Disclaimer: Paramount own Chakotay's shuttlecraft crash count and everything else.
Otherwords: I apologize ahead of time for any mispellings of Native American words. I try to use my knowledge of English to rough them out into something that looks like it may be acceptable. Same goes for the Kazon names. A little liberty on that.
And when he died at the hands of the Cardassians, something finally snapped into place. I left, took my marking to honor my father and became a freedom fighter with the Maquis. I finally began grasping at the traditions that I had turned my back on when I was young. . .
I asked for a shuttle.
'The captain has granted me use of a shuttle craft, so I may perform the Pakra, a solitary ritual commemorating the anniversary of my father's death.'
I put the shuttle on auto-pilot, grabbed my medicine bundle and went to sit on the floor. I'm sure I could have done this n the ship, but there were too many interruptions that could come up. I needed the solitude if I were to contact the spirit of my father.
"Achoochimoya. . .I pray on this day of memories, to speak to my father, the one whom the wind called. . .Kolopak. Though I am far from his bones, perhaps there is a spirit in these unnamed skies who will find him, and honor him with my song. Achoochimoya." And I began to fall into my trance, to seek my father. Now, more then ever, this meant something, being so far from home and familiar skies.
Deep in meditation, I was jolted to the present, quite abruptly. I asked, "Computer, report."
And while that monotone voice answered that we'd been hit by phaser fire, I quickly wrapped up my medicine bundle. I asked for the source. Oh low and behold, it was Kazon. Just whom I wanted to see.
I opened a channel. "This is Commander Chakotay of the Federation Starship Voyager. Why have you fired on me?"
"You are in Kazon-Ogla space, Federation." This very young looking Kazon said.
"I wasn't aware of that. I have no hostile intentions. Power down your weapons and I'll leave.."
"No one who violates Ogla space, leaves." What an adamant young man.
"Look son, my starship is only a few light years away."
"I am not your son, Federation. I am your executioner," he said. Fine. If he wants a fight, I'll give him one.
"Kazon vessel, listen carefully. I do not want a fight. Stand down or I'll be forced to return fire." No answer, so I employed one of my piloting tactics that I hadn't used in quite sometime. I flew it upside down, looped over him and came up from behind.
"Chakotay to Kazon vessel, I've established a direct weapons lock on your engine core. This is my final warning. If you do not stand down, I will destroy your ship."
My answer was phaser fire from the Kazon ship. "All right. If that's the way you want to play it." So I locked onto his engine core and fired. Nice to know that you're taken at your word out here.
"Chakotay to Kazon vessel. Do you read me?" Benefit of doubt taking over. I didn't want to fight. No answer, so I asked the computer. One life sign.
"Kazon ship, your engine core is critical. You have less then thirty seconds to evacuate. Do you read me?" If you have an escape pod, you must escape now." No answer again. Exasperated, I told the computer to get a transporter lock on the life sign, to beam it aboard the shuttle.
I beamed the Kazon on board my ship. He was unconscious and his ship blew up. I thought quickly. I had given him every opportunity to back off. Yet, I hate taking life indiscriminately. Maybe in the back of my mind, I thought making peace with one of the factions may have an affect with our situation with Voyager. Kathryn would be the first to agree that we needed some friends out here.
Well, I figured it was time to hail Voyager. No use waiting for this Kazon youth's friends to show up. With any hope, she'd be in range.
"Chakotay to Voyager." Nothing. "Computer, damage report."
"Long range communications, lateral sensor array and at shields are off line," That monotone voice said.
"Great!" I said, half heartedly hitting the controls and turning in my seat to look at my guest. Hostile territory, a Kazon aboard my shuttle, no sensors, aft shields or away to contact Voyager. This fish really needed some water. . . and fast.
"Welcome aboard!" I said sarcastically to my uninvited guest.
And I began trying to put things back together. Not to mention, I tied up my new friend.
Much later, I heard him struggling. "What am I doing here?" it coming out in half snarl.
"You're welcome," I said.
"What?" he said. Apparently, niceties are not common amongst the Kazon.
"It's a human expression. You thank me for saving your life, I say you're welcome." Two could play the sarcastic snarl game.
Oh yeah. He came at me snarling, though he couldn't inflect much damage with his arms tied behind his back. I got up and grabbed him by the shoulders, and forced him down.
