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1st place winner of FOLK Tales contest '99

Epoch of Jubilee

By: Tatsuya (a.k.a. Nigel the doctor FOLK)

Disclaimer: All Hail Paramount! All Hail Paramount, the all mighty rulers of the vast Star Trek Universe. I, the humble Dr Tatsuya, don't own the characters in the forthcoming story, nor do I own anyone else for that matter, since that would constitute slavery, which was abolished in the last century(or four centuries ago, if you happen to be living in the era where Voyager supposedly takes place).

Romance codes: Romance Codes?!?!? We don't need no stinking romance codes!

Rating: PG-13

Ensign Harry Kim trembled in fear as strange creatures at the slave auctioning block approached him in numbers too great to recall. Some appraised him as though he were a piece of merchandise of undetermined worth, while others simply leered at him with a malicious, and unfathomable lust.

Harry timidly turned to his right and saw Tuvok, looking as stoic and as expressionless as always, though Harry was sure that he could read subtle notes of uncertainty gracing the Vulcan's topaz colored eyes.

Further right, among other crew members of the captured Voyager he saw Chakotay, who was being led roughly away by two burly humanoids who Harry guessed were prospective buyers.

Turning left, Harry gazed into the frightened eyes of his best friend Tom, who was being forced to his knees by a stern humanoid, who pushed what vaguely resembled a twentieth century cattle prod into Tom's exposed chest.

"Hey!!! Don't point that thing at me!" Tom shouted at the towering alien, dodging the cylindrical weapon and slapping it away from his chest.

It was obvious that Tom was doing his best to maintain what little dignity a slave could have, however foolish the act may be. This caused Harry to smile momentarily, but his expression turned to one of astonishment when he saw the humanoid strike Tom across one cheek with the charged weapon.

Tom reeled to his side, but was roughly pulled up by the hair and struck hard again across the other cheek. Dazed, Tom fell to the ground, but received no respite as the alien rammed the stun weapon into Tom's abdomen and turned it on to what Harry perceived to be a higher setting. Tom let out a series of shrill cries, and assumed a fetal position while the onslaught continued.

The feelings of nausea and rage building like shards of hatred in his soul, Harry broke free from the aliens who were looking him over, ran to Tom, who lay on the ground moaning in pain, and threw his body protectively over him, taking the brunt of the weapon in his own viscera. He was unconscious in a matter of seconds, but the unbearable pain had purged his mind from his body nanoseconds earlier.

***************************************************************

Only a few days earlier, the whole crew was on Voyager, going about menial tasks such as maintenance and repairs, for the sensors indicated nothing amiss in this particular area in space.

It was at times like these that Tom Paris's grips with reality were at their weakest, and his creativity took hold of all his senses, like so many usurpers overthrowing a lenient dictator.

Harry struggled against his bonds, gazing into Chaotica's maniacal expression which could be interpreted as a smile in a 30s villain sort of way.

"You'll never get away with this Chaotica!" Harry said, trying to sound as sincere as possible. *Why do I let Tom always talk me into this?* Harry mused, mimicking Tom's confident voice, in the sanctuary of his mind, *C'mon Harry! It'll be fun.....! HA!*

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" shrieked Captain Proton's secretary, who seemed to never have any other lines, save for the frequent bloodcurdling screams which pierced Harry's ears so frequently that he feared premature hearing loss.

If Harry could have covered his ears and ran out the door, he would have done so without caring if Tom threw a hissy-fit for a week afterwards. Or perhaps a month.

Even Chaotica seemed to be cringing momentarily at the seemingly deadly voice weapon Proton's secretary seemed to possess. "Ah! But I will get away with this, for I have a new weapon even you will not be able to resist!"

Harry feigned great fear "NO!!! Not that......."

"Yes! That....!" Chaotica, with the grace of a star which was about to go nova, signaled to the door, and B'Elanna, walked out.

She was clad not too unlike Chaotica, and bore an expression which was also very similar. She ran her hand from Harry's abdomen up to his throat and grabbed his chin hard, forcing him to look straight into her eyes, "Now you will pay for failing to bow down to Chaotica!"

"UuuuuAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" Harry screamed, trying to sound as frightened as possible, but one could easily tell that he was pleased.

The sound of a door being kicked in made Harry roll his eyes "Oh no!" He thought , "Why does Captain Proton always have to come to the rescue just when I'm starting to enjoy myself!?"

But to Harry's surprise, it was not Captain Proton who came through the door, but rather a battered, and unconscious Tom Paris, who was being dragged in by a burly humanoid.

