Continued from previous page.
Counselor Troi briskly strolled
into Admiral Ross's office angry over having to manipulate Seven of Nine in such
Her thoughts went back to their
initial conversation just the day before.
"A test?" Counselor Troi
"Yes, we want to test the Borg's
loyalty. Besides, this will give us an idea as to how she thinks. How she
will react and respond to certain stimuli." Admiral Ross sat behind his desk
looking across at the Counselor, who was seated before him.
"I think that's been proven,
Admiral. Voyager's logs clearly show her loyalty to the crew."
"I don't doubt it." He said
somewhat sarcastically. "But, I want to see it for myself."
The Counselor narrowed her eyes,
"I don’t think this is a good idea?" she cautioned him.
"Why would you say that?" He
"I'm concerned about her emotional
response to such a test." She clasped her hands together.
"It's only a holographic test,
similar to the psyche tests we give second year academy students." He said
dismissively waving a hand.
"I've met with Seven of Nine
briefly. I was warned before I met with her that she could be cold,
arrogant and rude, not to mention she has a reputed blatant disregard for
authority." Troi offered honestly. "However, when I actually met with her, I
found her to be very polite, if somewhat rigid. I could also sense she was
nervous, frightened and anxious at returning to Earth. On the outside,
people see her as arrogant and egotistical, but I believe she is not as secure
as she would have us believe. She is still emotionally undeveloped and I
believe we need to take care in how we handle her."
"Oh, come on. She's an adult,
she'll get over it, just like the rest of our students do." He shrugged.
"Besides, she has that Borg background to rely on. She will be
"Don't you think the Voyager crew
have been interrogated enough?" Troi responded annoyed.
Ross did not like being questioned
by a counselor despite her Lt. Rank. "It is a necessary precaution and not your
"As her Counselor, I am against
this decision for the record." She eyed him seriously.
"So, noted." He paused, "Never the
less, you have your orders."
The Counselor nodded, not too
happy that ordered her to administer it. "Understood." She stated coldly before
Ross stared at her distant and
piqued expression. "Well?" Ross inquired impatiently. "How did it go?" He asked
shaking her out of her musings as he leaned back in his leather chair waiting
for her report.
Counselor Troi stood hovering over
his desk with a dark look affixed to him. "Not good at all. I probably lost what
little trust she had in me."
"Yes, but did she pass." He
Troi assessed him emphatically
considering his agenda to selfish, but she could not sense any emotion from him
that would be deemed odd.
She sighed, "Yes, she
passed. She saved them both."
"What?!" He exclaimed
"I said yes, and she was injured
in the process!" Troi was angered at the deception. "It is my recommendation
that she is no threat to Starfleet or Earth." She informed him curtly.
"Permission to be dismissed."
He nodded irritated.
Seven still wanted to see Icheb,
even after what happened, so she went unescorted to do just that. She was
determined to see the young man she had befriended on Voyager. So after
leaving the Counselor, she headed for his dorm, hoping she would receive no more
untimely interruptions or deceptions.
She arrived at his door and tapped
the chime for admittance. The door swished open revealing a smiling Icheb
with three other cadets in the background chatting.
"Seven!" He exclaimed, happy to
see her. His expression turned sorrowful as he took in the sight of her arm
strapped inside a white piece of cloth that ran upto and behind her
"Are you damaged?"
"I am fine." She smiled, not
wanting to give a length explanation. "A simple accident, nothing to concern
He seemed to accept her
explanation, but was hesitant. "Can I… still hug you?"
"Of course." He smirked. Icheb
hugged her mindful of her arm.
"I've missed you." He offered with
"I have missed you as well."
"Come, let me introduce you to my
classmates." He withdrew from the hug and motioned her to follow him. "This is
Tom, Brian and Selene… And this..." pointing to Seven proudly. "is my friend
from Voyager, Seven of Nine."
"Nice to meet you, ma'am." The
blonde, young man called Tom offered his hand, flinching slightly when he felt
the cool metal of her Borg enhanced hand on his. The other boy, Brian had
dark curly hair and a more inquisitive look on his face.
"Ma'am," Brian said nodding, hands
behind his back. However, his gaze, Seven noticed seemed to be directly
lower than her face, which perturbed Seven slightly. Tom had been staring as
well, but was more discreet about it than his friend.
Finally, the young girl, who
looked fitter and older than the boys introduced herself. She had straight, long
flowing auburn hair almost down to the middle of her back. It reminded Seven of
"Hello, Seven." She shook Seven's
hand without flinching. "Icheb has told us all about you and all the adventures
he had on Voyager."
Seven was still new to the concept
of small talk and it made her uncomfortable, but she continued to try. "Yes, we
Sensing that Icheb would probably
what to talk to his friend in private, Selene looked to Tom and Brian. "Why
don't we give Icheb and Seven some time to catch up on old times, we can come
They dipped their heads in
agreement. Tom and Brian slapped him on the back, told him they would see him
later, and said goodbye to Seven as Selene gave Icheb a quick hug and kiss on
the cheek before she left also.
"Would you like something to drink
or eat?" He offered.
"I do not require liquids at this
time… Thank you." She responded. "How are your studies going?"
"Great! Of course, I had a good
teacher even before I decided to take classes." He joked and sat down on a
light, blue couch.
Seven was glad he was enjoying
himself and doing well. She was concerned that adapting to the change of
having so many humans around him would be difficult. "I am glad that you
are adapting well." She wished she had adapted so well to her
He noticed the slight variation in
her tone, something only an ex-Borg would pick up on. "Well, it wasn't easy at
first." He said honestly in a small attempt to reassure her that it wasn't that
easy. "Not everyone was very friendly to me and some were outright rude to
me because of my Borg background. But, I was told that could happen and
with the help of some of Counselor Troi and some others here, I was more
prepared emotionally to handle the adversity." He paused. "It took a lot of
patience on my part, but I was told to be polite and respectful."
"I am glad that you had some
"I have also helped out some of
the cadets who were struggling in some of their courses." He told her. "That
helped me gain some appreciation."
She raised her implant brow, "I
"So tell me how are the other's
doing? Have you seen Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Tuvok?"
Seven circumvented the whole truth
telling him mostly about her visit to the Janeway ranch leaving out the more
Seven was grateful he did not have
a prosthesis like her hand. Icheb had not matured enough in the Borg maturation
chamber so when he emerged, he had no ability to assimilate.
Janeway decided to do something
constructive, so she went to work in the barn. It was a mess and all the farm
hands seem to do when they came over was to feed the horses.
Janeway was surprised her mother
kept the two horses. It was all that was left of the farm from so many years ago
when they had more animals.
Janeway didn't mind as she threw a
bundle of hay into a neat stack. She wanted to stay busy and not think
about her current problems. She told her mother and sister more than she
intended to, even though she didn't tell them who the object of her dreams
Her inability to discern how to
deal with her emotional turmoil found her in the barn cleaning up. Nothing
like physical work to keep the mind off its worries.
The peeling paint gave her another
idea. The wood would be susceptible to rot from the weather with that much
exposed. Maybe she would paint it during the next few days, if she were free to
do so, she speculated ruefully.
As she baled another load of hay,
she stopped thinking she heard something. Hearing nothing more, she
continued throwing bundles of hay on top of each other to stack them
Janeway's heart skipped a
beat. She knew who it was and looked up to see her round the entrance to
the old barn.
"Your mother told me you were out
here." Seven walked closer. "I hope I am not intruding." She stated while
looking at Kathryn's attire. The older woman wore low boots, grey sweat pants
and a light blue T-shirt that was fast becoming soaked with perspiration. It
clung to her torso showing her subtle endowments. Seven tried not to stare, but
her curiosity was peaked beyond normal. She felt excited to see Kathryn despite
their grim professional circumstances.
"No, of course not. Is everything
all--" Her face went pale as she glimpsed Seven's right arm in a sling. "What
happened?!" She blurted out quickly going to her former protégé.
"It was an accident during the
tests." Seven recapped briefly what had happened and how she had responded to
"She said she was following
Janeway shook her head and
developed a scowl on her face. "Damn!" She slammed her gloved fist into the side
of the barn startling Seven. She did it again and was about to strike it a third
time when Seven quickly put her mesh hand over Janeway's forestalling the
"Please…" Seven pleaded, her eyes
soft. "Do not injure yourself on my account."
Janeway gazed into Seven's eyes
and found more than she wanted to there. A softness that seemed to reach in and
caress her soul. She closed her eyes and lowered her head. "I'm sorry, it wasn't
supposed to be like this. Earth was supposed to be your haven not your
is beyond your control. Ultimately they must decide what to do with
me. I can only hope my actions were worthy of you, despite what they
couldn’t believe it when she heard they had used her and Chakotay as bait in
their sick test of her loyalty. It was uncalled for, Seven had proven herself a
dozen time over. Why wasn't it enough?!
young blonde saw Janeway's ire increasing in her features again and she felt a
strong urge to calm the fiery auburn haired woman down, whom Seven cared so much
moved her mesh hand to Kathryn's cheek, but hesitated for a moment thinking of
how Chakotay reacted. She fought the fear and continued gently stroking
Janeway's cheek with the palm of her hand. There was no reticence on Kathryn's
part at all, rather she accepted the caress easily.
was relieved at this undisputed acceptance of her Borgness and it filled her
heart with love and tenderness. Only Kathryn made Seven feel so special and…
intently at Janeway, Seven watched her Captain's eyes turn bright, and deepen to
a sharp blue before they glazed over.
" Janeway spoke her name like a benediction, her mouth agape and her breathing
Pinpricks of electrical energy suffused her body as she
watched Kathryn's dilated pupils focus solely into her own crystal blue
Overwhelmed with sudden emotion and a deep need that
encouraged Seven to take a risk, she instinctively sought out the fine lips,
fully covering them with her own. She had not really considered the action. What
it meant or what it would change. She simply followed her instincts. Her body
wanted to do this and her mind excitedly went along with it.
lips met lightly as they pressed together. Kathryn carefully tasted of Seven's
lips deepening the pressure slightly. She closed her eyes afraid the moment
rose in Janeway sharply and she found herself pressing harder in the contact.
She moved her right hand around Seven's neck to draw the blonde's head even
closer and she slipped her tongue passed Seven's now moist lips.
young woman moaned at the sensual contact. She had never felt so much.
Explosions went off in her body. A cascade of sensation flooded her. This is
what the research indicated intimacy should be like!
tongues moved in unity setting free a fire of deeply repressed
Somehow, Janeway ended up pressed against Seven's body
leaning on the inside of the barn wall effectively pinning the larger woman. She
cradled the mouth before her with her own and enfolded the lips and tongue that
she laid claim to.
hands slid down to Seven's biceps and squeezed instinctively, but it caused a
gasp of pain from Seven causing the younger woman to break the kiss and
finally realized what she did and she wasn't referring to hurting Seven's arm.
"Oh god! I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done that."
is fine. I believe the medication is wearing off." Seven smiled
respite gave Janeway a clearer head and she noted that Seven did not seem as
disturbed by what they had done as she was.
do have any idea what we just did?"
that a rhetorical question?" Seven asked amused.
flinched and realized that Kathryn was not intentionally utilizing
and you kissed me back." Seven stated pleased by the response.
This isn't what you think. This did NOT happen! Do you understand!" Janeway
vociferated loudly thinking of how she betrayed her best friend by making out
with his fiancée.
