The Secret Logs of Mistress Janeway
A Word From the Mistress: I so rarely use any of my writing for a soapbox. It makes writing and reading tedious, in my opinion. However, I find that I must say, no scream something after watching "Lineage." It happens that I have a long history with the subject of the mixed-breed, or as it is phrased in lit classes, "The Tragic Mulatto Syndrome." It posits that no one of mixed heritage can truly be happy because they are neither of one world or the other. It's vexing in this era, because it's often used to discourage interracial relationships (what will the children be?) It's especially annoying in the era of Star Trek where tolerance is preached above all other things. This tragic hybrid syndrome is the same kind racial stereotype written about by segregation supporters in the 19th century. And it is as offensive. I find the issue especially vexing on Voyager because it has been visited so many times with apparent solutions only to return again. That Torres would still be having such self image problems after being happily married and in such a position of power tells me that either she is mentally unstable or the writers really don't understand this issue. What this character attempts to do to her child is an act of such self-hatred that I find it incomprehensible. Thus, I must say something. Additionally, a dear friend, Denise Alessandria Hurd, who is a scholar, a Trekkie and a person of mixed heritage has written a wonderful paper on the subject. "The Monster Inside: 19th Century Racial Constructs in the 24th Century Mythos of Star Trek," JOURNAL OF POPULAR CULTURE, Vol. 31 No. 1, 1997 AP2 J8325, is something any fan should read to understand just how pervasive this syndrome is on Trek. An excerpt also appears in "Mirror, Mirror? The politics of television science fiction." http://www.arts.mcgill.ca/mepp/exofile/sftv.html Check it out.
Note of What Has Gone Before: B'Elanna Torres discomfort with her parentage and isolation as a child exploded into extreme emotional instability when she discovered that she was pregnant. Her anxiety over her child's future grew, compelling her to alter the Doctor's programming to perpetuate a fraud that her child's survival depended on removing all trace of Klingon DNA.
Captain's Personal Log:
My first reaction to B'Elanna's pregnancy was joy. Children had been good for Voyager. I was also sure that Tom would make a great father. He had the same way of enjoying life that children do. I thought he would relate well to one. I was also sure that a baby would mellow B'Elanna. The needs of a child tend to make parents focus on something other than themselves.
As for the Circle, I had to leave the decision to stay or go up to them. Of course, the Mistress was reluctant to lose them. We had all just gelled as a group. I really enjoyed watching Torres with Seven. There was something essentially pleasing to my sense of the aesthetic watching that tawny, perky body with the fair and voluptuous. They were beautiful together and had a lovely natural tension between them. I was just beginning to explore that pull. And I had had Harry with B'Elanna on a few occasions since his attempt at topping. I wasn't sure which I enjoyed more -- watching them or watching Tom watching them.
But the decision had to be theirs. And it was hard to predict what the decision would be. Some couples quit the lifestyle forever. Some are involved in the heaviest of scenes right up until the water breaks. Some merely restrict their activities. But whatever the verdict -- and I strongly suspected it would be B'Elanna deciding -- I would respect it. And I kept a discreet distance while they deliberated.
I was minding my business when the mess about gene therapy hit the fan. I was flabbergasted that this issue was being visited yet again. Hadn't she learned anything from having her two selves separated? Hadn't she learned anything from the Barge of the Dead? I couldn't believe that the act of an insensitive preteen boy or a child's simplistic memories of her parents' complex relationship would cause her to attempt an appalling act of self-hatred. Her tampering with the Doctor's program made it impossible for me to remain on the sidelines.
Not that I was completely out of the loop as far as their relationship woes. Harry had come to me first. Actually, he sent me the account of Tom's stay in his quarters. It nearly broke my heart. My Pilot looked terrible. His skin was pale and his eyes were read. He was straining to hold himself together. Paris was, of course, surprised when Kim offered him the sofa. But understanding dawned quickly as he realized how hard Harry was fighting with his own feelings and desires. They separated in an awkward silence and went to bed. That hadn't lasted long. Within an hour, Harry was back. That time, he was responding to his friend's crying.
Tom didn't fight Harry's comforting embrace. Rather, he clung to his friend as if his life depended upon it. There was a lot of soothing and petting and rocking before Tom calmed and quieted. Harry held him for longer still before he spoke.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I always seem to be leaning on you."
