“The Rain Chronicles” [PG] – Book VIII

 

“The Rain Chronicles” [PG] – Book VIII

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 VIII. 

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RAIN ROBINSON – SEPTEMBER 3, 2373:

Life has pretty much returned to normal aboard Voyager. Well, somewhat. I’ve noticed that Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay seem a bit distant with each other. Considering his romance with a beautiful bionic woman, I’m not really surprised.

Maybe I had been wrong about her. Maybe the Captain is really in love with the Commander. But why does my gut say otherwise? I had immediately noticed that she was attracted to the man. Who wouldn’t? Jenny and Megan told me that even B’Elanna Torres had once harbored a secret passion for the guy. Maybe so, but I’ve never seen her look at him with lovesick eyes. As for Janeway, either she is the world’s greatest actress, or she is simply not in love with Chakotay. I haven’t made up my mind, yet.

The Doctor has been displaying unusual interest in Earth’s history. Mainly in famous personalities. When he wasn’t checking the ship’s computer, he was grilling me about people like Gandhi and Lord Byron. Lord Byron? Jesus! What the hell would I know about him? I’m not even a fan! I mean, I used to be pretty good in history. Especially World History. So, I really didn’t have much problems in answering the Doc’s questions. Well, except for questions about Lord Byron. What I wanted to know is why he has developed a sudden interest in this topic.

“I have decided to expand my programming,” he declared in his usual pompous, but friendly manner. “I am in the process of creating a personality-improvement holographic program, utilizing the personalities of several historic characters.” Then he waved his little instrument over my chest. “Take a deep breath, please.”

Ever since I stowed away on this damn ship, I have been subjected to a medical check-up on a monthly basis. It seems the Captain wanted to make sure that I didn’t fall victim to some 24th century disease that I might be unable to resist. Once the medical exam ended, the Doctor declared me fit. I slid off the bed and faced him. “Say Doc,” I began, “about this new program of yours – are you sure you want to do this? I don’t see anything wrong with your personality right now.”

“That is what I keep telling him,” Kes said from the other side of Sick Bay. She walked over to where we stood. “But the Doctor will not listen to me. Doctor, I’m not sure that this new program is a good idea. Remember what happened the last time?”

Kes explained that a few months before my arrival, the Doctor’s program had begun to malfunction after two years of continuous activation and added subroutines to his program. Four months ago, I wouldn’t have known what the hell Kes was talking about. But I do now. What she was describing was similar to someone adding additional and unnecessary programs to a PC hard drive.

“The only way we could save him was to graft the Doctor Zimmerman matrix from the holodeck systems into his program.” She gave him a look that expressed both annoyance and concern.

The Doctor had the good sense to look embarrassed. But he still insisted upon going through with his experiment. “Many of the crew have complained about my lack of a bedside manner. Perhaps this new program will help me develop one.”

“Doc, you already have a bedside manner,” I retorted. “And quite frankly, I have no problems with it. Okay, you can be a little brusque and arrogant at times.” He shot me a glare that I did my best to ignore. “So what? I’ve encountered too many doctors who will smile in my face and do absolutely nothing for my health. I think the crew should be grateful that you know how to do your job. And to be honest, many of them aren’t exactly a bed of roses in the personality department.”

One would think after a speech like that, the Doctor would reconsider his idea. But, no. Much to my and Kes’ disappointment, he decided to go ahead with his scheme. Who knew that a being of photon light and energy could be so damn stubborn?

LIEUTENANT B’ELANNA TORRES – STARDATE 50696.83:

What is it with the Universe? Why is it so damn determined to make my life miserable? What the hell have I ever done to it?

Once again, I found myself in Sick Bay. For the third time in less than two months. Only this time, I found myself under attack by the Doctor. Yes, that’s right, the Doctor. Not Vorik, not Chakotay, but Voyager’s very own holographic medical officer. Kahless!

It was that damn program he had created! That personality improvement holographic program! The stupid idiot wanted to add it to his own program, in order to improve his personality. Some improvement. Instead of a hologram with a new and improved bedside manner, I found myself facing a schizophrenic psychopath, who paralyzed my legs and my vocal cords, kidnapped Kes and tried to kill her new boyfriend. Well, at least he achieved one objective. He prevented Kes from leaving Voyager for good. Of course, it’s not the way I would have done it.

