Title - Beginning Again

Author - CassTheCurious

Archiving - Go ahead - but tell me first.

Rating - PG-13 (Parental Guidance recommended for under 13), angsty

Codes - L, sort of Chakotay

A/N - This will be a part of a greater series, about the reactions of the loved ones of Voyager and the Liberty's crew and how they reacted when the ship was lost. I did Chakotay first because he's my least favorite character , and I wanted to set a bar for myself.

It was mentioned in... ah... um...the one where they get their chips so they can talk to loved ones in the Alpha Quadrant...::thinks::: The darndest thing...I can't remember the title. :::big movie-star smile::: Anyway, in that ep, Chakotay says he's going to talk to his sister at home, which annoyed me cause they had never mentioned him having a sister.

Thanks: Thanks to Aubrey, also known as Angel 256 (Go read her stories, they're really good!) for pointing out a slew of errors and giving me encouragement. If anyone ever responds to my thread in the P/T Collective archive, thanks to them. Thanks to the guys (Well, um, mostly gals. "Gals"...Ew, I don't like the word.) on that board anyway, for helping me with the rough idea and rooting me on.

And now...[Duh-huh-DUN] the story...

Lyon stared dispairingly at the collection of data modules in her arms. As much as she loved her archeology work, right now it was just too much for her. She had brought several new studies in order to examine them on the trip, but under the current circumstances, her mind didn't want to concentrate on them.

Sighing, she glanced out the window of the transport. It had been a long time since she had glimpsed Dorvan 5, and she hadn't set foot on the planet since the destuction of its inhabitants. She felt too guilty. Everyone in her family but her brother had died on that planet, and sometimes she wondered why she had been spared. It might have been easier if she and Chakotay were still talking, but they had had a falling-out when he joined the Maquis. She didn't understand why he was giving up a career to seek revenge. Or maybe she understood all too well. Over time, she had stopped hating all Cardassians, but she could never truly forgive what they did.

She checked her chronometer. Three hours left. It was going to be a long trip.

-

She inserted her transport card into the slot as she exited the small craft. The computer said politely, "Thank you. Please come again."

Taking a deep breath, she walked out onto the only ship landing site on Dorvan 5, Cortat. It had been renovated by sympathetic planetary neighbors a year or so after the annihilation. It was named for one of the leaders of the tribe, Beri Cortat, who was a champion for DMZ defense. Cortat had expanded to a small town, with taverns, shops, and homes, but it was the only populated area on the entire world. Luckily, there were small transport areas, set up mainly so the mourners of the dead could find the site where their loved one had lived and pay their respects there. The greatest fear on this world was that the Cardassians would come again, but it was doubtful that they would unless the population increased dramatically.

After asking the way from one of the landing guards, she came upon the transport room to her community. There was a Bolian woman manning the controls in that one. The woman gave her a reassuring smile and accepted her landing pass. Lyon hesitated only slightly as she stepped on to the tranport pad.

"It's very safe, don't worry," the Bolian reassured her.

"I know. I'm just...apprehensive. I haven't been...there since..." The woman sensed what was unspoken, and was sympathetic.

"You don't have to go. It would be understandable."

"Understandable...not forgivable." The operator cocked an eyebrow.

She stepped on to the purple square, signaled, and watched her surroundings disappear in a whirl of color.

-

She reappeared in a living nightmare, almost in the center of the village.

No matter how many times she viewed the holo-footage, no matter how many times she heard the stories, no matter how often she imagined the horror that happened that day...nothing could have prepared her for this.

There was still ash everywhere. What had once been strong structures were now very small pieces of wood. There was no way everyone's remains had been collected. The thought of what she might have been walking in revolted her. She had imagined the silence would be the worst. She had wondered whether she'd imagine the sounds of years past, laughter and music and yelling. And she did. But when her mind remembered where she was, all she was faced with was gray ash - and that was far worse.

Almost by instinct, she made her way towards what had once been her home. The structure was gone, but she knew where it had stood, and she stopped there. She wondered...Had her father died here? Or had he been somewhere else in the village? On a walk? On a hunt? And what of the family pet, a small gerbil-like aminal they named Ter? Those morbid thoughts swam round and round in her head, until she grew dizzy and had to sit down.

She woke up curled on her side. Judging by the movement of the sun, she thought she had been asleep about an hour. Reaching up to brush any dirt off her face, she felt a slight clamminess. She took a mirror from her pack, and saw with surprise that there were tearstains on her face. She had been crying and not realized it. Or she had cried in her sleep.

She moved to get up, putting her hands on the ground to support her. She stopped, then leant down to see what was brushing her hand. Green leaves. She realized dimly they had a purple tint. The leaves of the berry bush her mother had planted outside the door were still there. She examined the ground. Somehow, miraculously, the plant was growing back. She looked around with new eyes. The ash - the digusting sticky dust - was still there, but in some areas she could she the beautiful green grass peeking through. She saw small plants, and trees starting to regrow.

This planet was rejuvinating itself. A beautiful sight.

And maybe by the time the Cardassians started to care, the war would be over. Maybe life here here would begin again.

It was time to follow her beloved Dorvan's lead.

-

Lyon stared at the night skies. Was her brother lurking out there somewhere? Still seeking the revenge she had forsaken all that time ago?

Though she had long since rid herself of many of the traditions of her people, she had brought her akoonah to this spot, where Chakotay had last spoken to her through a comm message. She hope he forgave her for the heartless words she had thrown at him, spoken in the heat of anger, and regretted almost immediately after he had signed off. In those moments, all she wanted to do was get away from him in every way possible. His anger scared her.

Now, all she wanted was to be speak to him, hopefully to be near him. Scream and shout with him, if need be, but know that he was safe, that her last close relative was still there.

She closed her eyes and concentrated.

"Ah-coo-chee-moy-ahh. I am far from the lands of my grandmothers..."

A/N - Like it? Hate it? Think I should burn in Hell for disliking how they screwed with Chakotay's character? I love making people happy, because that makes me happy and I'm selfish. I also like pissing people off so go ahead and share ("Share with the group, people, share with the group...") if you didn't like it. I would appreciate constructive criticism. If you spot a grammatical error or something that contradicts the plot, I'll give you a cookie for telling me! Hell, I'll let you have some chocolate, even!

OK, so I won't give up my chocolate, but the cookies are really good.

"Remember the red button?" (So it's not red, bite me.) "Yeah..." " PUSH the little red button!"

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