Chapter 1: The punishment
B'Elanna and Seven stood with lowered heads in the captain's ready room. Kathryn sat behind her desk and looked at both women with a punishing look. Kathryn sighed deeply before getting up from her chair, approaching her two officers, circling and studying her.
"How many times have we met here to discuss your quarrels?" She asked resignedly. Both B'Elanna and Seven knew that the captain was not expecting an answer. Both women were equally aware that it had happened too often and that this time the captain had lost their patience with them.
"It was too often for my taste." Kathryn said sternly. "So I think this time it's fair to prevent us from ever meeting again because of your disputes. In the next two weeks you will spend one hour a day with each other in your free time. It is up to you how you spend or design this time. But I very much hope that you do not hit your heads during this time, arguing or hushing. I expect you to make good use of this lesson, get to know each other, treat each other with respect, and eventually make peace." said Kathryn and B'Elanna looked appalled.
"Captain, that's ..." B'Elanna did not get any further because Kathryn had raised her hand and stopped her.
"Your objection, based on your previous behavior, is ineffective Lieutenant! My God, both of you have been on Voyager's leadership and as such, you should behave yourself!" Kathryn said sternly, looking at both women again with their special captain's look, which represented both disappointment and severity.
Kathryn was most sorry about this punishment for Seven. She knew that the young woman was seldom guilty of the quarrel and was still struggling to understand human behaviors and was still integrating herself into the crew. On B'Elanna, on the other hand, she was extremely angry because she had expected more from her chief engineer. Kathryn very much hoped that the punishment would have a positive effect on the relationship between B'Elanna and Seven and not make things worse.
"After the hour spent together, I expect a detailed report from each of you on the activity that has taken place and an analysis of how useful the activity was to improve their relationship with each other. And for that to be clear, if that does not work, I'm even ready to put you in a detention cell for that hour. Dismiss!" The captain ordered.
B'Elanna looked at her captain with an open mouth and was speechless. Tears welled up in her eyes, which she held back with all the willpower she could muster.
Seven, on the other hand, raised her chin arrogantly, turned around and left the captain's ready room without saying anything for punishment.
"Dismiss!" The captain commanded once more as she realized that B'Elanna still stood rock-solid in her seat and looked almost as if she was about to start a fierce discussion.
B'Elanna glared at her captain again before she turned and left the ready room quickly. Kathryn stepped relieved behind her desk and sat down in her chair with a sigh.
"Damn, these can be two very tough long weeks, not only for B'Elanna and Seven, but for me and the crew as well." Kathryn cursed and closed her eyes exhausted.
Chapter 2: *** 1 day ***
B'Elanna stood with strained muscles in front of the doors of Cargo Bay 2. It was all in her mind to enter the realm of Seven of Nine, to mime with the ex-drone for an hour of "love, peace, and harmony."
Seven got on her nerves with her fuss. As she always stood with her hands crossed behind her back in the room, arrogantly sticking out her chin and giving everyone, really everyone present, the feeling of being inferior to the ex-drone. *Argggggggggg*
B'Elanna really hated that. She did not hate Seven, just her affectation. Her arrogant, icy and cool, condescending way she looked at the crewmembers. As she stated with her Borgwissen, how she always knew better and wanted to make everything as accurate as possible. How to point out small mistakes B'Elanna made now and then. How she wanted to improve everything and make it more efficient. But on the other hand, Starfleet ignored rules and often bypassed the chain of command to implement their own goals. The fact that she disturbed the work of others, the Exborg seldom interested. *Argggggggggggg*
Only the thought of having to spend her precious free time, even if it was only an hour, with this person made her infinitely angry.
Accordingly frustrated and annoyed, she entered Cargo Bay 2.
"Seven." B'Elanna said a little wooden.
"Lt. Torres." Seven returned.
At that both remained silent for a long moment. B'Elanna was not sure what to do next, and Seven did not seem interested in taking the first step, in her opinion. As she still glued her gaze on the work console and operated the buttons.
B'Elanna sighed deeply and heavily.
"Okay, listen, as I see it, we both do not want to spend our free time together. How about we come up with something we've done, write a report on it, pretend to be friends now, and both of us back on our way?" She asked.
Seven looked skeptically at B'Elanna and raised her eyebrow questioningly. "You mean we should lie to the captain and falsify reports?"
"Yes, that's what I mean. I mean, we're grown-up enough to get it right? We just have to stop fighting and everything is fine. We do not have to spend the next two weeks becoming best friends. We just do it and everything is good." Explained B'Elanna and was very proud that she had just remembered that. With a little luck, Seven would realize that this procedure was very efficient.
"I'm Borg, I do not know how to lie and falsify reports." Explained then Seven and B'Elanna's happiness lessened.
Why did everything have to be so complicated with Seven? *Arggggggggg* Frustrated, B'Elanna raised her arms and ruffled her hair, grabbing her. Then she counted in her mind to ten, until she had calmed down again.
"Okay, listen. Here's the deal, you can keep working on your work console and I sit down and take a nap. Then, when the hour is up, we agree on a story that we write in our report. Tomorrow we will do the same. We think up a story again and write it in the report. This is how we proceed with all 14 days and everything is in perfect order. The captain will never find out what we really did. We only have to pull ourselves together from now on and no longer quarrel with each other. Okay?" B'Elanna asked worriedly.
Seven looked at B'Elanna and thought about it for a few minutes. B'Elanna could see exactly how it rattled and rattled in Seven's head. Restless, she stepped from one leg to the other, hoping that Seven would only play this once and would not let the smart ass hang out.
"Acceptable." Seven replied as she thought about everything. The idea with Lt. Torres spending time, but being free to do what she wanted to do, pleased her more than spending time with Lt. Torres, but having to do what the Lt. Torres wanted.
"How do we proceed?" She asked.
"Well, we should think of something nice, what we could have done, then write it down and then everyone does what he wants."
"What's something nice?" Seven asked, looking uncertain at B'Elanna.
"Yes, we could write in the report that we got together today and made a plan of what we want to do over the next few days. That's not a lie, if you take a closer look." B'Elanna replied, grinning at Seven.
"Acceptable." Seven replied, returning to her work console and analyzing her data as B'Elanna sat down on the floor, leaning against a container behind her and closing her eyes.
"Maybe the next few days will not be as exhausting as feared." Kathryn sighed, relieved.
Chapter 3: *** 2nd and 3rd day ***
On the second and third day, B'Elanna and Seven met in Cargo Bay 2. Seven worked as always focused on her work console, while B'Elanna had sat in a corner and wanted to relax.
But somehow she did not want to succeed today. Again and again she looked over at Seven and became more and more restless with every minute that seemed eternal.
Annoyed that she did not find peace, she got up and walked over to Seven, looking at what Seven was working on. But Seven had been so in front of her work console, she could see nothing.
"What are you doing all the time?" B'Elanna asked curiously.
Seven looked up at her, looked at her sheepishly and stiffened. She put her arms behind her back and put on her borg mask.
B'Elanna still looked at her curiously and raised her eyebrow questioningly. "Seven?"
"Lt. Torres, I'm working on my report to the next space sector, which we ..."
B'Elanna interrupted Seven annoyed and rolled her eyes.
"By Kahles, call me at least in our shared leisure hours B'Elanna and not always Lt. Torres." She said, ruffling her hair and tugging at her.
Seven looked at B'Elanna irritably.
"But that's your title, I'd be inaccurate if I just called you B'Elanna." Seven pointed out.
"God Lord again Seven, just call me B'Elanna. That's annoying. We are here below us and we are not on duty. So please, please only once, please do what I ask you to do." B'Elanna answered almost desperately.
Seven frowned at B'Elanna and thought for a moment, but before she could answer, the doors from the Cargo Bay 2opened and Naomi walked in.
"Hello Seven, Lt. Torres." The little girl greeted the two women.
"Naomi Wildman." Seven said to her in a gentle tone, and Naomi gave her a smile.
"What brings you here?" Seven asked shortly afterwards friendly.
"My mom is still working and Neelix is busy in the mess hall. I was bored. Therefore, I am here and wanted to ask you play Kadeskot with me?" Asked the little girl and looked at Seven with a winning smile.
Seven turned to B'Elanna and looked at her for a moment.
"I'm sorry Naomi, I spend a free time with Lt. Torres. In 48 minutes, I have time for you." said Seven and Naomi's smile died short. Then Naomi turned to B'Elanna.
"I am sorry. I did not know you were here too. I did not want to disturb. I'll go back and come back later." She said and wanted to go again.
"No, please stay. You do not disturb me or Seven. Seven could, if she wishes, play Kadeskot with you now. Are not you Seven?" B'Elanna asked Seven sweetly.
Seven looked irritated at B'Elanna, then nodded her head.
"Yes, we can start now. Do you have your game board with you?"
"No, but I can get it quickly." Naomi replied and stormed happily from Cargo Bay 2.
Seven looked at B'Elanna once more uncertainly. Not knowing what to say, she turned back to her work console and saved her previous data on her report, logging out of her work console.
A short time later, Naomi came back with her Kadekot game board and happily dropped it onto a box that was about waist high. Then she began to build the different stones.
"Seven, do you want the green stones, how always?"
"Yes." Seven answered a little stiffly and stood next to Naomi. As soon as all the pieces were in place, Naomi pushed two more boxes and both sat down on it.
Quickly, they were so absorbed in the game that they completely forgot B'Elanna.
However, B'Elanna was fascinated by watching Seven and Naomi playing together. Suddenly quite unexpected, even Seven's face stole a smile when she played a good move that Naomi had not expected, and Naomi was able to steal several Kadeskotstones.
"Kadeskot" called the young ex-drone in joy. But Naomi did not seem to mind, but was happy with Seven alike.
"Again, yes?" The little girl asked excitedly and Seven grinned at her and nodded to her.
B'Elanna was astonished. "Wow, our ice princess, is actually enjoying something." It went through her mind.
Without the three noticed, the penalty hour and another hour passed in no time.
B'Elanna had experienced Seven from a completely different side during that time. Seven was suddenly no longer the stubborn, arrogant and supercooled drone, but you could see that she had fun. She was looser and often smiled as she won, she beaming and when she lost, she actually had a pout. Maybe the ice princess was not as bad as she had always thought. And maybe the captain was right, that they both had to get to know each other better. Maybe that would really improve your working relationship?
B'Elanna had been against from the beginning that Seven was taken up on the Voyager. She'd thought the captain was crazy at the time, and she had never really tried to get to know Seven, or understand her actions or behavior, since the time Seven was aboard Voyager. She had always been very annoyed with her, whether it was for a reason or just because she was always annoyed with Seven and her kind.
*Maybe it was really time to get to know Seven better and maybe you could steer the young drone in a direction that was quite beneficial for you? And maybe Naomi was a good ally.* B'Elanna thought.
B'Elanna therefore offered to accompany Naomi to her quarters when she had to go home.
Naomi beamed at B'Elanna and nodded eagerly with her head.
"Yes, Seven is so nice and we always have a good time together. She knows so much, and if I did not want to become the captain's assistant, I'd like to be like her. But Seven says that would not be a good course of action and my mom would not like it either." Naomi babbled away cheerfully.
"Do you know that Seven and I have to spend an hour a day together for punishment to get to know each other, so we can get along better?" B'Elanna asked, as Naomi had to take a breath and thus her talkativeness stopped.
Naomi looked at B'Elanna sheepishly. "Yes, I've heard of it. The whole ship is talked about. I think there's even bets on when you'll argue the next time and hurt your body." Naomi replied, looking anxiously at B'Elanna. "You will not argue and hurt you, will you?"
"No, of course not Kiddo, promise. But how do you know about the bets? You should not know about that." B'Elanna pointed out.
Naomi beamed at B'Elanna as she eased her anxiety with promises not to argue or hurt.
"I'm often in the mess hall and there I hear this and that. No one pays attention to me when I'm there. That's why I listen a lot." Naomi said softly and B'Elanna went pale.
*Shit, what did the kid know?* B'Elanna thought.
"Hm ... does your mom know that you can hear a lot of what's being discussed in the mess hall?"
"No, she would not want me to be there so often. Please Lt. Torres, do not tell her." asked Naomi desperately.
"I do not know. I think your mom should know about it and that it would be better if you did not hear so much about adult things that are not for your ears. I can not promise you to keep it for me. But I can promise you to think about it. Okay?" B'Elanna asked.
"Okay" Naomi said dejectedly.
"Hey kiddo, I'm sorry. But I'll make you another suggestion. OK?"
Naomi looked at B'Elanna curiously and nodded her head.
"How about you help me understand Seven better and spend the penalty hour with us every now and then? You would not be in the mess hall that often and you would do me a huge favor. "
"What do you want to know about Seven?" Naomi asked uncertainly.
"Oh, nothing special." B'Elanna replied and waved her hand. "What do you say, do you want to spend tomorrow or another day in the next 11 days with us?"
"If my mom allows it, like." Naomi said smiling.
"Sure, we have to ask your mom first. I can do that right now." B'Elanna said pleased. Because it would make the next few days with Seven, certainly easier.
After delivering Naomi home, B'Elanna took Samantha Wildman aside.
"Sam, you know that with Seven I got that stupid punishment from Captain. And now I wanted to ask you, if Naomi may spend some days together with us the hour. Surely you know that Seven and I do not get along well with each other. And Naomi could really help to relax the situation between us." Explained B'Elanna and Sam looked at her thoughtfully.
"Have you already asked Naomi if she would like to spend time with you and Seven?" She asked.
"Yes, she would really be happy. I thought we could spend the time together on the holodeck. Did not you even mention that you always wanted to teach her how to swim but never had the time to do it? Seven and I, we could do that." offered B'Elanna.
"That would be really good. Okay, my permission had Naomi, but only on the condition that you and Seven, promise me never to argue with you in the presence of Naomi. Can you promise me that?" Sam asked worriedly.
"Yes, I promise, high and holy." Swore B'Elanna.
"Well, I'll let Naomi know she can spend time with you and Seven. When should she come to you tomorrow?"
"Oh, I'll let you know tomorrow, I'll have to rent a holodeck and convince Seven of my idea." B'Elanna replied, saying goodbye to the Wildmans.
On her way to her quarters, she wondered how she could persuade Seven to spend the penal lessons at Holodeck instead of in dark Cargo Bay 2.
Chapter 4: *** 4th Day***
"LT. Torres to Seven."
"Seven, I've been thinking about our deal again and I think the captain is right, that we should at least try to get to know each other better so that we can put our differences aside better. Therefore, I would like to take you to the holodeck today. I also asked Naomi yesterday if she would like to come with us. And Naomi, but also her mom agree. What do you say to that?" asked B'Elanna and waiting for Seven's answer.
"Seven?" B'Elanna asked after a while, when she did not hear from Seven.
"What will we do on the holodeck?" Seven asked skeptically.
"I thought we were going swimming. I promised Sam that we would teach Naomi how to swim. So what do you say?" B'Elanna asked impatiently.
"I can not swim." Seven promptly explained.
B'Elanna sighed deeply before replying. "No problem, then I'll teach you both."
"What's needed to go swimming?" Seven asked curiously.
"Just a bathing suit, but we can replicate it for you on the spot. See you later, then?"
"Acceptable." Seven replied, breaking the connection. B'Elanna gave a sigh of relief.
"Well, then it can start. Come on." B'Elanna challenged them.
Naomi followed eagerly as Seven paused at the holodeck's door.
B'Elanna turned to look at her questioningly. "Are you coming?"
Seven swallowed, twice, and then entered the holodeck.
B'Elanna had previously searched out a holo program, where a small swimming pool was integrated. The pool was not very big, only about 10 meters long and 5 meters wide. It was also not very deep and the water would only go Naomi up to the chest. So perfect for learning to swim.
"Come, there are the changing rooms. I have already replicated bathing suits for us. All we have to do is change." Explained B'Elanna and went ahead.
In the dressing room, Naomi quickly undressed and put on her swimsuit, which adorned a small image of a starfish. Seven, however, looked at her swimsuit skeptically and hesitated to change. B'Elanna was already wearing her bathing suit under her casual clothes, so all she had to do was take her clothes off.
But when she realized that Seven was still undecided with her bathing suit in her hands, she sighed heavily inside.
"Seven, what's up?" She asked, walking over to the young woman.
"I'm not sure how to put it on." she confessed softly.
"I'll help you, but first you have to take off your organic suit." offered B'Elanna helpfully.
Before B'Elanna could turn away to give Seven the privacy she needed, Seven had already opened the closure of her organic suit. This also fell right down her upper body.
B'Elanna looked speechless. For one, because of the action itself, but also at the sight of Seven upper body. Seven breasts, were much smaller than the organic suit had always suggested, but they were also beautifully shaped. Her skin was flawless white and only the abdominal implant bothered at sight. It looked grotesquely out of place. B'Elanna drew a deep breath into her lungs as she felt her blood rushing.
Seven body could probably leave no one cold. Not even B'Elanna, who had never been interested in Seven's feminine preferences.
Meanwhile, Seven had now pushed her organic suit over her hips and he fell to the ground and thus released her long legs. B'Elanna turned quickly to avoid staring at Seven's naked body like a voyeur.
"Lt. To ... B'Elanna, you wanted to help me with the bathing suit." Seven reminded her instead.
Sighing, B'Elanna turned back to Seven, trying not to look at Seven's naked body. "Right, please give it to me." She demanded and when Seven gave her the bathing suit, she took it and turned it so that Seven could get in with her legs.
"Please get in here first with your right foot." B´Elanna turned to Seven and knelt in front of the young woman. "Good and now your left foot."
After Seven got into the holes, B'Elanna took the swimsuit up to Seven's hips. As she did so, her hands grazed Seven's skin and her eyes briefly saw Seven's step with the many little blond curls. Her nose took on the pleasant smell of Seven and suddenly her head whirred and her heart began to beat wildly. She got up quickly and took a few steps back from Seven.
Seven looked at her irritated.
"Pull the rest of the swimsuit over your breasts and push your arms through the holes as if you're putting on your organic suit. I think you can do it alone. I'll go with Naomi." Explained B'Elanna and quickly took Naomi's hand and pulled her outside to the pool. Naomi looked back at Seven in surprise as she left the locker room.
Confused, Seven stayed behind and did not know what had just happened. She had heard that B'Elanna's heart had begun to beat wildly and she had also seen that her pupils had widened. But why that happened, she did not know. Frowning, she pulled her bathing suit over her breasts and pushed her arms through the holes provided.
Dressed but still confused, Seven also left the dressing room and headed out to the pool.
In the pool B'Elanna was already teaching Naomi the first swimming exercises. Naomi lay in her arms, following her instructions and moving her arms and legs just as B'Elanna had shown her shortly before.
Meanwhile, Seven stood at the edge of the pool and looked uncertainly at the water.
"Seven, come in the water. It is pleasantly warm and it is not deep. It's only up to your waist." B'Elanna tried to persuade her to come in.
When Seven was still standing motionless on the edge of the pool, B'Elanna looked at Naomi questioningly. Naomi nodded her head and B'Elanna released her, allowing Naomi to enter the water.
"Look, the water only goes to Naomi's sternum. It really is not deep. I thought the Borg were not afraid of anything." B'Elanna tried another turn now to get Seven to come in.
Seven arrogantly raised her chin and glared at B'Elanna, but said nothing.
Naomi ran through the water to Seven at the edge of the pool and held out her hand to her.
"Seven, come on, I'll help you." Said the little girl and Seven looked at her gratefully. Then she knelt down and took Naomi's hand in hers. Carefully, she let her feet slide into the water and shortly thereafter she stood completely in the water. What really only went over her hips a bit.
B'Elanna looked at her and winked at her. "You see, is not bad, right?" She asked Seven, but Seven still held Naomi's hand and looked at B'Elanna uncertainly.
"Computer please project two swimming boards." Ordered B'Elanna, right after the desired swimming boards appeared.
"Okay, these are buoyancy aids, you lie down with your upper body and hold on while you make the swimming moves with your legs." Explained B'Elanna and gave Naomi and Seven the boards.
Naomi immediately lay down on her board and immediately started paddling through the pool. Seven, on the other hand, looked skeptically at her board and made no move to follow B'Elanna's instructions.
B'Elanna sighed deeply and looked at Seven impatiently.
"Seven, what's going on?" She asked.
"The board will not hold me, my body is too heavy for it, through my implants." She said quietly and embarrassed.
"No, it will keep you afloat and if it does not, I'll be right next to you and hold you tight. Okay?" B'Elanna asked a bit more softly now that she understood that Seven was really worried.
Seven swallowed twice, then nodded shyly. Carefully, she put her upper body on the board, but stood with her feet on the pelvic floor. B'Elanna stepped closer to her and put her hands around Seven's waist.
"I hold you tight, do not worry. Come on trust me. Take one foot up from the pelvic floor and then the second foot. I am right here. Nothing can happen to you. Promise." B'Elanna gently said to Seven.
Naomi paddled around the pool for her second or third round and beamed at Seven as she passed.
"Seven, swimming is really fun, please try it." She shouted to her.
Seven sighed deeply and followed B'Elanna's instructions. To her surprise, B'Elanna really held her tight as she lifted her feet from the pelvic floor and her torso was lying on the board, keeping her well above the water.
"See, it holds you. I let you go now and you are doing the leg movements I showed Naomi earlier. OK?"
Seven nodded and B'Elanna released her slowly. Carefully, Seven moved her legs, making her first swim. After swimming a few meters this way, realizing that she was doing well, she happily beamed at Naomi and B'Elanna.
Naomi happily cheered Seven and B'Elanna looked at Seven with some pride.
After Naomi and Seven paddled several rounds in the pool, with their boards, they began to become more daring and to wet themselves while swimming. At first it started harmlessly, but at some point both were involved in a true water battle and splashed only wild, the water around them.
B'Elanna watched them laughing and did not try to get involved in the water battle.
Without the three seeing it, their hour at the holodeck passed rather quickly, the more surprised they were when the computer voice told them the end of their class in 10 min.
Naomi and Seven looked disappointed, but then grudgingly left the pool. B'Elanna then decided to rent the holodeck for two hours next time.
Seven looked at B'Elanna uncertainly.
"I do not need food intake at the time." Seven replied again in her natural stiffness. B'Elanna looked at her disappointed and then shrugged her shoulder.
"Okay, see you tomorrow." she said curtly, leaving Seven in the hallway and hurrying to the nearest turbolift.
As she walked to her quarters, she thought about the last hour with Seven and Naomi. She had a lot of fun with them and was really looking forward to tomorrow. Especially Seven had surprised her. She never thought that Seven would be afraid of swimming, when Seven always said that the Borg are not afraid and can do anything. But just her initial fear had shown B'Elanna a new page from Seven. A vulnerable side that B'Elanna had addressed in some way, so that her desire to keep Seven safe during her swimming exercises. That had surprised B'Elanna very much. Normally, she had never felt so protective of anyone.
Lost in thought of Seven, B'Elanna took her dinner. Without realizing it, she sighed several times.
Chapter 5: ***5 Day***
B'Elanna ran mad, down the hallway of the Voyager, heading for Cargo Bay 2. As soon as the doors opened, she quickly walked over to Seven, who stood quietly at her work console and entered some data.
"Seven, what do you think about canceling our punishment today? Did not you hear the captain? I do not feel like spending the time we spend together in the brig because of you. So how do you think you have the right to cancel?" B'Elanna asked angrily.
Seven, on the other hand, did not even look up from her work console, but continued to focus on her work.
"Naomi did not have time to swim today and I can not go swimming today, so I canceled my participation." she replied stoically.
"Why in Kahles name, can not you go swimming today?" B'Elanna asked annoyed.
"That has personal reasons." Seven said curtly, briefly raising her head to face B'Elanna.
B'Elanna blinked irritably at Seven. What, personal reasons? Seven had no privacy, how could she have personal reasons?
"What personal reasons would that be?" B'Elanna hacked curiously.
"It's personal reasons because it's nobody's business. Therefore, I do not owe you an answer." Seven answered icily.
"Oh yes? Well, if you do not want to tell me, I'll personally inform the captain that you canceled the punitive hour for alleged personal reasons." B'Elanna replied, glaring at Seven.
"The captain will understand and accept my reasoning. But I think we should not bother her with that. You could sit down and spend punitive hour here, as we did in the beginning." Seven pointed out.
"Okay, but I would like to know about you, why you can not go swimming today? You had fun swimming yesterday." B'Elanna tried again, but Seven ignored her.
Annoyed and frustrated, B'Elanna sat down on the steps in front of Seven's alcove and looked at the exborg, as she stood stiffly at her console and entered data. The longer she watched Seven, the more she got the impression that something was wrong with her. She moved even stiffer than usual and every now and then she even twisted her face.
So B'Elanna got up after a while and looked at Seven up close. She noticed that Seven had a strange looking spot on her neck. From where she stood, it looked like a dark stain. When B'Elanna stepped a step closer to Seven, she finally realized what it was. It was a bruise that had already turned blue black.
B'Elanna frowned and rubbed her forehead crests. Seven had not had that injury yesterday. So where the hell did she get this?
"Seven?" B'Elanna asked as she stood close to her. Seven was startled and flinched, not realizing how close B'Elanna was to her. She had been too absorbed in her work and had not realized that B'Elanna had come to her.
"What's that?" B'Elanna asked, pointing to Seven's neck injury.
Seven moved away from B'Elanna and looked pale.
"Nothing." she answered curtly, turning away from B'Elanna.
"That does not look like *nothing*. So what is that?" B'Elanna asked again, this time stricter, taking Seven's arm in her hand to turn her over.
Seven winced in pain and B'Elanna suddenly released her arm.
"Seven? Tell me what is going on. Please." she asked worriedly, looking at the young Exborg.
Seven abruptly dropped her shoulder and head and sat on the steps to her alcove.
B'Elanna sat down beside her and they both remained silent for a while.
"That looks like you should show it to the doctor."
"I do not want the doctor to look at it." Seven said softly.
"How did it happen?" B'Elanna asked worriedly.
"That's irrelevant. It will heal. My nanoprobes are already doing it."
"May I have a look at the injury? I've stashed a skin generator in my quarters for emergencies where I do not want to see the doctor. "
Seven looked at B'Elanna and thought about it.
"Will you keep it for yourself?" Seven asked anxiously.
"Yes, for sure. We difficult patients have to hold together." B`Elanna winked at Seven and Seven was beaten.
"I can not open my bio-suit on my own, my shoulder hurts too much." Seven confessed softly.
B'Elanna nodded to her. "Where do I open your organic suit?" She asked.
"At my neck." Seven turned her back to B'Elanna and B'Elanna saw the clasp and opened it carefully. When B'Elanna saw the full extent of the injuries on Seven's back, she drew in a sharp breath. Seven's right back side was full of hematomas that turned purple black.
"By Kahles, what happened?" She asked, startled.
Seven turned her head to B'Elanna and looked at her calmly.
"That's irrelevant." she replied stoically. Then, with her left hand, she gently pushed her organic suit off her right shoulder and bared her upper body. She pinched her lips in pain and B'Elanna stood up to look at Seven's upper body. There were also several hematomas and bruises in the chest and abdominal area. Seven's right side looked pretty bad, even for a Klingon.
"That's what the doctor should look at. I bet you've broken internal injuries, maybe broken a rib or two. Are you having trouble breathing?" B'Elanna, still shocked, asked about Seven's physical condition.
But Seven looked at B'Elanna, aghast. "No, not the doctor. I'm fine, it only hurts a little." Seven replied desperately.
"Then tell me how that happened and when?" B'Elanna demanded.
"This morning, I wanted to get something out of a container up there. I was not paying attention and fell off the ladder." Seven answered, looking ashamed on the floor.
"This morning? God damn Seven, you ran around the whole day hurtled and did your work as if nothing had happened?" B'Elanna asked angrily.
Seven nodded her head. "I am Borg. Borg adapt."
"Oh shit, do not give me the nonsense. You're hurt and your nano probes do not seem to have done much to heal your injuries. Or were you injured worse this morning?"
Seven looked away from B'Elanna and pulled her organic suit over with her left hand as best she could. B'Elanna sighed in frustration and stepped up to Seven's side.
"Come on, let's beam to my quarters. I'll take a closer look at your injuries there. Maybe I can get a bone regenerator from the infirmary, "B'Elanna replied, initiating a "place to place" transport by delivering the required code, the computer. A few seconds later, both women materialized in B'Elanna's quarters.
"Okay, wait here, I'll quickly get a tricorder and the skin generator." With that B'elanna disappeared into her bedroom and Seven stood embarrassed in her living room.
After a short while, B'Elanna returned with the tricorder, the skin generator, and some other things.
"We take off the organic suit first. Wait, I'll help you." B'Elanna hurried to Seven's side and helped her undress.
"Please look at the panties. Why are you completely naked under your organic suit?" B'Elanna asked curiously.
"The doctor did not replicate my underwear, the organic suit is also very tight, no underwear fits under it." Seven explained as she put on the panties with B'Elanna's help.
"Ah okay. Is not the bio suit scrubbing into your private parts?" B'Elanna asked as she scanned Seven with the tricorder.
"Sometimes, but it's bearable." Confessed Seven and B'Elanna looked up from the tricorder's displays and raised her eyebrow questioningly.
"Sometimes? How often is sometimes?" She asked skeptically. Seven looked embarrassed to the side.
"Seven, come on. Answer me, please." B'Elanna asked a little softer.
"Always." Seven confessed softly and B'Elanna shook her head in disbelief.
"Always? No wonder you are such a nuisance sometimes. Why did not you ever do something about it?"
"What should I have done?" Asked Seven shyly.
"Hm ... dunno, maybe replicate a bio-suit that allows you to wear underwear?" B'Elanna replied a little annoyed.
Seven bit her lower lip and looked so incredibly vulnerable to it.
"I'm sorry, I just can not believe that you've been running the organic suit for over two years, even though it causes you pain because it's so tight." B'Elanna replied.
B'Elanna turned back to the tricorder's displays and analyzed them.
"Hm ... the good news is that you have no broken ribs and no internal injuries, the bad news is that you have a shoulder strain. That means you have to keep your shoulder steady. I'll get a bone regenerator from the infirmary so we can handle it. We treat best first your bruises and your hematoma, then I go to the infirmary. OK?"
Seven nodded and B'Elanna began to lead the skin generator through Seven bruises. The procedure took quite a while, in which both women acted silently.
"Okay, I think the skin generator has to be recharged as long as I go to the infirmary." B'Elanna took a shirt off the couch and handed it to Seven.
"Please put this on and make yourself comfortable on the couch. I'll be right back." B'Elanna ordered and left her quarters in a hurry.
Meanwhile, Seven sat on the couch and let her gaze wander over B'Elanna's living room. When she looked at everything from her position, she closed her eyes and allowed her thoughts to wander.
Immediately the voices shouted inside her that she did not deserve it, that she was helped and cared for her injuries. That she was unworthy, she did not deserve B´Elannas help and it was wasted time.
Seven immediately opened her eyes again and banished her thoughts from her head. The voices were right, she should not be here to B'Elanna. She should return to Cargo Bay 2. Where she belonged. She did not belong here. Seven got up quickly from the couch and grabbed her organic suit and walked to the quarter door. Before she reached them, B'Elanna entered her quarters completely out of breath and looked at Seven in astonishment.
"Where do you want to go?" She asked in astonishment.
"I ... I ..." Seven paused and gave up.
"Did you want to go?" B'Elanna asked indignantly and Seven nodded her head.
"Why, for the sake of the will? Your shoulder is still injured and should be treated." B'Elanna replied loudly, glaring at Seven.
"I am Borg, I will adapt. My nano-probes are already repairing the damage. I thank you for your help, but now I have to go." Seven said hurriedly and wanted to go past B'Elanna to the quarter door, but B'Elanna stood in her way.
"Do not talk nonsense. You are not going anywhere. Not until we've treated your shoulder. So sit down and let me handle your shoulder. Incidentally, it took a lot of persuasion to get the bone generator from the doctor. I explained that I wanted to improve him and needed a model." B'Elanna explained as she pushed Seven to a chair by her dining table and helped Seven take off her shirt.
After B'Elanna had led the bone generator over Seven's shoulder for half an hour and found her cured, she put it on the table.
