Gateway to the Garden of Eden
A story about Kes.
Will she save her people the Ocampa?
© Kes Website 2015 (the author is known to
the owner of this website)
This story can be downloaded and read by Kes fans and fans of Star Trek Voyager. But further spreading and selling of this material is prohibited without the permission of the owner of this website.
Star Trek Voyager and its characters are registered trademarks of Paramount Pictures.
The characters of the Lynx-crew were created by the imagination of the author J.R. Olson and have their pre-histories in his tales: Coming home, Strange dreams and Kes‘ vacation.
Spring had found its way to the largest
continent in the northern hemisphere of the planet New Carlisle, and you could
not have picked a finer day to take a walk. So the two men who came strolling
along the narrow path, had taken time off today to visit a good friend. As they
approached the little house, which was surrounded by a beautiful flower-garden,
they immersed themselves in cheery chatter. „What do you think, Novak, is she
going to proffer us her homemade lemonade again today?“ the small, stubby type
asked his tall, slim but strong companion with the medium long, dark hair. „I
suppose,“ he answered, „why? don‘t you like its taste, Sonny boy?“ „I‘d prefer a
cool beer now, or even something stronger I would accept.“ „Always remember boy:
A dozen brandies a day, soon the angels are gonna take you away!“ Novak said
laughing. „Rated over a whole life‘s time, you were drunk for far longer than I
was!“ Sonny gave back. „No,“ he babbled on, „sometimes she really irritates me a
bit with her healthy stuff.“ „She‘s just a doctor – and a food producer, hence
she knows about these things,“ Novak commented, „and besides that, – she is
always wanting only the best for us.“
Meanwhile, they had reached the entrance to the garden and Novak opened the little gate in the low white picket fence. The petite woman, with short blond hair, hopped towards them smiling almost like a little girl. In her fine blue dress, amidst of flowering trees and shrubs, looked herself like a little flower. „Novak! Sonny! so nice that you come!“ she shouted from afar. „Hi Kes,“ Novak said, while the girl literally leapt at him and hugged him. „Hi Blondie,“ Sonny muttered, as he also got a hug from Kes. „How are Amy, Mike, Linda and the others?“ she asked. „Have a lot to do,“ Novak said, „the usual stuff. Mike and Linda sure have a good time right now, taking a leap to Deep Space Nine. Here it's getting boring already again, and Sonny is mad because his Amy did not have time to come along.“ „Oh, what a shame,“ said Kes, „but come on in, you are already expected.“ With short, quick steps she hurried ahead of her guests, towards the small, with climbing roses entwined pavilion, which stood in the middle of her garden.
„I do not believe it!“ Novak exclaimed in astonishment, as he entered, „Admiral Janeway, what an honor, Chakotay old chief, hi Tom! and who do I see? the most famous holodoctor of Starfleet!“ „Professor – strictly speaking,“ the hologram remarked, and its projection seemed to be growing by about ten centimeters. „But of course, still for my friends simply – Doctor.“ Kes interrupted the greeting ritual for a moment about to ask the new guests what she should bring them. „Perhaps, some lemonade for you, Mr. Saxon, – homemade.“ „You‘re welcome Kes,“ Sonny said more than friendly. „But if I might ask you, to put it for a week outside in the sunlight for me, so it could get up a little bit of – speed.“ – They all laughed, and once the guests had continued their welcome-chitchat, Kes returned after a while and served Sonny, to his great astonishment, an almost even bigger glass of cool beer. Once Novak also had gotten his, she offered her snacks to the guests. „Please help yourself, I have even more.“ „All off own soil, little Miss Doctor?“ Sonny smirked. „When I look at your posture as me, Mr. Saxon,“ the doctor said, raising his eyebrows, „I would encourage you to listen more to the advice of my values colleague. Just recently I have kept a lecture to the most reputable nutrition experts of Vulcan, about the...“ „Doc, please!“ Tom Paris interrupted, „no medical lectures now, we still prefer to hear Chakotay reporting of his new command.“ „Yeah exactly,“ Novak said. „Is it possible the rumors really believe, Starfleet wants to lay up good old Voyager?“ „Unfortunately yes, I have to say,“ replied Chakotay, „shame about the old lady, but when you consider what she has been through.“ He remained silent for a moment. „Still, I look forward to my new ship. The USS Solar-Impulse, high-warp drive, maintaining warp nine-point-nine permanently, and thanks to plasma catalysis, without damaging subspace.“ „Solar-Impulse? – funny name for a starship,“ grumbled Sonny. „Captain Picard has proposed the name in the name-finding commission of Starfleet,“ said Janeway. „Mr. Saxon, maybe you should take a look into the history throw: Earth, twenty-first century.“ „No time for that,“ Sonny replied and continued: „What I don‘t understand, why Starfleet does not install the latest technology in such a new runabout too?“ „Ah,“ Tom Paris intervened. „Now this might become interesting. You are talking about the coaxial quantum-slipstream-drive, which B‘Elanna was involved in development.“ „Yeah,“ said Sonny, „exactly this I mean. That‘s really something, a thousand light-years in a second wuuuush! But what do the Starfleet-types, these rotten tomat...“ Novak‘s elbow hit Sonny‘s stubby body where it hurts. „Pull yourself on belt Sonny boy, we are guests, and you know that Kes does not like such phrases! – So please!“ „So, what are these bureaucrats doing?“ Sonny continued, talking with some small voice, „some gimcrack simulations and then off in order into the drawer. Too unsafe, too dangerous, unsuitable for passenger transport.“ „Mr. Saxon, these – rotten tomatoes, what you‘re supposed to call them – of Starfleet,“ Kathryn Janeway said, and looked somewhat irritated, „did have to bear some responsibility. And to travel in a manner in which you never know, how far and where to come, a certain skepticism is quite appropriate. We have experienced it in our experiments in the Delta-Quadrant ourselves.“ „Certainly,“ Tom Paris chimed again, „I agree, but Starfleet has excellent pilots who can get this absolutely under control.“ „What is so special because of this new technology?“ asked Kes, who had been listening interested. „I‘ll like to explain,“ said Tom. „So far, we have always tried to drill our way through subspace, and create artificial passages, until we realized that the entire universe is permeated by a network of canals with numerous branches, which you only need to follow to get to your destination. What bothers Starfleet's mind, is that the pilot plays the decisive role. He has to navigate the ship with the help of his intuition, control and decide in fractions of seconds, what path he takes. No matter how powerful, a computer is not capable to. I find it fascinating, again to fly as the first flight pioneers of Earth did – Lindbergh, – Erhart, their view from the cockpit fixed on the horizon, steering the machine with feeling.“ Tom had his head laid back and looked through the by roses entwined glass-roof of Kes‘ pavilion into the blue spring sky. „And what are we doing today?“ he continued, straightened up to his audience, „set a course, initiate a numbered maneuver and leave the rest to Mr. Computer.“ – „I couldn‘t say it more beautiful, Tommy,“ said Sonny, „I could cry. Imagine that at once, Kes. In little more than a minute, you could fly to your old home-world to go home. „Kes paused thoughtfully and her blue eyes were directed to the distance. – Then she blinked, as if she had just awakened from a small dream. „May I refill someone else?“ She asked, glancing around the room. „Yes, please Kes, another coffee,“ said Janeway. „Number five,“ the doctor noticed frowning.