"I accept your surrender." Snarl. "Look! I promise you, as soon as we get back to Voyager, we'll find you a Kazon ship and hand you back over to them."
I could see that wasn't settling too well with him. "You should have let me die."
"I'm not in the habit of killing children." I was interrupted by the computer saying that there was a vessel coming. I went back to the front of the shuttle. What's your name, son?"
"What?" Boy, what a large vocabulary.
"Why do you want to know my name?" He did have a vocabulary.
"I want to let them know you're on board," I said, looking at a giant Kazon ship.
"I'm called Kahr," he muttered.
"Computer, open a channel." Opened, I was ready. "Kazon vessel, I have a young man on board you may know. He goes by the name of Kahr. I'd say that he's about thirteen. I'd like to arrange for his transfer before I return to my ship. Computer, confirm channel is open."
"Confirmed. Transmission has been received." The computer told me.
I turned to Kahr. "Talk to them, tell them you're okay." He didn't say a word, just sat there shuffling in his seat.
The shuttle rocked. "Warning. Kazon vessel has engaged a tractor beam."
"Full reverse," I ordered.
"Tractor beam exceeds available engine power." Great, now I was a sitting duck.
"They're pulling us in," I remarked.
"Kill me," Kahr said. I turned to him then back to my controls. He got up and came forward. "Please."
"Why are you so eager for me to kill you?" I asked. The kid had a death wish.
"Because there are worse things then being killed by your enemy." He wasn't happy, more or less. I would say he was scared. . .of his own people.
They brought us aboard, dragging myself and the kid with them.
"Look, if you check your long range scanners, you'll see a large ship out there," I said as I was thrown into what I took to be a holding cell, Kazon style. "It's called Voyager and by now it's on its way to find me."
One of the elder Kazons spoke to Kahr, something about being ready. I approached him. "I have a fair idea why I'm here, but why are they doing this to you?" He looked at me briefly, then walked away.
He argued with the older, whom told him to get back in the 'cell' with me.
"It was this fool. . .this Federation, who doesn't even have the courage to kill his enemies. He pulled me out with that transporter we've heard about." He was angry. I could tell. He stalked around a band back toward me. "Like the Nistram and Relaura before you, you come into our space, showing off your uniforms and displaying your markings of your Federation with no respect. As if you own this part of space. But it belongs to us!" He looked at me then rushed toward the other.
"I tried to kill him, Kahlees." And this Kazon hit him, knocking him to the floor. I started toward him, yet stopped. "I want to see Rahzehk. Tell Rahzehk I demand to see him." I stepped over to Kahr.
"Who's Rahzehk?" I asked. No answer, so I went to the Kazon. "You tell this Rahzehk, that Federation Commander Chakotay demands to see him."
"What're you doing?" Kahr asked.
"Rahzehk is obviously your leader. I'm hoping if he's strong enough to be in command, he's wise enough to listen to reason."
Kahr started laughing and walked away. It's amazing to me these people even made it out into space.
He strode to the back of our cell. "See this? This is debris from a Nistram frigate. The man you're demanding to see destroyed it, killing more then 100 in a single shot. Before that, his name was only Rah. Now he is called Jahl Rahzehk." He walked over to the other side of the room. I think I was beginning to understand what this was all about.
"And this tunic belonged to a Relaura warrior, he was killed by the bare hands of another Ogla warrior, called only Hahlee. Now, that man is called Jahl Hahlees, one of our greatest fighters. And this bracelet belonged to the man that killed my brother. My brother, Jahl Knenale, who earned his Ogla name by dying bravely in battle." He was in front of me now.
"But I, I will never earn my name in life or in death and I have you to thank for that." So now I was to blame for his shortcomings.
Hell of a way to earn your name..
A while later, a different Kazon came calling. This one walked past me and went directly to Kahr.
"Hello, Kahr." He said. Kahr said nothing. He lowered his voice so I could barely hear. Something about not seeing him like this.
"It wasn't my fault! It was his technology!" Kahr spit out. It almost looked like this guy was going to choke the kid.
"Don't make excuses, Kahr. An Ogla has no room for excuses."
"No, no excuses," Kahr repeated.
"I forgive you. Know that in your heart," The Kazon said.
"No, please." Kahr whispered. The elder one kissed Kahr's cheek.