"Kathryn… " Seven spoke wounded by Kathryn's hostile
choice of words coupled with her ruffled tone. The young woman had thought
she had connected with Janeway in a way she had never before with anyone else.
An odd pain stabbed her chest area. For some reason, it felt worse than her
slightly throbbing arm.
Suddenly, Phoebe was in the doorway breathing heavily.
"There are Starfleet brass here looking for you two and they don't look
armed, tan uniformed officers appeared with Gretchen Janeway following closely
behind. "This isn't necessary, she was just visiting Kathryn!" She opposed
familiar guards walked up to Seven. "Ma'am, we're here to escort you back to
course," Seven complied, wondering why they sent four guards until two passed
her without evening looking at her.
had serious expressions on their faces as they stood before the
Janeway had a sinking feeling when she saw so many of them.
are under arrest. I suggest you come with us, ma'am."
held out her wrists knowing protocol. "Ma'am," he stated respectful of her rank
as he fastened two handcuffs.
grimaced and turned as she was being led out. "Kathryn?"
mentor and friend for all those years, glanced at her painfully as she went by.
"I'm sorry Seven… I… " Janeway looked away. "Goodbye."
stormed into her shared quarters angry at having to watch Janeway be taken away
in cuffs. She was frantic to find Chakotay. The guards who had escorted her had
even kept their distance because they could feel the anger and coldness
permeating the air around the ex drone.
"Chakotay!" She called out receiving no
down on the sofa and contemplated her next move, but she had no idea where they
took the Captain and her escorts probably wouldn't let her go even if she asked
Frustrated at her inability to take action, she swung
out her mesh hand smashing the standing light fixture which shattered,
splintering wood, glass and ceramic alike sending the fragments all over the
couch and the floor.
"Seven?" He called out hearing the noise. He came down
the stairs from the bedroom and noticed the mess. "What's happened?!"
"Captain Janeway has been arrested." She replied
not know and I am helpless at the moment to find out."
calm down. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation." He looked at
the mess she made. "First thing tomorrow morning the guards have to take us to
Headquarters any way, they make their ruling tomorrow."
glared at him, "Yes," she almost hissed. "the ruling."
suddenly tired, Seven realized she hadn't regenerated in almost three
days. "I must regenerate. I will return later."
guard escorted her up to Voyager, which was still being studied and assessed
before the decision to junk or refit it was made. The guard waited outside as
she regenerated. Four hours later she returned to the surface and tried to get
couldn't get any sleep that night and spent most of the morning hours staring at
the ceiling. She contemplated her former Captain and the intimate kiss they
shared. Strange how Seven did not feel guilty at doing that. The Captain
suggested she should have been, but it felt so right.
over at the sleeping form of Chakotay, Seven was convinced that she was not in
love him. But what about Janeway? Was there something in Seven's heart for her
former Captain and if the older woman went to prison how would she ever find
Paris called an emergency meeting with Admirals' Ross, Strickler and Necheyev
early the next morning. As soon as he heard of the arresting of Captain Janeway
he knew things had gone too far and were careening out of control. Each Admiral
had their own agenda and no one except himself was considering the best
interests of Voyager's crew.
were all seated, one at each end of the table when the meeting began.
the hell's gotten into you?!" Admiral Paris spat out glaring at Ross as soon as
the aid closed the door to the room.
leaned back in his chair. "I wanted to make an impression on how we deal with
explains handcuffing her at her parents' home in Indiana?!" Paris
necessary to illustrate that she can't just do anything she pleases
"Release her immediately."
don't think so." Ross stated defiantly.
agreed to come to a unanimous decision in two weeks regarding the Voyager crew
or they would be set free."
no quarrel with Voyager's Starfleet officers, or its crew."
you do have a problem with Janeway, Seven of Nine and the
EMH is a political issue that will be dealt with later by a committee that
understands the nature of Emergency Holographic technology. That is a sentience
issue and we're not qualified to judge him. In the interim he is free to go as
long as he doesn't go too far."
Janeway and Seven?"
depends on them." Ross declared.
willing to pardon the maquis." Necheyev offered calmly. "And I agree with Ross
regarding the EMH… for now."
second that," Strickler agreed. "The maquis are no longer a threat. They have
adequately served under Captain Janeway for seven years."
turned piercing eyes on them. He wasn't happy with it, but agreed they were no
threat. "Agreed, all the maquis, the Voyager crew and the EMH are hereby free to
at least we're finally getting somewhere," Paris remarked. "That leaves us with
Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine."
looked at each studiously.
not prepared to give the drone free reign." Necheyev stated.
do you suggest, we lock her up?" Paris asked mockingly.
had my way…"
wasn't pleased by her honesty. "You can't be serious!
realize her suggestion may seem harsh," Strickler conceded. "but we have to ask
if Seven poses a threat to the citizens of Earth. Is it real or imagined?"
Strickler glanced at Necheyev guessing that her reasons were slightly more
personal than political.
Janeway is she a threat too?!"
Starfleet protocol, yes!" Ross interjected and both Strickler and Necheyev
nodded in agreement. "but I am prepared to make a compromise."
compromise?" Paris questioned.
Suddenly the heavy oak door to the room splintered in
hundreds of shards of wood.
instigator of the destruction was Seven of Nine sporting a mean grimace and dark
eyes as she walked into the room.
you can't go in there?!" An Ensign shouted from the hallway. He was following
Seven into the room, but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the scowl on her
Necheyev gasped, turning white, while Ross stood up
outraged by the rude intrusion, but secretly admired the display of power.
Strickler frowned, shocked at her lack of diplomacy.
eyes widened stunned to see her acting that way.
took the time to glare at each one of them before asking a single question.
"What will it take to free Captain Janeway?"
hours later, two security guards brought Janeway from the holding cell in the
underground level up to the twenty-second floor where she was dropped in front
of four Admirals.
cuffs were removed and she sat crossing her legs in front of her preparing
mentally for the worst. She would not give them the satisfaction of her anger.
She would wait and see what she was accused of and go from there.
meeting turned out to be a complete surprise. Admiral Ross admonished her for
borrowing medical supplies from Voyager and warned her he wouldn't be as
understanding if she ever smuggled the EMH out again, but they pardoned her for
all her questionable command decisions and even the violation of the temporal
However, they did agree unanimously to put her on a
six-month probation after which time she could assume command of another
starship if she so chose to do so.
complete astonishment, they had agreed to refit Voyager and not junk the well
traveled Starship. It would take approximately a year to overhaul it, but
Janeway couldn't think any other ship she would rather have.
informed her that a six month period on earth without any pressing command
duties would also give her time to adjust to the command structure again. She
frowned when she heard that.
they were finished informing her of their decision and the stipulations,
regulations involved, they dismissed her.
about Seven?" She asked before leaving.
worry, she's been taken care of." Necheyev answered coldly.
Chakotay paced the room of his apartment waiting for
Seven. He only hoped she had good news like he did, but somehow he didn't think
not want to admit it, but he was not in love with her. She was beautiful and
incredible sexy, but he had to be honest with himself. If he was truly attracted
to her he would have slept with her by now. He almost felt ashamed, but
the Borg part of her was difficult for him to accept.
problem now was that he had proposed to her and it would be more than
inappropriate to take it back. So what should he do? He thought about it
as the front door opened.
immediately went to the hallway to see her and noticed she was alone as she
closed the door.
"Where's your escort?"
longer require one."
assessed her mood as calm and reflective if not bright.
smiled. "That's excellent." He went over to hug her, but she did not reciprocate
something wrong?" he asked tentatively. "It's Kathryn isn't it?"
pulled back leaving his hands on her shoulders.
she has been let go and although she will be on a six month probation, Starfleet
will grant her another commission."
about you? What did they say about you?" Chakotay grew serious. Dating her for
the past month showed him that she was more than her severe exterior revealed
despite her Borgness. Seven deserved to be free more than any of
agreed to join Starfleet in exchange for my freedom."
Chakotay frowned dropping his hands to his sides and he
moved into the living area waiting for her to follow before
they give you a choice?"
of," she admitted. "I would have preferred joining Leah Brahms at the
Theoretically Propulsion Group, but I should be able to pass the required
courses at Starfleet Academy in less than a year. I already have most of the
knowledge having assimilated it." She managed a quirky smile for his benefit.
"How about you? What is your status?"
maquis were given a full pardon. We can choose to join Starfleet or go our
sat down glimpsing the floor. "What will you do now?"
haven't decided. I thought about teaching or maybe going back to my routes. Back
to my people." He rubbed his chin knowing the wilderness life was not something
Seven would be privy to.
Seven…" Chakotay folded his hands on his lap. "There's something we need to
became rigid, "Yes, I agree."
hope you are not angry with me, but… " She looked him straight in the eyes. "I
cannot marry you."
he replied, not expecting her to go this route. However, it was more honorable
than what he was going to do so he went with it. "May I ask why?"
you in love with me?" Seven asked pointedly.
Chakotay's ears turned red and his eyes bulged but he
would not lie. Not now. "I care for you, I really do, but in love. I would have
to say no."
is how I feel as well."
understand," he nodded. "So you don't want to get married, but are you also
saying you want to end… this relationship?"
believe it would be best for both of us," she stated quietly. "I apologize for
Chakotay got up and went to her. He put his hand on her
knee gently. "Seven, this was not an inconvenience. Sometimes it takes more than
one attempt to find the one you're going to settle down with. Just because
we didn't work our doesn't mean we can't be friends."
glanced up at him. That was logical. "That would be…
He stood up. "Now that is settled can I make you something to eat? I believe we
have some celebrating to do!"
"Actually, there is something I must do after I take a
sonic shower." Seven hoped to celebrate with someone else.
he was surprised. "You're going out… alone?"
she replied with a slight smile from the stairs already heading up to the
strolled into her mother's house looking to share the good news despite a
feeling that something wasn't right. She got off too easy, it seemed.
"Mother?" she called out.
"Kathryn?!" Gretchen responded from the kitchen. Upon
seeing her daughter she took her in a big hug. "What happened!? We saw them take
you away, but they wouldn't tell us anything!"
rested her head on her mother's shoulder. "To be honest, I'm not sure."
came downstairs at hearing the commotion hoping her sister was home. She was
more than livid at Starfleet's unnecessary display of power.
found her mother and her sister sitting comfortably while conversing in the
Did they explain why they did that to you?" Phoebe put a hand on her
explained what they had said, but she was the first to concede that it seemed
too easy and convenient to be let go just like that after being arrested.
She was suspicious.
months probation!" Phoebe roared.
not like I can do anything else until then. Voyager's refit won't be ready for
over a year."
could take another ship," Gretchen offered.
Janeway refused with conviction. "I want Voyager. It's kept me alive this long.
I have a rapport with my ship." She said smirking at the absurdity of
all shared a laugh before a knock was heard at the door.
get that!" Phoebe called out.
expecting company?" Janeway asked her mother.
shook her head no.
opened the door to reveal their visitor. "Seven! How are you? Come on in!"