Kes got up, grabbed the coffee-pot and filled the cup, Janeway held out to her. She was about to sit down again, when a hissing sound was heard and a lightning enveloped her body. When the light went out, Kes had disappeared. Novak jumped up and instinctively reached his hand to the place of his belt, where else his weapon was. But there was nothing, because he had left his phaser at home. Kes did not like guns in her home. „The devil again, what was it now,“ said Sonny, „where is she?“ The doctor was also on his feet, had picked his tricorder, which he always carried with him, and began to scan the environment. „Nothing!“ he said after a while, „no trace of her, not even a residual signature!“ „Do you also think what I guess?“ Chakotay asked, who also got up and had turned to Janeway. „Damn yes,“ she said, „and if we are right, we can do nothing.“
One minute she had refilled coffee to her friend Kathryn
Janeway, and now she suddenly stood in the middle of this strange road that led
straight to the horizon. At the right edge of the way, at regular spacing, stood
tall poles, which had crossbars at their upper ends and over them were connected
with tensioned wires. Kes looked around. A barren desert-like landscape. Only
sand and stones, between which a few stunted plants led a bleak existence. In
the distance stood a large, withered tree. From a dust-filled sky a cold, white
sun was milky shining. A light but steady blowing wind stroked the wasteland.
Kes found it unpleasant, especially at the tips of her sensitive ocampan ears.
To her left, from the asphalted road, a path only covered with gravel branched toward a larger building. It looked run down and consisted of a main house with a gabled roof, to which several annexes joined with flat roofs. All parts of the construction seemed wanting to compete with one another, not to fit together. On the large square in front stood two nearly head-high, red columns, out of which hung black hoses. Not far from them parked a box-shaped, four-wheel vehicle, a good deal smaller than the smallest Federation-shuttle. It had a split in the middle of the cockpit window and its outer skin was painted with strange, colorful ornaments and symbols.
Kes walked slowly, and looking around, to the house, hoping to find little protection in a niche against the pesky wind. On the forecourt laid a big animal with light-brown pelt. Kes realized what it was. A Dog. Her friend Kathryn Janeway loved dogs, she knew. Maybe therefore she was not afraid of this pet. In addition, there was also no occasion to. The dog just raised its head, gave Kes a bored glance, yawned and put it back on its front paws. For safety Kes preferred to try not to come too close and made a little detour to the dog, as she approached the house further. But she was startled when her eyes fell on a human-like body, which, not far away, stuck at the top of a tall pile. Taking a closer look, she discovered that it was only a kind of model of a torso with arms outstretched and the hint of a head, which consisted of rough, withered plant fibers. But in amazement she found that this body was wearing as clothing a torn and frayed Starfleet-uniform.
Having arrived at the entrance of the house, Kes‘ attention first was drawn to a large billboard with faded letters. She could read it: „Never closes,“ it said. Under the board hung a matching clock, but which had no hands. Kes looked thoughtful at these things, when the door suddenly opened.
Out stepped a tall, young man. He could have been described as handsome. However, Kes almost had to laugh about his clothes and hairstyle, although she still felt the shock of her sudden dislocation. With his long, dark, slightly wavy hair, which was held by a colored cloth, twisted to a headband, he looked almost like the Indians, which Kes had seen in books on the history of the earth. But neither did fit his glasses with the round, purple-tinted lenses, nor the stubbles of his three-day beard. He also wore a far too large, colorful t-shirt, over it a vest made of the shaggy fur of some animal, and a less than perfect fitting pant of faded blue coarse cloth, which had some big holes, especially at the height of the knees. His feet adomed anything with sole, which little could be called as shoes.
„Hi Kessie baby!“ the young man said, with artificial deep voice. At the same time he raised his right hand and made with his fingers, similar to the Vulcan greeting, a V-shaped sign. „Cool that I can finally welcome you here, I have always wanted to.“ „Hi,“ said Kes a little shy, but composed herself immediately courage and asked in a firm voice: „Who are you, did you bring me here?“ „Could say that,“ the man replied. „I am Q.“ – „Q?“ said Kes. Small wrinkles appeared on her forehead and she looked at her counterpart from the bottom up, with wide, questioning eyes. „Yes,“ said Q, „of course I don‘t mean the other Q, no, I‘m Q2, so to say, the son of the old man.“ Kes seemed not to understand. „But yes, aunt Kathy never told you about me?“ „Aunt Kathy?“ Kes asked, and the wrinkles on her forehead deepened. „Why,“ said Q, „Captain Janeway. Once I was on Voyager, as a teen, spent a vacation there and built all kinds of crap, still was a great time.“ „But please,“ said Kes, „you just took me away from home, from my friends, they will be worried if I stay away for so long, and look for me!“ „Short, long, yesterday, today and tomorrow, but that doesn‘t matter at all girl, you‘re in the Q-continuum, there‘s no tedious time in here, – You know, I‘ve been watching you as you have worked with your soft hands to the patients in the hospital and in your wonderful garden. Man, something so beautiful I‘ve seen anywhere. Someone like you this bland continuum is in need of, together we could mix up this stupid place. And besides, my little angel, you‘re the only soul in the universe who can understand me. Alone I simply can no longer stand it here under these gray mice, these Q, these self-proclaimed, heartless demigods.“
„Oh no! Q! what did you do just again?“ suddenly a voice shouted behind them. „Will you never grow up! Not a femtosecond I can let you out of sight. I told you a thousand times, thou – shalt – not – abduct humans to the continuum! And what you look like again!“ „Hey old man!“ said Q, „she‘s not a human, she‘s an Ocampa!“ „I know what she is,“ Q sighed. „If anyone knows her, then I am! Indeed I have created her in a certain way.“ „Yes,“ said Q, „the best you‘ve brought since a couple of eons!“ Kes had turned around and saw the big man with the dark hair and the always arrogant expression on his face, who stood in a black and red Starfleet-uniform in front of her. „Q,“ said Kes and smiled, as if she would see an old friend. „I never had an opportunity to thank you for everything you have done for me, as you then gave me a new life, sent me to this friendly people the Famsters, and showed me a way to see again my friends on Voyager and find new friends too.“ „But my dear,“ said Q, „my pleasure! I‘m touched, you are, I believe, the only creature in the universe, which ever has proved me sincere gratitude. – Something you‘re absolutely missing, – boy!“ he added, looking at Q. „Gratitude, what for? what you have called education, to transform his own son in an oprilian amoeba, or life here in this fuckin‘ desert?“ his son gave back. „Ah!“ Said Q, „Haven‘t I done everything for you, taken you anywhere, showed you the entire universe, and what have you done, built nothing than muck, you might even remember the matter on Voyager, just as an example? And then you ran off, to this cursed twentieth-century on earth, these wretched sixties. Flower-power, make love not war, and that whole hippie crap.“ – „And you guys, with your civil-war, what‘s brought it to you?“ – „After all, you owe it your existence in a certain way,“ Q said and grinned. „What an existence, repeatedly you end up here in this wilderness, because your establishment is lacking any inspiration!“ – „As for inspiration. Since you‘ve puffed hookah with Henry Starling and constantly hang around with all these long-haired grass-smokers, you are completely freaked!“ – „Hey geezer! what an okie like you knows about it. That was a time when people really had what it takes. – Artistry, – music, – something similar never existed again. You once should hear Jimi Hendrix!“ „Ha! – I then rather listen to a starting klingon ore carrier!“ Q blared out.
