Captain's Log: Stardate 53180.5
Starship Voyager on training mission to Gamma Hydra. Sector 14, coordinates 45/66/2. Approaching Valanise expanse.
Chakotay circled the back of the bridge, hands behind his back. This had been a combination of ideas stemming from himself, Kathryn and Tuvok. It was a way for the Starfleet officers, former Maquis members and members of other races who had decided to venture with Voyager, to practice sitting in the big seat. The holodeck served as the simulator. He had dug into the Federation and Starfleet archives along with Tuvok, to find some of the older simulations, such as the infamous Kobayoshi Maru.
He listened to Seven of Nines cool recitation of the log, noting that it sounded official and accurate. If she were nervous, she didn't show it.
"Sector 14 to sector 15." Paris said from the helm. Some of the senior officers sat in on simulation, offering help to the crewmen who were taking this simulation.
"Set us on a course to avoid the Alban neutral zone." Seven said, loosely gripping the arm rests of the command chair.
"Aye, sir. Altering course to avoid entering neutral zone." Seven continued to stare at the view screen, pleased with her performance to this point. This was not as difficult as Captain Janeway had made it sound. Chakotay circled around and stepped down in front of Seven and quietly sat in his customary seat.
"Captain," Harry Kim reported from Ops. "I'm receiving a signal on the distress signal. Very faint. . ."
"Patch it through on speakers." Chakotay smirked as he recognized the voice. A crackled, cackled broken sounding Kathryn Janeway.
"Mayday, mayday. Kobayashi Maru, twelve parsecs out of Alban VI. . ." Kathryn's voice broke, sounding like an authentic distress call. ". . .gravitic mine, lost all power. Environmental controls. . ."
Seven looked up to Harry. "Mr. Kim, long range scans of the ship." Janeway's voice continued.
". . .hull breached, many casualties." The message was becoming unreadable.
"This is Voyager," Seven began, "Your message is breaking up. Give your coordinates. Repeat: Give your coordinates. Do you copy?"
"Copy, Voyager. Sector 10. . ."
"In the neutral zone." Seven said, mostly to herself. She turned to Harry. "What are the long range scanners reading, Mr. Kim."
"Data being relayed to your console, Captain." Harry said. Chakotay brought up the information.
"Mayday, Voyager. We're losing our air. Can you help?" Janeway's voice began to shatter.
"Kobayahsi Maru, third class neutronic fuel carrier." He looked over the console to Seven. "There are three hundred and eighty people on board that ship."
"Damn." Seven muttered. The first time Chakotay had ever heard the former Borg swear. "Mr. Paris, set course for Kobayshi Maru."
"Course plotted and laid in." Paris said. From his vantage point, Neelix stepped forward.
"May I remind the Captain, should a starship enter this zone without prior permission of the Alban. . ." He began.
"I am fully aware of my responsibilities, Mr. Neelix." Seven said, giving him a cool stare.
"Entering neutral zone." Paris said from the helm, watching his controls.
"We are now in violation of the treaty we reached with the Alban." Chakotay said. Seven ignored him and hailed the transporter room.
"Mr. Vorik, prepare to beam survivors aboard." She said. Before she could issue anymore orders, Harry spoke up from behind them.
"I've lost their signal." He said. He frantically began pushing buttons and trying to regain the ship.
"Captain," Tuvok said from the Security console, "Three Hirogen ships approaching coordinates."
"Red alert." Seven chimed. The first Hirogen ship fired, causing the helm console to explode. Paris was hurtled out of his chair, unconscious on the floor. The doctor, who had been observing from the moment he received the call that there might be casualties, leapt over the railing to check on Paris. He checked for a pulse and found none.
Seven hit her comm badge. "Engineering, status report." Her voice crisp as the smoke filled the bridge.
"Main energizers off line." Torres said.
Doc got to his feet to check on another crew member at the science station, only to be thrown back against Paris. His program disappeared from the bridge.
"Hail them." Seven ordered.
"The Hirogen are not responding." Tuvok said.
"Fire at will." Seven said, turning in time to see Tuvok's console blow out, sending him back against the back wall and slumping to the floor. As Harry tried to reroute power, he yelled out.
"No power to the weapons captain." His console blew and Harry slumped across it. Chakotay tried rerouting anything he could find, then made his way to the engineering console, only to find the same fate as his comrades.
Seven stood and surveyed the damage. "All hands, this is the captain. Report to escape pods and prepare to abandon ship. Computer, lock the log buoy and jettison. All hands, abandon ship. Repeat: all hands abandon ship."
She blinked wildly as an invisible voice intoned. "All right. Open it up."
A silhouette was outlined by the bright light of the holodeck. "Lights." The voice said. The lights on the bridge simulation turned on to reveal Kathryn Janeway. The arms of her uniform were pushed up and from her waist, hung a silver watch.
"Any advice, Captain?" Seven said.
"Prayer, Seven. From our experience, the Hirogen play with their captives." She stepped down and looked to the engineering station.
"Commander?" She asked, as Chakotay slowly opened his eyes and reached up to the console above him and stood.
Janeway walked around the bridge. "Helmsman, heal thyself." She said walking past Paris who was still sprawled on the deck, looking up at her.
"Is that all you've got to say, captain. What about my performance?" He said, pouting slightly.
"I'm not a drama critic." Janeway said.
"So, Seven. You going to stay with the sinking ship?" Janeway said, stepping down to the command level. Seven turned and looked at her.
"Permission to speak candidly, captain."
"Granted." Janeway said.
"I do not believe this is a fair test of my command ability."
"And why not?" Janeway said, looking at the damage. She nodded toward to Chakotay to go ahead and leave, that she'd meet with him in a few minutes.
"Because, there was no way to win." Seven said. Janeway sighed. She hated getting into these debates with Seven.
"A no win situation is a possibility that every commander must face."
"That thought had not occurred to me." Seven said.
"Well, now you have something new to think about." Janeway walked around to the exit to the holodeck. "The rest of you are dismissed."
Janeway stepped out of the holodeck and sighed. She noticed Chakotay leaning casually against the wall.
"Aren't you dead?" She asked, a grin spreading across her face. Chakotay just grinned at her. "I assume you're loitering around here to see what kind of grade I give your's and Tuvok's students."
"I'm slightly curious, Kathryn." He said, falling in step with her.
"They destroyed the holodeck and you with it." She stopped a moment, the thought of losing Chakotay running rampant through her head. She quickly pushed it aside and continued on.
"That simulation has always played havoc with cadets and equipment. Didn't you take something similar more then once yourself?" Chakotay asked. He knew the answer. "Your final solution, was a Janeway move all the way."
"It had the distinction of never had been tried."
"Trying to beat Kirk?" Chakotay said.
"Not at all." They stepped into the hydroponics bay. "By the way, I'd like to thank you for this." Kathryn said, fingering the watch that hung at her waist.
"Well, I had been reading old nautical stories and the story of Captain Cray and his determination to get his crew home reminded me of someone I know." He reached out and gently stroked her cheek with the back of a finger.
She opened it and read the inscription. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." She closed it. "Message, Chakotay."
"Always, Kathryn. Simply, we've seen the best, we've seen the worst."
She reached out an laid a hand on his shoulder. "Thank you. It's one of the most precious gifts I've ever had."
"Commander Chakotay, please report to Engineering." Torres voice said over the ship wide channel.
"What are you doing?"
"Mediating between B'Elanna and Seven again. And you?" He said, walking the opposite direction, backwards.
"To my quarters." She said, watching his retreating figure. She fingered the watch possessively. "Soon, my friend. Soon."