February 1999? - Current

Unfinished Snippet from The Grab Bag

"What will you give me to save his life?"

Chakotay's eyes flew to the man who sat bound and gagged in a nearby chair. The blue eyes implored him not to do Kratz's bidding. Chakotay resolutely turned his attention back to Kratz. The alien had snatched the two of them from the away team. It had quickly become clear that Kratz had been studying them for some time.

Kratz presented an impressive image. He appeared humanoid but readings told Chakotay differently. He stood well over seven feet tall -- everything about Kratz seemed to come in large proportions. His hands alone looked capable of breaking the average Human male in two.

"What do you want?" Chakotay asked.

Kratz contemplated him silently for a long moment, his black, eyes boring into Chakotay. "You, Commander. I want you. Your soul. Your honor. I want you on your knees before me begging for your life."

"To what purpose?"

Kratz smiled, not a friendly smile but a smile that said he knew his subject well. "I have watched you and your . . . friend since your away team from Voyager beamed down." Kratz's stress of the term "friend" left Chakotay in no doubt that the alien knew the truth of his relationship with Tom Paris.

"I wish to test that friendship," Kratz continued. "I wish to learn what you will sacrifice for Mr. Paris." Kratz moved over to where the bound and gagged Paris sat. He rested his hand atop Tom's head, much as an adult would rest a hand fondly on a favored child. "You love him, do you not?"

Chakotay met Tom's gaze. There was no sense in denying it. It was clear that Kratz was already several steps ahead of them. Tom's gaze begged him to deny it -- to not give Kratz that power over them. Chakotay knew it was already too late for that.

His gaze never wavering from Tom's, Chakotay softly answered. "Yes. I love him." Tom's love for him shone back like an electric blue beacon.

Kratz's voice was deceptively gently. "Would you die for him?"

Chakotay, his gaze still locked with Tom's, ignored the pleading that jumped into Tom's eyes.

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