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As the boys walked into the mess hall, their attention was immediately drawn to the new picture occupying the space beside the picture of Kel on the wall
"That's Captain Kreeg'Ah." H'Ree said as he pointed at the picture.
"Yes. I've seen him before. He looks really surprised." Dohn said speculatively as he stepped nearer to the picture.
"Yeah. I think that's the look he had when he realized that Aunt Janeway was going to blow him up." Kel said honestly.
After a moment, Dohn quietly said, "Good."
"If you boys are hungry, help yourselves to the buffet. We're on a skeleton crew down here since everyone's preparing for us to meet up with Voyager." Chell said as he rushed to place another tray of food on the steam table.
"You guys go ahead while I fix a bottle for Angel." Kel said with a smile.
"Would you show me what to do? I'd like to know how to prepare her food, in case you're busy." Dohn asked hopefully.
"Me, too. I wanna help, too." H'Ree said quickly.
"Sure. Come with me."
* * * * *
"Hey guys! How is everyone doing?" Bey asked cheerfully as he walked into the mess hall with Paris following close behind.
"Are you done with your work?" Kel asked hopefully.
"We're done for the moment. I think both of us were starting to space out a little bit. You can only concentrate for so many hours before you have to take a break." Paris said frankly.
"We were just about to eat. Will you eat with us? Chell set up a buffet, so you can help yourselves." Dohn offered helpfully.
"Thank you, Dohn. We'd like that." Bey said warmly.
"How's Angel doing?" Paris asked as he moved to H'Ree's side and watched him feeding the baby.
"She's a good baby. H'Ree wanted to feed her. That's okay, isn't it?" Kel asked cautiously.
Paris smiled and said, "Of course. We'll take all the help we can get."
As Bey returned to the table with a plate of food for himself, Paris automatically walked to the steam tables.
"How long is it until we meet up with Voyager?" Kel asked quietly.
"About two days. I think we'll have plenty of time to get our weapons prepped before we meet up with her." Bey said casually.
"Are you nervous?" Kel asked with concern.
"A little. But I'm trying not to think about it." Bey said honestly.
Paris took his seat at the table, then looked at Dohn and said, "Bey and I were discussing something, and there may be an opening on the bridge if you're interested."
Dohn looked at Paris with surprise at the announcement and it took a moment for him to ask, "What can I do?"
"We have a new weapon modification and we were thinking that it would be nice if we had an extra person trained to use it." Paris said frankly.
"It's only if you want to. If you don't, it won't be any problem." Bey hurried to add.
"That's right. We'll completely understand if you would rather not." Paris assured him.
"I don't understand what you're talking about." Dohn said honestly.
Bey gave a sympathetic smile, then gently said, "What we're saying is that the position for a weapons officer. If you choose to train on the position, it's likely that you would have to kill our opponents in battle. I don't know about your personal beliefs, but if you would have a moral problem with it, we won't ask you to train there."
Dohn sat silently for a moment, considering what he believed and how he felt about what they were asking.
"You don't have to decide right now. Please take the time to consider this carefully and make the choice that you're most comfortable with." Paris said seriously.
Dohn closed his eyes and seemed to have entered an almost meditative state.
"Please know this, whatever you decide, I will be proud of you and help you however I can." Kel sent telepathically to Dohn.
"Thank you. I believe that I already knew that. But you saying so brings me peace." Dohn responded in kind.
"Please don't worry about it now. Let's enjoy this food before it gets cold." Bey said cautiously, not quite understanding what was going on in Dohn's mind.
Dohn opened his eyes, then quietly said, "If I were still living in the Ocampan underground, shielded from our enemies and secure in the knowledge that I was safe, then I might have the luxury of holding to absolute convictions about the sanctity of all life. But I have freely chosen to live here, in the outer world. Part of the new reality that I have to face is the struggle to survive. To kill or be killed. If I am to participate in this world of yours and become a part of it, I must accept that as a fact."
"I'm afraid that given our situation, that's true." Paris said regretfully.
"Also keep in mind that we not only fight to protect ourselves, but also those that we love. For me, that includes everyone on this ship." Bey said frankly.
"Yes." Dohn said with a slight nod.
