The Bitter End
Summary: In the tenth year of their journey, Voyager is in bad shape, and so is her command team. A powerful enemy brings ever more desperate times, and with nowhere to run, an unthinkable sacrifice may be the only option for the crew’s survival.
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay, Seven of Nine, Tuvok, Paris, Torres, EMH, Kim, Ayala, S. Wildman, Celes
Codes: Janeway/Chakotay, Chakotay/Seven of Nine
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own Voyager, her crew, and the Star Trek universe. I own this idea and the words I used.
Notes: My take on what happened in the unaltered-Endgame timeline to turn Captain Janeway into the time-travelling Admiral.
Admiral Janeway: Unfortunately, our favourite cup took a bit of a beating along the way. It was damaged during a battle with the Fen Domar.
Captain Janeway: Who?
Admiral Janeway: You'll run into them in a few years.
Warning: Depictions of violence and (non-graphic) rape. Major character death (but if you've seen Endgame, it shouldn't be a surprise). Minor character deaths, too. This is very dark. You have been warned.
Stardate 58006.1 – January 15, 2381
Voyager’s first officer looked as though sleep was something he’d last enjoyed in a previous existence. As for peace, Harry Kim had his doubts that Commander Chakotay would ever find that quality again. Nonetheless, the XO’s voice was icily calm as he addressed the Ops officer.
“Open hailing frequencies.”
“Channel open,” Lieutenant Kim replied immediately.
“USS Voyager to the Fen Domar vessel,” Chakotay pronounced. “Respond.”
On the viewscreen, the now-familiar image of a tall, thickly-muscled, bronze-skinned alien appeared, ridged cheekbones widened in a smile. The pointed canines it revealed did nothing to put the Ops officer at ease.
~Commander Chakotay,~ the Fen Inheritor greeted him, mock-unctuously. ~Such a pleasure. We’ve been expecting your hail.~
“Inheritor Alkin.” Chakotay’s voice remained inflectionless. “Since you’ve been expecting to hear from me, I’m sure you know what I want.”
~Of course.~ If anything, the smile broadened, giving Kim and the rest of the bridge crew a glimpse of the venom sacs located in the Fen’s upper gums. ~And you know, of course, that I must regretfully deny your request.~
Kim watched Chakotay’s spine lock. “It’s not a request, Alkin.” His voice had lowered to a level others had sometimes mistaken for soft. Kim knew better. “Give her back. Now.”
~Oh, I don’t think so,~ the Fen chuckled. ~You see, your captain and I have been having a wonderful time getting to know each other. I’d hate to be deprived of her company so soon in our association.~
“I’m warning you, Alkin –”
The Inheritor laughed outright. ~Empty threats, Commander.~ The grinning face altered, all pretence of humour fading as the Fen leaned in close. ~I suggest you cut your losses and be on your way, boy. Before you cease to amuse me.~
Chakotay’s eyes never left the viewscreen as he ordered, “Mr Ayala, lock phasers on that ship and prepare to fire on my command.”
~Oh, I wouldn’t do that,~ Alkin suggested. ~We both know my ship’s capabilities would match yours in a conflict. And besides, your captain has been most helpful in providing me with interesting details regarding your ship. Shield frequencies, weaponry complements… Quite talkative, she is, with the proper motivation. In fact we were just getting to her command codes when you so rudely interrupted us.~
With that he stepped back, allowing the Voyager crew a view of the rest of his vessel’s bridge, and Harry Kim was unable to muffle a horrified groan at the sight before him.
The bridge of the alien ship was twice as large as Voyager’s. Low bulkheads jutted down from the ceiling, crew stations ringed the hexagonal chamber and a wide, raised platform at its centre supported the appropriately throne-like chair where the Inheritor would, under normal circumstances, sit. There seemed to be far too many Fen crewmen on the bridge. The reason was instantly obvious.
The Fen officers were grouped around the dais the Inheritor had vacated. Between them hung a small figure, head bowed, all her frail weight suspended from the metal shackles that tethered her to the bulkhead above. She still wore the remains of her uniform – blood-soaked pants, a torn and dirty undershirt – and she was pitifully thin, Harry noticed with churning stomach, even thinner than she’d seemed before the Fen had taken her hostage. The visible parts of her formerly alabaster skin – arms, chest – were scored and ribboned with blood both dried and fresh.
“Kathryn,” he heard the first officer breathe.
The Inheritor grinned at Chakotay. ~Lovely, isn’t she? Her skin does mark so beautifully.~
Striding over to her, Alkin grasped the bottom hem of her tank top and lifted it, baring Janeway’s stomach. Her protruding ribs were darkened with bruises, her pale skin marred with what Harry could only guess were lash marks from some kind of whip, and he could clearly hear how laboured her breathing was.
