The Virus

Summary: A holodeck malfunction causes all manner of secrets to come to light. Some of them, Tuvok would prefer not to know.

A Christmas gift for @killermanatee, @klugtiger, @ariella884, @jhelenoftrek and @cheile.

Characters: Tuvok, Janeway, Chakotay, Voyager crew

Codes: Janeway/Chakotay

Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit, only to amuse.

Notes: Thanks to a discussion in a discord channel about the number of people who get up to no good in the holodeck and the frequency of malfunctions, I kind of had to write this. Also inspired by klugtiger’s amazing gifset recapping the conversation between Janeway and Chakotay on the bridge during Fair Haven (which episode, along with the C/7 debacle, I have consigned to the oblivion they deserve).

 

Rated T

Security Chief’s Log, stardate 52743.7

During this morning’s senior staff briefing, Lieutenant Torres reported a malfunction in holodeck two: while undertaking her morning calisthenics program, her Klingon opponent suddenly transformed into a Risian masseur who attempted to disarm her by liberally applying lotion to her bat’leth. Ms Torres immediately contacted Engineering and a team has been sent to investigate the malfunction. Their initial report suggests that a faulty imaging relay is accessing random coding strings and causing items to materialise in the wrong programs. Ms Torres suspects the malfunction is being caused by fluctuations in the firewall and may be the result of a malicious attack. Further investigation is being undertaken.

I have assigned Lieutenant Ayala to accompany the engineering team as there is potential for the holodeck safety protocols to be affected. I am expecting his initial report at 1300 hours.

End log.

 

-0-


~Ayala to Commander Tuvok.~

“Go ahead,” the Vulcan replied.

~It looks like the problem B’Elanna discovered is spreading. The engineers have detected malfunctions in eighty-three holoprograms and the number is rising.~

Tuvok met the captain’s gaze as she turned in her chair. “Is there any danger to the engineering team, Mr Ayala?” he asked.

~Uh, not exactly.~ Ayala sounded uncomfortable. ~But I think you’d better get down here, sir.~

“On my way,” Tuvok replied calmly. He nodded at the captain, acknowledging her silent dismissal.

One glance summed up the situation when he arrived at the holodeck.

“Has Lieutenant Nicoletti been harmed in any way?” he demanded of Ayala.

“No, sir, I wouldn’t say she’s been harmed.” Ayala made sure the grin that had been trying to appear for the past ten minutes was hidden firmly behind his stoic exterior. “Annoyed is probably more apt,” he added.

Tuvok turned to survey the engineer, who was glaring in frustration at a well-built, spiky-haired young man with blindingly white teeth and a microscopically small swimsuit. The man’s body was oiled and he appeared to be attempting to encourage the lieutenant to remove her uniform.

“One step closer, and I decompile your matrix,” Tuvok heard Nicoletti growl.

The scantily-clad young man simply grinned and advanced on her again. Nicoletti grabbed a phaser and fired, and the holographic Adonis flickered out of existence, minuscule swimsuit and all.

“Report,” Tuvok decided, turning back to Ayala.

“Well, uh, it seems that guy was from Sue’s water-skiing program. I didn’t ask what she gets up to when the skis come off, but she swears he had the wrong idea.”

“Are you implying that Ms Nicoletti is using the holodeck for sexual purposes?”

Ayala coughed. “Doesn’t everyone?” he mumbled under his breath, forgetting that Vulcans had superior hearing.

“I should sincerely hope not,” Tuvok replied stiffly.

Ayala suddenly found his own feet extraordinarily interesting.

“Lieutenant Nicoletti,” Tuvok raised his voice, “now that you are … unencumbered, I need a situation report.”

Sue pushed hair off her sweaty forehead and straightened up. “Yes, sir. I think we’re dealing with a virus. It has enhanced adaptive properties and self-replicates at an incredible rate. It’s very sophisticated.”

“Can you identify its origin?”

“It bears some similarities to the carrier wave Kurros used when he projected his image onto Voyager.”