"When would you like to start your training on the weapons station? We can do it as soon as you're ready." Paris said gently.
"Can we do it after the meal? I want to learn as much as I can so I can do my job efficiently, and without error." Dohn said seriously.
"You got it. When we're done here, I'll take you up to the bridge and walk you through the controls. Tomorrow, I'll set it up so that you can get some practice targeting." Paris said with a reassuring smile.
"Thank you." Dohn said quietly.
"I want a job, too." H'Ree said as he looked around at all the serious expressions.
Bey smiled at the sight of Angel, being gently held in H'Ree's arms as she finished her bottle.
"I think that since Kel is our transporter chief, that he might appreciate it if you would help us out by being another caregiver for Angel." Bey said gently.
"But I'm already doing that." H'Ree said frankly.
"Yes, you're being very helpful, but what I'm thinking is that we could teach you how to change her, and bathe her and all the other things that we have to do for her on a daily basis, so that we know if we're all called to duty at the same time, we can leave her in your care without having to worry." Bey tried to explain.
"You mean that I'd watch her all the time?" H'Ree asked anxiously.
"No. But it means that if all of us have to go to work at once, we'll know that we can leave Angel in your care until one of us is free to take over." Bey said with an encouraging smile.
"By doing this one job, you can ease their worries that their child is being properly cared for." Dohn said seriously.
H'Ree looked at Dohn with surprise at his assessment of the situation, then looked down at Angel and noticed that she had finished her bottle.
"She's done, what do I do now?" H'Ree asked cautiously.
"Kel, hand me a towel and I'll show H'Ree how to burp her." Bey said gently, knowing that the decision had been made.
* * * * *
"Janeway, I didn't expect you to be on the bridge this late." Paris said as he walked onto the bridge with Dohn at his side.
"Carey's got some brilliant idea for how he can retune the warp field to increase our velocity. I think he's full of... himself, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt." Janeway finished with a smile.
"You're waiting for him to fail so you can lord it over him." Paris said with a grin.
"If it were to go that way, I can't say that I'd be disappointed." Janeway conceded.
Paris chuckled, then said, "Dohn has volunteered to train as our backup weapons officer on the auxiliary station."
"No. I don't like that." Janeway said thoughtfully.
Paris and Dohn both looked at her with matching expressions of surprise.
"Am I to assume that you were considering letting Dohn man the auxiliary station to cover the new weapon modification?" Janeway asked curiously.
"Yes. That's what I had in mind." Paris said slowly.
"While that might be useful in about forty-four hours, I don't see it as being a viable position in the long term. And it could actually solve another problem that I have, since Blain's relocation to engineering." Janeway said seriously.
Paris reluctantly nodded his agreement.
"How about this? We could start Dohn out on the auxiliary station, like you were planning, but once we're in a situation where he can receive some additional training, perhaps we could have Bey and Gerry work with him to learn about all the different weapons systems. After that, we could have someone, maybe Blain, if Carey can spare him, work with him on hand-to-hand and sidearm training." Janeway said thoughtfully.
"How do you feel about that, Dohn?" Paris asked curiously.
"Please, let me confirm my understanding." Dohn said hesitantly.
Paris nodded to prompt him to continue.
"You wish for me not only to be in charge of firing the weapons during battle, but to eventually be in charge of their maintenance. And, beyond that, for me to be trained to do combat, like an enforcer?" Dohn asked cautiously.
"Well, I'm not sure what an enforcer is, but I get the idea. And that's not exactly what I'm saying. In the short term, the objective will be to teach you these skills, but in the longer term, we would want to get you to the point of being able to train and lead others. It's too soon for us to make any predictions, but what I'm proposing is that we put things in place now with the ultimate goal of you leading a security 'team'." Janeway said frankly.
"But, I would only ever use force to defend myself or those in my care. Someone else would be better... anyone else would be better to lead a security force." Dohn said helplessly.
"And I bet that you would agonize over every decision and feel concern for every enemy in our path." Janeway said speculatively.
Dohn cast his eyes down and reluctantly nodded his agreement to her accurate assessment.
"Good. I wouldn't want anyone in the job that 'enjoys' killing. I tend to be a bit... hot headed." Janeway hesitantly finished.