The Doctor apologized for what he did to my legs, this afternoon. You know, it seemed like déjà vu, for the third time around. And as usual, I had no choice but to accept an apology. At least I won’t have to worry about his personality going through such a change in another seven years. Or worry about some piece of Borg technology in his body. I made sure that his new program was purged from his matrix. Permanently.

As for Zahir, Kes decided not to join him with the other Mikhal Travelers. She claimed that she could not leave Voyager. I wonder. I suspect that she felt worried about the Doctor, after his experiences in that damn 4-C program. Or maybe she was simply afraid to move on. Too bad. I have this feeling that she might eventually regret not joining Zahir.

THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL HOLOGRAM – STARDATE 50730.33:

In the two weeks since my failed experiment with the 4-C program, I have managed to repair any damaged relationship with both Kes and Lieutenant Torres. Much to my profound relief. Not only do the two women serve a vital function to my duties as Chief Medical Officer aboard Voyager, I consider them both friends. Especially Kes.

Ironically, restoring my relationship with Lieutenant Torres has proven to be less difficult. Perhaps after dealing with Ensign Vorik’s pon-far and a slightly assimilated Commander Chakotay, being paralyzed by me must have seem like another day in the Delta Quadrant. It was not long before we regained our old relationship.

Kes has proven to be somewhat more difficult. Not only did I physically assault her companion, Zahir, I also kidnapped her. And threatened her with force. Even worse, I had admitted my true feelings for her, while in the throes of schizophrenia. Very embarrassing, I must say. We spent the following week in a state of awkwardness that nearly left me in despair of ever regaining our old friendship.

Within a week, our awkwardness had begun to dissipate. It did not completely disappear until today – when we found ourselves facing another endless medical emergency. It started when Voyager encountered an alien ship. Ensign Kim, for some apparent reason, deemed the ship a threat and fired upon it. Naturally, the aliens fired back and Voyager suffered major damage in the Engineering Section. By the time the ship managed to slip away, Kes and I found ourselves faced with wounded crewmen. Including Miss Robinson. Imagine our surprise.

Ensign Kim appeared a few minutes later. The Captain wanted him examined to comprehend the reasons behind his actions on the Bridge. The ensign seemed particularly stricken by Miss Robinson’s unconscious state. Kes and I managed to stabilize Miss Robinson’s condition by treating her scorched lungs with pulmozine. However, her burns still required attendance and I curtly dismissed Mister Kim.

THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL HOLOGRAM – STARDATE 50733.28:

The following morning, Ensign Kim returned to Sick Bay with a new dilemma. Spots. Spots had appeared on his face, overnight. I immediately assumed he had been infected with some kind of virus. After a careful examination of his body, I came to the conclusion that Mister Kim had not been afflicted by some disease.

Miss Robinson regained consciousness while Ensign Kim was in Sickbay. She seemed slightly groggy from the pulmozine and she also continued to experience slight pain in her lungs. Which is why I ordered her to remain in Sickbay for another day.

Mister Kim apologized for the being the cause of her injuries. Miss Robinson seemed more than willing to accept his apologies. In fact, she seemed quite friendly. Both Mister Kim and myself learned from her that she was in Engineering to deliver an Astrometrics report, when she suffered her injuries.

A few hours later, Voyager came across a Taresian ship, which helped us fight off the pursuing Nasari ships – the very people whom Ensign Kim had attacked. The Captain, Lieutenants Tuvok and Paris, and Ensign Kim paid a visit to the Taresian surface. Only Ensign Kim remained behind. The Captain delivered an astonishing tale about the ensign discovering that his true heritage was Taresian and that his DNA had resurfaced upon Voyager’s proximity to the planet. After examination of Mister Kim’s DNA, it seemed the Taresians had been truthful. However, I decided to run more tests.

Lieutenant Paris paid a visit to Sick Bay, several hours later. He expressed interest in Ensign Kim’s genetic condition. But I knew the truth. While I discussed Mister Kim’s DNA coding, Mister Paris began casting surreptious glances at the once again unconscious Miss Robinson. Realizing that I was wasting my breath, I asked in an exasperated tone, “Do you wish to speak with Miss Robinson?” It was not difficult to detect the emotions that reflected in his eyes. Concern, compassion, tenderness and something else. Dare I say it? Love?