“Red alert,” Tuvok responded instantly. “Tuvok to the bridge.”

~Go ahead,~ the captain answered.

“Captain, we may be under attack by the aliens known as the Think Tank. I recommend a full long-range sensor sweep. The deflector dish should also be modified to detect subspace emanations.”

~Understood,~ Janeway replied grimly.

“I will remain here and attempt to disable the virus, if Lieutenant Torres could be sent to assist.”

~She’s on her way. Janeway out.~

 

-0-


“Turn the damn thing off,” Lieutenant Torres snapped.

“We can’t,” Nicoletti explained. “Voice commands are offline.”

“Weren’t you paying attention in Holotechnology 101, Sue?” Torres brushed her aside and hunkered down in front of the optronic core. “Or maybe you were too busy learning to water-ski…” she snickered as she shoved the business end of a hyperspanner into the core housing.

Neelix’s resort, which had randomly activated and populated itself with characters from programs including Harry Kim’s Beowulf, the captain’s Gothic governess romance and a Ferengi dabo parlour, flickered and disappeared.

“Right,” B’Elanna said, satisfied. “Now I just have to delete the infected coding strings and we’re back in business.”

She tapped a few keys, ran a few scans and straightened up, brushing off her hands. “All done. Now I can go back to my real job, and so can you, Sue. And don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with your water-skiing instructor.”

Smirking, she contacted the bridge to advise them that the crisis was over.

 

-0-


“Feel like dinner tonight?” Janeway kept her voice low as she leaned over the centre console.

Her first officer dipped his head to hers. “Love to, but could we make at around eight? I’ve got some time booked in the holodeck, now that it’s fixed.”

“Going water-skiing, Commander?” she asked archly.

Chakotay grinned. “Boxing.” He patted his stomach. “It’s been a while, and it’s starting to show.”

“If you are hoping to increase your fitness, Commander,” Tuvok offered from the tactical station, “I believe I have several programs that would assist.”

Janeway and Chakotay drew apart, the latter glaring at the security chief. “When I want your opinion, Tuvok...”

“I apologise,” Tuvok said, unruffled. “You were speaking quite loudly; I assumed your discussion was not private.”

“I was barely whispering,” Chakotay muttered, then shook his head. “Never mind.”

They lapsed into silence.

“Twenty hundred hours then?” Janeway whispered eventually.

“You’re on.”

-0-

“Jab, jab, straight, jab, right hook – argh, keep up son!”

Chakotay dropped his hands and turned on the holographic Boothby, panting. “I’m a little out of shape,” he apologised.

“I can see that,” Boothby drawled. “Take a two-minute break and then get yourself in the ring. I’ve got a new partner for you, and he’s going to work you hard.”

Chakotay trotted over to the bench and gulped down water.

“Okay, hotshot. You’re up,” Boothby called.

Chakotay towelled the sweat from his face as he climbed into the ring. The bell dinged. He tossed the towel toward the ropes. He sized up his opponent.

His hands, and his jaw, dropped.

Standing in front of him, dressed in a very tight, very brief pair of shorts, was Harry Kim.

“Ensign, what are you doing here?”

“What would you like me to do?” Kim replied, his gaze sweeping lasciviously over Chakotay’s body. “I’m at your disposal.”

“What?”

Harry slinked closer, and Chakotay suddenly realised the young man wasn’t wearing boxing gloves. Or a mouth guard. He spat his own into his hand.

“Ensign, I think you should leave…”

Chakotay’s voice died as Harry Kim put his arms around his neck and leaned in, lips puckered.

“Aaargh!” Dropping to his knees, the commander scooted to the corner of the ring.

“What’s the matter, baby?” Harry cooed, advancing. “Don’t be scared. I’ll be gentle with you.”

“You’re a hologram,” Chakotay realised. “Thank the spirits. Computer, end program!”

Holo-Harry fritzed, froze and flickered into oblivion, and Chakotay scrambled for his combadge.

“Chakotay to Torres. Report to holodeck two, immediately!”