„Now it is enough!“ Kes stated in a loud, deep, steady voice. For this purpose she stood between the two, like a boxing referee who separates two fighters. „A father and his son should not treat one another in such a way!“ The two Q stood with half-opened mouths and were silent. Kes had further word. „I too, once was a rebel like you,“ she told Q in the hippie-outfit. „I did not want to live only eight or nine years in an underground city as a pet of the caretaker. I followed my curiosity and this brought me out to the galaxy and into many difficulties. I discovered forces within me, which resembled to yours,“ she said and turned to Q in the Starfleet-uniform. „And as I said before, I am grateful that you have taken away from me most of them, at least the dangerous. The uniform that you wear, Q, stands for the values which Kathryn Janeway, Tuvok and the others taught me, as they gave me a new home on Voyager.“ – Kes was busy throughout keeping her little sermon, so that she neither noticed the hissing noise, nor the many flashes. Gradually more and more Q appeared who surrounded her. – „You do not need to return to this desert always, make it a blooming garden at last!“ she said to her ever-growing audience.
„The little girl‘s right!“ said a Q with reddish hair. A Q with dark skin, who was smoking a pipe, nodded in agreement. All around a murmur of more and more affirmative tone became loud. Even the big brown dog got up, came over and sniffed at Kes‘ hand curiously.
„If it‘s nothing more!“ said Q and clicked his fingers. The whole landscape shone briefly in bright light, and when this went out, the desert had turned into a sea of flowers, and in place of the telegraph-poles lined a long row of flowering trees this to the horizon leading street. Kes sighed, and caressed the dog. „Oh Q, please! It is not a question of performing magic. You watch it, and then it starts to bore you. Although you are now surrounded by flowers, yet the desert remains in you. Would it not be much more interesting, more beautiful and more exciting to water the land, sow seeds, to observe the seedlings grow, to cherish and cultivate, watch as the flowers open, or to enjoy the fruits which your plants give to you, – to make a desert really fertile?“
„Man, exactly! That‘s it baby, that is it!“ Q said and took off his purple glasses. The other Q stood before Kes as a class in front of a teacher silently marveling at the small, blonde Ocampa woman with pointy ears, who had the guts to keep them, the almost omnipotent Q, a lecture. „Kes my little one,“ said Q in the Starfleet-uniform, „I‘ve always known it, that you are very special. Bravo my dear, not even I have brought about, twenty-two Q who shut up, – except Junior of course....“ He threw his son an angry glance, „...listen without grumbling or interfering, bravo! You have more than returned the favor to me.“ Kes smiled sheepishly. „Oh,“ she said, „it is an honor for me to bring you joy, and if you need my assistance, so I‘m happy to help you.“ „Yes, why won‘t you stay here, I offered to you before, you enrich us with your brilliant mind, even Q sometimes are more willing to learn something,“ Q cheered. „Yeah sugar cuts, that would be great, here‘s a lot to do,“ Q agreed with his father. The two looked at each other completely by surprise. „How wonderful,“ said Kes, „father and son united in one opinion. But I‘m sorry, as tempting as it may be, after all I do not want to be one of you, I like my life as it is, and my home with my friends. Therefore, I ask you to send me back there, they certainly are worried about me.“
„Oh no, what a pity, my sweet little angel, but I‘m your servant, and as you know, I can refuse no request, so shall it be done according to your will. – Au revoir ma petite.“ The others applauded and Q2 raised his hand and made to bow out once the V-sign. The big dog yelped and Q raised his hand in a gesture widely spread and clicked his fingers.
Kathryn Janeway, Chakotay, Tom Paris, the Doctor, Sonny Saxon and Bohumil Novak sat helplessly around the still stylishly set table in Kes‘ pavilion. Janeway and Chakotay had expressed before the others their assumption that Q might have something to do with Kes‘ disappearance. However, all were silent and waited.
About ten minutes might have been passed, as a hissing sound and a flash of light brought Kes back. Her friends looked at her with great relief. Kes dropped into a chair. She looked a little confused, but otherwise nothing seemed to be missing her. The doctor was on his feet immediately, led the emitter with his hand around her head and looked with a critical eye on the tricorder. „I can assure you,“ he said after a while, „she‘s okay.“ „Kes, how you feel?“ Janeway asked softly and caring by leaning to Kes. „I‘m fine, I just feel a little dizzy,“ she replied. Novak filled a glass with lemonade and presented it to her. „Where have you been? can you remember anything?“ Kes took a sip from the glass. „Yes,“ she said softly, „the Q, I have seen them and talked with them. – I was in their world, their continuum.“
Slowly the great hall was filled. Persons
of different species from all parts of Federation space took place on the chairs.
