Disclaimer: see first log in the series
**Personal Log, Commander Chakotay**
One thing I've learned in my travels: Starfleet, Maquis, whatever, that
there are some things that can't be explained. Death, afterlife, rebirth;
it all stems from one's belief that what happens or is meant to happen, is
meant to be.
When I was young, I didn't pay much heed to what my father deemed
important and sacred. Only after his death did I realize this
importance, what he'd been trying to teach me. So, now when I find myself
in a situation that doesn't necessarily announce its presence, I try to
keep all as I found it. A word my father imbedded in my mind and soul.
In an asteroid ring, we found massive energy readings. The
possibilities for its use; endless. First, Janeway wanted to beam a sample
on board, but B'Elanna said that the asteroid supported a Class-M
atmosphere. Why not take a look at this first hand?
Janeway agreed and told me to lead the party. Of course, B'Elanna was
included. I naturally asked Harry. His enthusiasm is amazing. Ready to go,
we beamed down.
It was rather eerie. Natural lighting reminiscent of a full moon on the
landscape, caves and caverns, all wondrous. We kept going when I located a
larger cavern and ran smack into. . .it felt like. . .spider webs. Rather
impossible, I thought.
"What the hell is this?" I said, untangling myself from it. B'Elanna
came over and ran a scan over it.
"It's organic," B'Elanna said. "Some kind of bio-polymer resin."
"I want to see what's ahead," I said, pressing on. We were still looking
for the signs for the energy signatures when B'Elanna ran across it.
A dead body. . .class five humanoid. Well, something walked over my
grave right then and there. Another example of 'what had we got ourselves
into this time?' Not what you expect to find on an asteroid.
And we found a whole lot more.
I can see the those promotional pamphlets for Starfleet now. 'Join
Starfleet, see the stars, explore the unknown, locate dead bodies. . .'
okay, maybe I'm being morbid, but it is not what I expected to run across
when we beamed over.
We looked at each other in bewilderment.
So, I contacted the ship to let Janeway know what was going on. Eighteen
bodies. Eleven male, seven female. All in different stages of
decomposition. Some had been here many years, some only a few days. They
seemed to be arriving from somewhere else. I told her it looked like some
sort of burial site. I suggested leaving the place as we found it. Harry
wanted to find out as much as possible, since it was sort of a first
contact, but Janeway agreed with me. She suggested using tri-corders for
our analysis, but I countered with sight analysis
only, that we should observe with our eyes only and then make detailed
reports from memory. Surprisingly, Janeway agreed to that as well.
As we made a detailed visual account, Harry thanked me for allowing him
to voice his opinions. I told him a story of how I had took a stone from an
excavation site, not realizing I had desecrated a man's grave. A valuable
lesson. One not to forget.
These people have their own rituals, which are very obvious. The
position of their hands, no clothing, no inscriptions, no artifacts. It's
as if they believe these things to be unimportant in the afterlife. We were
discussing different forms of rituals when we were surrounded by a bright
light. I ordered an emergency beam out.
We materialized, myself, Torres and . . .a body. With no sign of Harry
Kim. Torres found electrical currents still in the body that came with us.
As much as I wanted to respect the culture of this woman, and not interfere
with her natural death process, we needed to find out what happened to
Harry. I ordered us beamed to sickbay.
In sickbay, the doctor managed to remove the cancerous growth that made
the woman die, then revived her. The bio-polymer is from the bodies down
there, as their bodies decompose, the polymer is a natural process.
The doctor said we were strolling through dead bodies. Beautiful
thought. I became. . . it wasn't sickened, but not repulsed either. I don't
know, maybe unbalanced at that thought.
We woke her up. It was understandable that she would be frightened.
Emanation? Her brother? Afterlife? She became terrified. It took Janeway
and I to hold her down until the doctor sedated her. I looked at Janeway.
She looked at me. We were thinking the same thing. We had interfered in
something sacred and natural.
We found 200,000 more bodies on different asteroids. Every time a
vacuole opens, a body is deposited. Janeway placed her hand on my shoulder,
for finding this information.
Then a body appeared in engineering.
Then three more appeared.
Voyager was becoming a burial site, it seemed.
B'Elanna figured that if we sent Patera back with a subspace
transponder, we may be able to lock onto Harry and beam him back. She told
me to show Patera how to work it and for the second time that day, gave my
shoulder a pat. She sure is touchy-feely for a captain.
We tried to send her back, but the vacuole closed too soon and Patera
died. . .for real this time. Then Janeway came down to engineering,
Patera's death written all over her face. She hardly knew this woman and
felt her passing.
We went back to the bridge. B'Elanna suggested we leave. Janeway
hesitated for a moment, emotion showing in her whole body. She was about to
send us out when we received another body. . .human. . .dead. She ordered
it beamed to sickbay and she left with Tuvok. Human equated Harry.
Harry came back from the dead.
What we don't know is more then we do.
To boldly go. . .
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