AUTHOR'S NOTE: In the disclaimer I said that if you loved Janeway then you might want to give this story a miss. In this chapter, you will see only a part of why I said that. Trust me; it will be worse, much worse, later on.

Alternate Choices
By H.W.

Chapter 19

Two days later.

"So they are starting their journey back tomorrow?" Harry asked.

"That's what Seven told the Doctor yesterday," B'Elanna agreed. "They stuck around for the inauguration of the new Intendant and today is some party, and tomorrow they start the trip back."

"Hey, I really like what you did in here," Tom said while he came back from the kitchen area. They were on their break and after Harry and Tom had heard B'Elanna and Annika talk about the new look of the quarters, they had begged the two women to take their break there so that they could check it out. "Now that you got rid of the second bedroom to put the kitchen in, where are you going to sleep, Annika?"

"In the other bedroom of course. B'Elanna and I are sharing a room now, and we decided that we like it. So we decided to continue that here."

"Ah, yeah that makes sense," Tom merely said, surprising B'Elanna.

"What, Tom?" The Klingon asked. "No cheap jokes about two women sharing a room, or about you coming over to visit?"

"Neh," Tom said with a smile, "I'm not stupid enough to make those kinds of jokes with the boss around. I can still torture you when Annika isn't there."

"Why?" Annika asked slightly surprised. She had heard B'Elanna talk about some of Tom's jokes, and how the pilot knew how to always only just stay under the line, never quite crossing it. But Annika had never heard one of those jokes directed at her and she wondered why not. "I'm not your captain, and once we are out of here, I will be just one of the crew."

Tom nodded his head in agreement. "True. But right now you are the boss here, the Captain might have a big problem with that, I don't. So right now, you simply are the boss for me." Tom gave her a grin. "What happens once you are just one of the crew, we will see when that moment comes."

"Thank you," Annika said. "Except for your Captain, all of you have accepted me with so much ease. Faster than I ever saw before."

"Yeah, well we are just all a bunch of nice folks," B'Elanna interrupted. "Come on you all. We are supposed to be here for lunch. So let's beat it to the replicator."

"Actually, it would be a shame not to use such a nice kitchen," Annika said. "How about I make us a little something?"

"Sure," The others said as one.

Annika stood up and moved to the kitchen. The others looked at each other for a moment before B'Elanna mumbled, "This I got to see," and got up to move to the kitchen as well.

Tom and Harry looked at each other for a moment before they both started to grin and also got up to move to the kitchen.

"So we got three days before we must be able to leave?" Harry asked.

"Right," B'Elanna agreed.

"Is there any work left that we can do in those three days to make it look like we are busy?" Harry asked again.

"Well, we still have those cables," B'Elanna said. "After all, we left that for the moment because we were becoming too close to completing that."

Annika replicated some ingredients and started mixing them in a bowl before continuing where B'Elanna had left off. "The rest of the crew is basically busy with the finishing touches. Heck, even the refurnishing of the crew quarters and the hallways is almost done."

"What's that?" B'Elanna asked, taking a greenish little ball out of the bowl and popping it into her mouth, "Mmhmm."

"Those are Jet'Ik testicles." Annika couldn't hold her straight face when she saw how B'Elanna stopped mid chew. "Don't worry," She said with a smile, "that's Jet'Ik cheese."

"Very funny," B'Elanna said while trying to take another cheese ball, only to get her hand slapped away.

"You will ruin your appetite."

"I thought you knew I have a healthy appetite," B'Elanna said, her joke fully understood by Annika, but totally going over Tom and Harry's head.

"So anyway," Harry said to get the conversation back to the point where he wanted it, "I was thinking. Since there is not really that much left to do, maybe we could remodel the bridge a little. I brought this up some years ago, but then the Captain said then that we couldn't spare the power that was needed to replicate parts, and more importantly, she didn't want to put the bridge out of commission for a couple of days. Since we have a few days to spare, and energy is not a problem now, how about we finally replace the standing stations with ones we can sit at?"

"Why? You tired of standing all the time?" Tom asked.

"Well, I just find it kinda stupid if you think about it." Harry pushed on. "On a quiet day, we have to stand eight hours doing absolutely nothing but looking on the console to see if everything is how it's supposed to be. But as soon as something happens, we are really vulnerable. Besides having to try and do our job, we also have to try and keep standing. I lost count of how many times I've been kissing the floor because Voyager got shook up again."

"But that saved your life when the Klingons attacked us," B'Elanna interjected, "That panel would have exploded right in your face if you had been sitting and therefore hadn't been thrown to the floor."

"Yeah, well, now that you happen to bring that up," Harry said with a grin. "If you ask me, it is also really stupid that those panels are made of simple translucent aluminum. If we did put new consoles on the bridge, we could put in epoxy-alloy-duranium panels."

