The torpedo tube lowered from the ceiling on it's carrier. A Federation flag draped over it. Kathryn had debated about whether it would seem appropriate. Small inquiries with both Tuvok and B'Elanna had told her that Chakotay would have believed it to be an honor. That from the beginning, he'd given himself, his ship, for Starfleet and Captain Janeway.
Harry Kim stepped forward and removed the flag from the torpedo. The sound of his boot heels was the only sound that was present in the launch room. Usually, a memorial service was held in the mess hall, but Kathryn had changed the rules at the last moment. She wanted to see him off, the whole way.
"We are gathered here today to pay final respects to our honored dead." Kathryn stared straight ahead, not really seeing the ones who stood in front of her. She had opted for not doing the standard eulogy given an officer, but one from the heart. Her own tribute to a man she admired, whom she called friend and the one she loved.
"And though it should be noted that our comrade gave his life in place of ours, we shall not debate his wisdom at these proceedings. Commander Chakotay died as he lived, with honor, grace and devotion. He knew the consequence of his actions and he faced the challenge as he always had. He gave his life, so that we may continue on this voyage." He did it for me. Kathryn thought.
"I know it's hard to understand what drives a man, a soul, to give of himself this way. We'll never know. But Chakotay wouldn't want us to grieve too long. He'd want us to live for him. See what he couldn't see. In his honor, we'll do just that."
Kathryn took a deep breath and noticed the faces of those around her. The men trying vainly to hold back their tears. She knew for their eyes glistened with them. B'Elanna was more forward, letting the tears fall freely down her cheeks. "Of my friend, I can only say this. That of all the souls I've encountered, his was the most-caring, loyal, dedicated, loving, beautiful-of anyone I've ever known. On a personal note. . ." Kathryn hesitated, not sure if she wanted to say it or not. "I loved him more then anyone I've ever known." She looked down to the floor.
Harry stepped back up. "Honors: hut.i" As the crew stood at attention, crewman McLeod began playing a mournful instrument. The wailing cry filled the loading bay. Kathryn recognized the tune as "Amazing Grace". She wasn't sure if the piece were appropriate, but it seemed to put a close to the last few days.
The coffin slid down the length of the loading bay, then into the arming mechanism. Tuvok put a final order into the computer and the torpedo shot out into space.
Kathryn gave one look around and sighed. "Dismissed." She said quietly. It was over. Her own soul had been shot into space with Chakotay's body. She looked up into the face of the Doctor.
"We all feel his loss, captain. But I would feel better if you took a couple of days off. Get back your perspective and balance. Allow yourself to grieve."
"Yes," She said, giving him a tired smile. "I'll rest."
Kathryn looked one more time to the loading mechanism and smiled.
"I'll rest, then I'll go on. I'll live."
She turned on her heel and left.