Phoebe called out delighted to see the reserved woman again. Phoebe really liked
her and she had her suspicions that Seven really liked her older sister too. She
assumed the blonde was attracted to Kathryn in a sexual way, but she didn't know
Gretchen saw a moment of fear pass over Kathryn's face
before she composed herself again. Could it be her?! Her mother
brings you here dear?" Gretchen asked taking her hands and leading her to the
couch. Janeway sat down across from Seven.
wanted to know how the final day of debriefing went for Kathryn," she looked at
her former Captain wondering why Kathryn seemed so uncomfortable to Seven as the
younger woman sat across from her mentor.
could have called." Kathryn complained succinctly staring at Seven's sling so
she didn't have to make eye contact. She didn't want Seven here. Not
after how they had last parted. She did not want to have to talk about it or
think about it. Chakotay wanted to marry her and that was that. Game
actually came to visit, because she wanted to make sure they had kept their word
and let Kathryn go. "That is true, but I also wanted to exercise my new found
freedom. As you can see I have no escort." Seven managed a nervous smile, which
Janeway did not reciprocate. However, the Captain had noticed the lack of a
guard and would have been happy for Seven if not for her uneasy
wonderful Seven," Gretchen complimented her merrily. "So how are things with you
and Commander Chakotay?"
are going well," Seven gave one of her rare smiles. It was the truth even
though, she had broken up with him just a short while ago. Things were
well with her and she was ecstatic at the new path she wanted to take. She just
wasn't ready to divulge that information yet and not in front of Kathryn's
"Kathryn," Seven spoke lightly. "What did they say at
Janeway's eyes were hard as she looked at Seven. "I'm on
six months probation." She had noticed the wide smile when Chakotay's name was
glanced at Gretchen before returning her gaze on Kathryn. "You are not…
satisfied with this?" Seven became concerned.
suppose, it's ok. As long as I behave myself for the next six months." The
acid in her voice was not palatable and Phoebe wanted to scowl at her sister for
the change in attitude.
was feeling unrealistically hostile towards the younger woman and, despite
knowing it to be wrong, she could not help herself for some reason. She
concluded that she just did not want to be around Seven right now, finding it
difficult to be happy for the couple.
felt suddenly angry at the Admiral for forcing her to acknowledge her hidden
feelings for the young blonde. Feelings she would have to keep hidden forever.
It was unlikely in her current emotional turmoil that she would be able to
remain friends with Seven if she couldn't deal effectively with rolling
Gretchen was about to say something to her older sibling
when Janeway, noticing Seven's trepidation and stiffness, stood up abruptly not
being able to tolerate the situation anymore.
rather tired, if you don't mind I'm going to retire early this evening." Kathryn
started for the stairs.
rose up quickly. "I need to speak with you regarding something important," The
blonde offered kindly, needing to speak with Kathryn alone to clarify things.
hesitated on the stairwell, but did not look back. "It will have to wait," she
declined Seven's request before continuing up to her room.
Gretchen glanced at Phoebe not understanding what just
welcome to stay if you like." Gretchen offered. "We don't have company all that
Seven watched Janeway climb the stairs. "I should be going," she turned towards
the elder Janeway. "Thank you for your hospitality. I appreciate it."
course you're welcome here anytime."
Glancing up at where Janeway went again, Seven wondered
if that were true. Her heart skipped as the realization came over her.
What she thought had occurred in the barn had in fact did NOT and she was at a
lost at how to cope with it. The fact that Janeway had just rebuked her again
with no forthcoming explanation proved it conclusively.
"Perhaps," Seven acquiesced and proceeded to leave
quickly before her composure became less than perfect.
followed her outside watching her carefully. "Seven?"
leave," the tone was coupled with a thickness that gave Phoebe a sinking
I get the feeling there's more going on here."
not know," Seven got into the hovercar and ran the pre-ignition
stared at her from the doorway. "Why do I get the feeling you're not coming
Seven went through the pre-flight check.
"Seven?!" Phoebe yelled loudly. "I would be upset if you
did NOT visit me just because my sister is an ass." The younger Janeway didn't
understand why her sister had been so rude and dismissive to her friend and
Kathryn I… " Seven started but could not finish. She could not say it. Once it
was spoken there would be no taking it back.
Kathryn what?" Phoebe pressed.
turned her red eyes and pained expression towards the younger Janeway. Phoebe
gasped at how upset the woman was.
go, please stand back."
did so and Seven took off without finishing her sentence.
gotten into you Kathryn?!" Gretchen demanded standing in the doorway to her room
until she noticed her daughter's back to her with her hands over her face. She
was sitting there leaning forward in a position that would suggest she was more
"Kathryn?" her mother walked into the room.
didn't mean it," she declared quietly removing her hands from her face.
Gretchen saw the redness in her daughter's eyes and the
tears that had fallen. The realization hit her suddenly.
her isn't it? She's the one."
bobbed her head up and down in affirmation.
were you being so rude to her dear?" Gretchen asked not understanding why her
daughter would treat someone she claimed to love so coldly.
"Because it's necessary. She's supposed to marry my
former first officer. There's no place for her here."
she accepted then?"
don't know." Janeway admitted gruffly. "but if that rare smile is any
indication, she probably will."
Gretchen sat down next to her distraught daughter.
"You're jumping to conclusions because she smiled?" her mother asked perplexed
by that assessment.
doesn't smile like that very often."
could be happy to see you too, you know."
shook her head in her grief unable to see any alternative reason. "She marries
him in the other timeline. Perhaps it's her destiny."
but you told me Admiral Janeway changed that timeline, which means… there's
still time to tell her how you feel in this timeline."
not right for me to interfere."
why you were afraid to talk to her alone wasn't it? You were afraid she was
going to tell you that she had decided to marry Chakotay."
hurt look and the puffiness around the red eyes that she turned to her mother
said it all.
think you're giving up, unless you don't believe she has any feelings for you. I
can tell she does, just by looking at her."
don't know that. She's probably just infatuated with the idea. She's so new to
all this." Janeway thought about the kiss they shared the other day and she
wondered if Seven could return her feelings or if she was just an
wrong for you to assume what she feels and only she can tell you that. Do you
plan to sit by and mope over it for the rest of your life or go after what you
landed the hovercar where she rented it near Starfleet Headquarters and beamed
up to Voyager. It was quiet and she didn't see anyone on her way to Cargo
at the alcove, she decided to sit down on the dais instead of regenerating at
the moment. She was restless.
mind churned. She did not understand Kathryn's behavior. She had kissed Kathryn
during a moment of weakness when a strong sensation of wanting and needing
overcame her. Janeway kissed her back in Seven's estimation and even
enjoyed the contact of their lips until they broke apart. Afterwards though,
Kathryn appeared to become ashamed and completely refuted the fact that it
happened just before she was arrested.
Janeway had rebuked Seven again, making her feel unwelcome when she had stopped
by to check up on Kathryn's status with Starfleet.
stopped by their Indiana home for two reasons; to make sure the older woman was
all right, that she had indeed been set free and the charges dropped, but also
to speak to Janeway about what happened in the barn.
was elated yet confused. She had hoped Janeway would elaborate on what she
had said. 'This isn't what you think. This did NOT happen. Do you
understand?' her eidetic memory recanted in her mind.
did not know what to think. What exactly was 'this' that did not happen?
The kiss? What was Seven supposed to understand?
and the shock of the arrest challenged the normally self-controlled ex-Borg this
mind drifted back to the morning after Janeway's arrest. She had interrupted the
Admirals' during their quiet meeting brusquely and asked them politely if
adamantly what she could do to right things.
made sacrifices, one severe, but the final results could have been worse.
Necheyev really did seem to want to put Seven behind bars, but reluctantly she
agreed to a subdermal tracking device, at Ross's and Strickler's insistence, so
they could monitor Seven's whereabouts at all times. This way she wouldn't need
wanted the ex-Borg to join Starfleet Academy so down the road she could join
Starfleet Intelligence after she completed the program. He was also very
interested in Borg technology, which she had a vast knowledge of.
also wanted her to assist the Scientific Research division, on days she wasn't
at the academy to assist with research and development. He didn't give
specifics, but he didn't have to, Seven knew he was thinking along the lines of
Strickler wanted Seven to be a diplomatic for the Borg
to alleviate civilian fear and to demonstrate that there is hope after
assimilation. Since he was in charge of diplomatic operations in Starfleet
it made sense. He also wanted her in a militaristic fashion like Ross saying she
would have to agree to be called upon at any time to defend earth if attacked by
the Borg or anyone who threatened their way of life.
had done so on Voyager. That was no problem.
Strickler had said, "It is important to be diplomatic
in all instances, but equally important to have a strong military to back it up
in case a compromise is impossible."
was surprised by the suggestion, but agreed to it, if Seven had no quarrel with
it. He was in charge of scientific research within Starfleet operations and
could use the Borg's insights.
gave her a list of what she couldn't do; such as leave Earth without permission
or travel to another continent. There was also one other requirement that Seven
found hard to comply with, but she knew she would, despite her Captain's recent
harsh treatment towards her.
Paris was truly not happy with that stipulation and he was surprised when Seven
had agreed to it, but it was her decision to make not his. He would give his
vote and make it unanimous if she wanted him to.
to report for the procedure tomorrow at 10:30 am.
Starfleet officers, the maquis, herself and the Captain were now free. She found
out the EMH was given his freedom too and they promised not to decompile his
program before a special committee could be created at a later date to determine
his sentience status. They were not quite ready to give him that privilege
Paris came up to her at the end of the meeting after the others had
you sure you want to join Starfleet?"
they have charged Captain Janeway if I had not?" She had questioned in response.
Something flashed in his eyes that perhaps she had hit
on something that was not commonly known.
can't speak for the others, but I would not have. As far as I'm concerned she
did the best with what she had and she got her crew home. She should be
hailed a hero."
leaving the room he spoke again to Seven's surprise.
Janeway realizes how loyal you truly are. Not every officer or friend would
agree to all those stipulations." He smiled and patted her on the shoulder
before they left the office.
Seven truly free? No, but at least
Kathryn Janeway was free and she would have a Starship again. Seven wasn't
completely manipulated though. She knew that she would need a Starfleet
commission or a rank to be able to serve with the Captain in the future and
although she would have rather studied at the Theoretically Propulsions Group,
she would be content to serve on a Starship with Captain Janeway
with the sudden coldness Janeway showed towards her, she wondered if that was
even a possibility.
wondered if she had lost her most cherished friendship because of her growing
emotions that she did not understand yet wanted to explore. She had broken up
with Chakotay to do just that. It seemed so right and yet it did not turn
out as positively as she had expected.
she was moping on an almost empty starship, sitting on her dais considering all
these somber thoughts when she should be regenerating to regain her
moments later, despite distant, tired, eyes, she did just that.
did you know she would come around?" Strickler asked Ross, who was in his office
tiding up for the end of the day.
smiled, "By the way she passed her psyche test. It's obvious how much she cares
for Janeway, despite her arrogant attitude. From the logs I've read, she
was the most loyal individual on that ship." Ross replied. "In my opinion." He
you order Janeway's arrest thinking Seven would give in?"
but it couldn't have worked out better. I was hoping for a compromise of sorts
and Necheyev's obvious disdain for the Borg helped immensely."
honestly think she would have sent the Borg to prison if she didn't agree to the
squinted his eyes speculating on it. "I'm not sure. I know Necheyev doesn't have
a personal issue with Annika Hansen, but as Seven of Nine… that's another story.
She has a serious disdain for anything Borg and I wouldn't be surprised if she
orders that Borg appendage to be dissected and studied more
seems harsh to do to the young woman." Strickler was disturbed by that
agreement, but went along with it.
can be harsh. You can't blame Necheyev for that. She lost her husband at Wolf
know," Strickler answered. "but taking it out on a single ex-Borg drone who has
proven her loyalty to Voyager many times over…? Well, it seems wrong to
glanced speculatively at Strickler. Seven's sacrifice was necessary for the
greater good of Earth and perhaps even the quadrant.
an unavoidable situation and a small price to pay for the future ability to
from your perspective."
wasn't going to debate it. The deal was struck, he got what he wanted and so did
Necheyev. "Well, I'm finished here." he started to head out.
