The Soul Keepers by Katta

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First there had been darkness, then an unbearable white light that stung like acid in her eyes. She knew she wasn’t going to live to see her killer's face. But she was certain they were going to thrive on seeing her die. A dark voice was whispering around her, but she couldn’t see anymore, she was blind! Footsteps walked closer to her. She struggled but nothing moved. Suddenly pain filled every point in her body as she felt a knife dig into her back. She felt herself fall down, not to the ground, but into death. Slowly the voices died down, as her perception of the situation became weaker. She used all her remaining power to regain her eyesight and hearing, and a light appeared in the darkness. A face started to blur into focus, but the man's face was cloaked. She was just about to give in when he made a mistake; he removed his hood, thinking the woman on the floor in front of him, still remained blind. She saw his features, a memory sparked, she knew him. She closed her eyes and gave in to her fate; she had always known it would end like this. A voice spoke clearly through the pain.

"Goodnight Sandrine, say hello to the others for me. I am sure they will remember me," the voice stated. Then Isabella Sandrine knew no more.

****

He couldn’t believe it. Sandrine had always been his closest friend she was also his first turned. She had always been there for him, and he had always been there for her. Now they were no longer in the same plane of existence. The situation with the rival Keepers was getting worse, there was no longer balance between the two as evil tried to take it all.

Sandrine had been powerful. She wasn’t as powerful as a Mid-way could become, but she was stronger than most, she had many years behind her. Or she did. In his vision he had seen her die. A swahagan knife planted strategically in her back. Towards the end she had looked up and he had seen a reflection in her clear blue eyes, a face, that he recognised. But it was not clear to him. All he knew was that Sandrine was dead, and the Mid-way that had murdered her was the most powerful yet. For all the attacks he knew about, it had been the same religious knife used. This man had power that had been honed for many years. He was going to be hard to defeat, that was if he could be defeated.

Tom walked into his bathroom and went to the sink *I can’t believe that she is dead!* Tom thought for the hundredth time. He turned the tap and splashed water onto his face. He wanted to kill and take vengeance on the man who would do this to Sandrine. He looked up and jumped back when he noticed a major feature on his face was different. His eyes were no longer blue they were black. All dark souls had black eyes. Tom knew it was his violent instincts showing through. He was angry. He hadn’t turned, there was too much at stake to lose all he had worked so hard to control.

Most Mid-ways like him were drawn to a person's dark impulses, but he had kept his under raps for six hundred years, they rarely showed themselves now. He had built an emotional barrier to control himself. Emotions stimulate irrational thoughts that lead to evil in his case. But he could not shut away the anger he felt for Sandrine’s death. Though he knew he had to, for all the Keeper's sakes. Tom closed his eyes and held his breath, clearing his mind of all negative thoughts. He opened his eyes and stared at their normal light baby blue colour.

Tom walked into his bedroom, and then out into the lounge area. He sat down on the couch. Putting his head into his hands he started to think. It had been a long time, nearly 200 hundred years since he had lost control like that, albeit only for a couple of hours. But it was serious. One of his trusted friends had turned to the evil Keepers, and had nearly killed him and the others that were with him. He had become enraged, and his eyes turned black. He couldn’t retrieve his pure nature and started to attack anyone who came close, while the others, came up with an antidote, that’s what they had called it. He remembered it so clearly, like it happened yesterday, the screaming, running up into the cliffs, jumping.

****

He looked down; it was a long way to the bottom. But what else was there to face, but death. Matt had been turned from good forever. And he felt like turning with him. They had been like brothers. Matt was a Mid-way too. He heard voices behind him; the policemen had finally caught him up. They thought they had had him surrounded. No one expected him to jump, but he did. The ground was coming nearer to him, though he knew that it was him who was the one getting nearer-to the ground. He felt like he was suspended, but he knew he wasn’t. He also knew that he had the power to get out of this situation, but he didn’t have the power to live, and kill by evil.

*It’s better this way* Tom thought looking down again; he really did feel like he wasn’t moving. It was then he realised, he wasn’t moving, and he was actually floating. But he didn’t think about using his power. He was needed though, he knew deep down that he couldn’t abandon the others, unconsciously he knew that, and therefore stopped himself from dying. He focused on being in the back room at Sandrine’s, and then, he was there. He looked up and she came running in with a gun, she looked at him, and then smiled. He looked confused; she helped him up and guided him to the mirror. His eyes were once again blue.



"If you can control your impulses you have nothing to worry about, I’ll always be here to help you," Sandrine said in her French accent. Tom smiled and they walked out to meet the others. He could control himself; he could never be like Matt and leave everyone alone, in the dark.

****

But he was without them now; they were most probably dead. And Sandrine would never be there for him again.

"I still have to protect my people," Tom said out loud as he stood up. He knew that only few good Mid-ways remained, and he was one of them. They needed him now, just like they needed him before, all those years ago. Nothing and everything has changed through the years he had survived. Friends and family died, but the motives always stayed the same. Keep the good strong to keep the bad weak. But of all things what worried him the most was the fact that this was the fifth vision of a Keeper's death he had had in a couple of weeks. He could see why he had seen Sandrine’s. Keepers sometimes saw the passing of close friends. But the others he had never even met. So why did he see them die? The only connection was that they all died by the same hand. That would mean that his connection wasn’t with the victims, but with the killer himself. The killer was murdering Keepers, and they wanted him to know.