The elder pulled Kahr to him, as Kahr began to cry. He took him out, handing him over to another Kazon, saying he'd be eating at his right hand side tonight. And he was gone, leaving me with the other. He finally addressed me.
"Why did you save him?" he said. "It's a very ineffective way of waging war."
"I'm not at war with you," I said.
"I wish I could say the same." He replied.
"We're not familiar with this part of space. If I'd seen a map, identifying this as Kazon-Ogla territory, I wouldn't have been anywhere near it."
"Unfortunately, our territorial claims change everyday. Maps do not serve us well," he said. I'll say this for the Kazon, they sure are cocky. "You did him a great disservice, you know."
"I guess if you'd killed me, my uniform would have you all a fine trophy."
"Your uniform may yet decorate our wall. You may not think you're at war with us, Federation Commander Chakotay, but everything you are is a threat to us. The Kazon fought long and hard for its independence from uniforms like yours."
"Uniforms maybe, but not like mine," I said stating the obvious.
"Your uniforms, your laws, your technology. You are not welcome here." He backed up and started to leave. "Get him something to eat. the execution is tonight."
Maybe I'd be joining my father quicker then I originally thought.
A while later, a group of young Kazon were brought to my holding area.
"You get them involved young, Hahlees," I observed.
"As soon as they're young enough to protect their younger siblings," he said. I walked so I was in front of them. I smiled, hopefully encouraging them to think before acting.
"So they brought you here to see your first human. Take a good look. You won't see any hate in my eyes. I'm a gentle man from a gentle people who wish you no harm."
"That's enough. Rahzehk said, coming in.
"I know you want them to hate me, Rahzehk," I said as he came in. "But I want their first impression of humans to be a good one."
"You've been brought here to learn what it means to be a Kazon male. You all know Kahr, you've learned to fight together, haven't you? Kahr was sent to kill this man, to earn his Ogla name. But Kahr failed and will not earn his name even in death. Who would be willing to kill the human?" He questioned, pulling out a nasty looking knife. All those kids grabbed at it.
"So much for first impressions, Federation." He lowered the weapon. "I'm proud of you. Each will get your chance someday. But that's not what we're here for today. We are here to learn the price of failure in battle."
He held up the weapon to me, blade down. "Take it," he said.
"What for?" I asked.
"So you can kill Kahr as you should have done in battle."
"You want me to kill a child? In front of other children? What would it accomplish?" I asked.
"It will teach these little boys an important lesson. And after you do that, you'll be free to go."
Great! Kill a kid, get out free and fight my conscious for the rest of my life. . . no thank you.
"You may think I want your friend Kahr to die, but you'd be wrong. I've seen too many Ogla die at the hands of our enemies. That's why you must learn there are no second chances in battle. That is why Kahr must die."
He thrust the weapon at me. "If I refuse?" No answer. With a deep breath, I took that damnable weapon in both hands, then proceeded to drop it. I hadn't been in the Maquis for nothing.
I reached down to retrieve it and body tackled him, taking him by surprise. I put that ugly knife to his throat.
"I'll be needing my shuttle back," I said.
"Do you really think you can escape us in that little vessel of yours?"
"That's a chance I'm willing to take. What about you?"
"Let the coward run," Hahlees said. "Prepare his shuttle." I pulled him to his feet, not letting go. I looked at Kahr.
"You want to come? There doesn't seem to be much of a future for you here." Thinking they'd kill him anyway.
"He'd rather die then run like a cowardly dog like you, Federation." To my surprise, Kahr kicked him in the leg and grabbed his weapon.
"If I stay here, I'll die without a name. And Rahzeke taught me only cowards die without a name," Kahr said.
"You won't find your name running after the Federation, Kahr."
"Maybe not. But that's a chance I'm willing to take." We left.
"I'll show you how to disable the weapons systems," Kahr said.
We got the hell out of there. Once underway, Kahr finally spoke.
"Will Rahzeke be all right?"
"Don't worry, he's only stunned," I answered. The shuttle rocked. "Didn't take them long to get those weapons back on line, did it? Computer, prepare to go to warp."
"No," Kahr interupted. "Their ships are more clumsy at slower speeds. We should try to out maneuver them."
"You're the boss," I said, figuring he may know more then me about their capabilities.
Initiate evasive pattern Beta two, full impulse."
"I can give you the shield frequencies of their ship. We can hit them back easily," Kahr argued.