Seven immediately got up from the chair.
"Thank you B'Elanna Torres for your help." she said stiffly and picked up her organic suit again and turned to the quarter door. But B'Elanna stood in her way again.
"I'm terribly hungry and wanted to make something to eat now. Please stay for dinner, then you can still go. Okay?" B'Elanna asked and Seven looked at her uncertainly.
"Why do you want me to stay here?" Seven asked skeptically.
"Because Tom is making the gamma shift this week, I do not like to eat alone and I think that would be good for you too. So stay, yes?"
Seven nodded her head and looked around uncertainly.
"Come sit down again, I'll make some fast food and then let's think about what we want to do the next few days in our joint punishment. And we should also think about what we do with your bio-suit." B'Elanna explained as she went to her replicator and entered some codes.
"My organic suit?" Seven asked irritated.
"Yeah, you just admitted to yourself that your bio-suit is so close-fitting that it rubs you in the genital area and causes pain. We should change that. "
"No." Seven said immediately determined and B'Elanna turned to her and looked at her in surprise.
"No? But Seven, if the bio-suit hurts you, we should change that. Why are you against it?" B'Elanna asked curiously.
"My organic suit is as acceptable as it is. He does not have to be changed. "
"Acceptable?" B'Elanna raised her eyebrow and looked at Seven in amazement. "You're kidding right? So in my opinion, it's unacceptable for a garment to hurt me because it does not fit properly." B'Elanna pointed out.
"In my opinion, it is irrelevant and therefore further discussion about it is unacceptable." Seven said to B'Elanna angry.
B'Elanna crossed her arms over her chest and took a deep breath. Then she counted in thoughts of 1-10.
"Okay, whatever you say." she said, turning back to the replicator in frustration, picking up the replicated food and putting it on her dining table.
The dinner was accordingly quiet and as soon as B'Elanna had finished her meal, Seven had gotten up and said goodbye stiffly and hurriedly.
Sighing, B'Elanna looked at Seven's plate, which had not even half eaten, from her. Frustrated, she took the dishes and put them in the replicator to recycle.
Chapter 6: *** 6th Day***
After the common hour, had failed more or less the day before because Seven had to be injured and treated by B'Elanna, the two met with Naomi on the sixth day for a "Flotter adventure" on the Holodeck.
As the three tackled the latest Flotter adventure, B'Elanna repeatedly glanced at Seven from the side and watched her physically. To follow her movements and facial expressions, she still seemed to be in pain from time to time. Fortunately, Naomi did not seem to notice, but was happy to play the holodeck with her favorite holoprogram.
Seven could not fool B'Elanna. While she was normal and acting friendly and happy with Naomi within the holoprogram, B'Elanna perceived the faint shadows that occasionally crossed Seven's face. As subtle as they were, B'Elanna did not escape.
At the end of the common hour, after both women had brought Naomi home, B'Elanna pulled Seven aside and looked at her seriously.
"Are you really feeling well?" She asked worriedly, but Seven averted her eyes and nodded her head.
"I do not believe you." B'Elanna sighed, but Seven just shrugged her shoulders.
"Thank you Lt. for your help yesterday. I'm fine. "With that, Seven finally turned away and hurried down the hallway to the nearest turbolift.
B'Elanna looked at her in surprise. "What was that again?"
B'Elanna murmured, shaking her head. For the last hour, Seven had been kind and happy, and once Naomi was home, she returned to her arrogant and cool looks. How so? What had she done? She had been friendly, peaceful, and helpful, and Seven was averse to her. What was wrong with Seven?
*** 7th Day***
"Last night, I thought about your problem with your organic suit. I just wanted to show you what I was thinking." B'Elanna explained, standing next to Seven.
Seven looked up from her data and directly into B'Elanna's brown eyes. But instead of curious or interested, Seven looked at B'Elanna with an icy look.
"I have no problem with my organic suit." she said seriously, then looked at her data again and entered several codes.
B'Elanna rubbed her forehead crests and looked at Seven in astonishment. "God Lord, I'm trying to help you, why are you so cold to me? I thought we had become friends in the last few days." B'Elanna replied in frustration.
Seven looked up from her data and B'Elanna a long moment.
"Friends?" Seven said incredulously. "We are not friends. Friendship is irrelevant. We're only pretending to understand each other better, so the captain will not force us to go any punitive hour." Seven B'Elanna hissed and B'Elanna stepped back in surprise, blinking confused at Seven.
"Friendships are irrelevant? You do not mean that seriously. I mean you and Naomi are friends, and I thought we'd made some kind of friendship in the last few days too. We had fun together while swimming and during the Flotter adventure. I helped you and cared for your injuries. By definition, friends do something for each other." B'Elanna explained, looking closely at Seven.
Seven blinked at her eyes and expression, seeming to fight her, but then she stiffened even more and her features took on an arrogant look. She straightened to her full height, looking down at B'Elanna, who was half a head shorter than Seven.
"You hate the Borg, you do not like me because I was a Borg drone. Why should that have changed within a few days, just because we had fun together?" Asked Seven icy and also a touch provocative.
B'Elanna glared at Seven. A storm of indignation raged inside her. She was furious with herself for softening herself, thinking she had discovered another side of Seven that made it possible for her to like her and understand her. But now she saw again the side of Seven that she had seen almost every day for the last two years and that had always kept her from wanting to be closer to Seven. How could she have forgotten that Seven was the Ice Princess, looking cool, arrogant and looking down on all the other crew members? Shit, how stupid could she be and forget about it just because they had fun together?
"Okay good. Let's do that. You're right." B'Elanna replied angrily.
Seven nodded her head and turned back to her console.
"Okay, let's get the rest of the days around somehow and then we'll go separate ways again." B'Elanna said resignedly and left the astrometric lab hurriedly without waiting for Seven's answer.
Then she quickly walked down the hall to the nearest turbolift. As soon as she was in the turbolift, she hit the wall of the turbolift frustrated and angry and growled loudly "Arggggggggggggggg"
However, she stopped briefly outside the doors and tried to gather a little. She desperately wanted to avoid arguing with Seven just because she was not in control. B'Elanna had little desire for further detention or punish hours. Especially she wanted to avoid having to spend the punish hours with Seven in a holding cell.
When she had pushed her anger back a little, she entered Cargo Bay 2. But to her astonishment it was empty. Where else Seven always stood at her work console and entered data, this time nobody was to be seen. B'Elanna, therefore, stand uncertainly in the Cargo Bay 2 and let her gaze wander over the half-dark hall.
"Seven?" B'Elanna tapped her communicator, She called after a moment, but nobody answered her.
"B'Elanna to Seven."
"Seven, please get in touch. Where are you?"
But neither on the first nor on the second call did B'Elanna receive an answer.
Annoyingly, B'Elanna sighed deeply before she questioning the computer about Seven's whereabouts.
"Holodeck 1" was the information and B'Elanna looked around in surprise.
"What the hell is she doing in Holodeck 1?" She exclaimed frustratedly into the empty Cargo Bay 2. Then she quickly hurried to the nearest turbolift, taking her to the deck where the holodecks were.
Before Holodeck 1, B'Elanna looked at the button in front of the holodeck and tried to figure out which simulation or holoprogramm was currently running. But the name did not make her smart, so she stepped toward the holo door, which did not open for her.
Frustrated, she returned to the button and only now saw that the holoprogram was blocked for outsiders and locked with a Borg encryption code.
But B'Elanna had gained so much practice by now bypassing Seven's Borg encryption keys that took her only a few minutes to bridge the code and open the holodeck doors for her.
Chapter 7: ***Bad surprise in Holodeck 1***
When B'Elanna entered the holodeck, she looked to a place where many people had gathered and formed a circle. The crowd, which, upon closer inspection, consisted of various species, roared and screamed loudly as they did something inside the circle, but B'Elanna could not see.
"Computer end the holoprogram." B'Elanna ordered the computer and as soon as she had given her order, the crowds of screaming people broke up and B'Elanna saw Seven lying on the floor in the middle of the holodeck.
She quickly ran over to her and knelt down to her. From Seven mouth ran a thin trail of blood and her breath was jerky and raging. Her organic suit was torn and B'Elanna could tell she was badly hurt.
Seven's eyes fluttered open briefly and she saw B'Elanna with heavy eyelids, which she barely got up.
"Seven, stay calm. I will order a "place to place" transport and take you to the infirmary. The Doctor ..." she did not move on, as Seven reached out her trembling hand and put it on B'Elanna's knee.
"N..o, ... no..t ....... the ...... Do ... c ... tor ...." came Sevens desperate halting answer.
"You have internal injuries, you have to go to the doctor. Come on, be sensible Seven." B'Elanna explained, tapping her communicator.
But Seven dug her hand into B'Elanna's knee and squeezed, causing B'Elanna to flinch in pain and take her hand away from her communicator.
"No." she murmured softly, then her hand relaxed again and sank to the floor.
"Shit Seven." B'Elanna replied, pulling Seven's upper body to her knees and holding her tight while Seven's breath was getting ragged and she slumped limply, B'Elanna making a decision.
Quickly she tapped her communicator. "B'Elanna to the captain."
"What is B'Elanna?" Kathryn asked curiously.
"I'm in holodeck with Seven, Seven is hurt, but she do not want to go to the doctor. Can you please come and decide that´s she belongs in the infirmary?" B'Elanna asked in a tone that immediately alerted Kathryn.
"On my way." Kathryn shouted and ended the communication link.
Kathryn appeared in the holodeck a few minutes later, completely out of breath. She quickly ran to B'Elanna and regarded Seven anxiously.
"What happened? Did you beat each other?" Kathryn asked shocked.
"What?" B'Elanna cried indignantly. "No, I was not that. When I got here, looking for Seven, this weird holo program was already running. A wild crowd had gathered in a circle, roared and screamed loudly. And because I could not see what they were doing, I end the holoprogram and found Seven in that state on the floor. I have no idea what happened here. I wanted to beam her to the infirmary, but she desperately asked me not to. Then she fainted. I did not just want to make that decision." B'Elanna explained, looking helplessly at Kathryn.
Kathryn swallowed, twice before she decided. "To the infirmary." Then she tapped her communicator and ordered a "place to place" transport to the infirmary.
As soon as all three women materialized in the infirmary, the doctor came running to them in a hurry. Stunned, he saw from the injured Seven to B'Elanna and then to Kathryn.
"What happened?" He asked angrily as he lifted Seven onto the biobed and immediately ran his tricorder over her body.
"We do not know what happened. B'Elanna has found Seven at holodeck 1." Kathryn explained quickly. She had no doubt that B'Elanna had told her the truth, so she did not want the doctor to draw wrong conclusions and possibly consider B'Elanna to be the culprit who had hurt Seven.
As the Doctor Seven examined, B'Elanna was still sitting on the floor, the infirmary, staring blankly ahead of her. Kathryn, who had watched the doctor's examination, only now realized that B'Elanna was still down.
"B'Elanna? Is everything alright with you?" She asked worriedly and knelt down to her. B'Elanna shook her head and looked at Kathryn.
"I do not know. I can not forget the screaming crowd, they screamed wildly and grunted and shoved and moved into each other and against each other. There were all kinds of species, Klingons, Cardassians, Bolians and so many more. I ... if only I had come a little later, what would I have found?" B'Elanna asked, blinking at Kathryn confused.
"Doctor? I think B'Elanna needs a sedative." Kathryn called to the doctor.
"One moment, I have to heal Seven's internal injuries before I can get to B'Elanna. But there's a hypospray on my medical car over there. I recommend replicating benzodiazepines. That could help B'Elanna." the doctor replied as he continued to treat Seven.
Kathryn got up and got the hypospray and went to replicator to replicate the medicine the doctor had recommended. After loading the drug into the hypospray, she put it on B'Elanna's neck and injected her.
B'Elanna looked at Kathryn gratefully and leaned against her. Kathryn gently stroked her back for reassurance.
"Days ago, Seven had been injured before. She had not told anyone and acted as if nothing had happened. But I noticed and helped her heal her injuries." B'Elanna murmured softly and Kathryn pushed B'Elanna away a bit and looked at her seriously.
"Seven was injured?" She asked worriedly and B'Elanna nodded her head.
"Yes, she had bruises and hematomas all over her right side, on her back, as well as on her stomach. She said she had fallen in the morning from a ladder in Cargo Bay 2 and injured herself." B'Elanna said dejectedly.
"Why did not I get a report?" Kathryn asked indignantly.
"Seven asked me to keep it a secret. I guessed that she was embarrassed that she had fallen from a ladder and did not want anyone to know. She always says she is Borg, Borg are perfect and so on." B'Elanna murmured and Kathryn nodded her head thinking about it.
"Okay, I think I should take a closer look at the holoprogram." she said loudly and got up from the floor. B'Elanna wanted to do the same, but the sedative made her feel too fluffy and sank back to the floor.
"I want to come with you." B'Elanna shouted, but Kathryn shook her head. "No, you should stay here and better put yourself on a biobed. I will ask Tuvok for help." Kathryn explained and helped B'Elanna to get up. With shaky legs B'Elanna was led by Kathryn to the next biobed.
After B'Elanna lay down on the biobed, Kathryn hastily left the infirmary and called Tuvok, heading for holodeck 1, asking him to meet her there.
Chapter 8: ***The holo program***
When Tuvok arrived at Holodeck 1 shortly after her, Kathryn quickly explained what had happened and what she was about to do. Tuvok gave her a quick nod and they both set to work.
First, the data on the holoprogram looked at.
"The holo program was created by Seven six months ago. The security logs have been overridden. In the holoprogram 100 different persons of the different species are programmed. All persons have many aggressive tendencies. The program is only 10 minutes. limited then ends." Tuvok explained after looking at the data for a while.
Kathryn raised her eyebrows and looked at Tuvok irritably.
"The program only runs 10 minutes? Why? What is the plot or what purpose does the program serve?"
Tuvok tapped several codes on the button and read the data that was now displayed in front of him.
"In the last six months, the parameters of the program have been changed several times. I see here that in the beginning the program only ran a maximum of 5 minutes and also contained fewer holo figures. At this time, the security protocols were still active. Only after a few changes, the program was extended to 10 minutes and the holo figures specifically designed and made much more aggressive." said Tuvok factual.
"How many times did the holo program go?" Kathryn asked in a worried voice.
Tuvok tapped the button a few times and then left the data.
"The holoprogram has been launched 17 times in the last six months."
"17 times!" Kathryn murmured to herself, drawing a thoughtful face.
"We should watch the holo program." Tuvok suggested logically, and Kathryn agreed. Both entered the holodeck and started Seven Holo program. Immediately a crowd of people materialized with the most diverse species, which were distributed only in holodeck quiet.
"Computer start the holoprogram." Kathryn demanded, but nothing happened. The persons remained quietly in their place and looked bored.
"Hm ... what now?" Kathryn asked after she and Tuvok stood in the holodeck for a few minutes and the holofigures had not moved a bit.
"The holo figures do not seem to be programmed to do anything. Anyway, it seems so." Tuvok replied, but Kathryn shook her head.
"B'Elanna has reported that the holofigures had gathered in a loud and loud circle, pushed aside each other and pressed against each other. Maybe we just have not said the right command to start the program." Kathryn pointed out.
"Or the right person is missing." Tuvok replied and Kathryn looked at him curiously.
"What do you mean?" She asked immediately.
"I mean Seven created this program and she was here when B'Elanna found her. The crowd had scrambled together and attacked them. But now they are calm and relaxed. The logical conclusion is that the main character is missing in this scenario. Seven." Tuvok explained calmly.
"Okay, so what do we do?" Kathryn asked, looking worried at Tuvok and very much hoping that he would not suggest taking Seven from the infirmary to expose her to holo figures here in holodeck.
"I suggest creating a holofigure based on Seven parameters and integrating them into the hologram."
"Good idea Tuvok. Let's create a holo figure of Seven. Captain to Tom Paris "
"Tom please come to Tuvok and me to Holodeck 1, we need your knowledge to re-create a Holofigur." Kathryn ordered her pilot.
A short time later, Tom appeared curious at Holodeck 1 and looked at Tuvok and Kathryn anxiously. Kathryn quickly explained what they were up to, and Tom started work right away.
After about half an hour he had created a holo seven. Tom had filtered her specific data out of the computer database and integrated it into the matrix of the holofigur, so that the Holo Seven came very close to the original.
"Good, let's upload the Holo Seven and put it into the program." Kathryn ordered nervously.
She had a really, really bad idea what would happen next. However, she hoped very much that she was wrong.
Tom nodded to her and Tuvok and Kathryn entered the holodeck again. Tom joined them after saving everything and integrating the Holo Seven into the program.
"Computer start the holoprogram." Kathryn ordered the computer.
All three are curious about what happened next. In a moment, all the holofigures were still standing around quietly, but as soon as Sevens Holofigur materialized, the crowd immediately rushed at her and attacked her.
Neither Kathryn, nor Tuvok and Tom could see exactly what happened, as the crowd merged and shared Seven's Holofigur. The angry crowd bellowed and screamed barbarously as they crowded together, pushing each other to and fro.
Meanwhile, Kathryn had put her hand on her mouth in shock and stared dumbfounded at the spectacle. Tuvok and Tom quietly watched the scenery in front of them. After 10 minutes the program stopped and the angry crowd broke up. Back there was a Holo Seven who lay on the ground and did not move. Her organic suit was torn and her body was covered with injuries. The holofigur looked so real that Kathryn groaned stunned and tears ran down her cheek.
Tuvok and Tom looked at her worriedly.
"Lock computer holoprogram indefinitely and encrypt it with security code P137." Kathryn shouted in her captain's voice. Then she turned to her two crewman and looked at her for a moment with a stony expression as she wiped her tears from her face.
"Tuvok examines the program again, I want to know everything about it. I really mean everything. Tom go back to your workplace. What we just saw stays with us. Understood?" Kathryn asked in command mode sternly and both men nodded to her.
"Well. I'll go to the infirmary and ask Seven. Dismiss." With that Kathryn turned and hurried to the next turbolift.
Chapter 9: ***New insights***
"Captain, what did you find out?" B'Elanna asked immediately after Kathryn returned to the infirmary.
"I took a close look at the holoprogram with Tuvok and Tom. We saw something very terrible. About the same as when you entered the holodeck. Only with the difference that we had created a Holo Seven. But before I can form an accurate assessment of the events in this holoprogram, I have to talk to Seven about it. How are you?"
"Better, thanks. I think I can leave the infirmary again. I'd like to go to my quarters." B'Elanna said and looked at Kathryn pleadingly.
Kathryn nodded to her and turned to the doctor.
"Doctor, can B'Elanna go to her quarters?" Kathryn asked, and the doctor looked up from his treatment with Seven.
"Yes." he replied curtly, then turned his full attention back to Seven, who was still lying motionless on the biobed.
B'Elanna slid off the biobed and walked over to the doctor, just as Kathryn did.
"How is she?" B'Elanna asked, looking worried at the doctor.
"I healed her inner injury, now it's the outer injury. I'll put her in her alcove for two days after treatment to make sure her nano-probes heal everything completely. I found some older injury fractures that did not heal properly. These are older than a few days. I do not understand that I did not notice that in a previous health check." said the doctor, shaking his head.
"Doctor?" Kathryn asked immediately alarmed. "What do you mean exactly?"
"I mean that Seven's body has some badly healed injuries. However, these are already older, which suggests that these injuries have been around for some time." explained the doctor.
"What injuries were that?" B'Elanna asked.
"Fractures on the right wrist, upper arm, torn muscle on the right shoulder, some rib fractures, both on the right and on the left side of the rib cage, in the lower part." Replied the doctor and B'Elanna and Kathryn looked at him stunned.
"How could we not notice such injuries?" Kathryn asked softly.
"I think Seven's nano-probes have repaired most of the injuries, so the injuries were not that obvious." the doctor replied.
"When can I question Seven?" Kathryn asked matter-of-factly. Seeing Seven or more of the Holo Seven being attacked by the bawling crowd had really disturbed her inner balance and she felt more than bad. She desperately wanted answers, answers to her questions and to find out what was really behind everyone. As it now looked, Seven was regularly beaten and injured by a crowd of angry people. But why? Why did Seven do such a thing herself? Kathryn did not understand it and it was very annoying.
"Well, I'll put Seven in her alcove and have her regenerate for two days. Then you can ask her questions." Replied the doctor objectively.
"Good." Kathryn replied, looking down at the still-unconscious Seven. "Please tell me the time when the regeneration cycle is complete. I want to be the first to be with her as soon as she wakes up." Kathryn turned to B'Elanna.
"I will accompany you to your quarters, on the way there you can give me a report on the events of the day." Kathryn explained and helped down B'Elanna from Bio bed.
"This morning I visited Seven briefly in astrometry to introduce her to my new idea of how to change her bio-suit. But she was totally dismissive and we come into dispute. I am..."
Kathryn interrupted B'Elanna by raising her hand.
"One moment. What about Seven's organic suit that you think should be changed?" Kathryn asked worriedly.
"Seven told me a few days ago, it was the day she was injured, that her organic suit hurt her in certain places. That's why I thought about how to change it. But she did not want to know about it."
"I did not know that Seven has problems with her organic suit." Kathryn admitted in surprise. *What else did she not know?* went through her mind.
"You know, the last few days I've met Seven from a completely different new page. In the presence of Naomi, she is a completely different person. She was friendly, sometimes even happy, but also scared. I have never experienced she like this before. I suddenly understood that Seven only wears a mask and hides someone who has a lot of feelings and also fears. I had thought that we even became friends, because we had fun together and understood each other well. Therefore, I had also thought deeply about her organic suit. Did you know that he is so close-fitting, that she does not wear any underwear underneath and that the bio-suit wears her skin in different places and always hurts it? Or that her bra cups are padded and her breasts are not that huge? I wonder what the doctor meant." B'Elanna said on the way to the turbolift.
Kathryn looked at her shocked from the side.
"No, I did not know that." she said softly.
"I am glad that you got to know Seven more closely in the last few days and realized that under the rough arrogant Borg façade she is a young sensitive woman who had a very difficult life so far. I know that I spent a lot of time with Seven and neglected the rest of the crew. But as it turns out, there was still not enough time to really know what's going on in Seven, what's on her mind and what she needs. I mean, we're all grown-up people here on Voyager, except for Naomi, but she has her mother. I can not take care of everyone and everything. I have to trust that everyone can take care of themselves. And that the department heads have their crew members in mind and recognize when something goes wrong with someone. But with Seven, that's a different matter. She is virtually always alone in her astrometric laboratory. Although she is directly subordinate to you, but your relationship so far has always been complicated and not very advantageous. I trusted that Seven would come to me if she has a problem or if she's busy. So far that has always been the case. But now I have to realize that I was wrong. That she did not always come to me, with her problems. I ... failed." Kathryn admitted and B'Elanna looked at her stunned.
"No, Captain, you did not fail. I've failed to set aside my personal differences with Seven and to care more about them than keep them out of the engine room as much as possible. If Seven gets out of her alcove and you ask her questions, I would like to be present so that I can support her, whatever her problem is. I mean that she has one is obvious. Or?" B'Elanna asked.
"I really hoped that someday you would understand each other so well that they get on well together. My punishment, which incidentally left me in doubt as to whether I could really ask you to do that, has certainly produced something good. But I think I should speak alone with Seven first." Kathryn replied and B'Elanna nodded her approval.
"Captain, what do you think why Seven faced such a situation where she was herself hurt?" B'Elanna asked as they arrived at their quarters.
"Honestly, I do not know and am very at a loss. But I hope to find out in two days." Kathryn admitted with a sigh and looked anxiously at B'Elanna.
"Yes I hope so too. Good night, Captain."
"Good night B'Elanna." Kathryn gently stroked B'Elanna's shoulder before she turned and walked down the hall to the nearest turbolift. Meanwhile, B'Elanna entered her quarters and sat down on the couch. At the moment she did not really know what to do with herself. So she pulled a blanket and crept under it.
Chapter 10: ***The conversation***
For the next two days, Kathryn often thought about what might have moved Seven to be beaten up in her holoprogram by the bawling crowd. She could not think of a good reason, which justified that. She was all the more nervous and tense when the time came, when Seven's regenerations cycle was over.
Kathryn had often come to Cargo Bay 2 for the past two days, watching Seven during her regenerations. Now she stepped from one leg to the other as she waited for the cycle to end.
As soon as the computer announced the end of the regenerations cycle, Kathryn stepped in front of the alcove and looked at Seven eagerly.
Seven's eyes fluttered open and she looked around in surprise. As her eyes fell on Kathryn, she got out of her alcove and stopped in front of Kathryn.
"Captain, what happened?" Seven asked uncertainly and Kathryn looked at Seven seriously.
"B'Elanna has found you seriously injured at Holodeck 1 and she has let me know. Together, we took you to the infirmary where the doctor healed you and then put you in your alcove for two days." Kathryn replied in Captain mode.
Seven looked sheepishly away from Kathryn and lowered her head.
Kathryn stepped up to her and put her hand under Seven's chin and gently pushed it up so she could look into Seven's eyes.
"I'd like to hear from you why you did such a terrible thing. We looked closely at your holoprogram and found out what's going on inside. But I can not understand why you created it and so self-destructively delivered the program to you. Explain it to me!" Kathryn asked softly, taking her hand off Seven's chin.
Seven looked at her for a long time. Then she blinked her eyes and turned away from Kathryn.
"That has personal reasons." Seven replied softly and shamefully.
Kathryn stared stunned at Seven's back.
"Personal reasons?" She asked angrily. "What personal reasons could be there that would allow you to be beaten up in holoprogramm holoprograms? I do not tolerate this self-destructive behavior, of any of my crew. Therefore, I require a sound response from you to better understand your behavior." Kathryn demanded sternly.
Seven glared at Kathryn. She had not looked at Kathryn so badly for a long time. Kathryn took a step back.
"There are many individuals in this crew who indulge in self-destructive behavior. Why can not I do it, too? "Asked Seven fiercely.
Kathryn blinked at Seven, confused. "What you mean? Who is self-destructive?" She asked irritated.
"You." said Seven promptly, reaping a very confused expression from Kathryn.
"Me? Please explain that to me in more detail." Kathryn demanded and looked at Seven eagerly.
"You drink too much coffee. You've been blaming yourself for years for stranding Voyager here in the Delta Quadrant. You isolate yourself from the people, around you. You refuse to accept the love offered to you by the crew and even Commander Chakotay. Rather, you scourge yourself and reject anyone who comes too close to you. You deny that you are human and have feelings. You hide behind your Starfleet regulations. You are not better than me. We're both as far from human as we can get. Is not that all self-destructive behavior? You've been my role model, mentor and friend since I've been here at Voyager, how could I act differently than you do? How could I handle the guilt, as how you do it?" Seven asked in exasperation and Kathryn looked pale.
"So you have no right to tell me how to deal with my guilt, which I carry around on a daily basis, if you do not give up your self-destructive behavior." said Seven, glancing contemptuously at Kathryn.
Kathryn turned away from Seven and wiped her tears that stung away in her eyes before turning back to Seven.
"So blame is your motivation to make you hurt?" She asked, ignoring what Seven had just told her. After all, it was about Seven, not her own feelings of guilt over so many things.
"Yes." confessed Seven.
Kathryn rubbed the back of her hand over her forehead and looked at Seven disappointed.
"Why did not you come to me and talk to me about what makes you move and makes you feel bad?" She asked in a soft tone.
"You once said you can not always be my friend because you're the captain. And just because you're the captain and because I've seen how you handle your own feelings of guilt, I had no hope that you could help me." confessed Seven dejectedly.
Kathryn sighed deeply and sat down on the steps in front of the alcove.
"Seven, please sit down with me." She asked Seven and Seven reluctantly joined her and then sat down beside her stiffly.
"I'm the captain, and I feel guilty about many things that happened here in the Delta Quadrant. But that's the load of the command. I have voluntarily decided to pursue the career of a captain. I've always been aware of what I'm taking on and I'm ready to carry that burden. But you, had no choice. You were assimilated as a small child and the Borg forced you to live as a Borg drone for 18 years, to act and to assimilate many individuals. The guilt you carry is different from mine and I have a duty as captain to help you alleviate and reduce your guilt feelings. You should have come to me and give me the opportunity to help you. Thats why I'm here. I know that here at Voyager we do not have the optimal conditions to deal with your guilt feelings, but you are not alone. I am always there for you and there are many crew members who can help you and who would do it anytime. Please have a little more confidence in us." Kathryn asked, gently stroking Seven's knee.
Seven nodded her head and looked directly at Kathryn.
"What about you? What applies to me, should also apply to you.
Why do not you let the crew or me help you?" Seven asked and Kathryn shook her head, considering Seven's wise conclusion.
"You're right. You know, we should let each other and the crew help us. What do you think would that be a good idea?" Kathryn asked with a smile.
"Yes." Seven replied, looking gratefully at Kathryn.
"Well, let's do it that way. Now to your holoprogram. I have had it locked and would like to delete it forever. However, I need your authorization sequences for this. Furthermore, once I have blocked all Holodeck privileges for you and I want you to go through an anti-aggression program at Chakotay. I have also decided that from now on you can not be alone anymore for an indefinite time.
Therefore, from now on, you will work in the engine room and live with the Wildmans. I have already discussed everything with them and Naomi is looking forward to you living with them. B'Elanna and the maintenance crew have already built an alcove in the Wildman's quarters and created a little retreat for you. I would like to continue the punishment hour with B'Elanna and even extend it. I've already talked to B'Elanna about this and she agrees. Of course she mentioned some conditions, but they are easy to implement. The crew does not know what happened and I think it's in your sense that it does not get around. Therefore, we will not make a logbook entry." Kathryn explained and Seven calmly took the news.
"What conditions did B'Elanna make?" Seven asked uncertainly.
"Oh, only that Naomi is allowed to take your punitive hour every now and then, that you change your bio-suit from her and that you stop spinning around in her presence." Kathryn said with a grin.
"Spinning around? What does that mean?" Seven asked skeptically.
"It just means that you agree that you are peaceful and not bitchy with her during your punishment. Rum spinning is just their way of saying." Kathryn explained.
Seven raised her eyebrows. "I'm not bitchy and do not spinning around." Seven said seriously.
Kathryn smiled broadly at Seven. "I'm sure you'll get your punishment round well. But Seven?" Kathryn asked and looked at Seven again very seriously.
"I do not tolerate any further self-destructive scenarios. Neither self-injury nor injury by third persons. Are we clear of that?" Kathryn asked sternly.
"Captain, I do not know ..."
"Seven I'm serious. As soon as you feel the desire to hurt you or allow you to hurt, you come to me and we will find a way to deal with it. Okay?" Kathryn said, looking Seven straight into her crystal blue eyes.
"It makes me forget my guilt for a short time and the pain makes me feel that my debt has been paid in part. I do not know how I can handle it differently." Confessed Seven quietly.
"We will find a way together. And now B'Elanna was waiting for you. She has some suggestions on how to change your bio-suit so it will not hurt you anymore. "
"Captain, I do not need any change to my organic suit. He is acceptable as he is." Seven replied frustrated.
"No, no argument. B'Elanna explained everything to me and I think she's right. So fast fast, let's go to B'Elanna. That's an order, by the way!" Kathryn said smiling and Seven looked down at her.
"Fast, fast?" She murmured softly as she walked past Kathryn to the doors of Cargo Bay 2.
"Yes, that's what you say, if you want the other person to hurry up and not dawdle around. I'd best accompany you as far as B'Elanna's quarters so that I can be sure that you will arrive there as well." Kathryn explained and joined Seven.
Chapter 11: ***In B'Elanna Quarter***
After Kathryn had pressed the door buzzer of B'Elanna's quarters, a moment later B'Elanna appeared at the door.
"Hello B'Elanna, could you bring Seven later to the Wildmans?" Kathryn asked and B'Elanna nodded her head.
"Okay, then I'll leave you both alone." With that Kathryn turned and left the two women, who looked at each other silently.
B'Elanna moved Seven in after a long moment of looking as if she never wanted to enter her quarters, and pushed her into the room.
"How are you?" B'Elanna asked shyly and studied Seven closely.
"Fine, thanks." she replied quietly, standing stiffly in the middle of B'Elanna's living room, not knowing where to go.