Strickler touched him gently on the arm to forestall his departure from his
you really have voted to court-martial Captain Janeway for the actions she took
in the Delta Quadrant?"
replied honestly. "No, she's too good a Captain despite being female, stubborn
and gung ho. We need her in command, she just needs time to… adjust to the
command structure again."
Strickler shook his head. "We'll I hope everything works
will. I assure you."
four hour regenerative cycle Seven beamed down to San Francisco. It was late,
almost midnight and the sky was clear and full of bright shining stars.
Seven imagined she would have appreciated it more with company. A certain
redhead, but the stars lacked any shine for her at this moment.
panicked momentarily when she realized she had nowhere to go for the night
before she realized that she could go back to the apartment she shared with
Chakotay in San Francisco if she wanted to. He had no problem with her
being there until she found her own place and settled, but she really wanted to
be alone. She needed to be alone so she decided to go for a walk.
walked under the streetlights in no particular direction, she noticed how quiet
the streets were during the nocturnal cycle.
ended up in a park and sat down on a green painted park bench to gather her
thoughts. Occasionally, a jogger would run by almost surprised by her presence
there before continuing. She watched the individual as they went by
calculating the purpose of such an activity. Running produced an increase
in cardiovascular efficiency if done regularly and the muscles of the legs
benefited in endurance and strength. She was however, perplexed why the activity
would be done in the dark, but discarded the notion as irrelevant.
thoughts of Janeway crept into her mind, she continued on her way. She forgot
how long she walked. There were restaurants, bookstores and entertainment
facilities. The entertainment facilities were the only establishments that held
a plethora of people. Seven found herself oddly curious why this type of place
would gather so many people at this hour when the other places had
'closed' signs on the front. She proceeded to go inside to satiate that
first thing she noticed was the smell. The inside was smoky, acrid smelling and
hazy. She figured her optical implant was malfunctioning until she realized that
the cloudy atmosphere was caused by individuals who were smoking something long,
white and smoldering at the tip. This odd thing was sticking out between their
lips and Seven wondered why they would smoke such a noxious thing. It was
were equal amounts of men and women and many looked her way with an interesting
expression on their faces. Some even whistled and gave her leering looks, but
she had nothing special on, just her normal form fitting blue grey
considered the stares more lewd than the ones she used to receive on Voyager and
it made her slightly uncomfortable, but she was irritated at how her evening had
gone so far and was determined to discover the purpose of this restaurant.
proceeded inside, people parted for her and occasionally she would have to say
'excuse me' in order to get through. There was a bar to her left, small
tables to her right, and straight ahead was a floor where people were mingling
closely together swaying to the sound of music. It had a fast beat to it, but
since the Borg discarded that information as irrelevant, she did not know the
name of the composer.
nothing of interest there, she decided to sit at the bar, on a padded stool. A
man in a white dress shirt with dark short-cropped hair waited on her. He
reminded Seven of Tom with his boyish good looks.
can I get you ma'am?"
not know. I was wondering the purpose of this establishment."
blinked before smirking at her over the odd statement. "To relax and have fun, I
considered that. "Yes, but why is it open so much later than other
establishments in this area?"
is a bar, we're always open. This is where people come to cheer up and forget
the stress of their daily lives." The bartender could tell she rarely got out
despite how beautiful she was.
cheer up?" Seven found that concept enlightening in her current mood.
bet, let me get you a drink. You'll see what I mean. Do you have any
took a glance at the plethora of wine and liquor bottles on the far wall. "I am
unfamiliar with the selection. Perhaps you could choose for me."
grinned from ear to ear. "Certainly, I'll be right back."
grabbed a glass and a couple of bottles and mixed something colorful up for her
before bringing it back with a little umbrella attached to a small
removed the decoration before taking a sip. "This contains alcohol."
it's a tequila sunrise, but it tastes really good," the bartender said slightly
taken back. "Did you want something without alcohol?"
considered that briefly. "This will cheer me up?"
will… enjoy it." Seven had never wanted to indulge to this extent before, but
this was a good time as any, Hopefully it would help her forget the past two
had a quiet breakfast with her mother and sister in the early morning hours at
at the kitchen table amidst looks from both as she sipped her orange juice and
sampled a bagel with cream cheese until she couldn't take the scrutiny
intend to talk with her today."
glad." Her mother responded.
was very upset when she left yesterday evening." Phoebe watched her sister's
guilty reaction to her statement.
Gretchen had not discussed the private conversation she
had with her older daughter, so the younger sibling didn't know Janeway was in
love with Seven.
However, Phoebe suspected that Seven had strong feelings
for Janeway. As to the identity of the mysterious crewman who Kathryn was in
love with, Phoebe she had no idea, but she suspected it was Chakotay because of
her behavior towards the young woman the evening before.
sighed rather deeply and slowly. "It was a misunderstanding."
say so," Phoebe wondered if Janeway realized how much the young naïve woman
cared. Phoebe didn't know what to do about helping Seven in light of her older
that supposed to mean?" Janeway asked agitated at her younger sister's tone.
exactly do you intend to talk about?" Phoebe asked.
really none of your business, I think."
but I like Annika and I would hate for her to feel she can't visit
us just because you can't see what's right in front of you." Phoebe
lowered her fork to the plate quickly causing it to make a loud clinking sound.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!"
emotionally fragile, ok! So if you're not gonna say anything nice why don’t you
just stay away from her!"
"Phoebe… " Gretchen tried to interfere.
mother!" Phoebe exclaimed. "I know what I saw and she is just going to break her
swallowed standing swiftly. "What are you talking about!?"
"Nothing!" Phoebe shouted fed up and went upstairs to
the sanctity of her room.
was that all about mother?" Janeway petitioned.
believe your sister thinks you're going to hurt Seven."
would she think that? Didn't you tell her about our conversation last
didn't get a chance." Gretchen sipped a Mocha expresso before continuing. "She
was out talking with Seven when I first approached you. She believes Seven was
emotionally distraught by your behavior because the young woman is in love
Janeway's faces whitened visibly. "Love?! I… don't know
if she's ready for that… I don't know if you can call it that… but a kiss is a
mother's eyebrow rose sharply.
other day… " The younger Janeway spoke sheepishly. "In the barn."
find her, Kathryn and find out one way or the other." Her mother
breakfast, Janeway went to her bedroom and hailed Chakotay asking for Seven's
whereabouts, but he didn’t knowing saying she hadn't come back the night before.
He thought she had stayed at the elder Janeway's residence, since she didn't
return in the early morning hours.
asked if that was unusually and he said it wasn't because very often she went up
to Voyager to regenerate, but she usually came back after that to sleep for a
feeling a bit guilty over his failed marriage proposal, Chakotay didn't mention
anything to Kathryn about his new status with Seven, if she wasn't going to
bring it up.
finished saying, she could have visited her aunt and after ending the
communiqué, Janeway contacted Irene Hansen, but the nice older woman hadn't seen
her niece either.
Flustered from wanting to come clean regarding her
emotions, she decided to go to Voyager, where she could track Seven down using
her Borg components.
showered and dressed in her red command uniform and headed off to a transporter
do you mean we lost the trace?!" Ross spat to the Ensign. He had just arrived at
his office for the day around 07:50 when the young officer gave him the bad
stood up from his desk and came around to the young man. "When?"
6:52 am it stopped transmitting," he replied nervously.
from the signal degradation, I would say it started malfunctioning a few hours
before it stopped completely."
did you notify?"
one, sir. It was 3 am. I figured it wasn't an emergency and could wait until
you, I'll handle it from here. You're dismissed." He was perturbed and the young
man quickly vanished.
a quick call on his vid phone giving some men orders to find her before he
stormed down the hallway to Necheyev's office. He knew she'd be there always
getting an early start.
"Necheyev!" he voiced loudly upon entering her office
causing her to look at him with wide eyes.
you know that Borg disabled our tracer?!"
"What!?" Necheyev exclaimed. "Where is she
don't know, but I've sent men out to track her. It's only a matter of
Necheyev pressed a key on her console and asked the secretary to give a message
to Admiral Strickler as soon as he arrived this morning. She turned her
attention back to Ross.
think she's up to something?" Necheyev felt like a fool having believed that the
young woman was sincere and would comply with their agreement, but it appeared
she had lied and had no intention of giving up her ability to assimilate.
frowned, "Hard to say for sure, she is scheduled to have her assimilation
implant removed at 10:30 this morning by Dr. Harper."
think she'll show up?"
really don't know, but I doubt it. We should've locked her up, like you
suggested. She'll never cooperate or assist us." He said angrily.
Strickler entered her office after receiving the
message. "Everything ok, the secretary told me it was urgent."
have a problem," Ross informed him.
of Nine stumbled down the street trying to assess what way to go to head back to
San Francisco. However, her sense of direction was off and she couldn't
get her bearings. She had passed out earlier only to wake up on a patch of
soft green grass. Somehow she had lost her sling and her right arm was sore. She
had reached for her combadge, before realizing that she had left it at
shuttlecraft landed fifty feet in front of her and four burly Starfleet officers
got out with serious faces. They quickly strolled up to her.
watched them stop in front of her as she struggled to walk forward before
halting. They were blocking her path.
of Nine," a blonde Lt. addressed her. "Please come with us."
what reason? I have agreed to all your stipulations. I am now free to do as I
please." She scowled at them.
broken your agreement and I have the authority to arrest you if necessary. Your
transceiver has stopped working. Therefore, we have orders to bring you
not going anywhere… except to my temporary apartment in San Francisco. If
you could point me in the correct direction. I'll be on my way."
afraid I can't do that," he side stepped to block her way. He turned his face to
the side smelling the liquor on her breath.
still have hours before I… have to be there…" Seven was becoming angry. "I do
not intend to go any earlier." Sighing, she glanced at her mesh covered left
hand, knowing it would be gone soon.
she started to move around him and he put a hand on her shoulder. His mistake as
a now angry blonde took his hand and bent his thumb back forcing him to his
knees. Another one rushed her grabbing her mesh hand in an attempt to assist his
comrade. She vaguely remembered seeing the other two come at her as she tossed
him onto a grass area. She thought she connected with an uncoordinated punch on
someone else's jaw. She barely felt something strike her chin as she threw
another one off her, but there were too many of them to fight with one
functional arm. Her right arm had no strength, refused to move much and still
saw a phaser being pulled out before darkness engulfed her already blurred
walked into Starfleet inquiring about Seven's whereabouts assuming she was on
the upper floors in a meeting. She had just come from Voyager's
Astrometrics lab having discovered Seven to be here. To her complete
astonishment, Janeway found out that Seven was being held in the underground
level where Janeway was just the other day.
went down to that level and asked to see the young woman. A man went inside
coming out shortly after to say the young woman did not want to see
was befuddled, but she had to know what was going on.
order you to bring me to her," Janeway gave him a stern look.
considered the order, noting her rank from her collar pips. "Very well, you have
that authority, but understand that she cannot and will not be released until
Admiral Ross okay's it." He stared back at her.
brought her to Seven without another word. Having been in this facility
recently, Janeway knew how small the rooms were. Standing before the forcefield,
Janeway saw Seven lying down on the cot with her mesh hand over her eyes.
are you ok?"
removed her hand, only to squint viciously, the light hurt her eyes. She
haphazardly tried to sit up groaning all the way, struggling and almost falling
over much to Janeway's dismay.
the guard… that I did not… " She coughed. "want to see you."
acknowledged that Seven was probably still a little upset at her from being
brushed off so casually, so her anger was justified.
