, that it
wouldn't feel so...bad." She looked out the viewport again staring at what, he didn't
know. "But when I dreamed about the baby I felt the loss. I feel the little empty space
right here were she was for that short time." She put her hand on her stomach and looked
down to emphasize what she was saying.
"At least it was a girl in my dream.' She lifted her face and he could see the tears waiting
to be shed. 'But they took that from me. They just put her there then when she'd been
there long enough for their purpose they took her. They didn't ask for permission to put
her there and they sure as hell didn't ask for permission to take our baby away from us for
their own uses." She started crying while she vented yet again. First she sounded so sad
then as she vented more of her emotions she sounded very angry with the aliens.
Chakotay sat next her and pulled her into a comforting hug. "Oh, Kathryn."
She clung to him and let her tears spill out. They stayed that way for several minutes until
her tears subsided. She pulled back from him as her tirade ran through her mind again.
She knew there was something she had said that was bothering her. When her mind hit it
she stood and walked to the railing. In her ranting about her treatment by the aliens she
had let the words our baby slip out instead of my baby. She looked at the wall not
wanting to meet his gaze. She straightened as she heard him step up behind her.
"I know this isn't something you want to deal with right now, but you haven't told the
crew why we're looking for anomalies in the sensors from two weeks ago. Telling them
exactly what's going on may not be the best idea right now, however, we should tell them
something about it even if we don't mention the baby."
"We can tell them that the Doctor has reason to believe that we were abducted from the
ship and then returned and that I was abducted again then returned. I'll explain that my
fainting on the bridge was related to it." She turned to look at him. "Do you think that
"It should' she started to turn away until he continued. 'but when we find these aliens we
will have to tell the senior officers about the baby." She nodded and turned to look at her
desk. He turned and headed for the door.
"Chakotay,' He stopped with his back still to her. 'Will you have dinner with me this
evening? I feel like talking, if you don't mind?"
He turned to face her, not quite expecting the very vulnerable expression on her face. "Of
course, I'll have dinner with you, Kathryn. What time and where do you want to meet?"
"Right after our duty shift and in my quarters." He nodded and left the ready room.
Alpha shift had ended fifteen minutes ago, but Kathryn was still alone. *Where is he?*
She had used the extra time to change into her civvies to set the tone as one not related to
work. She started to hail him on her comm badge when the door chimed. "Come in."
"Hello. Sorry about being late."
He stepped in carrying something behind his back. This as well as the fact that he was
also in his civvies helped set Kathryn's mind at ease about the tone of the evening. They
were apparently thinking the same thing. "It's all right. What's that behind your back?"
"To be honest it's the reason I was a little late for dinner. I had to make a stop." Her
curiosity was starting to get the better of her and he knew it. He brought the present out
from behind his back. The look on her face was like a ray of sunshine to him. It made him
feel better to know that he could bring her some joy and a temporary reprieve from their
"Chakotay, it's beautiful. Where did you get it?" She carefully held the delicate piece of
etched crystal up to the light to admire it further. It really was quite beautiful.
"I was hoping you would like it. I made it." She quickly looked at him. "I thought it
might make you feel better."
"It certainly does. What is the etching of? It looks like an Indian symbol of some sort."
She turned the crystal over in her hands to examine it more closely.
Chakotay smiled at her and debated as to whether or not he should tell her what the
symbol was. "It is an Indian symbol. I thought it might be appropriate."
She looked up into his face again. "Now what exactly is that suppose to mean? What is it
a symbol of?"
"It's very complex." The look on her face told him that she was not going to be swayed
from her inquiry. "It symbolizes a story from my people, one that my mother told me."
"A story about what? You're not going to tell me are you? Well, even if you don't want
to tell me what it is, it's still very beautiful and I love it." Without thinking about it she
stepped up to him and hugged him. He hugged her in return.
After a moment of silence they released each other and moved to the dining table. "So,
what's for dinner?"
"Well, you might want to run after I tell you. I cooked." She lightly swatted his arm
when he pretended to faint. "Very funny."
"Sorry, but I remember when you tried to cook on New Earth. It was quite an
experience." He grinned at her broadly.
"It didn't take that long to get rid of the smoke." She grinned in return.
He cautiously removed the cover from the dish in the center of the table. "It smells
wonderful. Are you sure you didn't replicate it?"
"Shut up and eat." *Smart ass* she thought.
One hour later.
They were putting the dishes into the recycler when she noticed the etching that Chakotay
had brought her. Her curiosity was starting to nag at her. "Chakotay, what did you say
that legend was again?"
"Nice try. I didn't tell you." He was still facing the other direction. When he turned
around she was standing in her standard command stance with her hands on her hips.
"Ok, I'll give you this much, Zhenabawe."
"Zhenabawe?" It drove her nuts when he was cryptic. "Well perhaps I can go look it up
He quickly stepped in front of her. "Not yet. We both need to get some sleep." He
leaned down without thinking about it and kissed her on the forehead. "Good night,
"Good night, Chakotay." With that he left for his quarters. She went to her bedroom and
Her curiosity still nagging at her she went back into the living room. She picked up the
etching and sat at her desk. "Computer, do a cross reference search for the Native
American folklore and legends containing the word or phrase Zhinabawe."
The computer beeped in reply. "Correlating findings. There are seventy-two references to
"Cross reference those results with any pictorial references."
"Working. There is one pictorial reference."
"Display it on the desk console." A picture of a carving matching the one in the etching
Chakotay had given her appeared on the screen. She began to read the description
underneath it. Only the brief description, which was anything but, that Chakotay had told
her was in the file. "Computer, were is the rest of this file?"
"Access to the remainder of the file has been locked out."
"Chakotay." She shook her head. He knew her curiosity would nag at her. "Computer,
display the pictorial reference again." She looked again at the image on the screen. How
in the world did he make such an exact replica by hand. *He certainly is a talented man*
Kathryn woke up with one particular thought nagging her brain *What did Zhenabawe
mean*. There was another way she could look for it. She quickly threw off the sheets
and wandered into her living room. She addressed the computer as soon as she sat at her
desk. "Computer using previous search perameters for Zhenabawe search for any pictorial
examples that are similar to the pictorial reference for Zhenabawe."
The console displayed nine othe pictures that were amazingly similar to the one on the
etching, although they came from several different cultures. "Computer enhance and
enlarge refernce number 8." The computer beeped in reply and displayed the omage now
larger. It seemed to be the most like the etching and from the information under it was
also of Native American origin. "Computer display all information relating to this image."
"There are 39 files relating to this image."
"Narrow search to files containing information about the images origin, meaning, and
significance." 7 files appeared on the console. She ruled out the first 2 because they gave
only information about where and when the image was first used and by whom, but not
why. The next file int he list caught her attenmtion as she scanned it. "The mother of the
unwanted now wanted." The title rolled off her tongue with some difficulty. *Talk about
a tongue twister.* She stared at the image that appeared to be a woman holding a small
baby, and realized for the first time that the etching sitting on the table and the image on
the console were even more alike than she had thought. Both images, which seemed to
be of a woman and a small baby, had tears in their eyes and small smiles on their lips.
Part Two In The Works