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The Secret of the Amethyst
By Allycat

Rating: PG-13 (mild swearing, sex implied)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Genre: Action/Adventure
Series: Voyager, TNG, Enterprise
Challenge: Fix The Finale (Enterprise: TATV)
Codes: Paris/Torres, Riker/Troi, (mild hints of Trip/T’Pol so far)
Archive: With permission only.
Description: Tom and B’Elanna learn just how much in demand a badly written holoprogram can be.

Notes: Thanks to JadziaKathryn and Blackn’blue for beta reading.

“Let me guess; the holographic engineer is having problems with her program.
Neelix, the Cardassian cook, is getting low on supplies.
Seven of Twelve is regenerating and Captain Chakotay is doing just fine….
Just wondering how they’ll piece together our lives in a hundred years or so.”
Captain Janeway, ‘11:59'

Jupiter Station: March, 2379

Tom Paris waited patiently at the helm watching the drama unfold before his eyes.

After exchanging words with the Andorian on the viewscreen, the Captain passed behind him. “Set a rendezvous course.”

“Aye, Captain.” As ordered, Tom pressed in the coordinates sent to him and he could feel the craft shift at his command. What a creaky old barge, he thought to himself. Travis Mayweather must have been a damn good pilot to have to deal with this all the time.

:Tucker to Bridge.:

“Go ahead,” T’Pol answered; the Captain had retired to his ready room.

:What the hell’s Travis doin’ up there?:

Mr. Mayweather,” came the distinctly Vulcan twinge of annoyance.

Tom looked down at his console, his eyes widening. The comm officer (Sato, he reminded himself) seemed to stifle a well deserved giggle as he quickly adjusted the set speed to something a bit more acceptable than warp 5.5. This was, after all, supposed to be the 22nd century.

“Adjusting speed, Ma’am.” He could almost hear the eyebrow rising behind him.

The name of the holonovel was These Are The Voyages. He found it amongst a pile of old holodeck programs Reginald Barclay had given him to look at. This was the second time going through it, though at first he didn’t understand why he had picked this one. It was well beyond his genre. But then again, so were the rest of them. Not that he didn’t appreciate a good history lesson now and then; it’s just that it wasn’t something he usually wrote about.

But, this program got his mind ticking. And for a holonovelist, ticking was good. Especially when the holonovelist had a bad spell of writer’s block. It wasn’t that he thought this holoprogram was particularly well written; it could stand an enormous amount of improvements. But when he thought of all the improvements and possible revisions, it made him toy with the possibility that he could write something that didn’t leave him the reputation of being ‘low brow’, as the Doctor so diplomatically put it.

The holodeck doors whooshed open and he whipped around to see who was invading his time. “Computer, freeze.”

“Now this is interesting.” The corner of B’Elanna’s mouth curled up slightly as she peered around. She slowly stalked across the NX-01 bridge to where T’Pol sat in the Captain’s chair.

“Cute,” She quipped. “So, this is why you’re late for dinner?”

Tom rolled his eyes, “I was looking for a little inspiration for my next project.”

“I see.”

“Where’s Miral?”

“She’s with your parents. Your mother insisted on taking her for the night so we could spend some time together. Alone.”

Well that did it. Given the choice between spending the night with Captain Archer or alone with B’Elanna, there wasn’t actually much of a contest. Tom grinned, “Really? Well, computer, end program.”


“Tom, we need to talk.”

Tom knew that tone. It was the one he always dreaded. It was the one that indicated she was about to say something he didn’t want to hear. He waited a moment until he was sure his own voice lacked anything defensive in it. “What’s on your mind?”

B’Elanna scooped up their plates for recycling then returned to the table where they’d been eating. “I got a message from Starfleet. We should be expecting a visit from Captain Riker within the next few days. We’re going to be reassigned.”

“They told you that?”

“They told me to expect the Captain, that’s all. He just accepted command of the Titan and he’s looking for a staff.” She paused to let this fact sink in. “The Titan was commissioned for the purpose of deep space exploration,” she added.

Tom nodded, though he wasn’t exactly sure about how ‘deep’ she was talking about. The last time he was in demand he ended up stranded on the other side of the galaxy. He didn’t want to be reassigned yet anyway. After being in the Delta Quadrant for seven years, they, like most of the Voyager crew, were perfectly content to sit around Starfleet HQ for a while or take short term assignments in the known galaxy. The idea of being reassigned to a deep space exploratory vessel, especially since Miral was so young, turned his stomach.

“We should tell him ‘no’.”

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, Tom.”

“I thought we wanted to have another baby in a couple years.”