"You scared me a lot. Why did you let yourself be beaten on the holodeck in your twisted holo program?" B'Elanna asked immediately.
Seven took a step back to leave B'Elanna's quarters, but B'Elanna stood in her path.
"You know, I wanted to be there when you awoke from your regeneration, but the captain did not want that. So please explain it to me. Why'd you do this to yourself?" B'Elanna asked again.
Seven blinked embarrassed her eyes and ashamed with and lowered her head.
"Hey, I just want to understand it. Not more. Come on, tell me." B'Elanna asked again.
Seven sighed deeply before she started to speak.
"I was never punished for what I did when Borgdrone to other beings. I have assimilated and killed thousands of individuals. I have done terrible things. But I was never punished for that. The captain once said that 18 years as a Borg drone would be enough punishment for me. But I see it differently and it does not help me to get rid of my feelings of guilt. I wanted to punish myself and therefore created the holo program so that my holofigures, who are representative of my victims, punish me and inflict as much pain on me as I did with them. It was a piece of liberation for me. Each time I hurts up and a piece of guilt in me as well gone. But never enough, so I went into the holoprogram again and again and changed it bit by bit to achieve the desired goal." Seven replied and B'Elanna silently looked at the young exborg for a long while while Seven had her head lowered again and stared at the ground.
B'Elanna sighed heavily, she knew what it was like to put a debt on herself and she would not let go. That was shit and stressful. It had to be hell for Seven.
B'Elanna stepped up to Seven and pulled her into a heartfelt hug. To her astonishment, Seven did not resist, but leaned into the embrace and let B'Elanna cling and comfort her.
It was only after a long moment that B'Elanna separated from Seven and took her hand and pulled her to the couch.
"Why did not you come to me? Honestly there have been many moments in the last two years where I would love to beat you to get rid of my frustration." B'Elanna explained and winked at Seven encouragingly.
Seven looked at her in surprise.
"Above all, you would have been a worthy opponent. Your holoprogram, on the other hand, is a shit. It is very one-sided to get beaten up. But in a fight *woman against woman* you would have been much better able to reduce your guilt feelings and process. We should give it a try." B'Elanna suggested and Seven looked at her skeptically. For one thing, because she did not know if B'Elanna was serious and, second, because she could not imagine the captain would approve.
"The Captain and Commander Chakotay would be against it. I know..."
Before Seven could speak, B'Elanna interrupted her.
"Come on, the old man likes to kick himself in the ring and loves to box. I do not think he would mind. We can ask him what he thinks about it. And if he agreed, it would be the captain too. So what do you say, should we try it out?" B'Elanna asked and looked at Seven winningly.
"Hm ..." Seven just answered and B'Elanna sighed deeply.
"I'm supposed to undergo anti-aggression training at Kommander Chakotay." Seven pointed out.
"Oh really? I have already completed it and it is better than having to do relaxation and meditation exercises at Tuvok. Do not worry it helped me, so it will help you, too." B'Elanna replied.
"Okay, what else, do you know that you have to work in the engine room with me tomorrow?" B'Elanna asked after a moment.
"Yes, the captain informed me about it. Who will take astrometry?"
"Vorik has shown interest in taking on more responsibility. The captain therefore used him there on a trial basis. But back to your presence in the engine room. I do not want you to work there and distract my male crew members with your organic suit. So I went to the doctor and asked him exactly how important it is for you and your health to wear the bio-suit. After arguing violently, he has admitted that you really do not need to wear the bio-suit anymore." B'Elanna explained and Seven frowned at her.
"Why did not he tell me that?" Asked Seven angrily.
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "Well, because he has a crush on you and he finds your look great in the bio-suit." B'Elanna explained.
"A crush? What's that?" Seven asked irritated.
"He's in love with you since he help you on your first date with Lt.Chapman. "
"In love with me?" Seven asked with a frown and B'Elanna nodded to her.
"What do you think about that?" B'Elanna asked.
"About what?" Seven asked irritated.
"Why, the doctor is in love with you." B'Elanna replied, rolling her eyes again.
"Hm... I dont know. I do not have the same feelings for the doctor. He is a friend for me." Seven replied.
"Well, anyway, the good news is you do not have to wear the bio-suit anymore. I asked the captain if you could wear a uniform instead and she gave me permission. Come on, I'll replicate your new uniform, let's see how it looks like." B'Elanna got up from the couch and was about to walk over to the replicator.
"I do not need a uniform, my bionic suit is ak ..." B'Elanna stepped back to Seven and put her finger on her mouth and looked at her disapprovingly.
"Yes, yes, I know he is acceptable. But in my opinion he is not and I do not want you to run around in my engine room with it. In your free time you can put him on again, because I can not do anything about it, but during the duty I'm your supervisor and I want you to wear a uniform. Is that clear?" B'Elanna asked, lowering her finger from Seven's mouth.
Seven got up from the couch, arrogantly raising her chin and putting on her borg mask.
"Yes, Lt." she said icily and put her hands on her back and stood stiffly in front of B'Elanna.
"Hey, do not be like that. You have no right to be mad at me, I just want to help you. So stay relaxed and give me a smile. I know you can." B'Elanna said, winking at Seven. She looked at her irritated.
"Lt.?" She asked.
"What I mean is that you could smile from time to time. I know you can do it and it would not hurt you, but make everyone around you feel good. Now let's replicate your uniform and see how it suits you and how you look."
B'Elanna went to her replicator and entered the necessary code, a few seconds later the uniform materialized and B'Elanna handed it to Seven, who looked at her helplessly.
"Come and dress her. By the way, there's already a Starfleet underwear set on the bed, so put it on under the uniform." B'Elanna explained as she pushed Seven into her bedroom.
As Seven changed into B'Elanna's bedroom, B'Elanna replicated for Seven and herself a small snack and something to drink and set her dining table down.
About ten minutes later, Seven stepped unsteadily out of B'Elanna's bedroom in her new uniform and looked at B'Elanna shyly.
When B'Elanna looked up, she gave a small whistle. "Wow Seven, that looks pretty good. How do you feel in the uniform?"
Seven thought about B'Elanna's question for a while.
"Fine." she said with a small smile on her lips and B'Elanna grinned at her.
"I thought so. I've replicated something for us to eat, come on, I'm hungry. "
Seven sat down and immediately noticed that the uniform allowed her much more to sit comfortably in the chair than the organic suit would ever have done. Where the organic suit only pinched and squeezed her while sitting and let her sit stiffly, she could now relax and nothing hurt.
"Better?" B'Elanna asked and Seven nodded to her as she took a bite of her sandwich.
"Why did not you want us to change your organic suit?" B'Elanna asked, her mouth full of curiosity.
"It was a kind of self-punishment." said Seven, after she had finished chewing, softly.
"Ah, I understand," B'Elanna replied, continuing to eat her sandwich.
"I'm supposed to live with the Wildmans. The captain does not want me alone. Do the Wildmans know what I did?" Seven asked anxiously.
B'Elanna looked up from her food.
"No, they only know that you was sick and that the Captain thinks it is good for you to live with them for a while. The captain had first asked me, but since I'm with Tom often or Tom is here with me, that would not have been a good living situation because you might have felt uncomfortable. In addition, my quarters are too small for a shared flat. Then the captain thought about taking you to your quarters, but Kommander Chakotay and Tuvok were against it immediately." B'Elanna said.
"Why?" Seven asked curiously.
"For one thing, because the captain needs her rest in her free time to be fully operational in duty and on the other hand because ..." B'Elanna paused.
"Because?" Seven hacked after.
"Well, it would seem strange to the rest of the crew. She is already taking enough time for you. The rest of the crew and me too are thereforenot good with you." B'Elanna admitted softly.
Seven frowned and looked irritated at B'Elanna.
"Why?" She asked.
"Because you have privileges that we others do not have. This creates displeasure, frustration and envy within the crew." B'Elanna answered honestly.
"Privileges? Explain that to me!" asked Seven.
"Well, you can show up at the captain's quarters anytime, for example, and have your full attention. You spend your free time together and you play Velocity together. You get away with things with impunity, where we get another entry into the service record or a sermon. You are often rude, arrogant and dismissive. But the captain just dismisses it because you were a Borg drone and have to learn different things, such as social behavior. These are all privileges that only you have and no one else on Voyager. And did you know that the captain should not favor anyone from her crew, but treat everyone equally? But everyone on the crew knows you're their darling. So what would it look like if you were allowed to live with her now?" B'Elanna asked.
"Not good." Seven replied, understanding the problem.
"See, that's why the captain asked the Wildmans." B'Elanna replied.
Chapter 12: ***The Wildmans***
After the dinner, B'Elanna accompanied Seven to the Wildmans, just as the captain had wished. B'Elanna said goodbye in front the quarters and Seven squeezed the door sums uncertainly and a little hesitantly. Naomi appeared at the door shortly afterwards.
"Seven, it's so nice that you will live with us. Your new uniform looks very chic." Naomi babbled immediately and pulled Seven into her quarters.
"Hello Seven." Samantha said, giving Seven a shy smile.
"Ensign Wildman, thank you for allowing me to live here." Seven replied a little stiffly.
"Call me Samantha or Sam and nothing to thank, I'm happy to help and Naomi is thrilled with the idea." Sam explained and continued to smile happily at Seven. Seven nodded to her.
"Naomi, do you want to show her room to Seven and explain everything to her?" Sam asked to interrupt the unpleasant silence that seemed to spread between them. Naomi grinned broadly at her mom and immediately took Sevens hand in hers and pulled her further into the quarters.
"Come, this is my room and next to it is your room. My room was downsized a bit by the maintenance crew, but that's fine. I am so happy that you are here. So here's your bed and this is ... "Naomi did not get any further, as Seven looked at her a little shocked as she looked at the various things on her bed and asked anxiously.
"Oh, those are some of my stuffed animals, I thought you needed something to fall asleep for your first night here with us. And this is your pajamas, you put it on when you sleep in a bed." Naomi explained nicely and pointed to the desk.
"This is your desk, you can work on it and here's your alcove. The bathroom is at the end of the corridor. Come on, I'll show it to you." Naomi pulled Seven down the hall to the bathroom and explained everything there.
"Here's the sound shower, we only have it, no hydro shower. This is the toilet. Have you ever been to the bathroom?" Naomi chattered to herself, without which Seven could even answer any of her questions. Helpless, she looked around the bathroom and to her happiness Sam came to her aid.
"Naomi, I think Seven knows the bathroom very well, you do not have to explain everything to her. Am I right Seven?"
Seven nodded and Naomi looked embarrassed to the ground.
"I'm sorry, I'm just so excited that Seven will be staying with us." The little girl explained and Sam stroked over her hair.
"No problem darling, but now let Seven settle down first and find their way into her room. And you make you get ready for bed." Sam said and Naomi pouted, but obeyed her mom and went to her room and put on her pajamas.
"Thanks." Seven said softly to Sam and she nodded to her.
"No problem. I can imagine that this is pretty much all at once. The captain said you was ill, are you alright?" Sam asked worriedly.
"Thanks, I work in acceptable parameters." Seven replied stiffly, before she remembered that this was perhaps rude.
"I'm fine, thanks." she pushed after.
"May I ask what you had?" Sam asked, but Seven shook her head.
"I do not want to talk about it, please." she confessed softly.
"Okay, no problem. Would you like to rest or do you need some company?" Sam asked timidly.
For them, the whole concept of living with Seven was very unusual. She wondered all the time what had happened, that the captain wanted Seven to live with her.
"I dont know. I'm not used to living in a community. I do not know what the exact guidelines are. I have not had time to inform myself yet. I ... would like to go back to my Cargo Bay 2, but the captain wishes me to stay here. I ..." bubbled out of Seven and she stiffened her shoulder.
Sam frowned as she had never experienced Seven so insecure. What had just happened that the captain had had such a strange idea?
"Hey Seven, that's okay. There are no exact guidelines on how to live together. We will find out and work together. You know, so far I have only lived with Naomi alone, for me and Naomi it's also something new. And I think we'll manage it. Do not worry. I think the most important thing is communication and common rules. That should work quite well. What do you mean, let's see what rules we need?" Sam asked and Seven nodded her head.
Sam sat on the couch and Seven faced it, unsure if she should sit down. So far, someone has always asked them to sit down. She had never done it herself.
"Come sit down." Sam asked after she saw Seven standing insecure. Seven sat down and she was surprised again how comfortable her new uniform made it possible to sit on the couch.
"Okay, the most important thing about living together is that we all feel well. So that means we take each other's mutual consideration. Naomi has to go to bed at 9pm at the latest, so it is important to stop the noise after this time. In the morning in the bathroom, we just have to see how we do it without stepping on each other's feet." Sam explained and thought about what is still important and still needs to be clarified. But before she could speak, Naomi came into the living room and sat between her Mom and Seven.
"I'm done and ready for bed. Can Seven take me to bed today?" The little girl asked her mom.
"If that's okay with Seven, it's okay for me." Sam answered and Naomi looked at Seven expectantly and got up from the couch.
Seven looked timidly at Sam. "What is required for this?" She asked softly.
Naomi smiled widely at her. "Nothing, just a good nighttime story." she explained, pulling Seven off the couch and leading her to her room.
Sam sighed deeply, wondering what the cohabitation would be like.
Naomi slipped into her bed and patted her blanket, holding up a book.
Seven sat down on the edge of the bed to Naomi and took the book from her and looked at it. On the front cover was "Dolly 1 - Dolly is looking for a girlfriend." And a girl with short black hair was on it, in the background a castle. Seven looked at the book skeptically.
"What is this book about?" She asked.
"Oh, it's about a girl, her name is Dolly and she's new at school. The school is a boarding school and is called castle Möwenfels. Dolly is okay, but she does not like injustice. There's this Evelyn in the book, she's a rich spoiled girl, all annoying with her selfishness and homesickness. That's why Dolly once told her the opinion in the last chapter, but that's why she got into trouble. Please read on page 52." Naomi asked gently.
Seven looked at her for a moment and raised her eyebrow.
"Naomi, I thought you could already read, why should I read it to you?" Seven asked curiously.
"Because you do it that way. While you read to me, I can fall asleep while doing so. When I read myself, I can not fall asleep." Naomi pointed out, snuggling into her pillow and looking at Seven expectantly.
Seven sighed softly, flipping the page to page 52 and beginning to read.
"Seven?" Naomi asked after a moment and Seven stopped reading.
"Yes?" She asked, looking at Naomi.
"I am glad that you live with us. But what happened?" Naomi asked and Seven looked away sheepishly.
"I've done something stupid and the captain now wants me out of trouble worrying about doing the stupid thing again. She does not trust me anymore. "Seven replied softly.
"Oh, what did you do?" Naomi asked worriedly, but Seven shook her head.
"I should not tell you. May I read?" Seven asked and Naomi looked at her thoughtfully.
"Surely you can win the captain's confidence back. I'm sure." Naomi said and Seven gave her a small smile.
"Thanks." she said and continued to read. After reading three chapters, Seven saw that Naomi had actually fallen asleep. So she put the book down on the bedside table next to Naomi's bed and quietly left the room.
In the living room, Seven found Sam herself deep in a data padd on the couch. Sam looked up at Seven and made her seat so she could sit down on the couch with her.
"Is Naomi sleeping?" Sam asked quietly and Seven nodded.
"Thank you for putting her to bed. I bet she'll ask you every night now, but you can always say * no * if you have other things or no desire. OK?"
"Okay." Seven replied, standing uncertainly in the living room. Sam got up and looked at Seven kindly.
"I'll go to the bathroom and make myself ready for the night or would you like to go to the bathroom first?" She asked and Seven looked at her irritated.
"No, I do not have to go to the bathroom today. You can go." Seven replied and Sam frowned at her.
"You do not have to go to the bathroom today, what about brushing your teeth?" Sam asked curiously.
"Brushing your teeth?" Asked Seven "Explain this to me please." She then demanded and looked at Sam in surprise.
"Brushing your teeth, have not you ever done that?"
"No, never." Seven said and Sam looked shocked.
"But your teeth are so beautiful and white, how have you kept them clean so far?"
"Borg get their energy from their alcoves, so brushing your teeth is unnecessary. Maybe my nano probes will also regulate the cleanliness of my teeth." Seven pointed out and Sam shook her head because she had not thought of it.
How stupid of her, she had completely forgotten that Seven seldom ate and imagined Borg drones that brushed their teeth every morning and evening before they assimilated other species or climbed into their alcoves in the evenings was really funny.
"Sorry Seven, I did not think properly. Good night." Sam said and went to the bathroom.
Seven shrugged her shoulders, turned and walked quietly into her room. There she stood uncertainly in the room and wondered what she should do now. There was no work console installed on her desk, and she had no data pads to work on. Frustrated, she sat down on her bed and took one of Naomi's stuffed animals in her hand and turned it back and forth. What should she do now? She had regenerated for two full days and nights and did not need sleep. Apart from that, she did not know how to sleep in a bed. The Wildman's quarter to leave and to go to Cargo Bay 2 or her astrometric lab, she not dare.
"So what now?" She asked with a sigh.
Sighing, she lay back on the bed and pressed the cuddly toy tight to her. But as soon as she closed her eyes to think about her current situation, the wild and angry voices in her head began to insult and torment her. Seven knew they were not real, just memories.
Memories of the time when the Vinculum of a destroyed Borg cube sent Sevens nonsensical orders and suppressed her own personality and many other personalities, from assimilated species, took over their bodies and tormented them. She heard exactly the same voices over and over again for about six months, always reminding her of her guilt.
Seven quickly opened her eyes, breathing in and out raggedly. Annoyed and frustrated, she flung the cuddly toy furiously against the bulkhead wall. When she realized that this outbreak was doing her good, she threw the other stuffed animals on the bulkhead and growled her frustration out of fear for disturbing the Wildmans at their sleep. *Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*
"Computer play the audio sequence SoN326 with the volume of 3." Seven asked the computer and immediately heard a murmuring sound from the speakers. Seven's irritated nerves immediately calmed and her breathing became even again. Sighing, she picked up all the stuffed animals and put them back on the bed.
Then she sat down in the back of her room, hugging her knees and listening to the billions of voices, which turned into a single soft murmur as she focused her thoughts on places she had seen when she had one more Borg drones was.
She had not only assimilated other species into the Borg during all those 18 years, but was also sent on many fact-finding missions and had seen a great deal. Much of it was nice. But then as a Borg drone, she had not appreciated it or could not. But now, she thought back to the beautiful places as she listened to the murmurs of the billions of voices and visibly relaxed.
Chapter 13: *** In the engine room ***
Before she started working in the engine room the next morning, she put on her organic suit under her new uniform, hoping that B'Elanna would not notice.
Seven just felt better with her bio-suit under her uniform, just because her organic suit tightened her and hurt her here and there, she felt better. She knew that was crazy, but it was part of her self-imposed punishment.
After breakfasting with the Wildmans, which consisted of a simple dietary supplement drink, she made her way to the engine room.
B'Elanna was waiting for her there, telling her that she was on a workstation closest to her current workspace.
Seven was not very busy and the tasks she got from B'Elanna were simple and did not challenge her mind or intellect. Thus, Seven's thoughts wandered off very quickly, causing the wild and angry voices to shout.
They began softly and mumbling, but grew louder and louder per minute. First, Seven tried to ignore her as always, but the louder they became, the harder she felt. Her hands reached for the work console and she clung to it and her whole body stiffened. Her left hand, which had been strengthened with borg technology, slowly deformed the case of the console, while Seven tried to push the voices into her head and hide. But when she realized that this was not possible and that she was just going to destroy the work console with her hand, she got up abruptly and took a few steps away from her work console. With a hunted look and ragged breath, she wondered what she should do. She felt like escaping from the engine room and hiding in Cargo Bay 2. Unfortunately that was not possible.
B'Elanna looked up from her work console and regarded Seven anxiously. Seeing how confused Seven looked, she quickly approached her.
"Seven, are you okay?" She asked softly so as not to alert anyone else to the situation.
Seven looked at her with wide eyes and shook her head.
"I need ..., I can not longer ..., I need a moment for myself." Seven stammered softly and looked helplessly at B'Elanna.
"I can not let you go unfortunately. Come with me to my office and you tell me what's wrong and then we'll see what we can do. Yes?" B'Elanna asked and Seven nodded uncertainly with her head.
B'Elanna pushed Seven into her office and locked the door, so no one knew what was going on, because that was nobody's business.
"Okay, what's up?" B'Elanna asked immediately after closing the door.
"I hear the voices screaming at me and tormenting me." Seven confessed softly. B'Elanna looked at her worriedly.
"Which voices exactly?" B'Elanna asked irritated.
"The voices of my victims, what they screamed the moment I assimilated them. The voices ... "Seven grabbed her head with both hands and pressed her against him, grimacing in pain. "The broken Vinculum, which is supposed to bring order to the spirit of the drones, has brought back these many voices, the memories of every single assimilation I have participated in. They scream fearfully, they are angry or they implore me not to assimilate them. They do not stop. I needed my holoprogram to silence the voices." Seven explained desperately as her body trembled and she pressed her hands even harder against her head.
"Hey, hey, stop hurting you." B'Elanna demanded, stepping quickly to Seven, placing her hands on Seven's hands and then loosening her from Seven's head.
"I can not let you into your holoprogram and you know it. But see, I can offer you something else. I know what it's like to be mentally tormented by memories, guilt and other things. What do you mean why I'm always so quick-tempered? It's not just because I'm Half klingon, but also because I carry a lot of guilt that I have to somehow break down. Look here, I do have a sandbag stuck in my office for this. Whenever I feel bad, frustrated or annoyed, I come and hit on the sandbag for a while and then I feel better again. Come on." try B'Elanna Seven and push her towards the sand bag.
Seven's body, still shaking, suddenly stiffened and looked skeptically at the sandbag and then at B'Elanna.
"Lt.?" She asked quietly and irritated.
"Oh come on, it's easy. Look." B'Elanna stepped closer to the sandbag and hit him several times. Then she looked at Seven and smiled broadly at her. "It's even fun. Come on try and if it does not help you, you can stop. OK?"
Seven looked at B'Elanna for a long moment, then sighed deeply and stepped to the sand bag. Uncertain, she looked back to B'Elanna and B'Elanna winked at her encouragingly.
At the beginning Seven was still very hesitant, but the more she realized how well she was doing and how the voices slowly fell silent in her head, the harder and faster she hit the sandbag.
B'Elanna watched for a while as Seven reacted to the sandbag, but the more Seven hit it, the more worried she became. Not because of the sandbag, but because of Seven. Her right hand was already bloody and her face was powder red. But before she could pull Seven away from the sandbag, she stopped herself.
For a long moment, Seven stood motionless in front of the sandbag and tried to regulate her breathing, while still keeping her hands ready to fight.
"Better?" B'Elanna asked softly and Seven looked at her.
"Yes, thank you."
"Good, let me see your hands, you hit pretty hard and your human hand is hurt." B'Elanna took Seven's hand in hers and looked at it. Her knuckles were bloody, but it did not look as bad as the injuries Seven had sustained on the holodeck, so B'Elanna released Seven's hand.
"It does not look that bad, can your nanopipes handle it?" She asked and Seven nodded her head.
"Well. Okay, so if you hear the voices again and need the sandbag, let me know. Yes?"
"Thank you, Lt." Seven said and looked uncertainly at B'Elanna before continuing.
"The voices come whenever my mind is not busy. The tasks you have assigned to me are not a challenge for me. May I please work on something that challenges my mind more?" Seven asked softly.
B'Elanna looked at Seven in amazement and confusion, mostly because she had thought that the task she had assigned Seven was demanding.
"Are you really serious?" She asked.
"Yes, in the astrometrical lab I am used to doing several things at once. In addition, while the long-haul sensors analyze the latest data, I perform at least 3-4 other tasks, such as mathematical calculations, analysis of various things, or improvement of the effectiveness of various methods. I also have an audio sequence every now and then, which increases my effectiveness. But this is hardly possible here in the engine room." Seven said and sighed softly.
But before B'Elanna could reply, the doorbell hummed and both women looked at the door in surprise.
"Come in" B'Elanna called and a moment later the captain was in the office.
"Hello, I wanted to ask how ... Oh, what happened to your hand?" Kathryn asked worriedly and startled when she saw Seven's bloody hand. B'Elanna and Seven looked helplessly for a moment.
"Hello Captain, um ... that's my fault." B'Elanna said quickly, coming close to Seven.
"It's not really bad, Seven's nanoprobes can handle that well." B'Elanna explained, and Kathryn looked skeptically at her with raised eyebrows.
"And how did that happen?" Kathryn asked sternly.
B'Elanna looked at Seven and Seven looked at B'Elanna. Seven was embarrassed to have to say how it happened and B'Elanna was unsure if she could tell, so both women remain silent.
Kathryn looked from B'Elanna to Seven. When neither woman wanted to answer her, she sighed deeply.
"Given what Seven has done to herself in the past six months, insist on getting an answer to my question." Kathryn replied sternly in Captain mode.
Seven flinched due to the severity of the captain's voice and took a few steps back.
"B'Elanna allowed me to use her sandbag to mine ..." Seven hesitated, not knowing exactly how to name it. But fortunately for her, B'Elanna jumped in for her.
"Seven had a problem and we solved it with the sandbag. It was the best and fastest possible solution we could find for this problem." she explained.
Kathryn glared at the two women. "What was that problem?"
When both women were silent again, Kathryn shook her head annoyed.
"Okay, you solved the problem. So I can assume that everything is alright now?" Kathryn asked and looked at her two officers.
"Yes Captain, the problem is solved and everything is fine, is not it Seven?" B'Elanna asked and Seven nodded her head.
"Okay, then you should go back to your workstations and continue with your work. Seven, I would like to see you after your service in my ready room." Kathryn explained, then turned around and left B'Elanna's office and engine room.
After the captain left, B'Elanna and Seven returned to their respective workstations. B'Elanna, after doing some things, asked Seven with other assignments to ensure that the young Exborg was more than busy for the rest of her working time. Seven was very grateful to B'Elanna and B'Elanna was amazed more than once how efficiently Seven could work and how pleasant it was to have her in the engine room. Wherever she was always annoyed by Seven, working in her engine room, she could now clearly admit that Seven was a tremendous asset to her and her crew.
As soon as the alpha shift was over, B'Elanna brought Seven to the bridge.
Chapter 14: *** Ready room of the Captain ***
"Come in." Kathryn called after her door buzzer sounded.
Seven stepped into the ready room a little hesitantly, unlike any other, and stood in front of the desk. Kathryn looked up at her and gave her a friendly smile.
"Seven, nice that you are here. How is your hand?" She asked immediately and got up from her desk and went to Seven. Before she could answer, Kathryn had taken her hand in her hand and was watching her attentively.
"Well, your nanoprobes seem to have healed your hand again. I am really happy. However, I still want to know what happened and why you used B'Elanna's sandbag." Kathryn said, running her hand gently over Seven's hand.
Seven looked down at her hand, confused by the feelings that spread throughout her as the captain had stroke over it.
Quickly she withdrew her hand from the captain's hand and put her two hands behind her back and straightened up.
"I ... I had trouble ... concentrating on work. The voices in my head tormented me and I needed something that distracted me from it. I asked B'Elanna to let me go, but instead she pushed me into her office. And after I told her what was bothering me, she said I should use her sandbag." Seven explained quietly.
Kathryn frowned at her.
"Voices in your head? Please explain that to me in more detail." Kathryn asked and went to the upper floor and sat down on the couch. Seven followed her and sat with her, but only because she knew the captain would find it more comfortable than if she had stand.
"Since the broken Vinculum, all my memory of every single assimilation I have made has been released. As soon as my mind is not busy, with important things, the voices or many times the memories of the assimilations come back and torment me. That's why I created the holo program. I have recreated my victims and designed the holo figures to the original. So they should act exactly as they would if they were real. I do not know exactly what I wanted to do with it. But in the first test run, a Klingon attacked me and injured me. At first, I was shocked by the violence that was brought to me. But I also noticed that this distracted me for a moment from my guilt and although I was physically injured, it made me mentally better. So I've expanded the holoprogram more and more. Whenever the voices or the memories have returned, I went to the holodeck and started the program." Seven said softly.
Kathryn had seen what had happened in the holoprogram, but hearing it from Seven again gave her a better glimpse into what made Seven create this program.
"I heard the voices in the engine room and I had to stop them to continue working again. I asked B'Elanna to let me go, so I could handle it. But instead she pushed me into her office and showed me her sandbag. It was good for me to beat it." Confessed Seven and looked uncertainly at Kathryn.
Kathryn nodded her head before answering.
"I'm really glad that you had B'Elanna by your side and she could help you. However, I'm not thrilled with the way you both solved your problem with the voices. You were injured and I thought we knew we were not initiating any further self-harm or injury from any third party. Honestly, I was very worried and disappointed earlier." Kathryn got up from her couch and took a few steps.
"I ..." Kathryn rubbed the back of her hand over her forehead and thought for a moment how she should say exactly what she wanted to say, so that Seven understood and acted as she wished.
"Seven, please understand that I can not allow someone in my crew to expose themselves to a danger associated with personal or other personal injury. I think the idea of using the sandbag is a good idea, but I have to insist that if you use the sandbag the next time you put on boxing gloves to avoid injury. Can I rely on you to comply?" Kathryn asked, watching Seven closely.
Seven thought quietly for a moment before nodding her head.
"Yes, Captain." she said softly afterwards.
"Well, whatever else, you look very well in your new uniform. How do you feel about it?" Kathryn asked softly.
"The uniform is acceptable." she replied in an old Borg manner, and Kathryn looked at her a little confused.
"Acceptable?" She asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Yes, Captain." Seven replied sheepishly.
"Please tell me what bothers you about the uniform." Kathryn asked and looked at Seven curiously.
"I felt clothed without my bio-suit and just the uniform, weird. That's why I put on my organic suit this morning." Seven said, but deliberately left the real reason as she had already disappointed her captain enough. The truth that she still wore her organic suit under her uniform to continue punishing herself without anyone knowing it would undoubtedly disappoint and perhaps annoy the Captain.
"Oh, I did not think so. But do not you think it would be better not to wear your organic suit anymore? B'Elanna had told me he was causing you pain because he was too tight. Maybe we can find another alternative." Kathryn pointed out.
Seven frowned at Kathryn.
"Captain, I will not wear my bio-suit any more, if you wish. An alternative, however, is not necessary. I am Borg, I will adapt." Seven replied, making up her mind to never put on her bio-suit again, especially as she did not want to deceive and disappoint her captain any more.
"Seven, you're no longer a borg, you're a young woman, and you do not have to adapt if there are other ways to make you feel better. So no arguing, we'll find a good replacement for your organic suit.
That reminds me, I had a conversation with the doctor this morning. He is very sorry that he did not tell you that you no longer have to wear the bio-suit. I am frankly, very angry with him and have told him that I find it very reprehensible of him what he has done. I also told him that if more of these things happen, I will personally make sure his matrix is put back to the beginning. He then promised that he would never again use his position as a doctor."
Seven had listened attentively, but actually she cared little what Catptain had discussed with the doctor. She found it irrelevant that she had been wearing the organic suit for so long without really having to do it. The only thing she was interested in was when would she be able to work in astrometry again, as she missed her job very much?
"Captain, when can I work in astrometry again?" She asked.
Kathryn sighed deeply and looked at Seven with a sad look.
"I think that you will not return to astrometry for the time being. First, because I just do not want you to spend too much time alone, and second, I think it will do you good to work in the engine room. I can understand that you prefer to work in astrometry instead of in the engine room. After all, it's your kingdom." Kathryn explained and then got up to replicate a coffee. As a precaution, she also replicated a tea for Seven and returned to the couch.
Seven gratefully accepted her tea from Kathryn and sipped it.
"I understand. I lost your trust, how long will it take to win it back?" She asked softly.
Kathryn looked up from her coffee cup and studied Seven intently.
"You have not lost my trust, I still trust you as much as ever. The only thing that has changed is that I'm very worried about you and therefore I want you to be fine. Not only did you hurt yourself with your holoprogram, you also hurt me." Kathryn said softly.
Seven looked at her in confusion. "Captain, I do not understand you. Please explain it to me!" Asked Seven right away.