"A bit." Paris said with a grin.
"Think about it, Dohn. Who would you rather have with their finger on the trigger? The person who you know would fight to defend you or the person who really gets a kick out of watching things and people blow up?" Janeway asked seriously.
"Yes. I can understand what you are saying. I just don't know if I'm strong enough to be what you want me to be." Dohn said frankly.
"You aren't." Janeway said simply, then added, "Not yet, anyway."
Paris nodded his agreement.
"If we do our jobs right and give you the right training and encouragement, then I think that you'll grow into the position that we're creating." Janeway said seriously.
"She's right, Dohn. The more I think about it, the more I can see how perfect this is. Honestly, we need someone on the bridge who will speak up and defend the cause of peace." Paris said frankly.
"That would be my job?" Dohn asked in wonder.
"Following my orders will be your first job." Janeway said firmly, so there was no misunderstanding, then she added more quietly, "Speaking up for peace will be your second."
Dohn looked Janeway in the eyes and calmly said, "I accept."
"Good." Janeway said with satisfaction, then turned to Paris and said, "You'd better get to training our new Chief of Security, hadn't you?"
With a grin, Paris said, "Aye, Captain."
* * * * *
"Is taking care of Angel really a job?" H'Ree asked quietly.
Bey smiled at the question, then gently said, "Yes. Given our situation, where everyone has duties to perform, it will make all of our lives much easier if we know that we have someone that we can depend on watching out for her."
"Yeah. And with other people on the ship getting married and dating and stuff, it probably won't be too long before someone else has a baby. By then you'll know all the stuff that you need to know and be able to help them, too, so that they can be free to do their own jobs." Kel added helpfully.
"I didn't think of that. I'd really be able to help a lot of people that way." H'Ree said thoughtfully.
"You know, we still have a few unused cabins on the ship. It wouldn't take a lot to furnish one to be a childcare area. When Angel is old enough, she's going to need toys and a safe place where she can crawl and play. If we set that up in another room, then it will be available when others need to use it." Bey said distantly.
"We could all help. I bet if we ask around, we can get all kinds of ideas for some really good toys that we can make." Kel said cheerfully.
H'Ree smiled at the idea, then his expression changed to one of indecision.
"What's wrong?" Kel asked immediately.
"There is a smell..." H'Ree said hesitantly.
"Time for your next childcare lesson. Changing a diaper." Bey said as he stood.
"How can something so small make a smell so big?" H'Ree asked cautiously.
"That is one of the mysteries of the universe." Bey said frankly, then motioned for H'Ree to follow him into the bedroom.
* * * * *
"How was it?" Kel asked quietly as Dohn and Paris entered the cabin.
"There is much for me to learn." Dohn responded in an equally quiet voice.
"I think he has an understanding of all the controls, now. Tomorrow we're going to do some simulations so he can get used to targeting and firing." Paris added, then asked, "Why are we whispering?"
"Angel and H'Ree are asleep." Kel answered simply.
"Where's Bey?" Paris asked as he looked around.
"Looking at the vacant cabins." Kel answered, and noticed Dohn's look of concern.
Kel quickly continued, "We've been discussing making one of the empty cabins into a play area, not only for Angel, but also for any other children that might be born on our voyage."
Paris looked at Kel curiously, obviously not understanding the point of such an undertaking.
"Dad suggested that H'Ree could care for children while their parents are performing their duties. Right now, he is finding a space that he can dedicate to that purpose." Kel said honestly.
"You know, that's a good idea." Paris said with a nod.
"He also suggested that we start constructing appropriate toys for Angel, and the other children that follow, before there is a need for them." Kel added slowly.
"I didn't even think of that. We don't have anything at all for Angel to play with." Paris said with concern.
"And she is not at an age where she can play." Kel reminded him.
"I guess not." Paris said slowly, still sounding concerned.
The cabin door opening caused all three to turn at once.
"You know that cargo hold that we sectioned off, down by engineering?" Bey asked in a quiet, but excited voice.
Paris slowly nodded.
"It's in the center of the ship, so it's probably one of the most protected places that we have. I checked, and the bulkhead's secure. Being so central, you'd almost have to pass by it going to or from your crew cabin to your duty station... it's perfect." Bey said happily.