 

-0-


Security Chief’s Log, stardate 52744.7

The holo-imaging malfunctions continue, despite Lieutenant Torres’ assurances that she has purged the virus from the computer system. I have ordered her to discontinue work until tomorrow morning as she has become quite irascible due to exhaustion, and have locked down access to the holodeck until the problem is corrected.

End log.

 

-0-


Personal log, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, stardate 52744.7

There remains the more troubling issue of Commander Chakotay’s report. He claims that he encountered a holographic Ensign Kim, one that was apparently programmed to behave in a sexually aggressive manner. It seems clear that a member of this crew is misusing holographic images of his or her crewmates. A grievous breach indeed.

Commander Chakotay and I have agreed, for the moment, to avoid bringing this breach to the captain’s attention. We are hopeful that we will identify the culprit and deal with the situation privately, without the need for further repercussions.

End personal log.

 

-0-


“Why won’t this goddamned code die?” Torres growled. “I’ll purge the entire memory core if that’s what it takes.”

“Don’t!” Kim pleaded. “Tom will never forgive you if it turns out Captain Proton isn't one of the infected programs.”

“Lieutenant, deleting the memory core will remove every holoprogram stored in the database. That is an unacceptable state of affairs. My security teams are scheduled for training simulations tomorrow.”

“Well, you fix it then, Tuvok!” B’Elanna sat back on her heels and tossed her hyperspanner to the deck. “The only way I can see to get rid of this damn virus is to activate every single program individually and delete the infected code snippets. That would take days.”

“That is an acceptable solution.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” Torres glared at him. “Do you realise how disruptive that would be to ship’s operations? Plus, I’ll have to work around the clock if we want to get it done inside of a week.”

“In that case,” Tuvok said calmly, “perhaps you had better get a good night’s sleep tonight. We will begin in the morning.”

 

-0-


Security Chief’s Log, stardate 52747.3

After seven point three hours of investigation, Lieutenant Torres, Ensign Kim and I have determined that the Think Tank virus, as Ms Torres calls it, seems to have entered Voyager’s holographic systems during one of the appearances of Kurros’ avatar aboard the ship. It is unknown whether this was an accident or an act of sabotage. We have further determined that the most expedient way to purge the virus from the holodeck’s systems is by activating each affected program in order to delete the corrupt code.

Two hundred and twenty-seven programs, belonging to one hundred and thirty-two individual crew members, have been infected by the virus. I see only two options: Either each crewman must activate and delete his or her own programs, or I must request that the captain effect the solution on each program separately using her level ten override codes.

I anticipate that the entire process will span approximately one hundred and sixty-eight hours.

End log.

 

-0-


Personal log, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, stardate 52747.3

I have explained the situation and proposed the options for eradicating the virus to Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay. As there is a strong probability that the holodeck safety protocols have been compromised, I have requested that I be present during the decontamination process. The captain is concerned at the potential breach of the crew’s privacy, as I will be a witness to the particularities of each holoprogram. I have assured her that I will remain impartial and that nothing I see will be recorded in my official log.

I reiterated the alternative option – that she be the one to override access on each program and perform the purge herself – but she was reluctant to do so, both for the aforementioned reason of maintaining the crew’s privacy and because it will consume an inordinate amount of her time. I will therefore commence the eradication process at 0800 hours tomorrow, after several hours’ rest, as it is likely I will require a clear and ordered mind throughout.

End personal log.

 

-0-


“How many programs?” Janeway looked up from her padd.

“Two hundred and forty-one. The number of programs compromised by the virus continues to rise. However, only ninety-seven of those are privacy-locked.”

The captain leaned back in her chair. “Are you telling me that these are just the infected programs? Not the complete list of personal holoprograms on file?”

“Yes, Captain. I estimate that the optronic database contains at least six hundred holoprograms identified for personal use, in addition to the simulations developed by Security, Ops and Engineering teams.”

“Six hundred,” Janeway repeated faintly. “Apparently this crew has too much downtime.”

Tuvok shifted slightly on his feet. “Then I have your permission to proceed?”