Kathryn sighed and put her coffee cup down on her coffee table.
"Okay, look, if somebody you like a lot, something terrible happens, then your friends, work colleagues, and family also feel bad. On the one hand you feel bad because you could not prevent what happened, on the other hand because you do not want it to be the one that happened, it's bad. You want only the best for the people you like and love. You want to keep them safe and make sure that what has happened can never happen again. I did not realize how bad you were and so I could not stop your holoprogram from hurting you. That all hurts me because I had to watch helplessly, that you were so badly injured and had great pain. Do you understand that?" Kathryn asked and looked at Seven closely.
Seven dropped her head and guiltily looked at her hands, which she had placed in her lap.
"I did not mean to hurt you." she murmured softly and got up quickly from the couch, trying to escape the situation. But Kathryn caught Seven's arm and held her tight.
"Please sit down again. I'm pretty sure you did not want to hurt me behavior, neither your friends. And I think, now that you know that your actions affect not only you, but also the people around you, that you will be more careful with what you are doing." Kathryn said and smiled gently at Seven and patted her knee on her.
"What ever, how are you with the Wildmans so far?"
"Good." Seven said curtly, but then she remembered that she had weathered the night at the Wildmans more than good. "However, I need a workstation in my room so I can work in the time I have. I do not need sleep, so I'm not used to having so much time." Seven explained and Kathryn looked at her thoughtfully.
"We did not think about that. I'll let the maintenance team know right away so they can set up a workstation in your room. But Seven, I do not like it so much that you also want to work in your free time. Maybe it would be good if you tried out some hobbies that you could do in your free time?"
"Hobbies?" Seven asked, frowning
"Yes, hobbies - you know that I like the Leonardo da Vinci holo program, for example, and spend time there with creative work that I like to read and play Velocity with you. These are my hobbies to disconnect from work. Maybe something like that would make you enjoyable too. B'Elanna has asked commander Chakotay if she can teach you some martial arts and he agreed. I'm not excited about it, but maybe you find such a hobby you like?" Encouraged Kathryn Seven.
Seven sighed deeply.
"I'm not sure if I want to fight B'Elanna or get to know martial arts." she confessed softly.
"Look at it first, if you do not like it, then you can stop." Kathryn encouraged Seven before moving on to the next topic.
"Commander Chakotay, incidentally, has a plan when he wants to hold his anti-aggression training. When we talked about it, we even had the idea to start a group so that other crewmembers could participate as well. As it turns out, we are not the only ones who need help solving feelings of guilt. Neelix and Sam Wildman have already said that they want to participate. And B'Elanna is still thinking about it."
Seven looked at Kathryn in surprise. "A group meeting? I'm not sure I want that." she confessed, looking at Kathryn unhappily.
"No need to worry. Let's talk about it tomorrow. B'Elanna is probably already waiting for you in Holodeck 2." Kathryn said and got up from the couch, but Seven looked puzzled.
"Tomorrow?" She asked.
"Oh, you do not know that yet. I've decided that every day after your duty, we'll meet here in my ready room to talk about your day and how you feelings." Kathryn explained and pulled Seven into a slight hug as she got up from the couch.
Seven returned the embrace irritated.
"Is that also an new innovation?" She asked after Kathryn had let her go again.
"Yes, I hope you do not mind. I think both of us are doing well once a day in a hug. Do not you think so too?" Kathryn asked, smiling shyly at Seven.
Seven smiled back, mostly because she liked the hug very well and within a few seconds had a pleasant feeling in her body spread.
"No Captain, one hug a day is acceptable." she replied quickly.
"Good." Kathryn said pleased. "Then you should go to Holodeck 2 quickly now, B'Elanna is always grumpy if you're late." Kathryn explained, and Seven quickly left the ready room and made her way to her next compulsory program.
Chapter 15: *** Kickboxing with B'Elanna ***
"Ah, there you are. Come on, let's get changed and then we'll start warming up." B'Elanna explained after Seven finally appeared in the holodeck 2.
"How was it by the Captain?" B'Elanna asked as the two put on the replicated sportswear.
"Acceptable. She told me once again that she does not tolerate the crew members putting themselves at risk and then injuring themselves. She insists I wear boxing gloves the next time I use your sandbag." Seven replied casually.
"Yes that is a good idea. I even have some in my closet, but I rarely use them. It's not the same feeling when you hit the sandbag with your boxing gloves, as if you're doing it with your hands." B'Elanna explained and mentally made a note that she gave Seven boxing gloves next time.
"She wants me to meet her every day after my duty and we talk about my day and how I feel." Seven continued, and B'Elanna frowned at her.
"For real? That's great - even more privileges for you." B'Elanna snorted a little pissed off. She would also like to have such a privilege and sometimes someone, except Tom, want to have a chat.
Seven looked at B'Elanna sheepishly. "It is not my wish, but the wish of the captain. I'm sorry, I do not want all this privileges." she said quietly, hanging her head.
"Hey, that's okay. You need those conversations, and if it helps, that you do not go nuts, I'm in favor. After all, no one wants a crazy Borg to run through the corridors of Voyager." B'Elanna replied.
"A crazy Borg? I do not think I'm nuts." Seven said offended, pouting.
When B'Elanna saw that, she laughed. "Oh Seven, not yet, but who knows." said B'Elanna after she stopped laughing. Seven frowned at her.
"The captain hugged me goodbye and when I asked her why she did that, she said it would do her good and me too." Seven said to change the subject.
B'Elanna stared at her speechlessly.
"I think the captain is lonely. Maybe we should bring them together with Commander Chaoktay." Seven continued and B'Elanna looked at her with open mouth even more speechless. Only after a while, after shaking her head, could she think normal again.
"Seven, are you kidding me or are you serious?" B'Elanna asked in disbelief.
Seven looked at her irritated.
"I mean it serious. Did I draw the wrong conclusions?" She asked in surprise.
"Hm ... that's not it. You're right that the captain is certainly very lonely. But to hook them up with Chakotay is not a good idea, I think." B'Elanna said, scratching her neck.
"Why is not that a good idea?" Seven asked curiously.
"Oh, Kahles, are we really having this conversation?" B'Elanna asked annoyed and Seven looked at her irritated.
"Yes?" She said uncertainly.
"Okay, let's start the warm-up workout. I'll explain it to you in the meantime." B'Elanna replied, pulling Seven out of the locker room and into the gym.
"Look, everyone knows that the Captain and Chakotay understand each other very well and there are still are many rumors that there's more between them than we all assume. But for my part, I think, if the two were really belong to each other, then they would already be together. And not in secret, but officially. But I think they are just a good leader duo and private good friends. There is not between the two. And do you know what else I think?" B'Elanna asked as she went through the warm-up exercises with Seven.
"What?" Seven asked, looking at B'Elanna.
"I think the captain likes someone else more than Chakotay." B'Elanna said mysteriously.
Since Seven was not interested in gossip, she did not ask further, but completed her warm-up exercises, as B'Elanna showed her.
"God Lord. Seven, do not you mind a bit who the captain likes more than Chakotay?" B'Elanna asked in frustration after a while after Seven did not ask.
"No." said Seven curtly and looked at B'Elanna determined.
"Why are not you interested?" B'Elanna asked, sighing.
"Because it's none of my business, it's the captain's private life." Seven explained.
"If the Captain wanted me to know, she would tell me. Or?" Seven pointed out.
B'Elanna sighed deeply and shook her head.
"You're really a number Seven." said B'Elanna, instructing Seven to run some jogging round the boxing ring with her.
"A number?" Seven asked, raising her eyebrows.
"You say that when someone is as unbelievable as you. Do not take me too seriously." B'Elanna replied as they run around the boxing ring.
"I am unbelievable? What do you mean by that?" Seven asked and B'Elanna stopped in her run.
"Because you're the one the Captain likes more than Chakotay. But you do not want to know that. That's why you are so unbelievable. Okay?" B'Elanna asked, starting to race around the boxing ring.
Seven, however, remained standing, thinking about what B'Elanna had just told her. Why would the captain like her rather than the commander Chakotay? It made no sense to her.
"The Captain likes me more than the Commander?" She asked, confused as B'Elanna ran past her the next time. B'Elanna stopped and approached Seven.
"Yes, she likes you more than Chakotay. What do you think, why you have so many privileges, more than anyone else on the ship? Incidentally, that's why Tuvok and Chakotay were so against you live in the Captain's quarters. They both know about the captain's feelings for you." B'Elanna explained, and Seven looked speechless.
"But the captain had a fiancé, she loves men." Seven pointed out.
"Well, her fiancé separated from her after she disappeared for 4 years in the Delta Quadrant and married another woman. And just because she had a man at her side before, does not mean that she only loves men. What love you?" B'Elanna asked bluntly as she started to jog again with Seven, this time again.
"What do you mean by your question, what I love?" Asked Seven surprised.
"Well, do you like men or do you like women? From which gender do you feel attracted to?" B'Elanna asked a bit out of breath.
Seven jogged against it as if she was not doing anything exhausting and thought about B'Elanna's question.
"I do not know what I love or what I like. The doctor had not informed me that I had a choice between a man and a woman. And since I grew up with the Borg, so far I have not been able to gain any experience in this regard." explained Seven, after she had thought about it.
"So you do not know what sexually attracts you?" B'Elanna asked and stopped. Seven came to a stop beside her.
"No, all I know is Ensign Harry Kim does not dress me sexually. I have not thought about the captain yet. What do I have to do now?" Seven asked curiously, looking closely at B'Elanna.
"Hm ... so I think you should look for what sexually attracts you. Whether women or men. And then you can decide with this knowledge how you want to proceed. But look, if the captain does not dress you sexually, then you do not have to relate to her. You are not obliged to anything. You may as well forget our conversation or dismiss it as irrelevant."
"The captain has a lot of good qualities that I really like." Seven thought, and B'Elanna could see Seven's attention getting distracted from warm-up and thinking about her captain.
"Whenever she touches me, whether on the arm, knee or shoulder, then I feel very warm in my body and I feel my heart starting to beat harder. My nano probes begin to rush wildly through my bloodstream and my breathing sometimes stops. Is that a sign that I also like the captain or is it a sign that I do not like her?" Seven asked after a while.
B'Elanna's eyes widened and she was speechless.
"These are signs that you are attracted to her. How did you feel when she hugged you today?" B'Elanna asked curiously.
"I felt very good, as if I were floating. Does not everyone feel that way when he or she gets a hug? I do not have much experience with hugs. Yesterday, when you hugged me, I felt better as well, but it was different than the captain's hug." Seven confessed.
"I think we should bring you and the captain together." B'Elanna admitted, but Seven looked at her in horror.
"No, that's unacceptable. I do not want to be in a relationship with the captain." Seven said quickly and upset.
"Why not?" B'Elanna asked and looked at Seven in amazement.
"I am inadequate, I have assimilated 7613 living things, my body is deformed. The captain should only be with someone who is perfect. It's not me." Seven replied immediately, making B'Elanna sigh.
"Seven, the Captain knows everything about you. She knows you better than anyone else on Voyager. It was she who freed you from the collective, she knows that you have countless implants on and in your body. Likewise, she knows that you as Borg have assimilated sentient beings. So believe me, if she really likes you the way I think, then she does not care, because she likes you as a human and she sees in you a young woman who deserves to be loved." Replied B'Elanna.
Seven looked at her silently for a while before answering.
"What evidence is there that the captain likes me this way and not just as a crew member or as a friend?"
"Well, you are her darling, we already know that, because you have many privileges. But today she hugged you, she never does that or very, very rarely. Anyway, she is not someone who gives everyone a hug. I also saw her react when she came to the holodeck and saw you lying heavily injured in my arms. I swear, that really shocked her and hit her hard. Then she often visited you in Cargo Bay 2 while you had to regenerate. In those two days, she really was not herself. She was mentally distracted, nervous and jerky. And then she did everything to make sure that you are no longer alone. You work with me in the engine room and live with the Wildmans, you have a full program and in the near future you will not spend a single moment alone, except at night. That and a lot more, makes me think to feel the captain feel more for you." B'Elanna explained.
On Seven's face, however, spread a smile.
"No, you are wrong. I think the captain would do that for everyone else in her crew as well. She is not interested in me. So I do not wish you to bring us together." Seven said stubbornly and B'Elanna looked at her speechless.
"Seven ..." but before B'Elanna could continue speaking, Seven gave her a look that made B'Elanna run cold over her back.
"No, I do not want any further discussion about it. Let's start training?" Seven asked, reminding B'Elanna why she was here.
"Okay, okay, I'll never say a word about it again. Come let's go into the ring, then I'll show you the basic kicks." B'Elanna replied resignedly and climbed into the boxing ring.
Seven followed her and both women started their training. After spending half an hour practicing different kicks, Seven suddenly stopped. B'Elanna looked at her in surprise.
"Seven, what's going on?" She asked.
"Kickboxing is not the right sport for me. I would like to try another sport." she said quietly, hoping that B'Elanna would accept it.
"Hm ... are you sure? I mean, we have not even fought together, just practiced the basics. Once you have the kicks on it, you can compete against each other and fight. Then it's more fun too." B'Elanna replied, but Seven shook her head.
"Yes I am sure. I've stored many thousands of pieces of information about a variety of sports, the various species, in my Cortical Knots. That's why I know there are other sports that interest me more than kickboxing." Seven explained reasonably.
"Okay, well, so what are you suggesting?" B'Elanna asked.
"I'd like to learn more about team sports and try them." Seven replied immediately.
"And which sports did you think of that?" B'Elanna asked skeptically.
"I do not know, I need to get a good overview of which sports interests me." explained Seven.
"Okay, do we want to use our last minutes we have left for more basic kicks or prefer to move?" B'Elanna asked.
"Move." Seven replied curtly and left the boxing ring.
After both had changed, B'Elanna Seven still brought to the Wildman's quarters and then said goodbye to her.
Chapter 16: *** The evening with Naomi ***
"Hello Seven, could you take care of Naomi tonight? I have to go back to the science lab, one of my rehearsals has become independent and I have to see what's going on?" Sam asked as Seven entered the Wildman's quarters.
Seven raised her eyebrow and looked at Sam skeptically.
"What is required?" She asked a bit overwhelmed with the situation. She has never been responsible for a child. Yes, she had spent some time with Naomi, but that was different. She never had the responsibility for her, but only made her company.
"Oh no worries, around 7pm she should have dinner and go to bed at 9pm. I hope I'll be back soon. Are you taking care of her?" Sam asked again friendly and Seven nodded her head.
"Thanks." Sam quickly gave Seven a hug before turning to Naomi. "Honey, you are nice and listen to Seven, okay?"
"Yes, Mom." Naomi said, looking forward to the evening alone with Seven. That would definitely be fun.
"Fine, I'll be back soon. See you later." Sam shouted to the two as she hurried out of the quarters.
"That's so cool." Naomi said beaming.
"Yes" said Seven, sighing deeply. "What now?" She asked afterwards.
"We could play Kadeskot or listen to a radio play. Or we ..." Naomi stopped and thought feverishly about what she could do.
Meanwhile, Seven went to her room and was satisfied that the maintenance team had already installed a workstation there.
Naomi arrived in Seven room and beamed at her happily. "I know what we can do now." she announced, and Seven looked at her intently.
"We could replicate a new casual wear. You can not walk around in your uniform all the time. Mom always changes clothes when she's in the quarter. How do you like the idea?"
"Acceptable." Seven responded immediately, having already considered what to wear when not wearing her uniform. She did not want to wear her organic suit anymore, as she had promised the captain.
"Great, let's have a look at the computer, what you like."
After spending a long time looking at the various leisurewear on the computer, they replicate two casual pants, shirts and two warm sweaters. To Naomi's displeasure, Seven had decided, against chic things and only monotonous clothes, which were in the opinion of Seven sufficient and practical, picked out.
When the choice was made, the two replicated the selected casual clothing and Seven then changed the clother.
"Did you see the woman?" Naomi asked pointing to a woman on the screen of the computer.
"She looks damn chic. Do not you think so?"
Seven looked at the woman and also found that the woman looked aesthetically pleasing. Not knowing exactly what Naomi meant, she just said "Yes."
"I like her hairstyle. That would be very chic for you, too." Naomi replied, looking at Seven excitedly.
"Seven, I could do your hair like the woman. That would look so nice. May I? Please!" Naomi asked and Seven looked at her irritated.
"What's wrong with my current hairstyle?" She asked confused.
"Nothing, but you always look so strict with it. This hairstyle, on the other hand, looks a lot better and she would certainly be very good for you." Naomi pointed again to the hairstyle, which was about chin long and curly.
"Okay." Seven said defeated. "What are we going to do?"
"Oh, you sit down here and I'll get a pair of scissors. Open your hair. I'd better get a comb." Naomi called to her as she ran quickly into the bathroom and then took her craft scissors into her room.
"Okay, now we have everything. I'll comb your hair first and then I'll start cutting." Naomi replied radiantly.
"Have you cut ever hair?" Seven asked skeptically as Naomi combed her shoulder-length hair.
Shortly thereafter, Naomi had already put the scissors, in one hand, on the hair of Seven, in her other hand and cut already on it.
"No, but it sure looks great, ... shit." Naomi said suddenly, and Seven turned her head to her in alarm.
"What?" She asked worriedly.
Naomi looked at her in dismay as she held out a handful of hair.
"I am ..., I have ... oh Seven I did it wrong. I'm sorry, please do not be angry. "With that Naomi Seven gave her hair cut off and Seven looked irritated at the many cut off hairs.
"What happened?" She asked confused.
"I cut off too much and it is very crooked. Wait, I'll do it again. Okay?" Naomi asked and before Seven could say anything, Naomi had cut another tuft of hair. Only it looked worse now than before. Tears quick welled up in Naomi's eyes and she began to sob.
"Seven ..." Naomi said in a shaky voice. Seven turned to Naomi and looked at her worriedly.
"What is it?"
"I only made it worse." cried Naomi and over her little face the tears ran down freely. Seven pulled Naomi into her arms and hugged her tight.
"Appearance is irrelevant. Do not worry." Seven tried Naomi to calm down. Naomi sniffed for a while, until she had calmed down. Then she pulled herself out of Seven's hug.
"I'm sorry, I thought I could do that. But I think I know how to make it up to you. "With that, Naomi took her long hair in her hand and with the other hand, still holding the pair of scissors, she cut off her long hair.
Seven looked appalled and speechless.
"Well, Now we'll look the same." Naomi said, beaming at Seven. But Seven only made big eyes and looked at the long cut hair of Naomi horrified.
"I think your mom will not like that." Seven managed to say softly. Naomi looked startled at Seven. She had not thought of her mom.
"No definitely not. She will be very angry." said the little girl, looking down at the ground in despair and starting to cry again.
Seven put her hand under her chin and lifted her little face up and looked at her gently.
"You know what? In the last few days I've been told many times, If I can not solve a problem alone, I can ask for help. We will now ask for help and repair the damage caused. Your mom will not be mad at us then. Okay?" Seven asked and Naomi nodded her head.
"Good." Seven replied and clicked on her communicator.
"Seven to the captain." While Seven called the captain, Naomi's eyes widened. She did not think Seven would ask the captain for help.
"What is Seven?" The captain's voice answered almost immediately.
"I need your help. Please come to the Wildman's quarters."
There was a brief silence in the line and Seven frowned. Was it wrong to ask the captain for help? She thought, worried.
"On my way." the captain answered, and Seven's forehead smoothed out again.
"Do you really think the captain can help us?" Naomi asked worriedly.
"The Captain is a smart woman, she will certainly have a solution to our problem and help us. Do not worry, everything will be fine." Seven confidently explained.
Shortly after, the buzzer of the quarter hummed. Seven hurried to the door and opened it for the captain.
As soon as Kathryn saw Seven standing in the door, her eyes widened and she looked at Seven speechless. When she finally released her eyes on Seven and her strange hairstyle and her eyes fell on Naomi, she opened her mouth, but then closed it again. To reopen it shortly thereafter.
"What happened?" She asked worried. But both Seven and Naomi looked at her in silence and embarrassment.
Kathryn sighed deeply and entered the quarters. There she looked closely at Seven and Naomi.
"Seven you asked for help. But I can only help you if I know exactly what happened and for what you need my help." Kathryn said mildly.
"I cut Seven's hair, I thought I could. But I screwed it up and then I cut my hair off as well. And now my mom will be terribly angry with me." Naomi admitted sheepishly and hung her head.
"Where is your mom?" Kathryn asked, looking closely at Seven's new hairstyle, or much more that was left of it.
"She had to go to the science lab again. She asked me to take care of Naomi." Seven confessed quietly and sheepishly.
"Oh, and how did you come up with the idea that cutting hair could be a good idea?" Kathryn asked, putting her hands on her hip.
Both of them looked embarrassed to the ground and remained silent.
"Okay, I think we'll get it good. I should call Mr. Chell and ask him to cut your hair so that it looks acceptable." Kathryn explained and called Mr. Chell.
"Thanks, Mr. Chell for your help." Kathryn said goodbye to the Bollian. Then she turned to Seven and Naomi.
"If I'm not mistaken, it's time for dinner now. Naomi be so nice and deck the table. Seven please clean up the mess quickly. And I will replicate the food." Kathryn ordered and Seven and Naomi set to work, while Kathryn replicated three plates filled with pasta, tomato sauce and meatballs.
After the three sat down at the table, they ate their food in silence. Naomi, who had almost forgotten about the hair issue, given the delicious food, focused on her noodles.
Seven, on the other hand, watched the captain first roll up her noodles and then shove them into her mouth. Only then did she eat her meal.
Kathryn occasionally looked at Seven and Naomi, and inside she had to smile a lot. Once she was the same age as Naomi, she and her sister had caused a similar drama. At that time she had gotten a lot of trouble from her mother, and from then on, all the scissors were safely kept until they were both old enough to handle it properly.
After Naomi had finished eating her plate, she looked at Kathryn beaming.
"Thanks Captain, the food was delicious. May I get another dessert?" She asked hopefully.
But Kathryn shook her head.
"No, I think you have to go to bed today without dessert because of today's events." Kathryn replied mildly.
Naomi hung her head. "Okay." she murmured softly.
"Well, when you're done, you should get ready for bed now, so long will Seven recycle the dishes." Kathryn ordered busily.
Naomi got up immediately and disappeared into her room to get her sleeping gear and then get ready in the bathroom.
"Captain, why should not Naomi get dessert?" Seven asked as she put the dishes in the replicator and recycled them.
"Well, dessert is often just a reward. So Naomi's mom would not approve of Naomi getting a dessert today even though she did not deserve it. Do not worry, Naomi understands it." Kathryn explained and approached Seven.
With her fingers she brushed a lock of hair, which Seven hung in the face, behind Seven's ear and looked at her gently.
"I'll go now and teach Naomi's mom and explain everything to her. Please take Naomi to bed. And thank you for trusting me and allowing me to help you." Kathryn said, pulling Seven into a hug, goodbye.
"Thank you, Captain, for your help." Seven replied softly after Kathryn let her go.
"No problem. See you tomorrow after your duty, then maybe we can talk about what happened today. Good night Seven." Seven nodded to Kathryn and Kathryn left the quarters.
"Hello Ensign Wildman." she said and Sam looked at her in surprise.
"Captain, what can I do for you?" Sam asked, quickly securing her experiment.
"Well, I'm here to say a good word for Naomi and Seven. The two had an interesting evening and are now afraid of your reaction when you get back to your quarters." Kathryn replied with a chuckle.
"What happened?" Sam asked alarmed.
"Oh, nothing tragic. Naomi played hairdressing and cut Seven and herself, the hair. The result, unfortunately, was not what the two had imagined. Mr. Chell and I have fixed the biggest damage. No need to worry. I'm just here to prepare you." Kathryn explained and smiled at Sam.
Sam frowned and did not know how to react. She felt like rushing to her quarters to take a close look at the damage. But as the captain smiled at her, it did not seem so tragic. So she sighed deeply, trying to swallow her concern.
"Captain, how bad is the result?" She asked bravely.
"Seven's hair length has shortened to her ears and it actually looks nice. Naomi's hair is now chin-length. But honestly, has not everyone ever cuted around in his life, on his own hair? So you should not be too strict with the two. What do you think?" Kathryn asked, looking closely at Sam.
Sam thought about it and then nodded to the captain.
"Yes Captain, you are right. May I ask you something?"
"Yes, just ask."
"Why did you decide that Seven should live with us? I mean, I do not mind that she lives with us and Naomi is overjoyed. But I am very surprised." replied Sam.
"Well, you already know that Seven was feeling sick and that's why I decided she should not be alone anymore. I also wanted her to live a family life, and I hope that she will be fine and that she will be able to deal with her problems and make her feel better." Kathryn explained.
"Thank you, Captain. Could you also tell me what Seven's exact problem is? Maybe I could help her a lot better and support her if I know what she's feel bad."
Kathryn looked closely at Sam and wondered if it would be good to tell her everything.
"Seven feels very guilty because she has assimilated so many other creatures as she was a Borg drone. As a result, she made wrong decisions that affected and harmed her health." Kathryn explained, without giving details.
"Is she a threat to Naomi?" Sam asked, worried.
Kathryn shook her head and put her hand on Sam's arm to calm her.
"No of course not. I can promise you 100% that Seven poses no danger to Naomi. She loves Naomi and she would never do anything to her. She is currently only a danger to itself and there is the problem. She harms and punish herself for what she has done as she was a Borg drone. Therefore, it is important that she is not alone with her guilt feelings and receives aids, in the form of conversations, a loving family life, strategies for the healthy processing of problems and support, by the crew." Kathryn replied quickly.
Sam thought about it and then nodded to Kathryn.
"Thank you, Captain, for being so honest with me and trusting me that I can help Seven as well. Naomi and I will do our best to show Seven a loving family life and involve them." Sam replied, receiving a very happy smile from Kathryn.
"Thanks, Sam, I'm sure you and Naomi will do that wonderfully. If there is something or you need my help with something, please let me know. Well, now I will let you continue working."
"Good night, Captain." Sam replied and Kathryn smiled at her once more as she left the science lab and headed for her own quarters.
Chapter 17: ***The next day***
When Sam returned to her quarters late at night, everything was quiet and quiet. Quietly she sneaked up to Naomi's room and silently opened her door. Through the corridor light she could see enough in the room that Naomi's small body had snuggled against Seven's body. The computer was playing a strange audio sequence that seemed to consist of a constant murmur.
"Computer stop the audio sequence." Sam asked the computer and immediately stopped the soft murmur. But Seven stirred restlessly in her sleep and muttered to herself for a moment. Naomi snuggled closer to Seven's body. Whereupon Seven calmed down again and she stopped mumbling.
Sam frowned and quietly closed the door again and made himself ready for bed.
"Good morning mom." She answered sleepily.
Sam pulled her daughter into her arms and squeezed her lightly.
"We have to talk about your hair this afternoon. But now it's time to get up. Go to the bathroom and wash yourself. I have to talk to Seven for a minute." Sam explained and Naomi looked at her anxiously.
"Mom, it was all my fault, please do not be mad at Seven." Naomi said before she crawled out of bed and picked her clothes out of her closet.
"Do not worry, the captain was with me yesterday and explained everything to me. We'll talk about it this afternoon." Sam said, smiling gently at her daughter. Naomi's worried mine quickly turned and she looked at her, relieved.
While Naomi went to the bathroom, Sam put her hand on Seven's shoulder and squeezed it gently. Seven stirred slightly and opened her eyes. Disoriented she looked at Sam.
"Good morning Seven. How did you sleep?" Sam asked worried after Seven looked at her strangely.
Seven awkwardly stood up in bed, rubbing sleep out of her organic eye with her hand.
"I'm not sure. It was the first time I slept in a bed." she replied in a husky and rough voice.
Sam smiled gently at her. "Certainly it is still very unusual for you and therefore feels a little strange now. Next time you will feel better when waking up. By the way, a shower in the morning helps me to wake up." Sam explained.
"After a regeneration, I feel clearly better and more alert. Where is Naomi?" Seven asked after looking around the room.
"I sent her to the bathroom so I could talk to you in peace. For one thing, I apologize to you for putting you in a situation last night that has made your and Naomi's hair much shorter now. I am so sorry that this happened. And on the other hand, I wanted to give you a tip in dealing with children. You know, Naomi always seems to be very mature and sensible, mainly because she is always only with adults, but she is still a child. She often overestimates herself and her abilities. That is, she thinks she can do something, but in reality, she still can not. Therefore, please do not allow her to say that she could do something if she did not show you before that she really can. If you are unsure, just call me and ask. I can tell you exactly how it is." explained Sam and Seven frowned at her.
"I was not aware that Naomi does not know exactly what she can and can not do. I trusted her to tell me the truth." Seven said softly.
"She told you the truth. You know, kids always think they can do what they want to do. But the truth is that there is truth and then there is reality. And the reality is often different." Sam said and Seven thought about it.
"I failed." Seven said quietly, dropping her head.
"No, you did not fail. You are just very inexperienced in dealing with children. Please do not be so strict with yourself. I'll bet in a few weeks you'll have all the tricks Naomi uses to get this or that or to do it, then recognize and then make the right decisions. Do not worry, everything is fine. By the way, I like your new hairstyle." Sam said softly and Seven raised her head and looked at her uncertainly.
"So you allow me to take care of Naomi again?" Seven asked, ignoring the compliment to her new hairstyle.
"Yes, for sure. Why not?" Sam asked, smiling.
"I assumed I had failed, that you do not want me to take care of Naomi again." Seven said quietly.
"No, as I said, you did not fail. So, I'll check Naomi how far she is. Will you come to breakfast then?" Sam asked and Seven nodded to her.
"Great, today is muesli day, that means we will all eat cereal, you too." Sam said and disappeared from Naomi's room. Seven watched her skeptically and scoured her cortical knot for the term * cereal *. After finding an explanation and classifying it as a safe breakfast, she also left Naomi's room and went to her room to get her clothes and uniform so she could get ready for the day in the bathroom. After a shower, she really felt better and more refreshed. Sleeping in a bed did Seven but as an activity that she did not want to repeat so quickly. It was just very inefficient and a waste of time.
"Good morning Seven, nice hairstyle." She greeted B'Elanna and started to giggle.
"Why are you giggling?" Seven asked, pouting.
"I've heard the story at the casino about how it happened that Mr. Chell had to stop by your quarters last night to cut your hair and Naomi's hair. It was very funny, so I'm giggling." B'Elanna replied and grinned at Seven.
"I'm glad it makes you happy, but against all odds, I think the look is irrelevant. So I do not care what my hair looks like." Seven replied a little bitchy.
"Well, although that's your opinion, I have to say that you look pretty good with your new hairstyle." B'Elanna replied, winking at Seven. "Ah, before I forget, there's a new hot rumor. Would you like to know?" B'Elanna asked and looked at Seven with a smile.
Seven sighed deeply and rolled her eyes, which made B'Elanna grin even more.
"Rumors and gossip are irrelevant and an inefficient use of our time." Seven explained stiffly.
"Maybe, but here at Voyager, they are very welcome and make the majority of the crew a lot of fun, which enormously raises the morale of the crew. So, whether you like it or not, I'll just tell you the new rumor. Okay, so the captain is said to have had a date with a hot blonde yesterday." B'Elanna said, looking closely at Seven.
"That's a false rumor, the captain had taken dinner with Naomi and me." Seven replied immediately afterwards.
"Yeah, you're supposed to be the hot blonde."
"I? My body temperature has not increased in recent days, but has been consistent at 36.7 degrees. So I can not have been." Seven said triumphantly.
B'Elanna looked at Seven with wide eyes.
"Seven, are you kidding me? That with the *hot blonde* did not refer to your body temperature, but to your figure."
"I know." replied Seven, grinning broadly at B'Elanna. "That was a joke. I realize that some crew members call my body hot."
B'Elanna stared at Seven with her mouth open a little before grinning at Seven. Then she shook her head in the face of what she had needed so long to make friends with Seven and enjoy her company. By now B'Elanna liked her very much.