"So, I guess this means that you're going to be starting up a daycare center." Paris said with a smile.
"Not me, no. I'll help H'Ree to set it up, but once it's going, it'll be all his." Bey said seriously.
"He's just a child, himself." Paris said with concern.
"So is Kel. In fact, so are we all, if you think about it. There's no one on this ship who is biologically old enough to be considered an adult." Bey said frankly.
"I think I could pass." Paris said with a challenging smile.
"Maybe." Bey conceded, then continued, "H'Ree wants a job. Right now, the job is just to take care of Angel, but as he grows, so will the job, as other people have babies and need childcare."
"I should have known that you would have already thought this through. Just let me know what I can do to help you and you'll have my full support." Paris said with a loving smile at his husband.
"As soon as I have some free time, I need to take H'Ree down to the room that I was looking at to get his ideas on how we can adapt it to his needs. Depending on what he decides, I'll get with the appropriate people to make the modifications to the room." Bey said seriously.
"Just let me know when you need me to do something." Paris said in a low sultry voice.
Bey looked at Paris inquiringly for a moment, then broke into a smile.
"Bedtime." Kel announced as he stood.
Dohn looked at him with question.
"They've got that look. They're about to do sex." Kel said frankly.
Dohn's eyes went wide with surprise.
Paris turned away as Bey fought not to laugh, finally, he said, "Goodnight, boys."
"Goodnight. Have a good... sleep." Kel said knowingly.
* * * * *
"Do you want to sleep in your own room tonight? Or would you rather sleep with me?" Kel asked curiously.
"You would not mind?" Dohn asked hesitantly.
"Actually, I like it when you sleep in my bed. It makes me happy." Kel grinned.
After a moment to consider, Dohn quietly said, "It does me, too."
"Come on. Just be quiet. You don't want to wake H'Ree." Kel said as he led the way.
* * * * *
When Kel woke the next morning, he was surprised to find that H'Ree wasn't beside him, and Dohn was. Beyond that, Dohn was awake and watching him.
"What's going on?" Kel asked quietly.
"Your Dad woke H'Ree, so that he could watch after Angel." Dohn said gently.
"Were you watching me sleep?" Kel asked curiously.
"Yes. And I was thinking that I would like very much if I could continue to do so, on a daily basis." Dohn said honestly.
"I think I'd like that, too." Kel said with a smile.
"I was thinking that I would like to have the procedure to extend my life cycle." Dohn said carefully.
"I'm glad to hear that. I think that's a really good decision."
"Kel, the primary reason would be so that I can have you with me for years to come." Dohn said hesitantly.
"As your brother?" Kel asked cautiously.
Dohn shook his head.
"As your friend?"
Dohn shook his head again.
"As your... husband?" Kel asked hopefully.
Dohn's look became regretful as he said, "I don't know. I may never be able to be the husband you deserve. There are certain acts..."
"Do you love me?" Kel whispered.
"Do you want to hold me and go to bed with me and wake up with me?" Kel asked hopefully.
Dohn nodded again.
"So, it's just the sex things that you don't want?" Kel asked carefully.
"No. At least, not now. Maybe someday..." Dohn fought to say, but was interrupted.
"It's okay, Dohn. Let me tell you how I feel about it, and you can tell me how it sounds." Kel said seriously.
Dohn nodded his agreement.
"Holding you, going to bed with you, waking up with you, kissing you... hold on, is kissing okay?" Kel asked curiously.
"Yes. I believe I would like that." Dohn said with a smile.
"Good. Me, too." Kel said seriously, then continued, "Okay, all of that sounds really great. If you want to be my boyfriend, we can do that stuff all the time for as long as you want. But if you ever want to get married, like my dads are, then I'm going to want for us to have sex."
Dohn slowly nodded.
"In six weeks, or six months or maybe even six years, we might be ready for that. I can wait. To tell you the truth, I don't want to do sex stuff right now, either. All that stuff with the Kazons is still too fresh in my head." Kel said honestly.
"So, you don't mind waiting?" Dohn asked hopefully.
