Trek, Star Trek Voyager, and Characters, are property of Paramount. I am not
making a profit from this story.
This story takes place in the middle of the sixth season. There
has been some deviation from canon: B'Elanna dumped Paris in the fifth
season. I added a fictional account of her history after leaving Starfleet
Academy, and how she met Chakotay. Seven's emotional development is closer to
what it was at the end of the seventh season. ‘Vulcan Love Slave’
is a holo sex program mentioned several times in ‘Deep Space
Nine’ and various Trek novels.
Your Love is an Oasis
Voyager glided quietly and majestically on her long journey home
to the Alpha Quadrant. Her silhouette outlined by the violets, purples and
blues of the nebula, gave one the impression of a night creature, perhaps an
owl, returning from the hunt, in an early dawn sky. Captain Janeway stood
behind the helm and gazed with the discerning eyes of a scientist at the
nebula's image on the view screen.
reduce speed to warp four. I want our instruments to make detailed
readings,” she said and then returned to her command chair, picked up a
PADD from the console, and concentrated on the data received so far.
Unfortunately, this nebula, like the Mutara Nebula, stood in the
direct path of Voyager's route to the Alpha Quadrant. The radiation levels
were much higher than the previous nebula's, thus preventing Seven of Nine
from monitoring ship's systems while the crew was placed in stasis.
Seven’s remaining Borg implants would not be able to protect her for
the four-day journey required to reach the other side. Their holographic
C.M.O, better known as the Doctor, was out of the question. The radiation
would severely damage his matrix. The only option left was to detour around
it. The good news was that it would only add three weeks to their journey.
"Captain, long range sensors have detected what appears to
be a Borg signal at mark 255, 1.6 light years from our present position. Its
location is the surface of a small asteroid," Tuvok announced, as he
continued to study the information on his monitor.
Captain Janeway immediately placed the PADD she was purveying on
the console of her command chair and ordered, "On screen."
"Captain, the signal appears to originate from a vessel. It
is stationary and on a repeating pattern." Tuvok said in his evenly
Janeway tapped her com badge. "Janeway to Seven of
"Report to the Bridge at once."
"Yes, Captain. On my way."
Janeway briefly fingered her com badge and announced, "If
this is a disabled cube or sphere, we could get our hands on another transwarp
Chakotay, seated in the first officer's chair, voiced his
opinion, "This could be a trap."
Janeway dismissed his comment with a snort. "The Borg set
traps? I doubt that. That's not their style. They have no need for deceit.
They declare their intentions in a direct assault."
A 'swoosh' was heard as the turbo lift doors opened and Seven of
Nine stepped out of the lift and onto the upper level, and proceeded quickly
down the step, to stop in front of Janeway's chair. Standing straight, with
her hands behind her back, she regarded Janeway with her cool Borg stare and
inquired, "Captain, you wished to see me?"
Janeway ran her eyes quickly over the long form of her
astrometrics officer, noticing how the blue of her biosuit complimented her
blond hair and ice blue eyes. "Seven, we may be able to get our hands on
a Borg transwarp coil. We are receiving what appear to be Borg signals from a
ship on a nearby asteroid. I want you to review the data Tuvok has and give
me your analysis."
Seven tilted her head slightly to her left in acknowledgment,
turned quickly, went to Tuvok's console, and started assessing the
information. Her eyebrows rising in surprise, she quickly looked toward
Janeway and informed her, "Captain, the Borg signature is one that was
last utilized by the Collective 257.3 years ago. It is from experimental ship
561 which was supposedly destroyed 263 years ago in an early attempt to
utilize technology that would open a small singularity for distant travel to
various destinations in the galaxy."
Janeway again fingered her com badge and inquired, "In
other words...travel through an artificial wormhole. What are the chances
that the ship still has information and technology that we can salvage?"
Seven lifted her left eyebrow and stated, "That the
technology necessary to open a singularity has survived this long is highly
improbable. In the event the technology has survived, it would be
incompatible with Voyager's systems. More so than the current problems that a
Borg transwarp coil presents."
"We won't know until we try. I want you and B'Elanna to
take a shuttle to the area and investigate. If there is technology and
information, I want it brought back to the ship. Radiation levels are not so
high at this distance from the nebula and should not pose a problem."
Seven nodded once. "Understood."
Before Janeway could dismiss her, Seven turned and headed toward
the turbo lift. Janeway smiled wryly and thought, 'That's my Seven. On
Voyager for almost three years and still ignores protocol.'
Both women were silent and intent on their tasks as the shuttle
maneuvered between various sized asteroids to reach its goal. B'Elanna was
piloting and Seven monitored the radiation levels emitted from the nearby
Ahead was their destination; a small asteroid that resembled a
potato with its numerous potholes and elongated ovoid shape. It measured
16,000 yards long and 9,000 yards across.
B'Elanna had donned a Starfleet issue set of thigh length tight
fitting black exercise pants, a blue tank top undershirt to wear under her
environmental suit, and a black pair of sneakers, that would fit easily in
the environmental suit's gravity boots.
Seven wore her black velocity suit and flat soled black velocity
B'Elanna's hands worked quickly on the shuttle’s controls.
"Target in sight. I'll find a place to put down."
Seven did not acknowledge. Her attention was on the remains of
the once spherical vessel, now severed in half, the other half nowhere in
sight. The exposed walkways and corridors easily identified the sheared
I would suggest that you land the shuttle by the section that is sheared.
This would facilitate a more expedite entry into the sphere,” Seven
B'Elanna put the shuttlecraft down in a smooth area 25 yards
from the vessel. Before leaving her seat to don her environmental suit, she
looked out of the cockpit window and exclaimed with awe, "Would you look
at that? Cut cleanly in half as if sliced by a knife through an apple. What
could have done that?"
Seven's voice was cool and clipped. "Unknown. Perhaps we
can discover the cause when we are aboard the vessel."
B'Elanna reached for her environmental suit and began stepping
into it and adjusting the fit. She donned her backpack, which contained
tools, and shrugged her shoulders to settle it.
Seven also donned her environmental suit and checked the
readings on the cuffs of her glove. She reached for her helmet and put it
over her head, attaching it onto her suit. She turned and spoke to Torres,
her voice clear over the helmet's radio, "I will function as guide when
we have entered the vessel."
Torres agreed, "Be my guest, Seven. Just give me enough
warning to get the hell out if you see any of your Borg cousins."
"That is highly unlikely. My cousins reside in the Alpha Quadrant
and have never been assimilated."
B'Elanna snorted in amusement. "I just don't want to run up
against any drones."
"Your concerns are unwarranted. Scans indicate no life form
Both women exited the Shuttle and made their way toward the derelict
vessel. It looked to be approximately the size of Voyager's saucer section.
Seven took tricorder readings of the hull and walked several yards until she
came to an open area, and entered into the darkness, B'Elanna right behind
Both women turned on the lights attached to their wrists and
helmets to illuminate the darkness. They were walking on what appeared to be
a catwalk some five feet across. After several yards, Seven stopped and took
tricorder readings. "I am detecting energy readings consistent with
tachyon technology on section 2 corridor 5, level 8."
"This is your neighborhood, Seven. You lead the way."
Seven continued walking until she came to an incline that led up
to the next level. Taking more readings, she continued up to the second
B'Elanna nervously gazed around her. Various conduits and metal
pipes hanging loosely from the ceiling looked similar to Borg arms and limbs.
Catching them out of the corner of her eyes gave the illusion that they were
moving. The enhancing of the illusion was the result of the faint, eerie,
greenish glow, of apparently active Borg equipment. 'Great, a haunted Borg
ship. Just keep repeating,' "I ain't scared of no ghost."
"I assure you, Lieutenant, no residual energy remains from the
"Hey, Borg. I wasn't talking to you," B’Elanna
"Perhaps your suit's communicator is malfunctioning."
"Nothing like that. Talking to one's self is a human thing.
Not that you would know anything about that," B’Elanna said
"What purpose does it serve?"
B'Elanna could not come up with a reply and curtly answered,
"Drop it, Borg. You can ask the Doc later."
"You are implying that talking to one's self is a medical
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "No. But you may need the Doc's
services if you don't SHUT UP."
Seven raised her left eyebrow while giving B'Elanna a measuring
look. She then turned away, and proceeded to walk.
After steadily climbing upward for a while, Seven stopped. She
shined her wrist light on a recessed area of the bulkhead and moved her
tricorder up and down over the area, reading the results then replacing the
instrument back on her utility belt. Even with gloved hands, she quickly and
efficiently entered a code into the wall pad. A panel opened to reveal an
oblong luminous canister. Seven again used her tricorder to scan the device.
B'Elanna walked up to Seven's side to study the object. "If
this is what we're looking for, let's get the damn thing and head back to
Seven removed the tricorder and began tapping information into
it. "Lieutenant, I suggest we do not disturb this...device, until
B'Elanna sighed dramatically and looked at the Borg through her
faceplate. "What's the matter? This device is what we came to get isn't
Seven scanned the wall and area surrounding the device. "I
am detecting an anomalous energy signature surrounding the device. Until we
determine the origin and nature of the signature, we should not disturb the
B'Elanna also scanned the device and surrounding area with her
tricorder. "Anomaly? This looks like the decayed trace remnants of
tachyon energy to me. It's certainly not anything to get your nanoprobes in
an uproar over. Besides, I don't have time to wait for you to analyze every
mote of dust in here. I have to get back to Voyager and run diagnostics in
engineering." She stepped up to the coil and placed both hands on the
object. An intense blue light shot from the device, enveloping both women,
and they vanished.
Harry Kim gazed intently at his monitor and blinked in surprise.
"Captain, I read a high energy tachyon pulse originating from the
coordinates where Seven and Lieutenant Torres are located." He paused to
review the information now presented, looked up and announced to the Captain,
"It has now dissipated."
Captain Janeway briskly ordered, "Contact the away team,
A few seconds passed and Harry Kim, his fingers moving rapidly
over his station's com pad, replied without looking up, "I have hailed
them, Captain, but they are not responding."
Tuvok calmly replied from his station, "I am not detecting
any life signs from the asteroid or signatures from their com badges Captain.
The Shuttle remains on the surface. I have determined that the source of the
tachyon pulse originated from the Borg vessel. It appears to have opened up a
singularity for .75 seconds before dissipating."
Captain Janeway quickly rose from her seat and faced Tuvok, her
features and voice stern, and ordered, "Tuvok, I want you and Lieutenant
Paris to take a team to the asteroid and search the area, including the Borg
ship. Get as much information as you can. I don't need to tell you to take
Tuvok nodding once and replied, "Right away, Captain."
"What the... Where the hell am I?" B'Elanna exclaimed
excitedly. She tried to focus in the total darkness around her, her wrist
light and helmet light were rendered non-functional. Suddenly, the lights
were on again. She saw a beam of light slice the darkness from Seven's wrist
light and sighed in relief. B'Elanna directed her wrist light to search the
Seven said in a precise voice, "It would appear that we are
no longer on the Borg sphere that we were sent to investigate, but on another
B'Elanna impatiently and sarcastically blurted out, "No
kidding. Why I would have never guessed."
Seven looked at her tricorder, her eyebrows arched as if
surprised. "We are indeed on the same Borg vessel. However, it is the
other half of the vessel. I am reading a strong tachyon signature consistent
with that of a singularity."
"You mean we’re in a wormhole?"
"Incorrect. We have passed through a wormhole that has
terminated at this point. The singularity has dissipated."
There was silence for a few seconds before Seven heard an intake
of breath through her helmet's communicator, and a concerned voice asked,
"Tell me we're not stuck here? Wherever here is."
"I will have no answers until I can determine what has
occurred, and, where...'here' is."
B'Elanna was about to reply when she noticed that Seven was
removing her helmet. She shrilly blurted out, "What the hell are you
doing you crazy Borg?" B’Elanna quickly realized that
Seven’s removal of her helmet had no ill effect, and deduced that the
vessel contained a breathable atmosphere.
Seven, briefly diverted her attention from her tricorder
readings, and answered coolly, "I am attempting to conserve the
environmental suit's energy and air. It may be required later. I suggest we
refrain from utilizing the suit's heating or cooling unless absolutely
B'Elanna did not answer. Instead, she removed her own helmet and
activated her tricorder. "The readings show that the air is very close
to that of earth normal." She sniffed audibly. "It sure is musty in
here. I'm just glad it doesn't smell like a Borg cube. Is this air being
generated somewhere in the ship? I don't hear anything to indicate
functioning machinery, nor feel anything. It's just silence and
stillness." 'Like a tomb'. She mentally shivered.
"There are no indications that any of the systems remain
functional." Seven tapped in information on the tricorder pad. "We
are on a planet, or other planetoid object, capable of sustaining life."
"How do you figure that?"
"Analyzes of the air content show minute pollen and spores
from various plants. There are as well, other organic traces." Seven
swept her wrist light over the deck. "In addition, there is a layer of
dust and fine sand particles on the deck."
B'Elanna scanned the area around them, feeling a certain amount
of alarm. "No energy. What about the wormhole device?” She took
more readings and a few seconds later replied with some alarm, “Oh, no.
I'm not detecting that device anywhere. If it is that device that got us here,
why isn't it here with us?"
Seven looked at B'Elanna and answered, "Analyzes of the
findings indicate that the device opened a singularity that terminated at
this location. The singularity then collapsed." She quickly ran her
tricorder over an object placed near an empty alcove. "This device
appears very similar to the one on the asteroid. These devices positioned at
various sectors in the galaxy opened a singularity. In addition, they also
functioned as a terminus point. One would have been placed a distance away from
another. When one device was activated, it would open a singularity linked to
another. When one wished to return, the initial device acted as the terminus.
A succession of devices placed throughout the galaxy enabled the Borg to
facilitate travel from one sector, or parsec, to another."
"That would take centuries to place these things throughout
"Lieutenant, time is irrelevant to the Borg. Apparently,
one of the Sphere’s devices activated a singularity into which the ship
entered. It appears the singularity collapsed before the entire ship could
pass through, leaving part in the vicinity of the asteroid, and this part in
the gravitational pull of this planet, where it crashed."
"That method to transverse space doesn't seem very
efficient to me. They could have ended up anywhere in the galaxy."
"Indeed. If the destination were not to the Collective's
advantage, the ship, or ships, would continue to open singularities until
optimum locations were established. This method was inefficient, and was abandoned
once we assimilated species 812, and could use a more efficient method, that
of transwarp technology."
"So, the Borg aren't infallible after all?"
B’Elanna wryly said.
"The Borg learn from their failings and attempt to perfect
a more efficient method."
"Gee, well let's give them a big fat A for effort and an
even bigger F for failure.” B’Elanna said facetiously. Then
added, “Now, how do we get back? I'm not detecting any energy from this
"This device apparently has been rendered useless by our
B'Elanna took a deep breath and expelled it slowly through her
mouth, "Can we repair this thing?"
"Negative. It appears many of the components are fused. We
would need to have a source of components to replace them, and an energy
source to charge them."
"Surely there are components around somewhere we could use?
Can we remove the power cores from our suits and phasers and use them?"
"Negative. The components would be stored near the device. I
am detecting none of the essential components necessary to repair this
device. The power from our suits and phasers would not be compatible."
B'Elanna growled in frustration, "Let's find a way out of
here and see if Voyager is within hailing range."
"Your attempts at contacting Voyager will be futile. While
on Voyager, I scanned the surrounding sector for M and L class planets. None
were detected in the area."
B‘Elanna closed her eyes and said exasperatedly,
"Great, that's just great. We're stuck the hell who knows where, with no
food or water. Not knowing what's outside this ship. Damn it to hell, could
it get any worse?"
"Indeed. We are fortunate that the air is breathable. The
pollen in the air samples indicates this planet does support carbon based life.
This fact alone establishes the presence of water."
"The question is what kind of life is waiting out there? I
hope it’s not some giant Venus fly trap or walking mutant
tomatoes?" 'Gee, I watched too many of Tom's old mid 20th century
Seven had a glint in her eyes and a small smirk at the corners
of her mouth as she glanced at a frustrated B‘Elanna and said,
"I want them found gentlemen. I'm not leaving here without
them. Is that understood?" Janeway's voice held the bark and bite of
command, as she stood by her conference room chair, hands on hips.
Tuvok, not fazed by the Captain's tone, reiterated again,
"We have conducted a thorough search of the Borg ship, asteroid field,
and surrounding area, Captain. The probes sent into the nebula do not detect
any signs that they are inside. The device, which we believed opened the
singularity, is no more than a container of fused parts. I have Engineering
examining it. However, Vorik tells me the damage is too severe to effectively
separate the various components that made the device operational."