B'Elanna nudged Seven. "Hey, that was good," she said, winking at Seven. "Come, we will examine the gel packs in the Jefferies tubes today and maybe replace them. So we have a lot to do today. Incidentally, our punishing hours is over today because Chakotay today wants to hold anti-aggression training at 6 pm in the Holodeck 1." B'Elanna explained as she got her tool bag into the Jefferies tube that was adjacent to the engine room. Seven followed quickly.
"And after that?" Seven asked.
"After that I have an date with Tom. First dinner and then a cozy evening on the couch with a TV movie."
"A TV movie?" Seven muttered, looking after B'Elanna, who had crawled in the Jefferies tube a few feet in front of her.
"Yeah, today we're going to watch a computer-animated movie called 'Up', it's about an old man who just flies away with his house and wants to experience an adventure. Sounds funny right? You know what, just come over and watch the movie with us together." B'Elanna replied looking back at Seven.
"I do not want to disturb you in your leisurely evening." Seven replied and crept closer to B'Elanna, who had just loosened a cover and pulled her tricorder out of her tool box to analyze the gel packs behind the cover.
"Oh no, you do not disturb us. Tom even thinks that the more people are watching TV, the funnier it gets. Are you coming?" B'Elanna asked, smiling tensely at Seven.
"Okay, when should I show up?" Seven asked and gave herself up.
"Hm ... how about you come with me after the anti-aggression training is over? Then we can talk about the training." B'Elanna asked.
"Are you sure that Tom will not mind?" Seven asked doubtfully.
"I'll ask him later, but I think he will not mind. Give me the isolinear wrench out of my toolbox. I have to upgrade this gel pack here and install a new one." B'Elanna asked.
"B'Elanna Torres to Tom Paris."
"Hello darling, where are you? I thought we'd have lunch together at the casino?" Tom asked curiously.
"I'll be right back, but I wanted to ask you something undisturbed before. Can you please invite the captain for dinner today? Imagine anything, why she has to eat with us today." B'Elanna asked her friend.
"Why do you want the captain to come for dinner today?" He asked curiously.
"I invited Seven and have a great idea. I'll explain it later. See you at the casino, but do not say a word to anyone, okay?"
"Okay, but you realize that I'm really looking forward to your explanation now?"
"Yeah, I know that. See you soon." B'Elanna said and ended the communication.
Chapter 18: *** The anti-aggression training ***
Seven and the Captain arrived punctually at 6 pm at the Holodeck 1, after having previously talked for an hour in the captain's ready room, Seven's day and Desater's hair last night.
As soon as both women entered the holodeck 1, they stood with their feet in the sand. Amazed, they looked around. Chakotay had chosen a beach program. Smiling, he approached both women.
"Nice, you've been here. Please move over there in the beach cabins, your new clothes." Chakotay explained and Kathryn and Seven looked at each other in surprise.
"Well, let's go." Kathryn said, winking at Seven and then heading for the beach cabins.
Seven sighed deeply, raised her eyebrow skeptically, then joined her captain. She quickly realized that the soft beach sand made it difficult for her to walk normally to the beach cabins. Again and again she sank with every new step in the sand. A normal run was so impossible.
After Seven had finally reached the beach cabin after a whopping 5 minutes, which she thought was very inefficient, she went into one of the cabins. There was a chair in the cabin with a robe on it. Seven picked it up and looked at it skeptically. It was a big airy sand-colored shirt and matching pants. Both things were a substance that was crude.
Seven quickly pulled off her uniform and pulled on her pants. Since she was very tall, Seven had to pull the pants tighter at the front with a drawstring to fit just around her narrow waist and not slip. The shirt she put on was more than big for her. So she put it in her pants and teased it so that it looked appropriate. All in all, she found her clothes adequate and practical. Finally, she put on her work shoes and left the beach cabin.
In the meantime, Sam, Neelix, B'Elanna and Kathryn had also moved and were already sitting on the sand in a circle. Seven straighten her shoulders and walked with firm steps, the sand preventing her from walking elegantly to the others.
"Seven, please take off your work shoes. Walking on the beach sand with bare feet is really nice." Chakotay told her when she managed to get closer.
Frowning, she looked at Chakotay and wondered if he really meant his request seriously. She had never walked without shoes and only barefoot.
"Please Seven." Chakotay repeated his request and Seven sighed deeply before leaning down and reluctantly taking off her work shoes. With her bare feet on the sand, her internal systems immediately analyzed the new sensation that came with it. It was a strange feeling. Seven postponed the results, her internal analysis for later, where she had more time to think about it, out of her thoughts and went to the others, who looked at her curiously. As she walked, the sand kept slipping between her toes, which did not make walking on the sand any easier.
"Seven, come sit with us in the circle." Chakotay asked her and she sat down next to Kathryn, on the left side of which there was still a free space. As soon as she had sat down, Chakotay looked friendly at everyone in the circle and smiled at them.
"Surely you're wondering why I chose a holo program where we can sit on the beach and hear the sound of the ocean in the background and see the waves." Chakotay began and everyone in the circle looked at him curiously.
"There are a few reasons for this. For one, the environment is very calming. Take a hand on sand and let it trickle through your fingers. You will find that it is very fascinating and that you want to do it several times. Close your eyes and listen to the waves breaking on the beach. Capture the smell of the sea with your noses and feel the wind blowing gently on your faces." Chakotay encouraged his five participants.
Everyone, including Seven, did what Chakotay told them. Seven had to admit that the sand sliding through her fingers made her feel good. In addition to the sound of the sea and its salty fragrance, they really let more and more relax.
After several minutes had elapsed and Chaoktay could see his five participants visibly relaxed, he asked her to open her eyes again.
"Surely you also ask yourself why you had to take off your clothes to put on the clothes that I have prepared for you. The reason is, each of you came in with a packet filled with guilt, fears or anger. By taking off your clothes, you also took off your respective packages and left them in the beach cabin." Chakotay replied and everyone looked at him in surprise.
"That's why the heavy burden you carried on your shoulders has disappeared and you can better focus on why we're here. I would like to change the name of our meeting from "anti-aggression training" to "find yourself". For only those who find themselves and recognize who he or she really is can accept and love themselves. And only when you have done that will you be able to put off the load you carry around with you on a daily basis and go through life light and carefree." Chakotay explained, looking at each one individually.
Seven frowned, fidgeting in her seat. Kathryn, noticing this, laid a reassuring hand on her arm and gently stroked it.
"We do this together." she whispered very, very quietly and as Seven sat down a little more relaxed, Kathryn knew that Seven had heard her.
Seven smiled relieved and felt a little better.
"Before we can get started, I'd like to point out that whatever we're going to discuss and hear here will only stay in this place and never be carried outside. This is a very important rule that every one of you must adhere to. Furthermore, we are all the same in this circle, there is no rank here. Neither here is the Captain, nor the Ensign, nor the Moral Officer. There is no wrong or unimportant think either. Because everything we discuss here is important and correct. Have you agreed to these three rules?" Chakotay asked, looking around in circles.
Everyone nodded, including Kathryn, though she did not really like that, that she had to give up her rank here in the round. But Chakotay was right, that's the only way it would work.
"Okay, then we can start. I would like you to write down this note ..." Chakotay held up several paper slips "... notes what bothers you, tortures you, makes you angry. You can leave yourself as much time as you want. You can retreat to it and do it for yourself or stay in this circle. It's up to you." Chakotay said, handing out several slips of paper and a pen.
Seven looked at her notes and the pencil irritated and did not quite know what was expected of her now.
"Come on, let's take a few steps. We can do it together if you want." Kathryn said softly to Seven. Seven gave her a grateful nod and got up awkwardly.
Kathryn took her arm and helped her not to tip over because she had lost her balance for a moment in the soft sand.
"Thank you." Seven murmured softly, and both women took a few steps and then sat down in the sand. B'Elanna looked interested over at them and grinned slightly.
"Do you think we'll bring them together in this century?" B'Elanna asked quietly and Chakotay looked at her questioningly.
"The chances are good. I'm just not sure how to find this development." he replied, sighing.
B'Elanna frowned at him.
"Hey, I know you like the captain very much and you would like to have a relationship with her, but if it should have been like that, then you would have been together long ago. And look, the two are really good together. Please do not stand in their way. But rather help me to bring them together." B'Elanna asked and Chakotay sighed deeply again.
"You're right, but it's not easy for me." he confessed softly.
B'Elanna looked at her old friend and clapped him encouragingly on the shoulder.
"Did you know that there are many female crew members who would like to get closer to you?" B'Elanna asked and Chakotay looked at her in surprise.
"No, that's new to me. Why did not any of these female crewmembers approach me?" He asked curiously.
"Well, because each of the ladies thinks you're involved with the captain. Nobody wants to intervene in between." B'Elanna explained and winked at Chakotay.
"Hm ... maybe you should spread the rumor that I'm not involved with the captain and would love to find a mate." Chakotay replied and B'Elanna smiled pleased at him.
"Alright. And you know what, I'll personally find a partner for you that really suits you." B'Elanna promised and Chakotay smiled widely at her.
"Thanks, I'm curious who you will find for me. But now you should turn to the task and write down your note, all your fury, anger and rage." Chakotay explained, but B'Elanna shook her head.
"Right now I'm fine. Since I've made friends with Seven and realized she's not as bad as I thought, most of the anger and fury is as if by itself. I'm only here because I was curious and supporting Seven." B'Elanna admitted openly.
Chakotay stared at her for a moment, then grinned at her.
"I am glad that you are well and that you get along much better with Seven. It is good that you have made peace." he said and walked over to Neelix and Sam to see how they got on with the task.
Kathryn and Seven meanwhile sat in the sand, watching the sea and listening to the waves noise.
"Nice, right?" Kathryn asked, and Seven nodded her head. "Yes, very much." she confessed, smiling softly at Kathryn.
"On the next shore vacation, we should find a place like this and spend time there together." Kathryn said and Seven looked at her irritated.
"Captain, what do you mean?" Seven asked carefully.
Kathryn also looked at her confused, before she realized what she had actually said.
"First of all, call me Kathryn, I'm not a captain in here, and second, I mean that all of us, the entire crew, should spend a few days together in such a beautiful place." Kathryn explained quickly.
Seven then pulled a small pout and looked sadly at Kathryn.
"Acceptable." she said, and Kathryn looked at her in surprise.
"Seven?" She asked worriedly. "What's happening?"
"I like to spend time alone with you, so it would have been nice to spend time with you in such a nice place." Seven confessed quietly and took her notes and began to write down everything on her guilt feelings, fear and what made her fury or angry.
Kathryn, on the other hand, looked at her in surprise and astonishment. She never thought that Seven wanted to spend time alone with her, that way. Or did she just misunderstand Seven and she thought of something else?
"Seven, I would also like to spend time alone with you, but I am the captain, I must not favor or discriminate against anyone." Kathryn said quietly and Seven nodded her head.
"I know." said Seven after a long silent moment.
Kathryn sighed deeply and then picked up the notes she had set aside. For a long moment she thought about what she should write down. She had guilty feelings and fears about so many things she did not quite know where to start.
Stealthily squinted she at Seven and admired how Seven diligently wrote down on her notes, what tortured her. Her typeface was very neat and it also seemed well structured.
Sighing again, Kathryn began to fully credit her notes. At first she took the biggest worries and fears. After that, she wrote a few things that made her feel guilty. That had to be enough. She very much hoped that nothing of what she wrote down would be read to others later.
"Now I would like to ask you to read through the notes that you have inscribed once more, and then deliberately throw them into the fire. Become aware that you have consciously let go of your feelings of guilt, fears, anger, or fury in order to burn them in the fire." he begged the others, who once again looked at their notes and let them read through. Then, after each other, the various pieces of paper were thrown into the little campfire. Everyone stared at the flames, which burned the notes very quickly. After each piece of paper had found its way into the flames, Chakotay beamed at each and every one of them.
"Well, I'd like you to think about who you are, what positive and negative qualities you have, what you like to change about you, what your goals are, until the next meeting, which takes place in 3 days to strive for. Please do this for yourself alone and do not speak or question anyone else about it. Please write it down in writing and use real paper for it." Chakotay explained and smiled at everyone again.
"I hereby declare our meeting today as finished, as our time is about to end. If we do not all want to be naked at the holodeck, we should move quickly." he said and the others, especially B'Elanna and Neelix, had to laugh at the last remark. Seven, on the other hand, frowned at Chakotay, who did not like the prospect of being naked in the holodeck.
Everyone quickly ran to the beach cabins and quickly changed. B'Elanna, Chakotay, Sam, and Kathryn had moved at lightning speed, accustomed to being ready for action in the event of a red alert, even though they had previously been lying in their beds, asleep.
Neelix and Seven were slower. Seven especially because dressing her uniform was still very new to her. Fortunately, she managed it in time before the holoprogram was shut down by the computer and the program broke up and everyone stood in the empty holodeck.
Chapter 19: *** Dinner at Tom and B'Elanna ***
B'Elanna beaming at both Seven and her captain as both women approached.
"Have you been ready for dinner in Tom's quarters?" She asked the two, and both looked at her irritated.
"Tom invited me to dinner today, he wanted to explain his new design suggestions for the Deltaflyer. I thought we were alone." Kathryn frowned.
"Oh, then he probably forgot to mention that Seven and I will be there for dinner too. The more the better, Tom always means." B'Elanna replied and Seven looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Are you coming?" B'Elanna asked innocently and all three women went to Tom's quarters.
"Interesting." Seven only said and B'Elanna had to laugh, while Kathryn smirked.
"We are not allowed to talk about it. Unfortunately, if you want to know how it was, you have to take part in it." B'Elanna explained and sat down at the covered dining table, which already had some delicacies that Tom had replicated in the last half hour.
Disappointed Tom looked at his girlfriend and pulled a pout.
"Please Captain, Seven sit down. Today, I have a 21st century court replicated for us. It's called sushi. Sushi is a Japanese dish of cold, leavened rice, with ingredients such as raw or smoked fish, raw seafood, nori leaves, vegetables, tofu varieties, and eggs." Tom explained, and all three women looked at him curiously.
"I thought we would enjoy making our own sushi. There are two ways to do it. Once the Nigiri Art and then the Maki Art. I would like to show you the Maki Art today. In front of you there is a pad, which is called a bamboo mat, on it is now the nori leaf - which consists of a compressed algae leaf, the rice, the fish and the various types of vegetables, laid on it as desired and together with the bamboo mat to a rice roll together rolled." Tom explained and then pointed to the various plates that were spread on the table.
"Here we have the different kinds of fish, there are the salmon, the tuna, the king prawns and the octopus. Of course you can use many more seafood or fish species, but I thought a small selection would make it easier for us the first time. Over here are the ready-cut vegetables we can use. There are cucumbers, avocado, mushrooms, carrots, radish or pumpkin. Okay, shall I demonstrate it to you?" Tom asked, looking at the three women intently.
"Yes, show us how it's done," demanded B'Elanna immediately, which was already hungry and therefore already fidgeted a little impatiently on her chair.
"Okay." Tom replied and began eagerly as he explained the steps.
"First, the nori leaf is placed on the bamboo mat, then the rice comes to it, not so much, otherwise you later have difficulties in curling up. And the rice is distributed only on one half of the nori leaf. This is wasabi ..." Tom picked up a small bowl of a greenish-looking paste and showed it to the women.
"That's a horseradish paste, it's seasoning the sushi. This is spread thinly on the rice in the middle. Then comes the raw fish and vegetables. Now the bamboo mat is rolled up. Before you roll the sheet completely, it should be covered with a little water, which sticks together better. Then it is rolled on and pressed at the end a little more. Finally, the bamboo mat is removed and the resulting rice roll cut into small bites. However, you should be careful when cutting so that everything does not fall apart again." Explained Tom and showed the finished result.
He then pulled out several bowls. "This is a soy sauce, Gari - a pickled sweet and sour ginger and again the wasabi. This will allow you to spice up your sushi." Tom said, offering B'Elanna, Seven and the captain sushi treats. Then he dipped his own snack in the soy sauce and then put it in his mouth.
The three women did the same and also tried their sushi.
"Mmmmm ... that's very wholesome Tom." the captain confessed immediately and smiled at Tom.
B'Elanna, on the other hand, frowned at her friend before she spoke. "Are you sure I can get sick of it?" She asked uncertainly.
Tom raised an eyebrow, ignoring B'Elanna's objections for the moment.
"Seven, what do you say to that?" He asked Seven instead.
"I'm not sure, I needed more samples to make a detailed statement." she confessed, as always logically.
"Okay, then everyone should make themselves a sushi roll." he invited the three women and everyone started to imitate the steps that Tom had previously shown them.
Kathryn obviously had a lot of fun while B'Elanna growled hungrily and impatiently, Seven concentrating on reworking the steps. Tom, on the other hand, quickly finished another sushi roll and share with B'Elanna, who smiled gratefully at him.
While the four sat comfortably together, after each had prepared several different sushi appetizers, B'Elanna's communicator hummed at once.
"Lt. Carey on Lt. Torres, please contact me."
B'Elanna immediately clicked on her communicator. "Lt. Carey what's up?" B'Elanna asked immediately worried and Tom, Kathryn and Seven looked at her eagerly.
"I have a problem here in the engine room that you should look at." said Lt. Carey.
"Okay, I'm on my way." B'Elanna said hurriedly and got up from the table.
"Shall I come with you?" Seven asked immediately, but B'Elanna shook her head.
"No, I'll see what's going on first and if I need your help, I'll call. I'll be right back, let me have some of the sushi left over." she demanded quickly before leaving Tom's quarters with a deep sigh.
Tom looked at Seven and Kathryn with a sigh and shrugged.
"B'Elanna will be right back, let's keep eating, there's no point in waiting for her." he said, making another sushi roll.
During dinner, Tom explained Kathryn's latest improvement suggestions for the Deltaflyer. He told her visually, what the improvements looked like and how they would prove in the field.
Seven and Kathryn listened attentively, asking questions now and then about things that Tom explained to them.
After they had finished eating and B'Elanna had still not reappeared, they cleared the dining table together and recycled everything.
"I think we should start with the movie. B'Elanna will not mind." Tom explained and all three moved over to the couch.
Kathryn and Seven sat side by side on the couch, while Tom served the TV and started the movie. Then he sat down in his favorite chair.
"Doctor to Lt. Paris." Came his communicator. Tom rolled his eyes and clicked on his communicator.
"What is Doc?" He asked.
"I need your help, please come over." the doctor replied.
"Doctor, what is so important, that you need the help of Lt. Paris?" Kathryn intervened.
"Captain?" The doctor asked before answering. "Oh, there is nothing important, please do not worry. It's just a small thing, for which I Lt. Paris I need."
"Good." Kathryn replied, and Tom stood up with a sigh.
"I'm on my way Doc." he answered, glancing apologetically at Seven and Kathryn.
"Please keep watching the movie, I'm sure I'll be back soon." Tom said goodbye before leaving his quarters.
Kathryn and Seven looked irritated for a moment.
"Well, let's take a look at the movie on our own." Kathryn said and turned to the TV set.
After the movie ran for a while and Carl Fredricksen was flying his house high in the air through the city, Seven looked at Kathryn in surprise.
"Captain, a house can´t fly, it is impossible, even with so many balloons." Seven confused and Kathryn smiled at her.
"I thought, we are going with Kathryn? We're out of duty, so please tell Kathryn to me." Kathryn replied.
"Sorry, Kathryn." Seven pushed after her and to try the name again, she repeated her statement again.
"Kathryn a house can not fly, not even with so many balloons."
"Seven, that's just a movie. In movies, things often happen that are probably impossible in real life. But I think since it's an old movie and the house was built of wood, it's most likely possible that it can fly if you only use enough balloons. But please, relax and just watch the movie. Do not think so much about it. Just relax. Okay?" Kathryn asked, smiling softly at Seven.
Seven nodded her head and pushed her questions aside, to analyze them later.
After the two women continued to watch the film, Seven came up with a new idea that she wanted to address.
"Kathryn?" She asked quietly and Kathryn turned her head to her.
"I think I failed practice in the *Find Yourself* training today." Seven confessed quietly and looked embarrassed.
"Why do you think so?" Kathryn asked immediately worried.
"Because I still have the same guilt as before. The burning of my notes, to which I have written everything, has not effected. As a result, I conclude that I failed in this exercise." Seven explained.
"Oh, you did not fail. I'm just like you. It just means that we both need a little bit longer to get rid of what bothers and torments us. I think we still have a long way to go before we are ready to let go. Do not worry, we're going the way together, yes?" Kathryn asked, grabbing Seven's hand in hers and squeezing her gently.
"Yes." Seven replied, gently squeezing Kathryn's hand. Then both women turned back to the TV and continued watching the movie. Meanwhile, they kept their hands together.
Neither Seven nor Kathryn wanted to give up the soothing physical contact that gave each other comfort and confidence. But the more Seven relaxed and felt well, the more the voices began to reenter their minds. As the voices grew louder and harder, Seven pulled her hand out of Kathryn's hand and pressed her two hands against her ears. Painfully, her face twisted as she pressed harder and harder against her ears to silence the voices.
Kathryn looked at her worriedly.
"Seven, what's going on?" She asked, looking at Seven in amazement.
Seven had her eyes locked tight, her lips pressed together, her jaw and every fiber of her body tense.
"Seven, look at me, look me in the eye. The voices are just a memory, they are not real. Concentrate on me and listen to me." Kathryn demanded as she realized what Seven was most likely tormenting.
"Seven, please follow my command. Look at me." Kathryn demanded again, but as Seven continued to keep her eyes closed and her hands pressed even more to her ears, she put her hands on Seven's hands, gripping her tightly, pulling her away from Seven's ears and she pressed against her upper body.
Seven then opened her eyes and looked at Kathryn with a pained look.
"Look at me and focus only on me and what I'm telling you. We stand through this together. Do you understand?" Kathryn asked as she still squeezed Seven's hands against her breasts and held her tight. Seven blinked at her with her eyes irritated.
"It's just memories, it's not real. I am real. Feel how I hold your hands, feel how my heart is tapping against my ribcage. Do you hear and do you feel it?" Kathryn asked and she saw Seven trying to focus on it.
"Feel my pulse and measure my body temperature. Feel my body, I'm real. Everything else is not." Kathryn said, releasing Seven's hands, but quickly wrapped her around Seven's upper body and pulled the young woman close to her, holding her tight in her arms. Their faces were only a few inches apart. Her noses were almost touching.
Kathryn leaned her head towards Seven's ear and softly began to hum a melody from her motheras as she was a child, always sung her mother her when she was hurt or sad. Kathryn hummed this tune until she realized how Seven's tense body slowly relaxed back into her arms, she laid her head on Kathryn's shoulder and began to cry softly.
"Shht, shht ..." Kathryn muttered and stroked reassuringly over Seven's short hair.
"... I am here, you are not alone. The voices can not hurt you. I will not allow it."
Only after a while, when the voices stopped into Seven's head did she pull herself out Kathryn's embrace and look at her sheepishly as she wiped her tears from her cheeks with her hand.
"Thanks." she murmured softly.
Kathryn smiled gently at her, put her hand on Seven's cheek, and ran her fingers over the tear trail.
"Look, we stopped the voices without you having to hit a punching bag. We can not go back in time and what has happened can change, but we can hold ourselves in the here and now and focus on the present to shut out the past that torments us." Kathryn replied and Seven looked at her thoughtfully and her Head immediately began to think about what she had just heard.
"Okay, it looks like B'Elanna and Tom are not coming back soon. Half of the movie we missed. How about I bring you to your quarters now and we finish the evening?" Kathryn asked after realizing that she had lost Seven's attention and that the young woman was thoughtfully caught in her own thoughts.
"Acceptable." Seven said only, and both women left Tom's quarters after turning off the TV.
"Seven." Kathryn sighed deeply. She was glad that she was able to solve the situation earlier in Tom's quarters and that Seven felt better afterwards. She did not want to imagine what would have happened if she could not help Seven. Certainly, she had violated some of her self-imposed rules, but that had been of value in helping Seven.
Satisfied with herself and certain that Seven and her could finally get Seven out of their tormenting feelings of guilt finally, she went into her bedroom and got ready for the night.
Chapter 20: *** The Relativity ***
After Seven had spent most of the night doing her calculations and slowly but surely making progress, she noticed a tingling in her body, and from moment to moment she found herself materialized in another room.
Amazed, she looked around and an older man stepped toward her and took away the padd which she still held in her hand. He looked briefly at the calculations and then looked up at Seven and shook his head.
"This is very dangerous." he pointed at the data padd before continuing.
"That's why we beamed you here. At the moment they are on the Relativity, a Starfleet time ship in the 29th century. We keep the timelines and your calculations in their data padd, have disturbed the timelines most sensitively. That's why you're here now." said the man who still had not introduced himself to Seven.
"Who are you?" Seven asked.
"I am Captain Braxton and I have the responsibility to stop you in your plans to change the past. If necessary, with resources that you will certainly not like. So I ask you to work with us." the captain explained.
"I do not understand how my efforts to get into the past, to change my destiny at that time, the timelines are most disturbing." replied Seven confused.
"Now, from your point of view, that may not be very important for the timelines, but from our point of view and our knowledge, your intervention in the timelines would destroy all humanity. Please follow me, I'll tell you based on various data." said Captain Braxton and left the room. Seven obediently followed him.
Once they reached the Relativity Bridge, Captain Braxton quickly introduced the individual scientists who were present.
"Mr. Roth, please explain to our guest what you found out." Captain Braxton ordered. The addressed man looked at Seven curiously and then pointed to the screen of a workstation in front of him.
"Please look here. If you go back in time, as your calculations indicate, to change the events of that time, that's exactly what happens." He pointed to the screen. First you saw, the single four quadrants and the species living in it. But with every new picture, everything changed rapidly. After the twentieth picture, all four quadrants looked the same red.
Seven looked at Mr. Roth, confused.
"What does that mean?" She asked.
"That means that within 50 years, all four quadrants have been assimilated from the Borg after you've changed the past." Mr. Roth said in a disparaging tone.
"How did that happen?" Seven asked, raising her eyebrow, frowning.
"In the original timeline, when you were a Borg drone, you assimilated a man, much more a scientist who was about to make an important discovery. If you change the timeline, that man will never be assimilated, and he can study his discovery more closely, inventing something that will destroy all humanity and all other known species. His invention, unfortunately I can not tell you more about it, will lure the Borg much faster into the Alpha Quadrant and the said invention will allow the Borg to assimilate all four quadrants within a short time. With the change of timelines, you will have more than billions of living beings on your conscience. Much more creatures than those who have previously assimilated them as Borg drones and are now feeling guilty." Mr. Roth said, glaring at Seven.
Seven had gone pale at the explanation and looked at Mr. Roth speechless.
"So you see, changing the timeline would be a very bad idea, especially considering why you want to change it." Captain Braxton explained.
Seven swallowed a few times, blinking at Captain Braxton speechlessly.
"Do you voluntarily agree to give up your plan to change the past, or do we have to force you to do so by means that you will not like?" Captain Braxton asked Seven earnestly after a moment's assessment.
"I was not aware of what my desire to change the past would entail for terrible scenarios. I give up my wish and intention voluntarily." Seven replied and looked at Captain Braxton firmly.
"Well, I am glad that you have voluntarily decided not to carry out your project. I still need some signatures from you, just to be on the safe side." he explained, holding out a data padd to Seven. Seven took the data padd and quickly read all the data written through it. At the end of the data pad, she put her signature and handed it back.
"Your journey home is now nothing in the way. I hope we never see each other again. Ensign please accompany our guest to the transport room." Captain Braxton instructed a blonde young woman, who immediately rushed to Seven's side beaming with joy.
"Please follow me." The young woman asked Seven and Seven nodded to her.
As soon as the two had left the room and walked along some corridors, the young woman stopped Seven and pulled her into a side corridor to the side.
"I'm Marika and I'm really looking forward to meeting you, even if the circumstances are not the best." said Marika, smiling happily at Seven.
"I'd like to give this to you here." she said, placing an item in Seven's hand.
Seven looked at it and then looked questioningly at Marika.
"What's that?" She asked curiously.
"This is a data crystal and this ..." she put another item into Seven's other hand. "... is the device with which you can view the data crystal. On the data crystal is something that has always voted me, even in dark times, very hopeful and happy. It is very old and owned by my family for over 500 centuries. It was passed on from generation to generation to share the hope in that, with the later descendants. I want to give it to you because I'm sure it will help you as well." Marika explained and Seven looked at both objects in her hands.
"Why do you want to give this to me?" Seven asked in surprise.
"I know that you feel great guilty about having assimilated many sentient beings, but it is very brave of you to counteract guilty rather than change the past and thus ruin our very future. If you've looked at what the data crystal contains, you'll know why I gave it to you." Marika replied.
"Come on, we need to beam you back to your timeline before anyone misses you on Voyager." Marika grabbed Seven's arm in her hand and led her back to the main aisle and on to the transport room. Once there, she took Seven in her arms again and hugged her lightly.
"Take good care of yourself." Marika said softly, then she broke away from Seven and Seven stepped onto the transport platform. A few seconds later, she was back in her room in the Wildman's quarters.
In her hands she held the two objects she had received from Marika. Quick as she was dizzy with time jump, she sat down at her desk, put the larger object on the counter and then connected the data crystal with it. Since nothing happened, she took a closer look at both. However, because she did not find anything to get the data crystal up and running, she just said. "Startet the Data display." To Sevens luck the device immediately reacted and from the data crystal, which lit up brightly at once, a holo picture appeared.
The holo image wiggled a bit, showing a flowery meadow lit by sunshine. Shortly thereafter, a girl, with reddish blond hair, about 5 years old, came into the picture and laughed happily. It had some flowers in her hand and came running closer, before turning to someone in the meadow. The image followed the girl as she leaned toward a woman, all the closer to the camera, leaning down to kiss her on the cheek.
The woman pulled the girl into her arms and hugged it happily.
Just then Seven could see the woman's face. Astonished and irritated, Seven held her breath and looked attentively at the following pictures. The girl turned from the arms of Kathryn and stroked gently over the arched belly, which could be clearly seen. As the little girl mumbled something to the belly, Kathryn took the camera, the one behind the camera, and turned her over.
Seven held her breath once more when she saw herself in the picture. This other Seven smiled broadly at Kathryn, who had now taken the camera in her hand. The little girl came back into the picture and now also pressed her little arms around Seven's neck. Seven took the girl on her lap and gently hugs her back. The picture went black and the shot ended.
But shortly afterwards you saw another shot. The little girl from the first shot, was now a little older and bigger. In her hand, she held the hand of a toddler clumsily clambering over the lawn of a garden, losing her balance more than once. Shortly thereafter, Seven saw herself running into the picture and taking the toddler on her arm and kissing the girl on the cheek. All three headed for the camera, while suddenly a dog jumped around her legs.
This ended the recording and the data crystal stopped glowing.
Seven sat for a very long moment in front of the crystal and looked at him in surprise, trying to figure out what she had seen. In the moment her head was buzzing too much. So she put the player in the drawer of her desk, took the data crystal in her right hand and then climbed into her alcove. Before her regeneration cycle began, she still ordered the computer to send the captain a message as soon as she started her duty in the morning, with the information that she needed to regenerate for some time. Once that was done, Seven began her regeneration.
Chapter 21: *** Regeneration ***
Kathryn received Sevenen's message as soon as she logged into her ready room at her computer. Wondering, she heard the news two to three times and frowned. She would have liked to go straight to Seven and check the alcove data. Earlier, where Seven was still living in Cargo Bay 2, that was still possible. Of course, since Seven lived with the Wildmans, she could not do that anymore.
Kathryn quickly clicked on her communicator.
"Captain Janeway to Ensign Wildman."
"Ensign Wildman here. Captain, what can I do for you?"
"I just received a message from Seven that she needs to regenerate for a while. Now I'm wondering if she's okay and how long she has to regenerate. Are you busy at work right now, or do you just have a moment to see with me after Seven?" Kathryn asked bravely. Surely her request was against some Starfleet rules, but that did not matter to her now. She was worried about Seven and before she knew what was going on, she could not concentrate on her work anyway. So why not tackle the problem right away?
"No, I can put my work aside for a moment. I'm on my way." Sam said and Kathryn sighed in relief. She got up quickly and left her ready room.