B'Elanna, not remembering Tom programming a sequence like this into the holoprogram, tapped her combadge to alert security to the strange turn of events.

The alien immediately threw Tom down and went after her. B'Elanna began to shout Klingon expletives at the invader, and quickly overpowered it, pressing it into the deck and kneeing it repeatedly in the midsection.

More of those creatures came through the door in such great numbers that it seemed as though they could easily outnumber Voyager's regular crew. With a ferocity that would make even the more hardened Klingon flinch, an alien pulled B'Elanna off the one she was holding down and struck her unconscious with a single blow.

Harry struggled against his bonds, although whether to help Tom and B'Elanna or merely to flee, he wasn't sure, but only succeeded in abrading his wrists. Harry concluded grimly that the safety protocols had been taken offline, as he nonetheless struggled to free himself.

Some of the invaders had seen what Harry was starting to do and quickly surrounded him. Harry, being quite flexible, attempted to activate his combadge with his chin, but a tall alien standing at his side backhanded the occipital part of his head, knocking him out almost instantly.

******************************************************************************

The situation on the rest of the ship would have made utter chaos look like a substantial improvement, as crew members were screaming in terror and scurrying in every direction in a futile attempts to escape the attacking aliens.

No one had seen the attack coming, as the invaders seemed to either have utilized a very advanced cloaking device or appeared out of an undetectable area of subspace.

Some crew members attempted to fight back, and were either maimed or killed for their efforts. Captain Janeway, who had fought with unmatched fervor, was among the most severely maimed.

Commander Chakotay was among the severely wounded because he had fought to defend the Captain.

Lieutenant Commander Tuvok was unconscious because he had used the Vulcan Neck Pinch in an attempt to save the crew, and was therefore attacked himself.

The rest of the crew fared similarly, all eventually became the captives of the invaders..

******************************************************************************

Harry Kim mopped the perspiration off his face at the end of another day in the fields. He couldn't recall a time when he was in so much pain, ranging from the ache in his shoulders, from many days of manual labor, to the stinging in his back from the numerous welts, a result of the almost daily whippings he received from his owners.

Tom emerged from another part of the field, practically limping as he walked. Lately, Tom limped all the time, as the labor and beatings were taking their toll.

Before Tom could come abreast of Harry, his legs gave out, sending Tom's face into the pale, sand colored dirt. Tom raised his head wearily, then resumed his place in the dirt; blessed unconsciousness took hold.

"At least tomorrow, we'll be working in the factory...we should be so happy!" Harry said derisively to no one in particular, as he lifted Tom onto his shoulders and carried him in to the slave barracks.

The Captors were a race called the Euralcaulians, a Humanoid species, sharing 99.766% of the genes found in humans. The slight disparity in the chromosomes rendered the Euralcaulians much larger, and much stronger than the Humans, making them quite a formidable species....and inescapable captors.

The Euralcaulians had enslaved beings from every vessel to happen into their airspace, and all the technologies that the races had to offer.

Although the Euralcaulians guarded the slaves with very primitive means in the fields, factories, there was no hope of escape, as there were various barriers, tracking devices and weapons of annihilation just beyond where the slaves were kept.

Once Chakotay had tried to escape to a neighboring slave district, where it was rumored that Seven of Nine, Captain Janeway, and B'Elanna were being held, but was captured by guards stationed at the borders and was almost dead when he was returned to his owners.

Harry, Tom and Tuvok were forbidden from seeing him for nearly a month afterward, and Chakotay said nothing to them about his attempt at escape. Whether that was because he could not say anything, or would not, was not easily ascertained, but Chakotay seemed forever changed by the experience.

Another way that the Euralcaulians kept revolts and escapes at bay was the heavy use of medical interventions, like drugs, which were effective in diminishing the individual's freewill; and mutilations, which crippled slaves who were deemed to be incorrigible, thereby preventing any subsequent attempts at escape.

But one of the most sinister methods though, was the use of viral agents, which often took away the health or higher neural functions of the captives. For the members of Voyager, the Euralcaulians found viral agents which would thrive in the Cerebral Spinal Fluid, pass through the blood-brain barrier, and infect the neurons, especially those in the parietal lobe, causing an inexorable decrease in neural activity in the area.

******************************************************************************

Harry Kim and Tom Paris walked into the slave dining room, and made their way eagerly to the food line, but were stopped on the way by an attendant who stood near the end of the line.

"You're late!" The creature bellowed at Tom and Harry, the odor of his breath and sheer volume of his voice enough to make the pair wince.

