A few weeks later, I found myself lounging in my
quarters, lying down on my sofa gazing up at the stars. It was evening
around 18:00 hours. My shift was over, but I was still in my uniform. I
had a mug of warm coffee resting on my lap. I stopped the whiskey and
booze. It only aggravated the healing process and intensified my
emotions in a bad way.
I had hit rock bottom after reading those logs.
The pain over my loss was slowly ebbing to become a dull ache. A
numbness I could live with or had to. It wasn't my nature to do
otherwise. I wasn't the suicidal type. I don't know if it was in my
genes or what, but I fought with every breath to live despite not
wanting to emotionally. Even if that existence was a miserable one, I
fought. This would be my future.
I chuckled at myself at that.
I was grateful for Chakotay's help during this
crisis. He had helped by just listening. I think he finally understood
how much I loved her.
There was still sadness, some days more than
others, especially during the lonely nights when I would gaze at the
stars. We made out under in this very spot.
My breathing increased as I sat there reminiscing.
If I closed my eyes, I could almost feel it. Could
almost feel her… Almost…
Taking a deep breath, I reminded myself to breath.
It's ok, I have the memories. I will never lose
I surprise myself by remembering the tender
moments more than the hectic sexual encounters we shared. As much as I
enjoyed most of those turbulent couplings, I cherished the pre-intimacy
moments like a precious gift. That was when she seemed to be the most
content. When she seemed to be just herself.
The time she brought me the rose. She was romantic
whether she believed it or not. Then came the sex, the change in her
attitude, her eventually betrayal… and those logs, confusing me all
I needed to put into a context what happened. I
need to organize the good memories and try to dwell on those instead of
the so many negatives.
I had a relationship with Seven for almost two
months before things really deteriorated, but looking back it was the
first month where everything seemed perfect.
We were dating and getting to know each other,
mutually agreeing to take it slowly. We wanted something strong to build
on and one evening she explained it to me saying, 'A strong beginning
leads to a strong long-term partnership, which could lead to marriage
and children'. Needless to say, I was a blushing fool to that speech
and touched deeply by her tender words.
It was a fun time getting to know each other. We
spent a lot of time together during our off hours enjoying velocity,
painting, light conversations, dinner in my quarters followed by some
wonderful moments of making out. Seven was quite the avid kisser and she
really enjoyed the activity. She would greet me with a light kiss and
say goodnight with a searing one. I would love the way she would worship
my mouth with kisses and she didn't hesitate to add a bit of tongue to
the mix. It made for a wonderfully sensual moment, the way she slowly
moved in tune with my lips and tongue. Oh my, could she incite arousal
with that and make my thundering heart skip. It made waiting a bit more
difficult, I'll admit.
She declared one evening that she couldn't imagine
anything more pleasurable than kissing me. I clarified that for her
right away, saying there was something to be said about how good sex
could be with someone you loved. She didn't understand and I couldn't
explain that sensation to her. I told simply told her 'you'll
see' with a knowing smirk.
It brings tears to my eyes to think how fun those
I wasn't going to speculate on the possible
reasons anymore. It was done and over with. I couldn't change the past.
I had to accept it. I don't even bother to ask why anymore, even though,
I know something was wrong. In my heart, I know she couldn't help it,
whatever it was. I refused to believe it was her fault.
I decided to believe what I read in her logs as
true, that she had loved me. Years of normal behavior for her compared
to five weeks of abnormality. My heart decided to insist on the first.
I still cry, infrequently, but at least I'm not
racked with uncontrollable sobbing.
"Bridge to the Captain."
"What is it commander?"
"We've being hailed. They're demanding to see
I frowned perplexed. Who would know me?
"I'm on my way."
"Captain Janeway!" the alien shouted as
soon I exited the turbolift and came around Tuvok to the lower section
of the Bridge.
"Praetor Anatul?" I said incredulously. What
was he doing so far from his home planet?
"Yes," he said acerbically. "I am
sorry to disturb your journey to the alpha quadrant, but I have been
trying to catch up with your ship for weeks. Our ship only travels up to
Warp 5. It was exceedingly difficult to overtake you. I hope you
appreciate our efforts in light of your carelessness."
"Excuse me?" I was astounded. "Why
didn't you hail us sooner?"
"We tried, but our communications is inferior
to yours. We stopped hailing when we realized that we would overtake
you. I wanted to ask you this in person."
"What did you come all this way to ask
me?" I questioned mystified and dazed.
"I wanted to ask you how you could have left
one of your crewmen behind to die?!" His tone was more shocked than
Stunned myself, my face dropped a few shades in
color to his accusation. "You must be mistaken, Praetor, my crew is
fully accounted for."
"When you visited my planet. You visited the
northern hemisphere correct?"
"Yes," I repeated getting impatient.
"You were collecting a substance that we had
"Yes, deuterium. I don’t understand what
this has to do with my crew." I stepped closer to the viewscreen.
"YOU have been the only visitors to our
planet in the last three months and a member of your crew was found in
the vacinity you chose to extricate your element from." He paused.
"Captain," he added with ire. "If you wish to abandon
your crewmen that is your choice. However, I would appreciate it if you
not do so on our planet."
"Praetor," I put my hands together calm
myself. "I don’t know what you thought you found, but it could
not be one of my--"
He shook his head. "You deny leaving her
"Her?" I said flustered.
"Yes," he replied. "A blonde female
in a skintight outfit, with metallic jewelry adorning her face and an
odd metal encased hand."
I swallowed… hard. "Is… she onboard your
vessel… now?" I asked gruffly, my heart in my throat. This was
too much really.
"Yes, but she is not well… hasn't been for
awhile, I suspect. We simply don't know how to communicate with her or
treat her and she won't cooperate."
"Mr. Kim," I said bewildered.
"Please scan for any human lifesigns."
Ensign Kim frowned as he read the results. "I
can't tell… the readings are fluctuating abnormally. It could be
human, but I can't get a lock."
"Tuvok, Harry…" I ordered without
glancing back. "Take a shuttle over there… to verify the
"Take a full security team with you." I
"That is not necessary, Captain."
Praetor Anatul declared. "I assure you she is quite harmless. A bit
unsettled perhaps. However, you should be prepared. There's something
seriously wrong with her… mentally, but we can't figure it out."
I shivered with dread, but I did not ask for
further clarification. "These are necessary precautions, but…
thank you, for the warning, Praetor."
"Captain, I will accompany your men back to
your ship if you would prefer. I don't have many answers, but I might be
able to help."
"I would appreciate that."
He nodded cutting the transmission.
My grayish petrified eyes met with Chakotay's.
"Is it my imagination or are you thinking
what I'm thinking?" I was stymied with the possibilities.
His eyes told me wordlessly that he agreed.
Tuvok returned a few minutes later with the
Praetor and my alleged crewman. I joined him immediately in sickbay
handing the Bridge over to Chakotay.
When I entered sickbay, the sound of Tuvok's
voice, which was normally very steady, told me something was terribly
I didn't know how wrong until I found her sitting
on the biobed at the far wall.
There she was in all her glory. Her golden blonde
hair was long and disheveled, her biosuit ripped and torn, but clean. It
was her face that brought me to grief. It was full of fright and terror.
The Doctor was trying to get closer to her, but she would move away. And
although she was deathly pale, she managed to avoid him and even threw
some medical instruments at him.
"Please! Calm down!" he tried. "I'm
not going to hurt you. I need to exam you…"
Tuvok was stoic as usual, but Harry Kim had a face
of anxiety and sympathy at what he saw and I agreed with him.
"I have erected a force field, Captain."
Tuvok stated. I knew it was necessary.
I moved towards her and stopped short of the force
field. "Doctor, come out of there."
"She won't let me treat her. I don't think
she recognizes me, Captain." He sighed and left the enclosed area.
She turned her gaze upon me.
Our eyes met and she stared at me. She seemed to
calm down some before she started to come towards me. Not knowing the
barrier was there, she rebounded off the force field.
The force shot her back hard. Luckily she landed
on the biobed and seemed more stunned and confused over what happened
than injured. She was looking at her hands with puzzlement. She surveyed
her body, but there was no apparent damage.
I turned to Tuvok. "Lower the forcefield."
"Captain, I do not--"
I glared at him. "Lower the force field.
She's not going anywhere."
He nodded and lowered the field. I heard him draw
his phaser. He was just looking out for me, but I had a hunch and I
needed to test it.
"Hold your fire, unless I say." I
She recovered from the blow and carefully
approached me a second time. I just wished I knew why she was in this…
condition. It was as if she didn't recognize anyone or anything. Almost
as if she were just born.
She came towards me with her hands out stretched
checking for the invisible barrier that was gone. That was a good sign
actually. It meant that she learned from her experiences.