Janeway took her seat, back stiff, and her jaw tightly clenched.
"Mr. Kim. What are the results of the simulations you ran in the
Harry had a hangdog expression as he said nervously,
“Ah...there is no way we can reconstruct the singularity in the
holodeck to see where it terminates. I have run every scenario I know. Even
using a holographic Borg transwarp coil. I can't open a singularity. If
Engineering can reconstruct even part of the components of the device, I may
be able to run diagnostics on them to help determine their function. Other
than that, Captain, I don't know what else I can do."
Janeway’s features tightened and her command glare caused
Harry to cringe.
Chakotay interceded drawing Janeway‘s immediate attention
toward him, "Captain, I suggest we leave a communications marker in this
area and move on. If they should return, it would transmit readings from
their com badges."
Janeway glared at him for a moment, and then said, "We will
hold station for 48 hours. I want every test we are capable of performing, no
matter how insignificant, done to either locate them, find out how this
singularity was created, and where this singularity ended."
She turned and looked at the EMH. "Doctor, I want you to go
over any information you have on Seven's Borg Implants. Concentrate on the
information you have on her cortical node. The Borg queen communicated with
her over great distances in the past. See if we can somehow communicate with her.
Ensign Kim can assist you. Perhaps her Borg Alcove has some feature that
could be used to contact her."
"Aye, Captain," Harry answered.
"Very well, Captain," The Doctor replied.
Janeway closed her eyes for a moment and rubbed her brow, feeling
the beginnings of a major headache. "If that is all...dismissed."
Everyone exited but the Captain. She remained seated, her command mask
slipping to reveal the worry in her eyes, her mouth turned down in a frown. 'I'm
not giving up on you two. I will do all in my power to bring you both back
here to Voyager.'
"Damnation, Seven. How much longer until we find a way out?
I'm roasting in here. It must be at least 200 degrees."
"99.2 degrees. Perhaps you are malfunctioning. My data on
Klingon physiology show that Klingons have a high tolerance for hot
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "I'm only half Klingon. It
wouldn't be so bad if I could take this suit off or turn on the cooling unit.
I know. Have to save the energy in case we run into anything worse.”
She then added with a slight edge to her voice, “I’m going to be
really pissed off if we get out of here and it's a cool spring morning."
"I would advise against removing your suit Lieutenant. Tricorder
readings indicate various insect life forms. Some may be venomous and a bite
may prove toxic to humanoid physiology."
B'Elanna tried not to brush against any of the numerous spider
webs among the Borg machinery. "How much of this ship do you estimate is
buried beneath the surface?"
"Approximately 75.21 percent. We have only 400 yards to
traverse before we come to an exit."
"At least this thing didn't crash into a sea or worse yet,
at one of the poles. Are you sure we're in a desert? With all these insect
webs I would think we're in a jungle."
"Tricorder readings show the presence of sand, heat, and
low humidity. These factors, combined with the pollen count, indicate that we
are in an arid and warm environment."
A rustling sound of wings in the hanging conduits and hoses
above B'Elanna's head, startled her, and she and blurted out,
"Bats!" She quickly put on her helmet.
Seven, seemingly unfazed, scanned the ceiling above her.
"The creature is not mammalian, but an avian species. It appears to be
B'Elanna's voice, muffled by her helmet, said, "I'm not
taking chances. You know bats like to fly into your hair and they carry
rabies. Some are even bloodsuckers. Not that you have to worry about that.
They aren't attracted to ice water." B'Elanna mentally patted herself on
her back for coming up with that one. "Speaking of which, a big glass of
ice water sounds good right now. I hope that we can find a source of water
nearby. I hear dehydration is a bad way to die. I bet even you need water to
survive. Unless those biosuits you wear recycle sweat and urine for
"Your memory appears to be faulty. I am wearing my velocity
outfit under my environmental suit. It is standard Starfleet issue and has
had no augmentation added to function as a biosuit. Urination and other
bodily waste are unnecessary to the Borg. We do not derive our energy from
the ingestion of organic matter. Our implants and nanoprobes cleanse our
systems of contaminates and impurities."
B'Elanna huffed and said under her breath, "Figures. Bet
you don't fart or belch either.” She saw what appeared to be a patch of
light ahead of them and said excitedly, “Hey, is that light I see up
"Indeed. This exit should lead to the outside."
B'Elanna pushed herself ahead of Seven, in a hurry to get to the
opening. Seven reached out her right hand and grabbed the impetuous woman's
shoulder in an effort to halt her. "Lieutenant, caution is
B'Elanna snarled and jerked herself out of Seven's grasp.
"Hey Borg, I'll look after my own ass and you look out after
yours." She resumed her course, hurrying toward the bright opening, into
which the light poured in. Instead of feeling cooler air from the outside,
there was an increase in the temperature and the amount of sand and dust.
Seven followed at a more careful pace. She watched B'Elanna's
quick progress, unheeding of the tangled mass of cables on the deck. At five
feet from the exit she saw B'Elanna trip on a coil of cable and dive head
first out the opening with a surprised cry. "Ahhh!"
Seven gingerly picked her way through the fallen cables and
coils to the opening. Peering down, she saw one cable wrapped boot sole three
feet below the opening, followed by the rest of B'Elanna, struggling to bend
her body upward to grasp the cable and right herself. Seven reached down with
her left hand, grabbed the booted foot, and quickly pulled the Lieutenant up
and into the ship.
B'Elanna sat on the deck, breathing hard, with her eyes closed.
Her helmet and backpack had fallen to the desert floor some 35 feet below.
"Damn." B'Elanna brushed her hair out of her eyes and stood up
facing Seven. "Thanks, Seven."
Seven appraised B'Elanna, looking for injuries. "Thanks are
unnecessary, Lieutenant. You are a valuable member of Voyager's collective.
Your death would result in a less than optimum functioning of Voyager."
B'Elanna snorted derisively. "Valuable member hmm? Coming
from a Borg I guess that's high praise. I guess you would've left me dangling
there if I weren't such a 'valuable member'."
"Negative. Voyager is my collective and all members
function for the welfare of the whole."
"Hey, next thing you know, you'll be assigning us numbers.
1 of 20." She looked out the opening to survey the area. Pale light gold
sand reflected the sunlight, almost blinding to look at for long. Heat rose
in wavering sheets. "There is nothing but sand. Not even a dried up
bush." She unzipped her suit to access the communicator pinned to her
undershirt. "Voyager, this is Lieutenant Torres, do you copy?" She
rapped her right index finger on the communicator, as if this would cause the
device to function, and tried again. "Voyager this is the away team. Do
you copy?" Her answer was silence.
Seven, using her enhanced left eye, gazed out across the desert.
She accessed her infrared sight, searching for an area of violet or blue,
which would indicate a cooler area that might be indicative of a water source
or plant life. She saw only yellows and whites in shimmering sheets. She
accessed her own communicator. "Voyager, Seven reporting."
Receiving no reply, she informed B'Elanna, "Perhaps the composition of
the ship or interference from the sun is preventing our com badges from
functioning properly. We should wait until sunset and travel a distance from
the ship and attempt communication."
"Good idea, Seven. Let's make a long enough line from all
this cable to reach the ground."
Seven inclined her head in agreement and both women set about
gathering enough cable to construct a makeshift rope to reach the desert
floor. Seven began to tie the pieces together in a knot that wouldn't slip.
B'Elanna searched for pieces of cable that would be thin enough and long
enough to take with them. She found a one inch diameter cable, hanging from
the ceiling, which she pulled down, dislodging debris and dust, which
splattered her face and hair. "Ugh." She shook her head and pushed
her fingers through her hair to try to rid it of the dust and debris, then
continued to pull until the piece hung up. With a strong jerk, she dislodged
it. She estimated that the piece was 60 feet long and gathered it up. She
took it back to the front opening where Seven was working.
B'Elanna retrieved her phaser rifle, aimed at the middle of the
cable, and cut it with a ruby beam. She wound each piece in a loop. She finished
her task and sitting across from Seven, watched her knot the cable together.
One thing she could say in the Borg's favor, she never minded getting her
hands dirty, not even when required to work in the Jefferies tubes. B'Elanna
had to admit that the Borg was brilliant and more intelligent than anyone
else on the ship was. However, she acted so damned superior. Captain Janeway
was always taking her side, too. The Captain's pet: Her golden haired wonder
child. B'Elanna mentally shook her head to get back on task. 'What have we
got ourselves into? It may be days or even weeks before help comes. No food
or water. We won't last long without that. Especially water. I'm already
thirsty. One glass of juice at breakfast isn't going to keep me hydrated
long. What about Seven and her need to regenerate? What do we do about that?'
"Uh, Seven, when do you need to regenerate?"
Seven did not look up from her task. "In 30.4 hours."
"What would happen if you can't regenerate? You know...if
we're stuck here for awhile?"
"I would need to ingest nutrients and sleep."
B'Elanna thought about that for a minute. "We'll need to
find a source of water and food. Water is the priority though. I'm not sure
about you, but I can only go about two, maybe three, days without water,
especially in this heat."
"Locating a source for potable water will be our first
priority. If I fail to regenerate, my nanoprobes can sustain me for an
additional 12 hours before I would require hydration.”
B‘Elanna thought for a moment and said, "Usually,
where there is potable water there is something eatable, either animal or
plant. It may be a good idea to travel by night when it's cooler than in the heat
of the day. Our environmental suits can insulate us against the cold desert
nights, and if needed, we can turn on the power in them to warm us. Heating
them is less energy consuming than cooling them. I did manage to pick up some
usable information in Old Sneezy's survival course while at Starfleet
Seven looked up from her task and inquired, "Old
B'Elanna smirked, "Yeah. That is the nickname for my
professor who taught survival courses at the academy. Seems he had allergies
to various pollens and plant spores. Whenever we went out into the field, he
always started sneezing."
Seven lifted her left brow for a moment and then said,
"Ah...I understand how he acquired his... 'nickname'" Seven went
back to her task and said, "We have approximately three hours until
B'Elanna tried to suppress a snicker. 'Yeah, 'nickname'...Ice
Queen. Be nice, she kept you from breaking your neck.' B'Elanna cleared
her throat and said, "Good. I think I'm going to take a nap. If you're
unable to nap, I would advise you to rest. Wake me at sunset." With
that, B'Elanna stretched out on the floor, resting her head on a coil of
wound cable, and closed her eyes.
Seven scanned the horizon for a possible source of water. The
light was failing and the desert was already starting to cool as evidenced by
the orange seen in her infrared scan. She caught a glint of violet on the
horizon in the northwest. She could approximate the distance to 36 miles.
B'Elanna was right; it would be easier to travel by night, and out of the
sapping heat of the sun.
Overhead, a moon was at half light, and on the east horizon, a
large full moon was rising, reflecting a bright blue and green glow.
Apparently, this moon had some type of atmosphere to reflect the sunlight
more intensely than an airless moon. They would have no problem seeing at
night. Not that it mattered to Seven. She could always access her night
vision. However, it would make easier going for B'Elanna to have the moons'
Seven knew that a source of water was a priority and if not
found in the next two days, B'Elanna would perish. She would be able to
survive a few days more before she too would succumb to dehydration.
She turned to B'Elanna, noticing that the smaller woman had put
on her helmet with the faceplate open and was carrying the backpack, which
contained her tools. B’Elanna also had a coil of cable over her right
shoulder and a phaser rifle in one hand. Her hand phaser and tricorder were
fastened to a utility belt around her waist.
Seven had her tricorder and a hand phaser attached to her
utility belt, as well as a coil of cable over her left shoulder. Both women
had discarded the heavy magnetic outer boots from their suits and wore only
the light flat soled inner boots over their sneakers.
"Lieutenant Torres, my infrared sight has located a
possible source of moisture to the northwest. I shall lead the way."
"Fine by me, Seven. Let's eat up some miles before
Seven translated the term 'eat up' in relation to miles and
quickly concluded that it met to acquire numerous miles toward the designated
time or place. She put this away in her eidetic memory with the dozens of
other connotations and euphemisms she had collected from various crewmembers.
They walked at a steady pace making no sound except for the
squeaking their soles made indenting the desert sand. The planet's half moon
was setting and the full moon appeared to be at its zenith. Stars in the
thousands blinked and twinkled in bright whites, muted reds, and yellows.
Distant suns and galaxies spun from the great galactic core to fill the void:
A siren's call to past explorers eons ago on windswept seas, and now, and in
ages to come, explorers that sail between the stars and into the unknown. One
day the galactic center will call the stars home again: Only to be reborn,
bursting from the fire of a new creation like the phoenix in Earth's myths.
For the time being, neither Seven nor B'Elanna contemplated this great
mystery in the sky above them.
B'Elanna was concentrating on ignoring the pain in her calves
and Seven was mentally performing the logistics on which actions they should
take to ensure their survival; based of course, on the data so far obtained.
The heavens traveled their westward course. The half moon had set and the
full moon was now a beacon in the west.
'Damn, she isn't even slowing down. I'll be damned if I let the
Ice Queen outlast me.' A few more minutes and
the fatigue and calf cramps caused B'Elanna to stumble and fall.
Seven stopped abruptly when she heard the steps behind her
falter from their rhythmic beat. She turned to see B'Elanna fall to the sand,
her helmet falling from her head and rolling on the ground. She quickly went
to the smaller woman and knelt down beside her. Pulling B'Elanna's pack from
her back, she inquired, "Lieutenant Torres. Are you injured?"
B'Elanna sat up, grabbing her right calf, and gave Seven a
baleful look. "No. Just got some cramps in my calves. Guess I'm not used
to walking this long."
"Can I assist you, Lieutenant?"
'Be nice. She saved you from falling and breaking your neck.'
"Ah...No Thanks, Seven. I'll be OK in a few minutes."
"Perhaps we should rest. We have walked for nine
hours." Seven sat down by B'Elanna and gazed back toward the east, the
implant over her left eye rising in surprise. "Lieutenant, a nebula is
rising. Perhaps it is the one where Voyager is located."
B'Elanna viewed the gaseous violet and purple cloud. It covered
a good eighth of the eastern horizon. "Uhm, I don't think so. The shape
is not the same."
Seven studied it by using different filters in her optical
implant. "My infrared vision shows it to have the same spectrum as the
other. You are correct; the shape is different. However, if you should
reverse the shape, they are very similar. Perhaps it is the same nebula, but
we are on the opposite side from it and Voyager."
B'Elanna studied the nebula again. "Perhaps you're right,
Seven. Then Voyager's journey around it should bring her to this side in 3
weeks, depending on how fast they travel, and if they don't run into any
problems. I'm sure Captain Janeway hasn't given us up for dead. She will be
on alert for any Starfleet signatures, and should pick up signals from our
com badges, once they clear any interference in the area surrounding the
"Captain Janeway is persistent and failure is not an option
she will accept. She is a most determined and forceful individual."
"Is that your way of saying she's stubborn, Seven?"
"Is that not what I stated?"
B'Elanna laughed humorously, and replied in her best imitation
of Seven, "Indeed." She thought she saw a quick flash of a smile
and white teeth in the silver moon light. 'Naw, no way. The Ice Queen
smile? Just a trick of the light.'
Sand and more sand. With the sun rising at their backs, and
already an inferno, Seven looked for a place to rest for the day. She
estimated that they had gone 24 miles during the night. She knew B'Elanna
would not be able to go on much further. The heat was in waves rising from
the desert floor. There was nowhere to get out of the sun's cruel and sapping
"Lieutenant, we should stop and attempt to rest until dusk.
I cannot locate a source of shade. It would be advisable to utilize our suits
cooling units to keep from dehydrating."
B'Elanna didn't refuse to turn on her cooling unit. She also
activated her helmet's sun filter, and placing her backpack and coil of cable
on the sand, laid her head on them.
Seven activated her sun filter, but found it impossible to
sleep. Seven's keen sense of hearing picked up B'Elanna's even respiration,
which indicated she had fallen to sleep. Seven stretched her body out on the
sand. She knew she could not obtain sleep, and used this time going over the
data she currently had on her most recent project: That of creating a
transwarp coil that would get Voyager home. She pulled up her previous work
from her eidetic memory. When they returned to Voyager, she would ask
Lieutenant Torres to assist her. While it was true that she and Lieutenant
Torres had an adversarial relationship, they were able to put this aside to
work together on engineering problems. Lieutenant Torres was the most
qualified out of all of Voyager's crew to assist her. Indeed, the Lieutenant
had a formidable intellect when it came to engineering, and a propensity to
solve complex problems. Together, they would make a very acceptable team.