"That's what I just said." Kel said with a smile, then gently added, "If we get married, someday, I want for us to have everything right. So we'll take as long as we need to, to do that."
Dohn nodded his agreement.
"We'd better get up, in case H'Ree needs any help with Angel." Kel said regretfully.
"I believe he went with your dad, to look at the childcare area." Dohn said gently.
"Oh. Well then, would you like to kiss me?" Kel asked with a teasing smile.
Dohn returned the smile and nodded.
"Then, I guess you'd better."
* * * * *
"I was wondering if you were going to make it." Paris said when Dohn walked onto the bridge.
"You said zero hundred hours, didn't you?" Dohn asked cautiously.
"Yes. Don't worry, you're on time. But when we went in to wake H'Ree, you were looking awfully comfortable." Paris said with a smile.
"I was. But I promised that I would be here at zero hundred hours, and so I am." Dohn said simply.
"Right. Go get on the security station while I get the simulator software going." Paris said as he started pressing keys on his console.
"Excuse me, security station?" Kim asked curiously.
"Yeah. Janeway and I came up with that last night. Dohn is going to be our Chief of Security and he's getting the auxiliary station." Paris said with a smile.
"So, our Chief of Security has no training whatsoever." Kim confirmed.
"That's right. We're starting with a blank slate, so we can train him to do it right from the beginning." Paris said confidently.
"I would like to volunteer my services in his training. I have much knowledge of security procedures and protocols to impart." Kim said seriously.
"Okay, but keep in mind that he doesn't have a military background. If you can tailor your lessons to be understood by a civilian, I think you could provide him with valuable information." Paris said firmly.
"I will endeavor to do so." Kim said calmly, appearing to be satisfied with their negotiation.
"Okay, Dohn. Your console should be ready to go. Remember to identify your target, lock on, then fire." Paris said instructively.
"Yes, sir." Dohn said efficiently, then went to work.
* * * * *
"Kel, the computer said you were in here." H'Ree said as he walked into the transporter room.
"Yeah. I was just going through everything to make sure it's all working right." Kel said as he looked over his diagnostics.
"Angel missed you and wanted to see you." H'Ree said as he turned around to present Angel in her child carrier.
"Good morning, Angel. I missed you, too." Kel said as he moved away from his console and paid attention to his sister.
"Bey showed me the room he wants to use. It's ugly right now, but I think we'll be able to make it be a good place for Angel to play." H'Ree said happily.
"I'm glad you're doing that. I never minded taking care of Angel while I was doing transporter stuff and helping other people do things, but I'm going to be free to do a lot more stuff when you're watching her." Kel said honestly as he went back to his transporter console.
"At first, I thought you were making up something for me to do and pretending it was a real job, just so I'd stop asking. But taking care of Angel really does help, doesn't it?" H'Ree asked seriously.
"Yes. She needs someone to take care of her all the time. Dad and I, mostly, would find ways that we could do our work and take care of her at the same time. But that's not always easy, and sometimes it's not even possible, then someone else has to do our stuff because we can't." Kel said frankly, then hit a few buttons to initiate the next set of diagnostics.
"I never did anything important before." H'Ree said timidly.
"Don't worry. You'll have all of us to help you, if you need it." Kel said as he turned to smile at H'Ree.
* * * * *
"Status." Janeway barked as she walked briskly onto the bridge.
"Holding course and speed. ETA to Voyager is thirty three hours." Paris answered immediately.
"Long range scans do not detect any spacecraft." Kim said efficiently.
"Shields and environmental systems all stable. All personnel show at station keeping." Bey said seriously.
"Dohn, how are you doing, this morning?" Janeway asked when she noticed him.
"I am running simulations to practice my weapons efficiency. I am currently trying to best my previous score." Dohn said calmly.
"Good. Get the practice in while you can." Janeway said with an approving nod.
"You seem to be a bit late this morning. Touring the ship?" Paris asked curiously.
"Actually, yes. Since it's possible that we may be having visitors in the next few days, I thought I'd look around to be sure that everything's tidy." Janeway finished with a smile.
"I assume you're talking about Voyager and not the Videans." Paris said teasingly.
"Watch it, Mister. I still remember one or two maneuvers that require 'bait'." Janeway said with a grin.