Hesitantly, she came closer and stopped before me
intensely studying me. I mean she really studied me. Her eyes went
everywhere. I was flustered a bit at first with some of my officers
looking on, but I realized this was important if she could recognize who
"Seven?" I inquired quietly.
She looked up sharply at the sound of my voice.
She reached up with her hand and touched my cheek
before drawing back uncertainly. I remained still.
"Do you recognize me?" I asked with a
heavy heart. It didn't look like she did.
She touched me again. This time trailing a finger
down my cheek and under my chin. The terror she felt earlier seemed to
dissipate from her as she studied my face. She tested the texture of my
hair. She was really intrigued by that and ran her hands through it. I
thought I saw a small hint of recognition before it disappeared.
She traced a finger over my lips for a while. I
became concerned she might kiss me, but she moved on. She touched my
hands and brought them up to her face to study them carefully before
She sighed, looking at me sadly. I assumed she
felt safer with me.
"My name is Kathryn… Kathryn Janeway."
"K-Kathryn…" She repeated
pronunciating it slowly.
"Yes," I became hopeful. "Do you…
Her eyes studied mine, but she did not answer. I
don't think she understood me. She blinked, taking a deep breath, then I
saw the whites of her eyes just before she passed out falling into me.
"Doctor!" I shouted as I struggled to hold her up.
With his and Tuvok's help we got her onto the
"What's wrong with her?!"
"I don't know," he grabbed a medical
tricorder. "I'll let you know as soon as I can."
He glowered, as he scanned her. "Over 90% of
her borg nanoprobes have shutdown due to lack of energy. It's a good
thing they found us when they did. Another few days… " He met the
Captain's face. "She needs to regenerate immediately."
"Is there any… brain damage?"
"Not that I can tell, but I'm going to run a
brain scan analysis, in case we missed something. It should take only a
few minutes. Then she'll need to regenerate."
I called a meeting with Praetor Anatul and I had
Chakotay and Tuvok join me.
"How exactly did you find her?" I asked
harsher than I meant to while pacing the Briefing Room, but I had two
Seven's onboard my vessel. One was dead by my hand lying in the morgue
and the other didn’t know who or where she was.
"It was luck actually. After you left we
decided to send an excavation team to the area to extract and study the
isotope you called deuterium. We've never considered it as an energy or
fuel source and we wanted to do tests on it. We had a team up there
within three days, it was just a matter of getting the proper clearance
"How did you find her?" I cut him off. I
didn't need to know the political reasons.
He studied me, casually. "I was told by the
team leader she was found when they were digging for the deuterium, in a
small cave. They came across lifesigns and dug her out."
I turned around suddenly. "Did you say a
So that was it, that was when something happened
to her. All the facts coincided with it. I could kick myself for not
noticing earlier. Blinded by love, indeed! It was Stardate 55600.2.
Seven went into that cave, but what came out? A
clone? A copy with the exact opposite personality perhaps? But how? To
what purpose? I still had so many unanswered questions and I didn't know
if this current Seven was truly our Seven!?
"What was her condition?"
"At first he thought she was dead, but he
immediately had her evacuated to one of our medical facilities where we
discovered she had a pulse. She was treated immediately. We gave her
fluids and nutrients intravenously, but she did not wake up until almost
a week later. I read the medical report of the chief surgeon. She had no
broken bones or no internal injuries. She was suffering slightly from
hypothermia, but that would be consistent with being in a cave in for a
couple days. It would've gotten cold in the mountains at this time of
year. Her brain scans proved she had no head injuries that we could
detect. The only strange thing we found were millions of microscopic
machines in her blood stream, but we couldn't do anything about them
because we had no means of studying them. I'm sorry we could not do
more, but she was an alien and we didn't understand her
"Did you extract any of those machines?"
I asked concerned they were going to study them. It would not be good
for them to have borg technology. It could be disastrous in the wrong
"No," he said firmly. "We
considered it, but we decided it could be dangerous and we didn't have
the technology to analyze something so complex. We barely detected
I sighed in relief over that.
"What about when she regained
"She seemed lost and frightened… no
terrorized is more like it. She wouldn't let us near her and we had to
tranquilize her to calm her down. We had to place her in a cell for her
own good, but we continued to monitor her condition and we fed her
too." He paused uncertainty clouding his face. "She didn't
seem to know what to do with the food for almost two days. The food was
compatible with her physiology yet we had to show her how to eat and
drink. That is not normal behavior for any sentient species."
I steepled my hands together in thought. "It
seems she has no memories of anything, but why?"
"I can't answer that. I'm just glad she
survived until we reached you."
I stood up with a sympathetic face and went over
to thank him for what his people did. "I am in debt to you,
"You're welcome Captain." He said.
"If you don't mind asking, how did you come to leave her
"It's a long story, Praetor. Let's just say,
we didn't know because we had our very own Seven with us. Apparently,
there's two of them."
His eyes got wide. "Oh my. I am sorry. I
didn't mean to accuse you of--"
"That's quite all right. I thank you again
for your efforts. Good journey to you Praetor."
"Thank you, good journey Captain." He
said and Tuvok escorted him to the transporter room.
The Doctor and I waited in front of Seven's alcove
as her regenerating cycle was almost complete. It had been six days,
five hours and thirty-two minutes since her cycle began.
During that time the Doctor had a chance to study
her brain scan and what he found was quite shocking and disheartening,
but it explained her behavior perfectly.
So here, I was fidgeting in my boots. I was so
nervous over her condition. These last six days I prayed avidly for her
to regain some resemblance of who she was.
"REGENERATION CYCLE COMPLETE," The
computer announced. Here was the moment of truth.
As Seven's eyes opened, she stepped off the dais
and studied the EMH before her gaze fell upon me.
"Species 5618. Human." her tone was pure
borg. "Warp-capable. Origin: Grid 325. Physiology: inefficient.
Below-average cranial capacity. Minimal redundant systems. Limited
My throat constricted.
"You will be--" She suddenly winced in
discomfort and appeared to be dizzy. I reached out to her elbow to
steady her as she brought her other hand up to clench her head.
"Doctor what's wrong?" He had already
whipped out his medical tricorder.
"I don't know."
Seven dropped to the floor, curling up like a
young girl would sleep, except she was writhing from whatever was
causing her such discomfort.
My heart lurched. She was in agony.
"Computer! Emergency transport to sickbay!"
As soon as we materialized in sickbay we struggled
to get her up onto a biobed because she was quivering so much.
"Too much… " Seven exclaimed holding
her head with both her hands.
"Seven?" I touched her shaky shoulder
gently and her pain filled eyes were heavy and barely open.
"Help me…" She reached out a quaking
hand, which I gripped firmly and held on tightly. I looked to the
Doctor, but he was already ahead of me. He pressed a hypospray to her
neck causing her twitching to stop and her hand in mine to go slack. I
still held on as she closed her eyes and slipped into what I hoped was
"It's ok," the EMH assured me. "I
just gave her a tranquilizer so she could sleep. She was obviously in a
lot of pain." I was relieved.
The Doctor ran more detailed scans of Seven. In my
impatience and trepidation, I started speculating as to the possible
causes of her ailment.
"Could it be a brain aneurysm?"
"No, there's no rupturing or bleeding along
the cerebral artery." He said squinting at the console readings.
"Maybe she's hemorrhaging?"
"No, the blood flow is normal through the
cerebral cortex and the brain tissue."
"No," the EMH said tersely. "She's
getting plenty of oxygen to the brain."
"Captain please!" the Doctor chastised.
"I am trying to interpret these readings." I wanted to cuss at
him, but I knew he was right so I refrained and remained quiet.
My anxiety must have showed because his attitude
"Captain," he said. "She does not
have a brain tumor. There's no growth of any kind in her brain tissue.
So far all I'm detecting is a rather nasty migraine, but the cause still
I held her hand while he studied the data.
"Ah ha!" He exclaimed excitedly. "I
am noticing a significant elevation in neural electrical activity that
was not present in her previous brain scan."
"What does that mean, exactly?" I asked
more calmly than I felt.
"Increased neural activity is a sign of
recovery. I am also detecting a plethora of memory engrams that were not
"Yes," he said confused as I was.
"But I don’t understand how. Look at this Captain." He
pointed to the view screen, which showed two wave forms side by side.
"See the top one," he pointed.
"This line here suggests almost no engrams and very little neural
electrical activity. Now, look at this one."
The bottom waveform was twice as high.
"Somehow, in 6 days, she's managed to regain over 50% of her total
I looked at him astounded. "Could that be
what's causing the migraine?"
The Doctor reflected on my suggestion while
stroking his chin. "You could be on to something, Captain. As borg
she has considerable more knowledge than we do. I did hear her say
something about 'too much', perhaps she's being flooded with
images and memories too quick for her to process on such short notice.