"Chakotay, you have the bridge, I'm only for a moment a way." she explained curtly, before hurrying on to the turbolift.
Chakotay watched her go and wondered what was going on. But he knew that if she was in such a hurry, his best bet was not to stop his captain with questions he could ask her later.
A short time later Kathryn and Sam arrived at the Wildman Quarter almost at the same time. Kathryn nodded gratefully to Sam as they entered the quarters and Sam led them to Seven's room. Kathryn, who had never seen Seven's room, looked quickly around her, not much to see except the bed, the desk, and the corner of the alcove where Seven was. Hastily Kathryn strode toward it and looked at the data. Accordingly, Seven has regenerated since 4.36 clock. Unlike usual, however, no time was specified when the regeneration would be finished.
Frowning, Kathryn looked at all the data again, but still could not figure out why Seven regenerated on the one hand, and how long her regeneration would last. Sighing, she turned away from the alcoves and looked at Sam.
"Unfortunately, I can not tell when Seven will finish her regeneration." She sighed. "So we'll have to wait and see when Seven gets out of her alcove." With that Kathryn turned around and left together with Sam Seven's room.
"Captain, why is it so unusual that Seven is regenerating?" Sam asked because she really did not quite understand why the Captain was worried.
"No, of course, nothing unusual about the regeneration, it's just unusual that there is no time when the regeneration is over. Usually, Seven regenerates so that she is ready to go to work. But judging from the data, she did not start regeneration until just before 5 am. That's unusual, and I'm just wondering now, why at this time, and not right the night before, when I accompanied her here." Kathryn confessed.
"I understand, that's unusual. Would you like me to keep you informed about Seven?" Sam asked, looking closely at the captain.
"No, it's okay. I think Seven will contact me or B'Elanna immediately when she's done with her regeneration and is ready to duty. Thank you so much so that I could see if everything is fine with Seven." Kathryn said and headed for the next turbolift, while Sam looked after her for a moment, then made her own way to the science lab.
In her mind countless scenarios have been worked out, which possible timelines would have arisen, by their intervention in the original timelines. She knew that the timeline she had been shown on the Relativity was not necessarily the only timeline that would have arrived if she had changed the past.
Neither the past, the present, nor the future were firmly prescribed. Everything could be changed as long as you knew how to travel in time. There were many variables and the most different calculations could create different timelines.
Seven was aware that if she went back in time, she could change everything. She would not necessarily travel at the time she and her parents traveled in the Delta Quadrant. No, she could also travel back to the time when the Borg became the Borg. She could equally prevent in this timeline that ever the Borg and the collective emerged.
As Seven worked out more and more scenarios in her mind, she lost herself more and more and time flew by. Sometimes, when she was too tired to pursue the scenarios, she drifted into the dark nothing of regeneration and enjoyed swimming in the void.
Occasionally, the images disturbed the data crystal, putting them in that state. Seven tried to understand what she saw. Was Ensign Marika, whose familyname she had never known, related to her? She had blond hair and she had mentioned that the data crystal had been in her family for over 500 centuries. The data crystal should help Seven. Should he help her process her feelings of guilt, or should he give her enough hope in the future to put aside her current feelings of guilt?
Questions and more questions. If what Seven had seen on the data crystal was her future, how did she manage to get her with Kathryn? Were they together or were they just friends who met and spent an afternoon together? More and more questions cropped up, it was as if she were in an oversized labyrinth from which Seven was trying to find out by answering question after question. But as soon as a question was answered, further questions appeared. After a short time, Seven got confused and lost in this labyrinth. Until she suddenly stood in a room, trapped with all the victims she had assimilated. There was no escape and no hiding. There were so many and it was so loud and messy. Desperately, Seven pressed against the wall and sank to the ground. Her hands were on her ears, trying to shut out the loud screams. At least nobody noticed her.
"My scans say everything is okay with Seven, neither their physiological results nor their Borg systems show any deviant results. Seven is physically and mentally fit. I'm at a loss as to why she's been regenerating for 4 days now. "The doctor replied honestly and looked at the captain with concern.
"What would happen if we just got her out of the regeneration?" B'Elanna asked, examining the alcove's systems to rule out potential mistakes or problems.
"Normally, nothing happens, but this time there seems to be something wrong with the regeneration. I am not sure and would therefore suggest not ending the regeneration. In the worst case, the premature termination regeneration could damage Sevens Kortikal nodes and she could die. But as I said, I do not know what would happen." Confessed the doctor.
B'Elanna and Kathryn looked at the doctor anxiously.
"So what are we going to do now?" B'Elanna asked impatiently.
"Let's leave Seven in their alcove, no matter how long?"
Kathryn looked over at Seven and tried to make a decision. As always, Seven stood calmly in her alcove, her eyes moving quickly behind her eyelids. But that was normal. It was always like that. Nothing was unusual except for the long time that regeneration had already lasted. Kathryn wanted to go over to Seven and put her hand on Seven's arm and gently stroke it, hoping Seven would wake up from her regeneration shortly thereafter. But she was not alone in this room, she could not afford this behavior. She was the captain and she had to make a decision.
Kathryn sighed deeply and looked first to B'Elanna and then to the doctor.
"We should give her 2 more days and then take the risk and stop the regeneration manually." she said with a heavy heart, hoping that Seven had awakened from her regeneration earlier and they were not forced to stop the regeneration.
Chapter 22: *** The inner fight ***
The loud screams and the chaos just did not stop. Seven had lost all sense of time, and the more she got stuck in the mess, the more it tore her nerves. So she also began screaming, raging, and desperately throwing herself against other creatures, just as everyone seemed to do here. The angry screaming crowd was tangled in a ball of wool, sloshing here and there and in the middle was Seven. If there was a hell, then Seven was definitely in it.
"Captain, are you okay?" The doctor asked.
"Yes I'm fine. But God damn it, where does this field of force come from?" She asked angrily and stroked her hair, which hung across her face behind her ears.
"I did not notice it before, it has to be new." said the doctor as he scanned Seven's health with his tricorder.
"Seven brain activities have increased and it looks like she is going through a difficult time. I think you can compare it to a nightmare." the doctor explained after reading his data.
"Can we do something for her?" Kathryn asked immediately.
"I can go through the force field and try to turn off the alcove. However, I would point out that if we end the regeneration cycle, there could really be serious effects on their cortical nodes. We do not know what exactly she is doing while she is regenerating. She often analyzes data she has collected during the day, or she performs calculations." the doctor replied.
Kathryn put her hands on her eyes and for a moment she wished that she would not have to make a decision. She wanted Seven awake and that she was fine. But would she risk irreparably harming Seven by interrupting regeneration? No, she should not. So she took her hands off her face and looked at the doctor seriously.
"Fine, we'll leave her as she is and hope the regeneration will soon end." she said in full Captain mode. Because only her rank gave her a halt. If she let Kathryn take over the private person, she would hopelessly collapse, worried about Seven.
The doctor nodded to her and then left Seven's room. Kathryn stayed behind and looked at the young woman. She wished she could be close to her and rouse her. Why had not she just seized the opportunity a few days ago and roused Seven? Well, it was impossible for her through the existing force field. Damn it! Kathryn cursed softly and then clicked on her communicator.
"Captain to Lt. Torres."
"B'Elanna here, how can I help you?" Asked B'Elanna, who had been worried about Seven for days and had always expected to get good news from Captain.
"We can not get Seven out of regeneration, the alcove has built a force field around it. Any ideas on how to deactivate the Forcefield?" Kathryn asked, hoping that B'Elanna had good suggestions.
"I'd have to take a closer look and do some scans." B'Elanna explained eagerly.
"Well, then do it. Come on over." Kathryn replied and sat down completely demotivated on Sevens bed.
"Did Seven ever sleep in her bed?" Kathryn wondered.
Soon after, B'Elanna arrived and saw her captain sitting on the bed. Worried, she approached her and put her hand on the captain's shoulders.
"Are you alright?" She asked and Kathryn looked at her in confusion at the question.
"Yeah, sure." she just said. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, you look like you have not slept well for some time and instead you have worried too much about Seven." B'Elanna replied, sitting down on the bed as well.
"You know, Seven and I, we are been friends in the last few days. I'm also worried about her, just like you." B'Elanna continued, and Kathryn looked at her with wide eyes.
"Is it so obvious?" Kathryn asked softly.
"May I speak openly?" B'Elanna asked and Kathryn nodded to her.
"I know that Seven mean a lot to you, so I know you're worried about her. And completely forgetting yourself. Whether it is obvious to others, I can not say exactly. Only a handful of crewmembers know how much you care for Seven. But what I can definitely say is that you look at the fact that you slept poorly, probably did not eat enough and did not give you much peace during the last 6 days. I know I'm just crossing a border, but may I tell you that you have better take care of yourself, because it will not help Seven if you get sick." B'Elanna said candidly and honestly.
Kathryn looked at B'Elanna for a long time before nodding her head, placing her hand on B'Elanna's knee and then getting up.
"Thank you B'Elanna for your good advice. I've heard it from Chakotay and Tuvok in one way or another in the last few days." Kathryn replied, looking at Seven's alcove and looking at the woman she was so eager to hold in her arms.
"Please find a way to switch off the force field. Let me know if you have worked something out. I'm in my ready room." Kathryn said mildly and left the Wildman quarters.
Sighing from the bed, B'Elanna took out her tricorder and began her scans.
"Hey Seven, that sushi evening was not to bad you have to give the sleeping beauty now or was it due to the movie?" B'Elanna asked in the silence, wishing more than anything else that Seven woke up , would come out of their alcoves and look down on them with disgruntled hands behind their backs.
B'Elanna missed Seven and since she got into her alcove and had not woken up, Voyager had had a strange atmosphere, more because the captain had been walking restlessly through the Voyager corridors for days and not really the thing was.
Seven pulled herself up and looked closely at the woman. She suddenly knew who she was. She was Janina Bolten, a young ensign of 26 years. She was assimilated by Seven when her spaceship was on a patrol flight near the Delta Quadrant. That was 10 years ago. Seven blinked at the woman, confused by the fact that she knew everything about her. Then, out of an impulse, she reached out and touched the woman's cheek and gently stroked it.
"Please forgive me." Seven said quietly and Janina nodded to her and disappeared. She just desappeared up in front of Seven's eyes.
The gap that resulted was immediately closed by the crowd that still raged around Seven and pulled Seven back into chaos. Suddenly, the silence that had spread inside her for a brief moment was replaced again by loud and angry shouts. Seven was immediately pulled back into the crowd and started screaming desperately as well.
B'Elanna had told her a few hours earlier that it was impossible to override the force field. It was protected with so many Borg algorithms that it was never possible to decrypt all of them before more immediately formed.
"Captain." Sam Wildman greeted Kathryn as she opened her quarters door for her.
Sam had actually expected the captain earlier and was surprised that she was only now. Yes, Captain had certainly seen Seven earlier in the day, but Sam was aware that she was not now the Captain, but now Kathryn Janeway.
"Please come in." Sam asked and Kathryn stepped inside.
"Would you like to join us for dinner or see after Seven?" Sam asked.
"We're both out of service, please call me Kathryn. I ..., I ... "Kathryn faltered because she did not quite know how to explain her concerns. But Sam looked at her gently and led her to Seven's room.
"I know, it's not necessary to say it. Stay as long as you want. I'll get you something to eat." Sam replied and hurried back to the living room.
Kathryn stepped into Seven's room and close to the alcove, careful not to get too close to the force field. After looking at Seven for some time, she sat down on the bed and continued to look at Seven, who stood quietly in her alcove.
Half an hour later, when Sam came into Seven's room with a plate of food, she was surprised that her captain had fallen asleep on Seven's bed. Sam took a blanket from her bedroom and covered Kathryn with it. Then she quietly left Seven's room.
Chapter 23: ***Life must go on***
"Good morning, Captain." Sam greeted her captain nicely when Kathryn stepped out of Seven Rooms the next morning. Slightly embarrassed, she nodded to Sam and hurried to leave the Wildman quarters. But Sam held a hot cup of fragrant coffee in Kathryn's hand and gently pushed her over to the dining table where Naomi was already sitting and eating her breakfast.
"Good morning Captain, nice to see you. Would you also like a cereal for breakfast?" The little girl asked immediately. But Kathryn shook her head.
"No thanks. I'm so sorry, I fell asleep yesterday. I do not want to cause you any inconvenience." Kathryn replied apologetically to Sam.
"Oh, Captain, everything is fine. You can come over anytime and visit Seven. You can stay as long as you want. Here's the security code." Sam handed the captain a slip of paper on which the security code was written in neatly written letters.
"Thanks, but I'm not sure I can accept your offer." Kathryn says softly.
Sam looked at her daughter who was following the conversation attentively.
"Honey, please go clean your teeth and get ready for class." Sam Naomi advised, after she had seen that she was already finished with her cereal.
Sighing Naomi got up and trotted into the bathroom.
"Captain, you are welcome to accept my offer. I'm sure it will help Seven, if she knows you're near her. Nobody will know, if this is your concern. I'll tell Naomi again that she can not tell anyone you were here." Sam replied, as she was alone in the room with Kathryn.
"Thanks, that's very nice of you." Kathryn said before she got up and put her hand on Sam's shoulder and gently stroked it. Then she left the quarters and hurried to her quarters to get ready for her service.
The last two weeks had been mixed for her. In the beginning, it was difficult for her to concentrate on the work, her crew and her ship. But the more time passed, in which Seven remained calm and quiet in her alcove, the more everyday life returned to the foreground and distracted Kathryn from the fact that the woman she loved so much no longer actively participated in Voyager life, but only regenerated in their alcoves.
So she fled to work during the day, concentrating only on it, while returning to her empty quarters in the evening, breaking down more than once there crying because she was so worried about Seven and not really with her.
"It's about a crew member, which I'm very worried about." he replied, replicating a coffee for Kathryn and a tea for himself. Both sat on the couch and Kathryn encouraged Chakotay to continue speaking.
"Now the crew member involved is refusing to pay attention to himself. She sleeps and eats insufficient, works very hard everyday, retires more and more from the social life of Voyager, and she does not take good advice or help from friends." Chakotay explained, while Kathryn listened attentively.
"Who is it exactly?" She asked when Chakotay had finished.
Chakotay grinned at Kathryn and shook his head. How could she not recognize herself?
"It's about Kathryn Janeway." he said, and Kathryn looked at him irritated.
"Me?" She asked in astonishment.
"Yes you. See, as a captain, you work great as always. But you neglect yourself as a private person. We are very worried about you and it is now my job to tell you clearly that you can not go on like this." Chakotay replied and Kathryn frowned at him.
"What exactly do you mean?" She asked indignantly.
"I mean, all of the senior officers, as well as myself, think this must be over here. We know how much you miss Seven and how bad you are because Seven has been regenerating for over two weeks and nobody knows when she's done with it." Chakotay said, pausing.
Kathryn glared at him with her captain's look, which was usually frightening to anyone who saw him.
"What you wanna do? Remove me from my rank and take over the Voyager?" She asked wickedly, glaring at him.
"No, of course I do not want that. I just want you to stop denying how you feel about Seven and instead give Kathryn what she needs." Chakotay replied calmly.
"Oh, and what would that be?" Kathryn still asked defensively.
Chakotay sighed deeply before answering.
"That you are in love with her and that you love her. Take the time and be with her. I talked to Sam Wildman. She does not mind if you move to her and live in the room with Seven as long as she regenerates. Let Sam pay attention to your diet and try to rest a lot, instead of wandering in the hallways of Voyager and scourging yourself for all the guilt you have for our being here in the Delta Quadrant and Seven." answer Chakotay.
Every night, she returned to the Wildman Quarter and had dinner with Naomi and Sam. Sometimes even put Naomi to bed, read her from different books or told her stories that she herself had heard from her mom as a child.
Kathryn had to realize after a few weeks, the life at Sam and Naomi a family life very much the same. She had not felt this way for a long time and felt welcome. Occasionally Neelix came by and entertained her with funny stories during the meal.
In the evening she retreated to Seven's room and told Seven everything she missed in the meantime. Sometimes she just sat there and looked at her eagerly, or read a book to Seven. But no matter what she did, Seven remained motionless in her alcove and regenerated untouched.
At the beginning she had hoped every day that Seven would rise from her alcove and be part of her life again. But after two weeks, three weeks, and then four weeks, when nothing changed to Seven's condition, the less hope Kathryn had. And at some point Kathryn had stopped counting the days and weeks. Life on Voyager continued without Seven.
So Seven kept pacing and forgetting. She had long since forgotten who she was, where she came from, and that there was a life beyond this chaos. She only knew that she had to ask for forgiveness. And in the quiet quiet moment when she received the forgiveness, she felt good for a little while.
Chapter 24: *** Life without you ***
*** evening 47 ***
"Yes, of course, it's Harry, is not it? He always falls in love quickly. But this time he has disregarded the Starfleet rules regarding the paragraph that a Starfleet officer may never make a sexual connection to an alien. He had sex with Tal, a young Varro woman. Everything came out when he suddenly felt sick and he started to light up in the infirmary." Kathryn said, in remembering she smile before looking serious again.
"But instead of obeying my orders and never seeing Tal again, he still continued to meet her. That stupid boy." Kathryn said, pausing suddenly.
"No, he is no longer the boy he was at the beginning of the journey. At that time he would never have dared to act against one of my orders." Kathryn sighed heavily.
"He has matured into a man in the last 6 years. Now he is sitting in the casino trying to escape from his lovesickness through work. Harry and I, we could both be together in our sadness."
Kathryn chuckled slightly as she realized what she was saying. She shook her head and got up.
"You know, if you came out of your alcove, then you could go to him and explain how stupid it is for him not to take the drug from the doctor, which would help him overcome his lovesickness. Maybe he would listen to you. He does not listen to everyone else." Kathryn explained as she undressed and put on her nightgown and then crawled under the covers.
"Computer lower the light by 100%." Kathryn ordered the computer as she cuddled in her blanket and pillows.
"I love you." she whispered softly to Seven, before she closed her eyes and hoped to fall asleep quickly.
*** evening 67 ***
*** evening 102 ***
*** evening 109 ***
*** evening 117 ***
"If only you came out of the regeneration." Kathryn murmured, wiping some tears from her cheek.
*** evening 134 ***
Kathryn sighed deeply and shook her head. No matter how much she cried every now and then, it did not change. Seven stayed in her alcove and did not move a bit. She waited so long now that Seven would return to her back to life. Would she ever do that or was all that long wait in vain? Kathryn quickly pushed that grim question aside and wrapped her arms around herself, rocking for a moment.
"No, no matter how long it took, I'll always wait for you. Only the very idea that I could ever stop waiting for you is absurd." Kathryn said loudly to Seven, before she went to bed and dreamed about what it would be like to finally have Seven with her again.
Chapter 25: ***Forgiveness***
In the midst of all the chaos that raged around her, Seven saw someone in the corner, attracting her magically. Seven had already asked so many of her victims for forgiveness that at some point she did not know how many there were. She just knew it was not enough. The hell she was in was still full of creatures that screamed and raged. There never seemed to be an end. But the person in the corner was known to her. She had to get to her.
She struggled to squeeze through the crowd and reach the person in the corner. But again and again she was pulled back, pushed by the wild crowd around her. Released helplessly to the crowd around them, Seven let herself down and gave up on getting to that person. Once on the ground, she came up with the idea that she might crawl through faster.
So she began to crawl to the floor, between the many kicking and pounding legs. More than once she was kicked or jostled. Seven took an eternity to finally cross the room in this way. With difficulty she stood up and looked closely at the person in front of her.
In front of her stood Seven of Nine, a tertiary attribute of Unimatrix 01 in full Borg costume, looking blank. Her eyepiece scanned Seven from top to bottom.
Seven looked at her curiously. She did not recognize herself. For her, it was a Borg drone that had nothing to do with her. She had forgotten who she was in all the time she had spent here, and that she had previously been a Borg drone.
Actually, Seven did not know who she was anymore. She was just a creature fighting for her life. Why, that remained unclear. She only knew that she had to do it. But far too often, she had given herself up and just drifted in the crowd, screaming and romping.
Seven of Nine, tertiary attribute of Unimatrix 01, opened her mouth.
"Please forgive me!" She prompted Seven and Seven looked at her speechless. So far, she had always been the only one who had asked for forgiveness, and now she was standing in front of this Borg drone, which she herself begged for forgiveness.
Since Seven did not understand and did not answer, the Borg drone turned into a little girl with blond hair. With big crystal-blue eyes, she stared at Seven afraid. Her lower lip trembled and her eyes gleamed afraid.
Seven knelt down to the little girls and looked at it curiously. Out of an instinct, she reached out and gently stroked the tears that rolled over the girl's cheek. And in the moment of touch, she knew who that girl was.
Annika Hansen, 6 years old, assimilated 20 years ago. But not by herself, but by another Borg drone.
"Please forgive me, I was not fast enough to hide from the evil men and then I was not strong enough to fight them. I was too weak." Annika explained apologetically and looked at Seven pleadingly.
Seven pulled her younger self into her arms, hugging her tightly. Both were stuck very, very, very long. Both on Seven's face, as well as Annika's face, the tears ran down her cheeks. Both cried for the things she never experienced, but they had done and experienced for it.
"I forgive you!" Seven murmured quietly in Annika's ear. Annika wriggled out of Seven's embrace and smiled warmly at her, her eyes tearful.
"Thanks." she said softly, then vanished.
With her also all other living things dissolved. Where it was still loud and chaotic, it was suddenly quiet and quiet. Seven looked around in surprise and slid to the floor.
Now that she was alone and the silence was spreading around her, she began to pull her legs up against her upper body, wrapping her arms around her knees, and began to cry uncontrollably. She remained in that position for a long time, giving in to her grief. Slowly she realized that the little girl, she herself was.
Her whole life, as Borg drone appeared in her mind. She considered every single assimilation she had made during that time. Each of their victims appeared before their eyes and Seven memorized who they were and what they had lost through them. One last time she wanted to go through it in spirit and then let go.
She had forgiven Annika, now she only had to forgive herself. She remembered a fire. On notes that were burned in it. They had let go symbolically at that time.
Within seconds, a fire was suddenly blazing around her. It was hot and destructive, but she was not afraid of it. Brave Seven got up and went into the fire and let himself be enveloped by it and dissolve into nothing.
Slowly she descended the steps from her alcoves and strode through the forcefield, which soon vanished into thin air. Her right hand opened and the data crystal fell to the floor unnoticed and rolled into a corner to be forgotten.
Seven stood motionless, studying the room in front of her. There was a bed with some clothes on it. A desk with data pads and books lying next to it. There was a vase of flowers standing by the computer. But what attracted Seven the most was the picture that stood next to it.
Slowly she went to it and took the picture in her hands. It showed a family, a man and a woman, with two girls. One girl had reddish brown long curly hair, and the other girl, who was a little younger, had brown long hair.
Seven looked at the picture for a while, but these people remained unknown to her. So she put the picture back and looked out of the window at the stars, which passed quickly.
Out of a sudden wish, she hurriedly left the room and the Wildmann quarters and hurried to the nearest turbolift and let them take her to the hangar deck.
There she walked over the hangar deck and looked at the various shuttles before approaching the Delta Flyer. Seven quickly entered a complicated code on the shuttle and a few seconds later the hatch opened and she entered the Delta Flyer.
She walked quickly through the shuttle and then sat in front of the console. There she entered several codes again and started the Delta Flyer. With these she left the Voyager.
Kathryn frowned at him.
"Who flies the Delta Flyer?" She asked worriedly and Harry entered several commands into his console and read the data.
"Seven." he answered in shock and looked at Kathryn wide-eyed.
Kathryn looked at him in astonishment for a moment, speechless.
"Hailed her." she then ordered, and Harry instantly made a connection, which was also accepted.
"Seven, what are you doing? Come right back to Voyager with the Delta Flyer." Kathryn demanded sternly in Captains mode.
But Kathryn did not get an answer for that, instead all Bridge Officers on the big screen saw Seven fly with the Delta Flyer in a series of danglers and loops, moving steadily away from the Voyager.
"Tuvok put a tractor beam, if that does not go beam seven out there." Command Kathryn calm. However, inside her, a storm raged. Seven had been locked in her alcove for 167 days, and now she suddenly sat in the Delta Flyer, flying madly through space.
What should all this be? Why did she do that?
"It seems impossible to set the tractor beam if she continues to fly so unpredictably through space. She has activated the shield, we can not beam her out." Tuvok replied quietly and deliberately.
"Tom adjust the course and go to the Delta Flyer and get us as close as possible. We have to get Seven out of there." Kathryn ordered.
"Aye Captain." Tom replied, entering the required data into his computer console.
"Captain, in 2.5 million kilometers a rift in the subspace has opened. The origin seems to come from the Delta Flyer." Harry reported eagerly.
Kathryn put a hand on her forehead and looked helplessly at Chakotay, who also read the data on his console. He nodded her unnoticed and Kathryn smiled warmly at him.
"Tom sets the course and follows the Delta Flyer no matter where Seven flies." she ordered and Tom entered the necessary commands into his console.
Seven, was still looping and dangling towards the rift in the subspace. It was impossible to capture them with the tractor beam. A few seconds later, Kathryn saw Delta Flyer disappear into the rift and her heart was torn apart, due to the loss.
The Delta Flyer was far from being seen. But an unusual sight opened up in front of the bridge personnel. The Voyager dived into a channel of bright blue that closed around Voyager, dragging her along. The Voyager and her crew would then shaken wildly.
Kathryn, who had been standing on the bridge, was torn from her feet and flew a few feet through the room, where she then bumped into Tom's chair a short time later. All the others were also shaken violently. Ten minutes later, the shaking stopped suddenly and the blue channel had dissolved around the Voyager.
The Voyager drifted softly in space as Kathryn scrambled to her feet, ignoring the pain in her shoulder and on her forehead.
Quickly she let her gaze glide over the bridge and made a hasty overview of her bridge crew. After realizing that everyone was okay, she walked over to Harry's console.
"The Delta Flyer?" She asked anxiously and Harry put a few commands in his console.
"The Delta Flyer drives in 3.45 million kilometers from our position, still in space." He replied with relief.
"Tom sets a course there." Kathryn ordered and sat down on her captain's chair. Then she turned to Chakotay and asked him for a status report on Voyager and the crew. But before he could answer, Harry interrupted him.
"Captain?" Suddenly asked Harry, looking pale at Kathryn.
"What?" Kathryn asked immediately worried.
"We are in the Alpha Quadrant." he answered, and everyone on the bridge looked at him speechless.
"What? How is that possible?" Kathryn asked irritated.
"I do not know, Captain." Harry confessed, glancing back at his data and sending it to the console of the Captain and Chakotay.
The leading duo took a close look at the data.
"Captain, I scanned the Delta Flyer. No one is on board anymore." Tuvok said in the silence that had spread on the bridge.
Kathryn looked at him in surprise.
"What?" She asked softly, before her head started to hum and her stomach and heart contracted in pain. Her eyes suddenly clouded and she collapsed on her captain's chair, unconscious.
Chapter 26: *** On the Relativity ***
On the other hand, the biggest chaos prevailed on the Relativity after Seven initiated the rift in the subspace. She had done a great harm to the future by applying the invention that they had been warned of a few days before.
The Relativity crew had sounded the red alert and had beamed Seven aboard immediately after arriving in the Alpha Quadrant to prevent the worst in no time.
Fortunately, the Relativity, because of another case, was in Seven's time line, so the time ship was not or not yet affected by the change in the future.
Captain Braxton glared bad at Seven as she materialized on the Relativity. He was so angry with her that he wanted to bring her to court-martial or throw her into the deepest hole he could find.
"What did you think about initiating the rift in the subspace? I specifically warned you against doing any kind of thing that would change the future in ways that would destroy all of humanity." he yelled angrily at Seven.
But Seven just blinked and did not know what this man wanted from her.
"Do not you want to justify yourself or answer me?" He exclaimed angrily, but very surprised, that Seven was still standing in front of him and did not respond to his reproach.
Seven, on the other hand, looked uncertain. Everywhere she looked, people were running wild, shouting things and orders. There was chaos around them and lights flashing everywhere on the various consoles and control panels. And the man in front of her screamed at her and was angry. Was she landed in hell again? What did she have to do this time to free herself?
"Please forgive me." she said, touching the arm of Captain Braxton. But unlike the sacrifices she had assimilated, she had no connection to this man and no memory was shown to her. So she had not assimilated this man. He also continued to glare at her with a red head and he did not say he forgave her. Consequently, he did not disappear, but remained right there, standing in front of her.
"What's the nonsense?" He asked irritated and Seven looked at him just as confused.
"You have the entire human race, as well as the various species of all four quadrants on the conscience, as well as the entire future and I should forgive you? Are you crazy?" He shouted angrily at Seven, who continued to look helpless and uncomprehending.
"Captain Braxton?" One of his officers asked him and he turned angrily to the man who had spoken to him. "What?" He asked harshly.
"Sir, it seems she really have no idea what she did. Look, she looks so puzzled as if she knows nothing." said the officer, and Captain Braxton looked confusedly back at Seven.
"Do you know who I am?" Captain Braxton asked and Seven shook her head.
"Do you know where you are here?" Seven shook her head again.
"What do you know?" Captain Braxton asked, and Seven looked at him blankly and thought for a moment.
"Please forgive me." she said simply because she did not know what else to say. She did not know where she was, who this man was, what he wanted from her. She did not even know who she was and what she was asked to do. She did not know anything at all, only that she had to ask for forgiveness to find salvation.
Captain Braxton sighed deeply and looked at Seven closely.
"Do you know what you did?" He asked again and Seven shook her head.
"They opened a rift in the subspace. Why did you do that?" He asked, now a little milder and not quite as angry as in the beginning.
"The numbers appeared before my eyes and I entered the code in the work console of the shuttle." Seven confessed sincerely.
"Why did you do that? And how did they know the code to initiate the rift in the subspace? "
"I asked a man for forgiveness and touched him. His knowledge has appeared in my memories. The numbers danced in front of my eyes and I put them in the console." Seven said, hoping that was the right thing this man wanted her to know.
"Which man have you asked for forgiveness?" Captain Braxton asked, confused.
"I do not remember, there were so many I asked for forgiveness." Seven replied.
"That's all nonsense. Listen, what you tell me does not make sense. You need to know which man they asked for forgiveness and how they got that code." Captain Braxton said more impatiently and angrier again.
"I ..., I ... was in one place, there was a similar chaos here. Everyone screamed, fought, jostled and raged wildly. As soon as I asked someone for forgiveness and touched them, the memory of that person and their knowledge was transferred to me. As soon as the person forgives me, they disappeared before my eyes. But there were so many. All the people I had assimilated. There were more than 7600 people and everyone was there. It was loud, wild and chaotic. I do not know where I got the code from." Seven said desperately, sinking to the floor, exhausted, and started to cry.
Captain Braxton and several of his crewmembers looked down at Seven in amazement.
"Captain, I think we should take you to the infirmary, she seems very confused. Maybe she really does not know what she did. We should take care of the damage limitation now, do not you think, Captain?" Asked the senior officer on his left.
"Okay, take her to the infirmary and have her examined. All others are encouraged to come up with solutions as soon as possible. The crisis will be over only when we have managed to eradicate the knowledge of these codes and the Borg never get to this code. Let us destroy all evidence of this incident as soon as possible." Captain Braxton ordered.
Seven was taken to the infirmary by two security officers, while all the other senior officers took care of the solution.
Two hours later, the senior officers met again.
"What reports are there?" Captain Braxton asked, and the medical officer spoke first.
"It looks like Seven is very confused. I have done several scans and nothing clearly indicates something wrong. I asked her several things, but she could not answer any of my questions. She did not even know who she was and what she had done before she opened the rift in the subspace. All she knew was that she had climbed out of a thing, that's what she called it and after I asked her more about this thing, I figured it was her alcove. She has reported from this place where she was trapped. All the victims she had ever assimilated were there too. It was loud and chaotic there. How long she was there, she did not know. She said that she was there for a very long time and would have lost herself in this chaos. She only knew that she had to ask for forgiveness. However, she did not always know, only now and then. Sir, I do not know exactly where she described it, but it sounded like she was in her alcove all the time. And to this place, she has approached this code. I scanned her cortical node several times. I can not tell exactly when this knowledge came into their possession. I can imagine that the memories of that knowledge were stored in their cortical nodes all the time, but were so buried or considered irrelevant that they did not know it." he explained.