~Wake up, Kathryn,~ the Fen shouted directly in the captain’s ear. ~Your friends would like to say hello.~
Alkin grasped a handful of tangled auburn hair and yanked; Kim winced as the captain’s head jerked up, her neck angled sharply and, from her soft moan, painfully. And her face … God. He swallowed hard against a surge of nausea. They’d broken her nose and, he suspected, her jaw. Blood from an evil-looking gash on her temple covered one side of her face. One eye was swollen shut and ringed with bruises, her good eye dull and hazed with pain.
She’d been on that ship for almost twelve hours, and he couldn’t stand to imagine what horrors they’d put her through.
~I’ll say this much,~ Alkin remarked casually, tracing a line from her temple to her throat with one thick finger. ~For such a scrawny creature, she has proved remarkably resistant. She bears pain quite well, and we’ve had to inject her with twice the usual amount of truth serum to get anything of use out of her.~
He leaned in, tongue extending to lick Janeway’s bloodied cheek, and Chakotay growled, a feral sound Harry had never before heard from the mild-mannered commander.
~Now, Kathryn,~ the Fen said silkily. ~Tell me Voyager’s command codes.~
Kim watched as Janeway swivelled her head, slowly, staring down the Inheritor with her one good eye. He could only imagine the blazing hate and fury the Fen was being treated to at that moment.
~You … son of a … Cardassian … whore,~ the captain rasped. ~It doesn’t … matter … what you do … to me. I will … never … give you … what you want.~
“Let her go,” Chakotay roared.
~Let her go?~ Alkin turned back to the viewscreen, what passed for a delighted smile baring every gleaming white tooth in his mouth. ~Why, Commander, what a splendid idea. I’ve been saving one particular method of persuasion for the appropriate time. But what better time to use it than now? And I’m so pleased you’ll be able to observe.~
He jerked his head at one of the soldiers, and the man stepped forward, a small knife glinting in his hand. Harry stiffened in horror. But instead of slitting Janeway’s throat, as he’d feared, the soldier placed his knife at the neckline of Janeway’s undershirt and drew it downward. Grey Starfleet-issue cloth parted and peeled apart, the knife slashing through the clasp of her bra, leaving her bared to the waist. The blade moved further down, cutting into her uniform pants, and the soldier yanked the strips of material away and sliced through the elastic of her underwear.
It was clear that the pieces of her uniform they’d – until now – allowed her to keep had offered scant protection. Cuts and bruises defaced almost every inch of her skin.
“Let. Her. Go.”
~As you wish,~ Alkin smiled. ~Cut her down.~
Another soldier stepped forward and released the manacles holding the captain upright, and she dropped, thudding to her knees on the grated-metal deck. Kim watched, sickened, as she struggled to push herself to her feet. The soldier placed a boot in the small of her back and sent her sprawling face-down on the floor.
Alkin knelt behind her, curling one arm around her waist and dragging her back against his body. His other hand was busy at his belt.
God, no, Kim thought, mouth going dry in horror as he realised what was about to happen.
The Fen lifted his smirking face to the viewscreen again as his hand moved from Janeway’s waist to clutch one breast, his fingers digging into the soft flesh. A groan escaped from behind her clenched teeth. ~Get … your hands … off me,~ she gritted.
~But my dear,~ he murmured, never losing eye contact with Chakotay, ~don’t you want me to show your lover how it’s done?~
“Alkin, if you do this, I swear to God –”
~Yes, yes.~ Alkin held Janeway firm with one hand on her hip while he groped between her legs from behind. A grimace twisted her features. ~Ah, there we are. Watch and learn, Commander.~
He lunged forward, and Janeway screamed.
The Fen soldiers cheered.
“No,” Kim moaned, unable to silence himself, unable to tear his eyes from the violation playing out on the viewscreen. He could hear horrified groans from the rest of the bridge crew, and at the science station, Samantha Wildman was sobbing.
“Turn it off,” Chakotay’s voice was hoarse. “Now.”
“I – I can’t,” Kim reported, working desperately at his console, “they’ve jammed the transmission feed somehow.”
Alkin’s vicious thrusts increased. Janeway had only cried out once and then tightened her lips, bearing his attack in silence, her head dropping forward; Harry wasn’t sure if the pain had overcome her or she just couldn’t bear to watch her crew watching her. The jeers of the soldiers increased, and the captain permitted one broken moan to escape as Alkin finally finished, then stood, fastening his pants.
Another soldier stepped into his place.
Sam Wildman bent over and threw up under her console.
~I suspect, Commander, that your captain will soon be telling us everything we need to know to destroy your ship,~ Alkin said smoothly. ~In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Cut transmission,~ he ordered one of his men, and the screen went dead.
“Lieutenant Ayala.” Chakotay’s voice sounded rusted. “Fire.”