“The Rain Chronicles” [PG] – Book III




“The Rain Chronicles” [PG] – Book III

Rain Robinson of ”Future’s End” ends up on Voyager, following her adventures with Tom Paris and Tuvok in late 20th century Earth. Here is Book III. 

————- 

RAIN ROBINSON – May 27, 2373:

Today, I began my first shift in Stellar Cartography. It did not turn out too bad. I barely managed to keep up, but at least I didn’t make a fool of myself. Even better, I also made two friends, who didn’t seem to mind answering my questions every five or ten minutes.

My new friends happened to be sisters, twin sisters – Jenny and Megan Delaney. They seemed very friendly, a lot of fun to be with and a big help. Let’s face it. My knowledge of astronomy and stellar cartography is at least 300 years outdated. Thanks to Jenny, Megan and some late-night study sessions with the ship’s computer, I managed to catch up to the latest findings within two weeks. There is still a lot I don’t know. But, if all goes well, I should be able to keep up with them and the rest in Stellar Cartography by the end of the year. One last thing I like about the Delaneys – they seemed to be among the few on this ship who don’t seem full of themselves. In other words, they don’t look upon me like some cavewoman from prehistoric times.

Megan is the quiet one. Dimples usually form on her cheeks whenever she smiles. I also believe that she once dated Tom Paris, some two years ago. Okay, I must admit that I felt a little . . . no, a lot jealous when I first heard this news. Until I also learned that Megan and Tom had put their relationship behind them, a long time ago. And now, they only consider themselves as good friends. In fact, Megan has now developed an interest in another crewman, whose name has escaped me.

Unlike Megan, Jenny does not have dimples when she smiles. And she also seemed more like the outgoing type. Very talkative and with a lot of jokes. In many ways, she reminded me of Tom. After learning about the holodecks from Jenny, I wonder if she would be interested in creating programs from some of my old favorite “B” movies. She seemed like the type who would enjoy them. There is one thing about Jenny Delaney that I cannot fathom. Namely, her interest in one Ensign Harry Kim. She seems to like him. A lot.

What Jenny sees in him, I have no idea. I suppose one could say that he is very good-looking and smart. Despite his quiet nature, he also seemed to have a sly sense of humor. I almost grew to like him. Until I encountered one of his less admirable traits. Like a lot of people on this ship, Harry Kim has this smug superiority that tends to manifest itself whenever the subject of Starfleet or the Federation comes up. He seemed proud . . . almost a little too proud over humanity’s “evolvement” over the past 300 years. 

One time, he came so proud and smug over the subject that I could not help but respond in a bitchy manner. Let’s just say that Mr. Kim did not take kindly to my manner. Hey! What can I say? When I hear bullshit, I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut.

* * * * 

LIEUTENANT B’ELANNA TORRES – Stardate 50394.19:

I have a strong suspicion that Harry does not like Rain Robinson very much. At least, not anymore. However, that was not always the case.

When she first came aboard, Harry tried to make Rain feel at home. Typical Harry. Mister Collector-of-Lost-Souls. Both Tom and I had been amongst those lost souls during Voyager’s first year in the Delta Quadrant. Rain became another. Both she and Harry seemed destined to become good friends. Until that little conversation between them in the Mess Hall.

It happened about a week following Voyager’s encounter with the Q Continuum’s civil war. Harry, Tom, Rain, Ken Dalby, Megan Delaney, Golwat and I had gathered around one of the Mess Hall’s large tables, following dinner. Tom, Rain and I were recounting our adventures on 20th century Earth.

I had just finishing describing my and Chakotay’s encounter with those Arizona terrorists. Rain immediately added, “You must have come across one of those groups of right-wing terrorists. They’re people who feel that the government was slowly taking over their rights as citizens.”

Ken nodded. “Freedom fighters, right?” he asked.

A snort left Rain’s mouth. “Yeah, right. Freedom for white Americans. Especially if they’re men. As far as they’re concerned, everyone else deserves to be oppressed.”

“I noticed how they seemed to view both Chakotay and myself with a lot of hostility,” I added, remembering those stares. Curious, but hateful. “I guess it was a good thing Tuvok and the Doctor came to our rescue.”

Harry shook his head. “You were very lucky, Maquis. Quite frankly, I’m glad I had remained on the ship.” Then he faced Rain and made his big mistake. “I guess you’re lucky, also. Now that you don’t have to live in the 20th century, any longer.”

“Lucky?” Rain’s dark eyes narrowed. “How am I lucky?”

Harry continued, “Well, maybe not completely lucky. After all, you’re stuck in the Delta Quadrant with the rest of us. But once we return to Earth, you’ll find yourself in a better world. No wars, poverty, diseases and crime. It’s paradise.” His face lit up. Good old Starfleet. Optimistic, as always.

Another long pause followed. Rain continued to stare at Harry. Hard. “Hmmmph,” she finally said. “I guess the Earth of today is probably a better place to live. However, I doubt very much that you can still call it paradise. There’s no such place. At least not on this plane of existence.”

