Fragments, Part Seven


By Tommyhawk1@AOL.COM
Artwork (c) 2002 by Voyeur. All Rights Reserved.

Illustration of Fragments #7

Chakotay wouldn't let Paris help continue the search when the two-hour deadline approached; in fact, he insisted on both taking Paris to Sickbay for monitoring by the Doctor personally, and in being present. It was embarrassing how quickly possessive and protective he had become. Jesus, Paris thought, give the guy one roll in the hay and he thinks he owns you!
*
Still, he had to admit, strictly to himself, that having Chakotay nearby made him feel safer.
*
"Fifteen seconds to the projected deadline. Are you ready, Mr. Paris?" the Doctor said.
*
"As much as I can be."
*
"This will be interesting. A chance to evaluate the temporal dislocation as it occurs. I am monitoring you on several frequencies, as well as using Dr. Shudan's equipment.
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"Kim to Chakotay."
*
Chakotay slapped his badge. "Chakotay here."
*
"Tachyon discharge at the Cartilian defensive array. Sir, it's emanating from the point of our entrance into Cartilian space. And the beam seems to be aimed in our direction."
*
"I am picking up a slight increase in tachyon particles." the Doctor reported. "Barely enough to register. Their quantum state does not precisely match that of our universe. I conjecture its source is an alternate universe, and its tachyon nature is the source of Mr. Paris' temporal problems."
*
"Hail the Cartilian vessel escorting us."
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"On channel."
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"Cartilian vessel, this is Voyager. We seem to be the focus of this disturbance at your frontiers. May we assist in any way?"
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"Maintain your present course and speed. Our defensive array is capable of handling this incursion." the voice faded slightly.
*
"Tachyon beam intrusion up to seventeen percent above normal background radiation." the Doctor's voice was faded further still. "They are definitely focusing on Mr. Paris."
*
"Can you block the beam?" Chakotay was a whisper. And other voices were drowning him out as darkness encroached around him.
*
"Mr. Paris." Seven of Nine said.
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"I'm here." Paris said. It was like he had to respond to these voices. Like they were permitted to command him.
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"Mr. Paris." Captain Janeway's voice said. "We cannot maintain this connection for long. Are you able to rejoin us now?"
*
"Rejoin you?" Paris said. "I don't understand."
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"Mr. Paris, this is a direct order. You must enter the tachyon beam's wormhole and be returned to this universe. Come back to us." Janeway said, but her voice was dimmer.
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"Captain, I'm losing him again." Seven of Nine was fading with every word.
*
"Don't worry, we'll rescue you, Mr. Paris. We're not giving up!" And her shout was a faint whisper.
*
"Rescue?" Paris asked, to himself rather than anyone else.
*
"Temporal dislocation stabilized." the Doctor said, his voice clear, and Paris shook his head to refocus his eyes.
*
"Tom, are you all right?" Chakotay asked.
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"Yeah." Paris said. "Just the voices again." And he related his experience.
*
"The other...Captain Janeway said she was rescuing you?" Chakotay asked.
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"Yes. She called it a tachyon wormhole. Then she ordered me to return to her universe."
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"Return." Chakotay mused. "Doctor, you were present during the initial...restoration of Mr. Paris. Is there anything you remember that would support this assertion?"
*
"Not that I recall." the Doctor said. "Scanning my memory banks, I find several puzzling gaps, such as would be caused by brief electromagnetic pulses. Seven of Nine seemed to understand the principles of the temporal fixator perfectly. I do recall them discussing the number of alternate universes which would be involved in properly fixing Mr. Paris temporally."
*
"Oh?" Paris said. "So it wasn't an infinite number of universes?"
*
"Not at all." the Doctor said. "My memory on this is quite clear, because I questioned Dr. Shudan about it afterwards. I will give to you his explanation. The number of universes is potentially equal to the number of atoms in our universe multiplied by the number of their possible quantum states. A very large number, but not infinite, and it is diminished substantially by quantum equilibrium."