B’Elanna gave him that sigh, “Tom. You want another baby. I’ve been stuck nursing and changing diapers for the past year and it’s driving me crazy. If you want another baby, I’m sure the Doctor can arrange it for you.”


“I’m serious, Tom. You spend too much time writing holonovels and not enough time helping me with Miral. I need a change of pace.”

Tom reeled. Their first night alone together in weeks was quickly turning into a bicker session. The last thing he wanted to do was argue and, bleakly, he knew she was right: he was not managing his time properly. He didn’t want to provoke her any further than she already was. Instead, he sat in silence waiting for her to speak her mind.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?” B’Elanna urged after a few seconds.

Tom nodded slowly, getting up from where he was seated at the table to meet his wife at her level; face to face. “You’re right. I haven’t been fair to you. Or to Miral.”

“Did I just hear you right?” She blinked.

“But I don’t think the solution is to go jump on the nearest starship and blast out of known space at high warp.” Tom’s voice raised slightly, causing B’Elanna to cross her arms.

“Why not?” Her voice now had an edge to it.

“Because I want our family to have stability.” Tom began pacing.

“Are you implying I don’t?” B’Elanna tried to contain her temper.

“B’Elanna…” Tom was exasperated, “…on a starship?”

“Why not? We were stable on Voyager. You once told Harry that you didn’t care if we got home.”

“People die on starships, B’Elanna.”

“People die on space stations, Tom.”

“If we went on this assignment, we’d only be a day out of space dock before some disaster happened.”

“Oh what? A broken replicator? A transporter malfunction? You won’t even hear the Captain out.”

“You’re not even listening to me!”

“You’re not listening either! I’ve sat around this space station long enough and I don’t want to be here any more!” With that, she chucked one of the sofa pillows in his face and stormed off into the adjoining bedroom. If the doors on Jupiter Station could slam, this one would have.


“Well, you seem a bit flustered today, Mr. Paris. Trouble in paradise?”

The Doctor’s tone always had this way of causing the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. This kind of sparring was typical on the job, as it was when they worked in Voyager’s sickbay. However, after the previous night, Tom definitely felt like a cat being rubbed the wrong way.

“Do you ever shut up?”

Barclay winced, “I’m staying out of this.”

“You don’t have to stay out of anything, Reg; the subject is closed.” Tom glared at both of them and continued, “Except the fact that she wants to go running off all over the galaxy again with a baby attached to her…”

“I get the idea, Lieutenant,” the Doctor rolled his eyes and punched in a few commands at his console, “Are you being reassigned?”

“I’m expecting Captain Riker any day now.”

Reg’s face seemed to light up, “Deanna mentioned they were coming to see us. I just didn’t realize it was on official business.”

“So,” the Doctor began. “What’s wrong with taking your family on a starship? If I remember correctly, you were perfectly willing to raise the baby on Voyager when you found out she was pregnant.”

“That was when I thought I didn’t have a choice, Doc. The situation’s changed.”

“I thought you enjoyed piloting a starship.”

“I also enjoy writing holonovels. Need I remind you that the publisher accepted my Captain Proton program last week? I don’t have to pilot a starship to enjoy myself. In fact, Starfleet was my father’s brilliant idea, not mine.”

“Speaking of holodeck programs,” Reg cut in, “Did you try out any of the ones I gave you?”

Grateful to have the subject finally changed, Tom relaxed visibly, “Yeah, I tried the NX-01 program. I actually enjoyed the characters, but they seemed a little “off” for some reason. It was almost like when the Doctor wrote Photons be Free: it was the Voyager crew, and yet, not the Voyager crew…”

“That’s because it wasn’t the Voyager crew,” the Doctor insisted.

“Right. Here we go again. That’s why perfect strangers call me ‘Lieutenant Marcelles’ all the time. I’m never going to live that down, thanks.”

“What’s wrong with the NX-01 characters?” Reg asked.

“Oh, where do I begin! First let’s talk about the villains…”

The Doctor snorted, “This should be interesting coming from the author of Satan’s Robot Conquers the World.”

Paris opened his mouth then closed it, rethinking his retort. “Maybe it’s better to let you see for yourself….”


“Okay,” Paris turned to the Doctor, “Our goal is to kidnap Shran and his daughter; we need to get through Captain Archer and Commander Tucker.”

“Can I record this for your wife?”

“No.” Paris turned to Reg, “Ready?”

Barclay nodded, “Computer, resume program from previous time frame.” Reg crossed his arms and relaxed, remaining in spectator mode as the holodeck ‘dressed’ Paris and transformed the Doctor into an evil alien invasion force.

