Okay, "Phage" is where I think I started to feel a little more comfortable in the Commander's skin. I think you'll see what I mean. I also added a little to the end that I know wasn't in the episode, but I thought it was rather sweet. After all, Chakotay is such a warm and caring person.

**Personal Log, Commander Chakotay**


By Mindy

We have encountered a planet that appears to be rich in dilithium crystals. I probably mirror Janeway's thoughts, that it would help with our energy shortage.

B'Elanna has already figured out a way to refine it. Janeway made comment that she's always trying to get around Starfleet procedures, but she was being good humored in the argument. Her attempt to be part of the crew, I guess.

"Her arguments are quite convincing and she thinks it can be done safely." I said, making sure that there was no misunderstanding.

"I'm sure it can. Tell her I want regular reports on her progress. Every step of the way." And she started again toward her private dining room. "Are you sure you won't join me for breakfast? I was thinking of having eggs benedict with asparagus, strawberries and cream. . ."

"Ahh?" I said, rubbing my chin.

"I said I was thinking about it. I'm actually having ration pack number five; stewed tomatoes with dehydrated eggs."

"Hmm," I said. "Sounds delicious, but I've already had my vacuum packed oatmeal this morning." She smiled at that.

"I'll see you on the bridge," she said. And I left. I hope this dithium works out, because I'm really tired of ration packed food.

We made it to the planetoid and I called Janeway to the bridge. B'Elanna figured between 500 and 1000 metric tons of dithium.

Janeway told me to take an away team and survey the caves. I picked Harry to join me. Neelix headed me off, however. Apparently, he's been trying to fit in by learning procedures. I don't think Janeway really wanted him to go, but his argument was sound. Besides, it may give him some valuable experience.

We beamed down. I told them to keep comm links open and not wander too far. Sound advice. We hadn't found anything, at least not resembling dithium. Harry was taking further readings, then Neelix hailed me.

"I think I've found something. A large cavern approximately twenty meters from my position. I'm reading a huge dithium formation there."

"Don't go any further, Neelix. Stay within the search radius. I'll be with you in a minute," I told him, still investigating myself.

"I'm in the cavern now, commander. I don't understand this."

"Let me guess?" I cut in. "Nothing there?"

"Not so mush as a sliver of dithium. and yet according to my readings, I should be surrounded by it."

"Well, I've had enough of this. Kim, Neelix, we're heading back to the ship. Rendezvous at the . . ." Neelix cut me off.

"Wait a minute. I'm getting an unusual reading from this rock face. Traces of organic energy. It looks like a bio electrical signature. I think there's something alive down here. It's about 2 meters into this rock face."

"Neelix, I said get back here," I ordered. No answer. "Neelix, did you hear what I said?" Something wasn't right.

"Just one minute, commander," he finally said.

Then I heard the most god-awful sound. "Neelix, what's wrong?" I asked. "Neelix?" Nothing. I took off at a run. "Kim?"

"I'm on my way, sir."

We found him, writhing on the ground. "I can't be sure, but I think he's going into shock. Chakotay to Voyager, medical emergency. Beam us directly to sickbay." I felt the familiar tingling of the transporter and sickbay materialized around us. Kim and I held (or attempted) to hold down Neelix.

The doctor appeared. "Get the blood/gas infuser." he said.

"The what?" I said, medical knowledge lacking.

"Equipment storage unit two, second shelf on the left. Now!" And I went to retrieve what the doc needed.

Total ass burner. . .Neelix's lungs had been removed.

Janeway came to sickbay. Concern on her face. I explained what happened.

". . .by the time we got to him, he was unconscious." I finished. Janeway was chewing her finger in thought.

"How could anyone remove his organs so quickly?"

"The doctor said whoever did it, used some kind of transporter to beam the lungs directly out of his body," I said.

We found no sign of the life form that did it. Kes came in, very worried about Neelix. Rightly so, I guess.

Harry looked at Neelix's tricorder, which did detect a life sign.

And I feel guilty.

Janeway decided to beam back down, taking three security details, leaving me in charge of the ship.

I don't know if I would want to go back down there. She has guts, I'll say that.

I went to the bridge and pondered what had happened, if anything could have been done differently. Rewind, review.

Then we detected an alien ship. I called Janeway, just as it was about to leave orbit.

She told us to beam them up and lay in a course for pursuit. Great plan. I hoped if this was a hunch on her part, that it was correct, that we were onto something. It was becoming something like a living nightmare. Organ stealing, mysterious beings that could do this. . .what had we run into?

B'Elanna and Tuvok analyzed the alien weapon that Janeway picked up on the planet. It puts a tricorder to shame. Why would someone with that kind of technology want with lungs?

Sounds like Tuvok knows Janeway pretty well. He knew exactly what she going to do, maybe before she even did. Maybe someday, I'll be able to read her like that, to know what's going through her head. Most first officers do.

I'll say this for Janeway, she'd do anything for anyone on this ship, whether it be Starfleet, maquis, Neelix or Kes. As a rule, Captain's do care. But, with us being the only ones out here, it becomes even more profound.

When we went into that chamber, well, lets just say it reminded me of a house of mirrors, with images of Voyager all over the place. If it hadn't been so eerie, it would have been fascinating.

So we sent out a minimal continues phaser blast to find a non reflective surface, my idea. Janeway agreed. We found them.

Janeway beamed them aboard, in hopes of gathering back Neelix's lungs.

According to Janeway, the race, called Viidians have offered to help Neelix and Kes volunteered to give him one of her lungs. And Janeway's allowing him to keep his kitchen.

And she's allowed the doctor to train Kes in sickbay. Good choice. Hope she takes it.

I hope we don't run into the Viidians again. They aren't exactly trustworthy.

I still feel guilty about what happened to Neelix. He said it wasn't my fault. He said, we, or more precisely he, didn't follow the orders of the superior officer. For that, he apologized to me.

It's good to have him back.


(moral of the story, when Chakotay says don't go any closer, dammit, listen to the man) ::grin::

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