“Yes, yes, of course.” She handed back the padd and rose, moving automatically to the replicator. A coffee materialised. “Dismissed, Commander.”

Tuvok nodded and turned for the door.

“Out of interest, Tuvok…”

“Yes?” He turned.

“What are all these programs for?”

“I would prefer not to speculate, Captain,” he said stiffly.

“Yes, of course.” Janeway sat down, her attention returning to the padd.

“May I be excused, Captain?”

“What? Oh, yes. Thank you, Tuvok. I’ll expect a progress report by the end of tomorrow’s Alpha shift.”

Tuvok exited, and Janeway clicked down through the padd.

“Six hundred personal programs,” she muttered. “Almost a hundred of them privacy-coded. What on earth are my crew getting up to that’s so hush-hush?”

Although considering the nature of one or two of her own programs, she decided, ignorance was probably bliss.

 

-0-


At 0800 hours the following morning, the holodeck door slid shut behind the exiting Lieutenant Torres with a swish-clang that, had Commander Tuvok been inclined toward Vulcan poetics, might have been described as the sound of finality. However, as he had spent the previous twelve hours fortifying himself with the most logical of all Surak’s teachings, he easily dismissed such frivolity as irrelevant, and turned immediately to the job at hand.

“Tuvok to Lieutenant Baxter. Please report to holodeck two.”

 

-0-


Security Chief’s Log, stardate 52749.8

I have now supervised the purging of the Think Tank virus from thirteen programs belonging to Lieutenant Baxter, Ensign Molina and Crewman Johnson. While some of those programs could be considered somewhat troubling – Mr Baxter, for example, maintains a program in which he repeatedly mutilates, spindles, guts and decapitates an avatar of me – the majority of them were relatively innocuous.

Lieutenant Torres believes that the recursive algorithm she introduced into the optronic relays has slowed the virus’ replication rate. There are now two hundred and eighty-one individual holoprograms infected, of which one hundred and three are under privacy lock. Ms Torres is currently testing a deletion routine that will decrypt the unsecured files and remove them en masse.

Her latest report indicates that with the bulk deletion routine, the entire decontamination process should take another twenty-four hours. I concur with her estimate and will be approving her report for submission to the captain.

End log.

 

-0-


“You wanted to see me?”

“Yes, Commander.” Tuvok folded his hands behind his back.

“Well?” Chakotay couldn’t quite hide his impatience. He and Kathryn had been relaxing on her couch with a second bottle of wine, and Tuvok’s summons had not been welcome.

“I’ve discovered something of concern.” Tuvok pressed a sequence into the holodeck control panel, and a figure shimmered into existence on the grid.

Chakotay’s eyes went wide. “What the hell?”

“Indeed,” Tuvok replied.

“Whose fucking program is this?” Chakotay stared at the hologram, then his eyes narrowed. “It has to be someone who knows me pretty well. They know I have a birthmark right there…” his voice trailed off into an embarrassed cough.

“This program belonged to Seska. As she is deceased, I have overridden the security lock on her programs. However, the owner of this program is not the issue I’m concerned about.”

“Seska had a holographic version of me that was clearly being used for, uh, personal purposes, and that doesn’t concern you? It sure as hell concerns me.”

“Perhaps you will be even more concerned to discover that this program has been accessed three hundred and twelve times over the past four years.”

“Three hundred and –” Chakotay said faintly. “But Seska left the ship three and a half years ago.”

“Precisely.”

“Oh, shit.” Chakotay covered his face. “I suppose you’re going to tell me who’s been, uh, using this thing, but I’m not sure I really want to know.”

“This program has been accessed by twelve different individuals,” Tuvok replied. “I have identified eleven of them. Here is a list of their names.”

He handed Chakotay a padd, which the first officer glanced at weakly then tucked carefully under his arm.

“What about the twelfth?”

“That person’s identity remains a mystery. However,” Tuvok concluded, “I have my suspicions. If you will permit me to investigate further…?”