I'll run some more tests just in case. In order, to rule out anything
more serious, but I think you could be right, Captain."
"I hope so." I said feeling empowered
"Captain…" The Doctor called with
trepidation. "I think we should consider putting Seven behind a
low-level force field. Her current memories are going to be borg. If how
she greeted us was any indication, she could be a threat."
"She asked me for help."
"Yes, but she going to be very confused. She
thinks she's borg, yet she isn't. I can't guarantee how she'll react. It
might be instinctive."
"For her to… assimilate me?"
"It's possible." He replied.
"Enable a low-level force field around the
enclosed biobed. I'll wait out here until she awakens." I said
I informed Tuvok to be on the safe side and he
sent two security guards to stand by in sickbay. Then I told Commander
Chakotay that I would be in sickbay for the rest of my duty shift and
that he could hail me if there were any emergencies.
I wasn't about to leave until Seven woke up. I
needed to believe she was all right. I needed proof. She woke up two
hours later and I called the Doctor over before she was fully cognizant
of her surroundings. She gripped her head again, but she did not writhe
like before. I took that as a good sign.
"Would you like something for that?" the
EMH asked gently. She studied him with rapidly blinking eyes.
"Yes…" she said evenly.
The Doctor administered a hypospray to her neck.
She was momentarily taken aback by the injection.
"It's ok, Seven. It's just medicine. It's
going to help your headache." I informed her.
The Doctor was about to head off to his office
when I pulled him to the side. "I want a psychological evaluation
done every day after her regeneration cycle. If you find anything out of
the ordinary, let me know."
"I will Captain but we're in unfamiliar
territory right now. Her behavior might be erratic because of
"I know," I said and brought my
attentions back to Seven.
Her gaze filtered around from the departing Doctor
to land on me. She jumped off the biobed with ease and came towards me
this time stopping before she made contact with the force field.
"I am Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct to
Unimatrix zero one." She stated impassively. I flinched. "You
are human. Your biological distinctiveness will be added to our
Suddenly, her eyes went wide. Her confidence
vanished with each sharp exhalation.
"The others, I can't hear the others...the
voices are gone." Seven's voice was hollow and frightened. I
estimated she now realized that her link to the billions of voices that
used to speak inside her mind were gone and she was utterly alone. I
wish I could've helped her more.
"You must return this drone to the
collective." She demanded instinctively.
"I can't do that." I said feeling déjà
She blinked and looked down at her hands.
"What have you done to me?!"
Oh, this was going to be hard for me. She
completely reverted back her days as a borg.
"This drone cannot function outside of the
collective… alone." She said her voice sounding haunted.
"Yes, you can. You are no longer borg."
"No… " She breathed out terrified at
the prospect. She launched herself at the force field to my surprise. I
backed up reflexively.
The Doctor realized the problem and was already
inside the force field with a hypospray in hand.
"You will be assimilated!" She turned to
him, then raised her mesh hand.
"I disagree." He said pressing a
hypospray to her neck. Her limp body flopped into his arms and he
brought her back to the biobed before returning to the Captain.
"I'm sorry, Captain,"
"So, am I." I said trying to keep the
doubt from my voice.
We had her regenerate under guard, four hours a
day for the next seven days. Each day we transported her to sickbay for
a physical and psychological evaluation and to assess her memory recall.
She appeared to gain memories with each regeneration cycle. I became
Unfortunately because she was so confused I
decided during the time she wasn't regenerating or in sickbay to keep
her sedated to prevent her from harming herself or anyone else.
Thankfully the week came to an end and we had our
first real breakthrough on the eighth day after we had brought her to
"I am borg… " She studied her hands.
"No," she added in obvious confusion. "That is not
accurate… I… am no longer a part of the borg collective." She
said her voice small. "I was… liberated."
"You remember that?" I asked
"You are Captain Janeway. It was you
who took me from the borg."
I gasped. It came out harsh, but I didn't think
she had meant it that way. I was about to defend my actions when she
"No, I tried to assimilate a vessel…
Voyager. You kept me onboard, despite my protests. I remember how
difficult it was to spend so much time… alone in the cargo bay. I
asked for a duty assignment… "
"What's the last thing you remember?" I
asked jumping ahead.
She tilted her head. "Arturis, the
Prometheus, heading towards borg space."
The Doctor was right so far. She only missed the
last three years or so of her life. I had to be grateful for that, as
much as I wanted her to remember us.
I let her talk as the memories came back to her. I
listened to the inflections in her voice and by that I could tell if
something was a bad or good memory. Now that she remembered being human
she was more stable and calmer and I was thankful that we didn't have to
sedate her any more.
After the fourteenth day of her recovery, she
remembered most everything, except a few months worth. It was very
I didn't tell her about the dead look-alike that
lied in stasis in our morgue and that with all our medical technology we
still couldn't tell the two apart genetically.
Because of that very reason, Seven was not allowed
to go anywhere without two security officers present. She did not
appreciate that at all and I understood her anger, but it was necessary
and I was not ready to tell her why yet.
It was also a good idea because many members of my
crew were not pleased at her reappearance. They saw her face and it
matched the face of the horrible enemy that tried to kill them.
"If you are so afraid of me Captain, why not
simply confine me to the cargo bay or put me in the brig." She
remarked one day in sickbay after the Doctor had evaluated her.
"I don’t think that would be fair to
you." I said.
"Fair?" Seven questioned. "If you
consider me a threat to your ship, Captain, then you should confine me,
regardless of whether it is… fair."
"I'm sorry I can't elaborate right now, but I
assure this precaution is necessary."
"It is obvious that you do not trust me
"It's not that I don't trust you Seven, I
just don't trust that you're you." I said more than I should
have, but thankfully she didn't pursue it.
"I do not understand and I will not question
it for now… However, I know something is wrong. The memories I have do
not feel right. As if I did not live that life. As if I am simply seeing
the results of what someone else lived. It is disconcerting. I hope it
will fade in time."
"I'm curious, how did you get your memories
back? The Doctor can't figure it out."
"It is not a mystery, Captain. Borg alcoves
contain a backup module that downloads all the memories of a drone while
they regenerate. When I first stepped into the alcove the information
was uploaded to my cortical node. It is used by the collective in
analysis when drones malfunction."
"You never told me that before."
"It was not necessary. Would you prefer I
inform you of all the capabilities of my alcove and borg systems?"
"No, I suppose that would be redundant."
She tilted her head in agreement.
Before leaving her in sickbay, I ordered the
Doctor to do a brain scan of the duplicate Seven lying in the morgue.
Maybe that would tell us a missing piece of the puzzle, since I couldn't
question her about what happened to her in the cave because she had no
memories of that yet.
I was concerned at how traumatic that was going to
be for her, but I knew I'd be there to help her through it. I lived
through it from the opposite perspective and still had nightmares over
Hopefully together we'd be able to heal the wounds
and move on. I was still in love with Seven and I hoped with all my
being that this was really her and that copy in sickbay was some sick
alien attempt at deception to take over my vessel.
***** (3rd Person
"NO!!!" Seven's eyes flew open.
"WARNING! REGENERATION CYCLE
Seven fell out of her alcove landing on her knees
on the dais bent over, gasping for air.
The images that coursed through her brain were
horrible. She remembered things that she had not recalled doing yet she
knew they happened. She knew. These were her memories.
Something happened inside a cave, but what? She
had thoughts in her mind that weren't hers! She had thousands of new
voices in her mind. No, not voices, memories of past lives from hundreds
of different lifeforms.
If felt odd and convoluted, as if an alien
presence was in her body and had stolen her mind. She saw what it saw,
felt was it felt and knew its thoughts as if they were her own.
The images were excruciating in content. In her
mind, she saw her face make love to Kathryn, but it was not her. It all
was wrong! She would not do that! This alien presence in her had made
love to Kathryn and hurt her in the process, more than once!! Worst of
all it thrived on it and enjoyed the game. It wanted to conquer her.
In other circumstances, Seven would have been
jealous, but she didn't feel a single speck of it. Only shame, guilt and
regret at letting Kathryn down.
Seven felt such rage at this violation, but where
was this alien presence? Was it still inside her festering, waiting for
the time to come out? That was unacceptable! She was a threat to
Voyager! How could they not be aware of this? Unless, it was hiding from
them… inside her!
She grabbed her midsection, which burned in agony
in her emotional turmoil.
In her grief, Seven wasn't thinking properly. She
would do what they would not, to prevent herself from hurting her
It explained why for the last two weeks, the crew
gave her lingering looks when she walked the hallways. They were fearful
of her. She had hurt them. She even ASSIMILIATED some of them. They
would not forgive her. She had the face of the enemy. She could not stay
Her eidetic memory would never let her forget. She
was cursed! She could not live with these images. She would not. Kathryn
would be better off without her!
