by Suz

Disclaimer - Paramount owns the characters, I'm just playing with them.

Companion fics: Taking Flight and Shower.


It was perfect. The caves and rocks were just as she remembered them, the ground the same colour, the shuttlecraft in place. It had taken her hours to complete and the programme was finally ready to go.

Nothing moved. The storm didn't roll in the sky, the plants didn't sway. There was no wind until she chose it. At least here she was in control, nothing could decide her future or her outcome except for herself inside this safe little world. Safe. Controlled.

Kathryn Janeway may have liked being in control but she certainly didn't always like things safe.

"Computer, activate programme."

Beeping in response the computer complied and the picture surrounding her came to life. The wind blew around her, making her shiver. The dark clouds above merged ominously together and it occurred to her that she had made the programme a little *too* well.

Lowering her head she turned and watched the chemicals leaking from the shuttle, the sparks flying from consoles.

There was something missing.

"Computer," she spoke again "add pre-defined characters and animate."

"Acknowledged," the computer replied and immediately Chakotay appeared, dragging her body out of the shuttle. Reaching up to pull the wind-swept hair out of her face so she could see, Kathryn frowned.

It was a strange experience watching herself even though she was well aware it was a hologram. To see herself so pale, so still...a new set of goosebumps appeared on her skin and Kathryn had to wrap her arms around herself to stay warm.

By now Chakotay had picked her up and moved them away from the shuttle, looking for a safe place where he could help her. Locating the mouth of a cave he carefully but quickly lowered her to the ground and began trying to revive her.

It was there that the holo-characters froze; Chakotay's head raised up as he bent over her, her body lying still, so still.

There was nothing more for the holograms to do - nothing else had been programmed in so they simply stopped. Chakotay had given a report of what had happened but gave very sketchy details about what actually happened when he tried to bring her back to life. It was left up to her imagination as to how he reacted. She know what she saw before but that had been influenced by that bastard alien; she didn't know what was real and what wasn't.

Actually, that was a lie. Kneeling down carefully, Kathryn reached out and touched Chakotay's shoulder. She almost sighed in relief. He was there. He may have been a hologram but he was *there*. She closed her eyes. "Computer, remove the holo-characters."

Again the computer complied. The wind still howled around her, her hair long free from its constraints as she studied the ground. Settling her mouth into a determined line she forced herself to lay where her image had just been.

Staring up at the gloomy sky, the smell of the storm floating through her nose, Kathryn couldn't stop her thoughts. This was where she had died. Died. Died. Dead. She'd come close many times before in the Alpha Quadrant and especially in the Delta Quadrant, but never like this. Kathryn Janeway had been technically dead for 2.6 minutes. And there had been no time. No time to discover if there was an afterlife, if there was something more. A scientific soul, she had never really believed in the concept of heaven or hell. Still, it think that after her body died she would still exist in some form. There was no way for her to know now because she had been callously manipulated at the moment of her death.


She wiped a tear away and closed her eyes. Exhaling heavily she tried to hold back the sob that wanted to emerge.

Kathryn opened her eyes. Tuvok was staring down at her, looking composed despite the weather.

She didn't move and her voice warbled as she spoke. "Lieutenant, may I ask what you are doing here?"

"I was attempting to give you my security report. The computer gave your location as the holodeck and upon my request also informed me that you had been in here for over four hours. I am aware that you spend an infrequent and typically short amount of time in here, and as this unusual behaviour could indicate some kind of harm I decided to investigate."

Wanting to smile, she didn't. "You were worried."

He rose an eyebrow. "You may choose to believe what you wish."

"I will."

Tuvok studied her. "Captain, you are behaving in a most illogical manner."

This time she rose an eyebrow. "How so?"

"You are not Vulcan. There is no need for you to supress your emotions."

Kathryn wiped her hands over her face. "I guess you've taught me a little too well, old friend."

That statement seemed to trouble him but he moved away slightly as she sat up. "If you wish to meditate there is room around my meditation lamp for another person."

Standing, brushing holographic dirt from her trousers and the remaining moistness from her eyes, she thanked him. "I appreciate the offer, but I feel like doing something a little more active."

He nodded. "I suggest you read my security report," he held out the padd in question and she openly stared at him "and after that I would recommend a sail."

"You're recommending that I go sailing? *After* I read your report?" She took the padd from him and slapped it lightly against her thigh.

"Yes," he agreed "I have reason to believe the Commander will come to visit you at some point this evening."

Again she was dumbstruck but then chuckled. "Has he really become that predictable?"

Tuvok considered his response. "Only in regards to his senior officer."

She couldn't help but notice his slight emphasis on the last two words. "Have *I* really become that predictable?" she asked softly.

"Only in regards to a certain commander."

Silently turning, she called for the archway. It shimmered into existance and she stared at the exit. "I died, Tuvok."

His silence worried her until he finally spoke. "I have no doubt that had you not been revived your Katra would have gone to another. Someone with your bravery, your compassion. Your stubborness."


"Yes, Captain?"

"You're not very subtle."

The Vulcan said nothing, merely standing with his hands behind his back as she walked out of the holodeck. When the doors hissed closed behind her he studied his surroundings carefully. Looking at the spot where she had been laying, he spoke.

"Computer, delete and end programme."

The world around him vanished.


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