Several Starfleet Admirals, including Nechayev, Paris and Janeway appeared on
the gallery below the huge screen and took their seats. Lastly a group of
civilians entered the stage, accompanied by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. According
to their clothes, they were scientists of the Federation, experts of different
A gong sounded, and instantly silenced the murmurs in the hall. Admiral Nechayev stood up and spoke.
„Values representatives of the Federation-territories and associated systems. I will be brief. We are here today to inform you about the events of recent months, which have led to disquiet on some worlds, in others have caused a real euphoria. I give the floor to the head of our Commission for Biosphere-development and Terra-forming, professor Olson.“
A middle-aged man stood up and took a pad at hand. „Thank you, Admiral Nechayev. – As you all know, on one hundred and fifty-three previously sterile, desert-like planets and moons in seven sectors of the Federation, rapidly and so far inexplicably, biospheres have formed,“ the professor reported and tapped his fingers on his pad. The Federation emblem on the giant screen faded, and then appeared in quick succession the before/after images of previously only gray, and now emerald green shimmering balls of various sizes in front of black star studded background. „The formation of habitable environments on these moons and planets,“ Olson continued, „proceeds with about one hundred times forward speed, which is otherwise accessible by technologies of terra-forming available to us. As well we are surprised by almost simultaneous occurrence of changes in widely separated systems, and the similarity of the vegetation that forms there.“ The words of the professor were supplemented by images of blooming landscapes on the large monitor. „This has prompted some of us to raise the old panspermia-hypotheses again. But even at an almost uniformly distributed very large number of germs of life throughout space, it is very unlikely that under such different conditions, that existed previously at the worlds shown, spontaneous and at the same time the development of higher life would occur. That is why as scientists we are faced with a riddle which seems unsolvable.“ – „One question, please,“ Admiral Paris spoke up. „Yes, please, Admiral,“ Olson said. „There rumors came up,“ Paris began, „Q or his continuum might be involved in the matter. As far as we know, they are the only intelligent beings in our galaxy who could cause such a thing.“ „Unfortunately,“ professor Olson replied, „the Q escape all scientific research methods. Therefore, with such speculation we move on very thin ice. But perhaps we should ask Captain Picard, he is considered an expert for Q.“ The professor showed a smug smile, and a murmur went through the hall.
„Too much of the honor,“ Picard spoke up, and smiled somewhat forced. „Indeed I often – enough – met him, but I could not remember any event that would cause to suspect him behind something like this. However, Admiral Janeway made, when she was at that time with Voyager in the Delta-Quadrant, an experience which maybe we should let her tell about.“ „Yes, Kathryn,“ said Admiral Paris, „I remember now, please let us hear.“ Janeway inhaled deeply. „So, we were confronted with an accumulation of novae-events, thus exploding stars, which exceeded all probability-calculations. When we studied the whole thing, a kind of civil war between the Q in their continuum proved as causal“ „After all, it is supposed to you,“ Admiral Nechayev said, „to have been due, that no major damage was done.“ – „And to my crew,“ Janeway added. „But I do not think this story should be the subject of discussion here. Nevertheless, I think it is not entirely ruled out that in the event that a large number of Q would make the same object to the center of their interest, a noticeable impact on our space could be expected.“ – „I do not attach great importance to rumors,“ Picard said, „but I have heard it is said, that a friend of yours had been kidnapped to the Q-continuum recently.“ „Yes,“ Janeway admitted, „I was even witness of this incident. Yes,“ and she suddenly looked thoughtful, „she is a specialist in organic agriculture and enthusiastic amateur-gardener, and she told me then, that Q had shown some interest to transform their continuum in a garden.“
„Admiral Janeway,“ a big Klingon said, who had risen from the front row in the auditorium, „you would have us believe, the Q could green desert planets everywhere in the universe, just because your friend has made them hobby-gardeners?“ A little Ferengi tore the word itself: „I would be interested whether and how many of these new biospheres are suitable for the production of agricultural goods and how quickly first production could be established.“ – „Is there a danger that a planet with low or below freezing lying temperatures could be affected by these phenomena?“ asked an Andorian. „May I have peace!“ Admiral Nechayev exclaimed and pressed a button, so that the gong sounded. „We will answer all your questions!“
Kes was very sick. She lay on a bio-bed in
a room of the small hospital, where she usually worked three days of the week,
or in emergencies, as an assistant to the senior doctor. Through the slightly
open window a fragrance of freshly fallen rain streamed into the room. She liked
it. The rain donated life to the plants in her garden and on her plantation. But
today she could not enjoy it.
It had started about three weeks ago, with nightmares – once more. Every night they had recurred. Always concerning her home-world and its people, the Ocampa. They suffered, and Kes felt they were calling for her. More than ten years had passed since she had left her home. Probably no one she knew would still be alive. What had become of her people, after the stocks were exhausted, which the Caretaker had left before his death? Had they managed to take care of themselves, or had the Kazon made them their slaves? Kes did not know. Only the feeling of deep despair and great fear seemed to reach her from afar.
When she awoke in the morning, she felt as if she had not slept at all. She tried to not let it show, but she was getting worse. Finally, she could not answer more to work in such a condition in the hospital and asked to be suspended from duty. When working with her plants, she hoped to recover, but it did not help.
Yesterday she had collapsed. Fortunately her home, which she lived alone, had a medical monitoring, so that help came quickly. Her colleagues from the hospital had examined her with all possible options. It was feared that the morilogium now had begun yet, the last short period of time in the lives of Ocampan, which is characterized by dementia and physical decline. But Kes‘ DNA so had been changed by Q when he had given her a new life with human life-span, and Kes‘ body showed no signs of a rapid aging process.
Despite, her condition continued to deteriorate. The senior doctor decided to call her friend the holographic doctor to help, because he knew her best. When he arrived after four days, Kes was barely responsive. Mostly she was asleep, but when she woke up, she seemed to have a sort of spasm. She moaned and whispered the words: „Ocampa, – help, – die.“
„State the nature of the medical emergency,“ said the doctor, as Novak took the portable holo-emitter out of the transport-box and activated it. Instantly the doctor went to Kes‘ bed, looked silently, with serious mine, at the displays on the monitor and grabbed a tricorder. „Mr. Novak, I must ask you to leave the room for a moment.“ – Novak and the others had visited Kes every day, bringing her flowers and fruits from her garden. Now they waited outside in the corridor. Linda sat in the waiting-room and cried. Mike tried to comfort her. So sad and depressed the Lynx-people never had been seen on New Carlisle. Such a mournfulness had overcome them for the last time, when they had lost crew-members at the Delta-Quadrant, in an attack of the Vidians.