The guards noticed her discomfort immediately
after her cycle ended, but neither of them wanted to get close to her.
They waited until she partially recovered from whatever had disturbed
her before inquiring as to her condition.
"Are you all right, ma'am?"
"No, I need assistance to get to
sickbay." Seven still held her stomach pretending to be in physical
pain. She needed to leave Cargo Bay Two alone, so when they came closer
to assist her and were in range, she incapacitated them instantly with
Vulcan nerve pinches. Harmless, but effective.
I hurried through the hallways running while my
heart was pounding in my chest at both the exertion and the trepidation.
I've got to stop her.
This was like déjà vu, and I prayed to whatever
gods that would listen not to let this happen again. I know I've been
avoiding her, but I didn't want this. I was giving her time to
acclimate, to adjust to her slowly returning memories. Please…
All kinds of thoughts ran through my head as I slowed down just long
enough for the door to the shuttle bay to open.
I was at the shuttle's hatch door quickly, keying
in the entrance code. She didn't lock it because it opened for me.
I jumped through the opening and saw her at the
helm. She turned to me quickly her eyes wide and keyed something on the
console, which erected a force field just as I was within two meters of
her. I bumped into it and it repelled me back slightly, but I didn't
lose my footing. It was only a low-level force field. I had to believe
she didn't want to hurt me. I had to…
"Seven, what are you doing?" I asked
"Do not say anything, Kathryn. I do not need
to hear any excuses. I know why I have been guarded and why you do not
trust me." She said turning back to the helm position.
"What are you talking about!" I
exclaimed. Fear showed its ugly head in my heart.
"I am leaving Voyager."
"I do not belong here." She said
"That's not true."
"Yes, it is." She said her hands moving
over the controls.
"Why would you think that?!"
"You said it yourself, Captain. You cannot
trust me. Your crew will not be able to either."
The words hurt to the core of my being. She took
my greatest fear and tossed it back at me. Could
I have hurt her by admitting to that?
"You misunderstood my words."
She left the helm position to stand before me, her
face stoic, but flushed, her eyes red. "Please, Captain. Get out,
while you can." She ordered me. "This does not concern
"Really?" I said becoming angry.
"I need to close the shuttle door, leave
"No," There was nothing I could do but
stay. My heart wouldn't let me go even if my duty wanted me to. Not this
She blinked, narrowed her eyes then returned to
the helm position. The doors closed behind me and she ignited the
"Talk to me, Seven! What's going on in that
mind of yours?" I tried to get through to her, but she faced
forward and ignored me. "You won't be able to leave the shuttle
bay. The bay doors have been sealed."
"Then I will blast through them if I have
"Am I your hostage then?" I questioned
her testing her mental state.
"No, never… I would never willingly hurt
you." She became distracted and shaken by something. "I told
you to leave Kathryn. Why did you not leave?" She said uncertain.
"Because I'm worried about you." I said
She regained her composure quickly, perhaps
deciding internally that what she was doing was necessary. "Do not
be concerned. I will be… all right."
I frowned. "Where are you going?" I
asked, hoping against my intuition.
"That information is irrelevant to you."
"No, it isn't! Nothing about you is
irrelevant to me! Tell me what's bothering you, dammit!"
She tilted her head and glanced at me. "I
must leave!" her voice was strained.
"Fine, just tell me what's bothering you and
if you still feel you need to leave you can."
"Please… " I pleaded. "I love
"I do not know why you do but… " Seven
said depressed. "That is why I must do this. For you… for your
"Why must you do this?!"
"Because I love you. I always will, Kathryn
She said cruelly forcing my heart to spasm and
break before she ignored me again.
"No…" What is she planning?!
Her hand movements paused over the console until I
heard a beeping sound from it. The pre-launch sequence was finished. She
powered up the engines and hovered on thrusters turning the small
shuttle around to face the bay doors.
She opened a communications channel. "Seven
to the Bridge. Open the shuttle bay doors."
"I'm afraid I can't do that Seven." Chakotay's
"I am prepared to destroy the doors if I have
"There are still crewmen in the shuttle
bay!" Chakotay sounded angry. "You'll
kill them all!
Seven blanched and moved her hands away from the
weapons controls. Even in her apparent desperation, the look on her
suggested she found that appalling. I don't believe she had any
intentions of killing anyone on Voyager this time. I saw her check for
life signs inside the bay. I knew it was true.
She sat there thinking intensely with a grimace
upon her face. I watched her power down the weapon systems and I felt
the shuttle land on the deck. She had powered down the engines too.
She slumped in the chair. Her shoulders drooped.
"There is only one recourse, now." She whispered, but I heard
Defeated and emotionally distraught looking, she
reached under the console and grabbed a phaser.
"NO!" I launched myself at the force
field only to get thrown back harshly landing at an awkward angle
against the back wall of the shuttle. All the air shot out of my lungs
and I felt a searing pain in my left wrist. The blow was painful, but it
got her attention. I heard my name being called and when my vision
cleared she was kneeling in front of me with sad worried eyes.
"Are you injured?" Seven asked, but she
probably knew from the way I was holding my wrist that I was. I
carefully took note that she still had the phaser in her mesh hand. My
heart became fearful, but I hadn't given up yet.
"You must go to sickbay."
"Not unless you drop that phaser and come
"I cannot..." Seven responded, but her
eyes were filled with honest regret... "I need to… finish
I dared to put my good hand over her hand that
held the phaser slowly. "Do you intend to leave me Seven?" I
said with as much emotion as I could muster.
"I must…" Seven stuttered as if the
idea was torturing her.
"If you do this… you'll be killing me as
well…" It was true, my heart couldn't take watching her die
"No! I'm doing this to save you... To protect
I met pain filled eyes. "Protect me from
what? How can you protect me if you leave me like this? Suicide is not
the answer! Do you think you're doing me a favor by forcing me to relive
your death again!?"
My words were affecting her, I could tell. She
turned her face away. Her cheeks and ears were red, her eyes watery and
her mouth was open trying to breath in the wake of the verbal assault I
lashed out at her. I couldn't afford to be nice, now.
"You thought I was dead?"
"I can't go through that again." I
confessed dourly. I could feel her hand shaking.
"When you said I didn't trust you, it wasn't you
that I didn't trust. You misunderstood that. You don't know what I went
through with that copy… You don't know how hard it was to see you
whole and alive again yet with no memory of us, or your life on Voyager.
I was excited and scared at the same time. What if it was an illusion? A
deception again!! What if you never remembered me? I couldn't take that!
I needed time to sort out--"
"Yes, we have a duplicate of you. Exact in
everyway, I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner."
"Where is it?" Seven asked her face
tightening and her body going rigid. I knew the unmistakable face of
"It's dead Seven, I was forced to kill
"You killed it? You have proof of this?"
She asked with a small voice.
"Yes." I told her carefully. "Why
Seven? Do you remember something?"
"Yes," She said gravely. "I
remember most of it." Her voice was unsteady and cracking. "I
caused you so much… pain!" She choked out, leaning in and
dropping her head on my shoulder. I could hear her sobbing, her body
convulsing with the burden of this guilt.
She remembered the copies memories as if they were
her own. How was that possible! I fumed.
"Oh no! Oh god no!" I said soothing her,
rubbing her back. "It wasn't you… darling." I stroked her
head and leaned my face on the top of her head. "I was NOT your
How would we fix this?!
"Why didn't you tell me?" I said as I
stroked my hand through her hair. She was too emotionally distraught to
answer at the moment and so fragile while she cried as I held her in my
I had beamed us immediately to my quarters from
the shuttle bay and had the Doctor check on us there. He took care of my
wrist injury and scanned Seven, but there was nothing wrong with her,
except what was in her mind. That he couldn't fix.
This was my dilemma and my curse. I still didn't
know if this was really our Seven or not, not without an absolute
certainty, but I felt it was.
After awhile, she became very quiet as I held her.
I asked her if she needed to regenerate, but she refused.
She was exhausted emotionally so I brought her
into my bedroom and held her there gently with the hopes she would be
able to get some rest. Finally, she fell asleep.
I let her sleep peacefully and I went back into
the main room and slouched down into my lounger sighing deeply before
opening my poem book. I needed some light romantic reading about now to
give me hope.
My eyes got droopy and barely 15 minutes later, I
drifted off into a nap of my own. Little did I know, what evil lurked
around the corner from me.
I awoke startled out of my nap by a noise. I sat
up groggily and my book fell off my lap with a soft thump on the carpet.
I swung my legs over the side and reached down to get it to put it on my
newly acquired glass table. The room seemed hazy for some reason so I
used both my hands to rub my eyes clear.