They all looked at each other for a moment.

"Now, that sounds interesting," Tom finally said, giving the impression as if he was licking his lips. "That stuff is so strong that it would never explode, Voyager would almost have to get totally destroyed before that stuff breaks."

"Um, am I the only one who remembers how expensive that stuff is?" B'Elanna said, bringing the two men back to the ground a little. "Just one panel would cost about sixteen bars of gold pressed Latinum. That is the very reason why the stuff is only used inside the warp core. Heck, the stuff can't even be produced with the replicators."

Tom grinned and reached over to clap B'Elanna on the shoulder. "Ah, but what are the Klingons going to do? Send us a bill for it? This is supposed to be the Intendant's ship after all. It will be expected of us to put the best of the best in. This might also be just the thing we need to have Janeway agree to have her precious bridge remodeled."

"Yeah," Harry agreed. Then he decided to sweeten the deal a little for the Klingon. "Come on, B'Elanna. We could also replace some of the panels in Engineering. With those, we wouldn't have to replace the whole console, just the protective touch-sensitive cover on top of them."

"It's that easy?" Tom asked. While he had engineering knowledge, it was no where near the knowledge of the others sitting around the kitchen counter. Even when creating the Delta Flyer, Tom had thought up the 'look' of everything, Harry had turned Tom's ideas into workable schematics, and B'Elanna had supervised the building of the Flyer. Sure, Tom had put a lot of time into helping build it, but he had always installed fully finished components.

"Yeah, it's that easy," B'Elanna agreed, "all the real parts of a console are beneath the protective cover. The cover is really nothing else than one big touch-sensitive plate that covers the whole thing. Why do you think there are no real buttons on a console? They are all under the transparent cover." B'Elanna gave him a grin. "Be glad, otherwise you would have to learn Klingon if we were to do as Harry suggests. Somehow I don't think that the Klingons have panels with Federation language on it."

"Alright, I think I get that," Tom said, "we aren't really talking about the full consoles, we are talking about the cover that goes over it. That is normally made of translucent aluminum. When, if, when we make new consoles and renovate the bridge, we can make everything out of Federation material, except for the epoxy-alloy-duranium. But then, we wouldn't notice that because the stuff is fully translucent."

"Right," Harry agreed, "and we could then make the sides of the consoles out of duranium. That way we can lead possible explosions safely away from the people sitting at the console."

"We could also order some extra panels of the stuff then and put it in storage. Who know what we could use it for somewhere down the line." Tom offered.

"Well, it really isn't for me to decide," B'Elanna relented, "you should ask the boss."

"So, boss," Harry asked dutifully while looking at Annika, "any chance of us using those days to remodel the bridge?"

"Well, I don't know if we have the time for it," Annika said, giving B'Elanna only a ghost of a wink to let her know that she was tweaking the poor man. "I don't really know how long it would take to do that remolding. You better ask my second in command."

"Hey, B'Elanna, come on, what do you think?" Harry prompted the Klingon again.

"I don't know, I guess it could be done, if we have enough people for the job. Better ask the boss if we have enough people for it." B'Elanna replied while returning the ghostly wink.

"Annika?" Harry merely asked this time.

"Well, I guess we could spare about twenty people for the job. I just don't know if we have twenty people with engineering knowledge that we could spare. You have to ask my second in command that."


"I think we could. But you better ask my boss if it is okay to pull those people off the work they are doing now."

"Annika? No wait." Harry interrupted himself. He had finally caught onto the game. "Hey you two, what do you two think, could we do this?"

"Aww, Harry you're no fun," B'Elanna said before looking at Annika for a moment.

"Sure," Annika relented, "I will put the order in as soon as lunch is over. If we really get the stuff, then you get your new consoles." Annika put what ever it was she had created into four smaller bowls and put one in front of all of them. "Here eat up."

"What is this?" B'Elanna asked while peering at the mixed creation.

"Food," Annika deadpanned.

"That I figured. What I mean is what is it called?"

"Food," Annika said once again before giving the Klingon a smile. "I have no idea. I never named my food, I just ate it."

B'Elanna returned the smile with a grin of her own before tasting the concoction. "Hey, this is great."

"Thank you."

After B'Elanna had first tried the green/yellowish creation, Tom and Harry tried it as well. Finding that they had to agree with the Klingon; it truly was great.

Half an hour later Tom and Harry were standing in front of the door of the two women's quarters, having left after thanking Annika for the food.

"So?" Tom asked with a smile, nodding his head in the direction of the door of the quarters with the two women still inside.

"Oh, alright, you win," Harry relented.

"Told you; you can see the sparks flying between them if they aren't 'on duty.'"

