Vampire on Board
Ensign Rapheal wandered down the dimly lit corridor toward his quarters. He had just come from the holodeck where he'd spent three hours in the gym. He was tired and wanted to go to bed. He could barely keep his eyes open. He smiled as he remembered Harry Kim telling him how exercise was a great way to fall asleep. He made a note to thank Harry in the morning. Now, all he wanted to do was go to bed and dance in the realm of dreams.
He turned the corner and stopped short, in the middle of the corridor, there was someone lying on the floor. He cautiously walked forward, his senses on alert. He looked around to find no signs of anyone else about. He knelt down, turned the person over, and checked for a pulse. He jerked his hand back when he felt a sticky wetness. He looked at his fingers and saw blood. He tapped his commbadge and said, "Ensign Rapheal to Security. I found a body on Deck Four."
Tuvok's voice came over the comm. ::Stay where you are, Ensign. I'll be right there::
"No problem, Commander. I don't think I can sleep now if I wanted to."
Rapheal fought the urge to turn the body over. He wasn't in Security, but he knew that one did not mess with a crime scene until the authorities arrived. He sat back and stared at the body. It had long dark hair and he knew then that the victim was female. She was wearing blue, so she was from the Science department. He sighed and felt his eyes getting heavy. Obviously, the excitement was wearing off and fatigue was settling in again.
"Ensign Rapheal," the voice startled the ensign awake. He jumped up and faced the Vulcan. To each side was a member of the Security team. They looked alert, but he knew they had just been awakened.
"Commander," Rapheal nodded to the Vulcan. He then pointed to the body. "She's all yours."
Tuvok stared at the body. He nodded when he saw that the ensign was right. He obviously had used some of his security training he learned at the Academy.
"When did you find the body, ensign?" Tuvok asked as the other two guards went to work.
Rapheal fought back the urge to yawn as he related what he had been doing when he found the body. He immediately called Security when he saw the blood. Tuvok nodded and allowed the ensign to head for his quarters. He reminded him that he might be called again. Rapheal nodded and left the team to their work.
"Commander, look at this," one of the guards alerted the Vulcan.
"What is it?"
The body was turned onto its back where they could see that it was female. The security member pushed back some hair from the victim's throat to reveal two tiny puncture marks. Tuvok knelt by the body and raised an eyebrow.
"What is it?"
"Puncture marks. They're too small to be anything I know of. The weapon could have been replicated."
Tuvok tapped his commbadge, and had the body beamed to Sickbay to find out more. The Vulcan then asked the computer when the last time a replicator was used on Deck Four.
::The last time a replicator on Deck Four was used was five hours ago::
"Who used it and what was replicated?"
::Lt. Joe Carey replicated a hypospanner::
The Security team looked at each other. A hypospanner wasn't a good weapon to kill someone with. They shook their heads as Tuvok had the computer scan for intruders. None were found. He then activated his tricorder to search for what the internal scanners could not. Nothing was found. He then contacted Captain Janeway, and asked her to meet him in Sickbay. He and his team then made their way to Sickbay. ~~ "Report," was the first word out of Janeway's mouth when she entered Sickbay. Tuvok was ready to report his findings so far.
"At 0051 hours, Ensign Rapheal found the body of Lt. Megan Delaney in the corridor of Deck Four. She was outside her quarters. The ensign contacted me immediately when he saw blood."
Janeway then turned to the EMH, who was doing the autopsy.
"What have you found?"
The Doctor looked at her and shook his head. The EMH then sighed, "If I was looking for her blood, I'd have to say nothing."
"Come again?" The EMH looked at her as if she had a second head. He decided to elaborate.
"She is drained of blood. She does not have any blood. She is literally a bag of bones."
Janeway stared at the EMH in shock. She looked at the Vulcan, who raised an eyebrow.
"I have already scanned the ship. The computer and our tricorders have found nothing. I have even had the computer tell me who used the replicator recently, just in case an unknown weapon was replicated. That search led to a dead end."
Janeway flinched at the use of the phrase. The Vulcan only looked back at her.
Janeway drew a deep breath and spoke, "Keep searching. There has to be something that will tell us who is doing this. Give me your report in the morning. Till then I'll be comforting Jenny."
The two watched as Janeway left Sickbay. The Vulcan then contacted his team. He wanted his whole staff on this one. He then left Sickbay and the Doctor to his work.
Chief Security Log Stardate 456237.7: It has been two days and nothing was found as to who killed Lt. Deleany and what weapon was used. I am not about to give up. There had to be some clues that are being looked over. However, I am keeping my staff on this round the clock. They and I are stumped, but I do not want to hand over an empty report to the Captain. I am going to solve this case before the murderer strikes again. End Log
Ensign Harry Kim sat at the bar sipping on a glass of synthale. It was his first day off in several days, and he was going to enjoy it. He smiled as he listened to the music and the sounds of pool balls clacking together. He had always enjoyed Tom's Sandrine’s program. He had been trying to get the pilot back into the bar to enjoy a good game of pool, but Tom was not interested. Harry had a feeling the pilot was interested in something-- no someone--else. He shook his head as he remembered the last time he tried to convince Tom that he was out of his league. The pilot just laughed at him and made a joke about the young naive ensign trying to tell Tom Paris how to date. He had laughed himself then as well, but he wondered if Tom was indeed barking up the wrong tree, so to speak.
Harry took a drink of his beer and sighed. Tom had fallen hard for a certain chief engineer. He had tried hard to convince B'Elanna that he was not the self-centered pig she had first thought. Harry knew this was true, but he doubted that the engineer would be convinced so easily. Even after the many times Tom had saved her life, Harry was not sure B'Elanna would fall into The pilot’s arms any time soon.
*Well, he'll learn soon enough,* Harry thought as he took another drink. *Either that or I'll be eating my words.*
He laughed at that and shook his head. Suddenly, the lights in the bar went out. He jumped and asked who was there. There was no answer.
"Computer, lights on."
Harry then felt something hit him like a hammer. His head jerked to one side, almost snapping his neck. He moved his hand to tap his commbadge to call Security, but he was thrown to the other side of the room before his hand even touched his badge.
He slumped down the wall in a daze. He couldn't see his attacker, for his eyes had not yet adjusted to the darkness.
"Who’s there?" He asked, hoping to buy himself some time.
He felt a hand wrap around his throat and he was raised to his feet. He tried to make a sound, but his throat was blocked. All he could make was a gurgling noise as the air was cut off. He then felt a sharp pain in his neck then nothing. ~~ The holodeck doors opened to a still running Sandrine's program. Captain Janeway walked into the bar with curiosity and caution. It had only been two days since the murder and she was on her toes. This was too suspicious to her, so she tapped her commbadge and called Security.
No sooner had she done that than she turned around to see the body of Harry Kim slumped against a wall.
"Oh my God," Janeway whispered in shock. She found that she could hardly breathe and she sat down at the bar. She was grateful when Tuvok and his team burst into the bar.
"Captain?" Tuvok asked, going to her.
Janeway pointed to the body by the wall. Tuvok could understand his Captain’s reaction when he saw a very familiar crewmember. He also experienced an emptiness.
"He also has two puncture marks on his neck, Commander," one of the guards reported.
Janeway took Tuvok's hand and whispered, "He'll also be drained of blood then."
Tuvok nodded and signaled for the body to be beamed to Sickbay for the EMH to go over it with a fine toothed comb.
Janeway then tapped her commbadge and said, "All Senior Staff please report to the Conference Room in twenty minutes. Janeway out."
She then let Tuvok lead her out of the holodeck as she tried to get the image of Harry Kim out of her head. ~~ Twenty minutes later, the senior staff was sitting around the table. All except, Harry. B'Elanna and Tom looked at each other. Both were wondering where their friend could be. They would soon have their answer.
Captain Janeway entered with Tuvok at her side. She looked pale and in shock. The staff was surprised to see her in such a state. They wondered what could have caused her to become this way. She sat down and nodded to the Vulcan. Tuvok sat to her right as she began the meeting.
"I called you here, because there have been two murders recently."
The group gasped and looked at each other. Tom and B'Elanna stared at the empty seat across from them and they went pale.
"The most recent body was found just a few moments ago. It was Harry Kim."
Tom and B'Elanna closed their eyes and fought back the onslaught of emotions and tears. They felt like a lead weight had been dropped in their stomachs.
"The first body was found two days ago. The victim was Megan Deleany."
Tom stared at the Captain. Two of his friends were murdered in less than three days. Why?
"What's going on here? Why hasn't the murderer been found?" Tom said, his anger growing.
Tuvok answered his questions, "What is going on here, is that a very intelligent person is killing crewmembers. I do not know if there is a pattern as to his choosing victims, but I do know that the wounds are small puncture wounds to the neck. Scans have revealed nothing so far. Whoever is the murderer knows how to manipulate our sensors so that they do not reveal who or what he is. Also we do not know what is his weapon."
