Summary: Impersonating the Captain Janeway of the Mirror Universe – the one who commands a brutal war fleet of captured Delta quadrant ships – is a hazardous exercise, even for a Kathryn Janeway who’s survived the Devore Imperium and the Terran Empire. Forced to contend with senseless violence, sexual sadism and the constant threat of betrayal, she’s worn down and desperate to escape her new life. But can she rely on her brand-new allies … especially the mirror version of Chakotay, whom she’s naturally inclined to trust, but who might have an agenda of his own?
Written for the @voyagermirrormarch fic event.
Characters: Janeway, Mirror Chakotay, Mirror Kashyk, Kashyk, Mirror Tuvok, Mirror Paris, Mirror Seska, Mirror Torres, Mirror Ayala, Mirror Kim, Mirror Janeway, Original Characters
Codes: Janeway/Mirror Chakotay, Janeway/Chakotay, Mirror Janeway/Mirror Chakotay,, Janeway/Kashyk, Janeway/Mirror Kashyk, Kashyk/Mirror Torres, Mirror Paris/Mirror Seska
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own the rights to the Star Trek universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Warning: Violence, rape/non-con and dubious consent.
“Captain, there’s a ship approaching at coordinates eight-one-six mark four-two. I don’t recognise the hull configuration.”
Kathryn Janeway rises from her seat, standing in the centre of her bridge. “Helm, all stop. Hail them, Mr Kim. Standard greeting.”
“No response, sir.”
She has already drawn breath to give her next order when the sir brings her up short. Swallowing, she regroups quickly, turning to the ops station.
“Well, Ensign, what would a Starfleet lieutenant do in this situation?”
“Fire a warning shot across their bow, Captain,” he replies immediately.
Kathryn sighs in disappointment. “There you go again, Half-cocked Harry. Have you scanned their weapons complement yet? Shield capabilities? Any idea how many of their ships are in the vicinity?” She waits. “No? Then what makes you think that risking an all-out battle with an unknown species in unfamiliar space is a two-pip idea?”
“But Captain, we have a fully-armed fleet –”
“Don’t contradict me,” she snaps. “Hand your station to your replacement and get off my bridge.”
He deflates. “Aye, sir.”
Returning to her seat, Kathryn crosses her legs and curls her gloved fingers around the arms of her chair. “Let’s try that hail again, shall we?”
Crewman Anderson, now at ops, shakes her head. “Still no response, Captain. Their shields are up and their weapons just came online.”
Kathryn bites her lip involuntarily. What now?
Chakotay leans over fractionally. “Now might be a good time for that warning shot,” he mutters.
She glances at him and nods, then raises her voice. “Mr Baytart, initiate evasive manoeuvres. Mr Ayala, prepare to disable their forward weapons array. Half-power phaser pulse only – I don’t want them destroyed,” she pauses, adding, “yet.”
“Aye, Captain,” they chorus, and a moment later Anderson reports, “They’re hailing.”
Kathryn exhales in silent relief. “Open a channel.”
A heavyset humanoid appears onscreen, his forehead furrowed in an inverted V. “Why have you fired on us?” he demands.
Kathryn cocks an eyebrow, drawling, “It got your attention, didn’t it?”
He glowers at her. “Identify yourself.”
She uncrosses her legs and stands, chin high. “I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Fed-, uh,” she swallows, “the Imperial starship Voyager, and commander of the Delta Fleet. And you are?”
“I am Consul Grek of the Ledosian Dynasty. By whose invitation have you entered our space?”
“We meant no offence, Consul. We’re simply passing through on our way home.”
Behind her, Kathryn hears a swell of whispers, a shifting of feet. The back of her neck prickles. Chakotay stands and moves to her left shoulder.
“You’re a captain in the Imperial Starfleet,” he murmurs. “Play the part.”
She clears her throat, stepping forward and injecting ice into her voice as she addresses the Ledosian again. “In any case, Consul, I don’t need an invitation. Now move your little ship and let us pass, or I’ll shoot you out of the sky.”
The consul blinks rapidly and glances to his left, apparently communicating with someone offscreen, then turns back to her.