At dusk they readied themselves to resume their journey. Seven
picked up B'Elanna's pack, put it on her own back, and resumed their walk.
B'Elanna did not protest. She shouldered her rifle, coil of cable, and fell
in line behind Seven. Seven slowed her walk so that B'Elanna could keep up.
Their travel went slower than their first night. It was harder
going now that the sand was finer. Each step sucked them down ankle deep.
B'Elanna appeared drawn and conversation was sparse when they stopped to
Now, the sun was rising at their backs and Seven knew that the
Lieutenant needed water in a desperate way. She scanned the horizon in the
early morning looking for a tell tale sign of blue or violet. She saw a
lavender hue a few hundred yards ahead. Seven used her telescopic vision to
try to see details. She saw what looked to be a long and low sand hill. She
increased her eye implant to its maximum magnification, which was, 10X. In
the wavering heat she saw what looked like the branches of shriveled bushes.
"Lieutenant. I observe what I surmise to be brush or similar plant life
.51 miles ahead."
B'Elanna's lips were dry and cracked. Her voice was harsh, low,
and barely an audible croak, "Finally." She looked in the direction
that Seven pointed. "Where? I see nothing but sand."
"I accessed my visual implants telescopic abilities."
"What the hell are you waiting for? Lead the way."
B’Elanna croaked out.
Without a word, Seven resumed walking, B'Elanna struggling to
keep pace. They had not walked quite a quarter of a mile, when B'Elanna
rushed past Seven, dropping her rifle and helmet.
"Lieutenant Torres, you must refrain from depleting your
Unheeding Seven's request, B'Elanna hurriedly stumbled and ran
onward, her breathing harsh. Suddenly, 90 yards ahead of Seven, she faltered
and abruptly stopped.
Seven looked through the wavering swells of heat and noticed
that the woman was hip deep in sand and sinking fast. She sprinted toward her
and stopped abruptly a few feet away from a barely noticeable depression in
the desert floor, which was roughly nine feet wide and 12 feet long.
"What the...? Help me. Get me out of here! Help!"
B'Elanna was screaming in a full panic, sinking fast, and already chest deep
Seven took the coiled cable from around her shoulder and quickly
unwound it. "Lieutenant, I am throwing you the cable and will pull you
out." The Borg's throw was accurate, landing a foot from B'Elanna, who
was already sinking up to her collarbone. She managed to grab the cable with
both hands and Seven pulled, using her Borg increased strength, wrenching her
free from the greedy sand.
B'Elanna lay on her back, her eyes closed, not moving except for
the expanding of her chest as she took in deep harsh breaths. Seven noticed a
sticky black substance mixed with sand clinging to her suit. She used her
tricorder and scanned the substance, discovering it to be raw petroleum. This
was evidence that eons ago the desert was perhaps a forest or jungle.
Apparently, the sand had settled over a pit of the substance effectively
Seven turned up B'Elanna's cooling unit. "Stay still,
Lieutenant. I will retrieve your helmet and phaser rifle." Seven
sprinted back to where B'Elanna discarded them and snatched up each object.
Returning quickly, she lifted B'Elanna's head up, slipped the backpack under
it, and gently guided her head back onto it.
After a few minutes, B'Elanna croaked through cracked lips,
"Water, Seven, I saw water and trees. Just up ahead. You don't have to
walk far. Go and get me water."
"You saw a mirage Lieutenant: The heat waves, nothing more.
We have only a few hundred yards to go to where I observed vegetation.
Perhaps there is water to be found."
"I can't go on any further. Leave me here and go for
Seven pulled B'Elanna into a sitting position. "Lieutenant
Torres, you must get up and walk with me. I will lead the way and look for
possible areas of danger. You cannot remain here."
B'Elanna said in a harsh and raspy voice, "Damn you, Borg.
I can't get up. Go for water. That's an order."
Seven balked, staring down at B'Elanna, and trying to formulate
a plan to get her moving.
B'Elanna screamed in fury, "Gods damn you! Do it you piece
of Borg trash." She then fell back onto the sand gasping through cracked
"Lieutenant Torres…B'Elanna. Get up. You will
"Go to hell, Borg," B’Elanna rasped.
Seven stood up, gazed down at the prone woman, and said in a
voice taking on the affectation of the perfect Borg, cold and condescending,
"Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, you are weak and small. You are
insignificant, flawed, and not worthy of consideration. You have failed
Voyager and her crew. You have failed Captain Janeway. When Captain Janeway
retrieves me I shall tell her of your weakness…your insignificance. You
are a failure. You are worthy only of pity. I have seen that you are indeed
inferior to me. I shall request Captain Janeway to assign me as Chief
Engineer. I will ensure that Voyager's operation runs efficiently and
flawlessly." With that, Seven turned and walked toward the west and
hearing an outraged scream behind her.
"BITCH! I'll take every bolt and screw out of you and melt
it down for a plasma scraper. You are dead, Borg!" B'Elanna pushed
herself to her feet and stumbled after Seven, her anger a whip driving her
Seven used her hearing to determine the distance and stayed
approximately 30 feet ahead of the angry woman. She stopped and turned once,
giving the Lieutenant one of her superior Borg sneers, then purposely walked
on in even strides.
Seven observed small shriveled trees and long skinny limbs of
cacti. Glancing down she saw squat gray barrel cacti bristling with fine
needles. She scanned a nearby specimen with the tricorder and discovered it
to contain a fair amount of watery juice and to be agreeable to humanoid
B'Elanna had closed the distance to 12 feet. Seven could hear
the harsh breathing and she moved on a few yards and crested a small ridge of
sand. Below her was a dry gully, which showed signs of running water in the
not too distant past, the mud dry and scaling in a mosaic pattern of pale
yellow and ocher. Small clumps of dry brown rushes grew on the gully's edge.
B'Elanna grabbed Seven by her left arm as she struggled to stand on the
crest. Seven used her Borg strength to steady her. B'Elanna quickly forgot
her anger and stumbled down the incline and onto the gully's floor. Kneeling,
she dug into the caked mud, searching for moisture. Throwing the dried clumps
of mud from her, she howled in frustration, and fell full length, cursing and
Seven quickly searched the backpack and removed a small laser
cutter. She knelt beside the nearest barrel cactus and sliced off the top.
Reaching her Borg hand into the fibrous, moist, pale pulp, she scraped out a
hand full. She proceeded down to B'Elanna and knelt with both knees touching
the ground. She lifted B'Elanna's upper torso and gently placed her head on
her upper left leg. "Lieutenant Torres, I have liquid that will relieve
your thirst." She squeezed the pulp in her left hand, causing a small
stream of juice to flow down a few of the fibers, and onto B'Elanna's lips.
B'Elanna immediately opened her mouth allowing the liquid to trickle in and
swallowed. Seven squeezed until all moisture was gone. She threw the fibrous
mass to one side and laid B'Elanna's head back against the dry ground.
Seven made several trips to nearby cacti to remove the moist pulp
and squeeze the life saving moisture into B'Elanna's mouth. Finally, B'Elanna
stirred and sat up on her own. "Enough. Yuck."
Seven had squeezed some of the juice into her own mouth and
found the taste to be slightly bitter. 'Taste is irrelevant'. Seven
looked around her for shelter from the sun's rays. She saw an overhang on the
side of the gully that the rushing waters had carved out. It would offer some
amount of shade. "Lieutenant Torres, I have found adequate shelter from
the sun. I will assist you in reaching it." She put her left arm around
B'Elanna's waist and pulled her to a standing position. "Lean against
me, it is only a few yards away." Torres put her right arm on Seven's
shoulder as they walked to the shaded overhang. Seven helped her in and to
lean against the earthen wall at the back. "I shall retrieve our
equipment and return." B'Elanna nodded her head.
Seven retrieved the helmets, backpack and phaser rifle and took
them back to the overhang. B'Elanna was sleeping, her breathing even. Seven
ran her tricorder over the woman, noticing that while her hydrolytes were
still low, she had enough hydration to keep her out of danger for now. She
took one of the helmets with her and the small laser cutter from the backpack
and left the overhang. She returned some short time later with a helmet full
of the murky bitter cacti juice, as well as several small white tubers she
had dug from the gully's bank that she had thrust into her utility belt. She
lay them aside and leaned against the back wall to rest beside B'Elanna. The
temperature under the overhang was cool compared to the oven outside.
B'Elanna opened her eyes with an intake of breath and her body jerked as she
felt the light brush from Seven's shoulder. "I apologize. It was not my
intent to startle you."
"I have cacti juice if you require liquid."
B'Elanna sighed tiredly and said, "No thanks, Seven. I just
need rest. Wake me when it's dusk."
"Agreed." Seven closed her eyes and took in the sounds
and smells around her. She had some concerns that her nanoprobes would be
unable to sustain her for long unless she found a source of water and
nutrition. B'Elanna was sure to perish long before she would. She would do
all in her power to increase their chance for survival. She knew her Captain
would do all in her power to find them. She had faith in Captain Janeway.
Faith was irrelevant to the Borg. Perhaps she was regaining her humanity more
quickly than she realized.
B'Elanna heard a heavy buzzing in her ears and felt something
crawling on her cheek. She quickly brushed her face and opened her eyes. She
felt warmth against her right shoulder. Turning slightly, she saw Seven next
to her, apparently sleeping. Small puffs of breath exhaled from her mouth,
blowing against fine strands of blond hair that had come loose from her
customary bun. 'Jeez, Sleeping Beauty. Only thing she needs is a kiss to
wake her.' The vision that came to mind shocked B'Elanna: Her leaning
over to kiss those full lips. 'Oh no, I have heat stroke.'
She saw the rays of the sun starting to creep into the overhang
and knew it was well past its zenith. The other side of the gully was now in
shadow. The annoying buzzing started again. She spied the winged heavy brown
insect, about the size of her thumbnail, as it landed on the edge of a helmet
full of a murky liquid. She leaned forward and swatted at it. "Shoo
fly." Seven stirred beside her. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake
Seven blinked in surprise. "You are mistaken. I only closed
my eyes for a few seconds."
B'Elanna smirked. "Uh huh. How many more hours until
sundown, Seven, or better yet, before noon?"
Seven saw that the sun was way past its zenith and worriedly
said, "This is disconcerting. I am malfunctioning as are my
"Seven, don't forget I know something about your Borg
functioning, and your nanoprobes, having assisted the Doc on repairing a few
of your implants. Under normal circumstances, that may be true. These are not
normal circumstances. Those little devils have to work overtime battling heat
and lack of water. As long as you're still able to think, talk and walk, you
are functioning. Maybe not at optimum levels, but at acceptable levels."
Seven's expression looked uncertain. "Perhaps you are
"Ok. Let's move to the other side of this gully and into
the shade and plan our next move."
The sun was setting when both women climbed out of the gully.
Before leaving, they ate the tubers, hoping they would give them energy.
B'Elanna said they tasted a lot like water chestnut. B'Elanna still felt
drained and tired, but gone were the tormenting thirst and confusion
resulting from dehydration. Seven estimated that a permanent source of water
lay to the west as evidenced by the blue visible in her infrared vision,
which indicated an area of condensed coolness. She calculated that it lay
10-12 miles away. Seven agreed to lead the way and use her tricorder to
locate any petroleum pits in their path.
They had not discussed B'Elanna's loss of control, and B'Elanna
did not mention Seven's insulting and hateful words. B'Elanna suspected Seven
had used those words to goad her into moving. Still, she wondered how much
Seven believed of what she said. She found herself caring what the Borg
thought about her. Hell, the woman had saved her life at least two times,
perhaps three, if you counted Seven pulling her into the ship when she found
herself hanging upside down with a 35 foot drop to the desert below.
B'Elanna was wondering how to thank the woman. 'Thank you' did
not seem enough. Moreover, would Seven even care is she were thanked? She had
made it clear earlier that she saved B'Elanna because she was important to
Voyager. Then again, she had called her weak, small, and a failure. Why would
she save her if that were true? Perhaps she was a failure, and Seven spoke
the truth. Seven was always straightforward. B’Elanna had failed at
many things: Starfleet academy came to mind as well as past relationships.
Nevertheless, she had also pulled Voyager's butt out of the fire many times.
Janeway thought her a miracle worker when it came to engineering. B'Elanna
knew she was a damn good engineer. She wondered if Seven thought her a good
engineer. B'Elanna decided that later, given the opportunity, she would find
out what Seven really thought of her.
Seven was lost in her own thoughts of the recent interactions
between her and B'Elanna. It was obvious that B'Elanna did not hold the same
animosity as she had earlier. B'Elanna had actually looked at her several
times without a scowl on her face. She even conversed with her without the
usual disdain in her voice so often evident before. B‘Elanna even tried
to assure her that she was not malfunctioning.
B'Elanna had intrigued her from their first interaction. She was
a brilliant engineer and an organized problem solver. She was
straightforward. She let you know what she thought. What intrigued her most
was the dichotomy of logical precision and chaotic emotion. Emotions rolled
off in waves from the engineer. When she was in B’Elanna’s
vicinity, she could actually feel the force of them in a visceral way: Anger,
hate, compassion, empathy, and caring and warmness toward friends. That
B’Elanna felt animosity toward her, was of no concern. It was the fact
that the Klingon felt anything for her, and so strongly. She thought B'Elanna
was a perfection of balance of the two most opposing forces in the Universe:
Order and Chaos. One could not exist without the other. Order would have no
meaning or purpose if not for Chaos. Chaos would obliterate itself if not
contained by Order. B'Elanna Torres was Omega in the form of flesh and blood.
The moons were bright enough for the women to make their way
safely. Seven noticed several small species of mammal and reptile scurrying
out of their path. She also heard the rustle of wings overhead as well as a
small squeal from some unfortunate prey animal.
After walking for five hours, Seven halted for a rest. She was
aware that B'Elanna was doing well since their rest and hydration, but Seven
did not want to tax her reserves. The going was now easier as the earth was
firmer after leaving the gully, and was dotted with more growth in the form
of stunted bushes, areas of brown grass and cacti. Seven had scanned much of
the vegetation and discovered that it was not dead, but dormant. This fact,
and the presence of the gully, indicated a seasonal rainfall in between a
longer season of dryness.
Seven took her helmet, walked a few feet to a large cactus, and
cut the top off, removing the stringy wet pulp and placing it in the helmet.
Seven sat next to B'Elanna and offered her the pulp filled helmet.
"Lieutenant Torres, I have prepared cactus pulp for our
"Thank you Seven." She reached in and took a handful
of the mass, throwing back her head and squeezing the juice into her mouth.
She continued looking up at the night sky for a few moments, lost in
contemplation of Voyager's whereabouts, and if Janeway had resumed her
journey. She turned to look at Seven. 'Now is as good a time as any.' She
cleared her throat. "Er, Seven. I want to thank you for saving my ass
back there." She braced herself, prepared for Seven to brush her thanks
off in her usual cold Borg manner.
"You are welcome, Lieutenant." Seven's voice actually
sounded warm to B'Elanna's ears.
"Uhm, Seven. Please call me B'Elanna."
There was silence for a few seconds as Seven looked at B'Elanna
and saw the sincerity reflected in the woman's face.
"Acceptable...B'Elanna." Seven's voice held the hint of a smile,
which somehow caused B'Elanna to feel warmth fill her chest.
Captain Janeway stood on the upper deck of her ready room
staring out her window at the nebula without really seeing it. Voyager resumed
her journey home without her chief engineer and astrometrics officer. She
tried not to dwell on the fact that they might never find the two. She felt
that something was stole from her. She had battled the Borg queen and Ransom
to retrieve Seven. She saved B'Elanna from the Vidiians and from a mind purge
by the Mari. She knew that both women were resourceful and if still
alive...no. She would hold to the belief that they were alive. More than any
other crew, these two women held a special place in her heart. B'Elanna,
angry and volatile and wearing her emotions as her best garment. Her bravado
and bluster were a means of hiding her insecurities. She had not yet come to
terms with who she really was. She remained torn between two cultures, two
races, feeling a part of neither.
Seven, who could not remember what it was to be an individual or
human, as the Collective will was all she remembered, and had ever known
since her sixth birthday. She had no tolerance for human weaknesses in others
as well as herself. She hid her insecurities behind a false sense of
superiority. Janeway knew that beneath her cold exterior and emotional
control was a being who very much could feel emotion. Underneath all that
Borg behavior was a warm and loving individual. Seven had yet to learn to
express her emotions. One could see a glimpse of them in her interactions
with Naomi Wildman, a child alone in a ship of adults. Seven was much like
Naomi, a child in a ship full of adults and all their emotional interplay.