Tom listened carefully to what the Vulcan said. Small puncture wounds? That sounded familiar.
"There's an old Earth legend that deals with murder victims that had small puncture wounds in their neck."
The staff looked at the pilot with interest. He felt a little nervous under their watchful eyes. It wasn't everyday that he spoke in a meeting about an idea. He wondered if they would take him seriously.
"Go on, Mr. Paris," Janeway urged him.
Tom drew a deep breath and went on, "In ancient times, people believed of a creature that killed people and drained their blood. It has had many names over the centuries, but the people of the twentieth century called it a vampire."
He waited in anticipation for their scrutiny. He was relieved when they looked thoughtful. He even relaxed.
Janeway nodded finally and spoke, "It seems to fit the pattern. Small puncture wounds and the bodies were drained of blood. But, I don't think we have an undead creature on board. It has got to be something else."
"Captain," B'Elanna spoke up, "didn't Captain Kirk meet a creature that did the same thing. Only it was salt the monster drained, not blood."
Janeway looked thoughtful as she scanned her brain for stories of Captain Kirk. She then nodded.
"You're right, B'Elanna. He did. It might not be the undead we have, but something quite similar. I want everyone to search for this thing before it attacks again. Do what ever you have to, but I want it found. Dismissed."
The staff filed out of the room. Each one was thinking about the facts that pointed to one suspect. They had a bloodsucker on board. If it wasn't real and happening to them, they all would have laughed.
Jenny Deleany walked down the corridor to her quarters. She had just been through a rigorous exercise session. It had been three days since her sister was found dead. It was a shock to Jenny. She felt empty as if a part of her was taken away. Captain Janeway was there for her as she cried hysterically. Janeway had given her a few days off to recuperate. She was grateful for that, and she had taken full advantage of it.
She had a nightmare that first night, and she called Gerron to spend the rest of the night with her. She couldn't stand to be by herself after that night. She always had a male walking with her. Tonight, though she wanted to try to be by herself. She felt like she was being released from a long stay in Sickbay. She smiled as she thought about it.
*Maybe I'm finally getting over the loss,* Jenny thought.
She shook her head at that. She didn't think she would ever get over the loss. Not for a long time to come. She was just getting over the fear of being alone.
Jenny turned the corner and stopped short. There before her was someone lying on the floor. She swallowed her fear and cautiously went to him.
"Hello?" She said, softly. She did not like the way the body was positioned. She had never seen anyone sleep like that.
"Jenny Delaney to Commander Tuvok. There's a body on Deck Three."
::Acknowledged. Stay where you are and we'll be there::
"Hurry, please. I don't like this."
::Acknowledged. Tuvok out::
Jenny took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She suddenly had the feeling that she was being watched. She turned around, but no one was there. She felt alone and the eerie quietness did not help much. She wrapped her arms around herself as if she was cold. She wished Security would hurry.
Jenny knelt down on the floor away from the body. Fear was building inside her. She told herself she was being ridiculous. She was a Starfleet Officer and she had better act like one. She laughed at that then jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Tuvok!" Jenny yelped when she saw who it was. "Took you long enough."
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, "It was only two minutes, Ensign. I was on the other deck."
He then turned his attention to the body that was lying on the floor. His team got to work as he questioned Jenny.
"Sir, it's the same as the other two. Two tiny bite marks on the neck. The body is probably drained of blood as well."
Tuvok nodded and tapped his comm badge, "Tuvok to Janeway. We've found another body. Same as the other two."
::Acknowledged, Tuvok. We're going to yellow alert. I want all your staff to be on alert. Report anything you see that is suspicious::
"Understood, Captain. Tuvok out," to his team, he said, "I want you in teams of two. Scan each deck and report back to me every twenty minutes."
The two Security guards nodded and went to report the orders to the rest of the Security crewmembers. Tuvok then tapped his badge again.
"Tuvok to transporter room two. Beam Lt. Donaldson to Sickbay."
Jenny and Tuvok watched as the body vanished from their sight. Tuvok then escorted Jenny to her quarters. She shivered as the image of the dead crewmember came to her mind. She shook it away and sighed. This was turning into a nightmare for her.
Jenny thanked the Vulcan and closed the door. She then went to bed as she tried to get the image out of her mind. ~~ Tom and B'Elanna kept the death of their friend out of their minds as they worked at a terminal. They were looking up whatever information they could find in the database about vampires. They had to go back centuries before they found anything useful.
"Check this out, B'Elanna," Tom said as he highlighted a piece of the text he was reading.
"What'd you find?" B'Elanna asked as she went to him. He seemed to be able to find things faster than she could. Of course, it was his theory that they were dealing with a vampire. He had to know where the information was.
"It says here that there was a case in the 1930s where a serial killer was draining the blood from his victims. He used syringes."
B'Elanna looked thoughtful, "Tuvok said that nothing like that was replicated. The replicators weren't even used during the time between the actual murders and when the bodies were found."
Tom nodded and continued to read the information, "I know, but there has to be something here. I don't want to think that we are dealing with a real vampire. They have never truly existed. There have been cases of people acting like vampires, but... Look at this."
B'Elanna looked over Tom's shoulder and read the passage he had highlighted.
"In 2256, a female human was found dead and drained of blood. Authorities had nothing to go on, other than that the victim was of high society."
B'Elanna looked at Tom. His expression mirrored hers, surprise. The two read on.
"No weapon was found at the scene and the victim had no known enemies. The victim was the third in a series of murders. The first of its kind in centuries."
"Do you think we are having the same kind of murders going on Voyager?" B'Elanna asked, trying to see a pattern in both cases.
Tom nodded, "It is a possibility, B'Elanna. Both cases don't have any murder weapon to speak of. This case wasn't solved. The murders stopped after seven victims. The murderer was never found."
B'Elanna read the passage over again. An idea then came to her, "Do you think the murders are starting up again only this time they're happening on Voyager?"
Tom stared at her, a look of surprise on his face. A light then came on and he slowly nodded, "It's possible. There are some races that live longer than humans. One of them could have committed the crimes back in 2256 and then wandered the galaxy searching for victims until he or she arrived on Voyager."
"Maybe we should tell the Captain," B'Elanna mentioned a hint of worry in her voice.
Tom nodded and tapped his commbadge, "Paris to Janeway."
Static was all he got. He looked at B'Elanna strangely then tried again. Nothing.
"Torres to Engineering."
B'Elanna got up and went to the door. She nearly ran into it before she realized that it wasn't going to open. She turned around to stare at Tom. Both of them were now worried.
"Can you fix the door?" Tom asked, going to her.
B'Elanna shook her head, "I didn't bring my kit, Tom. We're stuck in here."
Tom let a small smile spread across his lips. His blue eyes sparkled, but B'Elanna just shook her head and rolled her eyes. That look could only mean trouble. She sighed and went to the couch to sit down. She stared at him, a look of warning on her face.
"Don't look at me like that," Tom said, a hint of amusement in his voice, "I'm not going to do anything."
"You better not, Paris or you'll be another statistic."
Tom chuckled and shook his head. He then went over to the replicator and tried to order something. Nothing happened.
"Great. I guess everything is down."
"It shouldn't last too long, Tom," B'Elanna reassured him. "I'm betting Carey is already on top of things."
"I guess we should make the most of it," the pilot said, teasingly.
B'Elanna stared at him, the warning expression returning to her features. Tom smiled softly and cautiously moved around to the other side of the couch. She followed him with her eyes, daring him to try something. She finally relaxed when he sat down on the other side of the couch.
The two sat in silence as they thought about their predicament. Tom was actually enjoying it, but he knew B'Elanna would never relax unless he behaved himself. He looked over at her and saw that she was deep in thought. Obviously, she was working this problem out in her head. He could almost see the wheels turning behind her dark eyes. He stared at his hands and sighed.
"Are we bored?" B'Elanna asked.
Tom stared at her, "No. I was just thinking about our immediate problem."
B'Elanna sneered, "I can just image what you were thinking about."
"Torres, that was low. I was not thinking any such thing. I'm surprised you would even think it."
B'Elanna blushed as his words hit her. She turned her head to hide her embarrassment. She did not want him to know that she was attracted to him. Knowing him, he probably already had an idea. She knew he was attracted to her, which only made things worse. Actually, it made her afraid. If she was true to herself, she was very glad that she was stuck in here with him.
"So tell me, Tom," B'Elanna said, changing the subject, "what is your latest holoprogram idea?"
Tom stifled a laugh. She really must be worried if she's asking him about his holoprograms. He decided to humor her and tell her what he had in mind. It would also help pass the time and keep his mind off their problem.
B’Elanna suddenly stood up and went over to the door. Tom watched her as she removed a panel on the wall. She stared at the circuits inside then began to remove one and replace it somewhere else in the panel. She did this for a couple minutes before it exploded in her face.
“B’Elanna!” Tom shouted, standing up.
“I’m all right, Tom,” she answered him, getting up from the floor. “I think I overloaded the circuits. Let’s see if it worked.”