“On behalf of the Ledosian Dynasty,” he grates out, “your fleet is welcome to pass our borders, Captain Janeway. Please allow us to escort you to our homeworld to meet with a trade delegation.”
“Thank you,” Kathryn responds, injecting sarcasm into her tone. “Voyager out.”
She waits until the screen goes black, then turns to Chakotay, still standing beside her.
“A trade delegation,” she repeats. “We should have Lieutenant Torres prepare a list of her requirements.”
“It’s likely a trap, Captain,” he replies. “I recommend we approach the planet at full alert with all weapons at the ready.”
She blinks at him. “Right,” she says, slowly, then, “Mr Baytart, advise the fleet to proceed to the Ledosian homeworld as soon as Consul Grek provides the coordinates. All vessels should remain at yellow alert until I order otherwise.”
“Coordinates received, sir,” Baytart reports. “The Ledosian ship is moving off at three-quarters impulse. We should reach the specified destination in approximately twenty-six minutes.”
“Acknowledged.” Kathryn turns to her first officer and lowers her voice. “Commander, I’d like to see you in my ready room.”
He nods, following her across the bridge.
As the door slides shut behind them she glimpses Ayala’s smug, knowing grin, and tries not to wonder what a summons to Captain Janeway’s ready room might usually involve for one of her officers.
She goes immediately to the replicator – “coffee, black” – but is too agitated to drink; she shoves the mug onto her desk and paces, gesticulating wildly as she talks.
“How have you all survived, conducting yourselves like this?” she demands, glaring at Chakotay. “Blundering through the quadrant with weapons powered, bullying your way into other species’ territory, shooting first and asking questions later … it’s a miracle you made it through your first few months out here!”
Chakotay folds his arms and leans against the bulkhead, watching her. “We have backup. Or did you forget about the fleet of warships your counterpart commands?”
“And that’s another thing!” Kathryn throws up her hands. “In my universe we’d never have allied with the Devore, let alone the Hirogen or the Kazon …” She cuts herself off. “Well, all right, we did try it, actually. But it didn’t work. We’d have had to compromise our principles and I wasn’t prepared to do that.” She slows to a halt in front of him. “This isn’t the way I’m used to doing things, Chakotay.”
“Really?” he asks. “Maybe your memory’s faulty.”
She frowns at him. “Excuse me?”
Chakotay shrugs. “You’ve been Kashyk’s piece of ass for two years,” he says deliberately, holding her eyes. “Maybe your perspective gets skewed when you spend all your time on your back.”
Her lips part in shock. Then, before she can check the impulse, Kathryn draws back her arm and punches him square in the jaw.
His head jerks back, but when he straightens to look at her again he’s smiling. He touches two fingertips to his bleeding lower lip. “There’s the Kathryn Janeway I know.”
Immediately she presses both hands to her mouth, her eyes filling with tears.
“Chakotay,” she whispers. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry.”
“Hey,” he says, touching her shoulder, “don’t apologise. I was trying to make you angry.”
“Well, you succeeded,” she mumbles, voice muffled in her hands.
“It’s hard for you, I know,” he says, his voice kind. He steers her toward him and she turns to rest her forehead against the front of his jacket, feeling his arms come around her. For long moments she lets him hold her, his warm hands covering her back, her face turned into his throat so she can breathe him in. It’s only when she shifts closer and feels his heartbeat kick up that she remembers herself and steps away.
“I’ll get a dermal regenerator,” she mutters, gesturing at his split lip, but he shakes his head.
“Leave it,” he advises. “Let the crew think you’ve disciplined me for some infraction. It can only help your image.”
Her shoulders slump. “Chakotay, I’m not sure I can do this.”
Chakotay reaches for her, closing his hands around her upper arms. “Look at me.”
“You can do this,” he emphasises. “I believe in you. And I trust you.”
“You hardly know me,” Kathryn feels honour-bound to point out.
His eyebrows rise. “Is that the way you feel about me?”
“I … no,” she admits, biting her lip. “I trust you too.”