She cared deeply for these two women. She needed them. They
helped her to focus not on Janeway the Captain, but Kathryn, the all too
human woman. She learned to look at her own emotions and motivations by
Seven looked to her for guidance and clarification in a
bewildering universe. She was always questioning her motives and morals in
their ‘philosophical’ discussions, which had a way of keeping
Janeway rooted to her belief in the High Road. She could easily lose control
and forget all principles that she believed in given the right circumstances.
She mentally shuddered as Captain Ransom came to mind. She would not give
them up. Not yet. Not Ever. She would do all in her power to find them.
Janeway’s one constant belief as captain was that you never left a
The larger of the planet's two moons was well past the zenith
and half way to the western horizon when B'Elanna hurried up to walk by
Seven's side. "Seven, ahead, is that ragged black area silhouetted by
the moon really there, or am I experiencing some moonlight mirage"?
"No, Lieutenant...B'Elanna. Your observation is correct,
that is no mirage. It is indeed an area of dense vegetation. I believe we may
find water and nutritional plants there."
B'Elanna sniffed deeply. "I smell
Seven looked intently at B‘Elanna and asked, "Do you
intend to run recklessly toward the source? If so I will need to restrain
"Hey, I do have self control you know. That last incident
was due to the intense heat and severe dehydration. If you weren't Borg, you
would have done the same, probably sooner. I'm fortunate to be half Klingon
and can take it better than if I were entirely human."
"Indeed. It is fortunate that I am Borg, or we both would
B'Elanna stumbled slightly. 'That sounded suspiciously like
dry humor to me, very dry, but humor all the same.' "Well, I'll
admit, that's true and I owe you a debt for saving my skin. And I always
honor my debts."
Seven was on the verge of saying that B'Elanna owed her nothing,
but some unknown instinct caused her to reconsider and accept the debt. Out
of curiosity, she asked, "Is your honor that of a Klingon?"
B'Elanna sucked in her breath. She had never really thought
about herself as truly being Klingon. She felt an outsider to both races.
What was she? Both? Neither? One or the other? She always tried to be Human,
as that was the culture that first influenced her, and the one she understood
the best. However, Humans saw her as a Klingon. Her mother wanted her to be
Klingon. But her mother's people saw her as weak and Human. Sometimes, she
felt both were pulling her apart. She often thought of a new twist to the
Bible story of King Solomon her Nana Torres read her. Her Klingon mother and
Human father stood before King Solomon fighting over who should have her.
Neither conceded and Solomon cleaved her in half. Then her two halves lay in
the dust and both parents turned from her saying, she is not mine, you may
She only knew one honor. "It is B'Elanna Torres
It was early dawn when the two tired travelers reached the first
strand of tall willowy palms whose trunks slightly curved and reached at
least twelve to thirty feet high. There was actually a small breeze caressing
the fronds topping each tree. A few yards ahead stood more of the graceful
palms as well as lower squat palms only eight to twelve feet high with
clusters of ovoid yellow fruit. B'Elanna examined one of the 3 inch fruits.
"This fruit is much like the ones the Pendo Palm produces. It will ripen
to a deep orange and is sweet if somewhat stringy."
As the sky brightened, the sounds of birds were heralding the
sunrise. Seven took in the plant growth and said, "I believe this area
to be what is termed as an oasis."
"I think you're right. It sure looks to be bigger than I
thought. My nose tells me the water is in the area of the thickest
Seven was already using her tricorder to scan the area. "My
readings show an area of intense H2O concentration 80 yards in the area your
olfactory organ indicates. You possess superior olfactory functioning,
"Is that a compliment, Seven?"
"It is a fact."
B'Elanna smiled and answered in a teasing voice, "Thanks, Seven.
Nice to know I have something to impress a Borg."
"You have many attributes that are impressive,
B'Elanna's eyebrows rose at that comment. 'Attributes? Hmmm,
and just what kind of attributes are you referring to? Gee, Torres, get your
mind back on track. Seven did not mean it like that. It's been months. I need
to run an x-rated holo-adventure when we get back on Voyager. 'Vulcan Love
Slave' Yup, that's the cure.' She cleared her throat and said,
"That's me, a woman of many talents." 'Maybe I can demonstrate a
few... stop it, stop it, stop it.'
"Voyager's Collective would agree with that
B'Elanna attempted to divert her thoughts to her surroundings.
"Hey, look at those grasses over there, they're standing in water."
B'Elanna walked quickly to the edge of a large area of waist high grasses,
their tops crowned by a ball of small brown seeds. Her shoes squashed down in
soft mud. Not caring, she walked to a spot ankle deep and quickly bent down
to scoop up the cool liquid and jumped as birds flying from the reeds
startled her. “Geez!” She dipped her cupped hand into the water
Seven was right behind her scanning the water. "Do not
consume it. It contains organisms and microbes that may be harmful. We shall
sterilize it before consuming."
B'Elanna splashed the water on her face. "We'll move on
further up the bank and see if there's a better spot. This water is cold
enough that I believe it comes from a spring. I can hold my thirst for a
The sun was now up and blazed orange on the eastern horizon and
casting a golden glow over the area. Three green and brown reptiles,
resembling iguanas, and ranging from a foot to three feet in length, scurried
from the water's edge and up a nearby tree trunk.
B’Elanna quickly moved her hand to her phaser but realized
they were harmless and said, "Hey, fellows, what's the hurry, why don't
you stay for...lunch?"
"B'Elanna, I do not believe them to be sentient. Therefore,
they are incapable of understanding your invitation."
"I don't know, Seven. They may be baby Gorns."
"Perhaps you are correct. I will search my eidetic memory
for information on their dietary requirements, if they decide to accept your
This caused B'Elanna to laugh. Seven really did have a sense of
humor. “I was thinking that they could meet ‘our’ dietary
Seven raised her left implant in surprise and B’Elanna
snickered and said, “Starfleet survival course 101. Learn to utilize
all natural resources for survival. That includes consuming what is
Seven nodded once and replied, “Logical.”
The heat from the sun caused patches of steam to rise from the
water's edge. The grasses thinned out and fringed the water's edge around a crystal
clear pool. It was some 60 feet across and 80 feet long. The water was clear
and showed a pale ivory sandy bottom, slopping to an area that apparently was
a drop off, where a small amount of disturbance showed on the surface,
indicating a spring.
"Oh Gods, Seven, tell me this is at least safe to bathe
"Tricorder readings show it to be free of harmful organisms
and microbes. Our inoculations will protect us from any detrimental effects
should we consume it."
"Hot damn!" B'Elanna exclaimed, already in the process
of stepping out of her suit, and leaving it in a crumpled pile on the shore.
Clad only in her blue tank top and black athletic pants, she ran out into the
pool and opened her arms wide, falling full length into the clear water.
"Eeeeh, damn this is freezing." She stayed in and immersed her
head, drinking long swigs of water. Then lifting her head up, she pulled
herself up in a sitting position in the water with her legs in front of her,
and the water up to just below her breasts. "Come on, Seven, shed that
suit and jump in, the water's great."
Seven stood with her hands clasped behind her back, head tilted,
staring at B'Elanna. She noticed how the Klingon's wet tank top clung to the
roundness of her breasts and revealed the protruding nipples. She felt heat
in her lower abdomen and seemed to be slightly short of breath.
"What are you waiting for? Your implants aren't going to
rust you know."
Seven drew her eyes quickly from the tableau before her and
looked down. "I have never been immersed in water. What is the purpose
of immersing one's body in a pool of water?"
"Well, I'm rinsing all the sweat and grime off. Plus, it
feels good. Haven't you ever taken a hydro bath?"
"I have not. I understand from Naomi Wildman that a tub is
utilized in which you use a cleansing agent to remove particles of dead skin
and grime from the body. She actually prefers this method to that of the
sonic shower as it allows her to perform an activity of play she refers to
as... floating her rubber duckies."
"Since we have no sonic showers or bathtubs, this will have
to do. And you won't need a cleansing agent. You can rub the wet sand over
the really dirty areas of your skin. I would advise against using that method
to clean your hair, as sand is hard to rinse out. Oh. Sorry, I didn't bring
my rubber duckies with me."
Seven knew that B'Elanna was being facetious with this last
statement. She doubted B'Elanna possessed any 'rubber duckies'. Seven looked
at B’Elanna, gave her a small smile, and said, “Indeed.
B'Elanna laughed and said, “Well, come on in
Seven removed the outer shoes, unzipped and stepped out of her
suit, and then bent to remove her velocity shoes, exposing a good amount of
cleavage at the top of her velocity top. B'Elanna caught herself staring and
looked away. 'What am I doing?' She returned her gaze to Seven as the
women stepped gingerly into the water and waded toward her. Seven stopped
until she stood about three feet from B'Elanna: The water only reaching her
Seven frowned and said, "The water’s temperature is
at 77.8 degrees. I believe any prolonged exposure would induce hypothermia.
Perhaps we should forgo our...bath... and heat the water in our helmets for
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "That's not a very efficient
method of bathing without a sponge or washcloth. Believe me, Seven. If you
immerse your body, it will adapt to the lower temperature quickly and feel
good. We aren't going to get hypothermia. You'll see. Just throw yourself in
like I did. The shock of the cold only lasts a few seconds."
Seven balked and said with a slight strain to her voice, "I
have intense feelings of apprehension and find that I am reluctant to further
B‘Elanna looked intensely at her and sighed dramatically.
"Ok. I guess I'm ready to get out now." She reached out her right
hand to Seven. "Here, pull me up." Seven leaned over to grasp
B'Elanna's hand only to find herself pulled off her feet and landing face
first into the cold water.
Seven drew herself up and gasped, but then sat in the water and
looked balefully at B'Elanna, who looked back at her, laughing, and said,
"See, Seven. It's not so bad once you're all the way in."
"B'Elanna Torres. This incident will be filed in my eidetic
memory until such time that I retrieve it to give me incentive to devise
B'Elanna rolled her eyes skyward in a fake swoon and hugged her
arms around her chest, shivered and mockingly declared, "Ohhh. I'm
Seven tried not to smirk and replied, "You are prudent to
be...scared. I am Borg."
B'Elanna barked out a short laugh and said, "Since when do
Borg let such superfluous emotions as revenge determine their actions?"
Seven let her smirk show. "Since you deceived me."
A short time later both women exited the water and sat on their
environmental suits in the sun. B'Elanna ran her fingers through her hair and
started bemoaning the fact that she had no comb and her hair would snag up.
Seven squeezed the water out of hair and didn't worry about the consequences
of it drying in disarray.
B’Elanna decided to remove her clothing and let the sun
dry them as well as dry her body. B'Elanna had thought briefly of not
removing her clothes due to a sudden bout of shyness. 'We're going to be
here a while, and our clothes will have to come off to get them properly
clean. So, might as well do it.'
Seven observed B’Elanna removing her clothing and stared
in fascination at what was revealed. ‘She is aesthetically
pleasing’ She felt heat infuse her and a quickening of her
breathing. ‘I am malfunctioning’. She watched as a nude
B’Elanna walked over to a nearby palmetto bush and spread her wet
clothes out on the fronds.
B’Elanna turned toward her and stopped, noticing
Seven‘s intense scrutiny. She felt herself blush, cleared her throat
loudly, and said, “Ah…Seven…”
Seven focused her attention on B’Elanna’s face and
quickly realized that B’Elanna was displeased.
B’Elanna said, “It’s not nice to stare at a
person when they are in a …state of undress.”
Seven blinked in confusion and quickly accessed her eidetic
memory. ‘Cultural taboos concerning nudity and sexual mores.’ Her
mind quickly processed all known data that she had studied in Voyager’s
data bank, as well as some of the information the Borg collective had
assimilated. Her eyes widened in both surprise and consternation when she
realized that she had violated a major cultural taboo of many humanoid
cultures, including those of Humans and Klingons.
Seven quickly averted her gaze and felt a strong wave of heat
infuse her face. ’I am
experiencing…’embarrassment.’ “I apologise.
I…unknowingly have breached a cultural taboo. It was not my intent to
B’Elanna realized that Seven was being truthful. ‘I’m
probably the first person she’s ever seen a’ la natural.’
“Well…you might as well get used to it. We’ll be here for a
while and will have to take our clothes off to bathe and wash them. Believe
me, after a few times seeing a person in the buff, the novelty wears
off.” B’Elanna went over to her environmental suit, which was in
the shade of a palm, and stretched out on it. She glanced at Seven and
noticed that the young woman was nervously looking anywhere but at her.
‘Geez, she’s really rattled.’ “Uhmm, Seven.
Don’t worry about it. I realize this is probably all new to you. Just
chalk it up to a learning experience. Besides, you can’t avoid looking
at me every time I take my clothes off. Just don’t stare like I’m
some specimen under a microscope.”
Seven glanced at her and looked away nervously. B’Elanna
snorted and said, “Okay, here‘s what we‘re gonna do. You
remove your clothing, put them over there with mine, come over here, stretch
out on your environmental suit, and dry yourself. Believe me, you don’t
want to go around wearing wet clothes all the time. Besides, you’re
Borg. Nudity should be irrelevant. Especially in the situation we find
ourselves in.” B’Elanna grinned and added. “I promise I
won’t stare at you.” ‘Peek maybe.’
Seven considered what B’Elanna said. ‘You are
being illogical. Nudity is irrelevant within the parameters of our current
situation.’ Somehow, Seven felt uneasy that B’Elanna would
see her remaining external implants…that she would find them repulsive.
Seven suddenly felt disgust at her concerns. ‘Irrelevant. I am
Borg.’ She then began to remove her clothing.
B'Elanna tried not to peek. However, resistance was futile, and
she stole several glances, noticing the generous but firm breasts, with a
thin-banded implant curving along the bottom line of them and around the ribs
to the back. Two other thin bands girdled her hips and dipped toward her
apex. To B'Elanna, these implants accented Seven’s breasts and small
waist, and looked to her like adornments. Seven's shapely hips and long legs
were adorned by a few swirling areas of mesh. 'Gods, she's beautiful.
Those implants give her an exotic look.' B'Elanna felt a sharp jolt of
arousal. This was not the first time she found herself aroused by the Borg.
Those biosuits left very little to the imagination. And, despite her now past
animosity toward the young woman, there had been a few times when she had had
decidedly erotic and arousing dreams about her. Especially, after she had an
antagonistic encounter with Seven. Usually, when Seven encroached on her
domain, which was Engineering, and would tell her, not ask, but tell her she
needed more power to Astrometrics. Or, she would adjust Voyager's systems
without permission. B'Elanna would lose her cool, make threats, and chew her
out, and not very nicely. Seven would just look down her nose disdainfully at
her and produce some stuck up snotty sounding remark. This had made B'Elanna
even more rabid in her response. It really disturbed her to have these
dreams. She figured there must be some deep rooted psychological meaning to
the dreams other than sexual. She just didn't want to explore the reasons and
preferred to try to forget them.
Her opinion of Seven was changing. She was actually starting to
see her in a more positive light. Seven had a different sense of humor, very
dry and subtle. You just had to listen closely and watch the subtle change in
her facial expressions to catch it. Seven had been there for her. She would
not have survived if Seven hadn't taken care of her. There was a lot more to
Seven than just an emotionless Borg drone, of that, she was sure. B'Elanna
was actually looking forward to getting to know the young woman inside the
Seven finished spreading her clothes out to dry, went over to
her environmental suit, and reclined on her stomach. She was keenly aware of
B'Elanna lying only three feet away. She could hear her respiration and the
subtle gurgles in her stomach, which gradually were increasing in frequency
She turned her head away from B'Elanna, but her eidetic memory
brought into sharp clarity the woman’s shapely and well toned body. The
first thought that came to her was that she would like to explore that
body…with all her senses. She eradicated that thought immediately,
knowing that B'Elanna would not be pleased and would take offense, even
though that particular activity would please Seven immensely.
Seven turned her focus back to the mundane. Soon, they would
need to search for compatible nutritional flora and fauna. She herself would
need to ingest solids in order to survive, something that she was not in the
custom of doing. Sleep was another requirement she would have to accommodate
herself to. Sleep. Yesterday's few hours of sleep had been the result of
exhaustion, heat, lack of hydration, and her nanoprobes strained to the limit
to maintain her functioning. She did not think sleep would be easy to obtain
now that she had adequate rest and nutrients. Perhaps B'Elanna knew some
method that would help her achieve sleep.