However, Seven's appearance was awful. Her hair was
disheveled with bits of grass in it. Her face was dirty and her clothing had
stains of something on it plus more dirt. Janeway thought she saw a bruise on
the blonde's chin turning purple and a shallow cut above her right
young woman grabbed her head with one hand while using the wall to move closer
to Janeway. She finally slowly raised her head. "I have nothing to say to you."
She reiterated slowly in carefully measures tones so as to pronounce each word
happened to you!?" Janeway was astounded at her appearance.
winced. "I can hear you, Captain. There is no reason to shout."
answer my question then," Janeway requested in a quieter tone, starting to have
a good idea what was wrong with the younger woman, but she couldn't quite fathom
needed to cheer myself up." She slurred. "He said it would."
Janeway didn't think she heard correctly.
tequila sunrise. A very smooth beverage. It gives you a warm feeling here." She
touched her belly. "Then I sampled a White Russian, a Bloody Mary, a Bicardi, a
Martini and I sampled some beer."
"Where?!" Kathryn narrowed her eyes. "Who?!"
don't remember exactly where, but I remember… Jake, a bartender. A very nice
individual. I think he liked me for a change." Seven looked sad for a moment.
"Most people don't like me, but he did not see me as Borg. It was...
Seven stated proudly. "I think I had… six… different beverages." She burped and
leaned against the wall for support, but the room starting spinning.
shook her head in disbelief. She couldn't imagine what would have upset
the former Borg to do something she knew she couldn't handle such as drinking
alcohol. And why six servings?! That only compounded the
did you drink? You know the effect that has on you." Janeway asked.
none of your concern." She grumbled.
your friend Seven. I think it is." Janeway enforced that idea.
"Friends?" Seven questioned acerbically. "Is that what
you are to me? No, I have no friends in Starfleet. They are all liars! They do
not keep their words. I compromised… I sacrificed for those I care about and
what do I get. Betrayed! No, you are not my friend. All you care about is your
ship! Your command!"
what exactly are you talking about?" Janeway was disturbed by Seven's statement
and couldn't imagine why the ex-Borg would say such things about her and
occurred to Janeway that she hadn't treated Seven all that well the evening
before, but she also knew there had to more to Seven's pain than just that, but
as to what, she didn't have a clue.
I'm sorry about last night. I wasn't myself. It wasn't you I was angry with."
The redhead tried to explain, but the younger woman didn't hear her apology. The
blonde had already stumbled back to her cot to lie down. Her head was pounding
insistently in an attempt to fight its way out of her skull. The room was too
bright, Kathryn was too loud and she just wanted to lie down and tune out
started mumbling her mantra, the one thing that gave her courage in times of
great distress. "I am Seven of Nine… I am alone… but I will adapt." She murmured
over and over despondently covering her eyes with her arm trying to rest. A few
tears escaped her tired eyes.
not alone… " Janeway whispered heavy hearted, but she knew Seven would not be
listening. It was becoming too painful to listen to Seven, so Janeway
reluctantly took her leave to clear her head. This was rapidly becoming a
frustrating experience for her.
does one deal with an intoxicated ex-Borg drone who feels betrayed by everything
that is a part of Starfleet including her closest friends?
Somehow, Kathryn knew this was mostly her fault and
Seven probably blamed her for her difficulties. Janeway's harsh reaction to the
kiss; her rudeness the next day when Seven needed to speak to her about
something important... and she coldly told the young woman it would have to
wait. It was not how a true friend acted nor a person who was supposedly in
jealousy got me into this and I have to fix it! If not for myself then for her!
Seven deserved that.
was going to prove that she was NOT alone.
decided to make some calls hoping to get some assistance.
Janeway just finished her hail when four armed Ensigns went by her to Seven's
lead guard sighed deeply, "Seven of Nine, Admiral Ross will see you
had dozed off and didn't therefore hear them.
motioned for two ensigns to go in and wake her. They assisted her easily
clutching her by the arms and lifting her up.
groaned, her right arm still ached and she was groggy, not able to put up much
of a fight even if she wanted to as they escorted her to their destination.
followed them into the turbolift until they reached the Conference Room on the
twenty-second floor where all the meetings were held. She strolled in there not
caring if she wasn't invited.
"Captain Janeway, you are not invited to this meeting."
Ross told her as the two guards carefully positioned Seven on a chair. He
had heard that she was in the building and had an inkling she would be joining
them, so he wasn't caught completely off guard.
sat down next to her in case she needed assistance. "I am now."
"Captain Janeway, need I remind you that you are on
probation. You wouldn't want to do anything to acerbate that or forfeit it would
Janeway's face hardened. "I am aware of the terms, but
I'm here on Seven's behalf. I want to know why she's been arrested."
could have you escorted out of here."
but you won't because all four of you are guilty of manipulating this young
woman to some degree and I'm going find out exactly what you've done to make her
so upset that she would feel the need to become intoxicated." Janeway was taking
a serious risk assuming that Seven's difficulties wasn't only her fault. She
hoped she guessed right.
Admiral's looked at each other perplexed at the possibility, even Paris seemed
to back down as if he agreed with her assessment.
why hasn't she been treated or cleaned up?!" Janeway added appalled at their
lack of consideration to Seven's well being.
disheveled Seven of Nine was still slumped in her chair with her head lowered
and eyes closed. She vaguely heard the conversation around her, trying to tune
out the loudness of it, in order to make her head feel better.
figured I could get to her true motives this way, but…" Admiral Ross decided
reluctantly to let her stay. "maybe you can shed some light on why she deceived
Strickler motioned for the ensigns to leave so the
meeting could begin.
as the door was closed, he began. "Seven of Nine!" Ross exclaimed loudly and she
opened her eyes with a start, after almost dozing off. She looked around
realizing her new location. She brought a hand to her temple.
"Explain why you disabled the transceiver?" Ross
questioned and Necheyev glared at the former drone with hardened eyes while
steepling her hands together.
disabled… nothing," Seven replied slowly.
deny having any motives to prevent us from tracking you after you agreed to our
terms?" Strickler asked.
Janeway's face became rigid, but she said
expect me to believe it was a simple malfunction?" Ross inquired.
tried to think through the muddle of her currently confused mind and her
nanoprobes were helping, just too slowly. She felt reasonably better than just a
half-hour before, her speech was clearer and improving, but concentration was
possible, that my nanoprobes rendered it useless."
narrowed his eyes, wondering if it could be that simple. "Why?"
their basic functions is to incapacitate foreign objects that could be deemed a
threat to the host organism." Seven spewed forth.
this why you sought out spirits?" Strickler asked.
Seven forgot the Captain's presence momentarily. "I was prepared to comply as
long as my Captain was absolved of all her questionable command decisions made
while lost in the Delta Quadrant and received a starship of her choice… if she
were prepared to go through the process of removing your left implant hand?"
was." Seven admitted painfully.
grimaced realizing the extent of the manipulation. "I can't believe this! You
used my arrest and charges to coerce Seven into agreeing to this! How dare
four Admiral's appeared slightly uncomfortable, but Ross explained tenaciously
that everything was agreed upon and the young woman fully understood what she
was getting involved in.
was red faced and angry when the interruption came as a knock at the door. The
door opened after Ross shouted with annoyance to come in. Captain Picard,
Counselor Troi and Voyager's EMH all walked in.
is the meaning of this?" Ross stood up. He felt he was losing control of the
come to see to it that a certain ex-Borg is being treated fairly." The elder
starship Captain divulged.
had a smirk on her face. She hoped they would help. How could he not? He
understood better than anyone what it meant to be Borg and Troi could help Seven
understand why she attempted to drown the pain she had in alcohol after the
Doctor walked passed Picard to inject Seven with a hypospray, which would
counteract the effects of her intoxication, but Picard gently put his hand on
yet," he ordered easily. Janeway wondered what he was up to.
looked up directly in his face, her eyes going wide with recognition. It was
him! It was the mere mention of his name that made the entire Borg
collective decide to choose her as a representative to Captain Janeway. If not
for Locutus' influence, the Borg collective would not have listened and Seven of
Nine, the tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix Zero, would not have been chosen to
speak for the Borg. Seven would never have had the opportunity to regain her
humanity or learn to care so deeply for Captain Janeway.
"Locutus," she whispered reverently. She owed this
individual more than respect.
Luc Picard flinched, "Stand up," he ordered curtly.
tried to stand quickly albeit feebly and Janeway assisted her until she was
steady. Seven linked her hands tightly behind her back at attention. Her eyes
were wide, her stature stiff and wobbly. She was also nervous. The
presence of Locutus was inspiring and also a testament to the recovery of a
human from the hands of the Borg. She had a lot in common with him.
moved closer. "That's right. I am Locutus… a Borg."
Shocked, Seven blanched before recovering her wits. "No,
you are not. Your link to the collective… has been severed… as has
wish to rejoin the collective?"
frowned. "No," she responded tersely.
order you to assimilate these humans." He demanded testing her. A few gasps were
heard around the room.
narrowed her blood shot eyes defiantly. "I will NOT comply."
you are Borg!"
" Seven considered her words carefully with so many present. "I am a human who
was assimilated by the Borg. I ceased being Borg over four years
will assimilate them." He stated. "Starting with Captain Janeway." He knew this
would bring about the response he desired based on his chat with Counselor
Seven hadn't been recovering from alcohol intoxication she might have realized
that Picard couldn't assimilate anyone, but her mind was considerably muddled
and all she could think of was having to witness the transformation of her
Captain from human to Janeway a Borg.
visual horrified her so much that whatever reverence she had for Locutus went
out the window as soon as he threatened the perfection that was Captain Kathryn
KILL you if you attempt to do so." She stepped closer to him and he stepped back
quickly. Even a drunk ex-Borg was dangerous.
will not be necessary!" Picard immediately responded, momentarily concerned. "I
do not have the ability to assimilate."
halted her progress, blinked, the truth dawning on her. "Why did you deceive
prove to them," Picard glanced at the Admirals. "How distasteful that is to
you... and I think I made my point."
looked at Seven her betazoid senses picking up on the changes within the young
ex-drone. She kept her emotions well hidden. The thought of assimilating
someone or having to kill Picard was appalling to the young woman even in
defense of the woman she loved and it had disturbed her.
turned to Admiral Ross and Necheyev knowing their individual motives. "What more
do you require?"
her to join Starfleet Intelligence." Ross stated. "She would be an excellent
asset to combat the Borg threat." He leaned forward to press his point. "You
know as well as I do that the Borg will attack us again. It's just a
matter of time." He glared at Janeway. "Your stunt with destroying the transwarp
hub only slowed them down. It is necessary to acquire the knowledge that only
she has. Not to mention the first hand knowledge she has of Admiral Janeway's
armor and weaponry. We'd like to see to it that no enemy parties try to
acquire that information. Everything I've done here is to protect Earth from
are you talking about?" Both Picard and Janeway asked.
you ever heard of Section 31 or the Orion Syndicate?" he inquired looking
between the two Captain's.