For a moment, I wondered if I had been hasty. After all, I have been aware of the attraction between Lieutenants Paris and Torres for the past half year. However, I also recalled the vibrant chemistry between Mister Paris and Miss Robinson during our adventures on 20th century Earth. Although their relationship has somewhat cooled in the past five months, the chemistry between the pair remained obvious.

“Mister Paris?” I added. He had failed to respond.

The helmsman snapped out of his reverie and blushed. Interesting. “Yeah, Doc. Did you say something?”

“Yes. I asked if you would like to speak with Miss Robinson. I’m sure that a few minutes of your dazzling wit will not harm her.” My usual caustic tone drew a glare from the pilot.

However, Mister Paris rejected my offer. He shook his head and replied, “No thanks, Doc. Rain probably needs the rest and I don’t want to disturb her.” He started toward the door.

I called after him. “Mister Paris!” He paused and I caught up with him. “Mister Paris, about a year ago, a compassionate young man once convinced me to take a chance with a woman I had harbored a great interest in. And now, I would like to return the favor.”

Blue eyes stared at me, warily. “Meaning?”

I sighed. When it came to facing his emotions, Thomas Eugene Paris can be incredibly stubborn. “Meaning, it seems clear to me that you still harbor some feelings for Miss Robinson. I do not comprehend the reason behind your estrangement during the past five months, but it is apparent that neither of you have been happy, lately. May I suggest that you take a chance? Mend your relationship. Why continue in this unhappy state?”

The helmsman’s face hardened. “Thanks for the advice, Doc. But I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. Excuse me, I have to report back to the Bridge.” He quickly left Sick Bay.

Kes sauntered over to me and patted my arm. “I’m sorry, Doctor. I had hoped Tom would take your advice. Perhaps he will. One day.” She stood on her toes and planted a light kiss on my cheek. “On the other hand, I’m also very proud of you.”

I never realized that holograms could experience bodily warmth, due to a kiss from an organic. Until today.

RAIN ROBINSON – SEPTEMBER 27, 2373:

I missed the whole incident regarding Harry and the Taresian women, thanks to the injuries I had suffered. No matter. Harry told Neelix, Tom and myself the entire story during lunch.

He told us how he had been deliberately infected with a retrovirus that genetically altered his DNA to resemble the Taresians. The retrovirus gave him an instinctive urge to return to Taresia. And attack the Nasari ships. The very act that led me to being nearly scorched beyond recognition.

To make a long story short, Voyager visited Taresia. Harry decided to remain on the planet’s surface, believing he had returned home. He learned that the planet was mainly inhabited by women, who gave him this cock-and-bull story about some Taresian who traveled to Earth to plant an embryo into his mother’s womb. The Taresians really wanted his genetic material to harvest for procreation. I guess this was their way getting knocked up. Lovely. Harry managed to escape with Voyager’s help. This led to a discussion about sea sirens that lured men to their doom. If you ask me, this whole incident could have been called, “Ensign Kim and the Vampire Women”. What a great B-movie that would made. Bram Stoker couldn’t have written a better story.

Then as we left the Mess Hall, Harry and Tom began some nonsense about how they wish they could be each other. Yeah, right. It became so nauseating that I begged them to stop. After the turbolift stopped on Deck Six, Harry said good-bye and disappeared. But not without one last apology. Tom took it upon himself to escort me to my quarters. I didn’t mind. Although I had been released from Sick Bay, I still felt a little weak.

Once we reached my quarters on Deck Eight, I invited Tom inside for a drink. Surprise, surprise! Perhaps I was in the mood for company. Or maybe I remembered what the Doc told me about Tom’s visit to Sick Bay. Tom accepted my offer. He even suggested that I lay on the couch, while he replicated the coffee. Is it any wonder that I . . .

“Here you go.” Tom handed me a cup. His blue eyes reflected concern. Compassion. Hell, I almost drowned just staring into them. Then he asked me, “How do you feel?”