When the door opened and the doctor stepped out, he instantly was surrounded by all. „I‘m very sorry,“ he said, „but if there is no miracle, Kes dies.“ „If only we could do something for her,“ Novak said, „but we do not even know what torments her. Believe her people need her help, they can maybe help her, or she just wants to go home to die? How can we bring her there, to the other side of the galaxy?“ „I‘ll lay her in a stasis-chamber, at least it can slow down her physical decline yet, but you must urgently do something, Mr. Novak,“ the doctor said in a low voice. „But what?“ Novak said aloud. „I have no ship with slipstream-drive, or something else!“ „Then get yourself one, or upgrade from one!“ the doctor replied with almost angry voice. „You‘re an organizational genius at last!“
Sonny Saxon had started to go up and down the aisle nervously. „What do you mean by, Sonny?“ said Novak and grabbed his engineer‘s arm. „Could we equip our Lynx with something like a slipstream-drive?“ „Little hope,“ Sonny replied, „and if so, it would take far too long.“ „Then we need Voyager!“ Mike Cortez said. „Yeah exactly!“ Novak cried out. „As far as I know, they already had a part of the stuff on it! – I‘ll contact Tom, Chakotay, or – straight even better – Janeway.“
„Damn it, Kathryn,“ said Admiral Paris,
after a discussion that had already lasted for half an hour. „Take Voyager and
fly with your crazy bunch of volunteers to the Delta-Quadrant. I know, you‘ll go
through hell for your friend, if you must, and you will get your way indeed,
with Tom I needn‘t even bother to discuss, so it is dearer to me, see you
standing on the bridge of an old, but proven ship, and not sail on any
soul-seller through space. But I beg you, come back intact. A rescue mission of
Starfleet cannot enter. You are made entirely on your own.“ „Sounds familiar,“
said Janeway, „thanks Admiral, we‘ll meet again.“ „Good luck Kathryn!“ A beep
sounded and Admiral Paris‘ image disappeared from the monitor and the emblem of
the Federation faded in.
Novak and Sonny walked through the corridors of Voyager. From a distance they saw a tall, blond, slender woman in a tight silver suit approaching. „Oh no, not!“ whispered Sonny, „not this efficiency-wasp! I cannot work, when she permanently has her sting on my ass!“ „Now off it, Sonny boy!“ Novak hissed, „you know what‘s at stake! we need all the help we can get.“ „Mr. Novak, Mr. Saxon,“ Seven of Nine greeted with cool voice, passing them, drew her pout and looked at Sonny from above, giving him the impression, he just met a teacher, who soon would condemn him to a hundred years of detention at least. – When they rounded the next corner, they stepped silently aside. Four men in green uniforms carried by a sarcophagus-like container, in which a heart was only weakly beating. On a small, side-mounted monitor several curves showed flat levels. Under the glass at its head they could see Kes‘ almost white face. The color of her lips differed little more from her skin.
„For heaven‘s sake, Tom, what‘s that?“ asked Janeway, as she entered the bridge of Voyager and caught sight of the additional installations on the control panel. „This, Admiral,“ Tom Paris replied, „is the exact replica of the control column of a Connie.“ „Connie?“ asked Janeway. „Yes, Ma‘am. History: Earth, twentieth century, fifties, Lockheed Super Constellation, the aircraft par excellence. Design of the master‘s workshop, Howard Hughes, the largest pilot of his time. The spaceship-designers of Starfleet still could learn a lot of.“
Several big black boxes piled up in the engineering of Voyager. Novak, Sonny and Mike Cortez surveyed the contents. „Where did you get that stuff just as soon, Mike?“ asked Novak and went on to say: „Was probably a small – friend – with big ears with in the game, what?“ „Rather do not ask,“ said Mike. „Should like to know what the lending-rates are,“ said Sonny. „Rather do no–o–ot ask,“ Novak and Mike said in unison. „B‘Elanna, what do you think, how long will it take until everything is in its place?“ Novak wanted to know. „When we are working day and night, and that we will – as in seventy-two hours,“ said the engineer, and crawled out from behind a wall panel. „For this I have to properly initiate Mr. Saxon into everything.“ „So you won‘t come along? This thing is your baby!“ Sonny asked in astonishment. „No, sorry,“ said Torres, wiping a mixture of sweat and grease from her forehead. „You‘ll need Tom as pilot, and if something happens to him, so our daughter will not have to grow up without parents.“
The crew was already full attendance, as
Novak entered the bridge of Voyager. „I do not believe it!“ he said, „Ensign
Harry K...“ „Lieutenant Kim!“ Tom Paris corrected him, who was sitting in his
seat at the conn. „Harry has kindly declared his willingness to accompany us on
this ride and to occupy his old station again.“ „Yes,“ said Harry Kim, and
smiled mischievously, „I still have a suitcase in the Delta-Quadrant leave, I
absolutely must get.“ Novak turned around. „Tuvok! – You! – Chief logician of
the Federation and walking handbook for Federation-rules, join us on this –
crazy and extremely illogical trip?“ „Mr. Novak,“ said Tuvok calmly, „whenever
you are on this ship, so the presence of the equivalence of a logical working
mind is indispensable.“ „Wow!“ Novak replied, „The man has actually worked to
his humor.“ „Considering,“ Tuvok began again, „that the way of communication,
which you obviously regard as humor, is the only adequate form in order to
communicate with you, I had to adap....“ „Gentlemen! If I might ask,“ Admiral
Janeway spoke up. „We are here indeed, to some extent on a semi-private mission,
but this is still a Starfleet-vessel. So I expect you to conform the service
with appropriate professionalism and discipline. – Captain Chakotay, you are in
command.“ „Mr. Paris, release the docking clamps, set a course and bring us two
million kilometers away of Deep Space Nine at least!“ Chakotay ordered. – „Aye
Sir, docking clamps released, course is set. – Engaged!“
Voyager had stopped, now she was in deep space. „Captain to engineering – Seven are you ready?“ asked Chakotay. Sonny Saxon‘s voice came over the loudspeaker: „We have as much steam in our boiler, as it‘s only possible! If you don‘t want us flying off the lid – get started!“ Seven‘s voice added: „What Mr. Saxon is trying to tell us, – we are ready.“ – „So Tom,“ Chakotay said, „now it is your turn!“ „Yes Sir,“ replied Paris, and sat up his helmet. Automatically the belts tightened around his body. Then he closed the monitor-visor and put his hands at the control. „Tuvok,“ ordered the Captain, „activate the deflector and open a gate!“ „Yes, Captain,“ the Vulcan replied, „activating – now!“
A glittering blue beam shot out from the deflector-dish of Voyager. The ship shuddered in the wake of the opening slipstream. As the arrow off the string of a drawn bow it shot into the gate. On the main screen a translucent, tunnel-like structure, similar to a blood vessel branching out, appeared. Through this vessel Voyager raced. Tom Paris steered to the left, to the right, pulled the control against him and put it back to the front, steered to the right, turned right again, then left.