“Okay.” Chakotay smiles at her and lets go of her arms. “So, what’s our next move, Captain?”
Kathryn sits at the captain’s desk and pulls the computer monitor toward her, tapping into the security files. “First things first,” she mutters, “let’s see what kind of records Tuvok has been keeping…”
She starts scrolling through the internal surveillance logs and finds herself blushing furiously as she activates one marked with that morning’s stardate.
“He recorded everything that happened in the briefing room,” she whispers, as the images begin to play on the small screen in vivid colour. She watches herself, stripped naked and raw, trapped between the brown bulk of Ayala and Paris’s pale form, her eyes closed, her mouth a rapturous ‘O’ as they fondle and fuck her. Her whole body prickles with heat and she slams her hand down on the delete button, consigning the file to cyber-oblivion.
Chakotay watches her, compassion written in his eyes.
Kathryn drinks liberally from her coffee mug to hide her burning cheeks. “If nothing else, I’ll be putting an end to that kind of thing while I’m in charge,” she mutters.
Chakotay hesitates, then comes over to rest a hip against her desk. “Kathryn.”
“What is it?”
“This isn’t your universe, and we’ll never be a Federation Starfleet crew.”
“Meaning?” she glares up at him.
“Remember your mission,” he says. “You’re not here to change us. You’re trying to stay alive.”
He leans over to tap a few keys, and a long list of files appears; he plays the first one.
Onscreen, a nude Ayala is shackled face-down to a mess hall table; Kathryn’s eyes go wide with shock as she recognises Samantha Wildman thrusting into him with a shining black dildo strapped to her hips.
Chakotay skips to the next file; in it, Janeway sprawls in her command chair, jacket zipped up to her chin and spike-heeled boots on, naked from waist to knees; between her thighs crouches Tal Celes, licking enthusiastically at Janeway’s cunt.
“Stop,” Kathryn pleads as Chakotay’s fingers move to press another key, “I’ve seen enough.”
“But have I made my point?” he asks her. “If you want this crew to believe you’re Captain Janeway, this isn’t something you can change. At least not overnight.”
Kathryn passes a shaking hand over her eyes. “Yes, Chakotay. You’ve made your point.”
“Good,” he says. “Now, what are we going to do about Tuvok?”
When she accesses the brig logs, she finds four cells occupied. Henley and Jor sit in resigned silence opposite one another, Seska paces angrily in an adjoining cube, and in the fourth, Tuvok stands ramrod-straight and expressionless in the centre of the floor, facing outward. An anxious-looking Baxter hovers at the guard station.
“I’d forgotten about the Maquis,” Kathryn murmurs. “We should release them.”
“Janeway wouldn’t,” Chakotay reminds her. “You could let Seska go – the captain would probably expect her to take care of the children – but Henley and Jor should stay.”
Kathryn huffs a laugh.
“Not really,” she admits. “Just ironic. If we’d had Seska locked up in the brig in my universe, you’d rather die than let her roam free on Voyager.”
“I’m guessing there’s a story there, and I’d like to hear it someday.”
“No,” Kathryn mumbles, “you really wouldn’t. You might never look at your Seska the same way again.”
“She’s not my Seska,” Chakotay points out. “But I’ve known her for a long time, and she’s one of the few people on this ship I’d consider a friend.”
“I’m in a universe where your two closest friends are Seska and Kashyk …” Kathryn presses her fingers to her temples. “This is giving me a worse headache than temporal mechanics.”
A dimple appears in Chakotay’s cheek.
Kathryn forces herself to re-focus on the silent Vulcan in the brig. “He’s going to be a problem for us,” she states. “The link goes both ways, you know, and he’s already suspicious of me. He won’t stop trying to probe my mind. I’m blocking him, but it’s difficult.”
“I could kill him,” Chakotay offers.
The casual note in his voice sends a chill along Kathryn’s spine. “Don’t joke about it.”
“I wasn’t joking.” His dark eyes fix on hers, as remote as the first moment she saw him. “If it had been up to Tuvok, I’d have been dead within the first week of my alliance with Captain Janeway. She – and now, you – are the only reason I’m alive.”