B’Elanna stepped closer to the door, but nothing happened.
“Great. I was sure that would work. I wonder why it didn’t?” “Forget it, B’Elanna. Carey should be on top of things like you said. It’ll be fixed soon.”
B’Elanna stared at him. He was enjoying this more and more. She shook her head and sat back down on the couch. She sighed and began to ponder why her little trick didn’t work.
An hour later, Tom and B'Elanna were at the terminal searching for more information on vampires. They came across several interesting facts. One such fact was that of a crew, who had been murdered in a similar fashion, and had set their tricorders to search for lifesigns that were fading or almost gone. They had found two such signs and they proceeded to deal with the creatures that had boarded their vessel.
"I think the Captain needs to see this," Tom stated as he downloaded the information to his datapadd.
B'Elanna nodded and she tapped her commbadge in hopes that it was working again. To her relief it was.
"Torres to Janeway."
::B'Elanna, are you all right?::
Tom and B'Elanna stared at each other. Their problems must have been ship wide.
"Yes, Captain, I'm fine. I'm with Tom. We've found some interesting facts that you might want to look at."
::Very good. If the doors are working I want to see you both in my Ready Room in twenty minutes. Janeway out::
"You heard her, twenty minutes."
B'Elanna shook her head at the pilot. Even in the face of possible danger Tom Paris was always cracking a joke. ~~ Captain Janeway was drinking coffee when the two entered her Ready Room. She looked tired and this time, she wasn't ashamed to show it. She greeted her junior officers with a tired smile and offered them some coffee.
"Thanks, Captain," B'Elanna said as she took a seat on the couch. She was tired as well. She was also a bit shaken by her recent experience. She was ever more grateful that Tom was with her.
Janeway handed her a cup of coffee then leaned on her desk. Tom sat beside B'Elanna and waited for the captain to call the meeting to order.
Janeway sighed and began, "Not awhile ago another body was found. It was Lt. Carey."
B'Elanna gasped, clearly showing her shock. Tom looked at her as if to offer help or comfort. The chief engineer was about to go into a fit of fury when the captain interrupted her.
"I know it is a great loss, B'Elanna, but what you've found may help to stop this from happening again."
B'Elanna drew a deep breath and nodded. She could still feel the anger building within her, but she put it aside for another time. One involving a holodeck and monsters.
Tom began explaining what they found. Janeway listened carefully as she read from the datapadd Tom had handed her.
"What you're saying is that we can change the frequency of our tricorders to search for this being."
"Yes, Captain," B'Elanna agreed. "It will pick up the lifesigns of the murderer. We'll be able to track its movements and find it."
Janeway nodded and handed the datapadd back to Tom, "Do what ever you have to track this murderer. I want it found. Dismissed."
Tom and B'Elanna left the Ready Room and for their new assignments.
Tom Paris and a Security officer walked the corridors toward Tom’s quarters. Captain Janeway had ordered everyone not to go anywhere alone. Tom thought it was a good idea. The saying safety in numbers came to mind.
His mind wondered back to the meeting he and B’Elanna had with the Captain. They could very well be dealing with a creature that lived like the vampires of legend, but was a living being. It was confusing but it was the best lead they had to date. It was better to go along with it than to try to figure it out.
Tom sighed as he tapped in his code to open the door. The best part of all this was that he had spent two hours alone with B'Elanna Torres. He chuckled when he thought about it. They worked well together and he enjoyed her company. He had a feeling she thought the same. If only she would admit it to him. To be truthful, he should admit it to her that he enjoyed her company. If only it was that easy.
He said “good-bye” to the guard and entered his quarters. He then ordered the lights to come on. They didn't.
"Oh, great," Tom whispered irritated. "The lights aren't working again."
Tom made a move to contact Engineering when he felt a strong hand grab his wrist. He felt a coldness flow into his body and he shivered.
"Who's there?" He demanded.
The intruder tossed him into the nearest wall and he heard something crack. He winced against the pain. He swung his free hand at the intruder, but it was grabbed. It was slammed against the wall and he cried out.
"Who are you?!" Tom shouted, but he felt a fist connect with his face. He felt a sticky wetness flow down his chin; blood.
Tom tried to struggle when he knew that he was pinned to the wall. He heard a growl come from in front of him. His heart began to pound and he knew he was in the presence of the vampire. He struggled even harder, but the creature slammed him against the wall. He felt a piercing sensation and he knew he was being bitten. He cried out and tried to fight back to no avail.
He felt himself become weak and dizzy. The sound of his heart pounding was loud in his ears. He then realized that he was sliding down the wall to the floor. He didn't hear the door open or the sound of a transporter as he slipped into darkness. He then fell unconscious. ~~ B'Elanna made her way to Tom's quarters. She wanted him to take a look at the changes she made to the tricorders. She knew he wasn't an engineering marvel, but he had helped her many times with engineering matters when she needed it. And it gave her an excuse to see him.
She smiled at that revelation. She finally admitted to herself that she really enjoyed his company. He was always good at calming one down during a crisis. His flirting with her while they were stuck in his quarters was just his way of helping her cope. She had to thank him for that.
*Maybe I'll take him up on one of his numerous offers to dinner,* B'Elanna thought as she pressed the door chime. She smiled as she waited for the door to open. Maybe she would take up on his offers. It sure would surprise him.
The door didn't open and she stared at it strangely. She pressed the chime again. No answer.
"Computer, state location of Lt. Tom Paris."
::Lt. Paris is in his quarters::
B'Elanna stared at the door. She knew he was a heavy sleeper, but he usually answered the door by now. She decided to open the door herself.
"Computer, open Lt. Paris' door. Engineering authorization code: Torres Beta-six."
The door opened and B'Elanna stepped into a dark room. She didn't like the feeling she was receiving.
"Computer, lights on full."
The lights came on and a form caught her attention. She turned toward it and gasped. Tom was slumped up against the wall, blood flowing down his chin and his neck.
B'Elanna tapped her badge, "Torres to Transporter room one. Beam Lt. Paris to Sickbay."
She watched as Tom's form vanished before her. She then rushed toward the nearest turbolift. ~~ B'Elanna burst through the Sickbay doors. She stopped short when she saw Captain Janeway and Tuvok standing off to one side. She turned her gaze to the EMH, who was working over Tom frantically. She felt her stomachs constrict. It did not look good for Tom.
"The Doctor is doing all that he can," Janeway said, seeing the fear in B'Elanna's eyes.
The Doctor and Kes were a fury of action and B'Elanna could no longer keep up with what was going on. She went off to the side and sat down in a chair. She hoped that Tom would pull through. Maybe he had seen what attacked him. He had to have noticed something, even though it was dark in his quarters. She just hoped that he would recover so that he could tell them what he saw.
B'Elanna felt the Doctor's presence and she looked up. She saw the defeat in his eyes and she looked over at the biobed Tom was lying on.
"No," she whispered when she saw Kes covering Tom's body with a blanket.
"He didn't have a chance," the EMH told Janeway and Tuvok. "He died from loss of blood. I couldn't even stabilize him."
Janeway nodded, but B'Elanna shook her head.
"You didn't even try!" She shouted at the EMH.
"That is not true. I tried everything that I could and then some. It was no use. He died before I could even start. I tried to bring him back to no avail. He's gone."
B'Elanna cried out in anger. She tried to attack the EMH, but Tuvok grabbed her wrists and held her back. She growled at them, her anger and grief clearly on her face.
"B'Elanna, there is no need for this," Janeway said, soothingly. "We've all lost friends in the past four days. There will be time to grieve when we catch this thing. Right now, we need you. B'Elanna, please."
The half-Klingon stared at her. The captain made sense, but it still hurt. She relaxed and the Vulcan released her. She looked over at the biobed that held Tom's body. She felt a new reason to stop this thing from killing again. She would do it for Tom.
"All right. I want to put a stop to this thing before it kills again. I've set the tricorders to search for its lifesigns. I want to led the hunt, Captain."
Janeway nodded. She just hoped B'Elanna's grief wouldn't cloud her reason.
"Be careful, B'Elanna," Janeway warned.
B'Elanna nodded and left Sickbay.
It was 2000 hours when B'Elanna found herself in the depths of Voyager. She was in Jefferies Tube nineteen with a tricorder in hand. She had it set to scan life forms equivalent to a vampire. She was determined to find the creature before it killed again. It had already killed three of her friends. Most importantly, it killed Tom. That single action, more than anything else was what propelled her to search by herself in the belly of Voyager. She had a feeling the vampire was hiding where no one would even think of looking for it.
"I will make you pay for killing my friends," B'Elanna growled as she stared at her tricorder. She was barely paying any attention to where she was going. She was following the trail the scans were showing her. So far, they very little. She was not about to give up, though.
A break came to her when she heard the tricorder beeping. She looked at it and saw a spike in the setting on the screen. It indicated that there was something in her general location. She grew excited and she drew her phaser. She crawled faster in the direction the reading was showing her. As the beeping grew louder and faster, B'Elanna became more excited.