*
"I don't get the difference." Tom admitted. "That number is big enough to be infinite to me."
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"The universes are diminished by quantum equilibrium?" Chakotay asked.
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"I will show you the way Dr. Shudan showed me. He held both his hands out, palm down, side by side. "Think of this as our universe's current quantum state. The equilibrium is stable only with both my hands are level with each other."
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"Okay."
*
"I will now change the quantum state." He lowered first one hand. "But this state is unstable. I will now change it again." He lowered his other hand. "This is a possible ending quantum state which is stable. "Now, let us turn back the clock." He raised his hands to the same position as before. "Presume that we are back to our prior quantum state." He again lowered both his hands, but in different order, left hand first instead of right. "What is the difference between the two ending stable quantum states?"
*
"None." Paris admitted.
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"In this way, the plenum repairs itself. Only major quantum adjustments result in alternate universes. Minor differences are quickly reabsorbed, as the molecular forces on the sub-atomic level have their own particular states of equilibrium."
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"So the universes may be infinite, but small variations are smoothed out." Chakotay said.
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"The number is further limited by the physical laws governing our universe. There are universes that will not occur because you are unable to fly, or to move through space without life support and mechanical assistance, or even because you have two hands, instead of four or a hundred, or none. There is no way for the quantum states to change in that manner. Therefore, the number of alternate universes becomes something a sufficiently enhanced and powerful computer can comprehend and manipulate, at least within the local nexus."
*
"Like the Cartilian defensive array." Paris said, suddenly understanding.
*
"Precisely." the Doctor agreed. "The reason they made no effort to revive you prior to Voyager entering their space is that they have this region thoroughly mapped and tracked and are thus able to manipulate its temporal parameters. The Cartilians constantly manipulate the quantum states themselves in order to maintain a singular universe. You might say that, within this region of space, there is only one universe in the plenum, the one chosen by the Cartilians."
*
"Except something from outside is interfering with my piece of it." Paris said.
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"Causing your temporal dislocations." the Doctor agreed. "Seven of Nine understood it much better than I. In fact, I think the Borg know more about this than the Cartilians, a fact which seemed to upset Dr. Shudan a great deal."
*
"Ensign Kim?" Chakotay called out.
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"Kim here."
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"The tachyon beam which just struck us; can we duplicate that beam? Enhance it so that two-way communication between the universes is possible?"
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"Yes, sir, if we have the equipment available." Kim said, paused. "Yes, I can have the equipment set up in approximately forty hours. Though we'll have to wait until it happens again to actually use it."
*
"Prepare the equipment and have it ready as soon as possible." Chakotay looked at Paris. "I want you by my side constantly between now and then. Understand me?" And a small twinkle lit the otherwise-worried face.
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Paris suppressed his smile--mostly. "Aye, aye, Captain."
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"May I interject a comment?" The Doctor said.
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"Go ahead."
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"The time is now almost 0100 hours. You have both been awake far longer than is healthy for humans. May I strongly suggest that you both go to bed now?"
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"He read my mind." Paris smirked at Chakotay. "I was about to say the same thing."
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"Very well." Chakotay said. "But you'll stay in my quarters with me." A perceptible pause. "Just until this matter is resolved."
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"Oh, of course." Paris said.
*
They were in Chakotay's quarters a few minutes later. Chakotay turned and embraced him, and Paris was surprised at the ferocity at which he was held. Was there trembling?
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"Chakotay, what's wrong?"
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"That other universe." Chakotay said, his voice husky. "They say they're going to rescue you."
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"That's what she said to me."
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"You belong over there." Chakotay said. "I can feel it. You died in this universe, and the Cartilians snatched you from that other universe, and you belong over there. Not here." The trembling increased. "Harry, too. Everybody I care for in this universe is dead." He moved back to arm's length, just his hands on Paris' arms. "You'll both go back and I'll be alone here."