She straightens, unable to stop herself from shifting half a pace away from him. “Why did she keep you alive?” she finds herself asking.
“Because she needed the Maquis for labour, and she needed me to keep them in line. Without that there’d have been mutiny, and sooner or later, everyone on Voyager would have died.”
“Is that the only reason?”
“What other reason –” he starts to ask – but he’s cut off by a thundering, percussive boom as the ship shakes from weapons fire.
“Report,” Kathryn clips out as she takes her seat. Chakotay sits too, quickly calling up a tactical report on their shared console.
“Seven Ledosian vessels dropped out of high warp and began firing on us as we approached the coordinates Grek sent us,” Ayala replies. “Shields are down to eighty percent. The Predator and Hirogen One have moved to flank us and are drawing fire.”
Kathryn flashes a questioning glance at Chakotay.
“The Predator is what she named the Devore warship,” he murmurs, indicating the red icons on their console that represent the fleet. “It’s under command of Lieutenant Prax this shift.”
“Captain, I have the Predator on a secure channel,” offers Crewman Anderson. “Prax is requesting instructions.”
“Be a bitch,” Chakotay warns quietly.
“That won’t be a problem,” Kathryn assures him. Standing, she raises her voice. “Put him onscreen, Crewman.”
“Captain,” Prax begins obsequiously, already setting her teeth on edge, “I apologise for not anticipating this cowardly attack. Did Voyager suffer much damage?”
“Enough that I’ll be rethinking my faith in you, Lieutenant,” Kathryn grates back. “Perhaps I should return command of the Predator to Inspector Kashyk.”
Prax’s eyes widen. “Please, Captain, allow me to prove myself. I’ll smash these gaharay into space dust –”
Kathryn waves a hand to silence him. “Enough. I’m not prepared to destroy these fools so close to their home planet without more information on their military capabilities.”
“Then what should we –”
“If I’m not mistaken,” she glances down at the console, where Chakotay has discreetly called up the fleet’s armaments, “you have a full complement of quantum torpedoes and, I would hope, a tactical officer who isn’t completely incompetent. Those Ledosian vessels carry directed energy weapons with half the yield of Devore phasers. You could disable each ship with a single torpedo.”
Prax’s brow furrows.
“Do I have to spell it out for you, Mr Prax?” Kathryn growls impatiently. “Take out their weapons and warp drives so we can advance to their homeworld, at which time I will decide whether their planet is worth taking for my own, or simply destroying.”
“Nice speech,” Chakotay whispers.
“Thanks,” she mutters, sinking into her chair. Her heartrate slows now that the immediate battle is over, but she knows the real danger is yet to come.
Prax has carried out her orders with alacrity and they’ve left the stranded Ledosian vanguard far behind. Another minute or two and they’ll arrive in the Ledos system.
She expects to find the full force of the Ledosian military lying in wait for them; she expects, in fact, to be pitched into battle immediately. But as Voyager slews into high orbit, still flanked by the Predator and two Hirogen hunting vessels, they’re greeted by a pair of scout ships half the size of the fighters they’ve left crippled behind them.
“Ayala, probe the planet,” she orders. “Scan for missiles, ships, any kind of defence system. Those few ships can’t be all they have.”
Ayala is shaking his head. “All I’m detecting are a few phaser banks mounted on what look like military installations. They’ll barely dent Voyager’s shields.”
“Captain,” Anderson pipes up as her console beeps, “there seems to be some kind of energy barrier obscuring one section of the southern continent.”
Kathryn glances at Chakotay, who nods, turning the console so she can see it. “I’m picking up a tetryon signature,” he says, “but I can’t scan beyond the barrier.”
“Is it a secret weapons facility?” Kathryn demands.
“Unknown, Captain.” The ops officer’s voice is tense. “We’re receiving a hail from the planet’s surface, sir.”
“I am Ambassador Ramad,” announces a visibly rattled, dark-haired man. “Please allow me to welcome you to the Ledosian Dynasty.”
“That was some welcome, Ambassador,” Kathryn answers mildly. “I suppose you’re going to tell me your little fleet was really an honour guard.”