Harry dropped to his knees, while Tom seemed to collapse again but managed to keep his head high enough to talk into the attendants belt buckle, "We apologize, but...."

"You're late!" The attendant repeated as he dug his fingers into Tom and Harry's shoulders, causing both of them to gasp.

"We're sorry!" Harry begged as he tried to dislodge himself from the iron grip, "But Tom fainted and I had to help him...."

"You were still late!!" The attendant yelled as he slapped them both in turn across the face. "And for that you will lose a privilege! That privilege will be your meal tonight!"

"Please? We've been out there for fourteen hours!" Tom cried. "And with no breaks today!"

"Tom's dehydrated!" Harry almost screamed at the attendant as he defiantly rose to his feet. "You didn't even let us stop for a drink!"

Even though Harry was standing, he still had to look up to gaze into the attendants face, and when he did, he could have sworn that he was staring into his own doom.

The attendant grabbed Harry by the throat and lifted him three feet off the floor until they were seeing eye to eye. "You dare talk back?" The attendant tightened his grip around Harry's throat.

" *Gaaaaaaack*" was all Harry could say in response.

"You will be punished!" The attendant thundered as he threw Harry against a wall. Harry cried out as the attendant punched and kicked him repeatedly before letting him fall into a heap on the floor.

Tom jumped on the guard's back in an attempt to pull the assailant off Harry, but the guard promptly yanked Tom off and began similarly beating him.

By that time, more slaves, attendants and overseers had rushed to the scene, as did Neelix who was assigned to messhall duty, and Tuvok and Chakotay.

"I'm glad you are all here!" shouted the Chief overseer loud enough for all to hear. "You will all witness what we do to slaves who fail to adhere to their place!"

Within a few minutes, Tom and Harry were cuffed to rafters just outside the dining room and were given twenty lashes each, with all the other slaves being forced to watch. On the nineteenth lash, Harry's knees buckled.

"Stand up, Slave!!!!!" shouted the overseer.

"Go to Hell!" Harry shouted back with his face tightened in agony.

"Stand up you filthy Human, or we'll give you all twenty lashes again!!!"

Harry pulled himself erect, closed his eyes, braced for the final blow and screamed when the charged whip bit into his back.

The assailants unshackled Tom and Harry and dragged them to the back of the messhall, where there was a large trough. Some of the attendants poured leftovers from the messhall into the trough and yelled at them that they were being nice.

Too hungry to think otherwise, Harry and Tom started to eat the garbage, while the overseers and attendants scorned them. As hungry as they were, the unpalatable mixture of Neelix's renditions of Kaazon tuber soup, mixed with Leola root stew, blood wine, and egg custard were welcome. They knew they would be sick though, as some of the things in the garbage had gone bad.

*****************************************************************************

It had been nearly a year since Voyager had been taken into captivity by the Euralcaulians.

Harry Kim sat in his room in the slave quarters pondering their time there. He had watched Chakotay, Tuvok, Tom and Neelix go from valuable, intelligent crew members on Voyager to compliant, obedient slaves as a result of the virus invasion on their brains. Harry wondered why he hadn't done the same?

Harry had come to the conclusion that he was immune to the disease at least eight months ago, but could do nothing about it, because the Euralcaulians had taken the holographic doctor offline, and the whereabouts of the mobile holo-emitter were unknown.

Harry Kim had been a very good slave. Sure, they beat him almost daily, but it was more for the amusement of the captors than for any infraction that Kim may have committed. He was the model slave, doing everything that he was told and with almost no complaint.

His owner's daughters had taken a fancy toward him, and each day after he completed his duties in either the fields or the factories, he was expected to "entertain" the daughters. Doing whatever they pleased while ever contemplating a way of escape.

The owner's two sons also took a fancy toward Harry, but more because they were angry at the way their sisters favored him. Every now and then, as Harry was done "entertaining" their sisters, the brothers all "entertained" themselves with Harry.

Harry chose a night when the brothers were away at a party of sorts, to put his plan into action. He would plead with his owner's daughters to help him acquire the Doctor's mobile- emitter.

".....Please," Harry begged with tears streaming down his cheeks, his voice barely decipherable, "the mobile emitter has a the Doctor in it....he's all I have in the world....I'll do anything for you...with all my heart...if you help me find him again...."

"Shut up, Slave!" The older daughter said while bringing the lash down hard on Harry's exposed flesh, "we can get you to do anything we want you too already!"

"Besides..." the younger one added, "it is going to cost you dearly...! What are you willing to pay us?" "Anything...." Harry said with determination.