*
"Chakotay, stop worrying." Paris said. "I won't go with her. This is Voyager just as much as that other place. Does it matter whether I'm on this one or the other one? It's the same place. The Cartilians and I agree on that. And Harry, he's already from an alternate, remember? So he jumped timelines one more time. Don't let them take us. I for one don't want to go."
*
"The Cartilians must think as you do." Chakotay said. "They must have had time wars of a nature we could never guess. So they built their array and they stabilized their region so that it never varies. No more time wars for them, ever. But they plan to send us outside their array in another week's time when we get to that planet. It's outside their array. The other universe can take you both, then."
*
"They can't keep this up. Next time they try for me, I'll tell them in no uncertain terms to stop even trying." Paris soothed. "Now let's get in bed. I've got you now and I won't give you up without a fight."
*
The arms which had been so strong about him were now weak and uncertain. The body so strong and possessive was now so in need of help. He gently guided Chakotay backwards to the bed and made gentle, calming strokes out of removing the uniform. Slow, tender, relaxing gestures. Chakotay still trembled as he did likewise to Paris, and Paris had to help with the intricate motions.
*
Finally, nude, they lay on the bed. Chakotay's penis was totally limp, and Paris' hand and lips could not muster any response from it.
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Chakotay was too afraid.
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Let it be, he told his body. Let it be. He crawled up, atop Chakotay, to give only kisses and then to sleep.
*
"Fuck me." Chakotay said.
*
"Huh?"
*
"Fuck me, Tom." Chakotay begged him. "Please. I have some lubricant over there you can use. This may be the last time. I can't...I can't let you go without having you with me one more time."
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"But, Chakotay...."
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"No. Please. I want this. If I can't have you with me, let me have memories, anyway."
*
"I'm not going anywhere. I promise you that."
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"Part of me believes you. I believe you mean it. But you don't control those...those temporal dislocations. You may get trapped there if they're fishing for you. All the promises you make may not mean anything. But you're here now. Give me now."
*
"All right." Paris said, though his own body had begun to shut down as well. You get in bed expecting sex, and then find it's not going to happen, your body seems to generate some sort of counter-hormones. He was about as rigid as cooked asparagus! "But I'll need some time."
*
Chakotay's lips sought his neck, his shoulders, Chakotay's hands sought his arms and back, and flame followed in their path. Warm pressure points of fingers followed the muscles of his back down to the top of his buttocks, circled there at the small of his back, moving the small hairs that live there. It was like those fingertips were pouring energy directly into his groin, or perhaps the initial lust hormones hadn't totally given up the battle. His penis rose again and squeezed painfully against Chakotay's abdomen.
*
"Doesn't feel like you need that much time." Chakotay smiled.
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"I guess not." Paris agreed. And there was a line of warmth on his thigh that spoke. "I think you're rising to the occasion, too."
*
The smile widened, his only response.
*
"Let me just grab that lubricant and we'll be in business." Paris said briskly. He rose up to sit straddle of Chakotay's right thigh, and Chakotay's hand grabbed his cock and pumped at it. Paris strained over to reach the lubricant and closed his eyes, groaned. It was like heaven, that hand on his body, caring for him as he moved on his duty. He grasped the slim tube and was puzzled briefly by the cap, an old-fashioned screw-on type. Unscrewing it, he pressed a length of the rather thick grease into the palm of his hand. Chakotay's hand continued its pounded motions, and small thrills of joy were racing through its wake.
*
"Uh, I'll need that back for a moment." Paris said. He rubbed the oil onto his penis, and it stayed in big smeary blobs on his prick, not wanting to smooth out. "This stuff is heavy."
*
"Here, let me." Chakotay said, taking the tube. He squeezed some into his own palm and then rubbed his palms together and then put both to Paris' penis. The warmed oil turned out to be very pliable, and Chakotay was soon able to coat his cock evenly with a rather thick sheath of the oil.
*
"What about you, now?" Paris said tentatively. He was no expert in this! Some women needed lubrication, but....