“I apologise, Captain.” The ambassador straightens his shoulders. “Visitors to Ledos are invariably hostile, and our military tends to be nervous of large armadas entering our territory.”
“Oh, I never said you shouldn’t be nervous,” Kathryn smiles at him. “But I am wondering what other surprises you might be hiding. Tell me about the forcefield.”
“Yes, the energy barrier obscuring a large section of your sourthernmost continent. What is it hiding?”
The ambassador visibly relaxes. “Nothing sinister, I assure you, Captain. The Ventu live there. They’re a primitive society – our genetic ancestors – who live within the barrier in a kind of reservation.”
“Why do they live there?” Kathryn asks. “Have they chosen to withdraw from your society?”
“Not at all. The barrier was erected by an alien race, several hundred years ago, to preserve the Ventu way of life.” The ambassador pauses. “We don’t understand the technology ourselves.”
“Then you’ve never been inside?” She glances at Chakotay, smiling in anticipation of his anthropological interest, and finds him watching her, his eyes intense with warning.
Her smile falters.
“Never,” the ambassador is saying. “And not for lack of trying. When I think of the natural resources going to waste inside that –”
But he’s cut off by the blast of phaser fire impacting with the building from which he’s transmitting. The ceiling caves in and the viewscreen fills with dust clouds before it blinks off.
Kathryn finds herself on her feet, fists clenched at her sides. “Report,” she croaks out.
“I destroyed the Ledosian communications centre, sir,” Ayala announces from the tactical station. “Body count is seventeen. Thirty-one injured.”
She feels Chakotay’s hand on her left shoulder and shrugs him off, forcing herself to turn and face Ayala. “Why did you do that?”
“He talked too much,” Ayala says simply. “And his story was bullshit. That barrier is powered by a tetryon reactor. Imagine the energy we could harness from –”
“Mr Ayala,” Kathryn cuts him off, voice soft and deadly, “you took it upon yourself to fire weapons without my orders, and as a consequence, seventeen people are dead, and we’ve lost an opportunity to make an ally in this quadrant.”
“An ally, sir?” Ayala’s brow crinkles, and again, Kathryn hears that murmur and shifting of feet around the bridge. “Last I checked, we don’t make allies. We take prisoners or we lay waste and move on.”
“Enough,” Chakotay rumbles from Kathryn’s side.
“What you do, Mr Ayala,” Kathryn grinds out, “is follow my orders. Since you seem to have a problem with that, you can join your predecessor in the brig.” She nods at two yellow-shouldered security officers. “Take him.”
The remaining bridge crew stare at her silently after a sullen Ayala has been manhandled into the turbolift, and beside her, Chakotay shifts on his feet and dips his head to murmur, “May I speak to you in your ready room, Captain?”
But Kathryn already knows what he’s going to say.
Shaking him off, she swallows hard, locking eyes with each of them in turn. “The next person who takes it upon himself to act without my express order,” she enunciates, “will find himself a permanent guest of the brig. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir,” is mumbled in chorus around the bridge.
“Good. Anderson, scan the planet and find me somebody to talk to. I want to know more about that energy barrier.”
“Janeway to sickbay.”
“Assemble a rescue team and report to transporter room one. You’ll be beaming down to the planet to offer aid to the injured.”
“I beg your pardon, Captain? I thought you ordered me to waste medical resources on these aliens, but obviously my auditory subroutines are malfunctioning.”
“Get it done, Doctor,” she snaps. “Janeway out.”
“Captain, I’ve located an active communications channel in a building that appears to be some kind of scientific research centre,” Anderson informs her. “There’s a Dr Barus on the line.”
“Put him through to my ready room,” Kathryn orders her, already striding toward her office. “Commander, you have the bridge …” she hesitates on the threshold, “and I suggest you use the time to remind my crew of who’s in charge around here.”
The door has barely shut behind her before she starts to shake. But there’s no time for that: the computer terminal gives a soft chime, reminding her that the Ledosian, Barus, is waiting to speak with her. Kathryn inhales slowly and seats herself behind the desk.
