Code of Honor
|Title:||Code of Honor|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: Voyager|
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Code of Honor is a het Star Trek: Voyager 188-page novel by BEKi.
Honor. Loyalty. Trust. When Chakotay left Starfleet to join the Maquis, he did so because he had no choice. Now, almost a decade later and seventy thousand light years away from the war that forced him to sacrifice his future to the dictates of an intractable code of honr, he finds himself once again trapped. Originally, published as a short story in Delta Quadrant #2, Code of Honor now re-written and expanded to novel length is a shadow play that pits right against wrong, truth against perception, honor against the illusion of duty. While the line is drawn and time runs out, Chakotay and Janeway must face the ultimate test of their commitment to not only to duty and honor, but to each other and the deeper issues that define who they are and who they will become. 
Expanded from a story in Delta Quadrant 2. When Chakotay left Starfleet to join the Maquis, he did so because he had no choice. Now, almost a decade later and seventy thousand light years away from the war that forced him to sacrifice his Mure to the dictates of an intractable code of honor, he finds himself once again trapped. Struggling to save the life of an alien accused of terrorism, Chakotay loses traction on the treacherous footing of Starfleet regulations. Duty acquiesces to conscience, placing him in direct opposition to Janeway, Tuvok and the Prime Directive. While the fine is drawn and time runs out, Chakotay and Janeway must face the ultimate test of their commitment to not only duty and honor, but to each other and to the deeper issues that define who they are and who they will become. 
Reactions and Reviews
Code of Honor, originally a short story in Delta Quadrant Two, makes better use of the Voyager characters in a hundred or so pages than the show has in three seasons. The dialogue crackles with the energy of standup comedy, the relationships have complexity and depth. This is a Janeway/Chakotay novel in the best sense--it's about the working relationship between two people with dramatically different ideological committments, who are pledged to working together for a common cause, and who care deeply about one another. Janeway perhaps spends too much time dwelling on procedure and too little taking action, but she's multidimensional, warm and passionate without losing an iota of her intelligence or force in command. The story concerns a group of xenophobic aliens, the Goshin, offered assistance by Voyager and rescued from their failing ship. During the rescue, Chakotay discovers Desh, an alien of a different ethnicity who has been tortured horribly by the racist Goshin. Desh's experiences remind Chakotay of the reasons he joined the Maquis and shunned Starfleet. He becomes committed to protecting Desh, a suspected terrorist, from the possibility of being returned to Goshin custody, which Janeway--citing the Prime Directive a little too thoughtlessly--feels Voyager may have to do. This is a terrific setup, though the entire crew is a little too obsessed with Chakotay's obsession--Janeway dreams about him, Paris frets about their history together, Tuvok doubts him and later admires him. Chakotay is given a compelling, moving backstory, in which he had political as well as personal reasons for shunning Starfleet and joining the Maquis. His wry sense of humor and loyalty to his beliefs are a welcome change from the muddled character he's become on the series. The Doc is BEKi's great comic achievement: I loved his revelation that he has been programmed with the Hallmark database of platitudes and condolences. I also liked Janeway and Tuvok for most of the story, though they're a tad too paranoid about the Maquis and too rigid as Starfleet officers. The weak link is B'Elanna Torres. In the shorter story in Delta Quadrant, she was in fewer scenes, yet came across as a much stronger character--Chakotay's equal and confidante. Here, she's not only his lover, she seems to exist to serve as his personal support system. She gives him backrubs, she gives him pep talks; her contributions have little to do with her knowledge and skills as a scientist, and, since she's much more Klingon here than she's been in the series, it's hard to understand why she identifies with the Maquis beyond her devotion to her former captain. It gets tiring, especially since every other character in Code of Honor--Tuvok, Paris, and, most disappointingly, Janeway--come around to believe in Chakotay's righteous self-absorption, to accept that he's a prince in wolf's clothing. When Janeway and Tuvok tacitly approve mass murder of aliens as "the Maquis way" of responding to the killing of a crewmember, the story and the characters become caricatures of their television counterparts. While Chakotay and Janeway are balancing one another, representing opposing approaches to the same basic values, this novel succeeds admirably. The Starfleet-bashing, perhaps justified due to the heavy-handed praise of conflicting Federation values on the television series, ultimately weakens this story. That said, this zine is still vastly better than any of the Pocket Books Voyager novels, in terms of both the characterization and the issues brought up by the plot. It costs more than a mass market paperback but I think it's well worth it.