"It may mean something to you to die a violent death, but I'd like to get out of this without killing or being killed."
"You'd rather die in your sleep, a wrinkled old man?"
"Sounds about right," I gave him. Another shot rocked the shuttle. "Computer, damage report."
"Aft shields at 63%."
"We're not going to make it like this. Computer, scan for an M-class atmosphere."
"There is a M-class moon at bearing 108 mark 18. Distance, 1.9 billion kilometers."
"That's Tarok. Where the Ogla conduct training exercises." Kahr said.
"Anybody training there now?" I asked. He shook his head no. "Computer lay in a course to the moon. Evasive pattern Omega 1, maximum impulse."
We high tailed it, but the ship hit us. "Warning. Aft shields penetrated. Hull breach is imminent."
"Computer, prepare for long range transport. Two to beam to the surface."
"Transport is not recommended. The moon is out of safety range."
Well, that's one way to die.
But we didn't. The next thing I knew, we were flat on our backs on the moon. No shuttle. Not recommended? Hah! It worked. Of course I was wondering how to explain this to Kathryn.
"Kahr?" I asked.
"It worked," he said with some disbelief.
"The computer said that transport wasn't recommended. It didn't say it was impossible. With any luck, Rahzeke will think we didn't survive the explosion. Then maybe you'll get your name for dying in battle."
"In battle?" he said, "That wasn't a battle, we didn't even shoot back. And now I'm stranded here. . . with you."\
"Yes, you're stranded here with me. And I'm stranded here with you. Because for some reason that escapes me at the moment, I keep saving your life. If you want to hate me for that, fine, but I would really appreciate it if you kept it to yourself." I retaliated, my patience at an end.
"You. . . ." He began.
"TO YOURSELF!" I yelled, patients long gone. That irritated him and he stalked off.
"The first thing we've got to do is find some shelter and get out of this heat. Any suggestions?" I asked, pulling out my tricorder.
He pointed down the slope. I pulled my weapon, not knowing what we would be running into. "I think we're finally beginning to understand each other." He followed.
"You don't know what you're doing," came from behind me. I turned around.
"What did I just say?" I said. Kahr crouched down and picked up a rock and threw it.
"Get down." I'll be damned if there wasn't an explosion.
"What the hell was that?" I said.
"A proton beam. They're hidden everywhere along with bio magnetic traps and disrupter snares."
"Charming," I replied.
"I told you, the Ogla train on this moon. I was here myself last year with Rahzeke."
"So I guess you know your way around."
"I know that you're in my territory. And if you want to live to become that wrinkled old man, you're going to have do what I say," he said.
"Well, it looks like you just saved my life. Twice more, and we'll be even."
And I followed him.
We found shelter. A cave. I explored while Kahr sulked.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm setting my tricorder to emit a homing signal."
"What for?" he asked.
"So when my people show up, they'll know where to look for me."
"They won't come." Kahr said. "They'll think you're dead."
"They're very persistent. I'm betting they haven't given up on me."
He pulled his weapon. "Maybe I should kill you. And steal your technology and give it to my people. That would give me my name."
"You just won't give up, will you?"
He put it down. "You won't stop me from earning my name, Federation."
Oh, I was tired of that. "Not Federation! Chakotay! That's my name!"
"Did you have to earn it?"
"No, not exactly."
"Then your name means nothing."
"My name was a gift," I said rising to the bait. "From my tribe. I cherish it everyday of my life. Just as I cherish the Federation uniform."
"I should respect you because you wear that uniform?"
"Your name. My uniform. Not much difference. We both have to earn them," I pointed out. He swiveled on his rock.
"What did you have to do to earn your uniform?"
"Study. Years of study. Learning about science and ships and navigation."
"I suppose they don't expect you to prove your battle skills."
"No. They prepared us to defend ourselves in battle. They prepared us very well. We had to pass many difficult tests before we were given the right to wear the uniform."
"You're saying that my name and your uniform mean the same thing. But you're wrong."
"Why? What's so different about us? Aside from the fact that I keep saving your life and you keep threatening to kill me," I said.
"I must protect my territory. Territory is power." Kahr said.
"Let me tell you something: I have no interest in your territory or anybody else's. My people taught me a man does not own land. He doesn't own anything but the courage and loyalty in his heart. That's where my power comes from." I started away. "I think both of us could use some sleep, don't you?" I adjusted my tricorder and settled in.