“All right, go ahead. In the meantime, could you please delete this thing?”

“Computer,” Tuvok intoned, “mark file FU-L8TR-BBY for permanent deletion and purge all trace code from the optronic database, authorisation Tuvok pi lambda three.”

~Acknowledged. File will be permanently deleted and recovery will no longer be possible. Do you wish to proceed?~

“Confirmed.”

The computer chirped, the painted and loin-clothed avatar of Chakotay disappeared, and the flesh-and-blood, uniformed version sighed in relief.

“Carry on, Mr Tuvok. You’re doing a good job,” he offered, backing hastily toward the exit.

“Thank you,” Tuvok answered drily, turning back to the console. “Computer, activate program F3RR3T-LUV and page Crewman Chell to the holodeck …”

 

-0-


Personal log, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, 52750.4

Over the past five hours I have expunged the Think Tank virus from a further thirty-two personal holographic programs, with assistance from their owners. I admit, the experience has been more gruelling than I expected; I was unaware of the sheer perversity of which certain members of this crew are capable. I will need to redouble my meditative efforts tonight in order to purge myself of the emotional response engendered by Mr Neelix’s programs in particular. I was, heretofore, blissfully unaware of the multiple, varied and creative uses he has found for leola root.

Lieutenant Torres has successfully decrypted and purged the unsecured personal programs. However, fifty-eight privacy-locked programs remain. I expect to complete the deletion process tomorrow evening, after which time I will request a short leave of absence to restore myself to a state of equilibrium.

I have scheduled the Doctor’s personal programs for inspection at 0800 hours. My first order of business will be determining why he appears to own so many programs containing holographic representations of the crew, and to acquaint him with the regulations governing this practice.

End personal log.

 

-0-


“Doctor, I am not accusing you of perversion. I am simply questioning why you own nineteen programs in which various members of Voyager’s crew appear mostly unclothed and unconscious, with apparently random injuries.”

“There’s nothing sinister about it, Mr Tuvok,” snipped the EMH. “They’re training programs. At various times over the years I’ve put my efforts into finding efficient ways of healing the injuries that this crew seems to suffer with alarming regularity. I’ve also investigated techniques for curing such diseases as the Vidiian phage, the Hirogen mating flu and the Varro olan’vora.”

“Then perhaps you can explain why the program subjects are limited to Lieutenant Torres, Seven of Nine and the Ensigns Delaney?”

The Doctor huffed. “The Delaneys represent peak physical specimens of their species. B’Elanna and Seven are both of hybrid physiologies. It makes sense to experiment with – I mean, utilise subjects of varying genetic makeups.”

“Indeed,” Tuvok said flatly. “In future, I suggest you confine yourself to specimens who bear no superficial resemblance to Voyager crew members. And, Doctor …”

“Yes?”

“Next time, dress your subjects in medical gowns. That would, after all, be far more applicable to the circumstances than gold bikinis and neck-collars.”

 

-0-


“Technically, your holograms are not a breach of protocol,” Tuvok allowed. “However, it’s obvious that their purpose is not exactly in line with Starfleet standards of behaviour.”

Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres exchanged uncomfortable glances. “It’s just that Tom goes on so many away missions,” Torres tried, “and sometimes I get, uh, lonely…”

Tuvok inclined his head. “Mr Paris has clearly given permission for you to … use … his holographic image in this manner.”

“And he has my permission to use mine,” Torres added hastily. “I mean, who else would keep him in line when I’m off the ship?” She laughed, but it died away into a cough as Tuvok raised an unimpressed eyebrow.

“Besides,” Paris chimed in, “sometimes it’s fun to spice thing up a bit with our doubles – ow!” He rubbed his side as his girlfriend glared mek’leths at him.

“Indeed,” Tuvok intoned faintly. “Nevertheless, both programs are infected with the virus and must be deleted. If you would be so kind, Lieutenant Torres?”

“Yes, sir,” she mumbled. “Computer, delete and purge programs DV8R and FLY-BAE, authorisation Torres beta two…”

“And Paris alpha three zeta,” finished her dejected partner in crime.