*
"Not needed." Chakotay said. "That oil will take care of both of us. Just get to it."
*
This was a bit more familiar, raising Chakotay's legs up to his shoulders. Chakotay's hand guided him into position, and Paris felt a very-familiar-feeling warm opening waiting for him. Not that different from a woman after all, is it? He thought to himself. But tight! Tighter than a woman! "Gah!" He said as the muscles clutched at his prick, squeezing tight.
*
"Keep pushing." Chakotay coached him. "Don't stop until you have it all in. I'm just a little tense, that's all. It'll adjust."
*
It was tight, damned tight. He must have torn Chakotay some places, from the feel of it, the tightness, the quick give and the sudden burst of warmth. But Chakotay's face showed nothing but pleasure all the way until Paris' balls were nestled against Chakotay's hairy cheeks.
*
"Now, just rest there a while." Chakotay breathed to him. "I need to get used to it for a moment."
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"Feels nice." Paris said.
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"Yeah." Chakotay agreed. "Here, let me lower my legs a little now." Paris released his legs and Chakotay moved until he could wrap them around Paris' waist, the lower heel resting on his buttock. "Now, slowly."
*
Paris moved gently, small strokes which barely moved his cock an inch in either direction.
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"Ah! Ah! Ah-hah!" Chakotay sighed in time to Paris' motions.
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"Like that?"
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"Oh, yeah." Chakotay breathed.
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"Okay if I move a little faster now?" Paris teased him.
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"Yes. Please." Chakotay replied. "I'm ready for you now."
*
"Are you sure?"
*
"Get that butt moving, Ensign Paris." came the order.
*
"Yes, sir!" Grinning, slowly, Paris increased his motions, both in length of thrust/withdrawal and in speed. By degrees, he sped up until he was comfortable with this position, this motion, their bodies were in synch and Chakotay used the purchase of his legs to fuck himself back onto Paris, so that it was a cooperation of movement, a duet of lovemaking, both active and passive coordinating the act.
*
It's almost like a woman, Paris thought to himself. Different, yes, but not different. Those feelings racing through his cock, for example, now that was as familiar as it gets. The feel of Chakotay's anal muscles on his prong were milking at him, this was not-quite-something a woman could do for a man. Not just this way. Like the difference in two grips, the way Chakotay's hand on his cock earlier had been something new, unique.
*
"Faster. Come on, faster!" Chakotay breathed. "I need it faster, please!"
*
His legs pushed Paris into faster motion, and Paris let himself go to his lust, no longer being gentle, no longer being careful. Okay, you want faster, he thought to himself, I'll give you the ride of a lifetime!
*
His legs slapped at Chakotay's buttocks, and he humped, pounded, savaged the brown body beneath him, eliciting only groans of appreciation for his thrusts. And his cock was equally appreciative, he felt his balls slam up against his shaft and gurgle angrily, and his body tensed/tingled in response. "Oh, God, I'm getting close." he gasped out. "I'm going to come!"
*
"Come on, give it to me, give it to me!" Chakotay begged.
*
Paris was beyond listening, beyond hearing. He had only limited control of his mind and body and none over the tempo of his thrusts, now he was on full automatic, his primitive id running the show, with one objective, to pump out the salty boiling ocean in his balls. His cock was on fire with passion, his blood pounded in his ears, his breath was a rasping roar in his lungs, and then, then, oh, then!
*
"Ah, ah, ah!" he groaned. "Ah, hah-GUHH!" He threw his head backwards, eyes closed as sweat poured into them from his beaded brow at the abrupt motion, his universe was a tunnel at his groin, pouring into Chakotay, his seed, his life, was leaving him and he didn't care! All was a warm primordial ocean hot with life, and he was part of that ocean, unfeeling, unknowing, but alive!
