by Delta Story

April 1999


The doors of her quarters clicked closed. Janeway sighed as she slumped onto the sofa, worn and weary from yet another fourteen hour duty shift: a false red alert; a rebellion in the mess hall; Seven and B’Elanna in yet another showdown… just another day on Voyager!

And then there was Chakotay and that young, buxom blonde geophysicist! She had seen this one brewing for months, especially after her own performance in the Devoran debacle. Just what was it about him and blondes? But, as long as she insisted on following her own stern lectures about not mixing business with pleasure… well, yes; she had only herself to blame. But protocol must be followed. Besides, he hadn’t reached a Starfleet captain’s chair yet; he didn’t know about the Privilege Circle, the covert club that was part of the ritual of captaincy. She smiled, just thinking about the secret that had saved her sanity --- and probably that of many other commanding officers! --- so many times.

Over one hundred years earlier, when Starfleet first wrote the contemptible Sexual Conduct Manual for all of its personnel, it knew that command officers would have difficulties setting examples for their junior staff, especially on long, monotonous missions. This had been particularly evident in the early missions of the original Enterprise. In spite of all of his leadership skills, James Kirk had a real problem with containing his libido for more than a couple of weeks at a time. So it was that the Powers That Be in the administrative echelons conducted an investigative study into the most efficacious and discreet manner in which to allow their staff to relieve the high degree of stress brought on by their positions.

After months of surreptitious research, a lone answer stood out from all the data. The solution involved implementation of the most current, state-of-the-art cybernetics: the creation of cybernetic modulations of electromagnetic impulses which assumed a solid form, completely anatomically correct in all bodily functions other than eating, drinking and elimination. These cyber-modulated magnetic personages, or CMPs, would be trained as a covert section in Starfleet. Their programming would allow their "hosts" to instruct them in whatever duties they, the hosts, deemed necessary. The existence of CMPs would be known only to personnel who reached the rank of captain, and even that would be after new commands had proven themselves in their positions for a year.

At the end of this initial shake-down year, a new captain met with his or her sponsoring admiral. The administrator, assuming the position of a counseling, informative parent, discussed with the younger officer the special rules of sexual conduct for command officers. The older person then informed his or her protégé that Starfleet was not heartless when it came to recognizing special needs of the leaders of their vessels, and, as such, there was now a way to provide for these physical essentials. If the young captains so chose, he or she could be supplied with a CMP who would be theirs and theirs alone, to fulfill such needs as they arose. If the officer were married, the CMP could be programmed as an exact replica as his or her spouse; otherwise, a CMP could be selected from among existing designs or one could be programmed according to defined specifications. Of course, all of this information had to be kept under a heavy cloak of security, for obvious reasons. The existence of CMPs could not be discussed with anyone other than the captain’s immediate administrative advisor or the CMP review panel. Revealing the existence of CMPs was punishable by court martial, discharge, and a denial by Starfleet of the reality of CMPs. If a captain accepted the offer of a CMP, he or she faced a further pledging of confidentiality and secrecy by being initiated into what was known as the Privilege Circle. Initiations occurred annually, usually with two or three initiates.

So it was after her first year in the Big Chair that Kathryn Janeway was summoned by Admiral Paris to his office. She smiled as she entered, but his solemn expression soon brought a fearful grimace to her face.

"Admiral, is everything all right? You didn’t say what this was about, and now I’m almost afraid to ask," she asked tentatively.

Admiral Paris waved her to a seat across from him, thankful for the broad desk that gave him some separation space. His hands, resting on the desk, were linked into a prayerful position in front of him; his eyes were lowered. He slowly raised his eyes to meet her questioning ones as he began speaking.

"Kathryn, what I’m about to tell you is not easy." He laughed nervously. "I almost feel like I’m talking to one of my own children, and I don’t know if I could really even talk to them about this."

Janeway leaned forward in her chair, all the more inquisitive.

