Author: Briar Rose
Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom owns Star Trek, Voyager, and her crew. Iím just going on an angst-fest with one of them. And yes, I stole the title from a song by Sting. Iím unrepentant.
Date: March 2001
ďKaia!Ē I scream her name, but itís lost amid the panicked voices of the people around me. They jostle against me as they shove their way toward the exit doors. I canít see her or Leith anywhere, and Iím fighting down a rising panic.
I spot someone with long black hair, so like hers, but when she turns at my call, I donít recognize her. Her eyes are panicked, too. I donít recognize anyone.
She was just beside me. One moment I was with her, and the next, she was gone. I was gone.
I feel heavy; drained, and so tired all of a sudden. People are starting to fall to the floor. They must have pumped in gas to sedate us. Or stunned us. I donít even have time to wonder how I know that before the darkness engulfs me.
* * * * * *
I wake up and the light is so bright I canít see for a moment. A man is leaning over me; he says heís a doctor; not to be afraid. He wonít hurt meósomehow I know this.
ďKaia?Ē I ask. ďWhereís my wife?Ē His eyes shift to a point past my head, then he smiles as he presses a hypospray against my neck. I try to ask about Leith, but blackness claims me again.
* * * * * *
My name is Ken Dalby. I knew that. But the rest of what theyíre telling me isÖpreposterous. I was taken from this ship, my memories wiped so I could be used in some sort of workforce on an alien planet. Iím not married, I donít have a son, I donít have a life. Not the one I know, at least. Itís fantastic, ridiculous. And I donít believe him. I wonít.
The others seem to accept it. They seem happy to be back, to have their old lives back. But Iím not. Iíve seen my logs. Iíve watched myself record them and itís me, but itís not me. Itís like watching a double. A doppelganger.
Or maybe Iím the ghost.
I guess I do belong here, but I donít feel like I do.
My old memories are starting to come back, but theyíre mixed up. Not just sequentially. Theyíre mixed with my memories from Quarra and I donít know whatís real and whatís not. No, thatís wrongóitís all real.
I remember being in the Maquis. Fighting beside Chakotay and the others. I remember Species 8472, our fights with the Borg, the Caretaker. I remember Tuvokís training and how he rescued Gerron. I just donít remember the order that it all happened.
I remember Leith being born, and how Kaia looked the day I asked her to marry me, so many years ago. The dress she was wearing, and the way she kissed me when she said yes. I remember the night we made Leith; the taste of her skin, and the way she lay in my arms afterwards. But it canít be right, because I was with Mara thenÖ
I remember Mara, though Iím trying not to. I guess thatís why Dr. Kaden gave me that memory implant. Gave me a wife and a son. Because Maraís been on my mind so much lately. At least she was, before. We were trying to have a baby. She thought she might have been pregnant, but it was too soon to get our hopes up. Weíd been trying for a long time. Then those fucking Cardies grabbed her, andÖ
Our baby would have been 9 years old in a few months.
Thatís why I joined the Maquis. I remember that. And I remember wanting to kill as many of the bastards as I could. Iím surprised Chakotay trusted me. I was crazy with grief. But then, he trusted Suder too, and he really was crazy, I guess.
Crazy. I feel like Iím going crazy now.
Itís hard not to think of her with BíElanna walking around so obviously happy, finally. So obviously pregnant. I donít resent her for it. Either of them. But Iím jealous, and Iím angry all over again. Especially now.
BíElanna will come up to my station with a padd or a comment on my work. Her belly will bump my elbow and sheíll laugh and apologize. It happens over and over again, and I laugh with her. What else can I do? I want to reach out and touch her; spread my hands across the baby growing in her womb, and pretend itís mine. Mine and Kaiaís.
God, I miss Kaia and Leith. Theyíre not part of the crew. Iíve looked; roamed the corridors and scanned the database. I donít believe that they were acting. They must have been brainwashed, too. We were a family. They loved me. I loved them. I still do.
He didnít even ask us. He beamed us onto Voyager, and warped away from Quarra without looking back. No one asked me if I wanted to leave them, or if I wanted to stay. And by the time they got around to meóthe ex-Maquis, misfit crewmanówe were lightyears away.
I want to go back. I wonder if Iím the only one. Somehow, getting back to the Alpha quadrant to kill more Cardassians just isnít enough anymore. I should have resigned my commission. Stolen a shuttle, anything.
I want my wife back. I want my life back. Even if it wasnít really mine.
* * * * * *
All stories by Briar Rose
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