"Yeah." Harry agreed when they started to walk down the corridor. "You know, Annika could teach Janeway a thing or two about throwing a switch."

Tom nodded his head in agreement. "Yeah, while at work she is always nice... as long as you do the things she tells you to do. But there is no mistaking it; no doubt that she is the one that is in absolute charge. But if you see her in private, there is nothing that would indicate that she can muster up the command presence to outshine Janeway."

"I can see why B'Elanna likes her so much," Harry said with a sigh that made Tom laugh.

"Poor Harry. Falling for the unreachable woman again?" Tom asked. "Thought that if you didn't have a chance with Seven, you could have a chance with her counterpart?"

"Yeah, something like that," Harry agreed.

Tom put an arm around his shoulder. "Well, too bad, she is spoken for."

"Yeah, I can see that. B'Elanna is one lucky woman." Harry smiled at his friend. "At least we got a standing dinner invitation out of it for once we are out of here."

"True," Tom agreed, "I sure won't mind sampling her cooking once a week."

"We still don't know what was in that salad," Harry said, but he couldn't agree more about being glad that they could come over for dinner one a week.

"Somehow I don't think you really want to know," Tom said while they stepped into the turbolift.

"What do you mean?"

"Harry, think about it. She learned how to cook living as a slave. You have seen the rather limited choice there is in the prison replicators, and we are placed in a very nice prison. Somehow I don't think that slaves in mines and such have the choices that we have. They are considered animals, remember? I think that we would consider most of the food they normally get nothing more than garbage."

"Oh," Harry said, understanding what Tom meant. A moment later, his whole face lit up. "Hey, think about it. If she can put a salad like that together with only the most basic on stuff, just imagine what she can do if she starts experimenting with everything Voyager has in its database."

"Oeh, yeah," Tom agreed, "Fridays are going to be fun."

When they had left the turbolift and reached their destination, Tom nodded his head in the direction of one of the people working there before whispering to Harry. "You do realize that Jennifer is still interested in you?"

"What? Oh, come on, Tom. I told you, she is..."

"The wrong sister," Tom continued, "I know. And if you ask me, you are just being stupid. Jennifer is the one that loves classical music and stuff. She would love to just sit and listen to you playing your clarinet all the time while it would drive Megan up the wall."

"She is?" Harry asked surprised.

"Sure. She is also the more scientific of the two. She would actually want to hear how your day was, what kind of problems you had. She would actually understand what you are talking about. While Megan is more into the stars and reading their meaning."

"How do you know this?" Harry asked suspiciously.

"You seem to forget that I dated them both for a while."

"You did?" Harry asked, his eyes getting slightly bigger.

"At different times, you dope. And then they called me a dog."

"Sorry," Harry said slightly sheepishly.

"Anyway, I'm kinda back together with Megan. And both of us kinda want to make it work."

"Ah, now I get it. You need someone to distract Jennifer. So that you and Megan can romp around without Megan feeling guilty for her sister sitting home alone and having nobody to talk to."

"Yeah, something like that," Tom agreed. "Anyway, Jennifer is here, you are here. There are things here that need to get fixed, go say hi."

With his last word, Tom gave Harry a not so subtle push towards Jennifer.

"You owe me for this, Paris," Harry hissed.

"Yeah, yeah, how about I forget that you just lost a bet? And Harry, be nice to her. She really likes you."

Harry had reached Jennifer's side by that time and couldn't reply without being heard by the woman. Instead he decided to talk to her and not Tom. He kneeled down beside the sitting woman who was focusing surprisingly much of her attention, namely all of it, on just looking at the console couplings in front of her. Once he was sitting properly to his liking, Harry finally spoke up. "Hi."

"Hi," came back the shy reply.

"So, um," Harry started, thinking of what to say, "I'm out of stuff to do for today, so, um, you, you know, you want some help over here?"

"Sure, I would love some help," Jennifer said softly with a smile.

They were quiet for a moment before Jennifer spoke up again. "So... um, you still play your clarinet?" She was clearly desperate for something to talk about.

"Yeah, I like playing it a little after a day's work, you know?"

"Yeah, it's kinda relaxing," Jennifer agreed. "I myself like spending some time just listening to the old masters, you know? Of course, it drives Megan wild."

"Wait a minute," Harry said, putting two and two together. "Did Megan tell you to be nice to me? That I'm interested in you?"

"NO!" Jennifer said a little too loud, before sighing and adding a much softer, "Yeah."

"Tom told me the same about you, about how he and Megan were kinda together again and how they felt sorry for Megan not being able to spend all her time with you because of it."

"Megan told me the same thing, about how Tom could now spend less time with his friend now, with you."

