Secrets Forged

By Karahkwa

Summary: Just a little background for the "Secrets" series. Don't worry, nothing too graphic.

Disclaimer: See Fan Fic Main Page.

Part 01/02

"Please forgive me, Papa. I didn't mean for this to happen."

Kolopak, respected member of his tribe and father of eight, haunched down to be on the same level as his son. He could see the fear in the boy's eyes. He still shook from the terror of returning home to find his youngest daughter nearly dead, using what little breath she had to beg her brother not to leave her.

"Okemos, there was nothing that you could have done. Chakata asked you to stay with her. You did nothing wrong."

"But if I'd gotten my chores done yesterday like I was supposed to, you wouldn't have made me stay home to finish and 'Kata wouldn't have stayed with me. We would have been in the village when she got sick, not out here alone. It's my fault."

"No! It's no one's fault. The Spirits have a plan for 'Kata and this is how it begins," said Talisa before he husband could respond.

"Or how it ends."

"Menewa! You take that back! Chakata will be fine. The medicine man will fix her."

"Enough!" Kolopak said, seeing the fight brewing between his children. "Okemos, if anyone is at fault, I am. I made you stay home; I let Chakata stay will you; I left you no way to contact us if there was trouble. Blame me if you must blame someone. Do not blame yourself. You are not at fault." Kolopak turned his unblinking stare to Menewa and Ahyoka. "As for you two, there will be no more bickering. Chakata needs her family if she's to get well. So we will be strong for her since she can not be. All of us." When he received six other nods to his statement, he let out an inaudible sigh. One battle had been waged and won.

"Kolopak, the holy man has arrived. He's agreed to chant with the family."

"Thank you, brother. Talisa, take the children outside I will be there shortly. Okemos, stay with me." Once father and son were alone, Kolopak once again knelt at his son's level. "'Kemos, I need you to tell me what happened."

"I don't know, Papa. I don't know…."



The fifteen year old boy sighed. In the last ten minutes, Chakata had asked at least eighty questions. "Yes?" he answered without looking up as he continued to hoe the corn.

"Why do plants grow up and not down?"

Easy one. "They do both. We can only see the up part."

"How do you know that?"

Okemos smiled. His sister was sharp for a four-year-old. "Because when we try to pull them out of the ground they don't want to come. And then when they do come, we see the part that grew down."

"Oh." Pause. "Are you mad Papa made you stay home?"

"I didn't finish my chores. I knew I couldn't go until they were finished."

"Do you think the others are having fun?"

"Yes, Chakata. The festival is a lot of fun. I'm sure they're enjoying it."

"I think we're having more fun."

At this, Okemos stopped. Chakata had been sitting on the fence the entire time he'd been hoeing the rows of corn. He didn't really think they were having fun but… "You do?"

"Um-hum." The little girl added a firm nod just for emphasis.

"And why is that?"

"We never get to talk like this when the others are here. Makya always making me be quiet." There was just enough emotion in the child's voice to tell Okemos just how much she hated that.

"And you like talking to me?"

"You're the smartest person I know, 'Emos. I wanna be smart like you."

At this the teenager smiled. Kid sisters weren't so bad. He reached over and rustled her hair. "When you're my age, you will be. You just need to grow up some."


"Yes, 'Kata?"

"Can I help you?"

This was a surprise. Chakata was still too young for chores. She didn't know yet that they were hard work. "Sure. Tell you what. I'm gonna let you find out if plants grow down. Come here."

Fifteen minutes later, Okemos had finished four more rows are corn. As he started the next row, Okemos checked to make sure his sister wasn't getting too hot or tired. He'd have to give her some ice cream when they got inside. She was being a real trooper.

As he worked, the teenager's back was towards his sister. He never saw it coming….

Chakata was still pulling weeds in the last row. She didn't like the work but knew if 'Emos got done soon, they could go inside and maybe they could sneak into Mama's ice cream. She stopped for a moment to wipe off her forehead. It had gotten really hot and bright suddenly. She returned to her weed-pulling and realized that the weeds smelled really nice. She hadn't noticed their scent before.

Chakata stopped. Her eyes and head hurt and the sun was way too bright. She opened her mouth to speak but just as she did, a bird began too sing. The sounds seemed to go straight to her head. She put her hands over her ears to stop the sound. As she did she realized her very skin ached.

Chakata had never been sick before. She didn't want to be sick if this is what it was. ""Emos?"