"Don't be," Harry replied. "I'm glad we're this close. I'll stay with you while you sleep."
"Make love to me," Tom whispered.
It took Harry a while to reply. "No, Tom. We shouldn't."
"You don't want to?"
"Gods, Tom, you know I do," Harry rasped in despair. "But it would be wrong for so many reasons."
"I know," Tom admitted. "You feel so damned good."
"So do you," Harry whispered. "Close your eyes. Let's get some sleep."
I was convinced that it was well past the time to act, but how? There were so many issues to consider that I needed advice on where to begin. Chakotay was surprised when I pulled him off the Bridge mid-shift. I awaited him on the sofa sipping strong coffee. My First Officer entered with an expectant expression which changed to concern when he looked into my eyes.
"Do I need something stronger than coffee?" He asked.
I smiled briefly at the warmth in his tone, but it did not ease my trepidation.
"What's the matter, Kathryn?" he asked taking a seat beside me.
"I'm going to have to do something about Torres," I said with a sigh.
Chakotay nodded grimly. "I knew you would. Her behavior has been disturbing."
"Have you talked to her about it?"
"I should have," he admitted with a shrug. "But I have to admit to some exasperation with B'Elanna. I thought her issues about belonging and acceptance were over after those incidents of extreme physical endurance. Then came the Barge of the Dead."
Chakotay stood then began to pace. "Every time I think I've reached her and believe that she understands that she is accepted, respected and loved for who she is, something else happens."
He ran an impatient hand through his hair. "I love B'Elanna, but I swear that Tom Paris should be canonized."
"I know," I sighed. "And in the past, her behavior hadn't affected the ship, but now..."
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to transmit a confidential report of all of these incidents to Ezri Dax and request a protocol for formal counseling," I replied.
"Kathryn," Chakotay said quietly. "Do you think that's necessary?"
I rose to face him. "I don't want to do it, but you've confirmed what I already knew. You've cited the reasons yourself. Nothing we do or say reaches her. She has tampered with the most valuable program for the ship's survival."
"I know," he sighed rubbing his temples. "But this is so complicated, Kathryn. What about the Circle? That has to come up in any sort of therapy."
"That's why I'm contacting Ezri Dax and not Deanna Troi," I replied drily. "Her past lives gives her a perspective on the Lifestyle other counselors wouldn't have. I know what I'm exposing here. For B'Elanna, I'm willing to risk it. And I need your support, Chakotay."
Suddenly he was very close to me. I was more aware of his intensity at that moment. "You have it, Kathryn," he said without doubt or hesitation. "Anything you need from me."
I sighed. It was very difficult not to seek the warmth and strength in those arms so close to me. "Thank you."
"Who will conduct the sessions on Voyager?"
"I think Tuvok is the best choice," I replied.
Chakotay nodded. "I can't see her responding to the gentle sympathy that Neelix would provide."
"Everyone else at the command level is to closely involved in one way or the other," I said.
"And he certainly is discreet."
I smiled at that. "That crossed my mind as well."
"When do you want to tell her and Tom?"
"I'll have the message for Ezri Dax for your review later today," I replied. "I'll talk to Mr. Tuvok and get his approval and input as well. I want to wait for her opinion before I approach them."
He stepped close giving my shoulders a gentle squeeze. "You are doing the right thing as her Captain and Mistress. I know it won't be easy, but I support you all the way."
I took a deep breath inhaling as much of him as I dared before nodding. "Thank you, Chakotay."
Later that day, I was again in my Ready Room. This time I had a draft of my message and I was seated across from Mr. Tuvok. The Vulcan listened to me quietly. His expression revealed nothing, as I expected. He then reviewed the padd carefully. He paused for what seemed like ages. It seemed to me that he was choosing his next words very carefully.
"I appreciate what an extraordinarily difficult situation this is for you, Captain," he began. "I cannot begin to imagine how much of a breach of privacy this is for you."
I was taken aback. I had not expected him to focus on me this quickly. My eyes stung immediately much to my annoyance. Truth be told, I was wracked with guilt on so many levels I had refused to even acknowledge it. That was to be for later. But my old friend was very wise. Yet another reason I had chosen him for this arduous task. He knew where all the pitfalls would lay. I took a deep breath and tried to find a clam tone of voice.