Harry stood up and looked around for Tom, seeing him standing across Engineering talking to Megan of all people. "PARIS!!! You are so dead," He shouted, only to see Tom and Megan quickly disappear out of Engineering.

"They set us up," Jennifer concluded once Harry sat down again.

"Yeah, they sure did," Harry agreed.

"Um, well, since we know their plan now, there is really no reason for you to stay here," Jennifer said in a soft voice, once again focusing her full attention on the couplings in front of her, without touching a single one of them.

"I guess not," Harry agreed. After a minute or so of silence, Harry decided to, for once, do the smart thing. "So, you really like listening to the old masters?"

Jennifer looked at him for a moment before giving him a broad smile. "Yeah, Johnson and Smith are my favorite. I just love their sixteenth. It is just so different from the other classical music for the twenty-first century."

"Yeah, I know what you are talking about," Harry agreed. "You know that they were the first to introduce the Vulcan Tarch into earth music?"

"Yeah," Jennifer agreed. "But they did it in such a beautiful way that it just seemed as if the instrument was made to be used in their twenty-fifth."

"You know, I have a data crystal with their combined works on it. It was a gift from my mother. You can borrow it any time you want," Harry offered.

"No, I couldn't do that," Jennifer said seriously. "If it was a gift from your mother, I would be scared I would break it. Thank you for offering though."

"Well, um, once we are out of here, you, uh, could of course, um, you know, come by my place and listen to it," Harry offered shyly.

Jennifer gave him one of the sweetest smiles he had ever seen before speaking in a very soft voice. "I think I would like that."

'Okay,' Harry thought, 'maybe I don't have to kill Tom after all.'

"I'll kill them. I will fucking kill the bastards," Torres roared. "I will break their fucking spineless necks. I will rip their heads off one by one and spit down their necks. I will rip their fingers and toes off one by one, after first ripping their nails out. I'll carve them into pieces with a dull knife. I will kill them, I will fucking kill them. They are going to die, die, die!"

"Who are we killing now?" Seven asked, having long since gotten accustomed to her mistress blowing a fuse every day or two. She knew that it normally didn't last long and also knew that she didn't have to worry about it. Not even the three times that such an explosion had been directed at her had Seven really felt worried about it. Seven knew, if the Intendant used the word 'kill' in her tirade, it was not directed at her. Torres never threatened her, not even that time Seven had pissed her off so much that Torres had started breaking the furniture. When the anger was directed at Seven, all that she needed to do was take the angry woman into an embrace and tell her she loved her. It always worked and calmed the Klingon down in mere seconds.

"I'm going to kill your friends and that bitch I put in charge of them."

"Somehow I do not like it when you call a woman that is basically me, a bitch," Seven said, pointing out, but not accusing.

Torres looked at the blonde for a moment before nodding her head. "Sorry, you are right, I apologize. But that will not stop me from killing them."

"Somehow I also do not think that you will actually do that. Otherwise you would not be talking about it now, but already be giving the orders to have it done."

"You are taking all the fun out of a good healthy tantrum," Torres growled.

"Forgive me mistress," Seven said while coming closer. "I promise you that I will fully make it up to you tonight. It is time I experienced what makeup sex is like."

Torres grinned at her pet. "Ah, in that case, I threw a tantrum too early. The whole point of makeup sex is that you end the fight with it."

"Do not worry, mistress. If you want, I can 'piss you off' later."

Torres closed the last bit of space between them and caressed the blonde's cheek. "Neh, my pet. I never want to go to bed with you while being angry at you. I would much rather have you tease me again till the point where I take what I want."

"Yes, I liked that," Seven agreed. "Now, what did they do to enrage you like this mistress?"

"Read that," Torres said, pointing to a padd that she had thrown on the floor at the beginning of her rage attack.

Seven bent down and took the padd. A mere moment later, her eyebrow started to wander higher and higher. "This is a bill, waiting for your approval. The master slave of the 'Intendant ship renovation' project has requested epoxy-alloy-duranium panels with a combined value of... sixty-six million credits. Now I understand why you would want to kill them."

"I can build an entire ship for that."

"It would be a small ship," Seven pointed out.

"You are forgetting that we use slaves, my pet," Torres growled. "Twice that amount will buy you a basic model of a FUCKING BIRD OF PREY."

"Please mistress, calm down," Seven pleaded.

"They have crossed the line with this, Seven. I can understand the industrial replicator; I can understand the cloak generator. But epoxy-alloy-duranium panels? What are they doing? It would be actually cheaper to spray-paint the ship with a layer of Latinum."

"Mistress, I think that they do not know that you are not mentioning this anywhere. They assume that this is a project that will fall under just one of the many bills that are made while maintaining the Klingon ships. After all, it is not more than logical that on a ship for the Intendant only the best of the best is used."