*
Done, wrung dry, he fell down atop Chakotay, hitting roughly but unable to recover, and barely to move, and he felt Chakotay thrashing as he landed, realized that hot pools of stickiness were on his stomach, Chakotay had reached his orgasm along with Paris and was still in its thrall, he felt Chakotay's cock pumping its last wads in rippling motions on his abdomen, felt the hot jizz as it barely made it out of the turgid shaft, and how it stayed there, a puddle of mercury-like slickness.
*
So calm, so rested, so relaxed, like his world was so far away and...oh no! Not now!
*
No voices, at least. That was good. He wasn't ready for a battle of wits right away.
*
Waited until his world cleared again and he was looking at stars.
*
A viewscreen ahead of them. Stars and...a lot of shining discs in orderly arrangement.
*
The Cartilian array! He looked at his console, they were traveling towards the array!
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Time? He punched the key to see the date. He was in the past, before the Cartilian array's attack.
*
Stop the ship! Reverse thrusters! His hands were playing over the console.
*
"Mr. Paris, what are you doing?" Captain Janeway said.
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"We've got to get out of here!" he said. "The array's about to attack us!"
*
"Sensors show no energy build-up."
*
"Check the tachyon emissions!" Paris said. The Cartilians use temporal physics the way the Federation uses warp technology. Engines in reverse at full thrust." The array was diminishing. "Thank God I was in time!"
*
"Ensign Paris, explain yourself." Captain Janeway said.
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"The Cartilian array was about to attack. I must have stopped us just before we got in range. Captain, I just saved our ship and your life."
*
"What?"
*
"The attack would have killed you and B'Elanna and Harry. And me! I've changed the past!" He felt elated. Why then did he feel so woozy? The deckplates rose up and smacked him in the face.
*
Dimly, he heard the commands for assistance, Janeway ordering Kim to launch a probe to investigate the array. Thank God, he thought. Nobody dies this time around.
*
But this time, the voices were talking at him. Dimly, as if caught off-guard, and too short to accomplish anything.
*
As he came into focus again, he saw a battle.
*
"The Cartilians are coming around again!" Kim reported. "They're locking onto us with transporters!"
*
"Abandon the bridge!" Chakotay ordered. "All hands to the inner decks! Stand by to repel boarders!"
*
Paris looked at the forward section of the bridge, the smaller viewscreen, the plates bolted into place to cover what had been a gaping hole. A familiar-shaped gaping hole!
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"Shit! This is my future!" he said.
*
"Tom, come on!" Chakotay begged him from the Jeffries tube.
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"On my way!" Tom raced after him, but falling debris kept him from that tube.
*
There were two, thank God! He got onto the ladder and skimmed-slid down it to the next level below. A corridor, covered in some debris, but still holding air.
*
An explosion and male scream from an area nearby. Paris ran to offer assistance and there.
*
There was Harry, hanging from the ceiling, one hand off at the wrist, blood pouring out of the severed arm. A very familiar scene.
*
"Oh, no! Not this one!" Paris said. He turned and went back into the corridor. Find Chakotay, fast!
*
But another explosion and all light vanished, and there was only the sound of rushing air around him...and darkness as he fell. Air flew from his lungs with a force that he could not resist. Vacuum causes forces of fifteen pounds per square inch internally. Enough to destroy your lungs and explode your body if it happens quickly. He was dying!
*
The wrong darkness, then the right darkness. And he was back in Chakotay's arms, gasping.
*
"Tom, what happened?" Chakotay said. "You vanished."
*
"Time travel again." Paris gasped for air. His lungs were horribly, horribly empty-feeling. He breathed in, and in, and in again, until they were full. Breathed a time or two experimentally. No obvious damage, but get to Sickbay quick. "Chakotay, I saw our future. The Cartilians will attack us. That universe in which I found my dead body and Harry's, it's this one! We've got to do something!"
*
He still had that temporal locator attached to his neck. He would have some answers at least very soon. "Computer, beam me to Sickbay, stat!" he said and rose to his feet.
*
And the tingle of the transporter beam, he knew now, was very like the fingers of death.

END OF PART SEVEN

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Fragments, Part Eight