"Dammit Chakotay! Away teams don't just disappear," Captain Kathryn
Janeway shouted at her first officer.
Then to the rest of her Bridge crew she said, "I want answers
B'Elanna Torres slowly regained consciousness. She took in a deep
breath and ended up with mouthful of sand. She spit it out, pushed
herself off of the water deprived ground into a kneeling position,
and looked around, but there wasn't much to see. Sand, Harry Kim,
sand, Tom Paris, sand, some shuttle craft wreckage, sand, a distant
city, sand, sand, sand, and more sand. One thing, or person, to be
exact was missing, Ensign Sarah Brianson. She was probably killed on
impact and now buried in the shuttle craft wreck. But, there was no
time to look for her now.
"Tom? Harry?" B'Elanna called.
"I'm here," Tom said.
"Me too," Kim called back sleepily.
*He probably just regained consciousness, * Torres thought as she
pulled herself to her feet, and went over to see if her comrades were
"You guys okay?" Torres asked when she reached the spot where they
were now both standing.
"We're fine. What about you?" Tom asked.
"Pretty good, a few bruises, but I'm okay," She replied.
"Good," Kim told her.
Harry stopped talking and began rubbing his arms with his hands.
"Brrrr. It's freezing here," he said.
"I kind of noticed that," Torres replied curtly, now rubbing her own
"What about the COMM systems?"
"I hate to break up this little conversation, but, unless you want to
freeze to death, I suggest we try to get to that city over there,"
Tom said, pointing at the distant city B'Elanna observed earlier.
Paris was starring blankly at the shinning city.
"It's beautiful," B'Elanna said, but Tom was still staring blankly at
"Tom?" B'Elanna asked softly, as she walked up behind him, and tapped
Then she too was instantly captivated.
"Tom? B'Elanna?" Kim was worried now, so he pulled Paris's shoulder.
"C'mon buddy! Snap out of it!" He yelled as he shook the blond haired
"What?" Paris snapped as he pulled back into it.
"You were out of it, like B'Elanna is now," Kim gestured at Torres.
Tom grabbed B'Elanna by the shoulders and turned her so she faced
"Don't concentrate on the city, that's how you break the spell."
It was a terrible feeling, to know what you had to do, but couldn't
do it. B'Elanna could feel Tom's hands shaking her violently, much
like Kim had done to him, and she could hear him calling her name,
but she couldn't respond or stop concentrating.
"Do something Tom!"
"What do you want me to do?" He shot back curtly.
"I don't know, something to distract her."
Torres couldn't believe it, they were talking about her like she
Then something unusual, unexpected happened. He stopped shaking her,
bent down to her eye level, and as she was staring into his electric
blue eyes, for she has nowhere else to look, he kissed her one the
"Electric blue eyes, where do you come from?
Electric blue eyes, who sent you?
Electric blue eyes, always be near me.
Electric blue eyes, I need you."
Electric Blue, by the Cranberries
"Neelix, what can you tell me about this planet?"
"Well, Captain, it's mostly a desert, except for one city, it doesn't
really have a name, but we call it Hypnotic City. It is very strange,
once you enter it's boundaries, all your troubles vanish, even
"Why is it called 'Hypnotic' then?" Chakotay asked.
"Well, you see, whenever you look directly at it, you become
entranced, like you've been hypnotized, there is no explanation."
"If anyone could survive, it's them," Janeway said confidently.
"What did you do that for?" Torres snapped.
The only answer was a sigh of relief from Paris.
"What?" She snapped again.
"Nothing," he replied, "Come on Harry."
"Harry, you coming?"
He to had fallen victim of The Hypnotic City.
Paris reached out and grabbed him fiercely by the arm.
"Harry snap out of it!"
Paris shook him violently, then threw him to the ground.
"Ouch! What'd you do that for?" Kim finally said.
There was the same sigh of relief, this time coming from Torres as
His colleges burst out laughing.
"It's *not* funny!"
But, the laughter continued.
"I suggest we don't look at that city anymore, at least....." Paris
paused for a moment, trying to contain his laughter, "at least till
we get to it."
So, on the trio traveled, trying to reach the city. Until the two
suns of the freezing desert set.
"I think we should stay here," Kim ventured.
"What's the difference? It's all just a bunch of *sand*," Torres
They sat down and tried to sleep, but they weren't very successful.
"B'Elanna, are you awake?" Tom asked.
"I am now," she told him sarcastically.
"What about Harry?"
"I think he's sleeping."
"So it's just you and me," Paris said.
"Tell me something I don't know," B'Elanna whispered as loudly as a
whisper could be.
*You wanna know something new? I love you B'Elanna.* Tom thought, but
dare not say it aloud.
"I'm sorry," he said instead.
She perked up a little.
"Oh really?" She moved a little closer toward him.
"Yeah, I mean, I really didn't know what else to do."
"And all this time I thought you were smart."
By now, she had moved much closer, in fact, she was right next to
"Thank you, if it wasn't for you, I'd still be staring at that city,"
B'Elanna said, her demeanor much more serious now.
She moved up into his arms, and began to feel the coldness of the air
vanish as she *almost* fell asleep.
"Why do we torment each other?
Why can't we just let sleeping dogs lay?
Beat each other to the pulp,
And make up all in one day.
Guess I'm getting pretty tired,
Of living life this way."
Meril Bainbridge-Sleeping Dogs
Kim lay there, not really asleep, as he watched the loss of his two
best friends. Not to death, but to something that could be far more
But, he tried not to think of it, instead, he pretended to be home,
playing his clarinet. Yes, that was it, he was playing his beautiful
B flat clarinet. He decided to play a song he liked called
"Farandole", he had learned it a long time ago, while he was still in
He thought the notes, G, B, E, F, EE, G, G, FF, E and D......
