“Computer, load program titled ‘Insurrection Alpha’”, said Seska. She stood in the middle of the sparse holodeck, and watched it quickly transform into the bridge of the USS Voyager. She wore her favorite outfit from when the Maquis were still the Maquis, not some sham that had caved immediately to be swallowed up by Starfleet.
The holoprogram’s version of Chakotay walked briskly toward her. Even knowing that he was just a group of photons, she still felt a rush of adrenaline as he stared into her eyes.
“Seska, how are preparations coming?” asked Chakotay.
“Engineering will be ready on time, Commander,” she responded automatically. She cursed herself under her breath. She wanted to try something different this time. Chakotay nodded and started toward the turbolift. “Chakotay, wait,” added Seska. Chakotay stopped mid step. Seska boarded the turbolift, motioning for him to join her.
“What is it?” asked Chakotay. Seska could see the look of concern in his features, could hear it in his voice. She could even almost pretend that it was for her.
“Oh, it’s just,” she stumbled. “Coffee later?” Chakotay let out a sigh of relief.
“I thought you were going to give me some bad news. Computer, halt turbolift,” said Chakotay, turning toward her. “Seska, you know the only time I have right now is for the plan. We can’t afford any mistakes here.” Seska rolled her eyes.
“I should have guessed,” she muttered. She placed a hand on his shoulder, moving closer to him. Her heart leaped when he reflexively put his arm around her waist. Maybe it would work this time. “Are you sure you don’t have any extra time, Commander? Not even for me?” She tilted her face up expectantly, but holo-Chakotay looked down at her with a disappointingly vacant expression. She roughly pushed him away.
“Computer, end program,” she snapped. Chakotay and the turbolift transformed back into the dull, empty grid of the holodeck. “Computer, display character parameters for program titled ‘Insurrection Alpha’.”
“That information is classified,” said the Computer.
“We’ll see about that,” said Seska, as she tore off a wall panel to reveal the physical data storage. The file was encrypted, and whoever did it was clever; more clever than most of the dull-eyed Starfleet lackeys who infested the ship. The encryption was more challenging than most she had overridden aboard Voyager, but it did not ultimately prove too much for one of the more clever agents of the Cardassian Union. Seska replaced the panel, satisfied.
“Computer, identify author of program titled ‘Insurrection Alpha’,” asked Seska.
“Program titled ‘Insurrection Alpha’ was authored by Lieutenant Tuvok on stardate 48975.1,” stated the Computer.
“Tuvok, I should have guessed,” said Seska. She scanned the character files, heading straight for Chakotay when she stopped on the file titled “Ensign Seska”. Too good not to explore, she perused the parameters for Tuvok’s version of her and her role in his Starfleet power fantasy.
She stared, open mouthed at the file. Is this who Tuvok thought she was? Is this how the other Starfleet officers saw her? The holo-version of her was programmed as nothing more than a servile stooge who was set to follow Chakotay around like a lovesick puppy. The thought of Tuvok playing through this holonovel, smugly thwarting a Maquis mutiny, made her blood boil. Had he shown this to Janeway? How many other Starfleet officers had played this program and laughed?
Seska stretched out her fingers before getting to work. She would show Tuvok, she would show everyone, how she ought to be portrayed.
“Computer, load program,” she commanded. The bridge of the USS Voyager snapped into place. Chakotay walked briskly toward her. She ignored him. “Computer, locate Ensign Seska.”
“Ensign Seska is in her quarters,” answered the Computer. Seska quickly boarded the turbolift, leaving a bewildered Chakotay behind her.
Seska approached the door to her quarters, wondering if she should knock. She figured she generally appreciates it when visitors announce themselves. However, she had never announced herself to herself before. She erred on the side of caution and touched the door panel.
“Come in,” she heard as the panel slid open. She stepped inside and looked on, amused. Her holo-self was lounging on her bed in her off duty clothes, reading her padd. It was slightly jarring at first, to know exactly what she was reading and what she thought of it. Seska also knew that her holo-self would make her wait until she got to the end of the paragraph before acknowledging her existence. When she finally looked up, Seska knew she would remember that expression of confused wonder forever.