Blinking rapidly to clear my vision as I rose to
my feet, I headed to the replicator on my left to get myself a fresh cup
of coffee, when my gaze fell upon the still form of Seven of Nine
standing at the entrance to my quarters. The lights were dim and I
couldn't see her face. There was too much shadow.
"Seven?" I called out. Why
was she standing there so quiet? I thought she was asleep.
"I'm here my sweet."
The hairs on the back of my skin stood up straight
at the voice that spoke to me with Seven's voice yet with a chilling
She stepped out from the shadow of my doorway. Her
face had a twisted smile on it and her skin was tight and had a bone
chilling whitish color, devoid of life.
"No!" I breathed out in a terrified
whisper. "Lights full!"
I was so horrified and confused. How could this
happen? Was this the Seven I had put to bed just hours ago?
Looking at her now, I saw her outfit was the same one the copy had died
in. I remembered that the wounds had been fixed by the Doctor, but the
outfit was still burned away across the entire left side of the stomach
just below the right breast area. Did I
imagine it all? Was the sleeping Seven just an apparition of this thing?
A recreation? Was I losing my mind?!
"Computer, notify the Bridge. Intruder alert…
my quarters. Security requested!" I spoke, but there was no
"That won't work, Kathryn. When I came in
here, I disrupted all the communications links to this room."
I sighed in frustration.
"You're wondering how this is possible aren't
you." It smiled at me. "I am a superior lifeform, consisting
of energy in simplistic terms, beyond your limited understanding. You
could call me a mimic, but I am not limited to organic lifeforms only. I
can mimic metallic compounds and complex atomical structures, but I
cannot exist without a living organic host for long."
I listened aghast.
"I have been in existence for thousands of
your years. I can lay dormant in the dead cells of my previous host for
a few weeks, until a new host comes along. It was nice of you to put me
in stasis until I was ready. Having to move on to my natural energy form
before I can acquire a replacement host is so draining."
"It was all an act." I whispered in
"Of course, I had to adapt to your pathetic
requirements, when all I wanted from you was the power of your
command... your ship. However, I adapted to the requirements of this
host and gave in to your charm. To my surprise, you were wonderful at
the sex that you so happily provided. As my species can only reproduce
in humanoid form it has been required at times for me to have sexual
relations with other species. I've been with thousands of humanoids and
hundreds of different species and even I can't explain my reaction to
you. You must have a connection to this body that goes beyond the
physical. I was so captivated with you that I wanted so much more. You
know you liked it Kathryn, especially when I dominated you with the male
appendage. We had a connection." The evil Seven snickered.
"Don't bet on it!" I said pissed off.
"Because of your misguided values, I had
attempted to find other means to satisfy me, but those proved
unsuccessfully and thankfully you came to your senses before I was
required to use more extreme measures. Ah, you were the best. I told you
the words you wanted to hear, but I knew it wouldn't last." The
ghostly Seven took a step forward.
"It's too bad you weren't a male specimen,
Kathryn, we could have had a child... with my abilities… my
power." It teased cruelly.
"No!" I said horrified at being
"But you had to go and ruin everything! You
just had to know who destroyed that vessel and couldn't leave it
unsolved! Those green-skinned Vizorian fools! They have been hunting my
species down for centuries. If I hadn't destroyed them, they would have
destroyed you in order to kill me!"
"A fair exchange to rid the universe of a
parasite like you!" I said nastily.
"We'll see Captain! Since you've killed this
body, destroyed its regenerative abilities, and its reproductive
abilities, I must choose another form now before this one decomposes and
I have to return to my normal state. So, I figured since I enjoyed your
body from the outside, I might as well enjoy it from within."
My face must have been three different shades of
red for shame and rage all woven into one big tribulation of torture.
It took a step towards me before stopping upon
hearing my name being called by a third party.
Both the ghostly Seven and myself looked to where
the voice came from.
There was another Seven standing in the doorway of
my bedroom, with sleepy eyes. She did not resemble a ghost! She looked
real and alive. Was this the Seven I put to sleep earlier?! God,
I hoped so.
She blinked, then her jaw dropped and a dark
shadow crossed her face.
"YOU!" both Seven's cried out at each
I swallowed hard and took a step back from the
mimic who was staring at the other Seven. I was fearful of both of them
for the moment.
"You're supposed to be dead! How is this
possible?!" The ghostly Seven turned to face the other Seven.
"I left you for dead in that cave!"
"It was you…. Not I." Seven said
coming to terms with the images of her recently recovered memories.
"YOU HURT KATHRYN!" Seven said glaring into the room looking
With those two sentences things became so much
clearer for me. I made a tactical decision. I was going to trust the
healthy looking Seven.
"I did nothing of the sort." The evil
mimic gloated. "I gave her pleasure. It wasn't my fault she
couldn't always handle the intensity of it. Besides, don't you wish it
could have been you."
Seven's face shriveled into agony at his words.
"I will rip you apart with my bare hands!" Seven brought her
fists in front of her tightening them in demonstration and she started
towards the alien in a frenzied rush.
"SEVEN!" STOP right there!" I
shouted at her and she skidded to a halt.
"My flesh may be necrotized but I am still
stronger than either of you." The ghost threatened.
Seven's eyes fell upon mine and her gaze softened
some. Now we were both equi-distant from the evil mimic.
"Yes, come to me, again Seven. You know my
touch. How deadly it is. Who wants to go first?"
"I want you to listen very carefully Seven. I
want you to alert security." She turned to me horror-struck, like I
was out of my mind.
"It can't reach both of us. One of us can
make it." My statement was true and she knew it. There were two
exits in my quarters and the mimic was equally far from both of us and
our respective exits.
"I will not leave you!" Seven shouted.
"I'm ordering you to leave my quarters and
notify Tuvok of the situation." I demanded.
"Please… " Seven pleaded. I could not
let emotion get in the way of what needed to be done and I would not let
it kill Seven again.
"Do not make me do this…" She begged.
"Seven if you love me… you HAVE to
The entity glimpsed us both from its location,
remaining very still with narrowed calculating eyes.
Seven glared at me with wretchedness in her eyes
but bolted for the door. The mimic ran towards me and I ran for the exit
on my side, but strong arms engulfed me as I reached the door.
"Not so fast, my dear Captain. I have plans
"Evacuate immediately or your Captain is
dead! I will speak with only Seven of Nine! If anyone else enters
here, I will snap your Captain's neck and self-destruct your warp core!
Is that CLEAR!!"
The mimic had beamed us directly into the middle
of Engineering using an authorization code I hadn't recognized. Everyone
carefully backed off.
She had me tightly by the throat as I contemplated
my situation. Its touch was deadly if it chose to utilize that power. It
would copy that persons DNA thus becoming that individual right? I was
under the impression it wasn't an instantaneous transformation, but I
didn’t know for sure. I needed to find a weakness, but how!?
I watched B'Elanna evacuate everyone out of
Engineering and climb up to the next level to assist in the evacuation
"I need control of your ship!" The mimic
demanded trying to work the console located in front of the warp core
with only one hand. The other arm was firmly wrapped around my neck.
"That's not going to happen!" I spat.
"Then I'll destroy all of you!"
"I don't think so!" With all the might I
could muster I brought my elbow forward and drove it back into the
mimic's solar plexus. I was off balance and did not have much leverage,
but I felt satisfied at the whoosh of expelled air that I heard.
Unfortunately for me, it did not loosen the arm around my neck enough
for me to escape. The mimic was just too strong for me.
"I'll kill you for that!"
"Go ahead!" A dumb thing to say, I know,
but I have never run from death and I wouldn't now. I would face it head
on fighting until it overtook me.
The mimic cried out in rage and I could feel its
arm squeezing my throat constricting my airway. I gasped and choked, but
there was no air only an immense pressure. Tingles were creeping up into
my eyes. Lack of oxygen caused vision blurriness. At that moment I
didn't know if it was killing or copying me. This was not good. I saw
blackness start edging in from the corner of my vision before I heard a
"I am HERE!"
The pressure let up some and I could feel a
trickle of air squeeze through. I wheezed and struggled to obtain it,
but at least the blackness receded.
"Stay where you are or I'll overload the warp
"Release Captain Janeway!" It was
Seven's voice. My Seven. I was facing the warp core and couldn't see
until the evil Seven swiveled us around bringing my body with it.
"I don't think so. She is my bargaining
chip." It said. I heard small beeps and blips and wondered if it
was still working on the console with its free hand.
"Computer, seal off Engineering.
Authorization, mimic alpha-beta-omega." I was extremely irritated
the computer agreed with that order, but there was nothing I could do
about it at the moment.