"Nevertheless, this must be done," I said.
"I concur," he replied. "I, too, was alarmed by Lieutenant Torres' behavior, and I agree that this is more than a disciplinary problem."
I nodded in relief.
"I also concur that I am the logical choice for the therapist," he said. Yet somehow I sensed a reluctance in him. "I have one reservation."
"And that is?"
"What are the Mistress' intentions?" He asked. It was clear that the question was a difficult one for him. That made it just a little easier for me. Just a little easier.
"Mr. Tuvok, we have very few tenets to this lifestyle. But the ones we have are taken very seriously," I said quietly. "No one unwilling. No one underaged. And no one unstable. I have a very strong impulse to remove her from the Circle permanently. On Earth, there would be no question."
"But this is a different set of circumstances," he replied. "Any therapy could be compromised by such an exclusion."
"I know," I sighed. "But I can't help but feel that the last thing she needs is any kind of scene. And I worry about the disruption to the rest of my... subjects."
Tuvok considered me with as much compassion as he was able to show. "Her physical condition could be a reason to keep her from active participation," he reasoned.
"Not necessarily," I replied.
"But that would be at your discretion," he pressed.
His insistence, though extremely subtle in tone, surprised me. It appealed to my ego and my own compassion. It was clearly manipulative. The guise was extremely thin for a Vulcan. That spoke of a certain amount of grave concern on his part struggling with a great deal of respect for me. I decided to give him a break.
"Everything is at my discretion," I replied.
"The delay would give us time for the therapy without further alienating the Lieutenant," he went on. "And it wouldn't disrupt the rest of the Circle."
"Very well. She has a reprieve," I said. "And the communique?"
"I find that I have nothing to add," he said.
"I'll transmit it at the next opportunity," I replied. "Thank you for accepting this assignment. I appreciate that this is an imposition."
"And for you, Captain," he said. "Be mindful of what this will cost you."
He wished me good day. I hoped that somehow it could be. I felt incredibly alone. And I still had to face Barrows.
The Mistress was solemn from the moment I entered the Holodeck. I suspected that she already knew about B'Elanna's actions and likely knew about my plans. Nevertheless, she listened to me carefully while I fully explained my decision. Perhaps it was her circuitry. She could process a lot more a lot faster than I could, but it still seemed to me that there was only an instant before she reacted.
"I cannot believe you, Kathryn!" She sputtered. "I have seen her entire history. I have grave doubts about her running the engines at the moment. I know she doesn't belong in your Circle."
"Mistress!" I was shocked at her vehemence.
"You know it's true, pet," Barrows replied impatiently. "If the ship wasn't in this difficult situation, you would have relieved her of duty and locked her in a box."
I sighed. "That's true. And I have my own serious misgivings about her and the Circle. However, I agree with Tuvok that now is not the right time to bounce her from any of her routines or associations. That could put any kind of therapy in jeopardy. Then there is Tom to consider. He would leave the Circle as well, and he needs it more than ever. And Harry needs him."
Barrows threw up her hands in frustration. "And what about Harry? Do you know what kind of exposure he may face with the therapy and the reports it generates? I'm certain that he did not anticipate his recreational activities becoming common knowledge at Starfleet Medical."
My face burned with embarrassment. "I think you're overstating this. The reports will be strictly confidential."
"You know how things can leak in any big bureaucracy," she snapped.
"Yes," I sighed. "It's possible. But Harry has indicated that he is willing to deal with anything that will ultimately help Tom. I believe him."
"Then let's get to the heart of the matter," she said stalking around me. "Do you ever think you could trust her enough to play again?"
"I don't know," I admitted. "But my priority must be getting her healthy. The ship needs her."
Barrows sighed at me. I understood her disapproval and shared it. But Torres trusted the Captain long before she knew the Mistress. I had to put that priority first. I left the Holodeck with a strained silence between us.
I kept to myself the rest of the day. There was enough to keep busy without being on the Bridge. I couldn't face them all for a while. I still had Barrows' stinging rebuke in my ears. Somehow, I felt as though I had failed them. I had to talk to them all and explain. Poor Harry who had been saddled with more exposure than he realized along with the grief that came of late with being Tom's friend. I owed a lot to Harry. I owed a lot to them all, but I couldn't deal with it just then.