"I have you now," she growled, as the beeping grew unbearably loud. She raised her phaser and was prepared to fire, when she saw Tom Paris staring back at her; his blue eyes wide with surprise.
"What the?!" B'Elanna shouted and shrank back. She blinked her eyes as if waking from a dream. She stared at the pilot as if he would disappear.
"Tom?" She asked when he did not vanish.
Tom nodded and crawled towards her. B'Elanna raised the phaser at him, and he stopped. He looked at her, confused.
"Don't come any closer," the half-Klingon threatened. Fear was clearly in her eyes and Tom backed away.
B'Elanna looked at him and saw the hurt in his eyes. He was also confused about what was going on. She relaxed, and lowered the phaser. She opened her mouth to speak, but Tom was already gone. She stared into the emptiness of where he had been. She did not see him move or hear him leave. She blinked her eyes in confusion.
"Maybe he knows something," she whispered to herself. She began to crawl through the tubes again, searching for Tom Paris. Hoping that he could give her the answers she was looking for. ~~ The tricorder signal led her to Holodeck One. There was a privacy lock on the doors, but B'Elanna quickly over rode the code and walked into the holodeck. She was caught off- guard by the program that was running. She found herself in the middle of a beautiful forest with birds singing in the background. A light breeze blew her through hair and seemed refreshing. She closed her eyes for a minute, and breathed in the fresh clean air.
The beeping sound of her tricorder brought her back to reality. She stared at the screen and saw the readings were wild. She headed in the direction the readings indicated, and she found herself in front of a large house. She stared at it in surprise. The house was a two-story building. It was painted a pale blue color with white trimmings. It looked lovely in the middle of a forest.
B'Elanna finally gathered herself together and stepped onto the porch. She took a deep breath and opened the screen door. She stepped inside to find Tom sitting on a pale couch in front of a fireplace. He was staring at the fire and hadn't noticed her enter. Or so she thought.
"So you found me," Tom's voice was a near whisper, but she heard it. She stared at him, but he hadn't moved in all that time.
B'Elanna stepped closer to the couch. She felt herself become nervous with each step, but she fought it. She finally stood beside him only inside, she felt like running out of the house.
"What happened, Tom?" B'Elanna asked, hoping that her voice sounded normal. "The Doctor said you had died from blood loss. I saw your body in Sickbay. You shouldn't be here, talking."
Tom looked at her. His blue eyes were darker than she remembered. His hair seemed thicker. Other than that, he appeared the same. It was unnerving.
"The vampire attacked me in my quarters. I tried to fight back, but it was stronger. It bit me, and fed off me. It drained me and left me for dead. I woke up in Sickbay with a blanket over me. I was supposed to be dead, yet here I am. I wasn’t completely drained of blood like the others. That could mean only one thing."
B'Elanna stared at him. She shook her head as the realization crashed upon her. She sank to her knees as she tried to deny what had happened.
"You can't be, Tom," she said as she grabbed his arms and stared into his eyes. "You can't be what has been killing our friends."
Tom shook his head; "I'm not that, no. But I am what he is; a vampire."
B'Elanna shook her head as if that could erase the nightmare. Tears gathered in her eyes and she viciously wiped them away. She stood and began to pace.
"B'Elanna," Tom said, his voice was firm, "I can help you find this creature. We can feel each other, sense each other. He knows there's another vampire on this ship, now. He'll come looking for me. I have no idea what he has in mind, but it is the best way we can capture him."
B'Elanna stopped pacing and stared at him. He was right. He could help them find the creature better. She slowly nodded her head in agreement.
"The Captain needs to know about this," she said quietly.
Tom nodded and stood. He walked toward her and put his hands on her shoulders. She jumped, but soon relaxed.
She needed a rest after all that has happened. Tom being a vampire was a great shock to her system. She was grateful that he was still “alive,” but was unnerved by how he was still here. She just hoped that there would be no more surprises after this.
In Sickbay, The Doctor went over to the biobed that Tom's body laid upon. The EMH stared at the biobed strangely. Something was missing by the way the blanket was resting on the bed. There was no body underneath. He went to the bed and pulled back the sheet. The body was not there.
It was too late in the night to call Kes and ask her what happened to the body, but this was important.
"Doctor to Kes."
:: Kes here. What is it, Doctor?::
The EMH smiled. Kes did not sound as if she was wakened from a dream. He shook his head and told her about the missing body.
"Did you put it in stasis?" He asked, knowing that he could have checked that himself, but he wanted to make sure before he made himself look like an idiot.
::No, Doctor. I did not do anything with the body after we covered it. Are you sure you did something and forgot about it?::
The EMH thought about that for a moment. He then shook his head. "No. I was in my office for the past couple of hours. I didn't hear anyone enter or leave. Something is wrong."
::I'll be there, Doctor. Kes out::
The link was closed leaving the Doctor in an eerie silence. He then tapped his badge again and called the Captain.
"Captain, I believe you might want to come down here. Tom's body is missing."
Silence then. ::I'll be right there. Janeway out::
The link was closed and Captain Janeway got out of bed and went to get dressed. Tom's body was missing. How could that be? Several possibilities ran through her mind. None of them she liked. She jumped when her commbadge beeped again.
::Captain, can you come to Holodeck One. I have something to show you::
"What is it, B'Elanna?"
::It's important. There's too much to tell you over the Comm. Just come down here. Torres out::
Janeway raised her eyebrow at the command she was given. She let it slide, knowing how excited B'Elanna could get when she found a solution to a problem. Maybe B'Elanna did find a solution to the vampire problem they so suddenly had. She finished getting dressed and headed for the holodeck.
Janeway arrived at the holodeck to find that it was running a program. She went inside and found herself surrounded by trees. She found a path and walked down it, hoping that it led her to B’Elanna. She was surprised to see what was waiting for her at the end of the path.
She stared in awe at the two-story house. She began to wonder whose program this was and if they knew it was running. She then began to wonder what B’Elanna wanted to show her.
*Guess now is a good as a time as any, * Janeway thought as she stepped onto the porch. She opened the screen door and walked in. She stopped short when she saw Tom Paris sitting on the couch in the living room.
“Tom? Is that you?” Janeway did not know if it was a hologram or the real thing. The EMH had said that the pilot had died before he could stabilize him. Had the Doctor been wrong?
B’Elanna came from the small kitchen set aside from the living room. She noticed the expression on the Captain’s face and knew what she was thinking.
“It is Tom, Captain,” B’Elanna explained as she entered the living space. She set a tray down on a table and sat next to Tom on the couch. She then went on to explain what had happened.
Janeway stood there shocked by what she was being told. Tom was a vampire.
“Did you see who attacked you?” Janeway asked, hoping for a lead.
Tom shook his head, “It was dark in my quarters, Captain. I felt the fangs sink into my skin and growing dizzy. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in Sickbay with a blanket over my head.”
Janeway looked at B’Elanna. “Did you see anything while you were searching for the intruder?”
“Setting the tricorders to look for vampire-like readings worked, Captain. It found Tom when I was crawling around in the Jefferies Tubes. I followed him back to this holodeck where he was running this program."
Janeway stared at the pilot, “This is yours?”
Tom nodded, “It’s my family’s summer home. I thought it would calm my nerves. It has just now dawned on me that I’m a vampire. It’s not a great experience.”
Janeway nodded, “It’ll be all right, Tom. We’ll get this creature.”
“Speaking of that,” Tom spoke up. He sat up straighter, his excitement clearly on his face. “I can help you find it, Captain. I can sense it and I know that it can sense me. Destroying it might also change me back.”
Janeway agreed, glad that there was a way to help the pilot as well. “Do it, but be careful. There’s no telling what this being will do now that there’s another vampire around. In the mean time, I’ll go tell the Doctor that Tom is doing fine.”
B’Elanna and Tom stared at each other then back at the Captain. B’Elanna spoke first, “The Doctor called you about Tom’s body missing?”
Janeway smiled and nodded, “This bit of news might shock his matrix.”
The three laughed as the image of a stunned EMH came to mind.
The news of another body being found set the pair in motion. Tom and B’Elanna walked into Sickbay and over to the body. The EMH stared at the pilot, but allowed them to take a look. He pulled back the blanket and watched as Tom stared at it.
“What are you looking for, Mr. Paris?” The Doctor asked, still not used to the previously dead pilot suddenly walking around.
“I’m not sure, yet. I’ll let you know when I do.”
The EMH left it at that and went back to his office. He knew he could not get the shivers, but he felt that he had to get away from Tom Paris.
Tom moved his hand above the body and felt a strong sensation spread over him. He closed his eyes and rolled the feeling over in his mind. After a few moments, he opened his eyes and shook his head to clear the sensations he had felt. He looked at B’Elanna and explained.
“What we’re dealing with is very powerful. It’s not very old, but it gained a lot of power over the few years it’s been around. It’s strong, intelligent, and it’s playing with us.”