Captain Braxton looked at him for a long moment and thought about it.
"How can that help us?" He asked.
"Well, she does not know who she is, where she comes from and where she has the knowledge from. I suggest we erase all her memories of her borg life from her cortical nodes. She does not remember it at the moment anyway. Thus, it would also be ensured that the knowledge of the code, how to initiate the rift in the subspace, is permanently deleted." replied the medical officer.
"In this way, we could also save our future timeline and prevent the annihilation of the human race." agreed another senior officer.
"Okay, then erase everything Seven has experienced since her time with the Borg and acquired her knowledge. However, we still have to clean up the mess that has been made. What do you suggest?" Asked Captain Braxton.
"We can send time agents to Seven's timeline and delete the knowledge of the subspace rift. I went through the documents. After beaming Seven here, she was lost in her timeline and the scientists puzzled over how the rift was caused by her. But nobody ever found out. The reports that the rift was even present can delete the time agents. The crew of the Voyager, who also got through the crack in the Alpha Quadrant, knows nothing specific about the crack. Their sensors recorded only different data, but they were interspersed with subspace signals that made no sense. These sensor data can also be deleted." explained the officer responsible for the time agents.
"Well, what do we do with the Borg? Did they become curious? Did they notice the incident?" Braxton asked in the round.
"So far, we do not have any data on whether the Borg got the event on Seven's timeline and followed up. We could disguise the rift as a fluctuating subspace anomaly, so they will dismiss it as irrelevant." the science officer said.
"Okay, do it. What do we do with Seven?" Captain Braxton asked and everyone looked at him silently. No one really knew what to do with her.
"Any ideas?" Braxton asked again.
"We could make she disappear." a senior officer offered.
"What would that look like?" Braxton asked with interest.
"You do not want to kill her?" The medical officer asked in shock.
"Hm ... we have such a problem less." said the senior officer for the best.
"That would be murder. I do not agree with that. Erasing all her Borg knowledge from her cortical nodes is a big crime on her personal rights. But killing she is a much bigger crime. I do not want to have anything to do with it." replied the medical officer aplenty.
"Nobody is killed here Doctor. Chill out. I think it's enough if we erase all her Borg knowledge and just expose her again. Of course, we can not bring her to her Voyager family, because then they could replenish Seven with their knowledge, which they have certainly stored in databases, and so they could get back to the code unintentionally. We absolutely must prevent her from ever making contact with them again. Maybe we should put her on a different timeline or expose she in her timeline at the end of the galaxy." the security officer said.
"It would be even better if the time agents delete all possible existing databases from the Borg knowledge. So Sevens could never get back to her knowledge. And if she encounters her Voyager family, she could only tell her orally who she was, what she did, and so on." the Times officer said, thinking about it.
"Good idea, let's do it that way. Everything is deleted - Seven's Cortical knot, the existing databases, the reports, the sensor data and everything else that is related to the rift. The rift is disguised as a fluctuating subspace anomaly. Seven is returned in her original timeline, but far from the earth. If she encounters one of her former crew members of Voyager, no one will be able to give her back her knowledge of technology through technology, only through stories. Get to work." Captain Braxton ordered, looking pleased at his staff.
After all, she had found a good solution and saved her own time line. If nothing went wrong, he hoped earnestly.
Chapter 27: *** Alpha Quadrant ***
Kathryn was quickly beamed to the infirmary while Chakotay instructed Tom to fly to the Delta Flyer, which was then returned to the Voyager hangar deck. But there was no trace of Seven.
After that, Chakotay gave the order to take the course to Earth. Harry's job was to send their arrival through every communication channel available to them. So the Voyager was escorted to Earth within half an hour by multiple Starfleet spaceships.
Meanwhile, the Doctor had Kathryn healed so she could sit back on her captain's chair as they approached Earth. Everyone around them on the bridges were excited and happy to return home. Only Kathryn, was zwiegespalten. She was glad that they were back home and that she was finally able to hand over responsibility for Voyager and her crew. But on the other hand, she was terrified she'd lost Seven forever. Where was she? Would she come back?
The crew of Voyager returned to their families. But much had changed within Starfleet by the Dominion War. Some crew members had to handle losses after returning home. So also Sam Wildman and Naomi, whose husband and father had died in the war.
Kathryn then decided to take Sam and Naomi home, to Bloomingston, Indiana. They had become a small family in the last few months, since Seven's eternally long regeneration. Kathryn and Naomi mourned the loss of Seven while Sam mourned her husband. Together, the three did better than alone. Kathryn also took a special leave, which was once indefinite. For now, Kathryn did not want to take any more responsibility, but only rest, be with her family and process the last 6 years in the Delta Quadrant.
B'Elanna and Tom settled on Mars and work in Utopia Planitia. B'Elanna as an engineer in the fleet yard and Tom as a test pilot and consultant for newly built spaceships and shuttles.
The doctor underwent a thorough analysis and then transferred from Voyager to the main medical center at Starfleet headquarters, where his new empire was now.
Tuvok returned to Vulkan to his family. While Chakotay and with his wife Marissa took a post in an archaeological team and headed for the planet L-S VI in the Gamma Quadrant to explore exactly whether it was the founders' homeworld earlier. The founders who had led the Dominion War against the Federation Alliance, which consisted of the federation, the Klingon Empire and later also the Romulans.
Harry returned in lap of his family and his then girlfriend Libby. He had not yet accepted a new post. And it looked like Harry wanted to leave Starfleet and live a bourgeois life with Libby.
And everyone else in the crew, assumed the various posts in Starfleet, or resigned and went other ways outside of Starfleet. The paths of the individual crewmembers were so different and Kathryn was very hurt that her Voyager family had broken so abruptly with the return to the Alpha Quadrant. But at least she had Sam and Naomi with her and B'Elanna, Tom and Harry often came to visit. She had regular contact with Tuvok about the communications.
Only Chakotay could not contact her while he was in the Gamma Quadrant.
And Kathryn started her new life outside Starfleet. For various lectures she was the Starfleet Academy still available as a visiting professor. But these were rarely trips back to her old life. She started her new life in Bloomington, Indiana. She had a house built near her mother. It was not very big, but not necessarily small. It was enough for her and her three dogs. She spent her days to ascribe the adventures she had experienced and denied in the Delta Quadrant.
She had already published two books and they had both been successful. The first book was about the first 3 years in the Delta Quadrant. From the Kazon, the Ocampa, the Vidiians and many more.
The second book was about the encounter with the Borg. She had shed a lot of tears for this book because she kept thinking of Seven as she wrote about the Borg. She wrote and wrote and with each new page she let go of the pain of losing Seven. At the end, when everything from her deepest inside was written in black and white on the pages of her second book, the healing began in her and she let go of Seven more and more. From then on, she really started new life and her thoughts wandered now and then, to Seven and the question where she was and if she was okay?
Kathryn began consciously taking part in life again. She met with her friends, her former crewmembers, sometimes, which did not happen very often, she even agreed to a date with a man. But no matter how nice and charming this man was and how much he made her laugh, Kathryn did not find anyone interesting enough to agree to a second date.
Her third book was about the Voyager herself and her brave crew, heroes, and those who died or were lost during the trip. To promote the third book, even a special film was shot on the Voyager, which should be broadcast throughout the Alpha Quadrant, even on the most remote planets and space stations. Since the return of Voyager, the spaceship has been celebrated and has served as a museum for 2 years now, standing in front of Starfleet's headquarters in San Francisco. In the foreground of the special film was only the Voyager, neither the former crew nor Kathryn were seen in this movie, Kathryn had wished. The special movie would be aired in a few days and Kathryn was already looking forward to seeing how the movie would arrive and how much he would screw her book and sales.
Chapter 28: *** Colderim - mining colony ***
"Hey Bo, what are you looking at?" Asked a scowling tall man with a thick woolen cap on his head, a heavy work jacket on his torso and a huge shovel in his right hand.
Bo looked at him skeptically and frowned.
"Where do you want to go?" She asked, before she quickly turned back to the screen, which was above the bar on the wall, and continued to follow the documentation of Starfleet's most famous starship.
"Oh, I'm getting rid of the crap you've caused. So what are you looking at?" The man asked again, louder and more intrusive.
Bo looked at him angrily. "I did not do any crap." she hissed at him with pinched lips. "So do not talk shit or do you want me to rip your ass?"
The man put down his shovel and waved his hands defensively and waved it off before bowing down to Bo, taking her beer glass from her hand and sipping from her glass. Bo looked at him in horror.
"BoBo, sure you screwed up. If you had not given this damned freshman command of the blasting in grid 367, he would not have blown himself up and his team." he replied annoyed and took another sip from the beer glass.
"John, that was not my fault, he did not want to listen to me. He said from a dirty Borg drone he does not say anything. So I let him do it and you see what came out of it." Bo replied defiantly and pulled her beer glass out of John's hand and took a sip of it himself.
"Really Bo, you have to stop letting go of all the people who call you dirty Borg drone or otherwise insult that way. Out here in Colderim we just do not get enough replenishment workers. We can not afford to lose more workers just because you are not willing to teach them properly." said John, shoving the shovel into his hand. "Come, we have work to do."
Bo looked at him in horror and pulled a pout.
"I am busy, out of duty and it has not been my fault. Why does the cleaning service not clear the crap?" Bo asked, turning back to the screen.
"They refuse and threaten to strike if we force them to scrape off the shredded corpses from the tunnel walls. Say, what are you looking at, that you are so fascinated by it?" John asked again.
Bo sighed deeply and turned back to John.
"A special commercial on Voyager. You know, the most famous Starfleet ship of the federation ration." Bo said.
"And why are you looking at that shit? Since when are you interested in such salad bowls flying through space?" John asked and sat down next to Bo on the stool and looked at her curiously.
Bo shrugged her shoulders and looked back at the screen.
"Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant. And as you know, the Delta Quadrant is the homeworld of the Borg and I'm a Borg. It has just been said in the report that the crew of Voyager freed a Borg drone from the collective and took her to the Alpha Quadrant. But this drone disappeared and was never seen again." Bo said softly.
John looked at her in disbelief before he started laughing. Bo looks at him annoyed.
"What's so funny about that?" She asked as she punched him in the shoulder. John then grimaced and rubbed his aching shoulder.
"Ouch that hurt." he said sourly and looked at Bo angry.
"You laughed at me, you know that I do not like that. So what was so funny, explain to me." Bo demanded.
"Hm ... tell me! You do not really believe that you're the missing Borg drone that came here with the Voyager in the Alpa Quadrant. Or?" John asked seriously.
"Why not?" Bo asked irritably. "It could be. I do not know where I came from and what I did before I came here. I did not even know who I was then." Bo replied, taking another sip of her beer before John took the glass from her and drained all the beer.
"Hey, that was my beer!"
"You do not tolerate that much alcohol anyway. Look, there are seven other Borg drones out there that have been freed by collective, which might as well be the missing Borg drone. Go and ask her, maybe one of them can give you a good answer to your question right away." John replied and looked at Bo with raised eyebrows. He knew only too well that the Borg drones never talked to each other. All eight former Borg drones got out of the way as best they could. Why did not he know, but he did not want to ask. Again, it was not important to get upset with their anger. Bo's anger was enough for him.
"The other Borg drones know where they came from, who they were before they were assimilated and how they got here. I do not know all that. Why does it bother you if I want to know who I am? I mean who I really am." Bo asked with interest.
"It does not bother me, I just do not want to lose you for a fix idea." he replied, pulling Bo into his arms and kissing her gently on her mouth. Bo returned John's kiss and melted into his arms.
After the two had kissed for a long moment, Bo withdrew a bit from the embrace.
"You do not lose me, I just want to know who I am." Bo said softly and kissed John on the cheek. Then she pulled herself completely from his arms, took her warm work jacket, pulled her on and took the shovel, which had leaned against the counter, in her hand.
"Come on, the quick we're done, the sooner we get into our warm bed." she said, winking seductively at John. John immediately got up from his bar stools and approached her.
"I am so glad that your sweet ass was not torn today." John confessed, before he pulled Bo into his arms again and kissed she stormily.
Bo pulled away from his arms and winked at him." Ask me how happy I am." she replied, trudging the shovel in her hand and go out of the bar into the cold, dark night, followed closely by John.
Chapter 29: *** At the infirmary ***
The next day, Bo woke up on a biobed in the infirmary. As soon as her eyes opened, she looked around frantically and sat up.
Immediately a nurse came to her and pushed her back to the biobed. Bo pushed his arms away from her and sat up again, glaring at him.
"What the damn thing happened?" She asked angrily and the nurse looked uneasily and with a pale face.
"There was an accident." he stammered, and Bo looked puzzled.
"What happened?" She asked in a panicky voice that had come out of herself somewhere. Only the idea that something bad had happened, and here in the Colderim at any time, in every minute of the day or night, something terrible could happen, she knew only too well, let her panic.
"The tunnel where you worked with John was blasted out and you've been trapped by the debris then." The nurse replied haltingly.
Bo then looked around in panic at the infirmary.
"Where's John?" She asked in a shaky voice, but the nurse stepped away from Biobett and then shook his head.
"Where is John?" Bo asked again, this time she had her voice back under control. When the nurse did not answer, she slid off the biobed and walked over to him. In fear, the nurse began to tremble and quickly flee behind another biobed.
"He was badly injured, we could not save him alive out of the tunnel." he confessed, and Bo looked at him incredulously, wide-eyed.
"You're lying!" Bo shouted for a moment as she tried to grasp the news of her husband's death. But how could she understand something that could not be understood? The message, as simple as it was, was simply incomprehensible. So she started shouting wildly, to rave and shattering everything in her hands and throwing her around.
Only after the security guards Bo struggled to the ground and the doctor on duty quieted her down with a hypospray and Bo sank into a pleasant darkness, did the hospital ward, which meanwhile had become a war zone due to Bo's outburst, calm again.
The doctor on duty looked at the nurse in a mood of ill humor.
"What did you think you were going to tell her this way? Could not you have guessed that it's never good to tell Bo that her beloved husband was killed in an accident?" The doctor asked angrily.
The mining station in the Colderim was not big enough not to get to know all its inhabitants well enough over time. Sure, new people came looking for quick money in the mine, but they either went back quickly, because life here was too exhausting, too rough and too dangerous, or they quickly died from any explosions they did misjudged or acted wrongly.
But John and Bo have been here for so long that they almost belonged to the inventory. The doctor knew both very well and knew how close the two were and they had been great in their love for each other. Bo had been here in the infirmary so many times, for the maintenance of her Borg implants, or for injuries sustained in her blasts. And just as often John had been here in the infirmary. Every time John was injured on the biobed, Bo was frantic and a wreck too often. And she felt better when John was allowed to go home with her again.
But now, John would not be able to go home with her. The doctor had intended to prepare Bo gently. But as always everything was different than planned. He sighed deeply as the security guards placed Bo on the biobed.
"Get out of my sight." he ordered his nurse and began to lift the various medical instruments scattered on the floor.
The nurse hurried out of the infirmary and was only glad that he had got away with it so well. He knew that the doctor was good friends with John and also with Bo. And he also knew that the doctor was very angry with him now.
"Cole, that jerk, told Bo that John is dead." the doctor replied as he continued cleaning his infirmary.
"Three security guards were needed to tame her in her frenzy so I could sedate her. Now she's lying on the biobed, staring at the blanket and ignoring me." the doctor said irritably. "But maybe you can get through to her." the doctor said hopefully, after all, Peter had been the only surviving relative of John and was mourning his younger brother as well as Bo did.
"Okay, I'll check her out." said Peter, walking over to the biobed, where Bo was strapped in place with straps and her eyes fixed on the ceiling.
"Bo?" He asked softly and Bo turned her head to him. Tears streamed down her cheek from her eyes.
"They're lying." she said in a shaky voice, but Peter shook his head.
"No they does not. I just read the accident report and before that I identified John's body. It's true." he said as gently as possible and put his hand on Bo's hand and squeezed it. Bo's fingers closed with Peter's finger and both held tight.
"You're lying." Bo said after a while, looking hopefully at Peter.
"No, Bo. I'm not lying. I know that I often lie enough, but this time I do not do it. I'm so sorry. It's true." Peter said quietly and occasional tears ran from his eyes.
Bo turned her head away from Peter and stared at the ceiling again.
"Listen Bo, I know it's unbelievable, but that's what it is. And you know, out here in Colderim, people die faster than anywhere else. Here it is enough, if you do not dress warm enough, if you go to pee outside in the cold. Some people are already frozen. And accidents happen every day, and it was only a matter of time before we met. The longer you deny the truth, the longer it will hurt." Said Peter and Bo turned her head stunned to her brother-in-law and glared at him.
"No, it does not happen to us. We are not freshmans, not losers, we are the ones who always survive!" Cried Bo shrilly to Peter.
Peter stepped on the biobed and straps that fixed and loosened Bo, while he looked closely at Bo, who was still glaring at him.
"What are you doing?" She asked shrilly.
"I'll let you go." said Peter calmly.
"I'm going to kill you for the lies you tell or assimilate." Bo shouted wildly, but Peter shook his head.
"You will not do that. We both know it." Peter said in a calm. He just knew that it was wrong that Bo was tied to the biobed while she was suffering so much. As soon as he had untied her, she straightened her upper body and wanted to attack Peter. But Peter could quickly catch her arms and hold on tight. For a long moment, the two looked each other in the eye, before Bo collapsed weeping and Peter pulled her into his strong arms and held her.
"Shhtttt ..." he kept whispering as his hand brushed reassuringly over Bo's back.
Chapter 30: ***The decision***
After John was cremated a few days later and his ashes now rested in an urn, Bo decided it was time to find out who had done this to her and who was responsible for John's death.
But as always, Peter got in the way and through much discussion, he had convinced her that revenge was nonsensical because no matter how many people she had paid for John's death, it would never bring John to life again.
So Bo sat in her mourning, around John, in her quarters, stupidly staring at the screen, which had been broadcasting crap from all over the quadrants for hours, sending commercials, the latest news, and other stuff.
Before settling on her bed exhausted and staring at the screen, she had cracked everything in her and John's quarters furiously in mourning. Bo did not care. None of what had broken meant something to her. Without John, nothing in her life had any meaning.
When she arrived here at Colderim six years ago, she quickly became acquainted with John. At that time she did not know who she was and where she came from. She had no name, no homeland and no memories.
First John gave her a name, he simply called her Borg, because she was a former Borg drone. So it was logical that this was her new name. In all those years Borg, Bo or BoBo or so and so only John is likely to call them - sweetheart or darling.
John gave her a purpose, teaching her everything she needed to know about mining the various minerals mined by the mine. He taught her how to blast the various kinds of rocks in different ways with explosives. He helped her and she gratefully accepted his help. The first years were tough and Bo had to earn the respect of other workers. But at some point she was one of the best in her job and everyone knew, who was in her team, who also survived the day in the mining industry. Who counted to Bo's team, had made it. Bo chose only the best and most conscientious workers for her team.
Pretty soon John and Bo came very close and fell in love with each other. At first it was strange for Bo, but the more time passed, the better she could handle all the new feelings and also love. She and John often dreamed of it at some point when they had earned enough credit to leave Colderim and settle down somewhere in a peaceful colony and start a family. But with John's death, that dream had died forever.
Crying, Bo slapped her hands in front of her face, hiding it inside. Desperately, she tried to find meaning in a life without John. But right now she just could not find any meaning anymore. In her distress, she came up with the idea of instructing her nano-probes to cease their functions and shut down their Borg systems. But before she could make that idea, Bo could hear the voices of the other seven Borg drones in her head, and they did her called not to die.
Since Bo was here at Colderim, she had had mental contact with the other seven former Borg drones. All eight agreed that no one would ever hear of their mental connection, because it could lead to fear and fear, to the other mining workers. So they had decided to avoid each other as far as possible and never be seen together. It was not necessary because of her mental connection. They could always stay in touch in their own way, so a personal get-together was unnecessary. Even John never knew that Bo had mental contact with the other former Borg drones.
And since John's death, the other Bo's tried to help as best they could. One of the former Borg drones worked with Peter in a team and immediately informed him that he should see Bo as soon as possible.
Peter then immediately went to Bo and left his job. When he arrived at the quarters, he hurriedly entered the code and entered it.
"Borg?" He exclaimed, looking for Bo in the rooms. Only when he arrived in the bedroom, he breathed in relief. He hurriedly climbed over the many broken objects scattered around the floor and sat down on the bed.
"Bo?" He asked and Bo took her hands from her tear-streaked face and looked at him helplessly.
"Hey, what is it?" Peter asked softly and took Bo in his arms and hugged her to him.
"Everything is so pointless without John." said Bo sniffling in a shaky voice.
"I know that you see it that way right now, but when enough time has passed you will see it differently. I promise you. At some point it will not hurt so much anymore and it will be easier." Peter replied sincerely. But Bo started to cry in his arms uncontrollably and her body quivered with emotions she did not control.
Just in this moment, the special film of the Voyager ran and Bo broke from Peter's arms and stared at the screen confused, while wiping her tears away with her hands.
Suddenly she had to laugh about the shit that was running. Peter looked at her in confusion.
"What's up?" He asked and Bo pointed to the screen.
"Do you know what the last thing John and I were arguing about?" Bo asked, grabbing something from the floor and hurling it at the screen, which then broke. Peter looked at Bo shocked.
"No, tell me!" He demanded immediately.
"We were in that crappy tunnel scraping off the shredded corpses of freshman team and we argued about this stupid spaceship. I saw the report in the bar shortly before and wanted to know more about Voyager, but John was against it. He thought it was a bad idea to run after a fixed idea that might disappoint me instead of helping me. And over our argument, we heard the roar of the explosion. But we were too busy with our fight to get to safety in time." Bo said and Peter frowned at her.
"Why do you want to know more about Voyager?" He asked confused.
"Because she was in the Delta Quadrant, the homeworld of the Borg. She saved a Borg drone from the collective and took her to the Alpha Quadrant. This drone has disappeared. And I had the idea that maybe I was that Borg drone." Bo confessed, giggling at the thought that she had really thought such a shit.
But instead of looking at Bo in disbelief, Peter nodded to her.
"That does not sound so outlandish. I mean, when you came here you did not know anything about you and where you came from. You were just standing on a freighter stopping here and you got out. So why should not you be that Borg drone?" Peter asked and Bo shrugged her shoulders.
"Bo, you just said when I came that life without John is pointless. But maybe the purpose of your life is to finally find out who you really are and where you're from." Peter replied excitedly.
"Maybe you should travel to Earth and have a look at the Voyager. Was there any photos of the crewmembers or the Borg drone in the report?"
"No, nothing like that. Only the Voyager itself was shown. Some rooms seemed familiar to me. But does not every spaceship look the same?" Bo asked, watching Peter shake his head.
"No, there are different types of spaceships, which are also differently equipped and designed." explained Peter.
Bo thought about it. The idea of traveling to Earth and seeing the Voyager up close and perhaps even entering it was very tempting. And now, when she did not really think anything here in the Colderim, nothing was in her way. Well, except for the fact that her home was here. Here she knew all the people, she had Peter and friends, her work and the certainty that she had a place here that she had fought hard for. The only thing missing was John. Without John, it was all worth nothing.
"Peter, do you think I should really travel to Earth and visit Voyager there?" Bo asked uncertainly.
"Yes that's what I think. I mean, what's wrong with that? If you've seen Voyager and you find out who you are or not, you can always return here. I'll be there waiting for you." Peter said seriously, pulling Bo into his arms and hugging her.
"You know that I love you like a sister?" Peter asked and Bo nodded her head.
"Well, then you also know that I will always protect you, support you and be there for you. Yes?" Peter asked, and Bo nodded her head again.
"If you want, I could accompany you, too." he said with an impulse, and Bo pulled a piece out of his embrace and looked at him curiously.
"You would do that?" She asked and Peter nodded his head.
"Yes, for sure. After all, I can only make sure that you will be fine and that you will do no nonsense." he said and grinned at Bo. And for the first time in days, Bo grinned back at him.
"Hey, hey, I think you're confusing me with somebody else, I never do nonsense, because that would be totally inefficient." Bo replied with a chuckle, before she looked around the room in embarrassment, looking at all the broken objects on the floor.
"Okay, sometimes." she admitted with a sigh and started to clean up the mess.
"Sometimes?" Peter asked teasingly. "I would say, every time you're angry, bad or lousy."
Bo looked at him with raised eyebrows and raised her forefinger in warning.
"Better be quiet." she growled playfully and Peter grinned at her.
"Okay, okay, you won. I will go back to work. I'll come back later and then we'll discuss the trip." Peter said before leaving the bedroom and then the quarters.
Chapter 31: ***The earth***
Eight weeks and several spaceships later, with Bo and Peter traveling, they finally arrived at the McKinley space station. From there, the two beaming to Earth. Since it was late evening, they checked themselves first in a hotel, the cheap class and lay down to sleep. Bo had to regenerate every 4-5 days and sleep in the nights.
Grorren, who had once been a proud Klingon, but after his de-assimilation, was a broken and defiant Klingon, so that he had built his new life far away from his homeworld here in the Colderim. He quickly realized that Bo's nano-probes needed to be charged. Therefore, he brought a cable, which was connected to a socket and the other end connected to the connection interface on the back of a former Borgdrohne. As soon as this happened and Bo regenerated, she felt better.
Later, through the mental connection, Grorren Bo explained everything she needed to know about the Borg and also that the drones usually regenerated in alcoves. And that this kind of regeneration was so much more painless and peaceful than being charged by the cable. The cable was unable to regenerate 100% because it was a very painful procedure that could not be sustained for more than six hours without harm. Therefore, it was also important to sleep in order to get the rest of the energy needed to work efficiently and acceptably.
Bo had been used to the pain of regeneration for the past six years. She wished that she could do without regeneration, but that was not possible. She had tried and had failed very quickly. The other former Borg drones had tried to find another way to regenerate, but all they had tried, which also had no success.
But the bed on the earth now was huge and comfortable, compared to the bunks, so that they barely lay on it, she fell asleep. Next to her lay Peter, who had also fallen asleep immediately and began to snore loudly.
On the first nights, on the freighter, which brought Bo and Peter away from Colderim, Bo had had trouble falling asleep with these loud snores, but by now she had become accustomed to it and even found it very comforting. Bo was glad that she had Peter by her side. Without him, she would probably have been the other way around. For the farther away they got from Colderim, the more uncertain Bo felt. Colderim had become her home. There she knew every living thing and every corner, every stone and every tunnel.
But out in space, on the various spaceships, she knew nobody and nothing. That made her more and more sad. And her doubts grew as to whether it was right to leave her safe place, which she had fought hard for, just for an idea, to search for something she probably would not find.
But Peter was always at her side, protecting, supporting, and encouraging her. Without him, Bo would never have reached the earth.
"What's going on?" He asked sleepily, but when he saw Bo hanging over the toilet bowl as she vomited, he hurried down to her and pushed her long hair aside and held her.
After Bo had vomited for several minutes, the almost empty contents of her stomach, she sank to the floor.
"Thanks." she said weakly.
"No thing. Is it okay again?" Peter asked worriedly and Bo nodded to him.
"Yeah, all right." she said a little later and scrambled to her feet.
"Come on, let's take a look at the Voyager and find out who I am so we can fly back home." Bo said, laying down exhausted on the bed and curling up with the blanket piled up.
"You do not look good. Maybe we should go to the infirmary first." Peter said and sat down on the bed, but Bo shook her head.
"No, nonsense I'm fine." she said, but she knew herself that she was not very convincing.
"Okay, I'll take a shower first, and if you still feel dirty afterwards, we'll go to a hospital first." Peter replied, and Bo knew that he would not tolerate any argument, so she nodded at him.
After Peter 20 min later came out of the hydro shower, Bo looked much better, so the two made ready, quickly ate breakfast in a small eatery and then made their way to Voyager.
Once there, both stared at the Voyager. Peter scratched his head and glanced over at Bo, who was also watching Voyager suspect.
"Pretty small salad bowl, I had imagined it bigger and more famoser." Said Peter and Bo grinned at him.
"Yeah, you say it. Come on, let's go in and look around." Bo said, pulling Peter to the opening hatch at the far end of the Voyager.
Inside, the two saw the bridge, the engine room, various crew quarters, the hangar deck, the casino, and the infirmary.
"And, you does anything remember?" Peter asked at the end of the sightseeing tour.
But Bo shook her head in resignation.
"No, nothing I could remember." she sighed disappointedly, leaving the Voyager with Peter.
"What are we going to do now?" Peter asked and Bo shrugged her shoulders.
"No idea." she said sadly.
Both were disappointed that Bo in Voyager could not remember anything, through the shopping streets of San Francisco and looked at the many colorful and fully-filled shop windows.
Suddenly Peter pulled Bo in front of a shop window, which he had discovered shortly before.
"Look" he said to her and Bo looked at the various books that were laid out and set up. Then she looked questioningly at Peter.
"Why are you showing me that?" She asked with raised eyebrows.
"Well, look at this book here. What do you notice?" Peter asked and grinned at Bo.
*The Voyager and his crew - six years of life in the Delta Quadrant.* Author: Kathryn Janeway, former Captain, Voyager.*
Read Bo and suddenly she began to grin as well.
"Peter, you are awesome. Let's buy the book immediately and read it. Maybe I can figure out if I'm the missing Borg drone." Bo replied, pulling Peter into the bookstore.
Both, however, stood in surprise in the entrance, because before them was the bookstore full of Customers who had stood in a long queue and excitedly exchanged with each other and talked to each other.
Peter pointed to a poster attached to the bookshop door.
*** Today: Signing lesson with Kathryn Janeway from 10-11 o'clock. Buy the hottest book in history and have it signed by Starfleet's most famous and beloved captain. ***
Peter grinned at Bo and she grinned back.
"Do you think what I think?" Asked Peter and Bo nodded her head.
"Yes, if I am the Borg drone, Janeway will recognize me immediately. Come on let's buy the book and have it signed." Bo replied, walking past the waiting crowd and headed for the sales counter where Voyager's book was piled up many times.
Bo picked up a book and leafed through it. To their bad luck were no pictures of the different crew members to see. Neither the senior officers nor the crew itself. So you had to read the book if you wanted to know more about the individual crew members. Bo looked up the table of contents and looked for the chapter that dealt with the disappeared Borg drone. But to her surprise, she found no chapter on the Borg drone. Frowning, she looked up from the book and at Peter, who had stood beside her and also taken a book from the pile.
"There is not a single chapter about the missing Borg drone." Bo said disappointedly.
"Yes, I just noticed and there are not even pictures. What's so great about such a book?" He asked, shaking his head and laying his book back on the pile.
"Do you want to buy the book or try to get to Miss Janeway?" He asked and Bo considered. She was not really the guy who made himself comfortable with a book on the couch and spent hours reading. She was more the type who liked to be in action. She preferred to spend her evenings with John, Peter, and other friends in the bar in Colderim, playing various games there. Very old games such as darts, billiards, card games or games from the 24th century, such as Kadis-Kot, Kal-Toh, Dom-Jot. Or they just sat there talking, drinking beer or watching the various sports broadcasts on the big screen above the bar.
Bo put the book away and turned to the crowd, which was still standing in the queue.
"Maybe we can talk to Miss Janeway without having to buy the book. Come on, we'll queue up." Bo said, and they both hired in the queue.
The queue was quite long and meandered through the entire bookstore. The longer they had to wait to get in the queue a few meters forward, Bo was getting more and more restless and zappliger. For her taste it was much too slow forward and she regretted already hired.
"Are you alright?" Peter asked worriedly after a while, but before Bo could answer him, she suddenly collapsed and slid to the floor.
Peter could catch her in time before she hit the ground with full force. The crowd immediately turned to the two. Immediately some people came running up to the two and asked worried, if everything was okay. Meanwhile, Peter held the unconscious Bo in his arms and looked around the crowd for help.
"I might need help." he grunted into the crowd and immediately someone called the emergency medical service.
