Disclaimer: I own nothing! My muse just likes to play around with the characters.
A/N: So, this is my first non-humor related Voyager fic. Let's see how it goes, shall we?
Something wasn't right. That much was blatantly obvious. The crew was silent, almost brooding. B'Elanna was jumpy, Tom paranoid as he could often be seen looking over his shoulder now-a-days, even the stoic Security Chief seemed on edge as if expecting an attack any second of every day. And Chakotay….
Chakotay was as tense as she'd ever seen him. His posture rigid and his dark eyes almost blank orbs instead of having the usual spark that used to be a constant resident. Their evening meals were almost as silent as the rest of the ship. The food eaten quickly before they silently curled up in bed instead of the usual banter and ship's status conversations that had become their norm.
Then there was the coldness. That was perhaps the worst part. The constant chill in the air, and the random wisps of icy air that seemed to penetrate down to your very bones. It made you want to wrap your clothes tighter around yourself, but that never did any good. There was no escape.
Her only refuge was at night, buried deep in the covers of the bed with Chakotay's warm chest being used as a pillow. Only then did the cold seem to dissipate and even then it didn't completely leave her alone either. It was still there, not as noticeable perhaps, but still there as if waiting in the other room for her to awaken. Chakotay felt it too, she knew he did by the way he held her tighter as if trying to infuse some body heat.
Every morning for the last week she'd check the temperature, but it was always reported to be normal. At first she thought she was coming down with a cold, but the Doctor gave her a clean bill of health. After that, she'd run diagnostics on environmental, had B'Elanna double check everything, even had Seven run test on the space outside the ship to see if there was anything causing this strange coldness that invaded the ship and it's crew, but all came up with nothing for explanations.
And now it was worse. For the last two days the wisps of cold air had become more frequent. Then, of course, there was the feeling in the pit of your stomach. It was small, just an inkling of something that invaded deep into your soul. There was really only one word for it…fear. A complete and utter foreboding that left little room for anything else.
In the first few days it had only happened once in awhile, a random breeze of that ice air and then a deep feeling of fear would envelope you. Now, however, it occurred more often. There wasn't a single crewmember on board who hadn't felt it at least once by now.
And there was no explanation. That made it more worrisome because no explanation meant no way of stopping it. And it sure as hell needed to be stopped before what was left of her sanity went flying out an airlock.
"C-cap-ptain?" The soft, almost whispered stutter brought her head snapping up, her hand instinctively inching towards the hidden phaser she was now keeping in the back of her seat cushion.
It was only Tal Celes though. The young girl was just standing there, arms wrapped around her torso as her terror filled eyes darted back and forth. Janeway also noticed how pale the ensign's face was, her lips taking on a bluish tent that would make a person think the poor girl shouldn't have any energy left in her, but yet she still fidgeted from foot-to-foot. Whether from fear or just an attempt to keep warm she wasn't sure.
"Yes, Celes?" She acknowledged, keeping her voice firm even though the only thing she felt like doing was curling up into a pile of blankets for the next month on some desert planet.
"Why is it so cold? Why won't they just leave us alone!" She exclaimed, drawing the attention of the rest of the bridge crew present.
"They who, Ensign?" Janeway asked, eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
"They're everywhere! They…it's so cold." Celes continued, eyes moving around more frantically as if looking for some unknown attacker. The fear in her eyes seemed to be growing by the second as her breathing raced.
Janeway stood, taking a slow step forward so not to scare the young woman even more. "Celes…" She started, reaching out to gently take the ensign's shoulders. The other woman flinched, her eyes darting up to meet the Captain's even as she started shaking. "It's going to be alright." Janeway continued warmly, but firmly in hopes of convincing the scared woman.
"Ca-Captain." Celes whispered between shuttering breathes.
Janeway watched helplessly as the young ensign suddenly froze, wide, horror filled eyes staring ahead even as tears began leaking down her pale cheeks. "Cel…" She began, but before she could finish the sentence an ear piercing scream filled the bridge.
The sound stopped almost as soon as it began and Celes' body suddenly went limp. Janeway wrapped an arm under the crewman's shoulders, keeping her from falling, then slowly lowered the oddly still body down to the ground as Harry called the Doctor. As she looked down into the pale face of one of her crew she felt a burst of anger that seemed to dull the hard edge of the icy wind that had started swirling around her.
A/N: Well, what do you think so far? Also, this isn't necessarily a 'romance' fic, but there are bits of J/C scattered throughout.