I can't say that I really slept. I didn't trust Kahr, so I dozed, something I learned in the Maquis. . . that you don't ever sleep heavy with the enemy around.
I awoke the next morning, somewhat rested. I walked around a bit to knock out the links.
"Good morning," I said. "How did you sleep?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"Really? You seemed a little restless to me. All that sulking around, throwing things."
"You were awake?" Somewhat surprised.
"You think I'm going to get much sleep around an Ogla warrior who's threatened to kill me? Why didn't you go through with it?"
"I'm a coward," he said, his voice flat.
"I don't believe that. I don't believe you do either. I think maybe you're beginning to realize that I'm not your enemy and only a fool would kill a friend."
"Would any other Kazon sect accept you?"
"I'd be a Govin, an outcast. Each Kazon sect I meet would cut one digit off, send me away."
"How many Kazon sects are there?"
"Changes everyday. Yesterday there were eighteen."
"I guess you could come with us."
"To do what? Dress in a uniform?"
"You wouldn't have to wear a uniform," I said, thinking briefly about Neelix and Kes.
"And the closer you get to your home, the farther I would be from mine. If only you had killed me."
I didn't know how to respond. In a lot of ways we were the same. I felt for the kid, being caught in something like that.
"Tell me about the other uniforms, the ones the Kazon fought."
"The Trabe. The Kazon share their homeworld, if you can call it sharing. They had everything, we had nothing. Until we took it from them in the revolt, twenty six years ago."
We were interrupted by the homing signal in my tri-corder going off. "What is it?" Kahr asked. I looked quickly.
"People coming this way... human and kazon."
"What're we going to do?" Kahr asked.
"There's only one way back to the Ogla for you, and that's if you earn your name. So, I guess that's what you'll have to do."
"You're going to have to kill me." A simple way. There was disbelief in those eyes.
"Voyager to Chakotay. Do you read?" What a nice sound, even if was Paris, still very welcome.
"I'm fine, Paris."
"Stand by for us to beam you out of there."
"Belay that, Voyager. Stand by." I took a reading with my tricorder. "According to my readings, the away team is only fifty meters away."
"Right, but there's. . ." Paris began.
"Alert sickbay to prepare for a code white resurection."
"Did you say code white?" Paris asked.
"Correct. I don't have time to explain now. Chakotay out." And I cut the transmission. I addressed Kahr.
"It'll be all right. Our technology can revive me even if I'm brain dead for two minutes."
"Why are you doing this?" Kahr asked.
"Like you said, it's my fault because you don't have your name. I can't leave you behind like this." It may have been the first nice thing anyone had ever done for him.
"Chakotay to away team."
"Good to hear your voice, Commander," Kathryn said. It was good to hear her voice too.
"Captain, proceed with caution. I've been taken prisoner by a young Kazon. He's threatening to kill me."
I sat with my back against the cave wall. Kahr holding his weapon as if to kill me. That's when I heard footsteps. . .Kazon.
"I've been waiting for you, Rahzeke."
"So, the Federation Commander is your prisoner?"
"I only came with him so I could have another chance to kill him."
"So you could earn your name."
"That's what I've been hoping for Rahzeke. But you taught me well. I know what you're going to say, you've said it so many times before. In battle, there are no second chances." About then, I saw Tuvok enter the cave. They were showing no hostility.
"But you are not my enemy." And Kahr turned from me. "He is!" And he shot Rahzeke. I stood.
"My name is Jahl Kahrdane, Kazon Ogla." He stepped toward his won kind. "You're first Mahj now, Kahlees, my life is yours. Kill me if you wish, or let me live and I'll follow you into battle whenever you command."
"Jahl Kahrdane. Kazon Ogla," Kahlees said.
Kahr turned back toward me.
"The Federation does not belong here. If we meet again, I will not hesitate to kill you."
"I understand," I said. I regrouped with the other and Kathryn ordered beam out.
I decided to try the ritual on ship this time. Kathryn promised no interruptions.
"Achoochimoya. . . I pray on this day of memories, to speak with my father the one whom the wind called Kolopak. Father, if you can hear me among these unnamed stars, I ask you to continue to watch over me as you've always done. I ask you also to watch over a boy called Kahrdane, who has a difficult path to travel. Achoochimoya. . . ."
What a web we weave.