Deep inside Voyager, Kes‘ sarcophagus gently levitated in a forcefield, while the walls of sickbay seemed to dance around it. Above her, the hologram of the doctor, not for a moment letting her out of his eyes.
At the left lower edge of the screen a bright light appeared. Tom Paris drew again to the left, then he pulled a red button. A mighty jerk ran through the ship, then it stopped. The portal closed behind. – „Man, what a ride,“ said Tom.
„Tuvok, what do your star-maps say?“ asked Novak excitedly. Tuvok was silent and only looked at his console. – Seconds crept like hours. – Then the Vulcan looked up and said in a calm voice: „Delta-Quadrant – system Caeleron – confirmed definitively – target is reached.“ – For a second there still remained silence. Then came the cheers. Novak loudest: „He made it! the boy did it! seventy-five thousand light-years and he hits the spot! Tommy, I have never doubted on you.“ „Engineering to the bridge, Saxon here, well what‘s it guys? our data say, we should have done it.“ „Seven, Mr. Saxon,“ Janeway said, „your data are right, we made it.“ – For a brief moment all believed they had heard Seven Of Nine laughing.
The joy about this incredible success would have gone beyond the scope, had it not been the thought for all, of the friend who laid in sickbay and was hovering between life and death. „Janeway to the Doctor, how is Kes?“ „EMH here, Kes is stable, but at a very, very low level.“
From the main screen lit the star Caeleron, on both sides flanked by small bright spots. „Mr. Tuvok, show us Ocampa,“ ordered Janeway. In the picture appeared a small cross-hair, wiped across the screen and stopped at one of the points. „Center up, magnify!“ said Janeway. The picture changed and showed a large, round, sparkling emerald before the diamond-dust of star-studded velvet black space. „Unbelievable,“ said Janeway softly, „the same image, as with us in the Alpha-Quadrant. A desert that has been transformed into a Garden of Eden.“ „Tom, lay a course there, full impulse,“ said Chakotay.
„A ship on an intercept course approaches!“ reported Harry Kim, – „Kazon!“ „Red alert,“ ordered Chakotay – „What‘s its status?“ „No activated weapons, their shields are down,“ Tuvok reported, „we are hailed.“ „On screen,“ said Admiral Janeway. The face of a Kazon appeared. A strange feeling came over Janeway when she got to see again an individual of this species after all these years. „I am Jal Sankur, Maje of the Kazon Ogla.“ – „Kathryn Janeway from Federation-ship Voyager.“ „Janeway?“ said the man with the reddish-brown face, which would have been most likely to be compared with that of a Klingon. „Janeway, – from Voyager – the ship of legends. No Kazon would have thought it could be possible that you would appear again in this part of space.“ „We have returned,“ said Janeway, „because we want to help a friend. We must bring her to the Ocampa, perhaps her life can be saved.“ „We, the Kazon Ogla are allies of the Ocampa,“ said Sankur. „There has changed a lot since the time of the Caretaker. If you do not harbor hostile intentions, we will allow you to contact the Ocampa, – however, we will escort you and continue to monitor, keep your shields down, and do not activate weapons.“ „Thank you, Maje Sankur. I assure you that we have come in peace. We are also eager to find out what changes have occurred in all the years in your space.“ Sankur nodded. His portrait disappeared from the screen and the Ocampa planet appeared again. They were already close to it.
„We are hailed!“ Harry Kim announced again, „this time from the planet.“ „Open a channel!“ replied Janeway. On the screen, a man‘s face appeared. It showed a kind of sorrowful dignity, he had gray hair and the characteristic pointy ears of Ocampan. „Kathryn Janeway, I greet you and the crew of Voyager. I am Linnaren, an elder and representative of Ocampa.“
„Sickbay to bridge!“ „Yes, Doctor, may I ask you to wait for a moment!“ said Janeway. „It is very urgent Admiral!“ the doctor said excitedly, „it‘s about Kes! – she is...“
At the same moment the door of the turbo-lift opened to the bridge, and there stood – Kes. She was still wearing the gray hospital-shirt, looked pale and seemed to stand somewhat unsteady on her feet. „Kes,“ said Kathryn Janeway, rushed towards her friend to the exit of the lift, and put her arm around Kes‘ shoulders to support her. Kes looked at Janeway and then looked with big, bright eyes toward the face on the screen. „Kes,“ said the man. – „Yes,“ said Kes. Then there was silence, and only the eyes of the two Ocampa seemed to talk to each other.
After a while Linnaren turned his view on Janeway. „Admiral Janeway, would you do us the honor to visit us at our home-world, we have to tell us a lot.“
When she had continued to recover, Kes could not without embracing all crew-members to thank them, that they took so much to help her. The doctor astounded had just raised his eyebrows, but also was delighted when he examined her. Had it been only the proximity to her home-world and her people, what gave back the strength to her body and her soul?
Although everything seemed a bit unfinished,
so did the buildings and gardens, between which the transporter-beam
materialized the Voyager-crew, have their very own style and charm. The land
around them shone forth in a nearly executed paints acting green. The sun
Caeleron was shining warm by white cumulus clouds of an azure sky. Janeway,
Chakotay, Tuvok, Seven Of Nine, Kes and Novak looked around.
The fact that in the settlements of Ocampan, agriculture played a major role, was not to be overlooked. Much here seemed to be done by hand, all Ocampan, whom they encountered, were at work, and wore simple work-clothes in warm earthy tones. But also tractors and harvesting-machines were used. Even though the technical equipment gave the impression to come from second-hand, still all devices looked clean and functional. The people who worked bent on a nearby field, straightened up and saluted waving the Voyager-delegation. Among them were several Kazon. Masters or slaves did not seem to be here.
Linnaren and an Ocampan woman who had introduced herself as Veratis, escorted Janeway and her people to a larger building and led them in a bright room, where there was a long, oval table that already had all sorts of delicacies, mostly exotic fruits and beverages, waiting for the guests. Novak reminded all the equipment a little of the pavilion in Kes‘ garden.