About thirty minutes later, Seven heard a loud and prolonged
growl issuing from the vicinity of B'Elanna's stomach. She immediately sat up
and gazed at the reclining woman‘s face, who had her eyes open.
"B'Elanna, I believe it is now required for us to immediately search for
compatible plant and fauna for our nutritional consumption."
"You're right. Our clothes should be dry enough now. Let's
get dressed and go and check out that grass in the shallow water. Tricorder
readings show the seeds to be edible. We can make a fire and boil the seeds
in our helmets. Maybe we can snag one of those iguana looking things. I heard
iguana taste like chicken. Later we can scout around for more edibles. Maybe
find some ripe dates. You know, you can actually make a wine from Pendo
"Alcohol debilitates my cortical node. I easily become
B'Elanna snorted and said, "Hell, Seven, that's the point
of alcohol. If you're not dancing on the table and starting a knock down drag
out in the joint, then it's pig swill."
Seven stared at B'Elanna with a quizzical look on her face. It
was obvious to the engineer that Seven didn't have a clue to what she just
said. B'Elanna sighed. "You know, making wine isn't such a good idea. We
don't have the equipment and it would take time. We'll just stick to water
and date juice."
The sun was overhead and both women sought shelter under a stand
of palms 60 feet from the water. The first order of business was to gather
fuel for a fire. Close by, they found dried fallen palm leaves, and what
appeared to be the dried dung of an herbivore, which would burn nicely. The
large sized patty indicated an animal the size of an earthen milk cow.
They dug out a shallow three foot diameter fire pit. Their
shovels were the woody boat shaped pods that had once held the flowering
stage of the date clusters. Seven started a fire by igniting the fuel with
her phaser. B'Elanna had filled one helmet half full of the wild grass seed,
which she termed wild rice. They had also found several of the long white
tubers, which B’Elanna named water chestnuts. She set the helmet in the
fire. Seven had brought their environmental suits over and they sat on them
while waiting for their meal to be ready.
B'Elanna watched the fire. "You know, when I was in the
Maquis we had to sometimes live off the land like this while on a mission.
Sometimes, we had to eat our food raw, as a fire would have drawn the Cardies
right to us."
Seven's interest was piqued. "What were your reasons for
joining the Maquis?"
B‘Elanna was quiet for a few seconds, her sight focused on
the fire as if she were drawing memory from the flickering flames and reasons
from the winding smoke. "Er…, many reasons. It was right after I
left Starfleet. I signed on to a cargo ship as the Engineer. Little did I
know when I signed on, that the ship was running weapons to the Maquis. A
Cardie Man of War intercepted our ship and demanded our surrender. Believe
me, I was prepared to die rather than let those evil bastards capture me. My
crewmates felt the same way. We were about to set the ship to self-destruct
when Chakotay showed up in his ship and crippled the Man of War. I decided to
throw my lot in with him, especially, after hearing the eyewitness accounts
of the rape and torture of children and murder of civilians in Cardie
concentration camps. We had a Bajoran on our ship who managed to escape one
of their camps. Tuls Riad. He had that look about him that you learn to
recognize as fanatical. He could think of nothing, or talk of nothing, except
killing Cardies. He had seen his own children and wife raped before his eyes
and then murdered. I had no other plans and decided to do something
worthwhile with my life…to free as many prisoners as I could and kill
as many Cardies as I could. So I joined the Maquis and did both."
Seven was quiet for a minute, keeping her eyes on the makeshift
pot that was starting to boil. "Do you...feel remorse that
B'Elanna looked closely at Seven, noticing how young she looked
with her blond hair hanging loose and tangled around her shoulders.
Seven‘s eyes not meeting hers, as if she were shy. She was child like
in her obvious unease at having asked the question. B'Elanna hesitated. She
never revealed that dark part of her soul. She remembered Seven also had her
'dark part' and decided to be honest.
She instinctively knew Seven wouldn't repeat to anyone what she
was about to tell her. "No. I never feel guilt, shame, or remorse. When
I killed my first Cardie, I felt cheated because it had been such an easy
thing. I got him from behind, and killed him quickly. I really wanted to face
him in battle and beat him face to face. I wanted him cowering at my feet and
begging for his stinking life, knowing that he was going to die for what he
had done to the families of many of my Maquis comrades. This was the first
time I felt battle lust, or blood lust, and I wanted to feel it again, and
did many times. I relished facing them in one on one combat and killing them.
It was even better to know that they knew they were going to die. The look in
their eyes, knowing that there would be no mercy: To give them that same
'mercy' they had shown innocent men, women, and children. I enjoyed taunting
them, of laughing in their faces. I enjoyed every second of it. This was the
only time I truly felt what it meant to be Klingon. I have turned away from
much that is Klingon, yet my blood boils in battle, as would any Klingon's
blood. As any Klingon, I was not afraid to die. Any time I fought a good and
honorable fight was a good day to die. If I believed in Sto'vo'kor, I would
be welcomed as a hero."
B'Elanna noticed Seven staring at her now, wide eyed, mouth
slightly parted, not in shock but in awe and something else, something
familiar in a primeval and instinctual way. Seven's eyes burned with a blue
fire. She no longer looked like a child, but a woman full of passion and
fire. B'Elanna felt a soft growl start in her throat, then quickly reined in
the growl and clamped down on her response. 'Oh no. No, No. Not that.' The
one blood lust she had never experienced was that of a Klingon who had found
their mate. That bout of lust with Paris was Pon Farr from Vorik's brief
psychic bond. Of that, she was sure, for she never felt connected with Paris,
the way she instinctively knew she would with a mate. That is why she never
had any qualms about breaking up with him.
Seven stared back at B'Elanna, taking in her wild and waving
hair, and her eyes burning and molten. She swallowed hard. Seven felt a
desire to pull B'Elanna against her, to kiss that mouth, and draw out the hot
breath deep into herself. Perhaps this was an echo in her subconscious of her
experience with the Vinculum, when the thought patterns of 'the Son of K'vok'
took control of her actions. She also felt a desire to connect with B'Elanna
in other ways that were more subtle and complicated than the physical. This
'desire' lay in the realm of what she thought of as spiritual, similar to her
experience with the Omega Molecule. The hiss of the fire as the water boiled
over brought her thoughts back to the mundane tasks at hand.
Seven put on one of the environmental suit gloves and pulled the
helmet toward the edge of the pit to let it simmer. She handed B'Elanna a
long center of a green palm frond that she had stripped clean of the slender
pointed leaves. "You shall stir and determine when it is consumable."
B'Elanna took the frond, smirked, and said, "Ok, if you do
The dishes consisted of two helmets, two boat shaped date pods
for dishes and one stick for stirring. The corners of Seven's lips turned up
in amusement. "Agreed."
Their exploration of the oasis showed that it covered
approximately 81 acres. They walked around what they considered the
perimeter, an area in which the growth of the tall and slender palms stopped
their encroachment into the desert. They came across the skeletal remains of
a large three-toed herbivore, as evident by the teeth that were for chewing.
Except for the large equine skull and three toes, Seven determined that it
had closely resembled a camel, llama, or kouya on Trill. They took several of
the bones with them, Seven stating she could fashion spoons and other
utensils using the small precision laser cutter.
There also were what appeared to be several well trodden trails
leading into the oasis. These appeared recently used as evidenced by the
various small mammal and reptile tracks.
They discovered another spring that seeped out of the earth and
covered about a quarter of an acre. The water was much shallower and had more
plant coverage. There were many different tracks around the edge with the
ground torn in places. This was obviously a favorite place for the native
fauna to water. The only wildlife seen was several lizards and birds amongst
the grass. Out of sight, but plainly heard, were the clicking and buzzing of
insects. B'Elanna theorized that dusk and dawn were the time to catch
wildlife. Any in the surrounding desert would come for water, and those
hidden in the trees, like the Iguanas, would drink in the early morning.
B'Elanna did find several nests in the grass that contained
either iguana or bird eggs. She gathered these up and placed them inside her
pants pockets. She also found a large cluster of orange ripe dates, and broke
off the stem that held the fruit, which was a considerable amount. Seven
found more of the tubers and a vine, which grew an edible, rough skinned,
dark green fruit, the size of her fist. The flesh inside was cream colored
and soft like custard. Seven, having very limited experience in consuming
food, refused to taste it until B'Elanna did. B'Elanna declared it to have an
avocado taste and stated that it would go great with salsa and chips. They
had only explored the interior on the south and southeast side where they
were camping. They would explore the interior on the north, and west side, in
the next few days.
Both women gathered more fuel when they returned to their
campsite. There was a large palm, which had fallen some time ago, dry enough
to burn easily. B'Elanna had taken her large laser cutter, and sliced off
disc shaped pieces of the trunk, further splitting them, so that they would
fit into their fire pit.
Their dinner this night consisted of boiled water chestnuts,
eggs, and avocado fruit. The dates would follow up as dessert. These had an
apricot, pineapple taste similar to Pendo dates.
After dinner, Seven cleaned the dishes by the edge of the pool.
It was now dusk, and Seven worked on a piece of bone with the laser cutter.
As well as eating utensils, she was working on a surprise for B'Elanna.
B'Elanna was weaving strands of palm leaves together for mats. After a few
hours, they threw more wood on the fire and went to sleep. B'Elanna dropped
off right away. Seven lay awake listening to the night sounds and B'Elanna's
even breathing. Unable to sleep, she retrieved the bone pieces to work some
more on them.
The next day they explored the west side of the oasis. There was
nothing extraordinary, but they did find plenty of ripe dates and a new
source of avocado fruit.
The day after their exploration of the west side of the oasis,
they spent time around the camp cutting the downed palm into many pieces and
taking it back to camp. They also dug up more tubers and harvested more wild
The two women spent the next couple of nights working on their
various projects. B'Elanna had made Seven a palm headband that was a simple
braided crown with the palm leaves sticking out of the side like sunbeams.
Seven's nanoprobes had kept her from blistering in the strong sun light, but
B'Elanna noticed her nose starting to redden. Seeing Seven smile, not a
slight turning up of her mouth, but her brilliant wide smile with twinkling
eyes, when she received this gift, made B'Elanna's heart skip a beat.
Seven had finished two forks and presented them to B'Elanna, who
was very appreciative and praised the workmanship. Seven felt pleased that
B'Elanna liked them.
Seven still had difficulty going to sleep, only managing a
couple of hours of shallow slumber a night. She was beginning to feel some
fatigue at the end of the day, something she had never felt before.
Conversations were mostly about Voyager and theories they had on
getting back to the Alpha Quadrant. B'Elanna thought Seven was close to
making a transwarp coil that would function and agreed to work on the project
Each woman found herself attracted to the other, but they were
reluctant to acknowledge it, fearing rejection, and ruining a so far
companionable and comfortable relationship. B'Elanna hadn't taunted Seven
with cutting remarks nor had Seven provoked B'Elanna with a superior
attitude. In reality, neither woman had a desire to hurt the other.
They had been at the oasis for eight days now. They spent the
eighth night in companionable silence. Seven was putting the finishing
touches on her creations and B'Elanna was working on a second sleeping mat
that she was going to give to Seven.
B'Elanna felt like conversation. "I think I will wake up
right at sunrise and sneak over to that spot by the water where we saw those
iguanas. I bet I could stun one with the laser gun, and dispatch it with our
laser tool, by cutting its head off. Clean it out, and skin the thing. Then
we can roast it."
"You shall roast it. Your assigned task is to cook. My
assigned task is to wash dishes."
B'Elanna chuckled. "Ok. I just don't want any whining and
complaining about not liking the food or that it tastes funny."
"The taste of the food you have already prepared has been
more than agreeable. Especially, compared to the supplemental milkshakes the
Doctor has programmed for me."
"I should hope so. The Doc has no taste buds, which is a pity,
as you could give him a dose of his own medicine."
"I do not believe they are for medicinal purposes but for
B'Elanna smiled at this. "I heard that they don't taste
very good. In fact I heard them described as tasting like a combination of
soap water mixed with Milk of Magnesia."
"I am positive that the description of the taste of my
supplement originated with Naomi Wildman. She used that description after
tasting mine. The description was accompanied by many contortions of her face
and uttering of vowel sounds that have no meaning."
"Oh, you mean like, Eeeeh and ughhh?"
"They has a meaning all right. Just not ones you will find
in a dictionary. You know, like if you hit your finger with a spanner and you
loudly suck in your breath and scream out owee, owee, ouch. Her sounds meant
that it tasted awful."
"I have observed you on one occasion injure yourself with a
spanner. However, you failed to use those sounds to express pain."
"Sure I did...oh. Err…Those words are to be only used
by adults and not in front of children…or the Captain."
"I am aware of that. After my duty shift, I sought out
Captain Janeway. I questioned her as to the meaning of your particular
utterances. Her face proceeded to turn a curious shade of red and she
required me to inform her from where, and from whom, did I hear them. I
informed her that you had used these words in engineering when you injured
yourself. She informed me that those words were not appropriate while on
duty, and considered undignified and uncouth in a public setting. It was a
most unsatisfying conversation. My discussion with her was futile as she
failed to provide me with the definitions that I requested."
B‘Elanna blurted out in surprise, "Why it was you who
got my ass in hot water. She called me to her ready room and chewed me out
but good for my use of certain expletives. Not that it kept me from using
them again. Many times."
Seven actually had a somewhat stricken look on her face. "I
apologize, Lieutenant. It was not my intention to cause you to be reprimanded
by the Captain."
B'Elanna laughed. "It's B'Elanna, and I know that now. I'm
glad I didn't find out then. I would've thought you were snitching on me to
get me in trouble."
"Why would you have believed it then and not now?"
"In the last few days I'm learning a lot about you, Seven.
I guess I never took the time before to stick around you long enough to see
that I have misinterpreted things you say and do. The more I get to know
you...I find that you are actually a caring individual. The way you are with
Naomi. Saving my life. I know that many only see the Borg and don't give you
a chance. I didn't give you a chance.” B’Elanna looked
beseechingly at Seven and said sincerely, “I was wrong Seven. Will you
Seven saw the sincerity and heard it in B‘Elanna‘s
voice. She felt elation at B’Elanna’s words and then shame and
regret at her own actions toward B’Elanna. She swallowed hard and said,
"B'Elanna, I forgive you if you will accept my apology. On many
occasions I deliberately antagonized you to make you act angrily."
"Why, Seven?" B’Elanna asked in a perplexed
"Your emotional responses fascinate me. It is difficult for
me to express emotions. However, you express them more intensely than anyone
on Voyager. I find that my being the catalyst of your emotional response
fills a need in me that I cannot explain.”
Dropping her gaze, and then looking back up, and into
B’Elanna’s eyes, she said in a pleading voice, “Please,
B'Elanna, accept my apology."
This emotional appeal coming from Seven stunned B'Elanna.
"I can't begin to understand what you went through as a drone for those
18 years in the collective. I will tell you this, Seven. You do feel emotion.
I can hear it in your voice and see it in your eyes. It's subtle, but there
all the same. Don't pick me as a role model though. My emotions have gotten
me in plenty of trouble, especially anger. Your apology is accepted. I do
have one question though."
"You may ask."
"A few nights ago, why did you ask me if I regretted
"When we were involved in the negotiations with the
Caatati, you asked me if I felt regret at having assimilated them, and
similar beings. I told you I did not, as guilt served no purpose. However,
that is no longer true. I feel...remorse for killing the individuality of
thousands. This part of returning to my humanity is the most painful. I know,
logically, that I had no choice. However, this does not relieve my sense of
remorse. Like me, you too are part human. I was curious if you felt remorse.
I understand why you do not. The principles of Justice and Freedom governed
your actions. My actions were to serve the Collective which destroyed
billions of lives for their own purposes."
"I shouldn't have asked you that. I don't blame you for
what you had to do as a drone. I'm sorry that I hurt you. I have a big mouth
and I guess I have a big chip on my shoulder from growing up as a hybrid. You
were right when you said back there at that oil pit that I was a failure. I
fail at being a Klingon. I failed Starfleet, and every relationship I have
ever been in. But, on my honor, Seven, B'Elanna Torres honor, I never fail my
friends. Seven, will you allow me to be your friend?"