It wasn't until three minutes had passed that Okemos realized Chakata hadn't answered. He glanced over to where she had been working. She wasn't anywhere to be seen. He frowned. Papa would kill him if she ran off and got lost.

"Chakata! Where are you!" As he spoke he wandered over to the row she'd been working on. To his horror, his littlest sister was lying on the ground twisting in what had to be agony. "'Kata!"

"Hurts, 'Emos. Make it stop hurting!" She was screaming just to hear herself over all the sounds. Even the insects and birds seemed to be buzzing or singing at the loudest levels possible. "Make 'em stop."

"Who? Make who stop?"

"The birds. They're too loud; make them stop!"

Okemos cocked his head to the side. He could only hear one bird and it seemed too be quite a distance from them. Still, if it was hurting Chakata… Okemos did the only thing he could. He scooped her up and ran into the house. After placing her on the bed, he looked around for something to comfort her. He found the teddy bear he'd gotten her last year for her birthday. "Here, Talof Harjo will stay with you while I get help."

"No! Don't leave, 'Emos. Don't leave me…."


Kolopak and Talisa sat quietly in the waiting room. It had been nearly a year since little Chakata had gotten sick. They'd taken her to every medicine man on Dorvan and no on had been able to help her. In desperation, they had taken her to a Federation hospital. In the three months since then, Chakata had shown slight improvement but not enough to say that she was out of danger.

The doctors had found that Chakata's DNA was in a state of flux to the point that her body had trouble making many of the necessary chemicals. She was literally starving, both from nutrients and sensory perceptions. She could go days without the ability to hear or see and then suddenly her senses would be overly acute as the fluctuations swung in the other direction. They'd tried every known treatment and still only a slight improvement.

That's when they'd come to Kolopak with a plan. "Let us try this new experimental treatment on her." It was the craziest thing he'd ever heard and it went against almost everything he believed. But if it meant saving the life of his child, he would have agreed to almost anything.

Now as they sat waiting for the procedure to finish, Kolopak was having doubts. What if it made Chakata worse. Could she survive much more? Should he have just let her go?

NO! The Spirits had kept her alive, in agony for nearly a year. Surely this meant they had a plan for her. They wouldn't hurt one so young and so innocent without a reason. He must be doing something right if she was still here and still alive.

Just as Kolopak made his peace with his decision, the doctor came into the waiting room. He looked into their anxious eyes and sighed. "I have good news and I have bad news…"

End Part 01

Secrets Forged

by Karahkwa

Summary: See Part 01

Disclaimer: See Fan Fic Main page

Part 02/02

Sixteen-year-old Chakotay sat alone on a park bench. Somewhere in the back of the young cadet's mind he knew he was missing his Intro to Quantum Mechanics lecture but he really didn't care at that point.

For the last three months, the last year actually, he'd been on top of the world. He'd been accepted to Star Fleet Academy at sixteen. Not unusual for 'Fleet brats who spent their entire childhoods on the starships and space stations. But for someone like Chakotay, who'd grown up on a non-allied world, a backward and old-fashioned planet like Dorvan, it was a great honor.

He'd survived the jokes and potshots his classmates and even teachers had taken at him. He'd set out to prove that he wasn't some know-nothing brat they let in because of politics. He may have only traveled the stars a few times, but he'd be damned if he wouldn't spend the rest of his life doing it. And Chakotay had made good on those determinations. He'd made a good life for himself in the modern universe.

But here in the last few hours, his world had come crashing down.

He'd been feeling a little edgy lately. Nerves, he thought but with all the different species around and his history of easy illness, it was possible he was reacting to some pheromone or something. Had he been home, Chakotay would have spent some time in the sweat lodge and then forgotten everything about it. But he was a Star Fleet cadet now, and he was going to act like one. Unfortunately, acting like a cadet was what tore his life to shreds.


The doctor had listened to Chakotay patiently as he explained his situation. After showing just the right amount of sympathy, a skill he'd learned while a cadet himself, he ran the usual scans. "Life signs-normal. Neurological scan-perfect for a boy your age. Blood scan-hmmm. Slightly elevated hormone levels. Well, you are a teenager. And… Cadet, there's a drug in your system, in a very high concentration. You do know that use of any drugs while in the Academy is strictly prohibited."

Chakotay frowned at the doctor. Surely they'd seen his medical files from his many trips to Star Base 18. "Doctor, that drug was prescribed to me when I was a child. It's a treatment for an illness that I had. I'm never supposed to come off it."