“Dismissed, Lieutenants.”

As the pair hurried to the exit, the beleaguered security chief overheard Paris whisper to his girlfriend, “You think that was embarrassing? Wait ‘til he gets a load of Harry’s programs.”

Tuvok’s shoulders slumped.

 

-0-


“Sumo wrestling, Mr Kim?”

If a Vulcan could look relieved, Tuvok was managing it.

Harry Kim cleared his throat and shifted his feet. “Uh, sure. We’ll go with that.”

“For what other purpose could these avatars be used?” Tuvok asked, and instantly regretted it.

Too late; Ensign Kim was already stammering out a barely-comprehensible answer. “Well, it’s the big hands … you see, I get these terrible knots … and the Doctor suggested I …”

“Please stop talking,” Tuvok requested.

“Yes, sir.”

“Delete the program, Mr Kim.”

“Yes, sir.”

 

-0-


“Are you all right, Commander?” Seven clasped her hands behind her back. “You appear discomfited.”

Tuvok leaned against the wall, an ashen cast to his skin. “I am … operating at less than peak efficiency,” he conceded.

“Perhaps you should rest. I am perfectly able to delete my own holoprogram, and I doubt you need to be concerned for my safety.”

“Perhaps not,” the Vulcan agreed. “However, and I may regret asking this, but I am curious … What is the purpose of a privacy-locked program containing seventeen Talaxian holograms?”

“They make excellent tactical drones,” Seven replied. “It was not outside the bounds of possibility that they possess qualities I would find … attractive … for other purposes. The Doctor has encouraged me to experiment with romantic relationships, and I –”

“Thank you, Seven,” Tuvok cut in. “No further explanation is required. Computer, delete program 7/9-Species-218.”

“I have, however, not found this species to be compatible with my physical ideals,” Seven continued thoughtfully as the pack of Talaxians shimmered out of existence. “I believe I would find humans more suitable. Perhaps I will model my next experimental program on them.”

Tuvok gathered himself and turned to the unrepentant Borg. “I suggest you familiarise yourself with Starfleet protocols governing use of the holodeck, in particular those outlining appropriate use of simulations based on living persons. You may find your … experiments … are better conducted with live specimens.”

“Interesting,” Seven said thoughtfully. “Very well. I was intending to create a hologram based on the crew member I find most aesthetically pleasing. But perhaps I will simply … ask him out on a date.” She drew herself up. “Thank you, Commander. Your romantic advice is clearly well-intentioned, and gratefully received. Perhaps I might call upon you for such guidance in future?”

She took Tuvok’s silence as assent.

 

-0-


Personal log, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, stardate 52750.6

Only three programs, belonging to two crew members, remain on my list. I have enjoyed a brief, restorative meditation session in my quarters and must now request the attendance of Commander Chakotay and Captain Janeway at the holodeck in order to purge these last few programs of the virus.

Given the nature of the programs I have had the displeasure to witness thus far, particularly those of the senior staff, I remain hopeful that the captain and commander have privacy-locked their programs out of excessive decorum, and that their contents are relatively innocuous.

Unfortunately, I suspect this will be my most difficult task to date.

End personal log.

 

-0-


“She asked you on a date?” Janeway stopped short in the corridor. “Seven of Nine asked you on a date?”

Chakotay turned back, realising his companion was no longer beside him. “Is it so unbelievable that someone might want to date me?”

“Chakotay, of course not, it’s just that –” she broke off when she realised he was grinning at her. “Well, what did you tell her?”

“I told her I was flattered, but I didn’t think we were particularly compatible and perhaps she should seek out someone closer to her own age.”

“Smooth, Commander,” Janeway replied as they arrived at the holodeck doors. “Very smooth.”

They paused in front of the doors.

“Are you ready for this?” Chakotay murmured.

“No.”

“Me neither.”

The doors slid open.

Tuvok stood, straight and rigid, in the centre of the bare holodeck grid. “Captain. Commander.”