I've been in the Delta Quadrant for the last seven years."
have… but not much." Picard offered thinking of the Deep Space Nine
was listening so intently that he forgot to administer the hypospray. Finally,
The Doctor moved in and pressed the hypospray to Seven's neck. She tilted
her neck grateful for the respite. The haziness seemed to clear her mind and her
headache vanished. Her features almost looked like a scowl as she considered
this new information. She could process it now and respond
"Section 31, a secretive covert organization. A unit of
the Starfleet Intelligence division, established under the Starfleet
charter. They are responsible for searching out and identifying
extraordinary dangers to the Federation. They deal with such threats quietly and
with extralegal techniques." Seven paused. "They have home bases in Tallahassee,
Florida and Sacramento, California and a few dozen others scattered across your
world. I can give you exact locations, but I cannot guarantee they are still in
could only stare wide-eyed.
Orion Syndicate," Seven continued despite the many shocked faces and dropped
jaws. "An interstellar criminal organization. They have a base of operations on
Mars, in the Delmar sector and dozens of facilities on Earth with the main
branch residing in Houston, Texas. If it still exists."
could you possibly know that!?" Ross shouted astounded.
" she paused. "I was Borg." She corrected herself.
you with Section 31?" Janeway asked Ross putting a hand on her hip.
Orion Syndicate?" Picard questioned suspiciously.
Ross shouted amidst the accusing looks of the other Admirals. "I am
that why you took several hundred thousand nanoprobes, during my alleged
physicals?" Seven inquired.
Janeway's frowned increased. The EMH told that day after
he examined Seven, about the young woman's depleted nanoprobe count. He
suspected someone was extracting them, but they didn't know who until
trying to mount a defense only. I was going to use some of them as bait to flush
some of those them out!" Admiral Ross' collar was becoming tight around his
have any idea how dangerous having nanoprobes are?" Captain Janeway knew first
should be destroyed." Picard was adamant. "For security reasons."
Seven interrupted. "I realize that I was somewhat coerced into an agreement, but
it is theoretically possible that the Borg are still a threat to Earth.
Perhaps not right away, but in the future. If the nanoprobes are kept under
tight security and the knowledge kept internally to a minimal number of… trusted
individuals, the research from these could be beneficial in mounting a
was proud of Seven. Despite, the fact that she was used, she had no problem with
seeing the greater picture for Earth's benefit and the entire Alpha Quadrant for
is it that you want, Seven? Do you want to be in Starfleet? It is a major
commitment." Picard asked her gently. "Or do you even want to remain on
Her eyes traveled to Janeway them back to Picard. "I am uncertain right now. The
last few hours have been… difficult."
an arm on her shoulder, "I'm sure the Admirals' here won't mind if you take some
time to consider it." He glanced at them. "We wouldn't want the media to hear of
the manipulation of a young woman who was assimilated at the age of six." He
warned the Admirals' fully knowing that despite the evidence against them, they
still had the power to imprison all of them, even though the charges would not
stick once the truth came out.
actions would not benefit anyone in the long term.
you Admiral Necheyev," Picard spoke disdainfully. "What would your husband
enough, Picard!" Necheyev hissed angrily, but he was right. "You are more
responsible for what happened to him than she was," she informed him
right and you let me retain my command. Should this woman now bare the brunt of
room became eerily quiet. Eyes gazed upon each other waiting almost tensely to
see if she would see reason.
Necheyev carefully considered the ex-Borg's words when
she was under pressure to assimilate them. The words could be manufactured, but
the emotion could not, in her opinion. She concluded that Seven of Nine was not
a current threat to Earth.
right, of course." She acceded affably. "But I cannot allow her to retain the
ability to assimilate, I request the removal of her hand."
an outrageous request!" Janeway spat outraged.
completely unnecessary." Voyager's EMH spoke up. "If your goal is to prevent
Seven from being able to assimilate people into Borg drones, I can effectively
alter the programming of her nanoprobes thus denying her that particular
"What?!" Necheyev exclaimed. "Doctor Harper, did not
inform me of this option."
not surprised." The EMH stated arrogantly. "Seven's physiology is unique and
I've been her personal physician for over four years now. I have a great deal
more experience dealing with Borg technology." He asserted. "You should have
asked for my assistance, instead of preventing me from seeing her just so you
could hide the theft of her nanoprobes."
was not my doing." Necheyev defended. Ross's face held guilt, Janeway noted, but
whether it was honest regret or disappointment at being caught she couldn't
forcing the young woman to agree to the removal of her hand is." Picard stated.
could you?" Janeway added. "Just as the Borg took your husband, they took
everything she had at the tender age of six and now, you want to take what's
left!" The redhead's anger was justifiable and her own part in this fiasco
wasn’t making her feel any better. Almost having to bare the guilt for the loss
of Seven's left hand would have sent her over the edge into a state of
depression and self-condemning blame. She would not have been able to forgive
herself for being the catalyst.
Necheyev was tongue tied. "I let my prejudice and anger over the Borg blind me…
and for that I… apologize."
as well," Strickler admitted. "I was behind Admiral Ross figuring it
strategically a good idea to use her for military purposes. I thought it would
benefit us in the long run. I knew about the nanoprobe extractions and her
implant removal procedure, but instead I went along with it when I should have
put a stop to it." He paused looking down at his hands that rested on the table.
"We let our fear dictate our actions and we tried to control with force instead
of by example. For that I am truly sorry."
are hereby released from our previous agreement until you decide what it is you
truly wish to do." Ross acknowledged his pride wounded, but he knew he had lost.
He only hoped they didn't have him arrested under suspicion that he was working
with those other questionable organizations. At least now, if he kept his job,
he had a possible way to track them down thanks to the ex-drone's knowledge.
violated the young woman's rights by taking her nanoprobes, her life's blood in
essence, without her permission and almost her hand. He didn’t want that
information made public either.
glad you three came to your senses, but I must apologize for my lack of action
as well… I should have stopped it. I should have realized she was being
manipulated and I'm truly sorry." Paris paused taking in a deep breath. "Take
all the time you need to decide, Annika Hansen." He smiled at her.
other gave their farewells, Seven tried to track down Counselor Troi in the
hallway, but Janeway caught up with Seven before she managed to do
asked to have a word with the blonde. Troi turned to watch the interaction with
keen emphatic interest.
women were quite nervous and afraid of each other. Emotions were running high,
Troi had felt. Seven verbally agreed to meet Janeway at her mother's home in
Indiana after she had spoken with Counselor Troi.
sheepishly agreed and left, but doubt cascaded over her as to whether Seven
would truly show up.
waited in the hallway having heard her name in the quiet
came up to her. "I realize I was rude to you earlier, but I need your
assistance. Can I speak with you now?"
Counselor Troi was surprised at the level of anxiety and
emotion coming from Seven as she led her down the hallway and into the
turbolift. They exited on level nineteen and upon entering her office, Troi felt
the need to explain her actions further.
you to know that I was under orders and I protested those orders for the record,
but ultimately I had no choice in the matter."
understand," Seven said evenly as she sat before the moderately sized wooden
desk. "I need your assistance in another matter. It is of great importance to
me, because I am finding it… difficult to function and my solution to the
problem has made things… worse."
sat at her desk and steepled her hands together preparing to help the confused
young woman as best as she could.
me what's bothering you."
sat quietly on the front porch steps while keeping a look out for Seven. She
hadn't changed out of her uniform yet. She rubbed her hands thinking of what she
should say to Seven, if she showed up. Janeway was fully prepared to make
up for how she had been treating the younger woman, if she had the
heard the screen door quietly close behind her signifying the presence of
"Kathryn? Dinner's ready." Gretchen announced from
not hungry mother."
long has it been?" Gretchen knew why Kathryn was so somber.
minutes, but it seems like an eternity."
takes awhile to come from the city."
Gretchen went back inside. "I'm sure she'll show up,"
she commented before leaving Kathryn to her sullen thoughts.
decided that she was going to come clean and tell Seven the truth. It would hurt
her greatly if Seven still decided to marry Chakotay, but what other choice did
had to be honest about her feelings or their friendship could be threatened. As
things were it was already threatened, by her jealousy and stubbornness. It
would be hard enough to be just Seven's friend when she wanted to be so
much more, but what else could she do? What would she do if she lost their
friendship as well?
mind, Janeway went back to the contents of the PADD that Admiral Janeway had
left for her. The Admiral said she had committed adultery. She had
meant with Seven and although she never mentioned her by name, it was probably
because she knew she didn't have to.
Questions still remained. Did my counterpart seduce her
Seven into sleeping with her? What if Seven didn't have the same feelings for
her? What if the Admiral's love was one-sided? It was possible that Seven could
have been simply curious. Maybe she was going through a difficult time in her
marriage to the Commander and needed an outlet?
sexual outlet?! Seven?! Give into sex? I must have seduced her.
benefiting from these thoughts, Janeway quickly shook her head to clear her
mind. It wouldn't do her any good to speculate negatively on her reality's
version of Seven's intentions nor compare her own current actions with that of
her future counterpart. She would have to wait and see.
looked to the horizon as the sun was setting in the western sky. The warm orange
glow helped to assuage her nerves.
she heard a faint humming sound. The subtle whine of a hovercar! It
approached and landed on the driveway.
bolted to the vehicle waiting impatiently a half dozen feet away.
got out and thanked Counselor Troi for her assistance and thanked the Ensign who
piloted the craft to the ranch. As soon as she stepped back they took
turned around and stopped abruptly startled to see Janeway right there in front
of her. "Captain!"
"Seven," Janeway spoke quietly. "I'm glad you
Was all that Seven could think of to say not sure if she was glad yet to be
here. Only time would tell. To be honest, she was more than fearful of this
moment, but the Counselor reminded her many times that it would be more painful
to hide those feelings in the long run than to face them directly despite a
wondered why Seven didn't rent a hovercar. How was she supposed to get home when
she wanted to leave? Did she intend to stay the night?! Janeway felt hot under
the collar considering that. Quickly thinking of someway to draw attention away
from her nervous plight, she suggested dinner since it was ready.
you care for something to eat? My mother just recently finished preparing
wasn't sure she could eat even if she wanted to. "I do not believe I require…
nutrition at this time." She answered nervously.
would be acceptable."
walked under the fading sky light for a few minutes each trying to calm their
own inner trepidation. The grass became taller as they traveled away from the
mind if I sit for awhile?" Kathryn asked upon seeing her favorite tree she liked
to climb as a youth.