"B'Elanna Torres. You are not a failure. It was my intention
to use those words as a weapon to anger you enough that you would fight
against defeat. The Klingon in you prevailed. As I knew it would. Hold on to
that part of you B'Elanna, It may deliver both Voyager and us from
destruction. I have great admiration for you. You are intelligent. You
possess an ability to solve problems that no one else is capable of doing.
You are creative. You are loyal to your friends and honorable. Yes, B'Elanna
Torres, I would be...honored to call you friend."
B'Elanna got up, knelt by Seven, and hugged her. Seven returned
the hug. They separated slowly, blue eyes meeting dark brown. B'Elanna felt a
happiness that she had not experienced in a long time. She went back to her
place by the fire.
"B'Elanna, I too have another question."
"Oh yeah? Shoot. I mean ask."
"What are the definitions of the words 'screw it all to
hell' and 'dick head'?"
Seven was unable to sleep. She watched B'Elanna, lying three
feet away. She had fallen asleep several hours ago. For the most part,
B'Elanna did not move in her sleep. However, every now and then her feet
would move, or her arms. Several times she groaned in her sleep and muttered
words that were hard to understand. Once B'Elanna curled up in a tight ball
and muttered, "cold." Seven threw wood on the hot coals, which
blazed into a warming fire.
Seven finished a set of eating spoons and one large stirring
spoon, as well as a long bone two-pronged fork. She now worked on finishing
the comb. She had made the comb from a piece of shoulder bone. It was in the
shape of half an oval and followed the curvature of the shoulder blade. The
rounded flat convex top would make it easy to grasp. In the edge of the
bottom portion of the oval, she carved twenty two teeth. On the handle she
carved in Klingon the words "For my friend." On the reverse side,
she carved 'B'Elanna' in earth's Roman alphabet. She decorated the edges with
vines and flowers and two iguanas.
Seven felt joy that B'Elanna was her friend. She had very few
friends: The Doctor, Naomi, and Captain Janeway. Incorrect, Captain Janeway
was only her friend when it did not impede her performance as captain.
Captain Janeway was also her mentor. Their well being was important to her.
She cared for them. Their interaction filled a need in her. However,
B’Elanna filled her with a longing for more than friendship, much more.
Could B'Elanna learn to feel the same for her?
B'Elanna woke, noticing that it was still dark and Seven was still
awake and working on a piece of bone. "Can't sleep?"
"No. I do not know how. I can only maintain sleep when I am
very fatigued and for two hours at most."
"Come and lie down anyway. You just need to learn to relax
and get your mind relaxed."
Seven moved over to her mat that B'Elanna made for her, and lay
down. She held her body stiff and her hands over her chest.
B'Elanna chuckled. "Here, move over next to me. I want to
show you something." Seven moved her mat and put it beside B'Elanna's
and lay back down, now only a couple of feet away from the Klingon.
B‘Elanna softly said, "I used to love to go camping
and sleep under the stars. I would look up at the sky and make up my own
constellations. Before I knew it, I was asleep. See that red star in the
north and those surrounding it. That's a dragon."
Seven looked at the stars B'Elanna indicated. "They are
stars, in a random pattern."
"Use your imagination, Seven. The red star is the dragon's
eye and the two stars above are his horns. See that group of stars that look
like a trapezoid? That‘s his body and legs. Those five stars that form
a curve are his tail."
"I do not see a dragon."
"We have to work on your imagination."
"I possess an imagination. I do not see a dragon. I see
Commander Chakotay's tattoo."
B'Elanna laughed. "Chakotay's tattoo? No way! His tattoo is
blue, how do you explain the red star?"
"That is his left eye after he has imbibed too much
synthehol at one of Neelix's parties."
B'Elanna giggled, "You know ...it does look like Chakotay's
tattoo." There was a pause in conversation for a few minutes as both
women looked at the heavens. "This really is a beautiful night sky. The
nebula has a beauty all its own seen from here. I think it has something to
do with the atmosphere. The stars have a more pronounced twinkle. They remind
me of jewels or the shimmering dew catching the morning sun beams."
Seven looked at the heavens this time not with the eyes of the
Borg. B'Elanna's description invoked in her a feeling of deja vue; A distant
memory of looking up at the night sky as if it was magical. She was now
seeing the heavens through the eyes of Annika Hansen. "The Borg are
incorrect. Beauty is not irrelevant."
Seven's voice was low and soft, almost a caress, causing
B'Elanna to shiver lightly in delicious response to the dawning emotion
behind the words. She turned her head to gaze at Seven's profile, highlighted
by the gossamer radiance from the nebula above them. She was ethereal, carved
from silver and cool white marble, her lips slightly parted in a smile, eyes
wide and staring in childlike wonder. B'Elanna felt her chest tighten with
the sudden realization that she had crossed the line between feelings of
friendship to feelings of love. Seven certainly was not at all the unfeeling
drone she led others to believe her to be, as B'Elanna had discovered in the
last few days. Beneath the cool exterior of implants and indifference, was a
caring and giving individual, who would not abandon her shipmates, who would
put their well-being before her own. The enigma that was Seven of Nine was a
balance of machine and flesh, logic and emotion, woman and child.
"Beautiful," she whispered.
She stretched out her hand and took Seven's in her grasp. Seven
turned to look at their clasped hands. Her expression perplexed. B'Elanna
smiled and squeezed the warm hand she held. Seven's face showed momentary
surprise, and then, tentatively, she turned her head to face B'Elanna, and
smiled gently, squeezing B'Elanna's hand in return. No words were spoke as
B'Elanna slid over against the warm body next to her, turning her back into
Seven, grasping her Borg left hand, pulling it, and causing Seven to turn on
B’Elanna continued to pull until Seven spooned her from
behind, feeling the beat of B’Elanna’s her heart against her left
palm after her friend placed it under her breasts.
B'Elanna felt Seven relax and sigh, feeling the warm breath
ruffle her hair and the press of soft breasts against her back. B'Elanna
smiled to herself and softly said, "Good night, Seven."
"Good night, B'Elanna."
As B'Elanna slipped into sleep she thought her name never
sounded as beautiful as when spoken by Seven of Nine.
Seven woke up to a warm, sleeping woman in her arms. She did not
move, enjoying this moment. She had her left hand on B'Elanna's chest, below
her breasts, feeling her heart beat in a steady rhythm. She breathed in the
scent that was B'Elanna. She found it appealing and ...arousing. She hated to
move, but the dawn was lightening the sky to the east, and B'Elanna wanted to
waken by dawn. She set up and shook B'Elanna's shoulder. "B'Elanna,
cease sleeping. It is dawn."
B'Elanna groaned, shaking off the hand that shook her shoulder.
"Not yet, too early."
"B'Elanna, I require nutriment. I shall perish if you do
B'Elanna opened her eyes and smiled at the humor underlying
Seven's words. "Oh yeah, can't have you go hungry. I'm going to invite a
few critters over for breakfast." She hurriedly got up and put on her
shoes, reached over for a drink of water, grabbed the phaser rifle, and made
her way in the disappearing darkness toward their 'rice paddy'.
That left Seven to begin breakfast preparations. She got up and
stretched, feeling relaxed and knowing she had slept a sufficient amount,
thanks to B'Elanna and her relaxation exercise. Putting on her shoes, she
went down to the pool to fill one of the helmets with water. Putting more
fuel on the fire, she placed the helmet in the pit to start the water for
A few minutes later, she heard B'Elanna exclaim loudly, "Gotcha."
Seven went over to their pile of green palm fronds and picked one with a nice
thick and long center. She stripped the pointed leaves off and sharpened the
end with the small cutter, then took it back to the fire.
A short time later, B'Elanna came through the light morning
mist, bearing a good sized Iguana, head gone, skinned and cleaned. "The
mighty hunter has returned after battling a ferocious dragon. We fought for
many hours, but I prevailed."
Seven raised the implant over her left eye in amusement.
"Indeed. The dragon you have terminated is ...impressive."
B'Elanna had a satisfied smirk on her face. Seven handed her the
green stick to skewer her trophy. Seven noticed that B'Elanna's hands were
none too clean. "You shall immediately proceed to the pool and wash your
hands. I will begin cooking our breakfast. When you return you shall resume
your task as cook."
B'Elanna looked at her hands and smirked, and said in a nasal
and deferring voice, "Yes dear," before heading to the pool.
Seven knew this to be teasing, as she heard Tom Paris use the
same words with the same nasal inflections, when B'Elanna informed him that
he was to immediately leave their table in the mess hall and retrieve a drink
for her. She knew from their interaction that Tom was teasing B'Elanna for
her authoritative request, or what he termed as being 'bossy'. Usually, when
Tom would return, he would bow and say, "Anything else your
highness?" Everyone would laugh or snicker. She had failed to see the
humor in this display. Now, with the changes in her and B'Elanna's
relationship, she found it amusing.
B'Elanna came back and held out her hands for inspection,
turning up the palms. "See, all clean." Seven coolly assessed her
hands and looked into B'Elanna's eyes, lifting her left implant and looking
expectant. "What? They're not clean enough for you?"
"They are acceptable. However, you have not rendered me the
deference I am due."
"You neglected to bow and inquire, "Is there anything
else your highness?"
B'Elanna was flabbergasted for a moment then burst out laughing.
"You had me going for a moment. I see you have noticed more in your
studies of human mating habits than just the ah...courtship aspect. That was
Tom being a smart ass."
Seven's mouth turned up a slight bit at the corners.
"The ass thought he was being cute and witty. After the
cute and witty, there was not much there. Cute and witty wear thin after a
Seven had heard that B'Elanna was the one to terminate the
relationship. Tom was what Sam Wildman called a 'big flirt'. Soon after the
breakup, Tom was pursuing numerous females on the ship. He had even
approached her with the promise of a 'good time'. She had looked at him with
her cold, assessing Borg stare, and then turned back to her task, ignoring
him. He never approached her again for that specific purpose.
"Seven, you need to keep turning the stick over the fire a
few times so it won't burn. Let me do it. I will rig up a spit later so we
don't have to hold it."
After twenty minutes of cooking, B'Elanna requested a small
stick to puncture the meat to determine if it were ready. The smell actually
made Seven's mouth water. She handed B'Elanna the two pronged bone fork and
spoons. "Wow, Seven, these are really great. Just what we needed. They
are well shaped and easy to hold. Thank you."
"You are welcome." Seven felt a warm glow knowing that
B'Elanna was pleased. She hoped B'Elanna would also be pleased with the comb
she planned to present to her after they bathed this afternoon.
After finishing their meal of rice and roasted Iguana, which
B'Elanna stated did taste like chicken, they resumed their explorations of
the oasis. Going to the north side, they discovered another spring. This one
however, had the bones of many different animals spread about. B'Elanna
checked them closely. "These have serrated teeth marks on them, and they
weren't made by anything small. It would take a good sized animal to bring
down one of those camels."
Seven scanned some of the bones with her tricorder. "The
scan shows that the animals died six to twelve months ago."
"I bet you during the rainy season herds of these things
migrate, and whatever killed them, follow the migrations. This oasis is more
than likely on the migration path."
"These findings indicate that there is a rainy season every
six months. Perhaps this planet's seasons of spring and fall. If this is
correct, then another rainy season is imminent."
B'Elanna had a decidedly uneasy air about her and said,
"Finding indications of large carnivorous beasts complicates things.
Let's hope it doesn't rain while we're here. We don't know how soon after the
rain they may show up. They may even show up sometime before to lie in ambush
of the migrating herds. We'll have to be extra observant and always have a
phaser within reach."
"Agreed. We can also use one of our tricorders to alert us
to any moving object within 100 feet of our camp. I can adjust my hearing to
enhance sound. I should be able to pick up any unusual disturbances."
"You know, I'm glad it's you here with me. With you
covering my back I'll sleep a whole lot easier."
Seven was pleased at this statement and gave one of her rare
full smiles, eyes bright. "I will not abuse your trust, B'Elanna. I too
am fortunate that it is you here with me. I could trust no other to keep
B’Elanna, seeing that smile and knowing that Seven put
full trust in her, felt that her heart was close to bursting. 'Oh, Seven,
I would die for you, and feel honored to do so.'
B'Elanna exited the water with Seven behind, observing the
Klingon's muscled back and legs, and the movement of her fine toned rear.
When in the water together, she had noticed that B'Elanna often stole glances
at her, raking her eyes up and down her body, as she did B'Elanna's. 'I am
positive that what I am feeling is sexual arousal. I am unsure how B'Elanna
feels. Is it arousal or curiosity?'
B'Elanna brushed the sand off her feet, retrieved her dry
clothes, sat on her mat, and dressed. She ran her fingers through her hair
trying to undo the tangles. "Damn, I'm going to look like a nasty Kazon
by the time we get back to Voyager. Then I'll look worse because I'll have to
shave my head and look like a Delton. Bald won't go well with my
Seven sat on her own mat and dressed. She reached over and
retrieved an environmental suit's glove, reached in and brought out an
article wrapped in a broad green leaf and tied with a long stalk of grass.
"B'Elanna Torres." B'Elanna looked at the young woman's face,
seeing a slight blush. "I wish you to accept this gift in appreciation
for being my friend."
Seven held out the item and B'Elanna took it from her hand and
started to unwrap it. "Seven, I'm honored to be your friend you don't
...Oh my gods. Oh, Seven, it's beautiful." She looked at Seven, her eyes
tearing at the gift. "Seven, you did this during the nights, instead of
Seven's eyes were shinning with pleasure that her gift pleased
B'Elanna. "I could not achieve sleep, until you helped me relax. I
decided to use that time to make you the comb."
B'Elanna ran her fingers over the engraved Klingon script. She
was embarrassed that she only knew a few phrases of her mother's language.
"I'm not that familiar with the written form of Klingon. What does it
"For my friend." Seven looked at her with shining
"This is the most precious gift I have ever received. I
know it came from your heart and that makes it even dearer."
B’Elanna’s smile was huge and her eyes bright.
Seven answered B’Elanna’s smile with one equally as
big. "It pleases me that you are pleased."
B'Elanna leaned over and kissed Seven's cheek. "Thank you,
sweet friend." She sat next to Seven, smiling and turning the comb over
to run her fingers over the engravings.
B'Elanna tried to comb her hair, but it was too knotted and
tangled. "Uggh, this is a mess. I'll never get the tangles out."
"Allow me, B'Elanna. I have had some experience in combing
B'Elanna handed Seven the comb and turned her back to the Borg.
Seven sat back on her heels behind B'Elanna and started working the comb from
the ends of her hair to remove the tangles. Seven was very careful and tried
not to pull the hair to cause pain.
B'Elanna felt Seven's knees press against her buttocks and
Seven's arms rub against her shoulders and upper back. It sent tiny delicious
tingles down her spine. Finally, she could feel Seven run the comb smoothly
through her hair.
"Turn and face me." B'Elanna turned her whole body
around toward Seven. The Borg's left hand went under her chin to turn her
face up. B'Elanna watched Seven's eyes dance across her face and hair.
"Your hair is very esthetically pleasing with the waves. Why do you not
allow it to remain in this fashion?"
B'Elanna sighed. "I don't know. That's not true, I do know.
I don't wear it like this because it looks too Klingon. I always tried to
make it look straight, like my father's people. Kind of stupid of me, huh?
Like these ridges on my forehead don't announce loud and clear what I
"I find your Klingon visage esthetically pleasing. It suits
you B'Elanna. You have the spirit of a Klingon warrior, in that you are loyal
and honorable and do not back down from adversity. Why do you deny your
"It's more trouble than it's worth. Being part Klingon has caused
me nothing but grief. My father left my mother and me when I was twelve, for
being too Klingon. He said that wasn't the reason, but I heard him tell my
Uncle Carl that I was too much like my mother. I left Starfleet Academy after
four reprimands and a suspension, as I can't control my Klingon temper. When
I meet people, they immediately judge me as Klingon, and look at me as if I
were a monster about to tear off their heads. They never see the human
"Those that judge you are mostly Humans are they not? They
too see me as a monster. I have found that Humans perceive their cultures as
superior. They apply their own cultural standards to others. Why do you allow
their erroneous assumptions to dictate your actions? It is obvious that you
are more Klingon in your temperament and emotions. You should claim that
which truly suits you best."
Her voice strident, B'Elanna answered, "You sound like my
mother. She was always on my back to be more Klingon. She even showed up in a
hallucination I recently had, telling me she was condemned to Grethor because
of the dishonor I brought her by not being Klingon enough. Hell, she took me
to Qono'S to live with her people, and they thought me too Human and
weak." B'Elanna's voice escalated in anger. "I could ask you why
you are so averse to accepting that part of you which is Human. You go by a
Borg designation: Seven of Nine. Why don't you claim your Human name: Annika
Hansen? You disparage that part of you that feels emotions. It is not that
you cannot express emotions; it’s that you consider them weak. You fear
emotions." B'Elanna stood up, glaring down at Seven, her breasts heaving
in anger, her eyes glaring dangerously.
