"Helm and navigation functional," Tom Paris answered.
"Tom. Report to sickbay and help the doctor," Janeway ordered.
Tom quickly got up, grabbing his med. kit, and headed for the turbo lift. The door didn't open. "Harry, what's with the turbo lift?"
"I don't know. I guess you will have to take the Jeffries tubes." Harry stated. He knew how Tom hated the tubes. It was the fate of tall people to hate the tubes, always banging their heads on those very low ceilings. He laughed as he heard Tom groan.
"Lieutenant Paris, do you always keep a medical kit at your station?" Tuvok asked. He could not help but wonder how it could have been hidden in that location without someone noticing. To his security trained mind, this was unacceptable, possibly a security risk.
"Yes, since we reconfigured the helm, it has a good place to
store the kit," Tom shrugged.
He couldn't figure out why everyone assumed that he didn't take
his medical duties seriously. All right, he did admit that when Janeway
decided that he was to be the doctor's
assistant he had objected but since then he had spent more time studying than when he was at the academy. He opened the hatch and started on his journey down to sickbay.
*Holodeck 2, deck 6*
"Seven, how do we get out of here?" Naomi asked.
"Do not worry. We simply have to find the manual override to open the door," Seven stated.
"How do we do that?" Naomi asked again, disliking the huge dark room and the silence.
"I will use my optical implant to find it," Seven answered. She looked at her little companion when she heard the stress of fear in Naomi's voice. Seven reached down and took Naomi's hand and lead her to the door. They had been playing with Flotter when the ship rocked and the holodeck had lost power. Seven found the program rudimentary but Ensign Wildman stated it was an educational program for Naomi. Seven was not to give Naomi the answers to the problems present but allow Naomi to find her own solutions.
Seven pulled the manual override and the door slowly opened enough for them the shimmy thru the small opening. Seven reacquired Naomi's hand and lead her toward the turbo lift. Seven needed to get to astrometrics and Naomi's battle station was the mess hall with Neelix.
The turbo lift doors remained closed and the indicator was dark. "Computer." Seven called. She waited but received no answer. She turned to Naomi. "We must use the jefferies tubes." Seven lead the way to the nearest tube entrance.
"Wow, Tuvok said I could only go in there in an emergency," Naomi stated, suddenly she was excited about going in a previously forbidden place. Tuvok and Tom had created her a jeffries tubes maze on the holodeck. Nicolette had showed her the engineering part of the tubes and the really dangerous place. Ensign Myers from security showed her how to hide in the tubes if some one beamed to Voyager during battle.
"We must climb to deck two," Seven stated. "Follow me closely."
Naomi was slightly disappointed. The tube looked boring. It had a hard floor, little lights in the ceiling, little tubes and wires, nothing really exciting.
They went down to the mess hall, but it was dark and Neelix wasn't there. Seven hit her com. badge. "Seven to the bridge," She didn't get an answer. "You will go with me," Seven told the child.
"What about my mommy? She was to pick me up in a few minutes," Naomi asked.
"I don't know communications are out. When I get to astrophysics, we will find out what is going on," Seven stated. They got into the jefferies tube and was headed for astro metrics when they run into Paris on his way to medical.
"Well hello ladies may I be of help?" Tom asked.
"Communication's are out," Seven told him. "I took her to the mess hall but Neelix wasn't there. Will you take her to medical with you as I have to get to astrometrics?"
"No take her to her mom. We have to many wounded in sick bay," Tom told her.
"Her mom is in engineering," Seven informed him.
"Then the Captain would be the person to pick her sitter,"Paris said.
They parted and Seven took Naomi up to the bridge. They crawled out of the tube.
Janeway asked. "What is she doing on the bridge?"
"Captain I had Naomi in the holo deck. I cannot take her to her mother as she is still in engineering. The mess hall was empty and there was no sign of Mr. Neelix. Mr. Paris said to bring her here."
"You report to astrometric. Naomi you come with me," The Captain told them.
"Captain I need to get a message to engineering," Mr. Kim told her.
"Give it to Seven she has to go by there," The Captain ordered.
Seven turn and crawled back into the jefferies tube, and Naomi followed her. No one noticed that Naomi had followed Seven into the hatch. Half way to engineering seven noticed and but did not comment on her presence until Seven got to engineering, the Naomi crawled out behind her.
"Naomi what are you doing here? You know that you are not to be in engineering?" B'Elanna yelled.
Seven turned around. "You were to stay with the Captain," She told her.
"I thought if they had a message to go back to the bridge I could take it," Naomi said.
"No you might get lost in the tubes," B'Elanna and Seven said simultaneously.