“Dr Barus,” she greets the worried-looking alien.
“I don’t understand,” he blurts immediately. “Why did you fire on our people? We’re no match for you!”
“I see that, and I apologise. It was a terrible mistake,” Kathryn says, keeping her voice calm and even. “I’m sending teams to provide your people with medical assistance, and if there’s anything else I can do –”
“I’m not an administrator,” Barus cuts in. “I can’t make that kind of judgement. You took out half of our government officials with one strike … I’m just a scientist!”
He pushes a hand wildly through his hair, and Kathryn realises that she’s going to have to take the situation in hand. “That’s why I wanted to talk to you,” she says firmly. “I’ll make arrangements with your remaining government for reparations and damage repair, but once rebuilding is complete, I’d like to speak with you about the energy barrier on your southern continent.”
“Yes, yes, fine,” Barus waves a hand and cuts the comlink, and Kathryn slumps in her chair.
Her reprieve is interrupted by the chime of the ready room door.
“Come,” she sighs, and is unsurprised when Chakotay enters.
He strides directly up to her desk and rests a hip on the edge of it, staring down at her with folded arms.
“Yes, Commander?” Kathryn growls.
Chakotay’s eyebrows rise. “Didn’t take you long to get used to the big chair again, did it, Captain?” He doesn’t wait for her reply. “Problem is, you’re not acting like the captain they know and fear. You’ve relieved three senior bridge officers of duty in the space of a few hours – that’s not unheard of – but instead of scheduling some form of public discipline, you’ve confined two to the brig and one to quarters. And as for the Ledosians – the captain they know would already have levelled this planet into rubble, but you’re here chatting with a scientist and sending down rescue teams.”
He leans into her space, and Kathryn has to tilt her head back to meet his eyes.
“I’m trying to keep you alive,” Chakotay says clearly, “but you sure as hell don’t make it easy on me, Kathryn.”
Despite herself, her lips twitch. “Some things never change.”
“This is funny to you?”
“Of course not.” Kathryn’s smile dissolves and she pushes up to her feet, creating some distance between them. “Chakotay, I can’t be her. I can’t fire on an alien civilisation without provocation, or publicly torture my crew for disobedience.”
“Then we’re going to have to figure out another way to convince that crew that you are who you’re pretending to be,” he tells her flatly.
Something about the set of his jaw makes her narrow her eyes. “I take it you have a suggestion.”
“You’re not going to like it.”
Sighing, Kathryn turns to the replicator and orders another black coffee. “Fire away.”
“Those files you were looking at earlier?” Chakotay gestures to the desktop monitor. “You need to stage a performance. Like that.”
An image of her counterpart, half-naked on the bridge, legs wide as Tal Celes crouched between them like a supplicant, flashes across Kathryn’s mind. “No.”
“Then help me out, Kathryn,” Chakotay’s voice rises, “because I’m fresh out of ideas here. And we have to do something or you’ll be dead before morning.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean the moment you left the bridge, I had the Doctor on the comm demanding to know what’s gotten into you. He wants to scan you for brain anomalies, Kathryn. And if he does that, you know he’ll find the quantum variance in your DNA and the game will be up.”
“The Doctor is suspicious of me?” Kathryn presses her lips together, then taps her combadge. “Janeway to Kash.”
“Kash here,” comes the immediate response. “Are we on a secure line?”
“Of course. Report?”
“You sound like her,” Kash mutters, then quickly continues: “She’s stashed safely in the morgue with a dampening field around her stasis chamber, but I don’t know how long she’ll stay hidden should we suffer any casualties. What’s our next step?”
Kathryn flicks a glance at Chakotay. “The commander claims the crew is already suspicious and is suggesting some kind of … public display … to allay their doubts about me.”
There’s a pause. “I see,” Kash says cautiously. “How do you feel about that?”
“How do you think I feel?” She closes her eyes, then opens them onto Chakotay’s. “You want me to have sex with members of my crew. In public. To hurt them. I’m not sure I can do that again.”
“Then do it with me,” says Kash.