Note of What is Yet to Be
Even after the Play ends the Players continue.
While most of Voyager’s crew moved on to assignments throughout the Federation, they did keep in touch. The suggested lunches worked, helping to maintain the needed sense of community. The annual reunions had a near perfect turnout for almost twelve years. In the end, out of 144 shipmates, only six proved unable to cope with a ‘normal’ life. Kathryn Janeway always carried with her the regret of these men and women whose bodies returned to Earth but whose souls remained in the Delta Quadrant.
Starfleet was better than their word, and a number of Maquis went on to distinguished careers in Starfleet. However, in an effort to avoid any appearance of impropriety, the survivors of the Equinox were also released on time served. Janeway bitterly fought the decision, but succeeded in only having them dishonorably discharged. Bold was the member of this band who showed their face at a reunion. In 2416 the family of Noah Lessing petitioned Starfleet to have his pension benefits released. Again Janeway protested, but after long private arguments with Chakotay she acquiesced. By 2437 the records of all Equinox crewmembers other than Captain Ransom had been expunged .
Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok returned to teaching at the Academy. Like most of the crew, the experience of Voyager’s journey permanently burned out his sense of wanderlust. His decision to remain on Earth reflected a common desire to stay in contact with his shipmates. His family took the extraordinary move of relocating from Vulcan to San Francisco, unwilling to support any further separation.
Tom and B’Elanna married Harry Kim one year to the day after Voyager’s return. Admiral Janeway presided over the ceremony. An awkward Admiral Paris was convinced to attend, but declined giving Tom away. Those in the know expected they would honeymoon at the Club, but they actually spent two weeks alone in the Delta Flyer, B’Elanna feeling that Harry shouldn’t be cheated out of what she shared with Tom.
Both B’Elanna and Tom retired from Starfleet. Tom became a holonovelist, known for startling imagery, challenging plot twists and erotic Easter Eggs. B’Elanna found pleasure in the obsolete occupation of housewife. She continued to see Tuvok for therapy, since she was comfortable with his presence and they had a shared past. Eventually, B’Elanna learned to stop blaming her life on her genes, and grew closer to her estranged father.
Harry continued to serve in Starfleet. All agreed that Tom and B’Elanna would remain on Earth while Harry was on assignment. As predicted, his first command was of the Rhode Island. Fortunately, the Rhode Island’s area of patrol was relatively close, allowing for many visits.
Miral Paris, torn between the forces of three well-meaning parents, spent years adrift before finally, appropriately, settling on the diplomatic corps.
Naomi Wildman had no such reservations. Passing the Starfleet entrance exam on the first try, she rocketed through her career, and was given command of the Bayonne in 2401, one year before Harry Kim was given the Rhode Island.
Icheb showed similar drive. His time at the Academy was not an easy one, demonstrating the limits of the Federation’s policy of tolerance. He suffered from the combined curses of being an ex-Borg, a know-it-all, and the friend of an instructor (Tuvok.) However, his boundless enthusiasm and energy eventually won over all his classmates. Despite Janeway’s efforts, despite his spotless record, his Borg past doomed Icheb from ever being allowed higher rank. He never cared. His passion for science and for exploration was sated as a lieutenant on the Linus Pauli, and later as section manager on the Rodin Advanced Propulsion Project.
The Doctor’s plan of joining Tom Paris among the ranks of the literati were deferred when a series of unfortunate events left him in debt and back working for Starfleet. He assisted in research on Copernicus Station until a Borg assault made him realize that he’d rather be a poor writer than a dead scientist. He spent six months living with Barclay, a week with B’Elanna, three nights with Tuvok and an afternoon with Janeway before settling down in a bus station locker in Spokane. In 2396 he published The Gutters of Paradise, a hard hitting portrait of life among the disenfranchised. He made a fortune, bought a villa in France and financed a light opera company.
The Barrows’ holoprogram dropped into the Club like an atomic bomb. She avoided contact with Sabisat, who had now largely retired, the pain of being reunited too much for either to bear. After Sabisat’s passing in 2382, Barrows asked to resume control of the Club from Janeway, arguing that it had been hers first. This led to open warfare with the Dagmar holoprogram, who pointed out that since she had both founded the Club 400 years earlier and had been programmed first, was actually due control. Everything was resolved in the traditional Duel of a Hundred Implements. Dagmar slipped during the 500 meter Waxing, leaving Barrows a clear victor. Dagmar left the Club to become a leading actress and producer in the holonovel circuit. Everyone agreed that Felix should never be allowed to make another sentient program.
Barrows continued her friendship with Vorick. And although she did eventually succeed in taking him as a lover, he never became a member of the Club. They remained close friends for the rest of his life.
The Ensign became a fixture at the Club, occasionally, literally.
In 2380, Kathryn Janeway, Chakotay and Seven of Nine were married in a Denobulan ceremony. Heavily covered in the press, Seven of Nine’s dress designs, interior décor and catering caused a sensation. Using seed capital from Chakotay’s royalties of the holorecording of the Ensign’s DS9 performance, she formed Seven of Nine Omnimedia, and became the standard for fashion and entertaining throughout the Federation. Untold billions waited with baited breath for her famous tag line, “You will comply.”
