Salvaging Hope; Part III

Summary: Kathryn Janeway does something she regrets. [In response to Jupiter Station Narrative Challenge #170.] Rated PG-13 for language. J,P AU, Angst Part 3/?

Disclaimer: Star Trek is obviously not mine because I don’t make any money from these stories.

Archiving: Please ask me before distributing elsewhere.

By Daffnie (


we spend all our lives goin’ out of our minds
looking back to our birth, forward to our demise
even scientists say, everything is just light
not created, destroyed but eternally bright
masters in everytime lord in everyplace
those who stood up for love down in spite of the hate
in spite of the hate
we made it to the moon
but we can’t make it home
waitin’ on a rescue that never comes
made it to the moon
but we can’t make it home
maybe home is where the heart has given up
to the one, to the one

~Segments from ‘They stood up for love’ by Live, written by Edward Kowalczyk, Chad Taylor, and Patrick Dahlheimer


“Kathryn, you have to make a decision soon,” Justin murmured as he held her close to himself, brushing away her auburn hair from her face. They had become very close after he rescued her, and the bond was growing ever stronger.

She was curled up beside him on the floor, both of them leaning against his couch, and Kathryn briefly mused on the irony of the situation. Who would’ve thought she could fall in love with someone she once thought to be an egotistic prick?

Now, as they were comforted by each other’s presence, she felt more at peace that she had in a long time.

“Isn’t there any other option?”

She didn’t want to accept what circumstances had dealt her. Not long ago, Captain T’Por informed her of a communiqué from Starfleet Command that gave her two choices: either she return to Earth to raise her son, or she give him up to pursue her career.

Kathryn wished she could keep him aboard, but she also knew that it wouldn’t be allowed because of the risk the mission posed to an infant. It just wasn’t safe. But if she left to raise him back on Earth, she would not be allowed to return to duty for atleast six years. She thought this unfair, but they had their reasons. Her son would be studied and then go through genetic therapy to remove his Cardassian genes. By law, she had be present as he underwent the therapy or else have a legal guardian there, and the entire process would take six long, grueling years.

This gave her the option of giving him up for adoption if she chose not to raise him. It would be the only way to keep her job...and it was the option that disturbed her the most.

Now as Kathryn considered the choices, she was torn between them. Not wanting to hand over child or her job, she groped for another possibility.

“I could take him to Earth myself and raise him,” Justin offered. “I know how much you love your job, and I know how much it means to you for the baby to be raised properly.”

She looked at him sternly. “No. Starfleet, this job, the mission - they all are more important to you than to me. I always have my family name to fall back on if I stumble over a hurdle on the job. You don’t have that luxury.”

“So you’re going to leave the mission?”

She closed her eyes and waited a few moments before responding, “No, I can’t do that. This crew needs me as much as I need them. And I need *you*. My son can grow up fine without me, but if everyone has to go out of their way to send me home, it won’t be worth the effort.”

Kathryn regretted those words even as they left her mouth. She was abandoning her son for her own sake, wasn’t she? This was one of the few opportunities where they both could benefit in best possible way, but it still felt wrong. She felt an obligation to look after him because of the nature of his origin.

“Are you sure about this, now?”

She was hesitant to answer, but soon she nodded, sadly.

“Yes. I suppose so.”


Nightmares continuously haunted Kathryn’s sleep...when it actually came to her. Most nights, however, were spent plagued with insomnia. She would toss around on her bed fitfully, trying to find a position that was comfortable. Once in a while, she would doze off...only to snap back awake when she dreamt of her son being ripped from her arms and into those of a cruel, red-eyed beast. These images proved to be the source of her insomnia, for all she could think of was that they might, no matter how unrealistic the possibility was, come true.


“How can I live with myself when I am leaving him in someone else’s care as I go and do what I want instead of what’s best for him? What the hell’s wrong with me?”