Kes seemed to feel very well. What an experience for the gentle Ocampa, after all the pain and the deep unconsciousness, waking up on Voyager, among her best friends, who had not abandoned her. She was overjoyed to be recovered again as if by a miracle, to see her old home so unexpected, and yet to find as she had not imagined in her wildest dreams. Here nothing was to notice of hardship and misery, how she had seen it in her nightmares.
After they had made themselves comfortable, enjoyed some of the delicacies, and praised them extensively, now all waited for Linnaren to speak. – With a calm voice he began to talk.
„I still remember the time of Toscat, our former elder. In our underground city, it was bright and tidy, no one suffered any lack. I was just one year old when I began to study the history of our people. I learned all about the Nacene, you have come to know as the Caretaker. For this I was told that there had been a group of Ocampan in the last days of his life, which came to the surface, among them a young girl named Kes. It was said that she was traveling with a large ship to the stars, at least she never returned.
As the gifts of the caretaker stayed away, the people had to learn to limit themselves. Life became harder. But we succeeded in planting gardens in our city, which provided us with food for some time. To make the plants thrive, it needed large amounts of energy. We did not manage to build facilities on the hostile surface, which were likely to use the sun‘s light. The Ocampa, who worked for a long time in the outside world, became ill and died early. The doctors found no cure for them. Then we were afraid of the attacks of our enemies. So life became increasingly difficult, and although we shared everything with each other, we often went hungry. Finally, we almost lived entirely in darkness and despair.
But then the miracle happened. Scouts reported that outside the sky was sometimes gray, large drops of water fell out of it on the surface and let plants sprout. Our former enemies, the Kazon, were surprised by the changes too. They are accustomed to live in deserts. We decided to risk everything and leave our underground world. The Kazon reported that there had been similar changes on many planets, which they attended with their spaceships. The prospect of the resulting opportunity now to be able to produce large quantities of food, let the Kazon, which had once been slaves themselves, change their strategy, especially when our knowledge, proved to the care and breeding of plants, became useful for them.
Furthermore, something quite remarkable happened with our people. Many of us developed strange abilities which first frightened us because we had initially effort, and sometimes still have, to control them. Especially in recent weeks, some of us have experienced horrifying dreams and visions. They believe huge black crystals would appear in the sky and they see gray, one-eyed machine beings to whom cables grow out of the heads, and which will come to destroy, without mercy. – Kes now, has told us that you on your journey have met such creatures, and that you have fought against them.“
The Voyager-delegation had listened attentively. The last part of Linnaren‘s report seemed to have particularly shaken Seven Of Nine. Even the faces of the others showed deep concern. Janeway commented first: „The Borg! As we have been here more than ten years ago, there were over a wide area no signs of their presence. We found them on our way home much later on. Can they have newly formed their structures in the Delta-Quadrant? Will this never come to an end?“ „The Borg always avoided, to assimilate species with paranormal abilities, they were perceived by the collective as a nuisance,“ said Seven. „In fact,“ added Tuvok, „there are no reports that Vulcans had been assimilated – successfully or permanently. But the Vulcans are a people that has long been on these skills and has learned to master. Without wanting to offend you Mr. Linnaren, but the fact that the Ocampa are only going to develop or rediscover these forces, could make them malleable to a certain extent, and thus, under new conditions, may be an attractive target for the Borg.“
Janeway tapped her com-badge. „Janeway to Voyager!“ „Kim, here, go on please.“ „Lieutenant Kim, make the long-range sensors to largest range and scan for Borg signatures,“ said Janeway. „Understood Admiral,“ Harry Kim replied. „It will take some time, I will contact you as soon as the scans are finished.“ „Thank you Mr. Kim, Janeway – out.“
The dismay at the results of Harry Kim‘s
analysis could not have been greater. Yet everybody was pleased that Kes was
healthy again and the fate of her people was going to turn out well. The
atmosphere in the meeting room of Voyager was more than oppressed. „Mr. Kim, how
long will it take in your opinion, until the Borg reach the Caeleron system?“
Chakotay asked. „Forty-eight hours at most,“ replied Harry.
„Options?“ said Janeway. „In my opinion, we need to give the Kazon the funds in their hands, necessary to stop them.“ Novak spoke up, „with Voyager alone, we are fighting a losing battle.“ „If we will fight at all,“ said Tuvok. „Mr. Novak, once again, I must remind you...“ „Thank you Mr. Tuvok,“ Janeway interrupted him. „As we have it again – our problem. We enter the Kazon the information on how to modify their weapons so that they might at least have something to oppose the Borg, so we risk to give them a power in their hands, which could have an impact on the entire quadrant.“ „On the other hand,“ Chakotay noted, „what will happen when the Borg assimilate the skills of the Ocampa? Kes knows how strong they can be, she then moved our ship by her mere will nearly ten thousand light-years in the direction of our home.“ „I consider it unlikely,“ said Tuvok, „the Borg could gain such a power by the assimilation of Ocampan. Kes has then done us the service out of affection. The Borg, however, have no feelings.“ „Whatever we do well,“ said Janeway, „although we were successful, which is highly improbable under these circumstances, we will thus probably cannot prevent a disaster.“ She had risen and turned to the big window, staring out into the dark space, as if to seek help from the stars.“ „In this case,“ said Tuvok, „the logic dictates to us a passive behavior.“ „Damn it, have we returned more than seventy-five thousand light-years here to watch as a people is destroyed by the Borg, for which we once took the load of our long journey to our home?“ said Janeway softly. „The devil!“ Novak shouted and stormed out of the conference room.
The following hours brought a number of desperate and angry at the end of discussions. Holographic deceptions, a cloaking device for the planet, evacuation of Ocampa, everything failed because of lack of resources or lack of time.
Kes was lying on the bed in her old quarters on Voyager. She had buried her face deep in the pillow and wept bitter tears. She had never given up, not in her darkest hours, – until today, on this terrible day of despair. She did not hear the bell at the door, she would not listen. The doorbell rang again. – Kes did not respond. Another ringing, then the door opened anyway. A hand touched her shoulder. „Ocampa Kes!“ came a voice acting authoritarian, „Ocampa Kes! You must save your people!“ Kes raised her head. Through the veil of tears in her eyes she could see the towering figure of Seven Of Nine. „How can I?“ she sobbed „If only I could!“ „You can lead! – You can give orders! – You still have your mental powers – you have – great power! – Look into your heart!“ said Seven with the voice of a teacher who calls her student to order.
Kes looked into her heart. She touched this insular dark spot, deeply buried in her soul, the remnant of a dark spirit. She had wanted to see him never again, but now she opened the black vessel. A name was rising from it. Once he had mercilessly used her and her abilities to reign, to torture and kill. Now his ruthlessness would serve her, – Tieran the warlord.