I took a sip of the coffee. Strong, sweet and with plenty of milk. “Fine,” I said, “but I’m still a little groggy. And my skin is a bit tender in some parts.”

“Regenerated skin.”

Both of fell silent and continued drinking our coffee. I never realized that silence could be so damn uncomfortable. Then at the same time, we both decided to speak. I don’t know about Tom, but I wanted to get a few things off my chest. “About what I said that last time,” I began.

He said at the same time, “Rain, I want to apologize . . .”

We blinked and stared at each other. I asked, “Apologize? For what?”

“For avoiding you these past two months,” he replied. Tom glanced away as his face slowly grew red. “I guess I was . . . well, a little upset over what . . . I mean . . .”

Knowing what he was about to say, I quickly added, “You mean you were upset when I brought up your past.” A hot flush burned my cheeks. Embarrassed, I found myself unable to look at him. “I know. I don’t blame you for being upset. I didn’t mean to use your past against you.”

“You have every right, believe me.”

A note of self-hatred in Tom’s voice caught my attention. I’ve recognized it so many times in my own voice that it seemed strange to hear in someone else’s. Especially from someone as confident as Tom.

“Look Tom,” I continued, “I wasn’t putting you down for what you did in the past. I was just trying to point out that if you could be forgiven for your actions, so could Vorik. I . . . I’m sorry if I caused you any pain.” I took a deep breath and lifted my eyes to meet Tom’s. Forgiveness and understanding shined in those blue peepers, much to my relief.

A smile touched Tom’s lips. “I understand.” The smile disappeared. “How did you . . . uh, find out about . . . Caldik Prime, anyway?”

“From a crewman.” The answer popped out of my mouth before I could stop myself. Dammit! When will I ever learn to control my mouth?

Sandy blond brows rose questioningly. “Oh? From whom?”

I stared into a pair of blue eyes that seemed to grow steadily angry. I knew that his anger was not directed at me, but at the person who told me about Caldik Prime. Namely that creep, Pat Mulcahey. Actually, the latter hinted it and I checked the ship’s computer for more details. Looking into Tom’s eyes, it struck me that if I named Mulcahey, he would go after the man with a vengeance. Which would only lead to trouble. So I lied.

“I forgot who mentioned it,” I said. It was easy to see that he didn’t believe me. “I read about Caldik Prime from the ship’s computer.”

“Oh.”

“I read that you confessed to lying about the accident and who was to blame, despite the fact there were no evidence on what really happened.”

Tom nodded silently. I could see that he still found the subject, disturbing after all these years. “But I still lied,” he added. “And Starfleet cashiered me.”

“Why? You confessed. I can understand if you had been found out before confessing.” I continued, “But you did so before anyone could learn the truth.”

In a low voice, Tom explained that Starfleet frowned upon lying and falsifying reports. “Typical military hypocrisy,” I murmured sarcastically. “I bet they’ve lied every now and then, themselves.” If it had been up to me, I would have demoted Tom for a while and assigned him to some post in the boondocks. And maybe ensure that he never receive his own command. Personally, I think Starfleet went too far – especially since he had confessed before anyone could discover that he had lied.

I sighed. “Oh well. I’m just glad that . . .” Again, my face turned hot with embarrassment. “I’m just glad that we came to an . . . you know, understanding.”

Tom smiled. “So am I.” He paused momentarily. “By the way, I’ve found these two old vids in the computer database. I thought it would be nice to show them to a few friends in my quarters. Would you like to join us?” Tom added that he would be showing,“Orgy of the Walking Dead” and “Bride of the Corpse”. Bless his heart! I haven’t seen a decent movie since I boarded this ship. And the fact that he would be showing two of my favorite movies? Well, how could I resist? I said yes.

“Okay then,” Tom added with a broad smile. “I’ll be seeing you in my quarters, tomorrow evening at 01900 hours.”

O what? “Huh?” I gave him a perplexed frown. Tom explained that meant at seven o’clock, tomorrow evening. Of course. Dummy me.

I returned Tom’s smile with one of my own. “Seven o’clock, then. I’ll be there.” He flashed one last smile, finished his coffee and left. Well, that went great! Tom and I might never find ourselves in a romance, but at least we’re talking again. As friends. Perhaps that is the best that either of us can do.

THE END

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