“Let’s go!” Paris shouted at the Doctor, running through the corridors with one other holographic alien thug. They rounded a corner and found themselves face to face with their ‘obstacle’.

“I thought he said their ship couldn’t catch up to us…” Tucker was saying to Archer.

“Remind me to mention that to Shran,” Archer replied.

“Where are their weapons?” The Doctor gave his famous eye roll. “They knew there was an intruder.”

“We’ve come for Shran and the child,” Paris hissed. He could see an alien thug creep up behind the NX-01 officers from around the other corner. “You’re leaving me with very little choice,” he warned, raising his pitch.

“Shran left six hours ago.” Archer spat, “You’re late.”

“You’re lying,” Paris growled. “His shuttle’s in launch bay and you’re talking like he’s still here, idiot.” He nodded once to the Doctor, “Kill him!”

“H-hold on…” Tucker began to stammer like Barclay on one of his ‘off days’.

The Doctor shot Archer, sending him sprawling to the deck.

“Computer, freeze program!” The room stopped at Tom’s command.

Barclay strode up next to them, shocked, “You’re not supposed to kill Archer.”

“Mr. Paris just told me to kill him.”

“No.” Tom said emphatically. “You’re supposed to wait until Tucker becomes so hysterical you want to slap him silly. Then we let him trick us into believing there’s a secret comm system somewhere in the power relays.”

“Where’s the logic in that? And why are we here anyway? Do we really need to stalk Shran through the galaxy for a mere gem? Isn’t it a waste of resources?”

“Don’t forget, it’s an extremely rare gem,” Barclay put in.

“It’s an amethyst.”

“Now you know what’s wrong with the villains,” came Tom’s matter-of-fact tone.

“Of course. They work for Chaotica.”

Tom feigned offense. Then a proverbial light bulb seemed to appear over his head. “I could use this in my next story. Harry would love it!”

The Doctor was incredulous. “This actually happened on the original Enterprise? Computer, back up program by half a minute and resume in passive mode.”

They stepped to the side as the computer adjusted them to their original appearance. The scenario began to play out as the author intended.



“They’re here.” B’Elanna give Miral a quick kiss as she handed her off to Tom to answer the door. She straightened her uniform and stood business-like as Miral spat up on her father’s shoulder.


Before Tom could clean himself off, the door whooshed open to reveal a tall, dark, bearded man standing with Deanna Troi. They knew Deanna as Reg’s counselor but B’Elanna never met her huband.

“Captain Riker. Come in, please.” B’Elanna extended her hand and nodded to Troi, “Counselor.”

Riker smiled his most charming smile, shaking her hand firmly. “B’Elanna Torres and Tom Paris,” he drawled, “Admiral Janeway has told me much about you two.”

“I don’t know if we should be relieved or afraid.” Tom smiled back at them and B’Elanna shot him a look that communicated exactly what she would do if he screwed this up.

Deanna reached out for the baby, “May I?”

“Of course.” Tom handed Miral off to Deanna who immediately began a whole string of gibberish baby talk. Miral rewarded her with sweet laughter as Deanna plopped down on one of the couches.

“So, I’m going to get straight to the point and assume you’ve already figured out why I’ve come.” Riker sat down with his wife as Tom and B’Elanna did likewise across from them. “I need a helmsman and an engineer who are experienced in deep space exploration.”

“Well, you can’t get any deeper than the Delta Quadrant.” B’Elanna quipped.

“You know there’s been a steady competition between all the Captains in the fleet over the Voyager crew.” Riker told them.

“You don’t say…”

“You were also both highly recommended by your former Captain as well as Admiral Paris.”

Tom snorted, “Does it really count if the recommendation came from my father?”

“I think so.” Riker affirmed. “I’ve known the Admiral for a while now and I’ve always trusted his judgment.”

“Then I assume you’ve heard about Caldik Prime…”

B’Elanna narrowed her eyes and Tom continued without missing a beat, “…as well as my experience with the Maquis. Oh,” he snapped his fingers, “did Janeway mention she put me in the brig for thirty days and busted me down to Ensign?”

Tom…” B’Elanna warned through clenched teeth.

“I’m aware of your service record, Mr. Paris.” Riker stifled a smile, “Obviously, you’ve gained their respect anyway; otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”

“Will always does his homework.” Deanna explained, sensing that Tom was trying to worm his way out of this potential assignment. She shot a warning glance over to Riker who read it accordingly. Will had more to say to him in regards to his service record, but it could certainly wait.