Thus, I sat at my desk working on data that the ship couldn't possibly need for months as if I were glued to my chair. The lonely day stretched into what I believed would be a lonely night. But then I hadn't counted on my First Officer.
He came to me just after his shift ended. I didn't look at him until he was directly in front of me. His eyes spoke volumes but he didn't touch me.
"I told you that I would support you, Kathryn," he said softly. "But I won't watch you destroy yourself."
I glared up at him. He was undaunted. "They volunteered to follow you into the Circle and abide by the rules. Each of them has chosen to serve under you and accept whatever comes with that decision. All have had opportunities to change their arrangements professionally and personally. You should not be assuming all of this guilt."
"It's not as easy as that, Chakotay."
"I know that," he replied. "But you know what I'm saying is true. You cannot control every aspect of their lives though you want to. You cannot protect them from themselves anymore than you can protect them from the perils of this quadrant. All you can do is guide them and you have done that well in all of your arenas."
"Maybe," I replied.
"Definitely," he said. "Come with me now, Kathryn."
His voice was like raw silk against my frayed nerves. I wanted him. There was no doubt about that. But I couldn't. How could I have pleasure with so much turmoil around me? I swear there were times that the Commander could read my mind.
"I will feed you and I will hold you," he said. His voice was resolute. "I will not allow you to pass the night here alone."
I didn't want to fight him. There was far too much fighting ahead. I rose from my chair and followed him to my quarters.
Chakotay really was good at being domestic. He was far better at it than I could ever be. The room already filled with tasty smells. My clever Commander must have been bypassing security again. I really didn't mind. There was hot soup and bread waiting. Comfort food, and I needed comfort.
"Why don't you get comfortable, Kathryn?" Chakotay suggested. "I'll dish this up."
I nodded while absently removing my uniform. By the time I reached my dresser, Most of it was on the floor. I pulled on a robe then returned to the table. As always, the Commander had correctly assessed my needs. I was hungry, but couldn't face working my way through a full meal. The soup was just right. Chakotay was silent allowing me to set the pace of whatever conversation might take place.
"I talked to Barrows today," I said. I blushed at the thought of the conversation.
"I take it that she didn't concur with the prescribed course of action," Chakotay said.
"She didn't think therapy was a bad idea," I replied. "She just didn't think that Torres should remain in the Circle."
"You don't think so, either," Chakotay said.
I shook my head. "Barrows is right. We have the rules for a reason. In the end, I cannot help but think I'm doing B'Elanna a disservice."
"But you also think that Tuvok is right," Chakotay said.
"They're both right," I sighed. "I just hope I erred in the direction that will help."
"And what happens when she's deemed cured?"
"I don't know," I said wanting to wail. "I don't know if I can trust myself to be real with her again."
Chakotay took my soup bowl away. He then picked me up and took me to bed. I was settled against his broad chest with his arms wrapped about me securely. Under normal circumstances, his behavior would have annoyed me. He hadn't asked me permission for any of his actions that night. But I had learned since my return from assimilation that the man possessed an insight into what I needed. I couldn't deny that I needed everything he was doing. At least I needed it that night. He held me quietly until he felt me relax against him.
"Would you agree that any real kind of scene with her is a long way off with the pregnancy and the therapy?" He asked.
I nodded. I could barely concentrate on what he was saying with those magic fingers massaging my scalp. "Months and months..."
He kissed my temple. I began to feel sleepy. "I know you like to be far sighted, Kathryn. But just let this go for now. So much can change in those months."
"True," I murmured feeling sleepy. "A lifetime can change in a day."
I drifted asleep in those arms. It was deep and undisturbed.
Harry Kim always surprised the Captain and the Mistress. He always proves to be more than I can anticipate. I had him come to me after his shift the next day. I had told him that it would be a casual dinner and that he should dress accordingly. I wore a silken blue set of lounging pajamas. My pet thoughtfully brought both wine and a dessert. He was dressed in a soft deep red shirt and black loose fitting pants. He wore it well.
I greeted him with an warm embrace and had him sit at the table.
"How are you?" I asked opening the wine.
