The True Ancient Legend
It's late and the lights in the ready room are at full illumination. I'm sitting at my desk with a stack of PADDS either side of me.
I let out a sigh as another report is completed and placed on the pile to my left, the pile is getting bigger thankfully. I then look at the pile on my right and let out another sigh, this one doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. I sit back in the chair, head leaning on the headrest; then start to rub behind my eyes in a circular motion. I know that this is always a sign that I need a break but as usual I don't take any notice and pick up the next PADD on my right.
I begin to scan through the report from B'Elanna, requesting some additional help in engineering with something. I soon realize that I'm unable to even follow a simple request.
Saying out aloud to myself, "Well if it's like that then I suppose I should call it a night"
"Chakotay to Janeway"
"Kathryn, correct me if I am wrong but weren't we supposed to be meeting for dinner half an hour ago?"
Damm! I forgot about our dinner meeting, okay how are you going to explain this one? Simple, just tell the truth.
"Sorry Chakotay, I'm afraid that I got caught up in the weekly reports and time just slipped by. I'm on my way. Janeway out"
Taking one more look at the work on the desk, grabbing the PADD's that still need to be read, thinking to myself I will read these before I go to bed tonight, I head out of the ready room towards the turbo lift.
Walking into the Mess Hall I begin to scan the room for Chakotay. He's sitting at one to the tables in the far corner, and I head that way.
"I'm sorry Chakotay, but ."
Holding his hand up, "Kathryn stop. It's okay, I saw the pile of reports on your desk earlier. I had a feeling that you would forget". Then with a small laugh and a smile that shows off those dimples, "I think I would have forgotten as well. I bet that you didn't eat either! Right?" Nodding my head like a little girl who has been told off, yet in a teasing manner. "Thought so! Okay let's get some food and we can sit and talk later".
In a teasing voice, "Chakotay, you're so good to me. Thank you." I then jump up and walk over to Neelix who is preparing the food. This surprises Chakotay, as I hoped that it would, thinking I don't want to be to predicable to my first officer. Chakotay is behind me a few seconds.
"Captain, Commander, I take it that the both of you are eating dinner here tonight?"
"Yes Neelix, the Commander and I have a few things to go over before tomorrow ."
"And it's the only way I can make sure that the Captain actually stops to eat. So what have you cooked for tonight's meal, Neelix". He smiles at me and changes the subject somewhat to stop me from protesting. Now who's predicable!
"Well let's see, I have a really nice Vegetable and pasta dish that everybody seems to like"
"Sounds great Neelix, I'll have some of that and so will the Commander". I say with a smile directed back towards Chakotay.
"I'll just get your meals together and if you like I will bring them over? And just to remind the both of you about tomorrow, don't forget to find something about the culture, beliefs or something about your assigned member of the crew. And please make sure that it something that nobody knows about!"
"Don't worry Neelix, we wont forget" I lie, secretly thinking thanks goodness he mention that, I did forget, I will just have to look into it after my meeting with Chakotay.
"So Commander, have you done yours yet?"
"I managed to do it last night before I went to bed. What about you Captain?"
"I was leaving it till tonight"
We walk back to our table and start talking about ship business. We don't stop even when the food was brought over. Somehow this always seems to happen.
I let out another long sigh, I just completed the last report. I get up from the couch and head over to the replicator. "Computer, coffee". A fresh cup of coffee appears, the smell in itself is something I always look forward too.
I start thinking to myself, Okay I better do the research for tomorrow night's activity or I will never hear the end of it from Neelix and for that matter Chakotay!
I head over to my desk and sit in front of my terminal. "Computer, display all legends of the people of Doran V including those of when the tribe was on Earth."
What did Neelix say " ..to find something about the culture, beliefs or something about your assigned member of the crew. And please make sure that it something that nobody knows about! ." It would be so much easier if I could use one of the many stories that Chakotay has already told me.
"Request is completed"
"Okay, here we go."
A few hours later, I decide on the legend that I will use. I also came across something else, in a file called "Women's Business". It was an ancient legend, which is passed down from Mother to daughter. The reason I gather for this is because of the lesson within. Whatever the case I feel that need to talk about it with Chakotay, but tomorrow night's activity isn't the place. I must admit that it made me think about the current situation and whether things are right.
You need to confront Chakotay with this. He needs to know. It is his people's story, even if it reflects both of our lives.
I then start planning how I'm going to bring this up with Chakotay and when. This takes me almost the rest of the night, and includes a trip to the Holodeck.
By the end I felt satisfied with my efforts. In fact in most part it also help me with a question that had been on my mind since I came across the ancient legend.
The next day goes by without any surprises, which in turn puts the crew in a good mood for tonight's activities.
Neelix is MC for the night and everybody has a lot of fun and learns a lot more about each other. Tom had managed, and don't ask me how, to find a comic monologue from a Vulcan comedian. And I have to tell you that it was really funny, Tom even managed to the whole monologue in a monotone. Again I don't how he managed to do that. I must admit that I have always believed that Tuvok has a sense of humor you just have to know what to look for. Overall the night was a success.