“Tuvok,” they responded in unison, and Janeway added, “You’re dismissed.”

“Excuse me?”

“We’ll take it from here,” she said firmly.

“Captain, I’m sure you would prefer I not invade your privacy – as would I – but there are matters of security to consider. My presence is necessary.”

The captain’s voice cooled noticeably. “I’m sure Commander Chakotay and I are capable of protecting each other from a couple of holograms, should it come to that.”

“Of that I have no doubt.” Tuvok looked pained. “However, that is not the matter of security I’m referring to.”

“Oh?” Janeway’s tone dripped icicles.

“At the early stages of this project, I discovered a holoprogram created by Seska several years ago. It contained a … salacious … image of Commander Chakotay. The program has been accessed by twelve crew members multiple times since Seska’s departure.”

“I see.” The captain raised her eyebrows. “I assume you’ve identified the culprits and reprimanded them accordingly.”

“All but one,” Tuvok allowed.

“Well. I’m sure that person, whoever they are, has heard about this and will never do anything like it again. I think we can call it a job well done.”

“I have not reprimanded the final recalcitrant,” the security chief continued pointedly. “I have, however, identified her.”

Janeway’s glare intensified.

“Well, I don’t know about you, Captain,” Chakotay pointed out, eyes lit with banked amusement, “but I’m interested to know who’s been taking liberties without my knowledge. Care to share, Tuvok?”

“Say another word, Tuvok, and you’ll be rooming with Neelix for the rest of this trip.” Janeway’s hands were firmly on her hips. “Dis-missed.”

“Understood, Captain,” Tuvok replied. If there was the slightest note of smugness in his voice, Janeway decided not to call him on it.

The holodeck doors swished shut behind him, and Chakotay slumped to his knees on the floor, laughing too hard to speak.

“Oh, shut up, Chakotay,” the captain snapped. “It was one time, right after we got back from New Earth. I was lonely, all right?”

“How,” he gasped, wiping tears from his eyes, “how did you even find it?”

“B’Elanna found it,” she admitted reluctantly. “I told her I’d delete it, but … well, I missed you. I was still in Protocol Mode then, and if I was going to break one, that seemed like the lesser of evils.”

“Oh, Kathryn.” Chakotay sat up and tugged at her hand, drawing her down beside him. His arm went around her and he nuzzled into her hair. “Are you calling me evil?” he whispered.

Yes.” She shivered. “Wicked, devious, evil man.”

“Come here and let me show you the wicked, devious thoughts I have about you, then.”

She turned in his arms, smirking. “You think you’re wicked? Wait until you see my other private programs.”

Chakotay slid his hands up beneath her jacket. “Think we have time to play through them all before Tuvok gets suspicious?”

Janeway tugged his jacket zipper downward. “We can try.”

 

-0-


“It’s all gone.”

Harry Kim sat on the bare holodeck grid, staring at a padd.

“What’s gone?”

“My sumo – uh, the rocket ship. And Chaotica’s castle, Planet X and the lair of Arachnia. All of it.”

“Don’t worry, Harry.” Paris slapped his despondent friend on the back. “I can reconstruct Captain Proton from the old specs in the database as soon as I’ve redesigned B’Elanna’s calisthenics program.”

“I’m going to miss Sandrine’s too,” Kim sighed.

Paris shrugged. “I was getting a little tired of the old French bistro. Actually, I was thinking I’d try something different next time. What would you say to a quaint little country town in the green hills of Ireland?”

Kim made a face. “Sounds a bit boring, to be honest.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right,” mused Tom. “All right, scratch the Fair Haven idea. I’m sure we’ll come up with something better.”

 

-0-


Security Chief’s Log, stardate 52755.7

The purging of the optronic database is now complete. Mr Paris has already submitted a request to create a new all-access program designed to encourage the crew to interact on a social basis. He calls it a foam party. The captain has approved his plan, claiming it will improve morale and personal cleanliness, and give the crew something to think about other than clogging up the database with dubious private holoprograms.

I remain unconvinced.

End log.