Waking up

Imagine being on the Voyager after escaping the aliens who abducted you. You set course to earth together with Captain Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok, Harry and Seven. Icheb gets a crush on you. Neelix teaches you how to cook. The doctor sees you as his personal psychologist. Tom and B’Ellanna are having a furious marriage.
But your abductors come back to claim you as their property.
(_Stardate 54400 – 54470; Season 7, episode 10 – 13)

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6. Tracked down

Stardate 54412.8, May 31, 2377, afternoon.

I was short on breath when I finally climbed up and found someone from security.
“What happened?”
“The scanners indicated an energy fluctuation in space. These things followed us at warp 6, entered the ship and started attacking us.”
“Have you seen one?”
I followed the hurried crewman with his armed faser. He ran towards a specific goal.
“No, you?”
“I don’t know. I have this strange feeling…”
When we crossed the next corner, a horrific scene made us stop abruptly. There was another crewman, half being sucked up by this… giant jellyfish with vibrating pudding skin.
The security guard wanted to start shooting, but I jumped towards him and averted his arm just in time.
“Don’t! You’ll hurt him! The thing won’t even feel it.”
“Then what are we supposed to do?!”
Tuvok and Chakotay arrived and watched the pudding-like creature absorbing one of their man with horror.
“He’ll spit him out,” I said, “call for the doctor, he’ll need oxygen.”
Chakotay clamped on to me.
“Lin, do you know what kind of creature this is?”
“Compare them with dogs… I’ve seen them before on the other ship. My abductors sent them to track me down.”
I started to back off when the slug-thing spit out the crewman and hovered towards us. I had to keep moving if it was me they were looking for.
Tuvok and the other guy turned one way, Chakotay and me the other way. He covered my back with the faser, but it had no effect.
“Is there a way to take them down?” Chakotay asked.
We were running now and had shaking the slug off.
“High frequencies and some sorts of radiation can chase them away… Salt! Sodium! They’re like slugs!”
One of the creatures penetrated the wall in front of me. Chakotay almost bumped into me when I breaked and turned. I pushed my communicator.
“Lin to captain! Those things are after me. I’m taking them to deck E. Evacuate the area!”
She responded immediately: “Lin, I’m not going to let them take you. That’s suicide!”
Chakotay responded: “Captain, I have a plan. Can we put sodium in the environment regulators on deck E? That may chase them away.”
B’Elanna and Harry picked in on that idea immediately. Soon, a plan was made and Chakotay and I arrived on deck E. I stopped running.
“If they… suck me up, touch me, whatever, they’ll alarm the mothership. They’re slightly toxic too, if I remember correctly, but not deadly.”
Our breaths were short. Chakotay nodded: “You start to remember things, good.”
“No, it’s like… I’m supposed to know this, an instinct.”
“Your DNA…”
That struck me as logical.
Now, we waited, ready to run. Silence fell, the alarm was turned off. Our bodies were tensed. We stood in the middle of an intersection and I closed my eyes in an attempt to see the slugs better.
“They’re comings this way, all of them. Your crew is now being left alone.”
I pushed my communicator: “Naomie?”
“Yes?”
“Are you still hiding?”
“ Yes… there was something here, but it left.”
“Good girl, keep the door closed.”
I took a relieved breath and explained myself to Chakotay.
“I like that kid.”
He smiled: “Everyone on this ship, believe me.”
A sound reached my skin, it came from above. I jumped aside, but wasn’t fast enough. The slug grabbed my arm and started to pull me in. It burned and I screamed in pain. Chakotay pulled from the other side, but it had no effect.
“Lin, hang on!!!”
Soon, we were surrounded and I became nauseous.
“Run… they’re not going to touch you…, go.”
But he was determined to get me out of here.
Finally, a salty smoke was injected in the air and the slugs started to screech.
I was already being half sucked up, but was smashed out. I fell on top of Chakotay and the slugs disappeared. They left deck E, soon abandoned the ship.
“They’re gone, but Lin is hurt.”
I was sick and on the point of throwing up. It was an effect of the poison. I was in shock, so had to be carried to the infirmary.
When we arrived, the place was overcrowded. Everyone had the same symptoms. I felt guilty.
Supported by Chakotay, I reached a computer.
“What are you doing?”
“Making a medicine. Or else, this could carry on for days.”
I laid my hand on the console and transferred the right information. A recipe for a treatment for human skin and organs appeared on the screen.
But then I had to turn away and vomit in the first tray I found. It had already been used by someone else, but we didn’t care.
Behind me, the doctor said: “Lin! That’s brilliant! I can start treating everybody with a simple shower and an ointment.”
Only a few minutes later, everyone received an injection and was send away with the order to shower and apply the ointment where the slugs had touched us. The worst cases stayed in the infirmary and were treated by the doctor and Tom. They were very busy by the time I left and collided with Icheb at the door.
“Oh! I’m sorry,” he gently supported my arm. I was dizzy, “I was looking for you, Lin. Is everything alright? Are you damaged?”
“I’m feeling really sick, I should go to my room…”
I showed him the ointment.
“I’ll help you with that.”
He took the jar from me and with my arm over his shoulder, we continued our way to my quarters.
“I haven’t seen you the last two days. I had to help Seven of Nine with calculations…”
His excuses continued for a while. He was chatty and I knew that right now, he was no longer being efficient, but nervous.
“Icheb, it’s okay. I understand.”
“Oh, you do?”
“I’ll drop by more if that makes you feel better…”
I was too tired to explain myself further, but before we entered, I managed to say: “It’ll make me feel better too.”
I plunged down on a chair. Icheb opened the door to the bathroom and turned on the sonic shower.
“Get up, you have to get the mucus out of your system,” he said when he lifted me easily and helped me in the shower. I sat down on the floor.
“Get off your shirt,” he ordered. I laughed, sitting there like a tired potato.
“Yes, sir!”
I tried, but another wave of sickness hit me and I moaned.
Next thing, Icheb kneeled down, pulled my shirt over my head and started to spread the ointment over my back, then my chest.
I could see how irritated and red the skin was, where the jellyfish had touched me. I spotted the same thing in Icheb’s neck, where my arm had been.
“Icheb, your neck…”
He stopped and looked me in the eyes.
“What is it?”
I simply took some ointment and carefully rubbed his neck, getting even closer.
Suddenly, he blushed and looked away. He must have realized how close we were and how naked I was, with only a bra to cover my upper body.
“Can you manage alone from here?” he asked, desperate to get away.
“Sure… But can you go look if Naomie is okay? I told her to hide and she probably still is in that closet.”
He looked worried now, a brother kind of worried.
“Good idea. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He got up and was about to leave.
“Wait, I missed a spot!”
He came back and kneeled down again, slightly hesitating.
I laid my hand in his neck and got closer.
Then, he kissed me on the lips and pulled back quickly.
“See you tomorrow,” he confirmed.
Now he did leave for real and left me confused in the sonic shower. So, I told myself: “I really did miss a spot… Oh, whatever.”
I smiled, took some more ointment and applied it on my arm. I fell asleep on the floor of the shower. But the next morning I woke up in my bed.

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