It felt like she was drifting in a fog, drifting in and out of consciousness, her eyes, correction, one eye finally focusing on her surroundings. She found herself in a cell onboard the highliner, one of those close to the hull, barely heated. Gingerly, she moved her limbs, assessing the damage. The moment the shuttle had landed inside the highliner, Duke’s men had seized her for interrogation. No jump yet. There was no doubt in her mind; she was certain. It would not go unnoticed by her. She took a deep breath and readied herself for the unknown, waiting patiently. Slowly, she moved her limbs, battling through the pain. Even breathing hurt. They must have broken her ribs. Beli watched as they beat her, that same grin plastered on his face. Could the doctor be right? Could it be possible that he wouldn’t be so monstrous if he had been raised with true love and respect? The kind they had on Voyager. She rolled onto her side; the pain shooting through her. But the pain seemed to be every

Voyager is off

Alathea halted the shuttle at the predetermined coordinates between Voyager and the Highliner, then initiated communication with the Highliner. “The Duke is still aboard Voyager. We’re devising a plan for his transport.” “We’ll dispatch a shuttle. Those were the Duke’s orders.” “There’s been a change in plans,” Alathea informed them. “I need to speak with the Duke,” came the reply. Alathea ended the communication and contacted Voyager. “We need to hurry. They’re preparing to deploy troops.” “We’re ready. It will only take seconds,” came the response. “Okay, I’m ready too.” “Alathea, we’ll wait for you at the edge of the Federation,” Tuvok assured her. “No longer than a week. If I’m not back by then, there’s no point,” Alathea insisted. “You will be back,” Tuvok affirmed. “I’ve met no one more capable than you.” “And you know that’s true since Vulcans don’t lie,” Tom added. Alathea blinked away tears. “Thank you, guys. You’ve shown me how amazing humans can be. Thank you.” “You’ll be ba

Folding of the space

Alathea and the captain were on the bridge, observing Tom as he skillfully guided the Voyager towards the towering Highliner. Menthat Bojan was also present, assisting them in locating the entrance to the Highliner. “That vessel, it’s massive. It could accommodate our space stations with room to spare,” Chakotay remarked. “It’s crafted for efficiency in travel. The greater the number of vessels it can ferry at once, the lower the cost of transport. The spice employed by Navigators is a precious commodity,” Bojan explained, then nodded towards Alathea. “You, as a trained Bene Gesserit, should be well acquainted with this, given your reliance on spice as well.” Alathea nodded. “Yes, the Empire operates on a merchant economy,” she confirmed. Turning towards Bojan, she added, “Starfleet does not. They do not use currency.” Bojan blinked in disbelief. “But how can that be?” he questioned, turning towards the Captain. “How does your society even function?” Captain smiled warmly at Menthad Bo


Alathea glanced at the concubine, who sat in the surgical bay behind a force field, under the watchful eye of a security officer. Nearby, Menthat Bojan sat outside the force field, next to the security officer, his head leaned back and eyes closed. Captain had agreed to allow him and the Suk doctor to observe the procedures, after prolonged screaming by Beli, who insisted that she would trick him. Menthat was here now, taking his turn while the Suk doctor slept in the brig. Alathea grinned as she watched the snoozing man. His loyalty towards the Duke was degrading every day. “She appears innocent,” the captain remarked, drawing Alathea’s attention. “She’s not. Those women are trained. And not only in the ways of pleasuring but also in combat. It’s a necessary part of being in the harem,” Alathea explained. The concubine looked at them with a mixture of apprehension and defiance. “I’ve been here for five days already. Are you going to go through with this, or was it all just a pretense

Meeting with Duke

“I’m not picking up anything at the designated coordinates,” Harry said. Captain’s met Alathea’s eyes. “No field,” they both said simultaneously. Alathea glanced down at her hand, wiggling her fingers. The Doctor had regrown her finger so flawlessly that one would suspect nothing had ever gone awry. “Tom, just come to a full stop at the coordinates,” Captain Janeway commanded. “Yes, Ma’am.” Tom Paris nodded in acknowledgment, his hands swiftly maneuvering the controls to bring Voyager to a halt in the vast expanse of space. Nothing continued to happen. “What now?” Chakotay asked. “How long is polite to wait in Empire culture?” Captain Janeway said. Alathea grinned mischievously. “I suppose waiting is polite, as long as it’s on your terms.” Captain grinned back, her determination shining through her smile. “Point taken. Tuvok, Alathea, let us go and inform our guests that their stay conditions have changed. We will drop them off at the first planet we pass. Tom, in 15 minutes, turn the

Back on Voyager

Alathea couldn’t help but ponder whether Menthat fancied himself weightless, given how he inflated his chest. His incessant presence grated on her last nerve. Throughout the return journey, he loitered just behind her and the captain, scrutinizing their every move. She understood his motive all too well—eagerly absorbing the nuances of shuttle piloting for his clandestine designs. The captain maintained a stoic silence as she escorted them to the Medbay, speaking only when absolutely necessary during the flight back. “Computer, activate EMH,” the captain said the moment she entered the bay. “Please state the nature of the medical emergency,” the Doctor recited his standard greeting before catching sight of the captain and swiftly redirecting his attention. “Captain! I’m relieved to see you. You’re injured!” With a decisive motion, he seized an instrument from his tray and hurried over to assist her. “It’s nothing, really, just a few bruises,” she said, her voice tinged with a hint of r


Beli hurried toward the Captain, halting abruptly when he stood mere inches from her. “Is this what you call honor?” he spat, his voice dripping with accusation. “You’ve been deceiving me all along.” Captain Janeway maintained her steady demeanor, unmoved by Beli’s aggressive closeness. “Well, it seems we’re both operating with a healthy dose of skepticism,” she commented, her tone measured. “Just so we’re clear, I’ve already instructed Voyager to depart the area as soon as your Highliner jumped. I understand your concerns but rest assured, my priority is the safety of my crew.” Beli fixed his gaze upon her before stepping back, a derisive laugh escaping his lips. “It grieves me you doubt the integrity of a noble-born,” he remarked, his tone laced with sarcasm. “We are raised to embody honor. But I suppose in your world, such principles hold no sway. I’m curious how you treat your own nobility.” “We have no aristocrats. We cut their heads off centuries ago.” Beli narrowed his eyes at h