"Yes ma'am," The child said looking dejected.
Seven said. "Come on sub unit of Samantha Wildman Naomi Wildman we will return to the bridge."
They entered the tube and when they got to the bridge Seven said. "Sorry Captain she followed me to engineering."
"I just wanted to help," She hung her head.
"You can clean my office and the bridge," She gave her a rag. "Dust everything," The Captain told her.
"Yes Captain," The child looked very important, as she started her job. Everyone forgot she was there.
It was about an hours later she was on the floor at Mr. Tuvok's feet dusting. She reached up and pulled on his uniform.
"Mr. Tuvok should this be hot? None of the others were," Naomi
He bent down to feel the panel. "Thank you. You go see the Captain she is in her ready room."
"Yes sir," Naomi ran over to the Captain's ready room. "Uncle Harry, I can't reach the door chime."
He pushed the buzzer to open the door.
Naomi ran in. "Mr. Tuvok told me to report to you."
"Mr. Kim, I'm transferring my operations to your station until we find the short," Tuvok told him.
He had just transferred when the panel blew out, burning and cutting his legs. Kim pulled him over out of the way. Kim hit his commbadge. "Captain to the bridge." No answer. He had forgotten the system was down. He went over to the door. "Captain, Tuvok is hurt."
The Captain and Naomi came out.
"I'll go to sickbay and get the doctor," Naomi yelled as she scrambled
into the jefferies tube.
The Captain turned to stop her but she was already gone. "Mr. Kim, open all the jefferies tube hatches in the corridors and be sure she can't get into the core," Janeway ordered.
"Yes Captain," Kim answered.
Naomi was down on the level that sick bay was on, now which of the tunnels went to sick bay. She was trying to figure it out. She heard someone coming. "Who's there?" She yelled.
"Uncle Tom, What are you doing here?" Tom asked.
"Mr. Tuvok is hurt. A panel exploded on the bridge," Naomi told him. "I have to get to sick bay. I don't know which tunnel goes there."
"The one I just came out of," he sat and took a pad out of his kit.
"I will draw you a map of the tunnels. Give this to the
doctor. I need some supplies for my med. kit," Tom told her.
Then hurry back to the bridge so I can help Mr. Tuvok.
"Yes sir," Naomi said and scampered off to sick bay.
Tom got to the bridge. "I met your gofer in the tubes. Someone should have given her a map of the tubes."
"She didn't have permission to be there that is why she didn't have one," The Captain said.
"Well she does now. I just gave it to her. She was getting upset she was on the right level but didn't know which tube went where. Now let me see what I can do for Tuvok," Tom told them.
"He's over here," The Captain told him pointing.
"Well Tuvok what have you done to yourself?" He asked as he cut his uniform off his legs. "I see second degree burns and cuts. We will have to wait for little one to get here," Tom said. " I needed a new dermal regenerator, so I sent her for it."
Naomi showed up at sick bay. She walked up to the doctor. "Uncle Tom said to give this to you."
The doctor took the pad and read it. "Wait here for a few minutes."
The doctor found a small med. kit and put the stuff in that Paris needed.
He put it on like a back pack. "Now don't loose it.
There you go little one on your way."
"Yes sir," She stood straight and marched off to the tube entrance.
Naomi showed up on the bridge a short time later. " Uncle Tom here are your supplies the doctor said not to loose them, and I didn't," Naomi bragged.
"Naomi, Could you take this padd down to Engineering?" Harry asked. He knew that Tom would want her out of the area as he worked on Tuvok.
She left on her next trip to engineering.
She walked into engineering. "Hi! Mommy, this is for Aunt B'Elanna," She handed her a padd. "Mommy I'm hungry."
"Ok I'll get you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some milk. You go into the office and don't touch anything," Wildman ordered her.
"Ok " She told her.
Lunch was good and when she finished, Lieutenant Torres had another padd to go to the bridge. That was how she spent the afternoon carrying messages between the bridge, engineering, and sickbay.
Six hours later the Captain walked into her ready room to find the child on the couch sound asleep. She found a blanket and covered her.
Coming back out she smiled. "The next time someone goes to engineering.
Tell Wildman she will find Naomi in my ready room asleep. By the
way, who has fed her today?"
Everyone looked at her with blank looks," When she wakes up, we will have to remember to feed her."
A small voice came from behind her. "Captain did you want me to go to engineering with a message?" Naomi asked as she wiped the sleep out of her eyes .
The Captain knelt so she was on the same level with the child. "Naomi when was the last time you ate?"
"My mommy gave me a P. and J. sandwich and some milk the first time I went to engineering. I got to eat in Aunt B'Elanna's office," The child told her excitedly.
