Seventeen-year-old Danielle Janeway sat on the couch in her quarters, preparing to receive the admonishment she knew was coming. She watched as her mother paced back and forth in front of her.
“I’ve told you time and time again that you are not to go orbital sky diving on the holodeck,” Kathryn Janeway said to her daughter. “It’s just too dangerous. I wouldn’t let my most skilled officer do that, much less my daughter.”
“It’s not like it’s a big deal,” Dani said. “I mean, the safety protocols were on.”
Kathryn looked down at her daughter. “Have you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? It’s dangerous,” she said sternly.
Dani looked away from her mother. She wished she would stop being so overprotective of her. After all, it wasn’t as if she were a little girl anymore. She stood.
“Well, it’s not like there’s anything else to do around here!” Dani exploded. “I don’t do anything.”
“What do you mean you don’t do anything? You almost got yourself killed on the holodeck today. I’d definitely call that something.”
“That’s not what I mean.” Dani stepped to the side and out from in front of her mother. She turned to face Kathryn once again. “I’m talking about a job.”
“Is that what this is all about?” Kathryn asked, taking a few steps toward her daughter. “A job?”
“No, it’s about boredom! I am bored out of my wits around here.” Dani started to pace around the small space. “You won’t let me run the programs I want to run. I can’t talk to anyone because everyone’s always busy.” She stopped pacing and looked at Kathryn. “What do you want me to do? Sit around here and rot?”
“Listen,” Kathryn said stepping toward Dani, “I made it clear to you when we first entered the Delta Quadrant that this was going to be difficult. We’ve all had to make sacrifices.” She saw Dani roll her dark eyes but decided to go on anyway.
‘Here we go again,’ Dani thought.
“Do you think your father and I enjoy being here?” Kathryn asked. “Away from Earth and the rest of the family? If we could, we would be back in the Alpha quadrant tomorrow, Dani, but we can’t. We are doing everything in our power to get back home, but frankly, you’re not making it any easier. Time that I could be spending working on ways to get home, I have to spend making sure that you’re not off breaking your neck in some holodeck program. And it’s got to stop, Dani. It’s got to stop.”
Dani looked off to the side. Kathryn was staring a hole in her, and yet, Dani still refused to return her stare. Dani’s arms were crossed defiantly over her chest. It was a position Kathryn was used to seeing by now. And she was tired of it.
“Go to your room,” Kathryn said. “You’re grounded.”
Dani looked at her mother. She had expected the lecture, but she hadn’t expected this. Dani figured that she must’ve really crossed the line this time. Her mother had only grounded her once before, when she’d first sneaked onto the ship. She’d only been twelve then. That’s how she’d ended up on the ship in the first place…