Seven also stood, taller than B'Elanna by half a head. Her voice
rose in pitch, harsh and strident, and her eyes flashed with the fire of
anger, "Annika Hansen died on her sixth birthday, more a victim of her
parents' neglect than the Borg assimilation. They were Human. However, they
did not care enough for her wellbeing and took her into danger. They were
selfish. They put their goals before her wellbeing. With the Borg, there is
no selfishness. Emotions are irrelevant. Billions of minds but with one goal,
working in harmony together."
B'Elanna snorted derisively, "Billions of unfeeling
metallic suits. Robots programmed to do the Queen's bidding. Some life. Told
when to jump and how high, who to obliterate and destroy. I can program a
machine to do what a drone does. You can't fool me Seven of Nine, Tertiary
Adjunct of Unimatrix One. I know why you cling to your Borgness. Fear. You're
afraid aren't you Seven of Nine? You're afraid of emotions, as they make you
feel things you want to avoid. Abandonment, unworthiness, and anger at what
your parents did. You fear them because if you start feeling then you'll know
that those eighteen years you spent in the collective were far from
'perfection'. It was an obliteration of the soul and a death to self. Yes,
Seven of Nine. The only thing the Borg have given you is fear. They did not
take that emotion away. Tell me, Seven of Nine, how does it feel to know that
you are not the perfect Borg you thought you were? Your fear and anger have
made you flawed and weak."
Seven stepped closer into B'Elanna's personal space. B'Elanna
did not budge. Seven's voice, now a low growl, "I fear nothing. Fear is
"Oh yeah, Borg, get out of my face or I will show you what
to fear." B'Elanna pushed Seven back. Seven angrily pushed back with her
Borg hand, causing B'Elanna to fall back and land on her butt. She immediately
sprang to her feet, screaming in rage and rushed Seven, hitting her in the
mid section. Seven fell back on the yielding sand, pulling B'Elanna with her,
and rolling on top of the enraged Klingon. B'Elanna tried to push her off and
gave her a head butt. Seven was momentarily stunned and B'Elanna used the
advantage to throw Seven off. B’Elanna sprang to her feet, as did
Seven. Both women stood facing each other, eyes blazing, and chests heaving.
Seven looked untamed and primal, her hair tangled about her shoulders, mouth
curled in anger and eyes blazing. B’Elanna felt a fire in her gut that
also engulfed her groin. She had an overwhelming desire to take this woman
and make her yield and to claim her as her mate.
Seven sprang forward and grasped B'Elanna by her shoulders. They
grappled and fell to the ground. Using her Borg strength, she managed to
straddle B’Elanna’s waist, and pinned the Klingon's hands above
her head. B'Elanna bucked and growled. Seven looked down at the growling
woman, hair wild, and eyes molten. Her anger dissolved into want, desire,
lust, and yes, love. She wanted B'Elanna Torres. Wanted to feel her in a
physical as well as in a strong and very emotional way. She knew then that
she loved B'Elanna, and that the dam holding her emotions had broken. She
stilled, and looked into B'Elanna's eyes, pouring all that she felt, and all
that she was, out of her soul and through her eyes.
B'Elanna stared back. Somehow, through her blood lust, something
in Seven's eyes reached her. She saw passion, and warmth, tenderness and yes,
love. B'Elanna stilled, stopping her struggle. Fighting down what she
couldn't deny but wasn't ready to fully accept. Blood didn't lie. She was
indeed Klingon in her heart and in her spirit. Seven lowered her mouth, not
hesitating, and gently kissed her. She removed her lips a few centimeters
back and stared back into B'Elanna's eyes. She let go of her grip and moved
off the Klingon. B'Elanna sat up and reached out, gently pulling Seven to
her, and kissed her tenderly. Seven pressed more closely into her arms,
breasts touching breasts. Seven returned her kiss, her lips slightly opening.
B'Elanna tenderly touched those lips with the tip of her tongue. She felt
Seven's tongue touch hers in response. The kiss deepened and tongue caressed
B'Elanna pulled away, breathless and trembling. "I love
you, Seven of Nine."
Seven smiled, her teeth showing through parted lips and her eyes
bright. "I love you, B'Elanna Torres."
They kissed again for several long minutes. B'Elanna smelled the
scent of Seven's arousal, which elicited a deep growl from her throat. She
fought to control her blood lust. She pushed Seven away and breathlessly
said, "I want you Seven of Nine, as my mate. My Klingon part always
recognized that you were my mate. My human part though, tells me this isn't
right. You deserve more than to be conquered and taken. I don't want to rush
things with you. I want you to come to me when you are ready, not because I
bully you. We both need to learn to lead and to follow, to give and to take,
not one dominating the other. We will know when it is the right time to claim
each other as mate."
Seven reached out and caught a tear with her finger as it made a
path down B'Elanna's cheek. She felt a lump in her throat and then the tears
started to flow. She swallowed hard and said, "B’Elanna, do not
deny what you are. You are Klingon. You are now beginning to understand in
your heart that you are. However, you do not comprehend what it means to be
Klingon. This you must learn to be content. This you must learn in order to
be content with me as your mate. You are correct. Patience is warranted.
However, I must caution you, I will always remain part Borg. However, I now
choose to accept that part of me which is Human. I do not know what it means
to be Human and must learn this to be content with myself, and you as my
mate. You will assist me in learning to accept and not fear my humanity and
"I will my love, I will always be part Human, but I choose
to be Klingon in my heart. I need you to help me claim my Klingon Heritage by
first teaching me how to write and speak Klingon."
"oH nob jiH bel bang Hlja." (Yes. It will give me
great pleasure to do so my beloved)
They established a routine over the next few days that consisted
of gathering food, fuel, and exploring. In the late afternoon, they would
swim. They touched frequently as they performed their task, giving each other
hugs and kisses. B'Elanna was learning patience and control: The patience and
control of a warrior. She did not smother her Klingon spirit, but controlled
it, as a warrior would. It was hard to dampen down her blood lust, as Seven
was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. Touching her, kissing her, seeing
the want in her eyes, and holding each other as they slept, made B'Elanna
growl deep in her throat. It would soon be time to claim Seven as her mate,
as everyday their bond grew stronger, and she was discovering her Klingon
Seven relished the nighttime best…lying in each other's
arms. Every night they would play the game of 'Name a Constellation.' Seven
named the small moon Naomi and B'Elanna named the blue tinted moon, Chell,
after one of Voyager's Bolian crewmember. She said the moon was blue and
rotund like Chell.
Seven was learning to be more expressive in her emotions, and
not analyze every feeling or thought. And to be more spontaneous. She had
learned how to laugh, which pleased B'Elanna, and caused her to smile with a
joy close to tears that she had been the first to hear it and see the look on
Seven felt her feelings of love deepen for the Klingon. They
shared their hopes and discussed their future together as a couple. They
argued good naturedly about which marriage custom they would take; the
conventional Starfleet wedding, with Captain Janeway presiding, the ritual
Klingon Vow, or the formal Klingon Wedding. Seven wanted the Klingon Vow, as
she believed that it should be private with no witnesses. She stated that
their crewmates would know that they were indeed married after they saw the
bite marks on each other cheeks. B’Elanna had laughed and said Seven
was more ‘Klingon’ than many true Klingons for her desire to draw
blood. B'Elanna wanted the traditional North American marriage with the
friends, flowers, dinner, and dancing afterward. She wanted to see Seven
walking down the aisle toward her. They decided they would do both, but then
argued about which one would be performed first.
Captain Janeway sat in her command chair trying to concentrate on
the various departmental reports. Lieutenant Vorik was now Chief Engineer and
Ensign Megan Delaney promoted to Lieutenant to head Astrometrics.
It had been two weeks since Seven and B'Elanna's disappearance.
She thought about them every day. Sent her prayers to whatever deity would
listen that they were safe. She refused to think of them in the past tense.
She imagined, after two weeks with each other, they were literally at each
other's throat. Both were opinionated and head strong. She also knew that the
animosity they felt about each other would not prevent them from looking out
for one another. They were both honorable and would feel it was their duty to
In another week they would be around the nebula and away from
interference from the radiation and Voyager would once again resume the
quickest route home. This would not keep her from searching along the way.
All of her officers had given up hope of ever finding them. They didn't voice
it after she bit Tuvok's head off for saying the chances of them finding a
wormhole home was more probable than finding the two. She kept hoping that
along the way they just might find them. So far, she had beaten all odds of
keeping her ship and crew together for six years. She felt that somehow she
could beat the odds again and find her two lost sheep.
B'Elanna Torres washed her hands in the shallow water among a
thatch of rice plants. She had just killed and cleaned their morning meal and
knew Seven didn't appreciate seeing dirty hands. Granted, the water was none
too clean here, she would just wash off the obvious stains and do a more
thorough cleaning when she got back to camp.
She noticed the darkening around her and realized that she was
in the shade. 'A cloud?' She looked up and caught a quick glimpse of
two large objects heading toward camp. She rose quickly, grabbing her phaser
rifle and ran toward camp hearing a high pitched screaming.
"SEVEN!" She burst into the clearing and saw Seven by the pond, her
right shoulder clasped in the vise like claws of one foot of a huge brown and
Ivory winged creature, at least eight feet tall. Its long brown, snake like
neck held a head that resembled a crocodile. It had Seven by her Borg arm and
was shaking its head back and forth in an attempt to tear it off. The other
creature was maneuvering to hit Seven in the back. B'Elanna screamed in rage
and quickly shot the one behind Seven. It dropped dead. However, Seven was
too close to the one that held her, and she could not get a clean shot.
It was apparent that Seven was using her Borg enhanced arm to
block the beast’s attempt to tear at her face and other arm. B'Elanna
charged, swinging her rifle over her head and viciously slammed the butt on
the creature's head as hard as she could. It let go of Seven's Borg arm but
still held her right arm by sharp talons. It lunged at B'Elanna with its head
and she stuck the end of her phaser rifle into the wide open mouth and pulled
the trigger. The beast died instantly and fell with its talons embedded deep
in Seven's right shoulder, dragging her down as it fell.
B'Elanna quickly knelt by Seven trying to remove the heavy foot,
with the embedded talons, from her shoulder. There were two talons embedded
in the back of her shoulder, and the hind talon was in the front. Seven was
attempting to use her Borg arm to push herself up, but could not manage to do
so. B'Elanna noticed that her arm appeared damaged and had been torn open,
showing some of the implants beneath. Seven's Borg strength failed her as the
arm ceased functioning.
"Seven, stay still, please don't move. I'll free you."
Seven fell back and moaned loudly. B'Elanna removed the small
laser cutter that she had dressed out the iguana with and severed each toe
from the foot. She rose and kicked the leg and foot away from Seven. B'Elanna
noticed that the two talons on the back of her shoulder had come out the
front. Blood was starting to ooze from the wounds.
Seven groaned and said in a pained voice, "B'Elanna I was
at the pool. I stood and turned. I did not hear them. They...they..."
"Shhh, It's over love. I've got you now." B'Elanna
knew if she removed the talons now, Seven would bleed to death. She needed
something to stanch the wounds. She thought briefly of cauterizing them with
her laser cutter, but the wounds looked too wide and an infection could
occur. She needed bandages or a compress. Their clothes were out of the
question. Then their two environmental suits came to mind. The lining on the
inside consisted of a soft wicking material to soak up sweat, and act as
insulation. She went quickly to the camp area and grabbed one of the suits.
She used the laser cutter to open a seam on each leg and pulled the
insulating material out. She got one of the helmets, ran back to the pool,
filling it with water, and then put it on the fire. She used her hand phaser
to bring the water to a boil and put the cloth in to sterilize it.
She took one of the grass mats and went over to Seven. If she
could get her on the mat, she could drag her to the camp. Seven was still,
but her breathing was rapid and eyes staring, her pupils large.
"Seven. Can you sit up? I will help you."
Seven could not use either arm to push herself up. B'Elanna took
the front of her black top and pulled her up into a sitting position then got
her to scoot over and onto the mat. Seven cried out in pain. B'Elanna eased
her down onto her left side, took the end of the mat, and dragged her back to
the fireside. She removed the length of cloth from the helmet with the long
fork and hurriedly draped it over a palmetto to dry. She cut more insulation
out of the suits, putting them in the boiling water to sterilize for a few
minutes. She removed them with the bone fork skewer, and hung these up. The
sun was hot and the air arid, they would quickly dry.
She had to get Seven's shirt off somehow. The rips from the
attack made it easy enough to pull apart in several pieces to remove. She
retrieved a piece of hot wet cloth from the helmet with the bone skewer and
let it drip the excess moisture out. It was still hot, but she managed to
fold it enough to make a compress.
She placed the hot compress on the corner of the mat and turned
to Seven "Seven, I'm going to pull the talon out that is in the front
first." She quickly pulled out the talon. Seven gave a sharp moan.
B'Elanna grabbed the wet compress and quickly placed it over the wound. She
kept the pressure on for a minute and then lifted the compress to check the
wound. It had quit bleeding and B’Elanna tried to gently clean it with
the wet cloth. Seven drew her breath in sharply and B’Elanna ceased
immediately. Only a little blood seeped out.
She retrieved the other cloths and went back to Seven. This
would be tricky as the talons had an entrance and an exit. She would have to
remove one and stop the bleeding before she could move another. "I'm
sorry that this hurts."
Seven answered weakly, "It is necessary. My nanoprobes are
dulling the pain."
"Good, that's good. Stay on your side now." She
quickly pulled one out and applied a compress to each side. Seven breathed in
sharply but did not moan. B'Elanna pressed for a few minutes. The blood
caused the bandage to stick, which B'Elanna knew was a good sign that it was
coagulating. She got another long piece of cloth and tied it in place.
"Only one more Seven, that's all." She repeated the same process
and held her breath hoping the wounds would not start bleeding.
Seven asked for a drink of water and B'Elanna had her stay still
as she spooned the water into her mouth. Seven then went to sleep with B'Elanna
watching her closely throughout the night.
The heat roiled in waves over the endless sea of sand. There was
no sight of any living thing. The sky was dull and leaden, holding only the
sun, her voice taunting. "You are weak, Seven of Nine. Pathetic. Now you
are dying. Listen, Seven of Nine; do you hear it now, the sound of one alone,
dying alone? We will purge your distinctiveness from the Collective. All that
you are, and were, will be forgotten. You are nothing."
"You are mistaken. I am not alone. I have my B'Elanna to
guard my back and fight at my side. You cannot defeat me…defeat us. It
matters not that I am nothing to the Collective as I am all in her eyes and
heart and that you cannot purge."
"Shhh, Seven, I'm here. It was a bad dream, nothing
Seven had slept restlessly through the night, moaning in her
sleep. She had called B'Elanna's name several times. She had a fever.
B'Elanna used a wet cloth and wiped her face, which seemed to calm her. She
breathed a sigh of relief that Seven’s wounds were not bleeding.
B'Elanna kept the fire burning strong all night. She would have to leave soon
and get wood. She would stoke it up hot and high as a detriment to any of
those flying bastards. She would also have to drag the ones she killed away
from this area before they started to rot.
They had been so sure that any threat would come across land and
never thought that death would drop from the sky. It was obvious that these
birds hunted in pairs, and perhaps in packs, bringing down prey far heavier
than themselves, and then tearing it to pieces to devour on the spot or fly
off with their meal. That explained the serrations on the bones they found.
They literally cut their prey apart with their sharp saw-like teeth.
It would be dawn soon and she would change Seven's bandages and
check for infection. There was not much she could do about that except reopen
the wound and let it drain. She was sure Seven's nanoprobes were doing their
best, but Seven was days overdue for regeneration and had to depend on sleep
and food to sustain her. If things went right, and this was the other side of
the nebula, Voyager should be in contact range within a few days. She hoped
that Seven could make it until then.
Seven was dying. She could feel the infection spread in her
body. It was just too much for her nanoprobes to deal with. She should have
been dead by now but they had managed to keep her alive this long. She tried
to fight, but without antibiotics, she would lose. She wanted to live with
all her heart and soul. She now had so much to live for. B'Elanna. Her love,
her Parmahkie. She wanted more than anything to have B'Elanna as her
be’nal. She would wait for her in Sto'va'kor as the wife of a warrior.