Loud footsteps sounded throughout the corridors of Voyager. To anyone within hearing range, the harsh steps of an angry half Klingon may have been mistaken for a Borg attack. However they both held the same threat.

B'Elanna was furious. No she was more than furious because Tom Paris was driving her crazy. Her and Tom had been going out for a year now, and he was always complaining that see didn’t make enough time for him. So, what had she done? B'Elanna had taken the night off and booked the holodeck, just for them. She had planned everything down to the last detail, and she hadn’t done it just to get blown off by him because he had to work.

*Tom Paris. Working* B'Elanna thought, disgusted at her boyfriend's decision.

"I’m the one who’s meant to cancel, not him!" B'Elanna shouted at the empty corridor. She ceased stamping and stopped. Her human side quietened down her Klingon temper. B'Elanna knew Tom, and she knew something was up. He had been acting quiet and very un-Paris like for nearly two days. It was creeping her out, if Tom Paris couldn’t be himself, then who else could. She shook her head and carried on walking.

*Maybe it’s just a phase that will pass, * B'Elanna thought in a reassuring voice. The fact was she missed her Tom. She missed the pig-headed womaniser that she used to hate, but grew to love. Turning to walk into her quarters, someone called her name. For a second, her mind played tricks on her; she thought it was Tom coming to plead for forgiveness. But it wasn’t, and she knew that. Instead it was Ensign Huntington, a young man who she didn’t really know, but he seemed to know her.

"Lieutenant, Do you know why Lieutenant Paris deleted Sandrine’s from the Database?" The Ensign said in a confused but respectful way. B'Elanna was confused also, although people didn’t use it as much as they used to, they still went in it sometimes, and he always said that he wouldn’t delete it. B'Elanna noticed that the Ensign was still looking at her waiting for an answer.

"I don’t know. I’ll ask him later," B'Elanna replied and went into her quarters without another word. She left the Ensign there, looking rather dumbfounded. But it wasn’t B'Elanna's job to care; it was her job to make sure the ship didn’t fall apart. It was her job to see what was going on inside Tom's head, and later she was going to sort this whole thing out.

****

From the moment that B'Elanna had gone marching out of that door, he had felt guilty. He knew he had hurt her feelings, but what could he do? He had told the truth, he had work to do. Just not work to do with Voyager. He had been drawing pictures of all the Keepers he had seen in his visions, and he hated doing it. He was good at drawing, always had been, and with 600 odd years of practice he could do it with his eyes closed. When he had come to draw Sandrine’s he had stopped. He didn’t want to think about that again, not yet anyway. Instead he had put a picture on paper that he had got from the holodeck version. Directly after acquiring the image he had deleted Sandrine’s holoprogram. He couldn’t have that playing on his mind. He knew she was dead, and he had other things to concentrate on. He went back and looked at his sketches of the four faces that he hadn’t directly recognised. One of them definitely stood out above the rest. It was a woman of about 19 years, but he knew that looks could be deceiving if you were a Keeper. At that moment it hit him. He knew her, or he had known her. She was one of the Keepers that had been in the same training section with him, he recognised her now. She was a Mid-way like him, a Mid-way. He had never thought that the turned Keepers and Mid-ways were powerful enough to kill a Mid-way. They had never been before.

"Maybe that’s why we have been struggling more, maybe they have found away to defeat us," Tom said out loud in deep thought, trying to figure out what he should do next and whether or not to contact the leaders.

The chime on his door rung, and momentarily it startled him. He looked around and saw the masses of paper and drawings of the now dead Keepers. Whoever it was couldn’t see these. He quickly bundled them into a nearby drawer and got up from his desk. He didn’t notice the picture of the Mid-way woman that had floated down to the floor, and instead walked over to his sofa, and sat down. Calling for the visitor to come in, he attempted to look as relaxed as he could though he knew he was failing miserably. B'Elanna came marching through the door, a look of determination on her face. Tom knew whatever she was going to tell him to do; he was going to have no choice but to do it.

"Tom, you have being acting really strange lately, and to be honest with you, you’re worrying me," she paused and looked him in the eye. He could feel her anger and concern. The thing that had most attracted Tom to her was her soul. Her soul had been beaten and damaged; yet it stayed good. He admired her for that. And he knew he couldn’t let her down.

"Ok then we will go to the Holodeck and we will talk," Tom said getting up and walking over to her to get ready to leave. B'Elanna smiled, he was more like his usual joking self, and at least he was listening to her. Tom stopped and turned back towards his bedroom.

"Let me just get my jacket," Tom called as he was half way through his bedroom door. Looking around Tom’s room, something caught B'Elanna’s eye, a piece of paper. She hadn’t seen the old fashion technique for years. She walked over and picked it up. Surprise covered her face as she realised that it was a drawing of a young girl of about 20, in pain. B'Elanna looked at it and put the paper in her jacket. Tom came out with a half-hearted smile upon his face. B'Elanna felt nauseated, whatever was troubling Tom, it was serious. The couple walked out and started to the Holodeck. When B'Elanna had arrived she had been worried, but now she was very close to consulting with the Captain and the Doctor. Either way, she knew something had to be done, and it had to be done soon. ****