"Yeah, well I don't care that they think. I'm the one who will have to put up the credits for this. Unlike Kira did, none of the Klingon national income goes into my pocket. So I have the choice, either I make the ship an official project and have it paid for by the Klingon treasury, which I can't really do since they will 'escape' soon. Or I have to pay for it myself."

"Mistress, this is not an amount that you will miss."

"Damn it, Seven. If I just throw all my credits away, I sure will start missing credits soon. I can't agree to this, I just can't."

"And what if I give you something in return?"

"Seven, I'll be damned before I will let you work off what they do. I can't believe that you even offered something like that. I thought we moved past you being with me because you have to."

"We have," Seven agreed. "What I meant was that, I can use my knowledge to enhance or improve something to your liking which will mean that the Torres holdings will make more profit and therefore you will earn the credits back."

"Ah, right. Sorry about that. So, you would improve something to my liking, huh?"

"If I can, yes."

Torres thought about that for a moment. She trusted the blonde enough to be sure that she would deliver on her promise. That changed things. That changed things from Torres just losing the credits to her putting up the credits to earn more in the long run, kind of a business loan. "Alright, they will get their panels, and I will think of something you can do to let me earn it back. But I must say that you are really sure of yourself. Assuming that you can enhance what we have. Klingon scientists aren't stupid you know?"

"Of course not," Seven agreed, "However, I have come to understand that what ever is invented, has more than likely already been invented somewhere else in the universe, and more than likely, there also already exists a better version of it somewhere in the universe. I have the combined knowledge of thousands of races at my disposal. It is therefore more than likely that I will know how to enhance something that the Klingons invented. This is how I was planning to 'make a living' once Voyager reached the Federation."

"You think that this Federation would accept you enhancing things with knowledge that isn't really yours?"

"I am certain of it. If, for instance, I could offer them a simple but effective way of enhancing the output of all engines by 2.5 percent, like I did on Voyager, they will eagerly take that offer, and not care the slightest that my knowledge of this enhancement comes from species 3978."

"In that case, the Federation your friends love so much is the biggest bunch of hypocrites I have ever heard of."

"Mistress?" Seven merely asked.

"Here they go on and on about their Prime Directive, about other races not being allowed to get their hands on Federation technology. Yet at the same time, they are more than happy to use the technology of other races that never offered them that technology freely. If they are so concerned about technology being used wrong, they themselves should also not use technology they didn't invent until the point where they themselves invent that technology."

"I see your point," Seven had to agree. "Maybe they feel that they will not misuse technology like others could misuse Federation technology."

"Yet they needed the Vulcans to hold them back in your universe. Here they weren't held back and they happily used all their knowledge to enslave billions of people."

"You should not judge the Federation in our universe because of how humans behaved themselves in your universe. I agree that it was in the humans' advantage that the Vulcans held them back from exploring space in the beginning, but humans did change because of it and because of it the Federation as a whole is more honorable than the Sol Empire was here. True, there will always be individuals that are different than the rest, but the majority of people do respect the individuality and sovereignty of individual races."

"That may be but...," Torres interrupted herself and gave Seven a grin, "How do you do it?"


"How do you always manage to pull me into a conversation that makes me forget all about the thing that pissed me off and started that very conversation?"

"I am merely very talented, mistress."

Torres laughed at that. "That you are, that you are. Alright, as I said, they get their panels, but this is really the last thing."

"I think it is," Seven agreed. "Voyager has been longer at a star base now than it has ever been since being lost in the Delta Quadrant. Add to this that none of the crew is enjoying shore-leave like they normally do on a star base, and that they are working twelve hours every day, I think that they are running out of things to do. The sudden request of epoxy-alloy-duranium panels indicates to me that they are going to remodel a certain part of the ship. And they would not do that if they had not already repaired or enhanced all they can."

"Ah, good thing that we are going back today. When we are back in three days, you can download all you need from that computer and they can finally get away and out of my hair."

"Indeed," Seven merely said, not saying that the Voyager crew still fully expected her to come with them.

Four days later.

Seven felt weird being on Voyager again. So much had happened since she was forced to leave Voyager three weeks before, since she became the Intendant's...

'The Intendant's what?' Seven wondered. 'Just what was she? A possession? A lover? A friend? An advisor?' All of it was true, officially she was the Intendant's possession, even though she and Torres agreed that this wasn't truly the case, it still was so according to the law. She certainly was a lover. But she was also more.

True, things had started out with it just being about sex, and they still had plenty of it. Torres was a woman with a Klingon libido after all. And Seven had to admit that she liked it just as much as Torres did. Except for early in the morning, Seven was always in the mood, and she started sexual contact just as often as Torres did.