"I'm fine," he replied with a small smile.
"Well, that's really convincing," I said filling the wine glass in front of him. "If you're worried about dinner, don't. Seven made it for me."
The smile was a little brighter. "It's just been a long week. Things have settled down, but I can't help but think that the other shoe is about to drop."
"Well, there hasn't been an official review, so that's understandable," I said. "I had to give very careful consideration to how this whole mess should be handled. I believe I have come up with the right course of action."
Harry listened to me as we ate the lovely meal. He listened intently. I couldn't read his expression. The Ensign concentrated on the food. I went over Torres' status as part of the Circle and what his association with it could mean to his privacy.
"You could be called in to talk with Tuvok alone or with B'Elanna or with B'Elanna and Tom. The whole Circle could end up in a session," I said.
"Including Barrows?" he asked showing the first glimpse of mirth that evening.
I smiled. "And the Ensign. Oh, my poor head."
We laughed a bit at that. Then I grew more serious. "The reports are supposed to be held in the strictest confidence, but you know that there are still risks of leaks."
Harry nodded thoughtfully. He finished his dinner then accepted another glass of wine. I had him join me on my sofa.
"I must apologize for all of this. I certainly didn't envision this kind of thing when I started the Circle," I said. I certainly never wanted to cause you any pain or embarrassment."
"I will do anything it takes to help Tom and B'Elanna," he said quietly. He met my eyes. His expression was calm and determined. "And I could never be embarrassed by what we've shared. No one can understand what we've gone through out here. No one can sit in judgement of my actions except my shipmates."
"My dear First One," I whispered. I set the glasses aside and pulled him to me. I continue to marvel at how strong you have become."
I held him against me stroking his hair. "And I'd do anything for you, Mistress."
"I know, pet. I know."
We embraced for a long moment. I was so relieved at his response. But the embrace changed. Kim nuzzled my hair scenting it deeply. I felt a jolt that went right to my loins. I was so tired of complexities. Even my making love with my beloved Commander involved an intricate dance of power. As Harry Kim sighed against the curve of my shoulder, I longed for the days when we explored his boundaries alone. It was a simple pleasure. The stakes were not so high. The young Ensign felt so good against my body. I found that I wanted what he was offering. I tilted my head offering my throat.
Mr. Kim was quick to respond. He licked along my throat to nip at my earlobe while one hand entangled in my hair. I let myself go and saw him as Seven did -- very compelling sexually but ever so gentle in his intensity. Harry's kiss was not tentative yet it was not bruising. His tongue played with mine savoring that unfettered exchange. The intensity of the deceptively gentle kiss stirred me. While he kissed with increasing abandon, I found myself pulling at his clothing.
Kim broke the kiss. Lord he looked good flushed and panting. His dark eyes glittered with hunger as he pulled off his shirt. He looked at me with a question in his eyes as he touched the top of his pants. I licked my lips and nodded. A moan that I realized came from me issued fourth as he revealed himself. After another more reverent kiss, he touched my top. I nodded and was undressed with practiced hands.
Finally, we were skin to skin. Kim covered me taking my mouth again while his thigh coaxed my legs apart and deftly stoked my clit. I moaned against his mouth arching against his thigh. Kim chuckled as his mouth traveled down my throat. He was slow and patient in his coaxing of my body beyond readiness. I was reeling when his mouth reached my nipples. My how well he had learned! In short order, he had nipped and sucked them in such a way that I was nearly insane. I growled in frustration hooking my legs around his waist.
"Now, Mister, now!"
"Yes, Mistress," he moaned thrusting into me.
It was as spectacular as a summer thunderstorm. He worked me mercilessly with all the energy in that young, strong body. I cupped his beautiful, rounded ass and rode with him. I felt him getting close. We were both soaked with sweat and trembling. I sought his kiss once more as I came. He gasped against my mouth as he came.
I held Harry against me afterward stroking his back. He clung to me as well. He was extraordinary.
"How will I ever let you go?" I wondered.
"Why should you?" He asked languidly. "You're the Mistress. We all trust you."
I hugged him closely. "Thank you, Dear One. You've made everything so much easier."