"Noted." Paris said with a grimace.
* * * * *
"Dad?" Kel asked as he approached Bey's work station.
"What's going on, Old Man?" Bey asked gently.
"Is everything really going to be okay?" Kel asked anxiously.
"Of course. Why do you ask?" Bey asked as he turned in his chair.
"Because we're going into battle. Aren't you scared at all?"
"No. Not really. I've got you and Angel and your father, and now H'Ree and Dohn. So, I have every reason to fight with everything I've got. And if that turns out not to be enough, then I suppose that whatever happens next will happen to all of us together. So, as long as I've got all of you with me, I'm not worried." Bey said gently.
"Kel, were you needing something?" Janeway asked curiously from her station.
With a smile, Kel hurried over to her and said, "No, Aunt Janeway. Dad was just telling me why he's not worried. I was a little bit nervous for a minute, but I'm better now."
"Good. We've got a fine ship and an excellent crew. There's nothing to worry about." Janeway said confidently.
Kel smiled at the words, knowing without using his telepathy that she meant it.
* * * * *
"Janeway, we have Voyager on subspace." Kim said efficiently.
"On screen." Janeway said immediately.
Janeway waited to see what Captain Janeway's reaction was going to be.
"You sound... older..." Captain Janeway stammered.
"Don't worry, Captain Janeway, I'm old enough to do this." Janeway said firmly.
"Excuse me, but your appearance... are you Klingon?" The Captain asked cautiously.
"One of my ancestors was. How can we help you?" Janeway asked crisply.
"Oh, yes. I wanted to notify you that the Videans have a transport ship approaching with an estimated three hundred more fighters. They haven't caught up to us yet, but if we stop for a battle when you arrive, that transport will probably be arriving at an inopportune time." The Captain said seriously.
"Can you send us the specifications on the transport?" Janeway asked seriously.
"Of course. Transmitting, now." The Captain said as she looked off screen and nodded at someone.
Janeway glanced at Kim and saw her indicate that the data had been received.
"We will study this data and get back with you shortly." Janeway said professionally.
"Before you go, how is it that a Klingon came to be in the Delta Quadrant?" Captain Janeway asked curiously.
"Let's save that discussion until we can meet in person. I promise that I will answer as many questions as I am able at that time." Janeway said diplomatically.
"I'll look forward to it." Captain Janeway said dryly.
"Amalgam out." Janeway said, then waited until Kim closed the link.
"Your mom's kind of a bitch." Paris said frankly.
"You didn't think I got all of it from my Klingon side, did you?"
I am so happy to see a new chapter of Son Of Voyager. It has been quite a while since we have heard from the Delta Quadrant. Thank you very much, for a wonderful read.
When I first began reading MM's fan fiction, I was struck with the intricate relationships that occurred within each storyline.
For me, there are at least two kinds of stories that can be called fan fiction. and the first two kinds of stories have little to do with the author.
What they do have to do with, for me, is whether I have an interest in the original movie, book, or TV show that is the source of the fan fiction.
The more interest I have in the original, the more likely I am to enjoy the fan fiction. Having said that, I have to admit that I have read some fan fics based on things that I enjoy very much and have, sadly, found them less than satisfactory.
That has NEVER been the case with a story written by MultiMapper.
I had a unique opportunity when I started editing MultiMapper's stories. Whenever he wrote a new chapter, I needed to edit it for him.
So, as I began to edit some of his fan fics, I found myself reading a few stories based on some material with which I had not originally had any interest in.
As of now, I can honestly say that I have never found one single story written by MultiMapper that I didn't enjoy. Some of them, I enjoyed more than others, but I did, in fact, enjoy them all.
This story is a winner in every way possible, for me. First of all, I am a huge fan of the TV series Voyager, as I am almost all of the Star Trek franchise.
The huge bonus, for me, is that when MM writes a story based on anything, I know I am going to jump in with both feet, because I know his treatment of the subject will be outstanding, and I won't even need to be familiar with the original source material to become totally hooked.
I have actually found myself becoming interested in the original works in quite a few cases, after first reading MM's fan fiction.
I can hardly wait for more. Please, sir, may i have some more?
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher