Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the ship, TPTB do, but I had to write this story to serve justice and give poor Harry Kim a promotion!!
Harry's commbadge shrilled impatiently,
and he winced.
"Kim here," he said, trying not to sound as if his head were about to roll right off his shoulders.
"How is the harvesting coming along, Harry?" The captain's voice grated on his nerves, and he made a conscious attempt to rein in his aggravation.
"Just fine, Captain. We'll be finished in less than a week if the weather holds." He kept his voice level with a herculean effort, but the captain seemed to notice anyway.
"Are you alright, Mr. Kim?" He could hear the frown in her voice.
"Yes, Captain," Harry sighed. "Just a headache. I've already seen the Doctor."
"Good," she replied, somewhat dubiously. She paused a moment, then; "Voyager out."
"You still have that headache?" Tom asked from behind him.
"Yes," Harry sighed.
"Maybe you should see the Doc again. You've had it for over a week." Paris suggested.
"I saw him this morning," Harry said shortly, walking toward Team Three.
"And he said....?"
"He said, "Take two pills and see me in the morning," Harry replied irritably, "and then he stuck me with a hypospray and said it was stress. Again."
Tom walked beside him silently.
Harry glanced at him out of the corner of his eye... which didn't help his headache any. "Shouldn't you be on Team One?" he demanded.
"Should be," Tom said aggreably, "If this was my shift."
"Harry, i don't get it," Tom said finally, "You're fine every morning. But as soon as you get down here, you turn into a grouch. The headache can't account for that all by itself."
"Do you have a headache, Tom?" Harry demanded, stopping short. The Doctor said much the same thing every time he went in for a pain-killer, which he had stopped doing anyway because they weren't helping, and frankly, he was getting annoyed with the whole subject.
"No," Tom replied carefully.
"Then shut up." Harry stalked off toward one ensign in row four who seemed to be doing nothing more than loitering. The ensign looked up and cringed.
Tom sighed, and turned around to report to Chakotay. He hated this evaluating Harry business, but he could see the point. One of the requirements of this was a "full mental and psychological evaluation in order to assess stress management levels." Good God he had it memorized....
Harry wasn't doing very well.
Janeway swiveled her chair to gaze out the viewport behind her as the others filed out of the room.
"Something wrong, Kathryn?" Chakotay asked, standing near the door.
"How is Harry doing on his evaluation?" She asked quietly. While normally it would be her job to evaluate the ensign, and Starfleet's job to promote him, given the circumstances, she had decided to appoint a team to evaluate him, leaving herself to make the final decision.
Chakotay hesitated. "Not so well," he said finally. He apparently starts out alright every day, but gets crankier by the hour. He doesn't seem to be handling the stress well."
Janeway sighed. "Well, he has another
week, we'll see what happens. Go on, i'm
going to sit here for a few minutes."
She smiled at him. He grinned back, and
left her alone.
"Beep-eep" Harry ignored it. "Beep-Eep" a little louder this time. Harry ignored it a little harder. The concentration was making his head hurt more. He sighed.
"Come in," he said wearily, raising himself up on one elbow.
"Hi, Harry," Tom said cheerfully. "Captain wants your report, and the Doc sent me over to ask about your head."
My report is on the desk," Harry replied distantly, lying back down on the bed, "and my head will be fine if i can get a few hours sleep and a good meal. At least until i go down to the surface tomorrow..."
"If the problem starts on the planet every day, maybe it's an allergy or something," Tom suggested.
"The Doctor's looked for allergies, spores, alien beings in another time frame sticking weird equipment into my head, etc, etc, etc.... nothing. He just keeps saying stress." Harry's voice was flat, completely unemotional. He sat up carefully, removing the cloth from his head.
He took a deep breath and stood. "Much better," he said, almost cheerfully. "Something to eat and i'll be good as new." He headed out the door, seeming to gain energy with every step.
Tom stared after him quizzically, then followed him into the turbolift.
"Deck seven" Harry said.
"Deck five," Tom added.
"Bye, Tom," Harry said happily. He actually waved.
"Uh-huh," Tom replied dubiously. He gave Harry an odd look, at which Harry's grin widened. Tom hurried down the corridor to sickbay.
"Hey, Doc?" He asked as soon as he entered
"Yes, Mr. Paris?" the Doctor asked. He always looked as though he were afraid Tom were going to sprout tentacles or something...
"Harry's headache is gone again." Tom reported.
"Yes. We've established that it always dissapears as soon as he is relieved of his responsibilities for the day."
"No, but i just saw it go away. In about four minutes." Tom explained anxiously. "I don't think it's stress," he added at the Doctor's raised eyebrow, "He was lying on the bed with a towel over his eyes one minute, and he would hardly talk to me, and then three minues later he's grinning like a maniac and bouncing off the walls."
"Well, it certainly doesn't sound like stress relief," The Doctor replied, "But you do have a penchant for exaggeration."
Tom shrugged. "Go on down to the messhall and look," he suggested.