Chakotay, who is standing with his back to me, turns around and begins to talk. "What did you think about tonight's activity Captain? Personally Tom part of the evening was great. But the highlight of the evening was when you talked about my people's belief in centering our lives with our surroundings and then and only then do you reach a place where you learn from the earth. It was interesting hearing from a someone else the teachings of my father, especially with your scientific way of looking at things."
"Thank you Chakotay, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading the stories of your people. But then again I have always enjoyed your telling of them."
Well here goes nothing. "In fact I came across another story, an ancient legend from your people that is only passed down from Mother to Daughter that I found fascinating. In fact there is a holodeck program somewhat based on the legend. I would love for you to have a look at it, I think that you will find it interesting!"
"It does sound interesting, how about now, it's not too late? Computer is holodeck one available?"
"Holodeck One is currently available"
"So how about showing me this legend!"
"Alright, let's go". I can't believe that I'm doing this!
Standing outside of Holodeck one I call up the program, which I had programmed last night.
"Enter when ready"
The holodeck door opens and we walked in. I look at Chakotay to see what his reaction is. It's a mixer of amazement and wonder.
The scene is of an Indian village around the turn of the 19th Century. I had programmed it at the time when the women of the tribes surround the wives of the Chief and the Medical Man. The young girls are milling around their mothers and grandmothers, listening to the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some of the stories are known as "Women's Busines". I explain this to Chakotay as we move closer to the group. I had also programmed that the Chief's wife would welcome both of us over to the group.
Chakotay initially looks uncomfortable but soon realizes that we are friends. The Chief's wife is the first to speak.
"Welcome back to our group Kathryn, I see that you brought a friend along!"
"Thank you, I was wondering if you could tell me and my friend Chakotay the legend you mentioned last time I visited."
"Of course my little one. I must mention to Chakotay that this legend is one that is held in great esteem to the women of this tribe and must not be recited to any of the men of the tribe without the permission of the women." Chakotay indicates that he will abide with their wishes.
So the Chief's wife starts telling the legend. "There is a legend among our people. It's about an angry warrior who lived his life in conflict with the rest of his tribe. A man who couldn't find peace even with the help of his spirit guide. For years he struggled with his discontent. But the only satisfaction he ever got came when he was in battle. This made him a hero among his tribe but the warrior still longed for peace within himself. One day he and his war party were captured by a neighboring tribe lead by a woman warrior. She called on him to join her because her tribe was too small and weak to defend itself from all its enemies. The woman warrior was brave and beautiful and very wise. The angry warrior swore to himself that he would stay by her side doing whatever he could to make her burden lighter. From that point on her needs would come first. And in that way the warrior began to know the true meaning of peace."
The women and girls in the circle begin to talk to each other about what had been said. At this point, Chakotay leans towards me and whispers in my ear, "Haven't I heard this one before?" The smile on his face spoke volumes.
I turn to him and whisper in his ear, "No you haven't, you see this is the true angry warrior legend." At this, Chakotay's smile disappears and is replace with questioning look. "Just listen to the rest of the story".
Chakotay turns back to the Chief's wife and she continues the story. "The woman warrior also began to know the true meaning of peace. She had become so used to handling everything herself that she felt that she didn't need anyone. But as the angry warrior made her burden lighter her attitude changed. Her tribe became strong and was respected among all the other tribes. One day she realized that her tribe was no longer her tribe but their tribe and that her burdens were no longer her burdens but theirs. The woman warrior swore to herself that she would never forget the sacrifice that the angry warrior made for her. And in time, would become his wife and they will continue to lead their tribe together as one."
I had programmed the computer so as the story continue that the setting would be replaced by the New Earth setting, the place where we had both heard the first part of the legend. Chakotay was to engross in the legend that he doesn't notice. Everything was going to plan.
At the end of the legend all the women disappear except for the Chief's wife who turn to Chakotay and me. "Chakotay I believe that Kathryn has something to say to you". She then walks away from them and disappears.
For the first time Chakotay realize that we were no longer at the village but now at New Earth outside our shelter. Chakotay turns to me. "Are you trying to tell me something or am I reading this all wrong?"
I hold up my left hand and he takes in his right. "I realize that you would never have heard the ancient legend before, but I felt that because it was so close to what we shared here that I would let you know the ending of it."
"It has also help me with a decision that has been in the back of my mind since the time you told me this legend, or part of." I look at our hands and gain the rest of the strength that I need to finish this. I then look into his eyes, to make sure that there is no doubt that what I am saying I mean with all my heart and soul.
"I realize that as a Captain, the ship is my responsibility but because of the nature of this mission it has become our responsibility and that this crew is our crew." I take a big breath and continue. "I love you Chakotay and I want to make sure that we always work together as one towards the same goal."
Chakotay is in shock, but quickly recovers. "I don't know what to say .."
"Don't say anything." At that, I move my head up to his and kiss him. It takes him by surprise but the second kiss takes *me* by surprise. The passion is there but both of us realize that there were still things that need to be sorted out before we can completely give ourselves to each other. But we have made the first step.
We smile at each other and hold onto each other for I don't known how long. The future is ours and we know that but we're not going to waste anymore time.
We have both began to know the true meaning of peace.
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