At the bookstore, the news spilled over and Kathryn, who had always been curious, left her signing table and hurried through the crowd to Peter and Bo.
"What happened? Can I help somehow?" She asked worried as she saw Peter and the unconscious woman in his arms. Peter blinked irritably at Kathryn.
"She just collapsed unconscious, I think she needs a doctor." Peter mumbled, looking down from Kathryn to Bo and back.
"I've already called for the emergency medical service." a Customers next to them remarked, and Kathryn gave her a friendly nod. "Thanks." she said, stroking her hand over Bo's forehead.
"Do you recognize her?" Peter asked and Kathryn looked at him in surprise.
"What do you mean sir?" She asked confused and Peter swallowed several times before answering.
"Bo, she wanted to meet you because she thinks she's the missing Borg drone you and your crew brought from the Delta Quadrant." Peter explained, but Kathryn frowned at him, then looked down at Bo and shook hers Head.
"No sir, unfortunately I have to disappoint you. Unfortunately, her friend is not our missing friend." Kathryn replied and Peter looked downcast and disappointed. Then he cleared his throat before speaking.
"Well, at least we know that now. Thanks Ma'am." he said and Kathryn looked at him for a long moment.
"Why did you think you friend was our missing girlfriend?" Kathryn asked, but at the same moment the emergency medical service arrived and the doctor examined Bo before deciding to take her to the medical center.
Peter and Bo were loaded into the hospital transport shuttle, and Kathryn, who still had not received an answer to her question, joined them.
At the medical center, Bo was examined closely by a doctor.
Meanwhile, Kathryn and Peter were waiting outside in the waiting room and Peter told her all about Bo and why they thought she was the missing Borg drone.
Kathryn listened attentively but had to tell Peter again that Bo was not Seven. To prove it, she took out of her bag an old picture she always carried with her and showed it to Peter. It was the photo where Kathryn and all her senior officers had posed together in the mess hall for a family photo. Then Kathryn pointed to Seven with her fingers.
"That's her." Kathryn said quietly and gave the photo to Peter. This one looked at it exactly.
"That's Seven?" He asked irritated and looked at the photo for a moment while Kathryn nodded.
"Damn Ax, that's Annika Hansen, one of the other seven former Borg drones in Colderim. She works in the science laboratory and examines rock samples. I asked her a few times if she would like to meet with me, but she has always refused. She lives very withdrawn." said Peter and Kathryn looked at him speechless for a long moment.
"Are you sure that's the woman are my Seven?" She asked hopefully, just to be sure.
Seven has been searched for so long and by so many people in recent years. There was much evidence of her alleged whereabouts, and for a while Kathryn had gone each and every one of the clues, and each time she returned disappointed and depressed to Earth without Seven. And now this man sat next to her and told her that he knew where Seven was staying? It was incredible.
Peter looked at the picture again and then nodded to Kathryn.
"Yes, that's Annika Hansen. I mean she looks a little different but I would bet my ass on that Annika is her Seven." Peter answered honestly.
"She looks different, to what extent?" Kathryn asked, not wanting to go back to a hopeless search, only to be disappointed again.
Peter scratched his head and looked at Kathryn closely.
"Hm ..., her hair is longer and she usually tied her into a braid and she wears glasses. Which is funny, where she probably does not even need them, since she is Borg. But that is the only thing that is different. Everything else is the same. I swear. If Bo wakes up, she can confirm it." said Peter.
And just then the doctor appeared and Peter jumped up immediately.
"How is she?" He asked worriedly.
The doctor immediately smiled at Peter and laid his hand reassuringly on Peter's shoulder.
"Your wife and baby are fine right now. But the abdominal implant will make her feel bad again during her pregnancy. So we have to find a better solution." replied the doctor, but Peter looked speechless and stunned.
"Bo is pregnant?" He asked, after he could speak again.
"Yes, she is in the thirteenth week." The doctor explained and Peter sat back in his chair and hid his face behind his hands.
"Are you okay?" Kathryn asked worriedly.
Peter took his hands from his face and looked at Kathryn with tears running down his cheek.
"Yes I'm fine. I'm just so happy, but worried about Bo. Bo know it already?" Asked Peter, but the doctor shook his head.
"No, she does not know yet. She's still sedated because we still have to do some research." The doctor explained before turning back and going back to the treatment room.
"What are you going to do now?" Kathryn asked curiously.
"Now that Bo is not her missing girlfriend, we will return to Colderim to pack our things and find a new home. Colderim is not a place to raise a child there." Peter replied.
"I honestly have no idea where Colderim is. How long did it take you to come here?" Kathryn asked.
"Eight weeks on the different spaceships and freighters." Peter answered honestly and Kathryn looked at him in dismay.
"I think Bo can not do this trip with you. The doctor just said that her pregnancy through the abdominal implant will be very difficult and that she will often go bad. But maybe I have a solution to your problem, assuming you want to hear what I can suggest." Kathryn said.
Peter looked at her for a long moment. "You are right, Bo will hardly survive the return journey, under these conditions. What can you suggest to me?" Peter asked eagerly.
"How about Bo staying here and you traveling with me to Colderim? Bo could live with my mother and my mother could take good care of Bo and her well-being. So you do not have to worry about Bo." Kathryn explained.
"Why do you want to help us?" Peter asked skeptically.
"Because, if it's true that you know where Seven is, then I owe you a lot. And you and Bo made the long way here because you thought Bo was our Seven. And I'm so sorry for Bo that I could not confirm what she was hoping for." Kathryn confessed and smiled at Peter while he was scratching his head.
"I'm not sure if I can accept your offer and if Bo even agrees with that. She is sometimes quite idiosyncratic." explained Peter.
"We'll convince you that this is the best solution. Unless you do not want to go back to Colderim and stay here or find another place to live." Kathryn pointed out.
"No, I have to go back to Colderim. All our things are there. Okay, much of it is not very important. But there are some things that are pretty important to Bo and me too. Most of it belonged to my deceased brother and I have to pick it up." explained Peter.
"Well, then you and I will go to Colderim together and Bo will stay, if she agrees, and she will certainly, with my mother. I'll call her right now and see if it's alright. "Kathryn stood up from her waiting chair, leaving Peter alone in the waiting room.
Chapter 32: ***Hello Seven***
Kathryn walked quickly through the snow-covered landscape toward the building complex where the laboratories were located. Before she entered the building complex, she hastily knocked on her boots at the door and then entered. Inside, she slipped her weatherproof hood down with her hands in thick gloves and took her first orientation. She glanced quickly through a sign, who worked in which lab, and after finding Seven's lab, she made her way there. For this she had to walk through several corridors and passed several other doors. Passing by, she read the lab numbers to make sure she did not miss the right lab.
When she finally found the right laboratory door, Kathryn was already a bit sweaty in her thick winter clothes. So she took off her gloves first to open her winter jacket. The gloves put her in her winter jacket pocket. Since they were very thick, they did not quite fit in and hung out half way. Kathryn sighed deeply, leaving the gloves as they were. After all, she had more important things to do than hang around with her gloves for a long time.
Kathryn turned to the lab door and stood a little nervous. Only a few yards separated them from her Seven. Seven, whom she had painfully missed for many years. How would Seven react if Kathryn stood before her suddenly and without notice? To calm down, Kathryn thought again briefly about how she had come here.
After Bo was released from the infirmary, Kathryn took her and Peter to the transporter station, where all three beamed the transports to Bloomington, Indiana. Once there, they rented a hovercraft and flew to their mom's house.
Bo and Gretchen got along very well, so Kathryn started preparing for the trip to Colderim.
For her trip, she had asked Tom for help and he had found a small spacecraft for a minimal crew, which Kathryn immediately bought. It was not a Starfleet spaceship and therefore had no comfortable equipment, but it was quick and shortened her journey to just 5 weeks.
Since Kathryn could not fly the spaceship alone, Tom and B'Elanna had agreed to accompany Kathryn on their journey, in tow they had their now five-year-old daughter Miral. Harry, too, had joined the crew with his wife Libby and their three-year-old twins.
Overall, the five-week trip had passed very quickly. Kathryn had quickly realized how much she had missed her time with her former crew on Voyager, in the last six years. All the better was their current trip to Colderim. All of them, including Peter, rejoined a well-rehearsed crew. Everyone knew what he had to do and even the children were peaceful and enjoyed the journey.
Kathryn sighed deeply and then pull the door buzzer. Since nothing happened, she held the code card that she had received from Peter to the designated lock and as soon as she had unlocked the door, she pushed down the door handle and entered the room.
And now Seven was standing in front of her, just a few yards away, in the middle of her lab. Kathryn quickly realized that it was icy cold in the lab, so she quickly closed her winter jacket again and put her hands in her jacket pocket.
Seven was dressed warmly too, wearing black gloves, a white coat over her clothes, a thick scarf around her neck, and something stuck in her ears that Kathryn could not identify.
Seven had leaned down to a microscope, holding a clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other. Seven had not noticed Kathryn, so Kathryn could watch her closely.
Seven's hair was tied to a horse's pigtail and lay on her back, she had a pony that seemed to fall into her face, but Kathryn could not see exactly where she stood. On her nose, Seven had glasses on which she stared into the microscope and with the hand that held the pen, something under the microscope handled.
Kathryn took a few steps closer to the lab and toward Seven.
"Seven?" She asked, but Seven did not respond. Kathryn looked at her skeptically and stepped closer to her. When Seven still did not turn to her, Kathryn put a hand on Seven's shoulders.
Seven immediately jumped and turned around as fast as lightning. Shocked, she looked at Kathryn and blinked her eyes in confusion.
"Hello Seven" Kathryn said, trying to read Seven's irritated look.
Seven, whose heart had begun to beat wildly after seeing Kathryn in front of her, hastily set aside her clipboard and pen, then pulled the plugs out of her ears and turned back to Kathryn.
"Captain?" She asked in astonishment, swallowing once, twice the thick lump suddenly found in her throat. Meanwhile, Kathryn smiled gently at her and then shook her head.
"No, only Kathryn." she replied. "What's that?" She asked after the silence spread between the two of them and she felt dizzy, considering that she had finally found Seven again and she was standing in front of her.
"These are my earplugs, I can use them to listen to music or other audio while I work. It also prevents me from hearing the loud drone of the rock drills and the blasts all day long." Seven answered as she held her hands behind her back, as she had done before, and responded.
"Oh" Kathryn just answered and looked at Seven, feverishly thinking about how to start a rational conversation with Seven. Everything in her mind was buzzing and she could not think clearly, just looking at Seven and wondering how pretty she looked overall. In all these past years, she had always imagined what it would be like, her first meeting and what she would say to Seven. But right in that moment, she did not think on it.
"What are you doing here?" Seven asked, looking at Kathryn curiously.
"I'm here to bring you home." Kathryn answered quickly without thinking much about it and then got an irritated look from Seven.
"My home is gone, the Voyager is now a museum and my collective is broken apart and each one goes his own way." Seven replied logically, stroking her pony from her eyes and tilted her head a little.
"I did not mean the home. I meant the home in Bloomington, Indiana. There is a small house there and there is a small room waiting for you where your alcove stands." Kathryn said, continuing to look at Seven softly.
"How did you find me?" Seven asked with interest, instead of responding to what Kathryn had said to her before.
"Bo found me and through her and Peter I found out that you are here." Kathryn replied and sighed deeply.
"Seven please, do not make it so hard for me. I've been looking for you for the past six years, why can not we just hug each other, now that I've found you again?" Kathryn asked anxiously and looked at Seven afraid.
Seven looked at her confused, but then turned away from Kathryn and her microscope back to. As she adjusted something to her microscope and placed a new sample of rock on the slide with tweezers and looked through the lens, she replied.
"I ... I can not." said Seven only and continued to look into her microscope.
"Why not?" Kathryn asked worriedly and gently pulled Seven away from the microscope.
Seven saw Kathryn right in her eyes and stared at her. Kathryn saw Seven wrestling with her and looking for an answer.
"Why can not you hug me?" Kathryn asked again, this time more urgent.
"Because ... because then I would never let you go again." Confessed Seven quietly and in Kathryns eyes immediately tears came.
From Peter and Bo, she had learned that Annika spent a great deal of time alone and never stayed in the bar or other places where the workers in Colderim met and spent time together. Bo even thought that Annika, rarely used the mental connection between the former Borg drones and even wanted to have nothing to do with them. It was clear to Peter and Bo that because of this, Annika would have to be pretty lonely.
Kathryn immediately stepped to Seven and pulled her into her arms, hugging her tightly. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest and her head buzzed with confused anxious thoughts, but to her astonishment, Seven did not push her away, but returned the hug. Although timid, but at least.
"I would not want that either." Kathryn admitted relieved and held Seven in her arms in a warm hug.
"I love you and I missed you so much and made me so worried about you, please come home with me." Kathryn asked and Seven pulled herself out of her embrace and looked at her distraughtly.
"I can not. I have to stay away from you. I ..., I ... promised." Seven replied haltingly, turning even more from Kathryn's arms. Then she took a few steps and walked away from Kathryn, who looked at her in surprise.
"What, who did you promise that?" She asked, staring blankly at Seven.
"I can not tell you that." said Seven, looking down at the floor, embarrassed.
Kathryn stepped to her, placing her hand under her chin and lifting it lightly so that she could look Seven in the eye.
"Seven, why can not you tell me? Who made you promise to keep you away from me? Please tell me what's going on." Kathryn asked and Seven avoided Kathryn's eyes.
"Please Seven answer me!" Kathryn demanded in old Captainton after Seven still did not want to answer her.
"What happened on Voyager back then? Why did you regenerate that long?" Kathryn asked when Seven was still standing in front of her.
Seven lifted her head and looked at Kathryn again.
"I was trapped in my own little hell and had to face my guilt." Seven replied bluntly and Kathryn looked at her in horror. Then she took Seven's hand and joined her fingers with Seven's fingers. Seven looked down at their bandaged hands and the first tears fell from her eyes, which she wiped awkwardly with her other hand as her glasses were in the way.
Kathryn put her other hand around Seven's waist and pulled her slightly towards her. Seven leaned against Kathryn and gave up being strong.
"Please tell me everything." Kathryn softly asked, holding Seven in her arms and Seven relaxed in her arms.
"Not here and not now." Seven replied quietly and Kathryn nodded her head.
"Okay, let's go where we can talk better." Kathryn said and Seven nodded her head.
Chapter 33: ***The promise***
Seven led Kathryn to her quarters, conveniently located just behind her lab. Luckily, it was warmer here than in the lab, so Kathryn once again opened her winter jacket, undressed her and hung her over a chair as she quickly looked around the quarters.
The lodging was not very big and consisted of a single room and an adjoining bathroom. The window occupied one side of the quarter and was closed with dark curtains. Which was not bad, because it was dark outside now.
The furnishings consisted of a one-person bed, a closet where Seven was likely to keep her clothes, a small table with two chairs, and a replicator. Apart from that, there was nothing in Seven's quarters, and it reminded Kathryn of the small room Seven had occupied at the Wildman Quarter.
"Do you know that I moved to your room at the Wildmans when you regenerated for so long?" Kathryn asked, sitting down on one of the two chairs.
Seven looked at her irritated. "No, I did not know. After I climbed out of the alcove, I did not remember who I am and where I am. I forgot it while I was trapped in my little hell. Would you like to have a coffee?" Asked Seven, who had already asked the replicator.
"Yes, sure. Please tell me what exactly happened to you during your regeneration * in your little hell *. The doctor, B'Elanna and I, we did not agree on what would happen if we stopped your regenration early. The doctor said we could damage your cortical node irreparably. So we let you regenerate. But many times I've wished I had interrupted your regeneration when I had the chance." Kathryn said, taking the coffee mug from Seven. Seven took off her thick scarf and black gloves and sat on the other chair, and Kathryn joined her free hand with Seven's hand and held it lightly.
"I was trapped in my own guilt. I was in a kind of space and around me, were all the people that I had assimilated in my time as a Borg drone. It was loud there, all around me screaming, howling, bellowing, jostling, bumping and fighting each other. It was a mess. In the beginning, I hid in a corner, but the longer I stayed there, the more I lost myself and also began screaming, fighting, thrusting. At some point, I collapsed in the crowd, exhausted, and a woman caught me. As soon as she touched me, I knew everything about her and when I assimilated her. I asked her forgiveness and she granted it to me. And so I did with the others, but there were so many and the chaos around me never stopped. Only when I forgave myself did everyone disappear around me and I let go of my guilt. After I did that, I was ready to wake up from regeneration. But then I did not remember who I was and where I was. Only a combination of numbers whizzed around in my head. So I got on a shuttle and flew away. I entered the combination of numbers into the console of the shuttle and flew to a blue rift, and soon after I found myself suddenly spaceship again, where everyone was very excited. They accused me of having the conscience of humanity and all four quadrants because I had done something that would lead to the destruction of all known worlds and species in the future. The doctor should delete my cortical node and thus my entire Borgwissen. But he had scruples and I had to promise him to erase the number combination from my memory and keep me from now on far from anyone I knew until then. Since I did not know anything at the time and did not remember anything, I promised him whatever he asked me to do. For the captain of the spaceship, I should pretend that my cortical node was completely erased. That was not hard for me because I really did not know anything anymore. Then they took me away and I was in a different location. It was a freighter that approached the various planets to trade and do business. I hired as a crew member and stayed there for a while. In the meantime, I remembered more and more about my life on Voyager and who I was. However, some of my life on Voyager is still blurry, including many people I do not remember well. When I saw you, I knew that you were my captain, that I can trust you, that I like you and would like to hug you. But ..., to certain events or ... " Seven sighed deeply and looked away from Kathryn in embarrassment.
"I know that you were my captain and that you got me out of the collective, that we were friends. But everything else is hard to grasp, I can not do anything with your feelings, like love or worry. I do not know what love means or how it feels to love or be loved." Seven said quietly and Kathryn looked at her sadly.
"When I started to remember Voyager and various events, I lived here on Colderim for a while. Everything that happened before Colderim was so far away and blurry that it did not matter much to me." Seven explained and looked Kathryn in the eyes again.
"Why did you stay here and did not choose another, friendlier place to live in?" Kathryn asked blankly as she continued to hold Seven's hand and stroke her thumb across the back of her hand.
"I like the winter months, it's dark for 24 hours, day and night for 5 months and no sunshine comes here. When I look out of my windows into the darkness and there is no snowstorm, you can see the stars glowing outside and I imagine I'm still on Voyager. After work, if I do not wear my earplugs, I can hear the rock drills that are still drilling at night. It reminds me of the buzzing of the warp core. It is very calming. Only the stars and the warp kernels are memories that have stayed clear to me." Seven explained looking at Kathryn a little dreamily. Kathryn, whom Seven had never seen before, had to swallow and hold back her tears, which stung her in her eyes again.
Seven sighed deeply and released her hand from Kathryn's hand, got up and put on her black gloves again and wrapped her thick scarf around her neck. Kathryn looked at her in surprise.
"What are you doing?" She asked worriedly.
"I have to get back to my job. The foremen await my report by the end of the shift. That means I still have a lot to do." Seven replied and Kathryn blinked irritated.
"Seven I've come to pick you up and not just to talk to you briefly." Kathryn said hurriedly as she grabbed her winter jacket from her chair, quickly pulled her over and ran after Seven, who was already on her way to her lab was.
"It's quite presumptuous of you to think that you just have to show up here and I stop my work and come with you to Bloomington, Indiana. I hardly remember you." Seven replied, returning to her lab bench where the microscope stood. There she took her clipboard again in one hand and the pen in her other hand and looked through the lens her sample of rock on the microscope slid.
Kathryn stood stunned and speechless beside her, silently watching her for a moment.
"Okay, if you do not want to come, then I'll stay here." Kathryn said firmly after briefly considering whether she could really pull it off. Lord God she had survived with her crew for 6 years in the Delta Quadrant, she would survive here in the Colderim.
Seven, on the other hand, looked at her skeptically and raised her eyebrow.
"Why do you want to do that?" She asked confused.
"Because I love you." Kathryn answered promptly.
"But I do not remember you and your love or that I love you. Why do you think I want you to stay here?" Seven asked seriously, but did not look directly at Kathryn.
"Then look me in the eye and tell me that you do not love me." Kathryn demanded bravely, but inside she was full of excitement and anxiety. But if Seven really did not love her and did not remember anything that had once connected her, it would be better if she found out now than if she spent months here in the Colderim.
Seven looked Kathryn in the eye, but there was not a word on her lips. Instead, her eyes went dark and tears welled up in them. Seven tensed her jaw and straightened stiffly as she put her hands behind her back.
"I don´t love you." she said clearly, but she knew herself that the tears now running down her cheek and the pain in her chest were probably signs of love. Besides, she had not been able to look Kathryn in the eye when she said those three words.
Kathryn stepped up to Seven and smiled wryly at her.
"You love me, I know it, even if you do not seem to know it yourself. Why are you making it so difficult for both of us? What is it that makes you act that way? Tell me." Kathryn said softly, stroking the tears of Seven's right cheek with her hand.
Before Seven could answer, the door buzzer sounded and shortly afterwards Peter entered the lab.
"Hello Ladies, my and Bo's things are packed. Harry and Tom are just taking them to the Goldenbird and I wanted to check how far you have been." Peter explained, looking from Kathryn to Seven and back again.
Seven had ignored Peter's presence and kept working on her microscope, while Kathryn had sighed loudly.
"Seven do not want to come with me. That's why I stay here too." she replied to Peter, who looked at Kathryn with wide, astonished eyes.
"You're kidding right?" He asked, but when Kathryn shook her head resignedly, he looked at her irritated.
"Are you serious?" He asked Kathryn and she nodded to him.
"Hm ... how am I supposed to explain that to your mother?" Peter asked in exasperation and Kathryn looked irritated.
"What does my mother have to do with it?" Kathryn asked with a frown.
"Well, I had to promise her to bring you home safe and sound, in return she promised to take care of Bo. And I do not want to face your mother without you. So let me talk to Annika, I'll get her to come with us." Peter replied and Seven looked up in horror from her microscope.
"I will not come, no matter what you say. So do not waste your time." she said to Peter, who smirked at her.
"Oh, Miss Annika, adorable as always." Peter replied sarcastically to Seven, then looked at Kathryn, who looked at them tensely.
"Leave us alone for a moment, maybe then the situation has cleared up." Peter said and Kathryn nodded her head and left the lab.
Peter approached Seven and Seven took a few steps back in alarm. She did not like the way Peter looked at her, grinning broadly.
"Do not you dare to take me out of here!" Threatened Seven and Peter still grinned at her.
"Oh, I would never think so, but thanks for the nice idea. Listen, Kathryn flew through space for five weeks and drove us more than once to hurry up with our flies. She was terrified that you would not be here when we arrive. And now you gave me this number? What's wrong with you? "Peter asked seriously.
Seven looked at him impenetrable and Peter sighed deeply.
"Okay, then I'll tell you what's wrong with you. You are terrified. Fear of life, of love and who knows what else. And now, the only person in the universe that came here who means a lot to you and whom you mean a lot. Anyway, so much that she flew all over the Alpha Quadrant to see you again. And she wants to bring you back to life and give you all her love. And that scares you too. That's why you behave so childishly and defiantly, and hope that no one sees how the strong Borg drone scared the hell out of his pants. Come play nice and stop denying that you are human. And damn it, hide yourself here and start living again and give you and Kathryn a chance. I mean what can go wrong?" Asked Peter and Seven looked at him with a cold look through her glasses.
Then she raised her hands and clapped them in several times.
"Oh, great - since when did you mutate from a miner to a psychologist?" Seven asked sarcastically.
Seven had lived among mining workers for so long, all of whom had rough, horrible manners and constantly talking in mining terms about having picked up some of it.
Peter grinned at her again.
"So I'm right," he said victoriously, and Seven's face darkened and her hands clenched into fists. But before she could get on Peter, he quickly stepped to her and held her arms down firmly so she could not beat him.
Peter, who was now very close to Seven, saw Seven right in her angry sparkling eyes.
"She loves you and she will not go without you. Would you like her that her something bad to happen here on Colderim? You know how often there are accidents and how easily something bad can happen. Just look at Bo and John. In a moment, they were happy and the next moment John was dead. If you like Kathryn a little bit, you come with and bring them home safe and sound. Then you can hide and live your life the way you want." said Peter.
"May I really?" Seven asked skeptically.
"Yes, I promise you that as soon as we reach Earth and drop Kathryn there, then you, if you really still want to, can go your own ways again. If you want you can even come with Bo and me." Peter promised and Seven looked at him closely and thought about it.
"Where do you two want to go and why is not she here?" Asked Seven interested.
"Bo is pregnant, she could not make the long journey because her abdominal implant makes her pregnancy very difficult. Once the baby is there, we need a place where we can raise a child well, where it is peaceful and calm, where the sun shines longer in the year and the darkness and cold prevails for a short time." Peter explained calmly, he let go of Seven's arms and stepped away from her a few paces.
Seven sighed deeply, she had no choice, she had to go, so she could get Kathryn away from here and get her to safety. Only then could Seven go on with their own lives.
"Okay." she said, and Peter grinned at her.
"Great, let's tell Kathryn about the good news and then we'll pack your stuff together." said Peter, already leaving the lab to look for Kathryn.
Seven, however, held his arm.
"As soon as Kathryn is on earth, I will go my own way again. And I do not want anyone to know about it. So not a word to anyone, okay?" Seven asked and Peter nodded his head.
"If someone chats, I'm certainly not. Trust me, I have promised you and I keep my promises." Said Peter and Seven looked at him for a long moment.
"Good, I pack my things. What about my work?" She asked and Peter shrugged his shoulders.
"I'll tell the office you're on vacation." Peter replied, but Seven had already left her lab to pack her things.
Chapter 34: *** The data crystal ***
When Peter left the lab, he found Kathryn, she looking worried.
"She comes with you. But not quite voluntarily. "Peter sighed and scratched his head.
"What does that mean?" Kathryn asked in alarm.
"That means she comes along and everything else will find a way. She's scared and you have to take her fear over the next five weeks or find out what she's hiding from here in Colderim. Only when you know that and do something about it will she lose her fear and maybe stay with you. But I think that takes time and you probably have to get to know each other again. I mean, you probably think you know her, but everyone who lived here in Colderim changes over time. And so does Annika. Give her a little time and space and get to know her again." Peter explained as he walked along the corridors of the building with Kathryn to the entrance.
"I go over to the office and let the office know Annika leaving her job. I'll be back in half an hour and pick you up." he said, leaving the building and stepping out into the darkness into the blizzard.
Kathryn watched him go and all her hopes of getting Seven home dropped abruptly.
Meanwhile, Seven hurriedly packed her things. There was not much to pack, so all she needed was a duffel bag containing her warm sweaters, pants and underwear, toiletries, and lots of warm socks. In a side pocket, she packed her earplugs, her audio data chips, various small devices, rock samples that she found beautiful and, most recently, her cable to regenerate.
Then she looked back at her quarters and when she was sure she had everything she needed, what was important to her, she went back to her lab. There, too, she looked around again and packed some things she did not want to do without. When Seven was sure she had packed everything, she shouldered her duffel bag and left her lab, sighing.
In front of her lab she found Kathryn looking at her strangely.
"I'm ready to go." Seven said quietly and Kathryn nodded her head.
"Peter wanted to pick us up at the entrance." Kathryn just said and felt very bad. She had come here to bring Seven home, but now it just felt wrong, the way Seven looked at her and moved next to her.
Kathryn stopped abruptly and Seven looked at her in surprise.
"What?" She asked and Kathryn sighed deeply.
"Peter says that you do not come along voluntarily. I do not know how he persuaded you to come with or what he suggested, but that's not how it feels good. I do not want you to come with me if you do not do it out of free will." Kathryn replied, placing a hand on her forehead and rubbing it.
"I had imagined it all differently, nicer and easier. But it's probably always the case with me that I have to fight for everything. But I do not want to fight anymore. I'm tired and I do not want to get hurt anymore. If Colderim is what you want, then I accept that and will leave you alone. But I want to tell you one more thing. I love you and I will always love you." Kathryn said sadly, resigned and tears ran down her cheeks, which she quickly wiped away.
"Please take care of yourself." she said, pulling Seven into her arms again and holding her for a long moment as Seven wrapped her arms around her. Then she broke away from Seven and gave her a peck on the cheek.
"Good Bye." she said, then left Seven and hurried down the hall to the entrance.
Seven stood shocked and froze in the corridor and watched her afterwards. Her heart began to ache hard and beat irregularly. She felt dizzy, so she had to lean against the wall. Suddenly, her stomach contracted painfully and she began to sob. Slowly, she slid down the wall, hiding her face in her hands, tears breaking like torrents.
Meanwhile, Kathryn had reached the entrance, since Peter was not there yet and she did not want to get lost in the blizzard, on the way to the main complex, she pulled her gloves out of her winter jacket. Something fell to the ground and Kathryn looked at the item skeptically until she remembered. It was the crystal she had found years ago in Seven's room, in the Wildmans quarter. In all those years, she had always carried him with him, always wondering what it was. She had intended to ask Seven about it, but forgot it. Hastily, Kathryn picked up the crystal and looked at it.
Out of an impulse, she turned away from entrance and hurried along the corridors to seek Seven.
When she found Seven huddled in the hallway on the floor, where she had left her to last, she quickly ran to her and took her in her arms and held her gently.
"You're back?" Seven sniffed in astonishment after she calmed down and looked up.
"Yes, I found this in my pocket." Kathryn showed Seven the crystal and Seven took her glasses from her nose and rubbed her tear-stained eyes. Then she took the crystal from Kathryn's hand and held it to her breast.
"I found it in your room with the Wildmans many years ago and have since wondered what it is. I wanted to ask you about it, but forgot it. I just remembered it and before I left, I wanted to ask you about it." Kathryn explained while still holding Seven in her arms and watching Seven cumbersome put her glasses back on her nose after she wiped away her tears would have.
Seven leaned into Kathryn's embrace and sniffed deeply before she answering.
"This is a data crystal, it shows us both." said Seven in a shaky, raw, larked voice.
Kathryn looked at her in surprise.
"Really?" She asked curiously and Seven nodded her head.
"How can I view the data on the data crystal?" Kathryn asked curiously and Seven straightened up a bit.
"I had a data player, it was in my desk drawer." Seven replied, pulling herself a bit out of Kathryn's embrace.
"Hm ... I do not remember. But after Voyager landed on Earth, a maintenance team packed most of the crew's stuff and sent it to them. Maybe the player is still in one of the boxes that I store at home in the attic. Can I take a look at what's on the data crystal?" Kathryn asked softly and a little uncertainly as Seven still held the data crystal to her chest and did not look as if she wanted to give it back.
Seven opened her hand and studied the data crystal inside.
"It was a gift, it should give me hope in the future. I'm not sure I'll be able to part with it now that I got it back." Seven confessed softly, and her gaze went away as she watched in her memories, the pictures she'd seen on the data crystal. Then she started to smile.
Kathryn looked at her irritated.
"Seven?" She asked quietly and Seven's eyes became clear again and she looked at Kathryn confused.
"I ... I'm ready to come with you." She said quietly and Kathryn looked at her in surprise, then relieved and happy.
"Really?" She asked and Seven nodded her head. "Yes." she said and both women scrambled off the floor.
As soon as they stood, Kathryn pulled Seven into her arms and held onto her.
"I ... I do not know if I love you and how you can love me, I ..., I'm not ..." Seven stopped and Kathryn turned from the embrace and looked Seven in the eye.
"What is it?" She asked gently. "Please tell me." she asked immediately.
"I'm not good enough for you. My body is disfigured and I have caused so much suffering. I am ... inadequate. I'm ... " before Seven could continue speaking, Kathryn took Sevenen's head in her hands and looked deep into her eyes.
"You are everything I have ever wanted. You are the only person in this universe that I love and will always love. Nothing you say or what you do could change that. You are perfect the way you are. I love you like you are. So please stop mocking yourself." Kathryn pleaded and put her lips on Seven's cheek and breathed a gentle kiss on it. Then she released Seven's head and smiled gently at her.
"Come on, Peter is probably already waiting for us." Kathryn said and took Seven's hand in hers, both women went quiet and each entangled in their own thoughts, together to the entrance.