"Cadet-Chakotay, you are no longer on Dorvan. Backwater medicine doesn't hold any meaning here."

"Backwa-? Doctor, it was a Federation doctor who put me on it. I was four maybe five years old but I remember. I was taken to Star Base 18 because 'backwater medicine' as you call it wasn't helping me get well."

"Why isn't there a notation in your medical file then?"

"I was told there would be. I asked about it when I was applying. They said my medical records from Star Base 18 would be forwarded here. I'm not a junkie, doctor; even on backwater planets we know better. In fact, my people probably know that better than yours does."

"Do you remember the name of your doctor at the Star Base? Maybe I can track down your story." The doctor sounded suspicious but Chakotay didn't care. Let the pompous jerk find the truth out for himself.

"His name was Michael Laundess-No-Lawders, Michael Lawders."

"Lawders? You were a patient of Dr. Lawders?"

"Yes. Isn't that what I said? Why do you say it that way is something wrong?"

"Come into my office, Cadet. I need to tell you a little something about Dr. Michael Lawders."


Now, Chakotay sat alone with the memory of that conversation burned into his brain. He still refused to believe it, but the doctor had even pulled up a medical file to prove it. It had been his medical file, the one that they were supposed to forward. And there typed half way down the first page was confirmation of what he'd prayed wasn't true.

Dr. Adrianna Jensen, Lawder's assistant and someone Chakotay himself remembered, had written the very worlds that condemned them.

"Child's reaction to the toxin we introduced is just as we expected. The fluctuations in genetic material are, however, greater than we thought. I don't believe the child will survive the rest of this experimentation. On a personal note, I still don't know how or why Michael picked young Chakata. Probably her high intelligence and her test scores for her school entrance. She's such a sweet kid. I feel sorry for her and her family. Especially her parents. They don't understand all this crap Michael's been feeding them. He's gotten them to agree to nearly all the tests and experiments he's ever wanted to do because they don't know any better and they love their little girl.
"Giving this child the toxin without parental permission and the unrealistic descriptions of the tests we're running on her-this isn't why I wanted to be a doctor. This isn't why I wanted to study genetic diseases. What we're doing is wrong and I just hope we don't destroy this little girl's life in the process."

Dr. Lawders had used his parents and him-her-Oh, Spirits. Chakotay-Chakata-whoever he was now didn't know what to think about what he/she'd found out.

When he'd had his intelligence tested to see if he should go to school, they'd given him a drug and then they'd waited for his family to get desperate. It could have killed him but they hadn't cared. Then instead of fixing the problems they'd made, they continued to play with his body. The radical treatment his father had grudgingly allowed had changed little Chakata into Chakotay, a boy with no memories of any time before. It also made him dependant on the drug he now took daily.

"My whole life's a lie."

But it doesn't have to stay that way. Chakotay considered what the doctor had told him. He'd offered to undo the procedure. But there were risks and he could more or less kiss his Star Fleet career good-bye. Chakotay pushed the thoughts away and looked out over the park. It was nice here in San Francisco. He missed the changing seasons of Dorvan but the sunshine was nice, too.

It's summer at home, he thought. The Sun Dance is next month. I'm going home for that. I've already petitioned for the leave of absence and gotten it. I was going to take part and thank the Spirits for helping get into the Academy. I can't now. Women aren't included and I no longer have the Academy.

"Hey Chakotay!"

Chakotay looked up to see his roommate standing about three feet away. James Wolfe had become one of Chakotay's best friends. He'd never judged or looked down on him for his lack of experience. Even though Jamie was a 'Fleet brat, he was a great friend. "Hi, Jamie."

"Chakotay, is everything all right?" he asked seriously as he sat down beside his buddy and roommate.. "I know you went to the doc this morning and then you skipped all your classes. What's going on? Are you sick?"

"I don't know. I don't know."

"Can you tell what you do know?"

Chakotay sat there for a while. He wanted to talk about it with some one. He wanted someone to understand that his world had just broken into billions of tiny pieces. He…

He couldn't do that to his father. Even if Kolopak had no way of knowing what was happening, these people would think it was his fault. Everyone would. Chakotay suddenly remembered moving from their village to another and not being allowed to talk about anyone from home. It was because of me. I made us move. Because no one wanted me near.


"I can't. It's my secret for now." For always.

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