B’Elanna stared at him in shock, “You got all that just by waving your hand over the body? I’m impressed.”
Tom smiled slightly, “I believe it’s the same principle when dogs leave their mark to let other dogs know about them.”
B’Elanna nodded, “I suppose there’s no way to tell where it’s hiding just by looking at its victim?”
Tom shook his head. “We’ll just have to use the tricorders.”
The two took out their tricorders, set them to search for vampire-like life forms, and left Sickbay. ~~ Tom and B’Elanna filtered the scanners so that it wouldn’t pick up Tom. Deck Five was clear of any vampire signs, so they made their way to the nearest turbolift. They entered the lift and stated the destination. “Do you think the vampire might be where it’s dark?” B’Elanna asked as the lift moved.
Tom thought on that, “You’re right, B’Elanna. Computer, take us to Deck 13.”
B’Elanna looked at him strangely, “Pushing it, aren’t you?”
Tom smiled at her, “Not superstitious, are you?”
B’Elanna shook her head. She didn’t know if she could take anymore surprises today.
The turbolift stopped and the doors opened. The pair cautiously stepped onto the deck. The lights were not working on this deck, and the two only had their tricorders to tell them where to go. The tricorders were registering vampire signals. “Where to?” Tom asked.
“This way,” B’Elanna answered as she headed toward their right. The beeping wasn’t getting any louder, but she had a feeling this was the way.
Tom followed her, keeping his newly heightened senses alert for any dangers. He was amazed that he could hear the sound of B’Elanna’s breathing or the soft sound of their walking. He hoped it would dim with time. He didn’t want to hear every single sound there was.
Tom was also amazed that he could see quite clearly in the darkness. Everything appeared black and white, but he could see nonetheless. He was sure that he would see the murderer before B’Elanna, but he was not going to rely on it. He looked down at his tricorder.
“B’Elanna, this isn’t getting us anywhere,” Tom mentioned. “The tricorders aren’t picking anything up.”
B’Elanna didn’t look at him when she answered, “All the better to catch him by surprise.”
“More like the other way around,” Tom mumbled as he stared at his tricorder. He had the feeling that she was avoiding the vampire at all costs. He did not blame her, but they had to catch it before it killed someone else.
“B’Elanna, can I see your tricorder?” Tom asked. Something was not right about this.
B’Elanna turned around and handed him her tricorder, “What’s wrong?”
Tom stared at them suspiciously. He shook them, put his ear to them, then pressed a few buttons. He looked at her and shook his head.
“They’re not working.”
B’Elanna didn’t believe that, “Let me see.”
She took both tricorders and looked at them. She used her engineering skills to confirm what Tom had already concluded. She stared at him, worriedly.
“They don’t work,” Tom said for her.
She shook her head in answer, “Something must be interfering with the signal. How can that be? They were working a minute ago.”
“I don't know. Maybe the vampire is doing it. The same why he did with the internal sensors.”
B'Elanna looked at him. He had a point. "Now what?"
“We keep going, B’Elanna. He can’t be far.”
Tom took the lead this time and B’Elanna followed. He could see a lot better in the darkness than she could and she didn’t argue. She was a bit surprised and asked what else he could do.
“I can hear your breathing,” he answered. “I can also hear your heart beating. Anything else?”
B’Elanna said nothing. To know that much sent a shiver down her spine. He could hear her breathing and her heart beating? Could he also read her mind? She did not want to know that.
The two turned a corner and came to a door that appeared to have been used recently. Tom put his ear to the door and listened. He could faintly hear movement in the room and he nodded to B’Elanna. She took off the side panel on the wall and got to work. Within minutes the door slid open.
Tom peered into the room, but saw nothing. He slowly stepped into the room followed by B’Elanna. He strained his hearing, but could only hear the sounds of the engines two decks above him. He could hear B’Elanna’s breathing, but nothing else. He turned around to speak to her when he was suddenly shoved aside. He hit the floor hard.
“Tom!” B’Elanna shouted as something lunged at her.
Tom jumped up and shoved her out of the room. He heard the door slide shut and he was alone with the vampire.
B’Elanna hit the floor and rolled into the wall. She jumped up and ran to the door, but it slid shut before she got to it. She banged on the door and shouted for Tom to open it. She then heard the sounds of fighting in the room. She listened and realized that Tom was in trouble. She tapped her commbadge.
“Torres to Security. We have located the vampire on Deck 13, section 5A, Tom is struggling with it now.”
::Understood. We are on are way. Tuvok out::
B’Elanna could do nothing more than to listen to the fighting going on in the room. She feared that Security would not get to them in time. She closed her eyes and prayed that Tuvok hurried. Suddenly, a cry came from inside the room. She banged on the door then remembered the panel. She quickly got to work on it. She seemed to be working in slow motion before the door finally slid open. Tom spilled onto the floor and B’Elanna knelt beside him.
“Tom? Tom, are you all right?” She asked.
Tom slowly opened his eyes and groaned. As he felt himself sinking into oblivion, something grabbed his attention. He stared into B’Elanna’s eyes and held her gaze with his own.
“Tom?” B’Elanna asked suddenly feeling uneasy.
“He’s gone, B’Elanna. He got away. Now be quiet.”
B’Elanna and Tom burst into Sickbay followed by Tuvok. B’Elanna helped Tom sit on a biobed as the EMH scanned the pilot.
“What happened?” the Doctor asked as he read his results.
“They were down on Deck 13 searching for the murderer,” Tuvok informed the Doctor. “They obviously found him.”
The EMH stared at the pilot then back at his tricorder. “There’s nothing wrong with him. Why did you bring him in?”
B’Elanna looked at Tom in surprise. “He fought the vampire. I heard him scream then when I got the door open, he fell onto the deck. He wasn’t breathing very well.”
The EMH looked Tom over and nodded. “His uniform is in ruins. He was definitely in a fight, but whatever wounds he had have already healed.”
B’Elanna stared at the pilot. She was worried for nothing.
The Sickbay doors opened again and Captain Janeway walked over to them. She had received the news that one member of her search team had been wounded. She hurried to Sickbay as fast as she could only to see a healthy Tom Paris. She was quite surprised to see that he had recovered so quickly.
“Report,” Janeway said, trying to hide her surprise.
B’Elanna started. “We went down to Deck thirteen in hopes that the vampire preferred darkness. Our tricorders stopped working after we stepped onto the deck. We did find where the vampire was hiding, Captain. He attacked us when we started to search his ‘quarters.’ Tom shoved me out of the room, and the door locked before I could go back in. I heard fighting then a scream. ”
Janeway then looked to the pilot. He appeared tired, but otherwise unharmed. She wanted to hear his side of the story the most.
Tom took a deep breath and began his story, “When the door shut, he attacked me from behind. I fought him, but I couldn’t see him very well. He kept moving around me like a boxer. I was able to get in a few good punches here and there. He was fast and strong. He sliced downward and hit me in the stomach. It felt like he had sliced me open. I screamed and stumbled to the door. It opened and I fell out. I didn’t see him leave or even if he did.”
Janeway looked at B’Elanna, “Did Tom look like what he described?”
B’Elanna closed her eyes and tried to picture what she saw in that dark corridor. She shook her head, “It was dark, Captain. He was barely breathing, though. I did feel something sticky and wet near his stomach.”
Janeway nodded, “How did you heal so fast, Tom. Is that another vampire trait?”
Tom stared at his hands. He remembered what he had done after he fell into B’Elanna’s arms. He knew she would not like it, but the Captain wanted to know. He took another breath and spoke.
“Vampires can heal wounds fairly quickly if they are scratches or superficial puncture wounds. For something like what I received I can heal it, but I needed a little extra help.”
“What kind of help, Tom?” Janeway asked, fearing the answer.
B’Elanna and Janeway gasped. They both stared at him: one fearing the worse, the other shocked.
“There was only one other person with you at the time until Security arrived.”
Tom shook his head, “I didn’t take any from Security. I took some from B’Elanna.”
Tom looked at the shocked half-Klingon and felt guilty for doing such a thing. He was about to speak, but B’Elanna beat him to it.
“How could you do that to me? After all that’s happened to us since this creature came aboard, you go and act just like him. How could you?”
“Would you rather have me bleed to death, B’Elanna? It was the only way.”
“I suppose coming to Sickbay would have been useless?”
Tom stared at his hands. He did not know the EMH could have helped him. At the time, he was afraid and knew of only one thing to save himself. He put his head in his hands and stayed there.
B’Elanna looked at the Doctor, “Could you have healed him?”
The EMH scanned the pilot and shrugged, “There’s no way of telling. This tricorder is saying that he is fine and in a deep sleep. As you can see; he is not sleeping.”
B’Elanna smiled. “No, he’s pouting.”
Tom looked up at that, “I am not pouting. I panicked all right? I didn’t know of anything else to do!”
The three in the room stared at him in shock. His out burst had stopped them cold of any other lectures they wanted to give him. They realized then that they were giving him a hard time. He was just learning what he could do as well as their enemy. Knowing what they did about vampires, they had to expect Tom to take blood sooner or later.
B’Elanna put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him, “I’m sorry, Tom. I didn’t want you to bleed to death. That’s why I brought you to Sickbay. I’m glad you’re all right.”
Tom looked at her and offered her a small smile. She smiled back and kissed him on the forehead.
Janeway stood by and watched this out pouring of emotion. Clearly, B’Elanna felt deeply for Tom. She showed that when she thought he was dead. There was something happening between the two and Janeway hoped it would not be destroyed before it had a chance to blossom.
Janeway cleared her throat and received everyone’s attention. “All right, people. We have a vampire to catch before he kills again. Tom, B’Elanna, I want your full reports on my desk by 1300 tomorrow afternoon. Understood?”
“Yes,” the pair said in unison. Janeway smiled.
Janeway left Sickbay then, leaving Tom and B’Elanna to contemplate what had happened on Deck thirteen. B’Elanna decided for them.
“Tom, I know you did what you had to. I’m grateful that you are still here, but if you ever do that again…”
Tom laughed at that and shook his head, “I won’t do it again, B’Elanna. Not unless you want me to.”
B’Elanna saw his blue eyes twinkling at his meaning. She growled at him and walked away. She heard his laughter as she walked out of Sickbay. When she knew that no one was around, she allowed herself to smile.
Captain Kathryn Janeway was sipping her coffee and reading some reports from Engineering when she heard the door chime.
“Come in,” she said without taking her eyes off the datapadd.
Commander Chakotay entered the Ready Room and sat down in the chair before her desk.
“The reports from Security, Captain. They don’t look promising.”
Janeway looked up and took the padd. She scanned the contents of it and shook her head.
“They said that nothing was found in the room. Not even traces of DNA. It did, however, looked to be lived in. Tuvok suspects that it might have been occupied for about a month."
“A month? That means we probably picked up a hitchhiker,” Chakotay suggested.
Janeway nodded. “Perhaps. I want you to check up on some planets that we have been to in the past month. If it is a hitchhiker, I want to know where we picked him up and the possibilities of how. If it’s not a hitchhiker….”
“We have bigger problems,” Chakotay finished for her.
Janeway nodded and took a sip of coffee to soothe her nerves. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“How is everyone doing, Chakotay?”
Chakotay shook his head, “Not too well. Some of the crew are borderline paranoid. They don’t know who is going to be next. They’re taking every kind of precaution, even staying in their quarters after their duty shifts. They all hope this creature can be found before it kills again.”
Janeway agreed, “I’m with you there. I want Security patrolling Deck thirteen. The vampire might go back there. If not to his original quarters then to another. I also want to up the rule of crewmembers being in twos. I want that at all times: on duty or off duty. No one is to be alone.”
Chakotay nodded. “Anything else, Captain?”
Janeway sighed. What else could she do? What else could be done? Having her crew walking around in groups of two was the most she could do. To go to the extreme was to have roommates for each crewmember. She hoped it would not come to that. She took a sip of coffee and spoke.
“No, Commander. Just make sure that everyone stays calm and that we will catch this vampire soon.”
Chakotay couldn’t agree more. “We all need to stay calm, Captain. Including yourself. I know you’re on edge with all this. There’s been one surprise after another.”
Chakotay offered a smile as he stood to leave, “I’ll spread the news, Captain. See you on the Bridge."”
Janeway nodded and the Commander left. She then went back to Tuvok’s report and read it more thoroughly. It still didn’t offer much. Just that the room was lived in for about a month. She hoped Chakotay’s findings would prove more useful.
Her commbadge beeped and she jumped, nearly spilling her coffee.
“Janeway here. Go ahead.”
::Captain, I regret to inform you that another body as been found. This time, it is Ensign Jenny Deleany: Her body was found in front of her quarters:
“I’m on my way. Janeway out.”
*Jenny. She was just coming to terms with the loss of her sister and reintegrating herself back into the crew.* Janeway thought with sorrow. *She’s finally with her sister again. At least that’s some comfort.*
Janeway walked with little emotion toward Jenny’s quarters. It wasn’t too long ago that she was comforting the Ensign on Megan’s death. Jenny's situation seemed so tragic, at that time, that Janeway feared that Jenny would join Megan in death. Ironically, Jenny did, but it was not by her hand. It was by the vampire’s.
Janeway exited the turbolift and saw Tuvok standing over the body. Two members of his security team were examining the body. She suspected that a third was inside Jenny’s quarters, searching for clues that the vampire might have left behind.
“Report,” Janeway said in her captain’s voice.
Tuvok turned around. She could almost detect that the Vulcan was annoyed at not being able to catch this murderer. She couldn’t blame him. She was getting irritated as well. There had been too many crew members killed by this creature, crew that she considered family. She didn’t know how many more of these deaths she could take. She knew that several crew members where at their wits end and were threating to form a linch mob. The situation was getting that desperate, that hopeless.
“It is the same as all the others, Captain: two small wounds on her neck. She was drained of all her blood. I would almost have to say that this is identical to Megan’s death. Almost, as you would, a déjà vu quality to it.”
Janeway had to agree. From his reports, she would have to say that this was Megan Deleany they were looking at, not Jenny. It was uncanny and a little too eerie. She looked away from the body and back to the Vulcan.
“Any other clues, Tuvok?”
“None, Captain. She did not have time to fight the vampire before he over took her. I can say this: if what he did to Mr. Paris is his pattern; attacking from behind, then he might not want his victims to see him. It leads for me to believe that either he does not want to see the shock or surprise in their eyes or he knows the victims.”
“Which leads us back to not wanting to see the shock or surprise on their faces,” Janeway concluded. “I still want to believe that we have a hitchhiker on board. I don’t want to rule that out, yet. I also don’t want to believe that our vampire is actually a member of this crew.”
“If it does come to that?” Tuvok asked.
“Then Heaven help us.”
“Indeed.” ~~ Tom Paris was in his quarters reading a datapadd when he heard the door chime. He was so engrossed in what he was reading that he jumped off the couch. He took a moment to regain himself before he asked the person to enter his quarters.
“Paris, I need to speak with you,” B’Elanna said as she stepped into the pilot’s quarters.
“What about?” Tom asked as he made himself comfortable. He could sense some anger from B’Elanna. Not just by the tone of her voice, but it flowed off of her. He had a feeling that she was still upset about the incident of taking blood from her. He should have known. B’Elanna stood in front of him, not taking a seat anywhere near him. Even her posture told him she was not happy.
*She must have thought about it some more,* Tom thought as he sighed inwardly.
“You know what about. I can see it in your eyes. I know you panicked. I know you thought taking my blood was the only thing that could have saved you. But…”
“B’Elanna, if you’re worried if you’ll become a vampire, you don’t have anything to worry about. I didn’t take enough in the first place. Secondly, I doubt if I could or want to turn you into a vampire.”
B’Elanna stared at him. She was worried about becoming like him. It had been on her mind all day. She could barely concentrate on her work with thoughts of draining people’s blood in order to survive. It gave her the shivers to think about it. She could only imagine what Tom was going through.
“What if you could? Would you?”
Tom was taken aback by the question. He looked at her a long time as if he was thinking it over. He could smell her concern and fear and he did not want to be the cause of it. In reality, he did not want to her to go through what he was. Drinking blood was not a price he was willing to pay for immortality.
“No, B’Elanna,” Tom answered at last. “This is something I would not wish on my worst enemy as the saying goes.”
Tom offered her a small smile to reassure her. She caught just a glimpse of his fangs. She gasped and took a step back.
“What is it?” the pilot asked, concerned.
“You’re teeth. They’re fangs.”
Tom touched his teeth with the tip of his tongue. He felt his canines were sharper and longer. He looked at B’Elanna with a look of surprise in his eyes.
“You’re right, B’Elanna. They’re fangs. All the better to bite someone with. Might make a Klingon a little envious?”
B’Elanna rolled her eyes. “You’re impossible, Paris. Just don’t ever use those things on me again. I felt violated.”
“I’m sorry, B’Elanna. I told you before, I panicked. I couldn’t think straight. All I could think of was surviving, and that required blood.”
B’Elanna closed her eyes and sighed. She knew he was right. He would have died again from loss of blood if he had not taken some of hers. She didn’t know how much he had taken, but it was not enough to kill her. She was getting worked up over something this trivial when there was a real danger on board the ship. B’Elanna sighed again and looked at the pilot.
“I’m the one who should be sorry, Tom. I over-reacted.”
“You had the right to, B’Elanna. I took something without asking and for that, I’m sorry.”
B’Elanna nodded. They had apologized to each other and now they could get back to catching the thing that had started all of this. She took a deep breath and opened her mouth to speak, but Tom stopped her.
“How did it feel?”
“What did it feel like when I was taking blood from you?”
B’Elanna stared at him. It was a strange question to ask, but she could think of stranger questions to ask him. She mentally shook herself and answered him.
“From what I remember, I felt dizzy as if I was falling asleep. I felt as if everything was happening in a dream. It felt surreal. Then I saw you lying in my arms, and I knew I had to get you to Sickbay.”
Tom nodded, “I felt like I was dreaming as well. It was happening so slowly. I could barely see anything. I was concentrating on drinking. It was a strange feeling, and yet, very stimulating.”
Tom stared at B’Elanna, hoping that she understood. He saw the uncertainty in her eyes and could smell it coming off of her like a spring breeze. He closed his eyes then opened them to see B’Elanna sitting next to him. The uncertainty was gone to be replaced by curiosity. He couldn’t quite place what she was curious about, but as he stared into her eyes, it all became clear. He leaned forward and gently kissed her.
B’Elanna tensed as she felt his lips brushing gently against hers. It was a soft kiss filled with warmth and tenderness, yet underneath was a desire that equaled hers. She relaxed and opened her mouth to let his tongue explore inside. She moaned softly as the kiss deepened. She wrapped her arms around him and brought him closer to her. Her tongue explored his mouth and she tensed when the tip ran across a pointed tooth. She pulled away which confused him.
“What?” Tom asked, staring at her. He could feel her hesitation and the uncertainty was back in her eyes.
“Those fangs are going to be a problem,” B’Elanna answered him, knowing he had to sense her fear. The idea that he could sense her emotions was annoying her to no end.
Tom smiled and shook his head. Was that all she was worried about? He chuckled then looked back at her.
“I’ll show you what a problem they’ll be,” he said seductively. His eyes seemed to glow with a light of their own as he slowly moved toward her.
“Tom…” B’Elanna whispered as she watched his eyes sparkle. Suddenly she felt trapped and unable to move. Her breathing was coming faster as Tom crawled closer. Was it fear or arousal that was causing her to breathe so shallowly? Was it both?
“Shhh,” Tom said as he gently picked her up off the couch. He stared into her eyes and saw the fear and arousal clear in those dark depths. He didn’t like the fear, but the arousal was doing things to him. He carried her into his bedroom and laid her on the bed.
B’Elanna watched him as he unfastened his uniform tunic. Her heart was beating faster and she was sure Tom could hear it. She could almost curse his sensitive hearing. He slid off his tunic and tossed it aside. He then stepped closer toward her and took her mouth with his. This time, B’Elanna did not pull away when her tongue came in contact with his sharp teeth. In fact, they were the first things she wanted to explore. She found herself becoming even more aroused.
Tom deepened the kiss as he felt their arousal growing. He could hear her heart beating faster as well as feel it. It was extremely stimulating to him, and he felt as if he could live on that alone. He pushed her down onto the bed and stripped her of her clothes.
B’Elanna stared at him in surprise. She didn’t think he could move that fast. She found that she rather liked it and she growled her approval. She heard him growl in return which only caused her desire to grow. She didn’t seem to care anymore that even the whites of his eyes were now a solid blue as he drew closer to her. He crawled on top of her and she found that he was already undressed.
*Damn, he’s fast,* B’Elanna thought as she took his mouth again.
Tom’s kisses moved to her neck and she stiffened. She began to think that he was going to take blood from her again, but he moved down to her shoulder. She relaxed and let herself give into the sensations. She moaned as he switched between kissing and licking her. When he reached her breasts she was in for more than just kisses and licks.
Tom took one of her breasts in his mouth and she arched against him. He swirled his tongue around her nipple then gently scraped his fangs against the skin. She moaned loudly and arched further against him, giving more of herself to him. He ran his fangs against her breast twice before moving on to the next one.
B’Elanna had never felt anything like this before. He used his teeth as if he had done this a hundred times before. Maybe it was instinct. Maybe he just wanted to see what she would do. Either way, her Klingon and Human sides were loving every minute of it. She moaned loudly and bucked up against him as he continued to gently scrape his fangs against her breasts.
Tom moved back up to kiss her again. He heard her growl against his mouth, and he returned it with one of his own. He could sense every emotion flowing off of her in waves, and it was driving him crazy. He didn’t know if he could take much more of it before he lost it and bit her. He didn’t know if she would take that as part of a mating ritual or a vampire reaction. Either way, he did not want to ruin this moment with her.
“Tom,” B’Elanna moaned against his mouth. She wanted him now and she was not going to wait any longer. She grinded her hips against him to tell him so.
Tom took her hint and slowly eased into her, teasing her. She growled with impatience, but that didn’t make him move any faster. Then he surprised her by thrusting into her hard. She cried out then growled with pleasure as he slowly moved inside her. His movements set every bit of her a fire. She moaned his name as she wrapped her legs around him.
Tom was sensing and feeling everything as he thrust into B’Elanna. His senses were on fire as he smelled B’Elanna’s passion and felt her muscles tightening around him. He had never before felt anything like this. Maybe being a vampire did have it advantages after all. He increased his pace as he felt and heard B’Elanna’s growing climax and his own.
B’Elanna tilted her head back and she felt the pilot nuzzle her there as he thrust into her. She moaned as she felt his fangs brush against her skin. It sent her over the edge and she cried out his name as she fell into bliss. Tom could no longer hold back as he thrust one last time and released into her. He sank his teeth into her neck, which caused her to buck against him as another wave crashed over her.
After awhile, B’Elanna opened her eyes to a dark room. Her senses returned a moment later, and she felt a body lying atop her. She wondered what was going on then she remembered.
“Tom,” she whispered in his ear. “Tom, wake up.”
Tom groggily opened his eyes and rolled off of her. He looked at her and smiled gently.
“Hello, Lanna,” Tom whispered as if he had just wakened from a deep sleep.
“Hello to you too, Tom,” the half-Klingon said. She then felt a tingling sensation on her neck. She touched it and felt two small holes there. She pulled her hand away and could barely see the blood.
“Computer, lights on thirty percent.”
The lights came on and Tom covered his eyes with his arm. He grumbled, but was glad it wasn’t curtains being pulled back.
B’Elanna stared at her fingers and saw the pinkish blood. She stared at the pilot, but didn’t bother to tell him. She figured it was done in the heat of passion and she could forgive him for that. She probably would have done the same. She watched him for a moment as he tried to hide from the light. She smiled as she touched his arm.
Tom looked at her through squinted eyes. She was smiling and he smiled as well.
“That was amazing, Tom,” B’Elanna said as she nestled down beside him. “I guess those fangs of yours wasn’t a problem after all.”
Tom’s smile grew bigger. “So you liked it, huh?”
“More than that. I loved it. Just what my Klingon side needs; a vampire.”
Tom laughed and she could see his fangs then. She became more aroused than before, and she surprised him by climbing on top of him. It was going to be a long night, but both of them could withstand what the other could dish out.
B’Elanna Torres lied in bed and stared up at the ceiling. She sighed with contentment as she thought about the previous hour. She smiled as she remembered what it felt like when Tom’s fangs scraped her breasts. They were still tingling from his ministrations. If she closed her eyes she could even see him suckling on them again. It made her breathing become shallow as she thought about it.
“Are you all right?” Tom’s soft voice brought her back to reality.
B’Elanna looked at him and saw the concern in his eyes. She suspected that he heard her shallow breathing. He could practically hear everything around him. She wondered how he could stand it all.
“You heard me,” she stated. “Do you hear everything around you, Tom?”
Tom smiled, barely showing his sharp canines. “Not everything, no. Just things like breathing and hearts beating. And people walking softly. I can even hear conversations taking place ten feet or more away from me. It’s really very fascinating.”
With each sentence, Tom’s voice became softer, almost hypnotizing. B’Elanna stared into his eyes as his face came closer to hers. Their lips soon touched each other, and B’Elanna tensed. The pilot pulled away and looked at her.
“Don’t do that,” the engineer said quietly.
B’Elanna glared at him. She shoved him away and sat up in bed. “Hypnotizing me with your eyes. I can’t do anything when you do that. It’s unnerving.”
Tom looked away from her and sighed, “I’m sorry, B’Elanna, but sometimes I don’t know that I’m doing it. It just happens.”
“Then learn to control it better, Tom. What happens if you’re talking to someone and all of a sudden they’re staring at you like a zombie? You have to control it.”
“All right, I will. You have to understand it might take awhile. I’m still new at this.”
B’Elanna watched him as he gathered up his clothes. She could see that he was upset now, but it couldn’t be helped. She did not want to be talking to him one minute then suddenly be under his power the next. If he wanted to, he could have her do anything he wanted.
*Stop that, B’Elanna,* she scolded herself. *You know he’s not like that. He would never do anything like that. Not to me.*
She looked up to see Tom standing before her, holding some clothes in his arms. They stared at each other for a moment before Tom handed her clothes to her. He then disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door.
*I must have hurt him with those words,* B’Elanna thought as she put on her uniform. She had to make it up to him.