Seven stood defiantly at the entrance to
"You can come closer now." It said and
Seven did as told moving in closer until she was around three meters
from our position. "That's close enough."
Our eyes met. I could see her fear for me
reflected in her gaze. I didn't know if she had a plan or not.
"As you can see, my degradation is moving
along. I need to make a choice soon." Since, I couldn't see the
mimic I couldn't confirm its words. "I require the Delta Flyer be
prepped an ready for take off in five minutes. You will evacuate the
corridors and take me there personally."
"It will not work." Seven said calmly.
"I didn't ask your opinion."
"That is not what I meant." Seven
elaborated. "The Voyager crew will never let you take their Captain
"Then she will die along with the entire
ship! Now bring me to the shuttlebay!"
"I have my orders not to let you leave with
the Captain." Seven replied stoically, but I could see vexation
burn in her eyes.
"I must have a host and your Delta
Flyer!" The mimic demanded.
"Then take me."
"NO!" I squawked out.
"Quiet!" the mimic yelled at me and
Seven did not meet my eyes, ignoring me. What
are you planning dammit!
The mimic must have been quietly contemplating
Seven's suggestion while I struggled for air. I was feeling anguish over
Seven's offer and didn't like it one bit.
"I have an eidetic memory. My body is also
stronger, faster and I possess more stamina and endurance."
"Oh you don't need to convince me of that."
The mimic said amusingly. "I figured that out during the long
nights together with your Captain." It glanced at me. I saw from
the corner of my eye and the intended meaning was clear. She was baiting
Seven on purpose.
Wincing, Seven clenched her fists, but did not
move an inch.
"I was just wondering what you're up to or…"
It paused. "If you would you really choose to die for her… "
"Don't!" I squeaked out. I could
barely breath let alone speak and felt I could lose consciousness easily
if she tightened her grip. I fought the notion wanting to see Seven for
as long as possible before I met my end or she for that matter. Not
"If you truly have my memories then you
should not have to ask. You already know the answer." Seven said
enlightening the alien.
More time passed.
"You're quite right. Come here. I will
release the Captain when I have you in my grasp."
"Before I do so, realize that if you deceive
us and harm the Captain after you have me, the crew have orders to
destroy you and the ship if necessary."
"Oh don't worry. I won't kill her. I enjoy
her too much." The copy crooned gloating.
Seven took a deep breath to calm the raging
inferno that must have been raging inside her. She then approached the
mimic to my absolute horror and stood before both of us.
Her beautiful blue eyes met mine and I could see
the love she had for me in her crystal gaze. The love I never saw in the
"Come what may, I love you Kathryn."
"How touching." The alien thing said. I
was tossed away violently to land hard on the Engineering deck. I craned
my neck around as my vision cleared to see the mimic reaching for Seven.
She did not try to escape.
"SEVEN!" I hollered knowing it was too
late. The copy had my beloved in its death grip and a soft yellow glow
started to form over both of the evil Seven's hands as they cupped my
darlings face. Seven closed her lovely eyes.
"Oh no! Please no!" I pleaded to no
avail reaching out a trembling hand. My heart was going to stop from the
sheer agony at having to watch her die again. This time I knew in my
heart this Seven was my Seven. The young woman we liberated from the
borg and kept on Voyager for over the past four years and here she was
before me choosing to die in my place.
"Wha… What!" I heard the mimic say in
surprise. "It… It's not working!"
Seven's eyes flew open. I believe by her studious
features that she was surveying how she felt. She didn't look like she
was in any pain.
"You've deceived me!!" The evil Seven
exclaimed and dove for me. Seven was there instantly gripping its hands
with a deep scowl of hatred and fury on her face.
"You almost took away the most precious thing
I have ever known. I will kill you for that."
The mimic shouted in rage and a fight ensured
between the two. I took that moment to hunt for a weapon.
Seven freed her mesh hand and connected to its jaw
sending the mimic over the console. The mimic had fight in it yet and
came right back at Seven. The young woman parried the blows; a right
hook, a left upper cut, until a side kick, landed across the side of her
face knocking her over.
Scanning for me, the mimic grimaced and came at
me. I still had no weapon and nowhere to run.
Seven swung her arm low in an arc and tripped the
alien lookalike. Seven got up on her knees before a foot lashed out and
caught her dead center on her jaw. Her head shot back violently. I heard
her shout in pain, which I felt in my heart as she fell to the deck. No
sooner did she land on her back, she was up again lifting her body to
find and destroy the enemy who now hovered behind her ready to attack.
"You have caused me enough trouble."
"Behind you Seven!" I shouted too late.
A fist went smashing into Seven's midsection. I heard her expel all her
air and spit up some blood.
Damn! I need a weapon now!
I saw a flash of movement above and in front of
me. I looked up just in time to see B'Elanna coming down through the
opening of the second level to land on both of them sending everyone
careening to the deck. B'Elanna landed closest to me with a rifle in her
It all happened so fast from that point.
The mimic shot its head up sensing fresh blood.
"I'll take you instead!"
Lt. Torres tossed me the weapon. She was too close
to the mimic to make an accurate shot before it was upon her.
It lurched at B'Elanna.
"NO!" Seven shouted shielding B'Elanna
with her own body.
I fired the rifle, which was set to its highest
The mimic's body completely disintegrated in
mid-flight. Good riddance. No borg shielding in effect this time to
prevent it and compression rifles are significantly more powerful than
phasers at the highest setting.
I went to them and knelt down. "Seven!
B'Elanna! Are you both ok?"
"Ahem!" B'Elanna snorted lying
underneath a very heavy borg body. "You can get off me now borg."
I was sure she was fine.
Seven came back to her senses, realizing where she
was and I assisted her off the half-Klingon.
"Sorry it took so long Captain." Lt.
Torres said straightening her uniform. "I had to search for a
compression rifle. We don't keep many in Engineering."
"I noticed." I said with a touch of
annoyance as I was studying my beloved's face carefully. Her bottom lip
was cut, the side of her face was severely bruised and I didn't know the
extent of her internal injuries. "We need to get you to
sickbay." I said firmly.
A shadow came across her face then. "VVvait!"
she slurred out.
"Seven…" I was about to get stern with
her. Her jaw was obviously broken.
"Pleas, I muss chek da vvarp core."
"Don't make me order--"
She put her mesh hand on my face gently. "U
muss truss me, Kaffryn."
I covered the hand with my own and tilted my head
in the embrace. "All right."
"Hep me." I assisted her to where she
pointed, which was the console before the warp core. I had a bad feeling
in my gut. B'Elanna had beaten us there over hearing our conversation.
"I'm locked out." The chief engineer
complained staring at the panel.
Seven clutched at her ribs as I helped her there.
"Kaffryn… " She winced in pain. I couldn't stand to see her
like that, so if she wouldn't let me take her to sickbay, I would bring
the Doctor to her.
I hit my combadge. "Janeway to the Doctor, I
need you ASAP in Engineering."
"On my way."
He materialized an instant later with a medical
kit. "What's wrong?"
"Seven has a broken jaw and possibly ribs. I
need you to heal them here." I told him impatiently.
"I nee to be able to spek firss." Seven
tried to say as she worked to unlock the console.
"I know, Tuvok informed me to be on
standby." He said scanning her jaw and the rib area pulling out a
bone regenerator. He waved it over her jaw then her ribs. A few seconds
later, she tested her jaw.
"Thank you, Doctor, the rest can wait."
He looked to object, until he saw my gaze as well. As hard as it was to
look at her face all cut and bruised this had to take precedence. It was
I heard a beep.
"You did it!" Torres exclaimed.
"I have 'its' memories in my
head." Seven said not too thrilled about it. "I know exactly
how 'it' would sabotage the ship."
"You don't say." Torres mumbled, but I
could tell she was impressed.
"The entity set the warp core to explode as
soon as we engaged it. It looks like the alien used a geometric wave
fractal to override our controls and disguise the presence of the
destructive algorithm. I'm going to have to run a complete diagnostic to
rid the system of any secondary threats. It will take me a few
"I don't want you over exerting yourself
Seven." I said with concern. She nodded slowly.
"Janeway to the Bridge." I hailed them.
"Captain!? Are you all right?" Chakotay
"Yes, Chakotay." I said. "We can't
go to warp for awhile. We're dealing with a little sabotage. I'll give
you the specifics later. Where's Tuvok?"
"Outside Engineering. He can't get in."
"Tell him to stand down for now. The doors
have been sealed from within. We'll get them open as soon as possible.
Janeway out." I cut the channel.
Hours later, after Seven stopped the sabotage in
Engineering and initiated the diagnostic, I escorted her to sickbay,
where the Doctor treated the rest of her injuries.
"I did not appreciate you risking your life
like that, Seven." I chastised her as the Doctor ran a dermal
regenerator over her bruised face.
