Her first shift as acting Captain was going relatively smoothly. Commander Rachel Janeway was surprisingly enjoying it. She felt closer to her mother sitting in the chair she sat in for 7 years. She has made it through the first of her tough decisions, but their was one left to make.
“Naomi, I’m going to sick bay to talk to the Doctor, you have the bridge.”
Rachel’s heart raced as she stepped into the clinical environment of sickbay
“Good morning ah um... Captain. Is that okay?”
“Yes Doctor. For now that’s fine.”
“What can I do for you. A voluntary drop in by a Janeway is rare!”
“Well, speaking of Janeway, that’s sort of the reason why I am here.”
“Before I left, my mother asked me something. She asked me to beam her aboard when we found Captain Chakotay so she could be here with him.”
“How is that’s supposed to work. We are out of transporter range.”
“Well, being an Admiral comes in handy occasionally. She has access to a top secret transportation device but in two hours, we will passed its maximum range.”
“And so, you want me to help get her here?”
“Well, you and seven.”
“Doctor please. You know how much this would mean to her. She was devastated when we lost him.”
“What do you suppose you’ll tell the crew?”
“I’m not. That’s why I need your help. You and seven could work on a way to get her here and cover it up.”
“Have you considered Seven’s feelings in all of this?”
“It’s been over 25 years Doctor. I’m sure she has gotten over it. Please, as my godfather, I need your help on this. My mother and I have never had a great relationship, but I promised her.”
“Okay. I’ll contact Seven and we will let you know when we are ready.”
“Thank you Doctor. I’ll be on the bridge.”
Rachel sat restlessly in the captain’s chair as time passed.
“You okay Rachel?”
“Yeah I’m fine.”
“You’d say that if half your leg was torn off!”
“Must run in the family! I’ve just a lot going on,” she sighed, “depending on how the next 24 hours ago, I might brief you on it tomorrow.”
“Aye Captain. Top secret Starfleet stuff?”
“Sick bay to Commander Janeway.”
“Go ahead Doctor.”
“Please report to sickbay.”
“On my way. Naomi, you have the bridge.”
As the sickbay doors swooshed behind her, Rachel was greeted by the Doctor and Seven standing by the control panel.
“We have made contact with Admiral Janeway, Commander,” Seven announced.
“She is ready to transport.”
“Thank you Doctor. And you too Seven.”
Rachel step in front of the consol. Nerves took over her hands.
With a “energize” and a nod, the transportation was in process.
In a matter of seconds, Admiral Kathryn Janeway appeared in front of them.
Rachel wanted to disappear in her mother's arms as soon as they locked eyes, but she knew she had to be professional, despite her close relationship with Seven and The Doctor. Plus, it was rare for Kathryn to show open public affection these days.
“Captain, the Admiral’s transportation was successful, and all information has been whipped from the ship's systems.”
“I can see that Seven. Thank you.”
“I think it might be best Admiral if we go to my quarters. Doctor, initiate a site to site transfer to my quarters.”
Barely being on the ship for more than 5 mins, Kathryn was now in her daughters quarters.
Awkwardness filled the air as Rachel walked them over to the couch.
“Thank you Rachel, now, are you going to explain what’s going on? Where’s your father?”
Kathryn sat at one end of the couch, with Rachel as far away as possible at the other end.
“Gosh, where do I begin. The aliens that we think took dad attacked us, and took Captain Kim. So I’m acting as Captain now. I’m still a Commander, obviously, but some of the crew felt it was easier to ease their nerves and refer to me us Captain.”
Kathryn turned to stare out the window, her face propped up by her hands resting on the couch back.
“I knew you should not have taken this mission.”
“No Rachel! It was enough losing your father, I could have lost you too.”
“Well, you haven’t. Unfortunately you’ve still got me.”
Kathryn glared at her daughter.
There was no doubt that Rachel was slightly scared of her mother. As she got older, her mother’s expectations rose. Her fear was that she would let her down.
In a rare move, Kathryn moved herself along the couch till she was sitting as close as humanly possible to her daughter.
Rachel’s just longer than shoulder length hair glistened in the dimmed light. Despite having slightly darker skin like Chakotay, she was a spitting image of a young Kathryn Janeway.
Kathryn ran her hand over Rachel’s check.
“Honey, I love you. I really do. You make me so proud. I know I don’t say that a lot.”
Tears welled at the bottom of Rachel’s eyes and she stared into the nothingness in front of her.
“You never say that. To myself or dad. I’ve grown up with people constantly talking about Starfleet’s golden couple. But your not. Heck! Your not even married. After everything you both have been through.”
“I know, and I regret it deeply. I just, I guess I was content where we were. I never realised till now how much I deeply cared. I want you both in my life, and I’m sorry that I always push you away.”
“It’s not all your fault. Voyager’s first mission was a traumatic experience for you and I understand that.”
Rachel turned to face her mother, and immediately fell into her arms.
“I’m sorry I let you down.”
“Don’t be sorry Rachel. You haven’t let anyone down. I’m proud of you.”
“We will find him, both of them.”
“I know you will.”
Kathryn pulled away, and held Rachel by her shoulders, staring into her deep blue eyes.
“Are you okay to stay here with me. In my quarters I mean.”
“Of course. Are you okay with that?”
Rachel smiled down to her hands, “I guess I’m going to have to be.”
“And what about the crew?”
“I’ll tell them in due course. For now, you’ll have to hang out here if you don’t mind?”
“Just as long as I have you.”
“It’s late, and it’s been a long day, that giant First Officer’s bed is lonely. I don’t know how Dad did it all those years! I would set up the lounge for you, but, if it’s okay, you could share mine for tonight.”
“We use to share a bed when you were tiny and your dad had gone away on Voyager. Your night mares would have you running to me in the middle of the night! Just promise me you won’t kick me in the ribs this time!”
“I’ll try my best.”
“That’s an order okay!”