Novak walked up and down in the corridor with folded arms on his back. He would have liked to blow up the entire universe to the air or elsewhere. „Mr. Bohumil Novak! Your help is needed!“ Seven of Nine stood in his way. „Whereto, damn it!“ he growled. „You will accompany us. You are her friend, Kes will be calmer when you are with her, and you will give her support. Log in exactly five minutes for the entrance to the shuttle-bay!“ „Where do we want to go?“ asked Novak, still in an irritated tone. „To a place which only few people have seen before,“ said Seven.
„Mr. Tuvok, how long?“ asked Janeway. „At its present rate, expected arrival in thirty minutes,“ the Vulcan replied. „Tom, bring us to a point between Ocampa, the ships of the Kazon and the expected spot of occurrence of the Borg!“ „Yes, Ma‘am.“
Novak was waiting at the entrance to the shuttle-bay. Then the two women, Seven and Kes appeared, they walked together. Kes in her narrow, matt black shiny leather suit, looked even slimmer and more delicate than she already did. Yet she emanated the strength and determination of a Klingon warrior. In heeled boots she wore, the clicks of her hard steps echoed off the walls of the corridor. In the dim light of the room, the color of her eyes was almost midnight blue. – When she perceived Novak, she smiled.
„Unauthorized shuttle launch!“ announced Harry Kim. „Hail them!“ ordered Janeway. „Seven Of Nine here. Withdraw Voyager, do nothing!“ „Seven, damn, what are you intending?“ „No time for explanations, Admiral, trust me!“ The main screen on the Voyager bridge showed the shuttle. A sort of portal opened, the spacecraft shot into it, went out the blinding light, only the star-embroidered, black space was seen.
Long, anxious minutes slowly passed. They all stared at the screen or the displays of their consoles. It happened – nothing.
Then they were there! Anthracite color, hardly reflecting the light of Caeleron and Ocampa on the structure of their cases, they almost merged with the black of space. Borg cubes, rectangular, merciless, final lethality. With high speed they approached the blue planet and the small, forlorn fleet of Kazon leader Jal Sankur.
A blinding light flashed in front of them and for a moment the intricate molds itself on their surfaces recorded from clear. A portal opened. A Federation-shuttle shot out, followed by a swarm of hundreds of small objects. Instantly always nine of them, one in the middle, surrounded by a circle of eight companions, established star-shaped formations. Janeway looked at the screen. – „Species 8472,“ she whispered.
The Borg cubes slowed and finally stopped. The swarm of small ships pushed protectively between them and Ocampa. Again, the time stood still. For an eternity two forces that could not be more different, seemed to maintain the balance. Then the giant cubes began to move, slowly at first, then faster and faster, – they withdrew. Moments later, were gone. – „Hey folks, how about, we‘re still alive?“ Sonny Saxon‘s voice came from the engineering through the speakers.
The shuttle landed softly, not far from the buildings, in the open countryside. From all sides Ocampan, women, men and children flocked together accompanied by some Kazon. The ramp of the spaceship opened and descended. Kes stepped over it, followed by Novak and Seven. Cries of wonder, shouts of joy and relief were heard all around. Novak raised his hand and made the V-sign, Seven looked at him quizzically. Kes waved her hand and smiled to her people. Then she stopped and closed her eyes.
For a moment the air in front of her shimmered. Out of nowhere appeared, a great wonder, an insect-like three-legged creature, far over-toping the gentle girl in size. It turned its head to the left and to the right. Yellow eyes, with cross-shaped pupils letting their gaze wander over those present. A murmur went through the ranks of Ocampan and Kazon. Some fell back a couple of steps.
„Do not be afraid!“ said Kes, „she will not hurt you. They will protect you as long until you will be strong enough to defend yourselves.“ The great being and Kes for a moment stood quietly opposite. Then the insect lowered its head and made something like a tribute to the petite woman. Kes stretched out her right hand and touched its forehead with her outstretched middle finger. Then she pulled her arm slowly back. The being straightened up, the air shimmered and it disappeared, just as it had come.
Kes turned to Seven and Novak, stood in their midst and put her arms around them, pressed both close to her, and looked gratefully at them. „Now you have still made it, little lady,“ said Novak, grinning a bit sheepishly. „Thanks to both of you and our friends on Voyager,“ said Kes, radiant with joy all over her face. „Yes, we were an efficient team,“ said Seven, smiling. – The Ocampa and Kazon applauded around them.
During the following days all crew-members
of Voyager had visited alternately Ocampa. Today Novak and Sonny sat in the
small gazebo by the recently finished farmhouse. „Novak, boy – you really were
in this rum sauce, this – liquid space, or what it is, and it was Kes indeed,
who hired those locusts?“ „Yeah“ said Novak, „Wait, I‘ll tell you, but first
I‘ll only quickly go and pick us some lemonade.“ „Aaaah – lemonade,“ Sonny
A little off sat Kes. She looked a bit tired, but happy. She had saved her people and her friends, and this without a gun had been fired. Veratis, the young a year-old Ocampan girl with auburn hair sat down beside her. „Kes, am I disturbing you?“ she asked. „But no,“ replied Kes and smiled pleasantly. „I have investigated and found something for you.“ Veratis held a small, brown scroll in her hand. „See here,“ she said, and pointed to a long word, „that‘s your whole name. – Kes, actually is a shortened form of the old Ocampan name Annethkestrin, this writing dates back to the time before the Nacene. Anneth, so is a blue flower, and Kestrin means in an old Ocampan dialect – freedom. Your name so is – blue flower of freedom. Maybe your mother and your father wanted you to have your way with this name.“ Kes looked at the scroll silently. „You can keep it,“ said Veratis, „I‘ll create a translation of the whole text for you.“ – „Oh, thank you,“ said Kes and hugged the girl.
Kes was standing alone on a small hill and looked out over the green plain. She was wearing the simple but elegant festive attire of Ocampan women. The toes of her bare feet playing with the cool grass. In her hands she held a blue rose. She smelled the flower. It gave off the scent of freshly fallen rain. Dark clouds moved across the country. Like big fingers, rain welts stretched themselves down therefrom. Somewhere far above, Voyager with her friends drew her path. On the countryside scattered, the farms of her people laid.
Kes put the rose on her dress, then she opened her arms to either side of wide, turned the palms of her hands upward and gazed at the clouds. They were now very close to her, Martis and Benaren, their comras were there.
The first drops of rain fell
and ran like little teardrops down on Kes‘ face.