Seven replied and Janeway sat down leaning against the thick trunk.
few moments, she looked up to see Seven standing stiffly next to her staring
into the distance.
don't you sit down, I don’t think it will hurt your uniform." Janeway noted with
a bit of humor. Seven still had on the dirty blue/grey biosuit, but at least her
face was clean and the bruise gone. She had also retied her hair in a neat
agreed and managed a quirky smile. "I agree. I regret that I did not have a
chance to change before I arrived."
all right," Janeway reassured. "I don’t think my mother would mind it if you
wanted to take a shower. However, a change of clothes might be difficult as I
don't think we're quite your size."
is very kind. I suppose your mother does not own a replicator?"
felt some of the tension leave her bones and she folded her legs under her and
sat down keeping a few feet between her and Janeway.
noticed Seven had reverted to her rank. "You can call me Kathryn, Seven… If you
you," she answered politely.
your arm?" Janeway asked noting the sling was gone. In all the commotion, she
had failed to notice earlier.
functional, if a little sore."
just don't overdo it."
was feeling a bit better with the small talk, but she knew she was just avoiding
the inevitable discussion. She forced herself to go first.
you an apology." She lowered her head, looking at the tall grass. "I'm sorry for
the way I treated you the other day. I wasn't angry with you, but I took it out
not understand. Why would you treat me indifferently, if it was not I you were
not sure how to explain that."
you will try because I am confused. That day in the barn when I kissed you. You
reciprocated, then you told me 'it never happened', that 'it was
wrong.' and yesterday evening, your implied behavior suggested I was not
welcome here." Seven dared to look at Kathryn's face only to see honest regret
there. "Am I still your friend Kathryn?"
did not hesitate. "Of course. Please don't doubt that." She took in a deep
breath. "I was very confused that day and I still am, but… " Janeway took a
breath. "I'm sorry this is difficult for me."
tilted her head. "If you are referring to your emotions then I agree. This is
what I had Counselor Troi explain to me."
swallowed, "You talked to her about me?"
spoke with her regarding my feelings." Seven corrected, although her growing
intense feelings towards Kathryn Janeway and how to handle that emotion was the
major topic. "I believe I have made an error in judgment…" She thought of the
Commander and her decision to pursue him in her inexperience.
needed to understand why I acted the way I did towards an individual that I…
care about." She hinted subtly. "Yet I believe I can correct the situation. It
can be repaired before it is… too late." She could not deny her feelings for
Janeway. "The Counselor was most enlightening on things I would not have
considered." Seven finished stealing a quick glance at Janeway not sure if she
should have admitted to so much so soon even if vaguely.
explains… a lot." So much for Phoebe's inaccurate assumption that Seven was in
love with her. Janeway's lighter, slightly nervous mood nose-dived to
crestfallen and forsaken.
seemed so obvious that she was the 'error in judgment' and the situation
that needed correcting. "That's what you wanted to talk to me about, wasn't it?"
Janeway shivered, encircling her arms around herself hoping and praying before
Seven spoke the heart crushing, terminally fateful words.
Janeway's mind reeled and conjured up how Seven would
verbalize it. 'Although I care for you deeply Kathryn, what happened the
other day… was a mistake… Of course, you will always be my friend, a part of my
inner collective… my family, but… I AM in love with Chakotay… and I am going to
become his wife.'
heart was bending, breaking and falling behind her aching ribs, ever so
Seven replied studying her companion, noting the sudden change. "Are you cold?
We could head back."
"Perhaps you're right." Kathryn acknowledged, but the
shivers were more from her brokenness than the actual chill in the
the sun had finally set and a dampness crept into the air, Kathryn led Seven
back to the house. Once inside, they greeted Phoebe who was reading a book
quietly and Gretchen who was cleaning up the kitchen.
she turned to look, Gretchen became aghast at Seven's appearance. "What happened
to you dear? Are you all right?" She came over and touched her cheek to make
sure and she put a hand on Seven's shoulder.
am fine. My uniform is simply dirty."
Gretchen looked at her daughter accusingly. "Kathryn how
could you let her stay like this? Come on dear. You need a shower."
Kathryn's eyes went wide with the subtle accusation. As
if she didn't have enough to feel guilty about. As if she didn't hurt enough
mother coaxed Seven upstairs much to both their surprise.
do you prefer Annika, a bath or a shower?" Gretchen asked leading her into the
prefer a sonic shower."
only have hydro so I guess you'll take a shower." Gretchen stated choosing for
Alarmed, Seven turned decidedly pale. "A shower with…
water?" She stared at the fixture hanging from the wall.
elder Janeway eyed Seven cautiously as Kathryn came to the entrance of the
people take sonic showers on Voyager to conserve resources. Only three quarters
on deck three have hydro settings." Kathryn informed her mother.
well it's nothing you can't get used to."
looked imploringly at Janeway who threw her hands in the air as if to convey her
I do not wish to impose… " Seven tried desperately to get out of it without
"Nonsense! There's no reason for you to go around
the water running and checked the temperature. "There, you're all set."
used that time to change into something more comfortable. She put on a satin
pink nightgown held up by thin straps that revealed a significant portion of her
upper chest and shoulders. She also donned a white robe and slippers.
minutes later Seven finished and shut off the water. She was wet, an odd state
for her, but she felt good in a sense that did not come from a sonic shower. It
"Kathryn?!" Seven called out loudly.
Janeway's room was nearby and she was only sitting idly
on her bed contemplating her predicament when she heard the young woman call her
Janeway acknowledged after entering the hallway near the bathroom
no change of clothing." Seven stated from inside the bathroom.
moment," she called back and went to fetch her a robe and upon returning went to
knock on the door.
opened up the door wide, fully exposing the entire view of her nude self to
Janeway, who blushed to a nice crimson hue.
happened to be coming into the hallway when she witnessed the event. "Nice
cahoots!" She smirked widely at the free view, not being crude simply
appreciating its artistic value.
Embarrassed, Janeway turned her head to the side and
jutted out the robe so Seven could take it and put it on.
Gretchen came out of her bedroom wondering what the
sudden noise was and she turned to look at what her younger daughter was avidly
staring at with such a smirk on her face. Her jaw dropped and she reached her
younger daughter quickly, covering Phoebe's gawking eyes because she was
practically ogling the beautiful naïve blonde woman.
I was just admiring the view. You know a nude body is nothing to be ashamed
about, certainly not a body like that! Besides, she would make an awesome
painting." Phoebe asserted as her mother turned her around and marched her into
her room. "Hey, I do have to go to the bathroom."
Phoebe!" her mother shouted and closed the door. She turned back carefully and
thankfully Seven was covered, but as Gretchen came closer she realized Seven
simply held the robe in front of her and had not put it on.
looking, Kathryn seemed at a loss what to do.
still wet. Do you still wish for me to put this garment on?" Seven asked
innocently looking for guidance.
Kathryn tried to say something, but it was difficult enough to breath. She could
not regain her composure.
"Kathryn?" Seven inquired puzzled.
Gretchen knew her older daughter needed rescuing and promptly interrupted.
you can use one of the large towels in the closet to dry off." Gretchen told her
coming up beside Kathryn. "Give me a few minutes and I'll get you some night
Gretchen's fault, she had forgotten to showed Seven where everything was. In her
haste, she assumed Seven would know what to do after a shower, but apparently
nodded and turned around to close the door, but not before Kathryn saw the
smooth roundness of her buttocks causing her to gasp feeling tortured at what
she would never be allowed to have.
She's got it bad! Her mother thought reaching an arm around her
started breathing again, but she was still flustered.
still staring at a non-existent point fixed on the door, where Seven's face had
mother whispered in her ear. "Why haven't you told her yet?"
slowly moved her despair filled eyes to meet her mother's and shook her head
mumbling. "She's not… she's just not..." She repeated a few times shaking her
head back and forth.
She's NOT in love with me. Janeway couldn't say the whole sentence out loud. The
waiting for clarification was painful enough.
Gretchen didn't understand exactly, but she saw the
fear, something her older daughter never alluded to. It was an amazing thing.
Her daughter could face down scores of Admirals', fight on a battlefield as
capable as a soldier and command a starship through dozens of enemies to reach
Earth and yet… she was afraid of revealing the obvious depths of her emotions to
someone she clearly loved. She must be deathly afraid those emotions won't be
reciprocated, Gretchen guessed.
Gretchen coaxed her mournful
daughter downstairs and sat her on a piece of fluffed carpet by the
fireplace and retrieved a large soft throw blanket for her. She lit a fire,
although it wasn't cold outside at fifty-two degrees, just damp. She felt her
despondent daughter could use the warmth and serenity that a fireplace brought
out in the surrounding atmosphere. It almost always had a calming affect on her
Janeway went into the kitchen to start brewing some hot cocoa before going back
upstairs to check on Annika and get her some pajamas. All she could find
that would fit were Phoebe's old, stretched out short jams and a long sleeved
nightshirt. It would have to do.
Gretchen almost nervous herself, opened the bathroom
door a crack and shoved in the clothes. "Here, put these on, they should fit."
puzzled as Seven was at their behavior, she took the clothes, thanking her
before the older woman closed the door then proceeded to put them on before
donning the robe.
Meanwhile, Gretchen went back downstairs to gather up
the hot cocoa, which had just about finished brewing.
joined her a few minutes later.
you, Mrs. Janeway. That was a… different experience. Not altogether
course dear. Would you like some hot cocoa?"
being made with milk Seven saw and she liked milk. "Yes, I would."
I'm making Kathryn some. She's in the living room. If you're chilly you can go
sit by the fireplace too." Gretchen hinted subtly. "I'll bring it in when it's
you," Seven responded before leaving to join Kathryn in the living room.
stood behind Kathryn who was staring somberly into the fireplace.
join you?" Seven inquired in a subdued tone so she would not startle
redhead turned her head sharply to the side not realizing Seven was there. "Uh…
yes… of course." She stammered. "I was just thinking."
sat down stretching out her long legs in front of her. "About?"
variety of things actually." It was the truth. Janeway was thinking of Seven in
a variety of ways and not all of them were sexual. The older woman noticed
Seven's damp relaxed hair flowing freely about her shoulders. It looked slightly
dirty blonde when wet, but it was still so enticing, soft… desirable to
let out a soft breath as the robe Seven had on slowly parted to reveal the long
sleek legs all the way up the bare thigh before reaching her jams.
then her mother joined them and Kathryn averted her gaze back to the
you go," She handed both of them their hot chocolates and bid them goodnight.
wanted to plead with her mother not to leave her alone with Seven, but the words
wouldn't come out. So there she was alone with the object of her dreams
completely tongue tied and frightened to death, waiting for the truth knowing it
would mean the loss of her love to another.
took a sip gingerly of her cocoa fearing it was too hot, but it was not and she
enjoyed the smooth milky taste of it.
couldn't help it. She felt oddly paralyzed by the fear of that now recognizable
and real loss. Her eyes began to water as she took a drink herself not caring if
it was hot or not. Tears had not quite formed enough to come down her
cheek in her errant thoughts, but Seven noticed the soft pinkish hue to
Kathryn's ears and the afflicted gaze in her grayish eyes that were staring into
making Seven nervous and fearful that she had done or said something wrong.
Something that could threaten what she wanted with Kathryn. Her mind told her to
run away, to flee from this possible failure, but Counselor's Troi's words
rebounded in her head.
must find out, no matter what, despite the possibility of rejection or you'll
never know what she feels towards you.'
so simply a statement, yet hard to follow through with, but Seven had to know.
She just had to.
"Kathryn, is something bothering you?" Seven's voice was
so light, Janeway hardly recognized it coming from her.
turned glistening storm filled eyes towards Seven.
Kathryn… explain this emotion you are feeling," Seven asked anxiety coursing
through her blood at the possible forthcoming denial and excuses, yet she was
mystified over how upset Kathryn was at this moment.
put down her cocoa and took Kathryn's mug from her without protest and carefully
put them safely aside away from the rug trying hard to control her shaking
gently touched Kathryn's cheek with her human hand tentatively not sure if
blinked, "Fear… loss… sadness… despair."
afraid of losing you."
would you lose me?"
"Because I love you." There she had said it. Janeway
brought her hand to Seven's cheek, caressing it with the palm of her hand. She
had nothing to lose now. "I'm sorry for the way I treated you lately. I thought
I was betraying my best friend Chakotay by enjoying that kiss with you."
put a finger to Seven's lips to forestall any interruption. Seven dropped her
hand off Kathryn's cheek, immensely distracted by the finger on her lower lip.