But she knew that she had also become Torres' friend, and a confidant. Torres told her things she had told nobody before. Seven had certainly become Torres' advisor. There almost wasn't a single thing that Torres did without talking about it first with Seven. Getting her view, and then Torres made her own decision on all information, including Seven's point of view.

"You thinking again?" Torres asked.

"Yes," Seven said after a moment. "I was just asking myself just what I was. Your possession, your lover, your friend, your advisor."

"I'm not going into the possession part because I know that you are talking about the law with that, after all we talked about that the day before yesterday, so instead I'm going to ask you; so, what are you?"

"My conclusion is that I am simply yours."

"Mine huh?" Torres repeated with a grin.

"Yours. Completely," Seven agreed. "I love you."

"And I like to hear you say that."

"Which is convenient since I like to say it."

"Alright, enough of the mushy stuff," Torres said with a growl but patting the blonde softly on her rear at the same time. "Where are we supposed to go on this bathtub?"

"I think that workroom 2 will be best suited for this. It has a replicator, and an access point for the main computer."

"Isn't that one of those rooms you showed me that Engineering uses if they have to build stuff?"

"Indeed it is," Seven agreed, "Which means that we have to go to Engineering."

"Well, then let's get moving," Torres said while moving out of the transporter room. As soon as they left the room, the four guards that had beamed over first and had been waiting outside of the room formed the armed square that Seven was so accustomed to by that point.

It wasn't long before they came across the first Voyager crew members. Torres had told Seven that she would be damned before she waited for some slaves to be moved off the ship. Seven herself assumed that Torres simply didn't feel like bothering. Torres knew that she would be absolutely safe with the four armed guards. After all, what could the Voyager crew do? Kidnap Torres? Kill her? No, Torres knew that she was just as safe on Voyager as she was on her own ship.

Ensigns Harper and Sharr were smart enough to leave the roll of carpeting for what it was and move out of the way of the small group of armed people.

A few minutes later they walked into Engineering and after having taken a quick look around, Torres gave two of the guards a small sign letting them know that they had to guard the door from the corridor side while the other two guards took position on the inside.

"Oeh, look who we have there," Torres said, pointing to one of the consoles where Annika and B'Elanna were working.

Annika was the first to see Torres and Seven coming in their direction and she nudged B'Elanna to get her attention.

"So, are these the epoxy-alloy-duranium panels that almost got you all killed?"

"Intendant?" Annika asked while straightening up, standing as much at attention as she could.

"That stuff cost me sixty-six million credits," Torres said while grabbing Annika by the front of her shirt and pulling her closer. "I had to fucking pay for that myself. If it wasn't for my pet, you'd be all dead now."

B'Elanna was about to intervene when she felt Seven's hand on her shoulder. "Do not intervene, B'Elanna, or else the guards might react."

"Just what in all levels of condemnation gave you the idea to do that?" Torres asked, not caring the slightest about what was going on at her side.

"Intendant, I..."

"You fucking crossed the line, slave," Torres pulled Annika even closer until little more than a hand width was between them. Torres growled before speaking so soft that only Annika could hear her. "If it wasn't for the fact that I'm letting you all go, I would cut you in pieces; one for every credit you cost me. You hear me, bitch?"

"Yes, Intendant," Annika said, all of her confidence gone. For all of her life, they had been taught to fear the masters. And now she had the highest of the masters mad at her.

"Now, I know that you yourself would never come up with such a crazy idea. You got one chance. You tell me whose idea this was and you're off the hook. But if you don't tell me... Well, I don't really have to tell YOU what I do with people that defy me. Tell me, or else."

Annika's whole body was stricken with panic and she felt herself starting to shake. If there was one thing she didn't want, it was to undergo one of the Intendant's infamous interrogation sessions. Annika knew, all she had to do to prevent that from happening was to mention one name, any name. Harry had been the one to suggest it, Tom had helped to convince her, B'Elanna had agreed. She knew, just one name was all that it took. She closed her eyes and resigned herself to the ultimate faith. "Intendant, it was solely my decision. Nobody came up with the idea but me."

"You... are... lying... to... me..." Suddenly, Torres let go of Annika and slapped her firmly on the shoulder. "Good. A good leader never shifts the blame to the lowers, not even if it was the fault of those lowers. Follow me."

Knowing that her order would be followed, Torres started to walk out of Engineering and a few moments later, the four of them walked into workroom 2. This time Torres gave all four guards the order to wait outside.

"Alright, my pet, feel free to begin. You two listen up, my pet and I reached a deal. Part of the deal is that this ship, and everyone on it, will succeed in 'escaping.' My pet will take care of the how and what. She will let you know when you need to be ready."

"Why? What deal?" B'Elanna asked.