“Tom, I know you’re still new at this…”
“B’Elanna, I won’t try to hypnotize you anymore. Just leave it at that. We have a vampire to catch.”
The bathroom door opened and Tom stepped into the bedroom. He didn’t look like a vampire at all. His hair was thicker than she was used to and his eyes darker, but other than that no one could tell. It still amazed her.
“Where do you want to start looking, Tom?” B’Elanna asked, knowing that they probably looked just about everywhere on the ship.
“I was thinking that if we could reconfigure the internal sensors to scan for vampire forms…”
“It might locate it. Why didn’t we think of this before?”
Tom smiled and shook his head. Her excitement was contagious, “Because, we didn’t know before.”
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” ~~ Tom and B’Elanna exited the turbolift and onto the Bridge. They caught the Captain’s attention and she stood with a curious expression on her face. She could see the excitement printed on the pair's faces.
“What’s all the excitement about?” Janeway asked, hoping it was good news.
“We found a way to search for the vampire quicker and easier,” B’Elanna stated.
That brought a smile to the Captain’s eyes. This was good news indeed.
“If we reconfigure the sensors to search the same way we had the tricorders to search, we might be able to find the vampire faster.”
Janeway nodded, “By all means, get started.”
Tom and B’Elanna didn’t waste anytime going to the tactical station. Tuvok moved out of the way as the two began to press buttons. The Vulcan looked over at Janeway, but she only shrugged.
“I will be over here if you need my services,” Tuvok stated as he went to stand by Janeway. The Captain did her best to hide her smile.
“Don’t worry, Tuvok, I’m sure your services will be needed shortly.”
Tuvok just nodded as he watched the pair work.
“All right, now let’s see where this vampire is,” B’Elanna said when they finished reconfiguring the computer. She also made sure that it didn’t pick up Tom as well. They did not need anymore complications.
Tuvok and Janeway moved to where they could see. It didn’t take long for the internal sensors to find the creature. B’Elanna and Tom could barely contain their excitement.
“Deck Six holodeck Two. Let’s go!” Tom said heading for the turbolift.
“Tuvok, go with them. They’ll need all the help they can get,” Janeway ordered before the door closed.
Tuvok nodded and joined Tom and B’Elanna in the lift. Tom stated their destination and the lift descended toward Deck six. ~~ The lift doors opened and the trio stepped into the corridor. Tuvok opened his tricorder and scanned the area. He nodded and the three went toward Holodeck Two.
“The readings are getting stronger,” Tuvok announced.
“He’s not going anywhere, Tuvok,” Tom mentioned. “He doesn’t know that we’re on to him. Which is just the way I want it.”
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. It appeared that the pilot was growing more and more vengeful with each passing day. The Vulcan only hoped it didn’t get out of control. The last thing he needed was to restrain an angry vampire. He could only image the strength Tom was capable of.
The readings were practically off the scale when they stopped in front of Holodeck Two. Tuvok put the tricorder away and set his phaser to the highest setting. He was not going to take any chances with this creature. He saw B’Elanna draw her phaser as well. He wasn’t worried about Tom, but his sense of security caused him to ask.
“Why have you not drawn your phaser, Mr. Paris?”
Tom stared at him. “I don’t need one, Tuvok. I’m a vampire, remember?”
Tuvok was not convinced, “The last time you fought with this creature, you were injured. You only survived when you took blood from Lt. Torres.”
Both B’Elanna and Tom glared at the Vulcan. He was unaffected by both stares.
“Don’t remind me, Tuvok!” Tom hissed, his eyes flashing. Tuvok only raised an eyebrow.
“Shall we proceed?” The Vulcan asked.
The two nodded and they entered the holodeck. It surprised them all that the doors were not locked. Either, the creature didn’t think anyone would come here. Or it was a trap. Thinking it was a trap, the trio cautiously stepped into the vampire’s lair.
“It’s a cave,” B’Elanna whispered, staring around at her surroundings.
It was a large cave without stalagmites or stalactites. There was a cool breeze that seemed to come from nowhere. The sound of water dripping could be heard all around them as they cautiously made their way through the cave.
Tuvok got out his tricorder again to be sure that they were on the right track. The readings were becoming erratic and he nodded.
“This way,” he said as he turned left down a dark foreboding tunnel. B’Elanna and Tom stayed close behind the Vulcan.
The three trekked through the tunnel for what seemed like hours. The readings were getting stronger as was the breeze. They traveled a few more feet when they came to a small cavern. It was circular in shape and the walls were smooth as if they were carved. Up against the wall in front of them was a throne. It resembled the captain’s chair on the Bridge, but it was black. One both sides of the chair was a torch that flickered as if a strong breeze was blowing.
“I don’t like this,” B’Elanna muttered and stood closer to Tom.
“He’s here somewhere,” Tom whispered. All his senses were on alert. Every muscle in his body was tense as if waiting to strike. He wondered how long the vampire was going to make them wait.
Tom’s waiting was over when a strong breeze blew out the torches. He could hear a low rumbling sound as well as footsteps. He could almost see the vampire as it walked toward the throne and sat down. The torches came on again and the three got a good look at who the vampire was. They gasped at what they saw.
“Chakotay!” B’Elanna shouted in disbelief. She blinked her eyes as if erasing the image. The Commander was still there.
“Welcome, B’Elanna, Tom, Tuvok,” Chakotay said in his calm voice. It was if the previous weeks had never happened. He smiled at them as if he was greeting them in a corridor.
“I believe you were expecting us,” Tuvok said matter-of- factly.
Chakotay laughed and stood to properly greet his visitors. His eyes were dark and almost sparkled as he looked into each pair of eyes. He stared at Tom the longest.
“You were not supposed to become a vampire, Tom,” Chakotay mentioned. “But that can not be helped now.”
“You killed my best friend,” Tom growled, his eyes flashing. “You are going to pay for that.”
Chakotay laughed. It was an eerie laugh and it sent chills up their spines. It was almost too much for them to watch their commanding officer treat them as playthings.
“How did you happen to become like this, Commander?” Tuvok asked curiously. It was a good idea to keep Chakotay occupied while a plan was formed.
Chakotay looked at them. All the laughter was wiped from his face and eyes. Now, he looked at them with sorrow and regret. He sighed and nodded.
“I guess you have the right to now, Tuvok. I will tell you.
“It began a month ago. We were mining for gallicite on the fourth planet of the Dranian star system. I guess I wandered too far from the main group, but my tricorder was giving me readings that could not be ignored. The readings were for a mineral that we desperately needed for the warp core. I followed the readings to a cavern almost like this one.
“I went to the far wall and began taking more readings. It showed me that there was dilithium in the wall. I tapped my commbadge to report this to the Captain, but all I received was static.
“I decided to make my way back to the main group. That was when it showed itself. The creature attacked me from behind and slammed me into the wall. I called for help and tried to fight the creature to no avail. It then bit me and left me for dead.”
The trio was quiet during Chakotay’s explanation. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Chakotay did not appear at all as if he had been attacked and injured when he returned to Voyager that day. Tom and B’Elanna shook their heads.
“I know it all sounds unbelievable to you,” Chakotay said, smiling, “but remember what happened to Tom.”
B’Elanna glared at him, “He was dead when he was beamed to Sickbay. You were not.”
Chakotay laughed his eerie laugh as he shook his head. “That does not make any difference, B’Elanna, he is still a vampire; like me.”
Tom glared at him, “I am not like you, Chakotay.”
“You drew blood to survive, Tom. You are a vampire whether you like it or not. Accept it.”
Tom’s eyes glowed, “Not when I can still change it.”
Chakotay’s laugh was cut short when Tom backhanded him. Chakotay was caught off guard and he dropped to the floor. He glared at the pilot, but was back on his feet in no time. He backhanded Tom, who went flying across the cavern. He slammed into a wall and sank to the floor.
“Tom!” B’Elanna shouted and tried to go to him, but Tuvok stopped her. She glared at him, but the Vulcan’s commanding stare stopped any attempts she was about to make.
Chakotay stalked towards Tom; his dark eyes blazing with an inner fire. His smile was wicked as he bent over the pilot and brought him to a sitting position. He then gulped as Tom punched him in the stomach. Tom followed the punch with another backhand and the commander went flying across the room. Tom jumped to his feet and drew his phaser. He fired at Chakotay, but the commander moved quickly out of the way. Tom continued to fire as Chakotay played the moving target. The pilot did not notice that with each movement Chakotay made, he was getting closer to him.
Chakotay suddenly appeared in front of Tom and wrenched the phaser out of his hand.
“I believe it is your turn to dodge,” the commander whispered wickedly.
Tom didn’t waste anytime in breaking the commander’s hand. Chakotay cried out in pain as the phaser fell from his grasp. Tom picked the phaser up and tossed it to B’Elanna. He then kicked Chakotay, smiling when he heard bone crack.
Chakotay leaped at Tom and they both fell to the ground.