"I know, Captain, but it was a calculated
risk." She replied.
"In what way?"
"I was acting in accordance with Tuvok's
orders and the Doctor's theory."
"Oh?" I crossed my arms looking from
Seven to the EMH. "It was your idea that she come in direct contact
with this alien?" I asked perturbed he'd risk Seven like that.
"Actually, Captain," the Doctor appeared
guilty. "When you ordered me to take the alien out of stasis to do
a brain scan and compare the two, I found the discrepancy I was looking
for. It was the comparison of the two that allowed me to find it! The
alien has literally thousands of brain engrams including a copy of
Seven's that don't belong to it. Before it escaped… " He said
with disgust. "I managed to scan it thoroughly. What I couldn't
figure out was why it couldn't simply regenerate Seven's body tissue.
Then it came to me. I found the genetic defect I was looking for. It
can't duplicate the exact same DNA pattern twice. Whether this is an
evolutionary defect or the universes way of keeping things in balance, I
don't know. But it was my guess that the mimics touch wouldn't harm
Seven a second time. However, I made it clear it was her decision to go
through with it, if no other option presented itself."
"I see." I said. "And what were
Seven eyed me regretfully. "That I could not
let the alien get control of Voyager, despite... " She swallowed,
"It was your intention to offer yourself
instead of me."
"Yes, I had hoped the creature's greed for me
would be its ultimate failure and that it was unaware of its inability
to re-assimilate my DNA."
I patted Seven's knee. "I'm glad the hunch
worked." I knew she would have sacrificed herself for me regardless
of the whether the Doctor's plan worked so I was more than grateful that
Seven saw my hand on her knee and grief overcame
the young woman's features for a moment.
"Are you ok, Seven?"
"Yes," She said, but I didn't quite
"Seven, when the Doctor's done here, I want
you to go and regenerate for a few hours."
"Yes, Captain." The face remarked sadly.
"I'll talk to you later. I have to go and
update Chakotay and Tuvok on our situation."
Later on than evening, after my shift was finished
and I had updated everyone who needed to be, I hailed Seven. I was
exhausted as it had been a long and trying day, but I wanted to make
sure Seven was doing ok. I needed to talk to her too.
Her voice sounded strong, if weary over the
communiqué. She hesitantly tried to get out of seeing me, by saying she
had to finish a cycle in her alcove, but I knew the four hours were up
and I wouldn't take no for an answer.
We had a lot to discuss and I thought tonight we
could start on the path to recovering our friendship and perhaps more.
I had just taken off my command jacket when she
arrived. She was quieter than usual and pensive as she stood rigidly her
hands linked behind her back.
"Have a seat, Seven."
She took a seat on the couch readily.
"Would you like something to drink?"
I replicated myself a steaming mug of black coffee
in order to keep myself awake longer, but I had to admit to a
consternation at my chat with Seven. I consoled myself with the
knowledge that she probably felt it too.
"How are you feeling?" I asked standing
"I am functioning acceptably, Captain."
I pursed my lips. "This is a personal
conversation between friends, Seven. Please call me Kathryn."
"Very well." She said coldly. It was
difficult to read her emotions, but her stifled tone told me all was not
well within her.
"We need to talk about what happened,
Seven." I said sitting down next to her.
Her eyes darted around the room, obviously in
"I do not see the purpose in that Kathryn.
You lived through it and I had to relive it. What good could come from
Her answer was a defense mechanism. This was
hurting her badly if her only defense was to avoid the emotional
implications of it.
"I need to discuss it." I said kindly.
"I am not sure I will be able to help
"Then just listen."
She sat there quietly so I continued.
"I assume you remember all of it."
"Yes, most of it." She folded her hands
in her lap.
"We're both going to have difficult feelings
over this… experience. I believe it will be easier if we work through
Seven still stared away from me. I sighed. I was
having a difficult time and she wasn't helping any just like she said.
Except I needed her to.
I gently put my hand on her thigh to comfort her
and get her attention.
Rattled by my touch, Seven lurched herself off the
sofa and backed up quickly. She moved as if my touch burned her and I
saw revulsion on her grimacing face.
"Don't touch me!" She yelled.
"Seven?… " I croaked.
"You must not touch me." She backed up,
shaking her head. "I cannot do this… I am sorry, Kathryn."
She said just before fleeing my presence.
I was aghast. She must blame me for cheating on
her with the alien. Why else would my touch disgust her so much? She
was jealous of something I couldn't change. I could understand the
emotion, even I would have been slightly jealous, but knowing it was an
exact copy of herself, I figured she would understand, even if she
didn't like it. I should have had an inkling that she might harbor such
feelings against my actions, but I didn't suspect she would react this
What if she couldn't forgive me?!
I was in my Ready Room going over some boring
reports before Chakotay came to see me. He was in a better mood than I
"How are you?" he asked me after he
walked in and settled in the chair across from me.
"All right, I guess." I put the PADD
down and leaned back in my chair.
"Are you sure?"
"It regards Seven... ok?" I said letting
it hang in the air to see if he really wanted to go down that path with
His mood didn't change, so I elaborated.
"She is in a lot of pain. She blames herself
for everything. I think I've lost her love."
Chakotay considered that carefully.
"I know what you're thinking." I added.
"Why didn't I see the signs? Her behavior was erratic,
undisciplined, rough, calculating… and ruthless. The alien said
everything I wanted to hear, but still... I should've known."
"You're being too hard on yourself. It's true
that love blinds us because I was even fooled by this alien, Kathryn and
I dated Seven at one point. Are you afraid that Seven won't be able to
forgive you because of your… intimate relationship with the
I glared at him strongly with fear.
"Yes," I knew my eyes were red, but I refused to cry again in
front of my first officer regardless of how good a friend he was.
"I don't think that's it." He stated
"You're wrong. You should have seen her. She
recoiled from my touch and her face… " I swallowed, "…contained
revulsion." I said feeling sick to my stomach. "I have to face
it. I've lost her." The tears were almost coming despite my not
wanting them to.
"No," Chakotay said refusing my
explanation. "I've seen her lately and I don't think that's
"What else would it be?" I asked.
Chakotay's brow lowered in deep speculation.
"Seven is very loyal to you and Voyager. Have you considered that
maybe she feels responsible for your pain? Maybe she blames herself for
not being there for you. For letting the alien take her identity away
from her and using it to hurt the one person she cares for more than
Chakotay apparently thought he had discovered the
truth behind Seven's pain.
"She afraid of hurting you. Emotionally,
mentally and physically. She doesn't trust herself not to."
There I was with my stern face and red rimmed eyes
getting advice on my love life from my first officer, who just made a
"Go… talk to her, Kathryn. Don't let her
run away from her fear. She'll do it even to the extent of causing
herself anguish. Trust me, she's good at that."
I touched his hand, thanked him, handed him the
Bridge duties and left to hunt down Seven's whereabouts, praying the
young woman would at least listen to me.
I located her quickly with the computer's help and
strolled into Astrometrics without looking back. It was do or die time
and I had nothing more to lose.
"I need to speak with you." I stated.
"This is not a good time. I am on duty."
Her eyes were dead ahead on her terminal.
"I'm not leaving until you hear me out, then
you can do whatever you want." I said leaning on the console to get
a look at her expression. I saw tension, pain, fear and anger, but no
revulsion. Maybe my first officer was right.
"You have every right to be angry over what
I've done and… I’m sorry. I can't undo it. I would if I could, but
all I can say is that… I thought it was you. I thought I was loving
you... and I won't apologize for loving you."
Seven stared at me exasperated. "I am fully
aware that you had… copulated with the alien Kathryn. It was an exact
duplicate of me, body, mind and borg circuitry. The intimacy was done
under false pretenses. I do not hold that again you."
"You're not angry with me over that?!" I
"I am angry, but not at you! I let it happen!
I am angry that every waking moment, I must relive the nightmare of that
THING lying to you and causing you physical pain. With my FACE! I want
these memories to go away! But they won't… They never will." She
moved to a side console to avoid me.
"I cannot risk harming you again. I am sorry
Kathryn. I cannot love you for the simple reason that I cannot trust
myself." She added trying to concentrate on the data before her.
Tears came to my eyes as she berated herself for
all the things the alien did to us.
"It wasn't your fault." I said
"It was a copy of me! It should not have
harmed you." She negated my words refusing to listen to reason.
"That's a little naïve to think that just
because it’s a copy of you that it's going to behave with your morals.
Don't you think?" I couldn't let her get away with this
"You do not understand!" She threw the
words over her shoulder.