******************************************************************************

The sisters managed to locate and steal the Mobile Holoemitter three months later. To Harry's dismay, the emitter was badly damaged...barely functional at all....

Harry looked around momentarily, then let the his emotions, which he had successfully hidden from everyone else, come to the surface. He cried long and bitterly.

"Hey Har? What's wrong?" it was Tom's voice, apparently Harry had cried loud enough to rouse him.

"Nthin..." Harry whimpered, quickly hiding the damaged emitter in the bedpost he had hollowed out over a period of months. He couldn't even let Tom in on his plans anymore, as the degree of damage to Tom's brain could not be assessed.

Tom looked at Harry's body, and shook his head when he saw the extent to the damage. "Gee, Harry. They really went crazy on you tonight!"

"Yes," Harry sobbed, attempting to attribute his loss of control to his injuries. "It just hurts so much.....I can't help it."

Apparently the parts of Tom's brain which retained memories of being a medical assistant remained unharmed as he lifted Harry into the bed, tended the worst of his injuries, and stayed with him until he fell asleep.

******************************************************************************

Every chance he got, Harry desperately worked on the emitter after Tom was asleep. It pained him beyond words to keep this secret from Tom, but he knew he had to, as the obvious damage to Tom's brain grew more obvious each day.

If only B'Elanna were here......

Harry berated himself constantly for not knowing more about the holoemitter, but nonetheless spent each session studying how it worked and trying to repair it.

One day, the doctor flickered to life again....

"Please State the nature of......Ensign Kim? Where are we?" Without error, it was the Holodoc. "What happened to you? You look like you've been playing in one of B'Elanna's Holoprograms with the safeties offline! Perhaps if you......"

"Shut Up!!!" Harry screamed in a sotto voice, cupping a hand over the Doc's Holographic mouth. "I'll explain everything...."

While Harry was talking, the Doctor kept appearing and disappearing...the Mobile Emitter was still not working right, but he still was able to fill the doctor in on everything that had happened.

"Can I speak now?" The Holodoc said in his usual acerbic manner.

" Of course!" Harry said.

"Perhaps the reason that your nervous system isn't degenerating as everyone else's is, is because you have a type of antibody that can combat the virus in your system." The Holodoc stated, noting the surprised expression on Harry's face.

The Holodoc flickered then vanished, and the Mobile Emitter fell to the floor.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" cried Harry.

******************************************************************************

After many attempts to repair the emitter were unsuccessful, Harry began talking to Tom about the manufacture of specialized neural antibodies. To avoid raising any suspicions, Harry told Tom about a disease that was attacking the livestock, and he thought a preparation made by the antibodies of another might be a feasible way to remedy it.

Tom told Harry everything he knew about it, and every chance Harry had, he was busy building equipment, drawing his own blood with poorly forged syringes, and taking herbs which would increase his immune responses.

When he had manufactured enough of it, he administered it to the remaining members of Voyager's crew. Each day he made more of it, and began giving it to more of the slaves.

Although Harry could not find a way to restore the brain damage already done, the neural degradation stopped. The treatments were a success.

*Once we get back to Voyager,* Harry thought to himself, *the neural regenerators can repair the damage to their brains....This has to work....*

******************************************************************************

Harry began getting the owner's daughters to acquire more goods for him, at a high price to his body. No one suspected him of anything, as he acted as though he had suffered even more brain damage than the rest of the slaves. He was secretly learned more about the defense systems, and about many captured alien technologies from other captives.

Enlisting the help of the other slaves, Harry was able to establish a communications network between slaves in different districts, and the day had come when he could finally spread the word there would be a total revolt!

******************************************************************************
The slaves outnumbered the captors by an alarming ratio, and easily overpowered and killed the captors and retook their ships and escaped. Harry tapped his combadge triumphantly. "Kim to Voyager, one to beam up!" "Harry!" his owner's daughters shouted, as Harry was about to leave. "You tricked us!!!!" "I'm sorry...."Harry started, but the older sister produced a weapon which Harry could only interpret to be the equivalent of a phaser and fired it into his chest six times before he dematerialized. "I am free..." Harry said with a dignity that would always be his signature, with his eyes glazed in death....
******************************************************************************

Harry was dead on arrival, as the phaser had done irreparable damage to his body.

At the memorial ceremony, Captain Janeway pinned another pip on the collar of Harry's crisp, new uniform."We will always remember your bravery, Lieutenant Kim."



Did you like it? Why don't you tell the author! Tatsuya would love to hear from you!

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