All hail Paramount, I'm just playing in their yard

**Personal Log of Commander Chakotay**


By Mindy

Well, we have our job cut out for us. We are still minus a few vital officers and department heads.

I was going to recommend B'Elanna Torres for the position of Chief Engineer. She just about ruined that when she struck Lt. Carey.

We have to work together if we're to fit in. This is making my job harder. I figured B'Elanna would fight the hardest with this union.

Was I ever right.

Tuvok wanted to put her in the brig. Not that I blame him, but throwing everyone in the brig isn't going to solve the problems this union can cause.

B'Elanna is maquis, sometimes you have to push to get what you want. I told Tuvok this, hoping to make my point clear that we were use to a different set of rules then Starfleet.

Tuvok pointed out we are not maquis, but Starfleet Officers.

I used my rank on him to keep B'Elanna out of the brig, so I could handle the problem on my own. Tuvok wasn't happy, yet neither was I. All the former maquis are my responsibility. It isn't fair to dump the problems with my former crew on Janeway's lap. If anything, I figured they would listen to me.

When I headed to B'Elanna's quarters, two of my former crew approached me, stated some rumors that they had heard (my, how news flies on ship this small), then told me if I wanted to take the ship, they were behind me.

They were talking mutiny. There's no way in hell I'd do it.

I told them if I ever heard them talking that way again, I would personally throw them in the brig. It wasn't a threat, but a promise.

B'Elanna was fit to be tied when I arrived at her quarters. Well, pissed may better describe her mood, though I'm not sure pissed would describe a half Klingon.

She threw a bowl at me. Okay, it was at the door. But just a little further up and she could have done some damage. Obviously, she wasn't in the mood, and to be quite frank, neither was I.

I handed her the report on Lt. Carey. A little more force and she may have killed him. She countered and I laid it out for her. . . I had a Vulcan who wanted to court martial her and the Maquis wanting to take control of the ship.

The beginning's of a lousy day.

I told her she would have to cool it if she wanted to be Chief Engineer. She said that Carey was next in line. Yes, Carey is next in line, but B'Elanna is a better engineer. I knew she was. I left her to ponder this. B'Elanna had no choice: sink or swim.

I wonder what Janeway will have to say about that. Especially since I hadn't brought it up.

At the staff meeting, we discussed power transfer. Kes suggested a hydroponics bay. I like that idea. Fresh food. Janeway let her be in charge of it since it was her idea. At least that gives Kes something functional to do, other then spend time with Neelix.

Then came the personal problem. I submitted a list of my former crew whom I thought would make good replacements. The Captain was startled by B'Elanna's name on that list. After all, she had hit Carey, a member of her crew.

But I was serious. I knew B'Elanna could do it. She half-way skipped over the issue for now and made Paris became our new field medic.

Then something threw us. . . hard.

Found a type 4 Quantum singularity. The ship was in distress.

I went over Janeway's head and asked B'Elanna if she had any ideas. Big mistake, I could feel those eyes glaring at me. I'd overstepped my boundaries.

Then she asked Lt. Carey about it. Surprisingly enough, he agreed with B'Elanna.

Janeway stepped over to me and asked to talk to me in private. Her ready room.

Ass chewing time. Way to go, Chakotay. Let's see if you can push her into slicing through you with a phaser.

The door wasn't even shut before she laid into me.

"We have a problem and I think it's time we discussed it," she said.

"Captain, I appreciate your concerns about Torres, but I promise you..."

She jumped in before I could finish.

"You don't understand, Commander. This isn't about Torres. My problem is with you." Well, I've had Torres pissed at me, might as well make it two for two.

"Me?" I said, somewhat surprised.

"Let me be blunt. What you tried to do just now, was out of line."

"In what way?"

"When you decided to call Torres in Engineering."

"I've worked with her. I know what she's capable of. We needed an answer right away and I knew she could give us one."

"Carey is the senior officer in Engineering."

"If you look at it that way, none of my people will ever have seniority." Wrong thing to have said. She stepped down to my level.