He drifted slowly off to sleep.
By the time they woke up, clouds had drifted over the area where they
"This doesn't look good," Paris commented, and then, it began to
"Wow, I never thought I'd see this in real life again!" Kim said.
"Me neither," Torres remarked.
B'Elanna looked up, as a snowflake fell in her eye. She flinched
slightly, then looked up again. The falling snow brought back
painful memories of her childhood, as well as happy ones. She
remembered growing up on Kessik Four, living without her father,
being teased, wearing anything to cover up her heritage.
*I guess more of the memories are painful* B'Elanna thought.
But, some things she loved about winter were the snow, sledding and
the fact no-one questioned her for wearing hats and scarves.
"B'Elanna, you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine Tom, just remembering."
"I think everyone is," Kim said.
Then, without warning, Paris's comm badge short circuited, and
practically exploded, but that didn't happen until he yanked it off
and threw it on the snow-covered ground. Just as mysteriously, Kim's
did the same thing.
Torres pulled her comm badge off and closed her hand tightly around
"If at least one of us has a comm badge, even a broken one, Voyager
might be able to find us," She pointed out.
The snow was piling up very quickly, now there were at least three
inches on the ground. B'Elanna started walking forward, but felt
something cold and wet hit her back, a snowball.
"Who threw that?" She demanded.
Each man pointed at the other one. Torres turned back head for the
city again, but sensed another snowball about to be thrown. She
whipped around and low and behold, Paris was about to throw *another*
B'Elanna bent down and scooped up a handful of snow.
"This is war," She said as she sent her snowball flying toward Tom.
Before long, snowballs were flying in every direction, and Harry Kim
tried to avoid getting hit. A worthless effort.
After all three crew members were completely soaked from all the
snowballs, it began to get colder and the snow was falling harder.
"I think, I'll return to Voyager an ice cube," Kim said.
"You won't be the only one," Paris commented.
They looked forward, the city was much closer than it seemed before.
They grudging traveled on, cold, wet and tired.
Torres caught a glimpse inside the city, only to find it's
inhabitants wearing summer clothing.
"They must be freezing," she said.
"I know I am," Kim murmured.
"Shut up, Starfleet. We have to get in there, maybe they could help
us contact Voyager."
"What makes you think they're still looking for us?" Paris retorted.
"I just know."
That was the end of that conversation. So they kept walking.
They had walked for about ten more minutes, then they came to the
edge of the city. Torres ventured in, freezing, wet, cold and
frowning. She took two steps into the city, and was smiling again.
"What?" Harry asked.
"It's not snowing in here, and I'm dry!"
"You're crazy," Paris said.
"I dare you to come in."
Paris stepped in.
"Harry, she's telling the truth."
Kim looked doubtfully at his friend.
"No joke," Tom promised.
Kim stepped in.
"Hey, you're right."
"For once," Torres pointed out.
Tom gave her the look that she knew meant *Hey! Take that back!* She
A small man who looked surprisingly human walked up to the trio.
"Welcome to our city, where all your trouble is cured," He said.
"When you say all trouble, do you mean computer trouble too?" Paris
"Why, yes, I guess so."
Torres unfolded her clenched fist which held the comm badge she
almost forgot she had. She put it on.
"Torres to Voyager."
"B'Elanna, I never thought I'd be so glad to hear your voice,"
Janeway responded, as B'Elanna's smile grew wider.
Torres ran over to Paris and gave him a hug, for she was very happy.
But then again, who wouldn't be? Instead of the reaction she
expected, she got something totally different. Paris looked into her
dark brown eyes and kissed her. He could soon tell she was shocked.
"You didn't have to do that," She whispered.
"Ahem," Kim said, "but don't we have to get back to Voyager."
"Voyager, can you transport us from here?" B'Elanna asked.
"Yes, we can. But, there's a slight problem, we only read one comm
"The rest were destroyed," Torres said.
Janeway hesitated for a moment then said, "I guess you all have to
hold on to the only comm badge left, or the person wearing it."
Kim put his hand on B'Elanna's shoulder, and she took Tom's hand.
The familiar sights and sounds of the transporter room never felt so
good to Kim, who had taken his hand off of Torres the moment they
rematerialized. He stepped off the transporter pad with Torres and
Paris, who had recently let go of each other's hands.
"It's good to have you back, all of you," Janeway said.
"Thank you Captain," Tom said.
"I'd like a full report by the morning," Janeway told them.
Torres and Paris looked at each other, then at Kim, who also was
thinking about the same thing, the snowball fight. Then all three of
them burst out laughing. Janeway felt left out, almost foolish, for
not know what was going on.
"Yes Ma'am," Kim said, in between chuckles.
Then, the transporter room was abandoned.
"Come in," Torres said.
Paris walked in.
"Tom, I think I'm getting sick of seeing you. Not really, anyway, why
are you here."
"I wanted to see what you were doing."
"I'm trying to enter what happened into a report," B'Elanna told him.
"Sounds like fun," Paris commented sarcastically, "What do you have
"When we first arrived on the freezing desert planet, we discovered
our Science officer, Sarah Brianson was killed."
"Hey, if you helped, I'd be a lot further," Torres snapped.
"You never asked."
"I'm asking now," She shot back.
He sat down next to her and faced her.
"You aren't going to put it in here, are you?" He asked.
"I didn't know there was an 'us'? But, I guess I have to, it's a
"I wish you wouldn't."
"You got kicked out of Starfleet for falsifying reports, didn't you?"
"Yeah, what's your point?"
"Not putting something in is falsifying reports, isn't it?"
"B'Elanna, please, don't put anything about it in your report," Paris
almost begged as he squeezed her arm.
"My, report? I thought you were going to help?" She smiled, and Tom
knew the answer.