Janeway looked around, "Does anyone remember when we sent her there last."
"How is Mr. Tuvok?" Naomi asked.
Tuvok was leaning on the bulkhead. "I am fine child, thank you for telling me about the panel."
Naomi walked over to him and sat next to him, looking sad,. "I wish I had told you before it could burn you."
"Miss Wildman you did a good job. "He said in his most Vulcan voice.
He looked at the Captain. "At least the child was safely away from
it when it blew."
"Naomi come on, it is your supper time" The Captain ordered. "What do you want for supper?"
"Peanut butter and jelly," Naomi told her.
"You had that for lunch what do you want for supper?" Kathryn asked her.
"Just a minute," The child ran out to the other room.
Kathryn followed to see where the child was going.
"Uncle Tom the Captain says I can't have peanut butter again.
She says I have
to have something else," Naomi said really fast.
"Well how about a hot dog, milk, and some french fries," Tom answered.
"Uncle Tom said I could have a hot dog and milk and french fries," The child told her.
Kathryn had never heard of such a thing. "I'm not sure the replicator has it in the data base."
"Sure it is Uncle Tom put it in," Naomi said.
Janeway walked over to the replicator "One hot dog, glass of milk, and french fries." A plate appeared with a long thing laying on a bread thing covered in red and green stuff, long strips of potatoes and a glass of milk. Kathryn had a sudden memory of seeing the kind of food at a fair that she attended as a child. The milk was the only thing she could identify by name. "Here you go."
Naomi was setting on the couch. When the Captain set the plate on the table in front of her. "You may find it easier to set on the floor. Act like you are having a picnic."
Janeway's commbadge beeped.
"The Captain to the bridge. The comm system is working," Mr. Kim
Janeway walked out into the bridge. Hitting her com. badge. The bridge to Mr. Neelix. She got no answer. "Ship wide, has anyone heard from or seen Mr. Neelix?"
"All decks have reported no sign of him," Mr. Kim answered.
"Start a scan he may be hurt," The Captain ordered. "Tom when he is found you go check him out."
"Naomi, you take this to the doctor I need more supples," Tom yelled.
"Yes sir." She said proudly. She scrambled into the jefferies tube.
"She could have used the turbo lift." Kathryn stated.
"No, Captain the turbo lifts have not been fixed yet," Kim told her.
" You mean to tell me that child has been running all over this ship by way of the jefferies tubes?" The Captain demanded to know.
"Yes, Captain," he answered.
Naomi came out of the tube yelling. "Uncle Tom, I found Uncle Neelix he is at the bottom of shaft 3 deck 15."
"Harry can we beam him to sick bay," Tom asked.
"I think so since they have most of the ship put back together. I can spare the energy."
Ensign Wildman came out of the tube. "Come with me Naomi it is time for you to go to bed."
"I have to go to sick bay first and then come back with uncle Tom's medical supplies."
"Now! Someone else will do that," Wildman corrected her.
"Why don't you wait here and see if the beam out works? Wildman my ready room," The Captain ordered.
When they got into the office. The Captain said. "Samantha sit. I have a story to tell you, then you will understand why she feels she must do this. It started this morning when Seven brought her here because . . ." Janeway started describing Naomi's day, finishing with "She just now found Neelix at the bottom of tube ten. So she blames her self because she didn't see him before."
"She will be having night mares for a week," Wildman told her.
"That's why I wanted her to wait and know they had rescued him," Janeway told her.
Tom came to the door. "Captain we can't get to him I sent Naomi to sick bay, and I'm headed for the bottom of tube ten. I told Naomi will meet me there. Tuvok has taken over my station. That way he can set and do the job."
"How are his legs doing?" Kathryn asked.
"Tuvok says we have sufficiently healed him, but I know that he is hurting," Tom smiled.
"I would like to go with him and take Naomi to our quarters after she gets there?" Sam requested.
"That's fine she must be very tired I thought the turbo lift, was running at noon?"the Captain told her.
"We had to jury rigged it enough to get four people off that were trapped in it," Sam said.
"I see, dismissed," Janeway said.
Tom got to Neelix. "Hi Neelix how did you get down here? What were you doing in here?" Tom asked.
"Mr. Stevenson is under me. I tried to get off him, but I couldn't move now it is even worse. He has been having trouble breathing. We were practicing security measures for our class. Mr. Tuvok said because I take care of Naomi when we are having trouble with people on the ship. I should know how to fly an escape pod and how to get around these tunnels," Neelix told him.
"Well Naomi will be here soon with a med kit. She knows these tunnels better then most of the adults. She has been running around them all day."