“I want to thank you for considering us for this assignment, Captain.” B’Elanna decided she wasn’t going to let Tom get a word in edgewise anymore. “I’ve been looking for a change of scenery. Jupiter Station is getting boring.”

“I’m glad to hear a change would be welcome.” Deanna smiled, “Did you know that child care and school are provided on Prometheus class starships?” Miral ran her tiny hand over Deanna’s face and then into her dark locks, tugging with a fist full of hair.

“I remember reading about that somewhere, yes. Although, I was wondering if I could borrow a technical manual of Titan’s engines and navigation systems. I’d like to understand what kind of work I’d be doing should I accept this assignment.”

“I thought you’d never ask.” Riker pulled a couple disks out of his pocket and handed them to Torres.

“If you thought I’d never ask, then where did these come from?” B’Elanna teased.

The two couples gazed at each other for an awkward moment until Tom broke the silence. “Well, we’ll let you know what we’ve decided…” he stood and scooped up Miral who was rubbing her eyes.

“Within the next three days,” Riker told him firmly. He stood along with everyone else, “If you turn me down, I need time to contact my second choice and make sure the positions are filled.”

“Understood, Captain.” Paris respectfully shook Riker’s hand.


“Deanna!” The most amazing woman Reg had ever met was standing in his door.

“Hi Reg. It’s so good to see you!”

“W-Won’t you come in?”

At the sound of Reg’s stammering, her smile seemed to get a little smaller. “I would love to, but you’re standing in my way.”

Reg, realizing he had become a door, quickly moved to let her in. “Would you like some chocolate ice cream, I-I bought low fat this time.”

Deanna sucker punched him in the arm, “Are you saying I’m fat?”

Reg squirmed, “N-no…. No! A-absolutely not, I…”

Deanna chuckled, remembering on her last few visits she had only accepted small portions of her favorite dessert because she was worried about her weight; he was only trying to be accommodating. “Reg, you know better. I’d love some ice cream.”

Reg relaxed a little, ducking around the corner to what Deanna assumed to be a small kitchen unit. He returned quickly with a generous helping.

“Thank you.” She sat down, waiting for Reg to join her. Instead he moved to the large window, gazing out at the red ‘eye’ of Jupiter.

“I noticed you’ve been stammering again, Reg. What are you nervous about?”


“I’m an empath,” she reminded him. “Do you want to save me the trouble and just tell me what this is about?”

Reg closed his eyes: there was no use trying to hide it. “I-I think I’m having holodeck problems again.”

Deanna put her bowl down on the coffee table and stood to face him, “As I recall, last time you had ‘holodeck’ problems resulted in the Pathfinder project establishing two way contact with Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. When we were on Enterprise it was a problem, but lately I’ve come to realize that you simply learn and work a little differently than most people. What’s going on this time, Reg?”

“I-I’m not sure. All I know is that I can’t seem to get this off my mind…”

Deanna waited for him to continue.

“His death doesn’t make any sense at all.”

“Whose death?”

“Th-the Doctor and Tom both agree… b-but I-I think there’s something hidden in the program that n-no one knows about.”

Deanna could sense Reg’s urgency but his encrypted explanation wasn’t very clear to her at all. “What program are you talking about?”

“One of the old programs I took with me when I left Enterprise… the NX-01 program.”

Deanna frowned. “I thought we destroyed that,” her voice was low and it sounded more like she was talking to herself than to Reg.

It was Barclay’s turn to look surprised, “That was yours? I - I didn’t realize you were interested in historical holonovels.”

“It was Will’s. Reg, it was never a fully distributed holonovel,” she explained. “It was given to Will by one of his former Captains with no indication of its purpose or authorship. And you’re right; it makes no sense at all.”

“Why would someone do that?”

“Misrepresent the character of an historical figure?”

“No. I-I mean y-yes… I mean…” Reg took a deep breath, “Design a holonovel program and only distribute it to one person.”

Reg had a valid question. Of course the same thought had crossed her mind many years ago. She talked Will through the program; the whole time he sarcastically acted like he was learning his first lesson on disobeying poorly conceived orders. However, the truth of the matter was that neither of them understood the whole purpose behind Admiral Pressman’s gift in the first place. Will already made up his mind about his loyalties before he even stepped foot on the holodeck for that silly diversion. He got more out of letting Worf crack his ribs with a bat’leth than he did watching some contrived, slapped together interpretation of events that had no clear record, or even the slightest bearing on the situation at hand.

“I asked Tom and the Doctor to go through it with me again later.”

“At least your only friends aren’t holograms this time. One of them, anyway….” Deanna sighed. “You don’t think there’s some kind of message in it, do you?”

“I- I don’t know.”