Ezri Dax's response came with the next communiques. She sent an encrypted message to me and one to Tuvok. She had handled the situation with tact and discretion. The Admiralty and Starfleet Intelligence had been kept out of the loop. For the moment, it was viewed as an emotional problem like any other. Once I informed Torres of my decision, her treatment was between her and Tuvok unless it became an issue of Voyager's security. The file would be on record with Starfleet Medical only. Ultimately, all of this was good for Torres, but it would not make telling her any easier.
We met in the conference room. There was B'Elanna, Tom, Chakotay and me. She was very nervous. It was not at all typical for an officer to be disciplined by the Captain with a spouse present. She knew something was really wrong.
"I've gone over the incidents surrounding the alteration of the Doctor -- a vital program and presence to this crew -- not to mention the procedure attempted on your unborn child," I said quietly. "This is a very serious matter that transcends the personal and involves the safety of the crew. I would be remiss as a Captain to ignore it.
"With this in mind, I have consulted with a Starfleet counselor and she concurred with my decision. B'Elanna, you need therapy to address this deeply ingrained self-hatred."
Both she and Tom gasped.
"Don't you think you're over-reacting?" Tom asked.
"This is extreme... and unfair," Torres sputtered. "The Doctor said it was a chemical imbalance."
"Dax's report covers that as well. Starfleet Medical studied the Doctor's report. That may have triggered the act, but the underlying cause is the issue here. Has there ever been an environment where you've been at ease with yourself? Where you haven't acted out in anger?" I asked.
"There was the Maquis..."
"B'Elanna," Chakotay said with a shake of his head.
I handed her a padd. "You'll find the report is quite thorough. There are reports from every aspect of your life."
"I'll say," she replied incredulously. "You even have a report from the Klingon homeworld."
I shrugged. "The report is by a Counselor who had a close relationship with the new Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. But the point is that there has been no place where this issue has not come up. I am especially concerned that it comes up here where you are very much respected and liked for exactly who you are. Your wedding should have shown you that."
She remained silent. Tom put an arm around her shoulder.
"That this problem still manifests itself on a ship where you are in a position of power; found strong friendships and the love of a husband tells me that I am not over-reacting," I said. "The crew needs you, but it needs you well."
She swallowed hard. "Who would be counseling me?"
"Tuvok," I replied. "He'll be the most objective."
She nodded absently. It seemed she was having trouble with the whole concept.
Tom suddenly looked at me. "Just how candid can she be with various... aspects of her life?"
"You can talk to Tuvok about anything and everything. It will be confidential," I replied. "I will make myself available for sessions as Captain or as Mistress as will anyone else."
"And it remains confidential?" She asked.
"Absolutely," I replied. "Even I won't know what will be said."
"I suppose I don't have a choice," she asked with a weak smile.
"I feel it's best for you and the crew," I said firmly.
She was silent for a few long moments. "When would it begin?"
"You should coordinate with Mr. Tuvok," I replied.
"Alright," she said with a sigh. "I'm kinda tired of feeling angry. It can't be good for the baby."
The whole room seemed to exhale. "Thank you, B'Elanna."
"Wait," she said suddenly. "What about the Circle?"
"Remaining in it is up to you and Tom," I said. "I will restrict your activities because of the pregnancy, but I won't bar you from staying."
"Thank you," she said quietly. Tom concurred. They left without further comment.
I was alone in my quarters reading late that night. Barrows was still annoyed with me, but hopeful over Torres' response. She decided to give me the benefit of the doubt which made me feel better. Chakotay was busy covering for someone missing on the Bridge night shift. Kim was helping Seven with a long term Astrometrics project. Thus when the bell rang, I was perplexed.
Tom entered at my reply. He was dressed casually and carrying his pedicure kit. Without uttering a word, he was at my feet his cheek pressed against my toes.
"Thank you," he murmured. "Thank you for getting her to accept help. Things are already so much better. She seems hopeful for change."
"She knows you're here?"
"She sent me," he replied. "A present for you."
My heart lifted. Barrows would be surprised. But maybe not. She had often said that my slaves were unusual and unpredictable. Maybe Torres could prove the tenets could be tested.
"It's a pity that Mr. Kim is occupied," I said wistfully. "Perhaps next time. You may proceed."Mr. Paris undressed then prepared to give me my pedicure.
54: Twenty Four Little Hours