"I know I saw her," Neelix told him.
"Why didn't you yell at her?" Tom asked.
"I was afraid of scaring her," Neelix said. While they were talking Tom helped him move off Stevenson and check him out.
"Stevenson will be fine, you my friend aren't going to walk for a while. You have broken both of your legs and a couple of ribs," Tom told him laying a hand on his shoulder.
Tom hit his comm. badge. "Paris to sick bay."
"Sick bay here" The doctor answered.
"Doc. Where is Naomi?" Tom demanded to know.
"I'm right here sir, but mom won't let me come down there," The child told him.
"Sam if you won't let her come down. Then you bring the med pack down," Paris yelled.
She just shook her head no. "Paris to the Captain."
"Janeway to Paris. What is wrong?"
"Get someone down here now. Wildman won't let Naomi come down where I am, and she won't come herself."
Chakotay said. "I'm on my way."
"Chakotay where have you been all day?" Kathryn asked.
"I was one of those trapped in the turbo lift. The doctor just released me from sick bay," Chakotay told her.
"Ensign Wildman move over, so I can Get around you," Chakotay ordered. She moved and Naomi scrambled down the stairs.
"Here you go Uncle Tom. Daddy. . . Neelix, are you all right?" Naomi asked. Everyone's head snapped up at her form of address.
"Dad when did this start?" Tom asked. Neelix looked just as surprised as the rest.
"He does daddy things for me like scare off the monsters and tells me when I'm do wrong," Naomi said.
"Who taught you to call him daddy?" Her mother yelled. "You have a father. You don't need another."
"Ensign that is enough. Naomi come up here dear," Chakotay said. When she got there. "You go with your mom and get some sleep. I want to talk to you both, 1000 in the morning. My office."
"Yes sir," Wildman said.
Chokotay looked down. "Can I help?"
"Sure get Stevenson out of here. Can you stand? The commander will help you get to sick bay. Bring back some help to carry Neelix out," Tom ordered.
"Why not beam him out?" Chocotay asked.
"We tried that and it didn't work."
Chakotay hit his combadge. "Harry how are they coming with the transporter?" Chocotay asked.
"They have repaired them," Kim answered.
"Then how come when we tried to beam Neelix out it didn't work?" Tom asked.
"I lost my commbadge," It is over there or it was. It maybe in sick bay and the doctor wondering where I am. Neelix told him.
"Harry lock onto Stevenson's badge and transports him and Neelix to sick bay. Neelix had lost his when he fell," Tom told him.
The blue light of the transporter took them a way. Tom started climbing the ladder. "I'll be in sick bay if the Captain wants me," He told Chakotay.
"Tom sit a minute? I need to ask you. You know Naomi better then I do. Why would she call Neelix daddy?" Chakotay asked.
Tom looks at him. "I have a better question Why wouldn't she? Since she was born every time, we get into trouble. She is left with Neelix. When there were monsters under her bed he was there to chase them away. He has done everything a normal father does for his kids. Now I should get to sickbay to help the doctor."
Chakotay looks at him. "You're right. I was trying to figure out what to say to her and her mom in the morning. To help them through this Sam was quite upset about it."
"Sam has a good head she may surprise you and tell you the same thing in the morning. She may have feeling for him because he has been good to Naomi, and seeing him laying at the bottom of the shaft was to much for her," Tom smiled.
When Tom got to sick bay. The doctor yelled at him. "It is about time you got here Mr. Paris. Take care of Naomi. She won't tell me what's the matter with her. She just sits over there and watches everything I have been doing for Mr. Neelix."
Tom walked over to her, "He will be ok why don't you go back to you room you can come and see him in the morning?"
"Mama won't let me, besides you heard the commander we have to go see him in the morning," Naomi said.
"I promise it will be ok. I talked to Chakotay. He understands," Tom told the child.
"Well good since you seem to be able to explain it. Please do," Wildman told him.
"Sam think about it. Through no fault of your own you are stuck out here, and every time the ship gets into trouble they send her to him."
"Neelix should have talked to me before telling her she could call him daddy," Sam said.
Naomi said. "Neelix didn't! That was my idea. He didn't know until I called him that. Uncle Tom do you think he will be mad at me?"
"No. Naomi come over here," Neelix called from his bed. Tom picked her up and stood her on a chair next to the bed. "Naomi I think it is great that you think so highly of me but you have a father and I'm sorry it is not me. Now you go with your mom and go to bed."
"Yes sir" Naomi leaned over and kissed him good night. She started to giggle. "Your beard tickles," Then crawled down off the chair.
As the child left the room Neelix smiled, and went to sleep.
Just another day on Voyager...the end.