Little did Janeway know how much the slight contact was arousing the former
drone. Seven's sudden bodily responses were perplexing to the blonde's conscious
mind as she listened attentively.
"Please… let me finish before I can't." Kathryn advised
humbly. "You have a relationship that I have no right to interfere with and I
let my jealousy come between our friendship and I truly don’t want to
lose that friendship. As it is, I shouldn't be burdening you with my
emotions, since you're probably going to marry Chakotay… and I won't interfere
with that, but I have to tell you that it will be difficult for me to be
just your friend. I'll try, but you have to know… " A pause came as
she formed the words with her mouth. "that regardless of what you decide. I am
in love with you."
swallowed. Her heart did backflips as she waited for Seven's inevitable
couldn't have been happier and her lips curled into a wide smile.
here yesterday to tell you that I had broken up with Chakotay." Seven stated
merrily. "but you would not let me speak with you in private." The blonde
asserted with a slight grin.
Kathryn asked dumbfounded, not expecting this turnabout.
does not love me and I am not in love with him."
Janeway couldn't have heard correctly.
NOT in love with him." Seven repeated.
was silence as those words sunk deep into Janeway's brain. "Are you sure?"
Seven drawled out forcefully so there was no misunderstanding.
what does that mean?" Janeway asked with hopeful eyes starting to turn slightly
never knew Janeway to be dense. Perhaps it was an affliction that overcame
humans when they were in love and uncertain if it was reciprocated. "I am
not going to marry him and with the Counselor's assistance, I have come
to realize that I am in love with you. If I was going to marry anyone… it would
be you Kathryn."
Kathryn's mouth dropped open and tears of relief started to come down in
abundance, with her cheeks flushing red. "You're not… angry with me?"
admit, I was hurt and confused by your behavior, which is why I was tricked into
becoming inebriated so easily. I am also sorry that I was rude to you while in
that state. I have never felt quite that way before." Seven reflected on
how unpleasant the whole situation was. "And I don't wish to again."
shook her head. "It's not your fault. If I had said something earlier none of
this would have happened. If I hadn't been such a coward…"
is not true! Please…" She implored.
gently picked up Seven's left Borg enhanced hand and caressed it with her free
hand. "I can't believe you agreed to lose this just so I could have a Starship."
Kathryn murmured feeling culpable.
your freedom as well. I could not let you go to prison because of their
misguided Starfleet bureaucracy."
still too high a price to pay." Janeway mumbled guiltily.
don't deserve this… or you." Janeway was feeling deflated over her part in this
mess. She conceded that she had handled it badly.
this Kathryn! "I have forgiven you and you have forgiven me. No more blame."
stroking the metal hand, Janeway rose her gaze up only to meet Seven's intensive
blue eyes staring back at her.
you. I would make any sacrifice for you." Seven sighed. "Even if you… did not
desire me… Even if we were only friends."
words freed her tortured soul and Janeway succumbed to how easily Seven forgave
her. The guilt and pain flew away leaving her. With a deep sigh, she
acknowledged their bond.
so much more than friends."
blonde head shook in agreement. "May I kiss you now Kathryn?"
disappointed if you didn't." Janeway managed a timid smile and leaned in. Their
lips met searching in exploration, pressing into softness. Seven felt Kathryn's
tears touch her face. The blonde knew them to be tears of appeasement. When they
broke the kiss, they eyed each other searching deep into one another's soul. The
deep longing and intense gazing all coalesced into a desire that needed to
express itself more than words ever could.
took off her robe suddenly feeling hot and Janeway pushed the younger woman back
onto the giant fuzzy throw rug. After the garment was tossed aside, Kathryn
attended to the ex-Borg's mouth properly. Seeking entrance, the redhead tumbled
around inside the moist mouth with her tongue seeking out the soft muscle she
wanted to cradle and worship.
carefully pulled the thin pink straps down off Kathryn's shoulders and tasted of
her skin with kisses and nips as she trailed down to the breasts, slowly
lowering the material pass the collarbone to arrive at the mass of flesh she
sought. The nipples were tight and she flickered her tongue over them watching
them harden as Janeway moaned and shivered over her in response.
lifted up Seven's nightshirt to tease the young woman's abundance there. She
pressed the shirt up some more and thoroughly enjoyed the smooth texture of
Seven's bosom's as she engulfed what she could of the flesh in her hands. She
teased the nipples with her thumb and index finger and became aroused from the
younger woman's soft moans of pleasure.
wanted to hear more raucous sounds from her new lover, so trailing her hand
lower she dove into Seven's world. She penetrated slowly and deeply at first
with a single digit lingering to savor the wet heat, before she started to
stroke languidly up and back a few times, honored at being given permission to
love the blonde intimately, until she noticed that Seven was bleeding slightly
at the intrusion. Abashed, she had not expected that and momentarily stunned,
knowing she had not been rough, could only surmise that Seven had never been
intimate with Chakotay… ever.
Amazingly, she was still a virgin.
everything all right, Kathryn?" Seven called out quietly. She had felt a sudden
tightness engulf her lower extremities for the first time, a thickness inside
her vagina and a quickly passing discomfort before only pleasure set in with
each slow stroke. She bent her head up to look at Kathryn innocently wondering
why her lover had stopped right when the movement started to feel so
everything's just wonderful, my love." Kathryn replied lightly seeing Seven was
in no visible discomfort. There was no point in bringing that up now. This was
their night to be physical not verbal.
smiled at her and Janeway starting moving again inside the hot slick channel.
Pressing deeply into the warm folds, Kathryn glanced up to see the revelation on
Seven's face as she grunted and groaned, flopping her head back and forth, left
and right, not being able to stay still or coherent during Kathryn's
rocked her pelvis region along with Seven's upwards thrusts for so many precious
minutes until Seven came for her. She kissed the blonde eagerly as she
writhed with convulsions until Seven rolled Janeway over onto her back to return
what she had been given.
younger woman wondered what it would be like to be inside Kathryn and she was
not disappointed by the reality. While traversing in the moist opening, that was
every bit warm, soft and delicate as she had expected, she sampled the redhead's
firm nipples with her tongue and mouth.
Seven had not expected was how arousing it would be to her own senses to make
love to Kathryn. Those sensations threatened to overload her cortical
Seven had finished attending to Janeway's immediate need and the redhead's
tremors subsided from their initial coupling, both women basked in the aftermath
of finally sharing their love for one another.
decided to strip off their remaining clothes. Seven's T-shirt was wrapped around
her collarbone and her shorts were around her right ankle. Janeway's nighty was
oddly stuck around her waist too.
the clothes aside, finally totally nude, they pressed their cooling bodies
closer together to lie in the warm heat of the fire that cascaded over them, not
caring where they were or whose house they were in during this display of
Unbeknownst to them, Gretchen had planned for that
possibility beforehand making sure Phoebe understood that if she went downstairs
before the sun came out the next morning, she would be disowned.
cuddling contentedly for awhile, their passion flared again and round two was
initiated, except this time, Seven and Janeway slowed down to truly appreciate
started off with ardent kisses, both lovers' content to savor the sweet taste of
the contact with wet lips and moist tongues. They molded their bodies together
and exchanged pleasuring each other for the next hour. Giving lovingly
long explorations utilizing a combination of the soft muscle of the mouth and
tender lips, they trailed all over the skin of the body. Sensual paths were
made, along narrow shoulders, toned arms, across the collarbone, down to the
breasts where lips, tongues and fingers lingered for quite some time caressing,
licking and touching before moving onto the flat abdomen. The muscles there
quivered in anticipation. No exposed skin was left untouched. Thighs were
caressed and most importantly the juncture between the legs was not neglected;
the tender area that led to such moments of bliss when filled with love and
women tasted of each other there, not rushing and enjoying the mutual joining of
the soft, wet muscle as it worked heavenly magic on each others slick heated
centers. Groans and moans could be heard from both participants. Hips gently
flowed in synch to the short protrusion, the motion moving them into the realm
of ecstasy once again. Both women went along for the ride, hovering on the
strength of their combined passions.
this energy culminated into an exquisite physical encounter of flesh, muscle and
bone. This night was to affirm how much they meant to one another and prove the
words spoken as truth.
those pent up emotions burst forth as a physical manifestation of pure
sensation, to free itself, outward and upward as if the universe had a hand in
its release. The sensations continued until exploding into waves, it burst
through the joined flesh like the colors of the sky during a fireworks
became fixated in this moment of time rewarded handsomely for the efforts of
their loving one another until saturated with beads of moisture on their skin
and completely fatigued, they wrapped themselves up in Kathryn's large soft
throw blanket and dozed off more content than ever before.
around 8:30 in the morning, when Seven went to the door of Kathryn's San
Francisco apartment to answer the chime.
Starfleet officer with a smile handed her a PADD. "This is for you,
you," Seven replied curiously.
day to you," he announced before leaving.
front door slid closed and Seven went into the kitchen where Janeway was
currently eating breakfast.
is it?" Kathryn asked upon seeing the PADD in Seven's hand.
not know," Seven was puzzled as she sat down across from her mate.
took a sip of her coffee all the while maintaining a knowing grin and a
mischievous gaze on the younger woman. "Must be important. Maybe you should go
ahead and read it."
appears to be password protected."
ahead and put in your access code."
scrutinized her partner, but said nothing and keyed in her access code. She had
just been given one recently having graduated from Starfleet academy only a week
read the memo out loud.
have been accepted to serve as the Astrometrics and lead Science Officer to the
newly refitted USS Voyager.
Congratulations, Lt. Hansen."
"Kathryn," Seven chastised. "Did you bribe them?" She
asked referring to the Admirals' that had given them so much trouble in the
Janeway tried to act innocent, while taking a bite of her egg, but the smirk
gave her away. "Honestly Annika. You are the most qualified Astrometrics officer
on the planet. Who else could they have chosen?" She shrugged her
eyed her suspiciously.
are some very good Science Officers in Starfleet that would be acceptable, yet
they chose me. Why do you think that is?" Seven questioned with an arch of her
had her fork half way to her mouth when she noticed the look on her partner's
"Kathryn…?" Seven drawled out.
But I didn't bribe them, I swear! I just made them an offer… A
kind of suggestion?" Seven inquired tilting both eyebrows up, still not sure she
believed her mate.
couldn't take the accusing silent glare of her lover, so she conceded to the
truth after chewing her mouthful of egg down.
you insist. I told them that I would not command Voyager or any other starship
without my wife present!"
smiled brightly, "A more than fair exchange, I think." She reached a hand out,
which Kathryn took immediately by entwining her digits around the flesh of
Seven's fingers. Their rings clinked when they came into contact.
shining gold rings rested around each of the women's third finger; a symbol of
knew she had truly come home when she decided to risk loving Kathryn Janeway.
She was grateful that she saw it in time before making a disastrous mistake by
marrying another. She was glad that particular future would be unknown to her.
She felt complete and needed nothing else.
Janeway always loved space and exploration of the unknown. That was why she
became a Starfleet Officer in the first place. Now after so much pain and
anguish she knew the meaning of balance in her life. She had finally accepted
that she loved Seven as well. More mature now, she was no longer a fool with
regards to managing her personal life. She knew exactly what was important to
her and to what degree. After what had happened to Admiral Janeway, she wanted
to make sure that particular mistake would not happen to her or her
Seven, in this lifetime.
time Mrs. Janeway and Mrs. Hansen would explore the unknown together.