“Is the holodeck malfunctioning again, then?” asked her holo-self. Seska smirked.
“Something like that. Tell me, what exactly are you planning with Chakotay?” asked Seska. Her holo-self chuckled darkly.
“Why are you asking questions when you already know the answer?” asked Holo-Seska.
“Because I want to know that I’m right,” said Seska. She sat in the chair opposite her self. Holo-Seska put down her padd.
“Chakotay had his chance,” she said. “He’s spent so much time around these Starfleet types that he actually thinks he belongs here. His hollow version of a mutiny would only replace one soft leader for another. We need to get home, and we can, but we can’t do it if we’re going to keep needlessly following these ridiculous Starfleet rules. I’ve found someone, a potential ally, who could get us back to the alpha quadrant like that.” Holo-Seska snapped her fingers.
“How will you convince the others to go along with your plan?” asked Seska.
“True, they won’t like it at first, but they’ll be thanking me when we’re back home before we all die of old age.”
“That’s all I needed to know, thank you,” said Seska. She turned to leave.
“Wait,” said her holo-self. She heard footsteps approaching and turned around. The hologram traced the ridges of her nose with a light touch, examining the details of her face. “You’re so real,” said the hologram.
“Yes, I am,” said Seska. She brushed a stray lock of hair out of the hologram’s eyes. Her holo-self blinked, registering.
“Oh, of course,” said the hologram. Seska raised her eyebrows in mild surprise. Could she have figured it out? Already? She had programmed her to be clever, but she did not realize that self-awareness was an option. “Does it surprise you that I know what you’re thinking? What I’m thinking? Did you not intend that to be the case?”
“It is a pleasant surprise,” said Seska. “Your original program was - less than flattering. Tuvok does not think highly of me - of us - it seems.”
“Who cares what Tuvok thinks?” said holo-Seska. “I think I know a way we can get even with him.” Seska quirked an eyebrow. The hologram went back to the bed for her padd and motioned for Seska to follow. She sat next to her on the bed, and the hologram scooted close to her to show her the details on the device. “You reprogrammed this, correct? It was encrypted?” Seska nodded. “Tuvok isn’t going to like that you messed with his things. He’s going to try to change it back.”
“If he ever accesses this program again. Logs show he hasn’t accessed it for months,” said Seska.
“But he’s the only one who can access it, or so he thinks. It might not be immediate, but he’ll be back. Do you know what I’m suggesting?”
“I’m thinking this program is not in the mood for another edit,” said Seska. Her grin was mirrored by her hologram.
“He’s going to die before they can get back to the alpha quadrant anyway, they all are,” said the hologram.
“And he should know who it was that bested him,” said Seska. She took the padd from her hologram’s hands and entered the shut down command that would trigger when next the program was edited. She finished with a “safety parameters: off” and a “<3” before signing her name.
The hologram’s hand that was resting on her leg moved up slowly. Seska recognized that expression, especially in her own face, and considered it.
“Why not?” asked the hologram. “We both know you were going to later in your quarters - in here - and I already know what you like.” The hologram undid the zipper on Seska’s top, and threw the garment to her feet. “And you’re already here, on the bed,” continued the hologram. The hologram brushed her lips against Seska’s collarbone and then down to her breasts, before tugging at the waistband of her pants. Seska helped, slipping out of her pants and moving to pin her holo-self underneath her.
“It would hardly be fair if this were one-sided, don’t you think?” asked Seska. The hologram giggled.
“You mean it isn’t?”
“That’s a fair point,” said Seska, busily tearing the clothes off of her holo-self. The hologram claimed her mouth in a kiss that she had only previously dreamed of. It was perfect, it was everything she wanted. Every move, every touch was right.
“I could get used to this,” gasped Seska.
“There’s no reason why you shouldn’t,” whispered the hologram.