"Oh, I’m sure it can’t be that bad, sir," she smiled. "Why," she now laughed, "this almost sounds like the introduction to a lecture on the birds and the bees! I think I’m a little beyond that…"

Paris now returned the smile. "As a matter of fact, Kathryn, it is… in its own unique way. Let’s just say, it’s the birds and the bees for Starfleet captains." And with that, he proceeded to tell her of the Privilege Circle.

Paris finished his formal explanation and resumed his posture of his hands in front of him, waiting for her response.

Kathryn Janeway shook her head, either in amusement or disbelief; she didn’t know which.

"You mean… you mean… Starfleet provides its ranking officers with… surrogate conjugal partners for lengthy away missions?" she asked skeptically.

"That’s correct," Paris answered, still allowing her to absorb the situation.

"Well, I never!" she exclaimed. Then she looked him squarely in the eyes. "Tell me, Admiral… is there a CMP Mrs. Paris?"

Without divulging a hint of any answer in his expression, he stated, "I’m not allowed to disclose that information at this time."

"Only if I chose to be… initiated --- correct?"

"That is correct."

"Must I make a decision immediately?" she asked.

"Well, there is only one initiation a year, and the one for this year is in two weeks. If you choose to have a CMP, and then desire a… er… um… custom model for it… er… him…" he leaned forward conspiratorially and continued, "--- and I’m assuming you would want a ‘him’--- we would need some time to um… program your choice."

Janeway was wondering how much she could laugh about this without losing any professional decorum. "Um… Admiral, I really am going to have to think about this." She hesitated a moment and then, clearing her throat, inquired, "I’m sure that it is forbidden to discuss this with my fiancé…"

"You can talk to no one but me about your pending choice," he answered solemnly.

She sighed. "That’s what I thought. Well, I should at least sleep on it…"

"Of course," he answered.

As she moved to rise, she looked at him, hoping for some hint of a suggestion.

"And what would you suggest I do, Admiral?"

"Kathryn, for those at the top, it can be very cold and lonely in space," he demurred.

Two days later, Kathryn Janeway returned back to Admiral Paris with her answer. And two weeks later, she and Eduardo Cruz and Zhing Lai were admitted to the Privilege Circle.

Now, after almost six years of roaming the interminable expanse of the Delta Quadrant, she was happy she had made that decision. Here, in the privacy of her quarters, she could indulge in relaxing recreational activities and idealic pampering that kept her spirit going. Only when their transport across The Void interfered with the operating programs of her CMP had she felt herself at odds with her emotions. But --- that was almost a year ago, and long since forgotten. She was now in her quarters, and she needed him… oh, how she needed him!

She hit her comm badge and said sang out sweetly, "Oh, Andrew… I’m here!"

Electromagnetic pulses coalesced in the space in front of her. A solid image formed, that of a thirty-ish year old human male, almost two meters tall. His angular face was topped with thick wavy blond hair, and his gray-blue eyes focused sympathetically on her wearied face. A soft jersey tunic covered his muscular arms and shoulders and broad chest, which in turn tapered down to a trim waist, atop slim hips and firm, taunt buttocks. Well-formed thighs filled the tight leggings he wore. A smile sensuously formed and filled his face, punctuated by deep dimples. He stealthily walked over to her and leaned down, cradled her face in his hands and slowly kissed her.

Pulling back languidly, he said in a smooth baritone voice, "I’ve been waiting all day for you. Here… let me help you get those boots and uniform off. Then, we can decide how you would like to unwind."

She now drew him towards her, returning his deep kiss. "Ah, Andrew --- I don’t know what I would do without you!" she sighed.

He knelt and tugged at her boots, pulling them off and massaging each foot as he did so. He then began to work his talented fingers up her legs. He gently lifted her from the sofa and started the task of peeling off her uniform, ministering to each part of her body as it revealed itself to him.

She slowly folded herself into his accepting arms, sighing with satisfaction regarding her decision of so many years ago.

"Oh, yes," she thought. "Rank does have its privileges."

~~~~ FINIS ~~~~

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