The Soul Keepers by Katta

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Disclamier: I don't own tom paris, janeway, or harry, Paramount does.

The Soul Keepers

The smell of smoke and alcohol flooded the man’s senses, when he walked into the crowded bar. Many faces of strangers turned away from their drinks to capture a glance at the newcomer. He noticed the haunted glares they gave him, but that would not halter his steady pace towards the back of the mist filled room. He saw his target and walked over wearing a rather comforting expression towards her. When he reached the bar, he looked up at the young barmaid who stood in front of him. She looked uncomfortable as she looked up at the tall man who was wearing a long black coat with a hood, which covered his face. Only the glint of bright eyes showed through to the careful observer.

"What can I get for you?" Isabella Sandrine asked the hooded figure in front of her. She tried to say it in her bravest voice, but the last word failed her. She knew she was in trouble with the police, ever since her husband’s disappearance. She had been the prime suspect, and only lack of evidence had kept her from that dank cell lock-up on the outskirts of Paris. The person's hand in front of her rose up and for a fleeting moment an image of a gun behind his coat, or a knife being drawn to her throat flooded her mind. But the hand held no weapon, but instead moved towards his hood. The long fingers clutched the hood and pulled it down over his head. Isabella let out the deep breath she had been holding, when it revealed a young man with golden blonde hair and big blue eyes. He looked so young, but his eyes held wisdom. He smiled at Isabella, and she instantly smiled back, yet she didn’t know why.

"Bonjour, I am Thomas. But please call me Tom. I need to talk to you Isabella." The young man said whom she now knew as Tom. She was momentarily shocked at the fact that he knew her name, but let it go, anyone of the locals could have told him. She went back to the conversation at hand and answered him.

"Oh, what would you like to talk to me about?" Isabella was no longer worried, this man was but a boy and he couldn’t be more than twenty if that. Isabella was soon to find out just how wrong she was. This boy as she had unrightfully called him, was a lot older than he looked.

"You," Tom replied with a trademark smirk. She stared into his eyes, confused at his simple answer.

"Ok, but not for long, as you know tonight is New Year's Eve, and I really don’t want to miss changing to the 20th century now. I’m not going to live to see the next century pass, might as well see this one through" Isabella said unknowingly to Tom. He just smiled and nodded.

"We will see," Tom replied and led her off to a distant table. He knew what he was doing, he had been trained for two hundred years, and finally he was ready, and Isabella Sandrine was the next to be taught. He was a Keeper, and at the stroke of midnight, Sandrine would be on the first step to being one just like him and the few others in the world. But one day there would be more, and people would recognise the Keepers as fact not legend.

A hand curved itself tightly around the glass that sat on the bar table in front of him. Picking it up, he brought the cold beverage to his lips, where he took a long sip. He returned the glass to its former position. And looked back up with a smile, a voice broke his peaceful moment of thinking.

"So what happened next?" Harry said impatiently, looking at his best friend with a smile.

"Isn’t it obvious? I jumped," Tom answered with a smile, remembering it with ease. Harry however looked shocked. That was not the answer he was expecting. Tom was telling him about the time he was chased around Paris by some police. It was a funny story and Harry had been impatient to hear the end. But now he wasn’t so sure that he wanted to know what happened.

"You did what?" Harry shouted with wide eyes. Paris rolled his eyes and prepared to say it again.

"I…. j…u…m…p…e…d," Tom said in slow motion with the smile widening across his face. Harry looked confused.

" But you said you were 80 feet up. The jump would have killed you," Harry stated confused. Tom paused for a second, but didn’t let his moment out of sync show through to his friend.

*Harry, Harry. Can’t tell him anything about my past can I?* Tom thought grabbing his drink again. He hadn’t mentioned the fact that this event took place 200 years ago. He had missed that bit out so it sounded remotely normal, *People would become more suspicious if I didn’t have tales from my past to share, but I can’t tell him that I survived because I can fly, or well more like float* Tom thought with a smile.

He had kept his secret for over six hundred years and that was how long he had been a Keeper. He had had seven different parents, all oblivious to his true identity. He had been born with the memory of his former lives, but it didn’t reveal itself until the age of ten. But now the time of the Keepers was drawing to an end. The good Keepers were being killed off by the bad as the two groups fought for control.

Soul Keepers are a race that can read people's souls, for better or worse and in order to protect. Many years ago only people with a pure soul would be turned, turning a bad soul was forbidden. But no one knew there was a third kind, called a Mid-way. If a Mid-way was converted they were more powerful than any other Keeper was. Because of this the pure Keepers went out and turned as many as they could, not realising that the Mid-ways were more likely to become bad than good. Once the first one was a Keeper, he turned dark, and started converting more bad. Only a few of the pure kind were not wiped out, but he knew that they would find him. They only had a few Mid-ways on the good side, as the bad always turned them. He was one of the pure Mid-ways, and he was sure the good Keepers would fight back, one day. If the bad Keepers won, havoc was sure to take over the universe, and nothing would ever be the same.

"Tom are you there? You didn’t answer, are you ok?" Harry asked concerned. Tom looked up and smiled.

"Yes, now I've got to go," Tom had been daydreaming about the bigger problems in his life, while the crew remained happily oblivious.

*I wish I were oblivious* Tom thought walking towards the door. Harry called after him.

"How did you survive?" Tom thought for a second, and then got it.

"Friend transported me out, very good friend," Tom said, walking out the door of the holodeck. At least Harry bought it, he thought and walked into the empty turbolift.

Just as the doors closed a vision hit him. This was the fourth time this month and he knew exactly what it was, another Keeper's death. The vision passed and his eyes focused in shock. It had been another killing. A Mid-way had killed a pure Keeper. This Mid-way had been powerful. The murderer had to be to stopped- permanently.