“You can still leave for Earth, Kathryn. The decision won’t be permanent until the adoption papers are signed. Change you mind if you want. It isn’t a problem.”

“But it is, don’t you see that? There is no way I can leave this assignment. It’s a huge determining factor of my future. Do I really want to risk losing that, losing everything I have worked for my entire life, to spend six years as my potential withers away? And I’m not cut out to be a mother, Justin. I never really wanted a child, either.” She made a sound of disapproval of herself. In her own ears, she sounded self-centered. “But both of the choices seem so wrong... Am I being too selfish?”

He shook his head, and she stood up from the couch.

“You are doing only what you think is right. There’s nothing selfish about making sure that two people have the lives that they need.”

“Want to go the galley to have a drink?” she suddenly asked. “I sure could use one right now.”

“Just some tea, maybe,” Justin smiled and joined her as they walked to the mess hall.


Kathryn was getting frustrated. After receiving suggestions from several people, she had formed a list that was impossibly long. She wanted to choose a name for her child soon, before one would be chosen for her, but none of the suggestions really sounded appealing. And some of the recommendations were, in her opinion, a bit outrageous (she could thank her Bolian friend, Ensign Tran, for those), and the rest were either too ordinary, too alien, or just didn’t sound good.

She angrily threw the padd which contained the list at the wall across the room. It ricocheted off, flew a few meters, and hit a picture frame to the ground. Both objects were broken, and she frowned at the misfortune. The frame held the only recent picture she had of her father.

“Dammit,” she mumbled. “Bad luck follows me around like a storm cloud with a grudge.”

She glanced towards her room where the baby was sleeping, listening if he had been woken up by the noise. She heard nothing, and so she went over to the mess. Shards of glass clattered onto the floor as she pulled the picture out of the frame. It was still intact, but she couldn’t say the same about anything else. Kathryn carefully swept the glass up, tossed it into the recycler, and did the same with the padd. The picture of her father was put into a storage box, and Kathryn sat back down at her desk.

After a beat of silence, she decided that she would name her son what she planned to in the first place: Thomas Eugene Janeway.


It was a grievous occasion on the ship, one that every crewman did not look forward to. The funeral for their Admiral took place in the mess hall, and even though his body was not salvaged, a torpedo casing was there to be ejected in his absence. While Admiral’s Paris’ eulogy was being given, Kathryn was summoned to the bridge.

Once she arrived, her eyes widened as she saw familiar faces on the view screen.

It was Peh’Tev with a phaser to Admiral Paris’ head.

“That’ wasn’t your Admiral, Captain, down on the planet. You don’t actually think we would have *killed* him, do you?” Peh’Tev laughed.

“You will return him to us immediately,” Captain T’Por stated with her usual Vulcan stoicism, and she stood in front of her captain’s chair with a stance that would make anyone else back down.

He laughed again, and Kathryn felt a chill run through her body. That sound brought back too many memories that she would have preferred to keep hidden in some untouched corner of her mind.

“And without getting my ransom? Do you think that I’m really that naive, Captain? Do you think I’m some sort of Ferengi business man gone soft?”

“How much are you asking for his safe return?” the captain asked calmly.

“Not how much. I’m not really interested in money,” he grinned slyly. “I want *her*.”

He pointed towards Kathryn, and she backed away slightly. Even thought he didn’t pose an immediate threat since they were on different ships, his smirk and appraising eyes made her frightened. She felt even more uncomfortable when everyone on the bridge staff turned to look at her...with the exception of her captain.

“I will not give you a member of my crew.”

“But, Captain. Kathryn and I go way back. I’m sure she won’t mind coming aboard...even for a visit.”

“My decision does not change, Gul.”

Gul? thought Kathryn. This man took on a Cardassian status? It figured.

“Oh, come on. Are you really not willing to trade the life of that nonessential little *girl* for a man with power? For an *admiral*, instead of a junior ensign? ”

“I do not value the life of one person over another simply by their rank. I will repeat; my decision is final.”

