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Chakotay's Secret

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On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two buried secrets


"Father, I need you to sign this. There's a place for me at Starfleet Academy. Captain Sulu is prepared to be my sponsor." Chakotay held out a PADD.

"Why would you wish to do this, my son?"

"I want to be a pilot. I can't do that here. I'm tired of living without the advantages of technology."

"This land is in your blood." Kolopak opened his arms, indicating the surrounding earth, trees and sky.

"Technically, Earth, not Trebus, is in my blood. That's where our ancestors originated."

"You have a place here with the tribe."

"Actually, I don't. Two years with Lonato may have taught me to control my feelings, but people have long memories. In their hearts, nobody will trust me."

"You're only fifteen. There's plenty of time for Starfleet."

"But I have a place now. Father, I've worked my...heart, out for this." Contrary he may have been, Kolopak was his father and Chakotay hastily substituted a more acceptable word. "Without the technology that would have made it even easier."

Father and son argued back and forth for some time. Eventually, Kolopak agreed to give permission for Chakotay's entry into Starfleet. He held out his hand for the PADD.

"There's one more thing."

Kolopak raised his eyebrows.

"You mustn't mention anything about my gift. I don't want anyone at Starfleet to know."

"Starfleet Medical deals with Vulcans, Betazoids and any number of telepathic species. You would not be the only one."

Chakotay shook his head. "I'm not a telepath. I'm an aberration. If you truly believe Lonato's training has taught me to control my emotions, you know there's no chance some lecturer will learn I think he's stupid, a waste of space, or worse. Or that if someone turns me on and, inappropriate or not, there's nothing more I want than to--." Chakotay clamped his lips shut and flushed.

He took his father's hand in his. "Do you feel anything, Father? Frustration, anger, embarrassment? The underlying fear you'll say no and I'll be stuck here until I'm eighteen and don't need your permission to go? Am I transmitting anything to you, because I can assure you I'm feeling all of those things right now."

"All I feel is your hand."

"And that's all anyone will feel."

"Very well. I agree. There is no need for anyone at Starfleet Academy to know this. It shall be your secret."

With relief, Chakotay handed over the PADD. It wouldn't be long before he'd be leaving this backwater planet to be with people who used transporters and space ships, and all sorts of technology as a matter of course, and whom he could touch with impunity. The future was his.