By Maquis Leader
Authors note: Another fix for Endgame. Admiral Janeway’s thoughts on her way to meet the Borg Queen.
Her neck stung where the hypospray had injected the poison into her bloodstream. Was there a burning in her veins or was that just a figment of her imagination? Not that it mattered; she’d be dead in a few minutes anyway. Or not, if Voyager made it through the conduit into the Alpha Quadrant.
If she made it home earlier than before – then she wouldn’t be able to come back to help herself get home earlier – so she’d get home in the same time as before? “Screw you, Braxton, time is what you make of it.” Voyager would get home sixteen years earlier and that was all that mattered. No. Chakotay would live. That was the only thing that mattered.
The nebula was closing around her now, cutting off her contact with Voyager. Just as well, she’d done all she could there. Given herself a kick in the ass to get her going in the right direction. She’d wasted too much of her time with Chakotay and she’d be damned if she’d let it happen again. The look on ‘Captain’ Janeway’s face had at first been shock and then pain. She’d believed it too easily. She’d wanted to shake her younger self. Chakotay and Seven? Get real! “If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?” Nobody, that’s who. Never trust a time traveling Admiral. They should teach that at the Academy.
Pulling the image of herself and Chakotay out of her bag, she rubbed her fingers across the surface. It had been taken on shore leave on some little green planet with no name. They were sitting in a lounge chair in the surf. She was cradled in his arms and laying back against his chest. The Doctor had captured the image at the moment they’d kissed. The Admiral chucked softly. Not that he’d had much trouble. She and Chakotay had spent most of their leave sitting there kissing and talking. More kissing than talking if the truth was told. Occasionally they would go into their bungalow when the kissing moved to more serious things. Fourteen years together and they still hit the sack like they were newlyweds. It was their last shore leave together.
Four months later, they found the Gamma Quadrant end of the Bajoran wormhole and Voyager was home. Two months before that, Chakotay was killed when they were attacked by pirates. After surviving the Borg, the Hirogen, and the Vidiians – he’d been killed by petty criminals. She’d placed his body in stasis so she could bury him in the family plot in Indiana. That was how close to home they knew they were at the time.
Maybe she should have told her younger self the truth. Told her that Chakotay’s fling with Seven never went past a few dates. They were too different. He needed warmth and love and she provided neither. Seven had died recently on Vulcan where she’d lived for the past ten years. The former drone had immersed herself in the study of Kohlinar trying to attain perfection. Her funeral had been held on Vulcan and her ashes scattered across the desert. Harry had missed the funeral. He’d blamed his mission. But the truth was he’d never gotten over Seven.
“Should I have told her, Chakotay?” She touched her fingertip to his face in the image. “Should I have told her that you waited another two years before I threw protocol in the recycler where it belonged?” She could hear him telling her she should know better than to meddle. You know how you are. If you’d have told her, she’d have had to known about everything. About me. About Taya.
Sorrow gripped her heart. Even after eighteen years the death of their only child was just as fresh as it had been the day she died. It was a simple fall. No exploding conduits, no hostile aliens, or exotic virus. Taya had fallen while playing in Voyager’s childcare facility and her head had struck a table leg. She’d died before she was beamed to Sickbay and the Doctor had been unable to revive her. With all the medical knowledge he possessed, the human brain was still beyond his ability to repair.
Chakotay had been devastated. His sun rose and set on Taya. He’d fallen into a depression so severe she’d begun to fear he’d slip away from her as well. He ate very little, rarely slept, and spent his time sitting in Taya’s room staring at her empty bed. Gradually, he came out of his depression, but a piece of him was gone forever. He renounced his beliefs and his spirit guide. The medicine bundle and akoonah were thrown in the recycler along with every other reminder of his heritage. She’d barely talked him out of having the Doctor remove his tattoo, reminding him that it was to honor his father, not the spiritual beliefs he’d turned his back on.
Her hope that another child would help heal his injured soul had slowly faded when she never conceived again. Chakotay’s quiet spirituality was replaced with a lingering melancholy. Even at the happiest times, sadness lurked in his eyes.
As he lay dying of his wounds, she’d promised to come to him in the afterlife. He’d turned away. “There is no afterlife, Kathryn, no spirits. Everything in my life has been taken away until nothing remained.” He’d given her one last kiss. “You’re all I have left and all I can give you is pain.”
Two months later Voyager was home and her life settled into bitterness. Until the day she heard whispers of a temporal device the Klingons were developing. Working with Reg, they’d formed the plan to change the past for the better.
“I can’t save your people, your father, or your Maquis friends, Chakotay. But I can save your spirit and our daughter.” The Admiral chuckled again. “If I know me – and I think I do – she’ll be ready to claim you as hers – and mine – the minute Voyager hits space dock.” When Captain Janeway had come to say goodbye there had been a resolve in her eyes that didn’t bode well for anyone between her and what she wanted. “If the tale about Seven doesn’t do the trick, the copy of this picture I left behind with Naomi certainly will.” Her ‘assistant’ had orders to deliver it to the Captain and Commander as soon as they exited the conduit.
“There’d better be an afterlife, Chakotay, because I intend to search one end to the other until I find you.” The Admiral tucked the image into her inside jacket pocket. “I’m ready for you, bitch. Come and get me.”