"Mmmm." the Doctor replied. "Alright,
i'll have a look at him," He agreed,
"He does seem to have lost the headache," The Doctor conceded midway through the second verse.
"He's dancing on the table, Doc," Tom replied, "I'd say that's an indication that whatever is making his head hurt isn't on this ship."
"Well. I'll give him another examination, and we'll see. There are still a few tests i haven't run yet."
Tom grinned. "We postpone the psychological evaluation for the duration of the physical, right?"
"Yes. Well, when he's finished here,
have him report to sickbay. I can see
this is going to be a long night," The
Doctor sighed as Harry and his backup
group stumbled through a rendition of
"Henry the 8th".
Tom just grinned at him and ambled over
to join the fun. He could deliver that
report later. It wasn't due until
* * * * * * *
"Come in." Janeway said without looking up from her data padd.
"Captain, a word with you?" The Doctor said brusquely.
"Of course, Doctor. What can i do for you?" She asked, smiling.
"I examined Ensign Kim thouroughly last night. Ran every test i've ever heard of, and a few i invented on the spot, as a matter of fact," he added, sounding rather proud of himself.
Janeway hid another smile behind her hand. "Did you find anything interesting?" She asked, smile dying. She hoped he'd found something wrong to explain Harry's behavior lately.
"Well, all of the tests i ran came out within tolerable limits, other than the obviously extreme tension which is partly causing his headaches." He said, then paused, looking at her.
Janeway suppressed a sigh. "And?"
"I ran a nuerochemical analysis of his cerebrum. The results were well within normal limits, but it did show some unusual activity. Activity similar to what i recorded when Tuvok was teaching Kes to use her mental abilities."
"You think someone's tampering with him telepathically?" Janeway asked, leaning forward.
"I'm not sure, Captain. I know very little about the natives, they haven't exactly volunteered themselves for study." The Doctor replied ascerbically
"They haven't made contact with us since they agreed to allow us to harvest their plant life," Janeway said slowly. "I think it's about time we gave them a wake-up call." She stood, leaving the ready room and striding onto the bridge. "Hail the planet surface, ensign," she snapped to the young woman at the ops position.
"Yes, Sir," The woman replied, hurrying to reply.
"Yes?" Came an almost instant response.
Janeway decided on a direct approach, since that seemed to be the way these people operated.
One of my crewmen seems to be experiencing some negative effects from something on the planets surface. Our Doctor suggests it might be some sort of Telepathic leakage. Would you know how to counteract that?" Janeway asked, trying to be direct and polite at the same time.
No point antagonizing them further than necessary. They didn't need to know she suspected them of deliberatly tampering with her crewman.
The green skinned alien frowned and glanced behind him. "We will need to examine this person," he said finally, returning his attention to the screen.
"Certainly," Janeway replied smoothly. "But you'll understand that i'd like my doctor to be present during the examination."
Again the alien looked behind him, then turned back and nodded once.
"He's cut the connection, Sir," The ensign said from behind her.
"Oops," The ensign mutterd, "He's back again, Sir," she said more loudly.
Janeway looked back at the screen.
"We will meet in the fruit groves in one sun cycle," he said shortly, then dissapeared again.
Janeway raised one eyebrow, then looked over at the Doctor. "Doctor, inform Harry that he has an appointment in... 16 hours," she added, calculating in her head.
The Doctor nodded, leaving without
Thus far, the examination had consisted of several multicolored aliens of indeterminant sex staring at him.
One of them twitched suddenly, and turned to the Doctor.
"We had not realized this one was so suseptible," it said, forming the words carefully, as though it were not used to speaking. "We will fix what is broken."
The alien reached over and laid one three fingered hand on his forhead.
Every achy muscle relaxed instantly, and his headache dissapeared completely, leaving him with that by-now-familiar euphoria that comes from the absolute relief of pain.
He just lay there enjoying it for a moment. The alien removed it's hand from his head, and left abruptly with it's companion. He sat up reluctantly.
He grinned suddenly. "Much, MUCH better," he said happily.
The Doctor ran his tricorder over Harry. "Hmm. Everything seems to be normal. You may return to work, ensign."
"Thanks, Doc!" Harry said happily. He bounded out into the fields and shooed his crew back to work.
The Doctor shook his head and tapped
his commabdge. "Doctor to Voyager, one
to beam up."
"I agree, and i think he did a spectacular job, Neelix replied. His crew was very happy with him once the effects of.... well, whatever it was dissapeared."
"We all agree, then?" Chakotay asked,
looking at his two companions. The
nodded. "Alright, then our
reccomendation to the captian will be
* * * * * * *
"To Harry!" Tom said, raising his glass in a toast. The gathering in the messhall followed suit, and Harry grinned sheepishly. Between his new responsibilities and those headaches, he hadn't even noticed that the captain had decided to promote someone. Let alone promote HIM!! He touched his collar again to make sure that extra pip was still there.
He flushed when Tom grinned at him,
but was too happy to bother with a rude
comment in response.
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