It has been many years since I traveled to the world of the spirits, and ever since then, I have watched over my son intently. He, always a Contrary, never fully embraced the legends of the Sky Spirits, nor did he accept the ways of our ancestors. He was never truly happy with his life in our tribe. He yearned to go out into the galaxy and explore the cultures of other living beings. His departure left a chasm in our relationship, one filled with resentment and discord.
Then the day of the invasion came. The Cardassians had taken control of our homeland as a bargaining chip in their treaty with the Federation. This savage race invaded our land, wanting to claim everything they found as their own. We put up a brave resistance against them in an effort to defend the place we called home, but we were outnumbered and I lost my physical being along with many other members of my tribe. The grief hit my son very hard. He felt immense guilt for never making the slightest attempt to mend our relationship while I was alive. As a form of atonement, he bore the mark of our ancestors on his forehead.
But, he could not find the peace he so desperately needed. Not even the guidance of his spirit guide could calm the storm of his rage. He left Starfleet and became a Maquis fighter. He battled the Cardassians every chance he got, and he battled valiantly. Although many considered him a hero, there were those who saw him as a criminal. Worse, the satisfaction he got from fighting was only a temporary relief for his growing discontent. He became consumed by his own darkness and became someone I didn't know anymore. At that point, in my eyes, his future was a hopeless one...
...And then, he met her.
She was a Starfleet officer assigned to capture him. In a twist of fate, their crews wound up stranded in an unfamiliar part of the galaxy, and she insisted that he and his people join hers. What started out as an uneasy truce soon developed into mutual trust and friendship for everyone involved. My son felt a growing sense of pride serving with her.
Over time, he found himself feeling the peace he had longed for, and he was grateful for that much. But another feeling was developing inside him, one he never expected to feel: love. Yes, he was falling in love. And who does he fall in love with? The very woman meant to capture him. My son has had interesting choices in women. I never understood what he was looking for in the women he has previously been with. But not only did this woman captivate him, she has found her way into his heart and has helped him find the peace he so desperately needed. And although she cannot admit it at this time, she loves him in return.
My son knows that no woman can truly be perfect, and she’s certainly no exception. She’s stubborn as hell, uncompromising, occasionally selfish, and her anger could instantly make the bold, aggressive bear turn wary. She is ruthless towards those who wrong her, and her desire to get her crew home can blind her to the point she makes reckless decisions that can affect herself and everyone around her. She is reluctant to come forward about her darkest fears and deeper sadness, and she hates feeling vulnerable, so she hides her true feelings from everyone. My son is the only one who can see through this, and tries everything he can to coax her to come out of the shadows, even if it means facing the wrath of her frustration.
In spite of all those flaws, she has many endearing qualities that easily outweigh them.
Not only is this woman strong, intelligent, and passionate, she is absolutely beautiful. The shimmer of the crystal blue sea in her eyes, her lips caressed by a rose, her skin of ivory satin, her hair an auburn fire. Her deep, husky voice can stab fear into those who wrong her with a steely force. Yet, for those whom she cares deeply for, it can soothe the soul like a stream of honey. Her heart, even though it suffers greatly, is one that is true and loyal. She is the embodiment of all that my son has been looking for in himself and in others.
She rarely opens her heart to her crew members, for fear of making her too vulnerable to properly lead them and possibly put them in danger, but she confides in my son in a way that goes beyond trust. He is the only one allowed to call her by her given name when they are off duty. As they spent more and more time together, the seed of their bond grew into a rosebud. It came very close to blooming when they were temporarily living on an uncharted planet together. It still has yet to fully bloom, but when it does, and I’m sure it will, it will be the most beautiful rose of all.
As a father, I pray to the Sky Spirits that they watch over my son Chakotay as he continues to walk on this path of uncertainty with his newfound peace and wisdom. I also ask that the Spirits help this woman, Kathryn Janeway, find a way to release the self-imposed burdens of her command, and set her inner soul free. May they one day find love and happiness in each other.