"That's the problem right there." She was in my face in a heartbeat. "They're not your people. You're treating the Maquis on the ship like they were still your crew."

"I'm doing everything I can to integrate them into your crew. But frankly, you're not making it easy for me, Captain."

"I can't make it easy, Commander. Surely you can understand that. They don't have the discipline. They don't have the training."

"But some of them, like B'Elanna Torres have the ability." Sometimes, that was what made the difference between life and death. One simple ability.

"The Starfleet officers on this ship have worked all their lives to earn their commissions. How am I suppose to ask them to accept a Maquis as their superior officer, just because circumstances has forced us together."

"You're asking them to accept me." I bit back.

"You're qualified. You're a graduate of the Academy and you have Starfleet Command experience."


I was at a lose of words for a moment, then got it together. "Permission to speak freely?"

"Go ahead." That surprised me a little.

"I have no intention of being your token Maquis officer." That surprised her. I'm surprised I had enough guts to say it.

"Show me another qualified Maquis candidate and I'll consider him."

"B'Elanna Torres."

"Who cannot control herself and who could not make it through the Academy."

"She's the best engineer I've ever known. She could teach at the Academy." I turned my back on Janeway, still fuming. "You're right, Captain. I do consider these my people. Because no body else on this ship will look out for them like I will. And I'm telling you, you're going to have to give them more authority if you want their loyalty." I laid it on the line for her. Simple.

"Theirs? Or yours, Commander?"

"I'm trying to help you. I'm sorry you don't see that. I strongly recommend you get to know Torres before you choose a new Chief Engineer." I hesitated. "Permission to leave?"


And I left. I hope I hadn't jeopardized my position. She was pissed.

Well, the ingenious idea that B'Elanna and Carey worked on, didn't work. We messed up big time.

We ended up bringing Neelix up to the bridge to help us.

We are getting no where. We're going around in circles.

I'll give her credit. Janeway at least let B'Elanna come to the staff meeting. I suppose you could call it a major leap, but I'm not really sure. They're both stubborn, hard headed. Maybe that's what makes them what they are.

27 crewmembers have been plagued by some rather strange problems. All probably from this Quantum Singularity. The doctor didn't fail to point out how much he had shrunk. It was all I could do to keep from bursting out laughing. Especially about the comment about not reaching his patients.

B'Elanna made some points with Janeway during that meeting. When we left, I turned and looked at Janeway. She smiled and nodded.

Maybe I could get through to her. Just maybe.

Then we clarified the message. . . and it was us. That is one eerie thing, hearing your own message from hours ago.

So we all went back to the briefing room. Oh, Temporal Mechanics; I've never really understood them.

Like minds think alike; in this case Janeway and B'Elanna. It was kind of scary. They can work together. And she took B'Elanna with her and left me in charge.

Another leap of faith.

I never knew what happened on that shuttle, but it was something good. Something that made Janeway change her mind.

B'Elanna became Voyager's Chief Engineer.

From our upper level lookout, Janeway and I could see well. It was a great feeling seeing B'Elanna take charge of the situation like a professional.

"Are you checking on your new Chief Engineer?" I asked, joining her.


"And?" I asked.

"Two crewmembers have already filed complaints about her promotion. And she may be in for a tough period of adjustment. But I think B'Elanna is going to make a fine addition to this crew. Our crew." She finished and I smiled at her.

"Can I ask you a question?" We both started away from our vantage point. "Off the record?" She nodded. "If things had happened differently and we were on the maquis ship instead of Voyager, would you have served under me?" Curiosity never hurt anyone. And did it have a double meaning (not though, that I intended it to).

"One of the nice things about being captain, is that you can keep something's to yourself." She smiled at me.

Makes you wonder. Janeway is finally showing some trust. . .in me . . .in B'Elanna. Perhaps the Maquis members of this crew as a whole. Excuse me, former Maquis.

Captains always tend to shield themselves, hide behind built up walls. I think Kathryn Janeway has. Maybe not always. Maybe her crew can help her knock those walls down.

It's never too late.

I think I'm going to like Captain Kathryn Janeway.

**End Log**

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