"That is between my pet and me," Torres merely said. "Just be advised, this deal is only until you have 'escaped.' Once you are out of here you are solely on your own, and you will be seen as escaped slaves. So, master slave, you might do well to advise morons like that Janeway person that acting high and mighty here will only get them all killed or captured. You will be one ship, one ship in a Coalition where every Coalition member has more than enough ships to destroy you all a thousand times over. The crew of this ship will have to choose what they do. They can't use the wormhole that brought them here; it is much too unstable."

"She is right," Seven interjected to make B'Elanna and Annika know that the Intendant was speaking the truth. "The Klingons monitor the wormhole and I checked the information before coming here. In the first two weeks since we have arrived the wormhole has become unstable four times, but since then it has become very active and has become unstable four hundred and thirty-six times. It is too much of a risk."

"Thank you for pointing that out, my pet, I'm sure they wouldn't have believed me if only I had told them," Torres said amused. "Now you two, as I said, you have to decide what you do once you are out of here. But... if you manage to stay alive for... let's say two years, and you are still inside Coalition space, then you can contact me and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to get you home then, and with home I mean to your universe, and to a star base you call DS9."

Torres saw how the head of her slave shoot up when hearing what she had just said. "A little early birthday present, my pet."

"Thank you," Seven could only whisper. She had never expected the Intendant to do something like this. In one of their conversations, it had come up that Seven's birthday was in two weeks and all Torres has said was, 'Ah, interesting.'

"You can bring us home? Why do we have to wait two years?" B'Elanna asked.

"Because," Was all Torres said.

"There is a reason, B'Elanna," Seven said when she noticed that Torres was not going to explain her reasoning. Seven could certainly understand why. Not even she felt like going into a lengthy explanation about Coalition politics.

"What are you doing?" B'Elanna asked when she saw that Seven was building 'something.'

"I am creating a data storage device," Seven replied simply.

"I can see that, I'm just wondering why?"

"That," Torres interrupted, "does not concern you. And now that you are updated, scram, get out of here. My pet will be in touch with you through the computer unit your Doctor has. Make sure that you stick to the plan, do the things she tells you to. It would be a waste if you got killed for no reason. Now move."

B'Elanna looked at Seven for a moment before she and Annika moved out of the room.

"You really enjoy being tough on them, do you not?"

"My pet, considering the fact that I'm the Klingon Intendant and they are slaves, I think I'm actually extremely lenient on them."

Seven stopped working for a moment to think about that and then nodded her head. "You are right, of course."

Torres grinned and came a little closer. "Of course, I'm always right. So, how it is coming?"

"The device is..." Seven connected a last plug. "...Ready."

Fifteen minutes later they left the room, a data storage device full of information securely held in Seven's hand.

"Now, how did I know she was going to show up here?" Torres asked, not sure if the should curse or chuckle.

Seven looked over at Janeway, who had suddenly appeared in Engineering and saw her looking back. It was clear that Janeway was dying to talk to her.

"Alright." Torres said, "Normally I would not even think about doing this, but, you go talk to that moron and tell her to not intervene. Maybe she will listen to you."


"My pet, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that people who are in charge always want to do things their way. It wouldn't be too smart if that woman would try something at the same time that you are trying to help your friends."

"I see, thank you mistress."

"Oh, my dear, don't thank me. You are the one who has to talk to her, not me. You go over there, I want to see you. I don't trust that woman."

"Yes mistress."

Seven walked to the part of Engineering that Torres had indicated and not more than ten seconds later, Janeway had joined her.



"How are you doing?" Janeway asked.

"I am fine Captain, thank you for asking. Captain, I must inform you, when Voyager escapes, you must make sure that there is no loss of life. The Klingons might not bother with trying to track down escaped slaves, but they will hunt Voyager down if Klingons are killed during the escape."

"B'Elanna and Annika pointed that out to me already. Well, since we want to get out of here that is what we will be concentrating on. Talking about getting out of here. Seven, I'm afraid that we will need your help on that."

"I know. I am working on something and once I have more information, I will let B'Elanna know."

"You can let me know just as easy," Janeway pointed out.

"Unfortunately my mistress does not like you Captain. Therefore she will not allow me to talk to you."

"You shouldn't call her that."

"My mistress?" Seven asked confused. "But she is."

"Damn it Seven, no matter what these people say, we are not their slaves."

"They might disagree with that," Seven said, knowing that it was certainly not the time to point out to Janeway that she liked being Torres'.

"Anyway," Janeway said focusing on the issue at hand. "We need your help, Seven. We are either here on the ship or in some prison, we can't get to the information we need. We need to know where they keep the Dilithium crystals that came from Voyager."

"I am aware of that fact," Seven merely said.