"Oh, I think I do." I said resolutely,
walking up next to her. "…and I have bad memories to live with as
well Seven. I let it manipulate me after I knew something was wrong. The
subsequent guilt for sleeping with it… The knowledge of its true goals…
The fact that I had to… to--" Streams of tears cut lose on me. I
didn't hold them back.
"Had to what!?"
"I had to kill you… " I purposely
looked down, avoiding her gaze. It was quiet for almost a minute. I
assumed she was livid and trying to contain it.
"I do not recall that event. I distinctly
remember it planning to gas the ship except for your quarters and
then it wanted to lure you to Engineering and demand that you surrender
Voyager, but I would not have the memories of those events, Kathryn. I
only have memories upto the last time it regenerated in my
I put my hand to my head, "I'm sorry. I'm so
sorry." I apologized profusely, but I was actually relieved that
she didn't have to relive those horrific moments.
"You are remorseful because you killed a
threat to your ship. You killed an alien… You may have thought it was
I and you may have thought I had betrayed you, but it was not I. Forgive
yourself because I have."
I brought my head up and she wiped my tears with
her fingers. Warmed by her touch and understanding, I moved in slowly
and held her head reverently between my hands. She covered my hands with
her own and Instinctually, I leaned in for a gentle, kiss barely
touching her lips.
"I am not ready for this." Seven
I looked at her shocked and disappointed.
"I'm not trying to seduce you, Seven, but I need to get her out of
my mind and the only way to do that is to start again. To try and
recover what we lost. Please? I don't know if I can get through this
without you. I need you... "
Seven dropped her hands to her sides, suddenly
feeling pressure to help the woman she loved through something she
wasn't sure she could help with. "How am I supposed to help you…
to love you, when I can't get those images out of my mind!!" Seven
exclaimed. A few tears of anguish rolled down off her cheeks dampening
She looked deathly afraid, but I was not going to
"We do it one step at a time. We build better
memories, better images, fresh, clean, honest, with only love."
Seven backed away, astonishment in her eyes.
"My love could be dangerous."
"So because you're afraid to try… you don't
want that with me anymore?!" I asked sharply.
Her jaw dropped open. "That is not true
Kathryn, I still love you, but rushing into a sexual encounter will not
necessarily make our pain go away. It may make it worse. I fear that you
won't forget what that copy did to you and that frightens me. I will
never forget and I am afraid I will hurt you and that is unacceptable. I
do not want to lose you, but this is… difficult for me to process. I
do not know what to do to alleviate this pain and confusion is all I
seem to feel."
"Yes, it is difficult… and it will be for
awhile I imagine. I'm having similar problems too. I was… intimate
with it from the beginning and I feel terrible for being so
ignorant… so naïve for not seeing the truth sooner."
Janeway let out a shaky breath. "but I have
to let it go, because I know now it wasn't you. It didn't have your soul
and even though it had your memories, the personality wasn't right. That
wasn't the kind, compassionate and loving woman I fell in love with.
That's why I know without a doubt you would never hurt me on
Seven's eyes met mine and I could see the love in
her eyes. She couldn't hide it from me anymore regardless of her pain.
"You have to have faith in yourself again…
in what we have. You forgave me so readily for my part in this, so I
need you to forgive yourself now. I told you… I'm not asking you for
sex. I'm not ready for that either, but I need to be near you Seven. I
need to know you're alive and well. I need to hear you breathing. I need
to feel your heartbeat against me. I just need you to hold me. I
need this. Will you let me?" I pleaded through my tears.
Her fear and anger diminished almost immediately
and with tears freely gushing down her face, she rushed into my arms. I
embraced her completely breathing a sigh of relief.
"Yes… I need that too." She responded
in a choked voice.
Four weeks later, Seven and I were on good terms,
slowly recovering from our almost destroyed relationship. We talked a
lot and simply held each other. We needed the time to work things out in
our minds and hearts. It was a slow and painful process, but necessary
to our future, if we had one.
As time went along, we could talk more about the
difficult issues that we had avoided in the past.
I invited her to my quarters one evening after my
duty shift, for a simple dinner of chicken and rice. She was familiar
with my cooking abilities so I didn't need to warn her as we sat quietly
over a casual dinner. Seven must have felt comfortable in the relaxed
atmosphere, because she brought up some of the more difficult topics.
"I'm surprised, Kathryn that you did not
suspect her earlier." She asked me as I rose a fork full of
rice to my mouth.
"Oh," I said, warily holding my fork up
with a piece of poultry on it. "She acted just like you."
"No," Seven said with certainty.
"She did not."
"How so?" I asked curiously after
swallowing the piece of chicken.
"First of all, I do not use contractions when
speaking. At least, I have not started to… yet."
I thought about it frowning. "Go on."
She put down her utensils. "I would not have
lied to you. I would have talked with you more about my day. I would
have verbalized my love for you and I would have meant it. I would have
held you in my arms more just for the sake of being close to you, the
true meaning of intimacy. I would have given you flowers and words of
love but I never---" She stopped suddenly.
I frowned as her face grew white. "What is
it, Seven?!" I reached out to put my hand over hers.
"I would never had been so… so… "
Seven turned her head, her face red with shame.
"Seven," I lifted her chin and brought
her face back to mine to look into her eyes. "You are NOT
responsible for what happened."
Seven's bottom lip trembled.
"Don't do this to yourself. There's already
enough guilt and shame to go around."
Seven carefully brought her human hand to my
cheek, hesitantly as if not sure she had the right to, but needed to
"I would have never been so… rough…
during intimacy." she said, a tear escaped from her human eye to
cascade down as she stroked my cheek softly. I could tell she loved me
from the sparkle in her eyes. "I would have made love to you
reverently Kathryn, gently, lovingly."
"Oh, Seven." I spluttered out thickly.
Tears flooded down my face. I could hardly keep my eyes open as I moved
in gently to touch Seven's lips. I captured Seven's bottom lip between
my own and pressed into it seeking redemption. Seven reciprocated
***** (3rd Person POV)
That night, deep blue eyes met crystal blue eyes
and they both knew everything would be all right. They would be all
right. They went into the bedroom hand in hand where they stood gazing
at each other before the bed. Clothing was carefully removed in between
impassioned kisses. There was no rush, no doubt… no hesitation.
They made love slowly, two lost souls in need of
Bodies devoid of clothing, touches occurred in
reverent exploration. Softly tracing patterns down each other's back
with fingers and lips, starting at the neck, along fine shoulders,
between firm breasts, across thin waists, down smooth thighs. Partaking
in the enjoyment at the wondrous feel of exquisite skin before lying
down together as one being on cool silky sheets.
The two women came together, in selflessness,
finally, able to consummate the true bond of love they shared for the
Heated bodies touched and hot open mouths gasped
into one another, seeking moist tongues to twirl with in a slow dance of
Sighs of acceptance.
Hands flowed through hair; auburn and fiery,
blonde and cool. Nipples were covered with lovingly moist lips, sucking,
licking, worshiping. Kisses trailed sensually down sweat dampened
Moans of delight. So eloquent.
Delicate strokes, tender touches, feather light
caresses. Wet folds filled with love and gentle motions. One for the
very first time.
Pants of pleasure.
Chests heaved with exertion, backs arched sharply.
Faces contorted in agony at such sweet pleasure.
Groans of euphoria. So Powerful…
Heads were thrown back, legs buckled as hips moved
languidly to full, deep, strokes… in… out…
Shouts of exultation. So painfully exquisite.
Hands clenched bed sheets tightly. Eyes rolled up
in their sockets.
Precious sensations… Rising, climbing,
reaching... ever so high until...
A gaze of crystal blue rested emotionally on her
writhing lover while in the throes of passion. Joyousness filled her
damaged soul at the wondrous sight. Only want to give her pleasure….
Never pain… Never… Such Passion in
her deep blue eyes… clean and pure. Meant for me!
A glance of deep-ocean blue rested passionately on
her spasming lover during the peak of ecstasy. Peace and forgiveness
cleansed her spirit at the beauty of her lover's first release. Only
want to show her love… Never loss… Never… Such emotion in her
crystal blue eyes… raw and honest. She loves me, unconditionally.
A Brilliant, white light engulfed both
participants. Waves of rolling thunder cascaded over them. The apex had
been reached. Cries echoed throughout the night and two spirits shouted
out in welcoming release.
For so many moments…
Quivering, trembling, throbbing, pulsing…
feverish with remnants of love, exploding like so many stars.
Slowly ebbing, falling, returning, calming,
Exhausted, glistening bodies held tightly to one
another, breathing in deeply to calm the joining of hearts that took
As glazed eyes sparkled into one another, tears
fell, love had been consummated and affirmed.
Hands intertwined, one mesh, one flesh; joining
delicately in union, fingers interlacing carefully around each other as
glazed eyes sparkled into each other conveying the unspoken words.
"I love you…"