Perhaps B'Elanna would give her this.
B'Elanna checked the wounds on Seven's back. They were infected.
She had to open them to drain, the stench almost making her retch. It was day
number six. She had comforted Seven by telling her some of the happier
stories of her childhood and of the sights she had seen on Qo’noS. She
described her mother, father, cousins, aunts, and uncles, both Klingon and
Human. Sometimes, Seven was lucid and told her how much she loved her. She
started calling B'Elanna her warrior. If only Voyager were here.
"Captain, I am picking up a Federation signal… no,
two signals. They match the signatures of B'Elanna and Seven's com
badges." Harry exclaimed excitingly.
"B'Elanna." The voice was barely above a whisper.
"I'm here love." B'Elanna leaned close to Seven to
catch her voice that had grown weak. It took a lot of effort for her to
speak. Her periods of lucidness were fewer now. She brushed her hand over
Seven's cheek and lightly kissed the implant above her eye.
"Take the oath with me. Send me to Sto'vo'kor as your
"Oh, love. It will be an honor to be your be'nal. I love
you so much." B’Elanna said, her voice breaking,
Seven was able to move her right hand and sought out B'Elanna's.
Seven's voice was suddenly strong, "jIH dok."
B'Elanna answered back equally as strong with the words she had
recently learned from Seven, "maj dok." She leaned low and placed
her left cheek lightly against Seven's lips. Seven bit her, tasting her
blood. Seven turned her cheek and B'Elanna returned the bite and tasted her
blood. They were mates, here in life and after death.
Seven smiled and gazed long into the deep depths of B'Elanna's
eyes and seeing the love they held. She felt fortunate to have the love of
Hours passed and Seven fell into a coma, her breathing shallow.
B'Elanna prayed to every power she knew. Her be'nal was slipping away from
her and taking B'Elanna's breaking heart with her.
"Voyager to away team. Lieutenant Torres, Seven, do you
copy?" B'Elanna had taken her com badge off and frantically searched
for it. "This is Voyager to away team." She found it in the
backpack and quickly tapped the front.
"Voyager, this is B'Elanna. Two to beam up to sick bay,
this is an emergency."
Captain Janeway hurriedly exited the turbo lift and briskly
walked the few yards to Sick Bay. The first thing she saw when Sick Bay's
door opened, was an agitated B'Elanna Torres, frantically pacing and trying
to peer into the opaque force field around the surgery bay. The second thing
she noticed were the taunt face, dark circles under her red rimmed eyes and
disheveled appearance. "Lanna."
B'Elanna turned her head, saw her Captain, and flung herself
into Janeway's arms, sobbing. Janeway enfolded her in a hug, ignoring the
pungent smell of an unwashed body.
"Captain." was all B’Elanna could manage through
"Let's go over here to the Doctor's office."
"No. I'm not letting her out of my sight."
"You can sit facing the window. You need to sit. I will be
there with you."
B'Elanna allowed her Captain to lead her to the office, and to a
chair facing the surgery. Janeway ordered the computer to activate the
privacy shield so no one could see into the office or hear their
conversation. "B'Elanna what happened?"
B'Elanna took several shaky deep breaths and related the events
of Seven's injury and her attempt to help.
At the end of her story her eyes welled up in large tears, voice
shaky, "She...she fought for six days. She was weak from not
regenerating. I think her nanoprobes may have helped her survive this long.
If she dies, I...I just can't go on without her."
'This is not like B'Elanna to be this distraught, this fragile.
It wasn't as if she and Seven were best friends. Upset, yes. Angry? Yes, that
a crewmate was injured. But not this agony. What is going on?'
Janeway rubbed B'Elanna's shoulder comfortingly and said,
"I want you to use Sick Bay's sonic shower and put on some fresh
clothes. I'll replicate you something to eat. This will help with the strain
"No. It can wait until I know she's going to be
"You'll be just a few steps away and it will only take a
few minutes. If the Doctor has any news, I will let you know right away. You
don't want her to see you like this."
B'Elanna looked toward the surgery bay for long seconds and then
made her way quickly to the sonic shower.
Janeway watched B'Elanna go. She got up from her chair and
looked out of the bay window toward the surgery. Wrapping her arms around
herself, she sighed. 'I wish the Doctor would come out and give us a
status report. Seven. Don't give up. Fight. I just got you and B'Elanna back.
I couldn't bear it if ...' She used her will, forged from years of being
in control, to force down the 'If'.
B'Elanna quickly exited the sonic shower and tapped her code
into the replicator. Instead of her uniform, she picked a simple slip on
linen tunic. The tunic was off- white with a V-neck and long sleeves with a
simple pattern of green intertwined vines around the neck. She chose a muted
salmon pair of loose fitting linen pants and soft tan ankle boots. Dressing
quickly, she glanced in the mirror noticing her hair was in disarray.
"My comb." She exited quickly and looked toward where the Doctor
was tending Seven. She walked back to the office. Captain Janeway stood,
looking her over. "Captain, have we left orbit?"
"Not yet. I sent Tuvok with a security team to retrieve
weapons and any other items at the place where you were transported
"Could you please have him look in one of the environmental
suit gloves and bring me the comb that is in there? It’s very precious
"He is to report to me when he is back on the ship. I will
have him bring it right away."
"Thank you, Captain."
Janeway studied B'Elanna closely noticing a green and yellow
bruise, with a few places scabbing over, on her left cheek. "Let me go
and get a dermal regenerator and treat that injury on your cheek."
B'Elanna quickly raised her hand to cover the wound, a warning
growl in her voice, "NO. Don't touch it!"
Janeway, taken aback and shaken by the clearly stated warning in
B'Elanna's voice, said, "B'Elanna?"
"We have taken The Oath. She is my be'nal."
Janeway was stunned, momentarily silent, as she tried to make
sense of what B'Elanna just said.
"Be'nal? Wife? You're...married?"
"Yes, Captain. She is mine and I am hers. I love her with
all that I am… with all that I will ever be."
'Oh Boy. I didn't see this one coming.' Janeway
went to the replicator. "Computer, coffee. Black. Belay that order.
Whiskey. On the rocks."
For the next 40 minutes, Janeway sat rapt as she listened to
B'Elanna's rendition of events on the planet. Tuvok had retrieved B'Elanna's
comb and brought it to her. She showed it to Janeway, the pride shinning in
her eyes, that her be'nal had fashioned this for her. Several times during
the story, B'Elanna would stop and demand to know what was taking so long.
Janeway calmed her down by getting her back on the story. She had gotten B'Elanna
to drink a glass of milk and eat a few bites of a sandwich.
Finally, the privacy shield around the surgery bay flickered off
and the Doctor approached the office with a smug smile on his face. B'Elanna
ran past him and to the bio-bed, leaving behind an outraged and sputtering
"What is this? A blue light special at a Klingon tavern?
Captain, do something. I can't have my patient disturbed."
"I'll handle it Doctor. Tell me, is she going to be
His smug smile returned. "The Patient will make a full
recovery, thanks to my expertise in the Medical Field. She would have died in
another few hours. I had to remove a good amount of necrotic tissue from her
right shoulder, and I got her infection under control. I have applied bio-gel
packs to the wound, which we will remove in three days. I have also repaired
her Borg arm."
"What about regeneration? She is way over due."
"Actually, this may be a good time to get her off her
dependency for regeneration. Apparently, she was able to digest solids and
sleep, or the infection would have killed her much earlier. She is still
producing nanoprobes, just not at the same rate she would if she continued
regeneration. The present rate of her nanoprobe production will continue
without regeneration and be more than sufficient to maintain her Borg
implants and keep her healthy. She should be awakening in about twelve
"That's good to hear Doctor. I know she and B'Elanna will
be pleased. It would be hard to fit her alcove in their new quarters."
"You mean they're going to be roommates? That's like
putting the proverbial cat and proverbial dog in quarters together. All they
will do is fight. I have enough to do without having to treat contusions and
busted noses every other day."
Janeway tried unsuccessfully to prevent a smirk. "Oh, I
don't think you have to worry about that, unless they receive injuries on
those occasions when they break their bed. Hmm, which reminds me, I need to
request ships stores to put a queen sized bed in their new quarters. Maybe I
can get maintenance to reinforce it."
The Doctor felt his electronic matrix flutter and fizzle.
B'Elanna saw that her love's respiration was deep and even. She
checked her vital signs on the monitor over the bio- bed, and cried in
Seven tried to think of a way to evade the two Hirogen Hunters.
They had her trapped in Cargo Bay Two. She had no weapon, and no way out.
They advanced on her hiding place behind some containers. They flushed her
out and in trying to escape, she stumbled and fell. They loomed over her;
taking out long knifes to kill her. She heard a scream of rage and then the
two Hirogens turned and fell, dead, to the floor. She looked up and into the
eyes of a Klingon warrior, her hair waving and wild, a bat'leth in her hands.
She knelt and smiling at Seven said, "You're safe now be'nal. On my
honor I will always keep you safe."
"You're safe now. It's ok. You're on Voyager." She opened
her eyes, trying to focus. She knew that voice. The blurred outline of a face
with dark waving hair gradually came into focus: Her B'Elanna, her love. She
tried to speak but her mouth and throat were dry as if full of sand.
"Don't move love. Here, sip this, but not too fast." B'Elanna
placed the straw into her mouth and she drew in several small sips. Seven
stopped sipping and B'Elanna removed the straw. “I’ll give you
more if you want."
"B'Elanna." She felt her love take her left hand and
kiss her palm.
"Hey, you're going to be ok. The Doctor fixed you all up
and you'll be up and out of here in no time." She brushed the loose
strands of hair off Seven's forehead, looking into the bright pale blue eyes.
She leaned over and kissed Seven on her forehead. "I've missed you,
Be'nal. Wife. She then noticed the oval bruising on B'Elanna's
left cheek. She immediately freed her hand from B'Elanna's, brought it up to
her own left cheek, and felt a tender area. She then gently touched the bite
on B’Elanna’s cheek and gave one of her brilliant dazzling
smiles. "It is true. I thought it was a dream."
"It was a dream come true for me love. You do remember
taking the oath don't you?" B'Elanna's voice sounded worried.
"I do, be'nal. I requested you to take the oath with me. We
exchanged the ritual words and performed the ritual bite."
B'Elanna's whole face lit up with a dazzling smile of her own.
Before she could reply, the Doctor showed up and began running his diagnostic
tool over Seven.
"You look in good spirits. Must be the company you're
keeping. Everything looks ok. Are you experiencing any pain or
"No pain. However, I am experiencing mild discomfort in
that I cannot move my right arm and shoulder."
"Well, I'm afraid you'll just have to get used to it for
the next two days while the bio-gel packs regenerates your tissue. You had
quite an infection and I had to remove a good amount of necrotic tissue. It
appears that the claws, or teeth, of whatever attacked you had a substance
that destroyed the tissue around the injured area and accelerated the
B'Elanna, concern in her voice, inquired, "Does this
substance pose any further danger?"
"Not at all Lieutenant. Unlike venom, it does not travel
throughout the system, but only affects the surrounding area." He
continued to enter in information on his PADD. "I suggest while you are
here, you get plenty of rest and try to eat. I can make you a nutritional
milkshake if you like."
B'Elanna snickered at the decidedly distasteful frown on Seven's
"That particular nutritional item is no longer on my
menu." The Doctor looked slightly hurt by this comment.
B'Elanna interceded, "Doc, do you think chicken soup and a
glass of apple juice would be ok?"
"I don't see why not. Just nothing too spicy or rich; chocolate
cake, tamales', targ heart, blood pie. And under no circumstances, Neelix's
leola root stew."
B'Elanna glared at the Doctor and said, "I think I need to
make some adjustments to your sub-routine."
"No need. Let me be the first to congratulate you on your
"Thank you Doctor," both women replied in unison.
The Doctor departed and Seven looked at B'Elanna inquiringly,
"Chicken soup. I have not been introduced to that nutritional
"Believe me be'nal. You'll like it. It tastes like
B'Elanna commandeered one of the bio-beds and stayed in Sickbay
with her be'nal. The Doctor soon abandoned his demands that she leave when
she threatened to reset his matrix to perform medical routines only. She also
forbade him to give Seven a sponge bath, taking on this responsibility
herself. Seven told her this was her favorite part of the day, having
B'Elanna bathe her. The way she looked at B'Elanna when she said this made
the Klingon catch her breath and feel aroused. "Seven. Be nice."
"I am Borg. Nice is irrelevant."
"Well. It should be irrelevant then if I let the Doctor
take over this duty."
"I shall comply. For now." Seven then smirked and said
in a sultry voice, "However, I will not 'be nice' when I am released
This caused B'Elanna to do something very non-Klingon. Blush.
She quickly recovered and gave Seven the once over with a salacious leer on
her face. "Oh. I think you will. You'll be 'nice'. Very, very
‘nice‘." This caused her be'nal to blush.
Word spread quickly about B'Elanna and Seven's marriage. No one
saw it coming, except for Neelix. Who cleaned up on Tom's betting pool that
B'Elanna wouldn't be able to pair up with anyone on the ship, except maybe
for Vorik when his next Pon Farr was due. And that would only be due to
desperation on his part.
Neelix bet a whole year worth of replicator credits that
B'Elanna would find someone sooner than Tom thought. Neelix was an astute
observer of the actions of others. Being cook and working in the mess hall
gave him plenty of information on the personalities of others; who they
liked, who they didn't, and gossip picked up on everybody from the lower
decks right up to the Captain herself.
Ever since Seven came on board, he observed that B'Elanna always
followed the Borg with her eyes when both happened to be in the Mess Hall
together. She also would talk a lot about the Borg. Granted that it was in a
negative way, but he was well versed in humanoid behaviors. What was said was
not always what was meant. He also looked up Klingon mating behavior in the
Data Base. Antagonism often meant interest. B'Elanna felt an attraction to
Seven and was in denial. The more she bitched the more he was sure she was
attracted to her. When he heard that Seven would enter B'Elanna's domain and
initiate certain unauthorized routines that would provoke the Klingon, he was
sure that Seven had an interest in B'Elanna. It would be just a matter of
time before the two figured it out.
Neelix was now a very rich man and Tom had to borrow replicator
credits from Harry just to get a bowl of tomato soup. Tom hoped that no one
told B'Elanna about the betting pool, or, for that matter, Seven of Nine.
Assimilation did not appeal to him.
Unfortunately, for Tom, B'Elanna did hear about the pool. When
the doctor declared that Seven could have visitors, there was a beeline to
Sick Bay. Janeway and Naomi made it at least two times a day. Even Tuvok
dropped by for a visit.
It was Tom's best buddy, Harry, who spilled the beans, by saying
no one saw this coming and now Neelix was a very rich man. He realized
immediately that he had said the wrong thing. However, resistance was futile,
when both women started figuratively working him over. B'Elanna wanted to
smash Tom's nose, but Seven talked her out of it. She didn't want to spend
her honeymoon alone while B'Elanna was in the Brig. B'Elanna agreed but
stated she would exact revenge one day on "Mr. Thomas Eugene
"Well, love, Doc is scheduled to release you in a little
bit when he gets through treating half the crew for eating Neelix's latest
creation. Is there anything you want to do when you leave here? You know, we
have two weeks off and have to find a way to spend them." B'Elanna tried
to look serious.
"You are being facetious."
"Wait, I have a great idea. Why don't we go to our new
quarters and make sure everything works. There are always adjustments that
you need to do to the replicator or the sonic shower. Not to mention
rearranging the furniture and decorating the walls. Then we can get with the
Captain and plan our Starfleet wedding."
"Acceptable. Will we perform these tasks before or
B'Elanna's teasing look was placed by a puzzled one. "You
lost me, love, before or after what?"
"Before or after we spend our two weeks of leave indulging
in non-reproductive copulation."
B'Elanna chuckled. "It's called 'Making Love'. Whichever
you prefer, love."
"A thought just occurred to me. Two weeks will not give us
sufficient time to perform these tasks. We should schedule them to a time when
they can be adequately performed."
B'Elanna smiled and bent down and placed a long deep kiss on her
"Uhhm, I agree, be'nal. It may take considerable time to do
these tasks. Time we could spend in more pleasurable pursuits."
Seven smiled at her spouse. "There is one task we can
perform while we 'Make Love'."
"And that would be?"
"Discover if we can indeed 'break the bed'."
B'Elanna laughed and placed another kiss on willing lips.
"That I can guarantee be'nal."