"Right. We also need you to see what kind of information you can get out of the Intendant. If we get out of here, we need all the information we can get."

"As far as I know, Annika Hansen downloaded a lot of information into the main computer core," Seven pointed out.

"I'm sure she did," Janeway said bitterly. "Then again I wouldn't know since I can't access the computer." Janeway shook her head slightly before going on. "Anyway, the information we need won't be in information she could download. We will need information about troops and ships. We need to know in which direction we should go after escaping to make sure that we won't run into Klingons within a day."

"How would I be able to get information like that?" Seven asked, having a feeling that she knew what Janeway was getting at but not wanting to believe it. "I am a slave after all. It is not that likely that the Intendant would tell a slave information about troops and ships."

"Damn it Seven, I told you, you aren't a slave. And as to how you can get information, well... It is well based in history that powerful people tell their secrets to the people who share their beds at night."

"Are you telling me that I should sleep with the Intendant to get information?" Seven asked, wondering at what time in the Delta Quadrant Janeway had changed into the person who was now standing in front of her. If Janeway had acted like this when Seven had come to stay onboard Voyager, Seven would have left and gone back to the Borg within one week.

"I'm telling you that you should do what ever it takes. Seven, you have to have sex with her now, you might as well pretend that you enjoy it and at least get some information out of it."

"You have a flaw in your theory," Seven stated in her cold Borg voice.


"The Intendant never forces me to have sex."

"Then you use your charms to seduce her," Janeway countered, misunderstanding Seven's words.

"Borg do not have charms," Seven said even colder than before, if that possible. "If you excuse me, my mistress is waiting for me."

"Seven, I told you, she isn't your mistress."

"You are severely mistaken," Seven merely said before walking away.

"And?" Torres asked once they were in the corridor.

"I tried. However I do not think that I got through to her."

"So what did she do to piss you off like this?"

Seven looked at Torres for a moment before giving her one of her beautiful smiles. "She does not know me nearly as well as you know me. You can see when something is bothering me, while she could not even see that I have feelings for you."

"Commander," Torres suddenly growled.

"Yes Intendant?" One of the guards behind them asked.

"Once we are back on the ship have that moron in front here replaced by someone who doesn't find it necessary to listen to my conversations." While saying that, Torres pointed to one of the two guards in front of her, indicating the moron in question.

"Yes Intendant," The commander merely said. Even if he hadn't warned the guard before, which he had, he would have followed the order. He knew, not following an order from the Intendant meant certain death and he was very fond of living.

"So what did she ask of you?" Tosses asked as if the little conversation with the commander had never happened.

"She said that I should use my close proximity to you to get certain information from you."

"So she told you to fuck me to get me to tell you things," Torres simplified.

"Yes, mistress."

"Hmm, I was wrong about her. She would fit in perfectly in this universe."

"This would not be considered a compliment to someone from the Voyager crew," Seven pointed out.

Torres grinned, "That is why I said it. If she told you to do that then she is really behind on the facts, isn't she?"

"She is," Seven agreed. "Then, I told B'Elanna not to tell the Captain the things B'Elanna knows. And Annika considers herself in charge, why would she tell Janeway about my position? I also think that they are not telling the Captain this because she could make... hasty decisions the Voyager crew can not use right now."

"So are you going to follow her order?"


Torres grinned. "Are you going to fuck me tonight to get all kinds of secrets out of me?"

Seven returned the grin with a smile of her own. "I certainly will. But I know exactly what you will say."

"You do?" Torres asked while they walked into the transporter room.

Since the guards once again waited outside the room, this time until Torres and Seven had beamed off the ship, Seven nodded her head before answering very seductively, "Yes, it starts of with a little soft moaning, then there is a clear 'mmhmm' and after the moaning becomes louder and your breath starts to come in gasps. And most of the time, but not always, you produce a 'a,ha' when you come. Unless of course if we are not making love tenderly but a little more... rough. On those occasions, you scream out your release."

Torres shook her head amused. "You really do keep track of everything."

"Yes," Seven agreed, "B'Elanna, I love every sound you make. I could never be able to forgive myself if I did not put every little sound you make to memory."

"I would much rather make the sounds than think about them," Torres said. "Besides, you make a very enjoyable 'a,ha' sound yourself you know."

"Only for you mistress," Seven said softly. She shared a leisurely kiss with the Intendant before they stepped onto the transporter pad, "And I just love the fact that no matter in which mood we are, whether you scream, or share your release more quietly, you always say my name. Either you shout it out, or you say it moments later."

"Seven, you are the first person whose name I ever said," Torres said before quickly activating her communicator and ordering the beam over.

And when they materialized on the Klingon transporter padd, the broad smile on the blonde's slave made the Transporter Chief wonder what a slave could have to smile about.

Part 20

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