Chakotay settled into life in San Francisco. Politics became his newest hobby, one that lasted many, many years. He landed a seat on the city council, was an advocate of historic preservation, and nearly got divorced when he voted against Starfleet Command having their lease renewed.
Kathryn Janeway never expected to be given a command again. And after all her adventures she was happy not to. Her official duties were vague; the occasional lecture at the Academy, a report on Romulan insurgents. She had been kicked upstairs, and took the opportunity to enjoy her loved ones. Whenever the urge for command took hold, she would spend time at the Club. Anyone at the receiving end of her whip would say she was as demanding as ever, but in fact, she spent less time there after her return then she had before Voyager departure years earlier. Seven and Chakotay were her life now. That, and helping process the mountains of data accumulated over the seven years of Voyager’s journey.
She never missed a crew reunion. She kept up with the careers and lives of all 144. In 2384 she succeeded in having Project Watson recalibrated to contact Neelix, now living happily with his fellow Talaxians. Aside from Brax, he now had two more children of his own with Dexa.
It did, however, irk her no end when Q and his son arrived to inform her that she was now ‘Great Aunt Kathy.’
Although she kept in contact with Captain Picard, there is no record that they ever again shared anything more than a good meal.
Voyager itself was almost completely dismantled. Aside from an analysis of the Borg components added during its final adventure, every system and material was stripped and studied by different divisions of the Starfleet Design Bureau. By 2381, Voyager was reassembled. She was rebuilt to her 2375 appearance, with the intention of becoming a museum piece. Before the dedication, Voyager went on one final publicity tour, with Admiral Janeway at the helm. By a strange twist of fate, this proved to be the exact moment of a Borg attack. Needless to say, it was no contest, and Voyager returned to her permanent home by the Presidio. It was the last time Janeway would sit in the center seat.
The Secret Logs of Mistress Janeway made their first public appearance on Ferenginar in 2416. Attempts by Starfleet to ban their publication within the Federation failed, and it was an immediate hit. By 2418, their were no less than seven holonovel adaptations, (including the Secret Logs of Mistress Painway, featuring Dagmar Olanoff and widely believed to have been written by Tom Paris.)
Kathryn Janeway herself always answered all queries with a firm ‘no comment.’ No one involved in the logs would comment on their authenticity, and most of the crew of Voyager had never seriously considered that such activities could have gone under their noses.
In any event, so much time had passed that no one’s life was seriously disrupted by their publication. The exception was Chakotay, who narrowly lost a race for mayor, prompting speculation that Janeway had leaked the logs herself to keep him home. Sales of Seven of Nine Omnimedia products doubled.
Barring this scenario, there remained the question of how the logs escaped. Although Janeway herself maintains that they were purged from Voyager’s memory upon arriving at Earth, the possibility that it actually remained buried in the computer core cannot be ruled out. Perhaps a technician stumbled across them during the restoration process.
Others consider the possibility that Quark, the Ferengi barkeep, obtained them during Voyager’s stay at Deep Space Nine. Certainly, it is curious that he opened a franchise on Earth around the time of publication. The problem, of course, is that there would have been no reason for Quark to have waited eighteen years.
This leads to additional questions. Others, most notably Naomi Wildman, argued that since many of the events in the logs could not have happened, Janeway could not have written them. Those scholars who accept this notion indicate that there are only three other authors with the skill and inside knowledge: Tom Paris, the Doctor and Jake Sisko.
Jake Sisko had the closest access to Quark, and a journalist's instincts, but relatively little direct contact with Voyager’s crew. Tom Paris clearly had the information as well as the inclination towards purple prose. But if the logs are to be believed, it seems unlikely that he would either depict himself in such a poor light or that he would betray his Mistress’ confidence. Of course, the defenders of the Tom Paris theory counter that these aspects of the logs are merely misdirection designed to cover the author’s true identity. The same theory applies to the Doctor. The problem in his case is his experience publishing Photons Be Free. After the harsh reaction of his fellow crewmates, it seems inconceivable that he would publish sexual fantasies of his close comrades.
All of these theories miss the most obvious possibility; that they are an accurate record of Kathryn Janeway’s intimate experiences while in the Delta Quadrant.
Here are the facts: in 2371 Voyager was thrust into the Delta Quadrant while pursuing fugitive members of the Maquis. They returned in 2378 after seven years working together. Janeway did marry Seven of Nine and Chakotay. Tom Paris did marry both B’Elanna Torres and Harry Kim. Except for one incident, (the encounter with the Taresians) all of the events of the logs are completely consistent with all events in official records as well as many memoirs.
Is it so impossible to conceive that the events could not have happened? Is it more plausible to believe that a healthy adult woman like Kathryn Janeway could spend seven years locked on her ship like a cloistered nun? Contrary to the arguments of Federation lawyers, their publication failed to bring about the end of Starfleet. What they did achieve, however, was to open the eyes to many as to the true depth that a saga like Voyager’s presents to history and literature.
Real or imagined, that should be enough.