Disclaimer: see first log in the series

**Personal Log, Commander Chakotay**


By Mindy

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. . .


**End Log**

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