Paul Gadzikowski


In Thy Image


Captain Kathryn Janeway went into her debriefing with the Starfleet chiefs of staff expecting the unexpected. She had no doubt some sort of trauma would surface to point up the strain and separation of her and her crew's seven-year involuntary exile from home space. Yet as the log review dragged on no overt conflict developed. A few of the board were relieved to discover that certain events depicted in popular dramatizations based on Pathfinder transmissions of Voyager logs were inventions; Janeway wondered but didn't ask why they hadn't checked the logs themselves before now, but that was as unpleasant as it got.

Which isn't to say that Janeway didn't expect, and endorse, the board's orders that the crew attend counselor therapy their initial few months back, and longer if necessary should individual cases warrant it. But it was while Janeway was paging through the crew's counselor assignments and scheduled appointments that the first intimations of disaster niggled at her. The crew roster seemed incomplete somehow. Janeway looked it over a second time, listening with only one ear to the praise Admiral Paris was proffering to her and her crew at the end of the hours-long debrief. The second glance-through did nothing to confirm or deny her uneasiness, so the third time she checked the names off in her head in department order: Astrogation. Biology. Conn. Engineering. Medical -

There was no entry on the roster for her medical department.

When the meeting was dismissed Janeway approached Admiral Paris - naturally enough; her old friend. "Thank you for your kind words, Admiral."

"You did good work, Captain." Paris smiled warmly, but was heading for the door in a rush for some upcoming appointment.

"There's one thing I wanted to ask you about, though. There's nothing in the red tape about the disposition of my ship's doctor."

"Oh, don't worry about that," Paris said, patting her shoulder as he passed out of the room. "The mark one EMH was invalidated out of the service, didn't you know? It'll be sent out to mine ore like the others, and you'll get a brand new model installed. You won't have to put up with it any longer."


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