Peh’Tev rolled his eyes at her stubbornness, then shifted his gaze and said, “Hello, Kathryn. How’s the baby?”

Terrified and outraged, Kathryn spun on her heel and fled from the bridge. Justin, who had been working at a minor station at the rear of the bridge, asked for permission to be dismissed. The captain nodded, and he ran after her.

He was able to catch up with Kathryn just as she reached her quarters. She went in, ignoring him altogether, and he followed her in. She went and stared out her large window as she felt him approach and stop behind her left shoulder. His hand went on arm as a comforting gesture, but she pushed it off and crossed her arms in a protective stance.

“Go away.”

“Don’t let him get to you, Kathryn. You’re stronger than that.”

She didn’t say anything in response, and he felt obligated to continue.

“Maybe if you tell me about what happened, this will be easier on you. Sometimes it just helps to talk.”

She was silent again.

“Come on, Kath. Keeping it locked inside will only make you feel worse. Believe me, I know all about that.”

Suddenly, she spun around and was face to face with him.

“How in the *hell* can you know what I went through? Granted, you were once capture by them and tortured, but I don’t think I can live with it like you.”

“It took time...years...for me to finally come to terms with what they did to me, but that doesn’t erase the memories. I can still feel the pain. I can still smell the scent of my own flesh burning. When I go to sleep, I have nightmares about their cruelty and the agony I went through. You have to forgive them, though, for what they did. It’s the only way to live with the memories.”

“But you weren’t impregnated by some smart-ass bastard who took advantage of you! You don’t the know the pain I go through *every day* when I look at my son’s face and wonder what will become of him. You don’t know how much it hurts me to be giving him up, but that’s the shit life has thrown at me! You can’t say the same, Justin. Our experiences were different.”

He firmly gripped both her shoulders with his hands, and she winced as his grip tightened.

“Look at me, Kathryn! You’ve seen my scars, where they took a knife and sliced it through my stomach. I told you the story of what they did to me, and you have absolutely no right to say that you have been through more pain. Sure, they may be different like you said, but they’re also a hell of a lot the same.”

Kathryn’s eyes were filled with tears, “Let go, Justin. You’re hurting me.”

Justin instantly dropped his hands and turned away from her. Kathryn rubbed her now bruised shoulders, trying to make the ache go away.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I've gone too far.”

“You’re damn right. Now leave me alone,” she spat unsympathetically.


Later that day, because of Captain’s T’Por’s use of diplomacy, phasers, and photon torpedoes, Peh’Tev finally surrendered the admiral. His return created a collective sigh of relief from the crew, who were brimming with barely concealed delight.

Kathryn, however, felt slightly uneasy around him. He had been ‘raised from the dead’ in a sense, and it seemed unreal. The admiral wanted to talk to her about another decision she made, one he had just found out about, and so she was called into his ready room.

“Ensign, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t glad that you’re staying, but are you certain this is what you want?” Admiral Paris questioned then took a sip of coffee. He sat behind his desk in such a relaxed manner that if she hadn’t known what went on only a day ago, she would have never suspected anything had just happened to him.

Kathryn mentally groaned, having gone over the same conversation before with Justin. Why were people so insistent that she be confident in her decision? She was becoming more frustrated as everyone was being so unintentionally annoying, and at the moment, she had no intention of speaking her mind.

“I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life,” she lied confidently, hoping her words sounded truthful. Apparently they did, because the Admiral seemed convinced as he gave her his toothy smile.

“The shuttle is expected to leave at 1500 hours to take Thomas to Earth. My wife will be waiting at Starfleet Headquarters for the transport,” he said in monotone, as if reading off a duty roster. “Oh, and Kathryn...don’t worry about it. He’ll be safe with us, and he will be loved as if he was our own son.”

“I trust he will,” she stated with an outwardly indifference.

Inwardly, she sighed.



To be continued...

::Part I | Part II | Part IV::