Beyond Definition – Chapter 2

Beyond Definition – Chapter 2

by mizvoy

Spring 2415 in San Francisco, Kathryn Janeway’s office

“How old was I when Dad and Seven broke up for good?”

Kathryn Janeway looked up from her desk to find her daughter striding through the door with a near-panicked Lt. Jones in pursuit.

“The admiral is expecting an important call, Olivia,” the lieutenant was explaining as she trailed behind. “If you could just take a seat in the outer office—”

“It’s all right, Mary,” Kathryn said, waving her aide away. She could see that Olivia was upset and needed to talk. “Take a message. I can call him back after Olivia and I finish talking.”

“Yes, Admiral.” She gave Olivia an exasperated look and then returned to the front office, closing the door behind her.

Kathryn closed down the report she’d been reviewing and studied the woman standing in front of her, thinking that she had regressed from the thirty-year-old married artist to a cranky thirteen-year-old with an attitude. “Is this something we need to discuss right this minute?”

“I just have a couple of questions.”

“Sit over there.” She pointed at the sofa and coffee table. “I’ll get some fresh coffee. Do you want anything?”

“Just honest answers, for a change.” Olivia perched on the edge of the sofa cushion as if she would soil her clothing if she relaxed. She ignored the glint of anger in her mother’s eyes.

“Is this rant because of your father’s personal logs? Didn’t Starfleet release the last of them to you a few days ago?” She turned to face her daughter while the replicator produced a mug of coffee. “You’ve read something Chakotay wrote that has upset you?”

“‘This rant’? What do you mean by ‘this rant’?”

“I mean this unusual behavior, barging in on me in the middle of the day with a burr under your saddle. It seems to me that you’re upset by something.” Kathryn sipped the coffee as she headed toward the sofa. “I thought maybe you were read something that upset you in Chakotay’s logs.”

“I’m just trying to get a perspective on my life, that’s all.”

“Your life?” She sat down and cradled the mug under her nose. “Or my life and your father’s?”

“I just wondered how old I was when they finally called it quits.”

Kathryn studied her daughter’s tense posture with a pang of remorse. “I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, honey. It’s been such a long time and they had so many temporary breakups, but I’d guess you were less than two years old.”

“Why didn’t you two get married then?”

“For one thing, he didn’t ask me to marry him.” When her joke elicited a glare, Kathryn sighed. “And I was involved with someone else at the time. You remember. Joe Castille.”

“Good old Uncle Joe.”

“He was good to us, sweetie, and he was tolerant of your mother’s prickly ways.”

“It didn’t last.”

“It lasted ten years.”

“I’m trying to figure out why, when you had the chance, you and dad didn’t get married. It’s obvious that you loved each other. I mean, you had a baby together.”

Kathryn closed her eyes and wished that she could somehow channel Chakotay’s calm attitude and patience in order to resolve their child’s questions once and for all. Finally, she opened her eyes and studied Olivia, admiring the way she resembled both of her parents—hard headed and stubborn to the end. “I get the feeling you and Dad discussed this sort of thing more than you and I have.”

“He was less—what was the term you used to describe yourself? He was less prickly about it. He was always more emotionally accessible to me.”

“Ouch. If it weren’t true, I’d be hurt.” She took a breath, tried to relax. “Let me lower my shields.”

“At long last.”

Kathryn’s temper flared. “Watch yourself, Olivia. I’m still your mother and I’m not putting up with this insolence much longer.”

“Shields back up.” Olivia got up and walked to windows on the far side of the office. “Was it because Dad wasn’t enough of a blue blood for you?”

Fury flashed through Kathryn; she had to grip the arms of her chair to keep from dashing to the window and shaking some sense into her daughter. “Don’t ever,” she started, pausing to regain her breath, “don’t you ever say anything like that to me again or, by God, I’ll have security deposit you outside the front gate so fast your head won’t stop spinning for a week.”

“He wasn’t a blue blood like you. Didn’t have generations of Starfleet—”

“Enough!” Kathryn’s voice carried all the authority of her rank and experience, and Olivia stopped talking. “If you are going to insult me, you can leave now and come back when you have a civil tongue in your head.”

“I’m sorry, Mother, I apologize. It’s just that,” Olivia brushed a tear from her eye and then choked back a sob, “that I loved him so much, and you so much, that I just don’t understand why-”

“Why we didn’t love each other just as much as you loved us.” She buried her anger beneath the concern she had for her daughter’s fragile state of mind. “The love between a parent and child is deep and unconditional. But parents don’t always share that kind of bond. While I admired your father very much, we were, after all, just a man and a woman brought together by circumstances.”

“He said it was your destiny to be together.”

Kathryn sighed and shook her head. “Sweetie, he didn’t say that.”

Now it was Olivia’s turn to be angry. “How do you know what he said or didn’t say?”

“Because I know. I’m thinking you read something like that in his logs, and it struck a chord with you. But he was talking about Voyager, the Maquis, and the Delta Quadrant, about all of us, the whole crew, being destined to be together. He didn’t say that about the two of us.” She waited for a response. “Isn’t that right?”

“You can’t know that.” The blush on Olivia’s face told Kathryn that she was right.

“He never said that he and I were destined to be together as a couple.”

“Not in so many words, no, but it’s consistent with his mystical approach to life.”

“In some ways, perhaps.”

“How do you know he didn’t say that?” She turned to face her mother. “How do you know what he said? Did you read his logs?”

“No, but I knew him better than you did.”


“Not really. That’s why you want to ask me questions, because you want to know more about the real Chakotay, about our friendship.” She finally rose and went to her daughter, taking her by the shoulders. “You want to know the real me, too, before it’s too late.”

“Oh, Mom,” she cried, throwing her arms around her mother as her body shook with sobs. “I miss him so much.”

“So do I, sweetie,” she answered, tears in her eyes. “So do I.”