“I see what you’re getting at,” Harry said with a dismissive laugh. Unbeknownst to him, Rain’s body stiffened. “You’re speaking from some kind of spiritual point of view. Which is fine for those who are religious. But from our point of view, Earth is paradise. You just have to see it for yourself.” He looked as if he was ready to plant the Federation flag on the next planet.

A smirk threatened to tug the edges of Rain’s lips. “No kidding,” she said in a voice that dripped with sarcasm. “You know, I’ve been reading about your Federation in the ship’s computer. Earth is like you said. Somewhat.

Golwat frowned. “What do you mean?” she asked.

“Well . . . there are no wars. At least on Earth. But I’ve noticed that your Federation has been involved in plenty of wars elsewhere. From what I’ve read, you were just involved in a war with some species called Cardassan . . . uh, Cardasaiann . . .”

“Cardassians,” Tom added.

Rain shot him a grateful look. “Yeah. Thanks. Didn’t your Federation just have a war with these Cardassians about . . . oh, five years ago?”

Again, Tom provided the correct answer. “Six or seven years ago.” This time, Rain ignored him.

“But we’re now at peace with the Cardassians,” Harry explained. “The Federation signed a treaty with them about three years ago.” Ken Dalby frowned. As a fellow ex-Maquis, I didn’t blame him. Personally, I think the Federation should have dealt with the Cardassians when they had the chance.

And in typical Dalby fashion, Ken expressed what the rest of us former Maquis felt. “Not only did the Feds sign a treaty with the Cardies, they handed over their DMZ colonies in order to settle that treaty. A treaty that didn’t have a chance of working out.”

Rain nodded. “Yeah. I’ve read about that, too. Sort of reminds me of a certain event that happened on Earth, before my time.”

None of us seemed to have any idea what Rain was talking about. Including Mr. Twentieth Century himself. A confused looking Harry asked her to be specific.

“I read how your Federation gave up those colonies to ensure peace with these Cardas-si-ans. It reminded me of how the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler, allowing the latter to continue his conquest of smaller European nations in 1938. Chamberlain did all of this to avoid a war and yet, World War II began a year later.”

Tom cried out, “I remember reading about that!” He failed to notice the dark glance from Harry. “Now that I think about it, you’re right.”

The ‘Fleeters, with the exception of Megan Delaney, looked very upset. Especially Harry. Dalby naturally looked pleased by Rain’s analogy. As for Tom . . . Let’s just say that he seemed more enthralled by Miss Robinson herself, instead of what she had to say.

“You simply can’t compare the Federation to this Chamberlain fellow,” Harry declared in heated tones. “Especially since the Federation is still at peace with the Cardassians.”

Rain shot back, “How do you know?”

A smug smile appeared on Ken’s face. Golwait quietly excused herself. Megan remained seated. As for Harry – he opened his mouth to speak, but not a word came out. It didn’t surprise me. After all, it has been two years since we were all thrown into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. A lot could have happened in the Alpha Quadrant during that period. I never realized until this moment on how much Harry put the Federation on a pedestal.

“By the way,” Rain added, “you also claimed that there was no poverty on Earth and . . .”

Harry nodded. “That’s right.”

“. . . no crime. And yet,” Rain continued, “you mean to tell me there is absolutely no crime on Earth? Including murder?”

Poor Harry. He looked as if he had walked into a trap. “We’re not violent!” he declared.

“But you still have murder. Right? I mean, money isn’t the only motive for all crimes. There are so many other emotions to deal with – lust, hatred, fear, you name it. I noticed that the Federation has a legal system.”

Tom quietly added, “And prison.” A faraway look had crept into his blue . . . I mean, his eyes. The ghost of prison in New Zealand seemed to have returned. I wonder if Rain knew about that aspect of his past? Or Caldik Prime?

Rain continued, “Look, what I’m trying to say is that this picture of Earth as ‘Paradise’ simply strikes me as being unrealistic. It might be a hell of a lot better than it was in my time. But from what I’ve read, it seemed far from perfect. And you’ve seemed to acquire a whole new set of problems over the past three centuries. Face it, there’s no such thing as paradise. Your Federation just might be spouting propaganda.”

Needless to say, Harry did not take Rain’s little speech very well. I don’t think even Golwat appreciated it and she wasn’t Human. Since both were regular Starfleet officers and Federation citizens, naturally both took Rain’s words very personal. Megan didn’t. Which surprised me. Perhaps the Delaneys had a more realistic view of the world than your average Federation citizen. I know that Tom did. And Dalby, not surprisingly, gleefully agreed with Rain.

And me? I may have been a Starfleet officer for the past two years, but I’ve also been around. Like Dalby and Tom, I’ve seen too much of the Universe’s dark side to view the Federation as paradise. Klingons believed that paradise awaits them in Sto-vo-kor. The Klingon afterlife. Judging from Rain’s comments about no paradise on this plane of existence, I suspect that she would agree with them.


END OF BOOK III

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