“Would you mind if I joined you?”


Deanna was enjoying herself. Spending time with this bunch put her in a good mood despite the fact that Paris seemed to be worried about going home later. She decided to wait for the right time to broach the subject with him.

At the moment, Reg was deep in thought and needed his space in order to follow through with his hypothesis. His way of thinking was certainly different from most people and she was glad his choice of friends understood that.

Shran was giving Science Officer T’Pol the ‘photograph’ of the amethyst so they could replicate a fake.

“Computer, freeze.” Reg said, glancing at his three friends who watched off to the side.

“What now?” Tom was growing impatient.

Reg was looking over T’Pol’s shoulder at the PADD Shran had just handed her. He was intently staring at it, not sure what to make of the tiny digital picture of a purple gem and the surrounding alien script. “Computer, what language is written on T’Pol’s PADD?”

:Unable to comply with request for information.:

“Why not?”

:Unable to comply with request for information.:

Reg looked at his friends, exasperated.

“I’m a Doctor, not a linguist,” was the first response he got.

Tom rolled his eyes. “Why don’t we ask Shran? It’s probably Andorian.”

“We would have to assume an active role in the story,” Reg reminded him.

“Computer, switch mode to active. Paris as T’Pol.” At Tom’s command, T’Pol disappeared and…

Deanna burst into a snorting chuckle and the Doctor’s smug voice filled the room. “Mr. Paris, you would put Seven to shame.”

Paris glanced down at himself, then at Reg in defeat. “Computer, delete cat suit. Not a word,” he warned the Doctor.

The Doctor whispered to Deanna, “Should we tell him about the ears?”

She shook her head, trying to wipe the smirk off her face.

Tom tried his best to hear what the Doctor had said, but gave up, deciding to focus on retrieving information for Reg. “Computer, back thirty seconds and resume.”

Shran disappeared and instantaneously strode onto the bridge holding the PADD with the mysterious language on it. “Commander, have you changed your hair? You look so… disheveled.”

“I had a rough Pon Farr last night.” Paris quipped, thinking another trek through the caves of Sikarri IV would have been preferable to what really happened the night before. He glanced at the PADD Shran handed him. “What language is this?”

“What?” His antennae stood straight out, “Are you feeling alright, Commander?”

Paris squinted at the PADD again. Then back to the Andorian. “Of course; I should’ve recognized it. If you’ll excuse me.” Before Shran could respond, he crossed the bridge to the communications console where Ensign Sato worked quietly, his three companions observing intently.

“Commander,” Sato acknowledged.

“Ensign,” Paris handed her the PADD, “What language is this?”

Sato looked at the PADD, then back at ‘T’Pol’, her brow furrowing. She whispered nervously, “Commander Tucker’s going to have a kitten if he finds out we’re talking about this here.”

Paris cleared his throat, mimicking Tuvok as best he could, “Thank you, Ensign, carry on.”

“Computer, freeze.” Reg said, his eyes wide as a child’s on Christmas morning.

“Now that was interesting,” Paris affirmed.


The first thing Deanna did after Paris and Reg discovered the first clue was contact her husband. She wasn’t sure if this constituted a full fledged emergency, but given the nature of the situation, she felt it this was something Will needed to see for himself.

Ten minutes later, Riker entered the holodeck, taking in his surroundings. “What the hell’s going on?” His question seemed to be directed at the entire assembly.

“Sir,” Paris piped up. “We think Mr. Barclay may have uncovered the existence of a hidden message in this program.”

Will snapped his face toward Deanna, his expression demanding an explanation.

“Will, Reg meant no harm. When he left the Enterprise, he took some holodeck programs with him. It started out as casual play…”

“I thought this program was destroyed.”

“Maybe somebody placed a backup in the Enterprise’s database.” Deanna told him. It was the most logical explanation. Of course, if someone did the only person who would do such a thing would have been Admiral Pressman himself. She sensed that Will knew what she was getting at and was pretty sure he didn’t like the implications of that line of thought one bit. Hidden messages often translated into scandal.

Riker forced himself to calm down and turned back to Paris, “Lieutenant, you are aware this is not your typical historical holonovel, correct?”

“The Counselor has given me some background information,” he confirmed.

“Then you must know that the person who gave me this program was Rear-Admiral Pressman.”

The whole room took on a deathly silence. “She didn’t tell me that, sir,” Paris said quietly.

“I don’t get it,” The Doctor blurted, “Then why don’t we just ask this Admiral what this is all about.”

Tom looked at the Doctor, “Admiral Pressman was murdered eight years ago.”

Back to Prologue

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