DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters, Paramount does, I am just using them for now. I am making no money whatsoever.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I must thank DeeJay for her great work as a Beta. Thank you for putting up with the minor (and major) changes and constant editing. And for the long break I took in writing this. Quew, thanks for your feedback. I thank you for putting up with some of my questions. I suggest two aspirins and a nap for the headache I gave you. :) Another big thank you goes out to BT for all his help with some of the translations and later beta work.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Crimson Tears
By Hayseven

Chapter Seven

Sleep came upon the small ship all too soon, and again the three people dreamed of long ago. Each one replaying a little piece of history, and not comprehending its significance.

On a quiet deck, where all inhabitants were asleep, a young woman was recalling a long forgotten memory from her past. The woman was once again a child, and the feelings of that time washed over her. She was placed on her mothers loving knee, where her mother had told her it was time to know of her past and duty to her kinfolk. She listened enraptured as her mother wove a tale, and the story came to life in her mind's eye.

Come listen to our legend, the Prophecy of the Three. This is an Edda, (Saga) of our blood's path and of an uncertain future. The tale of your proud kin Sigrid. My daughter listen well and keep your heart open.

In a time where modern enlightenment was yet to touch man's heart, roamed races of great courage. The people known by many names but mainly as the Vikings were a warrior race, born to bring death to their foes, and to create new life with their partners. In a time early in man's history, just before the ninth century a stelpa (girl) was born to a proud Chieftain. She was his only barn (child) and was given the name of Sigrid. A strong warrior's name meaning Victory and beautiful (woman). Sigrid was a girl of unsurpassed strength, beauty, intelligence and cunning.

Hakon was Chieftain of all that lay before him, and he ensured the Borg (Borough) remained safe from invaders. He raised his ljóshærður (fair-haired) barn to be brave, teaching her to wield a sword, defend her people, and to strategise battle plans that would make an enemy kneel before her. She was a gift sent by the gods to give the Vikings glory.

It was said that one night the mighty goddess Sif (Siv) came to a young Hakon after he was nearly slain in battle. As he lay on the bloody ground, feeling himself be drawn closer to Vahalla, Sif appeared and made a deal. He was a noble man that paid tribute to his goddess and as such Sif was honoured. Sif told him of a future where a barn of his blood would in time conquer far away lands, and he would live to see kin of his kin.

His only barn was to be a stelpa and in a time where females were outnumbered and were used to procreate, she would not be an equal and therefore not defend his people. Without a strong barn to lead later in life, his people would be vulnerable to attack and being killed. Sif proposed a deal to ensure this would not happen.

If he raised her to be a warrior, skilled her well and taught his barn to be noble and strong like Sif, then Sif would spare Hakon's life. Sif also told him that when the time came he would meet a warrior's death. This pleased Hakon, for he did not wish to die an old man and be sent to Helheim. (Hell/Grethor/Hades.)

Hakon agreed to the deal, after all Sif was Thor's wife and was a mighty goddess whose skill in battle was unparallel. Hakon recovered, and took a kona (woman, wife) for his 18th birthday. He was late in taking a woman but a man first had to prove his worth in battle. Within the year his kona (wife) birthed him his barn as Sif promised.

The years passed and Hakon kept his pledge, he would spend hours teaching his beloved barn Sigrid ways of the warrior. At first his people thought it going against their ways teaching a stelpa how to do battle, but as the stelpa grew, they saw Sif was wise indeed to instruct this. Sigrid grew to be every bit the brave Viking, not a man around could best her in battle. Sigrid could wield the axe as well as she fought using a sword and shield. By the age of 13 Sigrid would go with her father on these battles to war against their enemy, and fight alongside him, bringing honour to the clan.

Before Sigrid's 16th birthday Hakon's people insisted it was time for Sigrid to take a man, and ensure children resulted from that union. They did not care if she was a flannfluga (she who flees the male sex organ), as long as marriage and children came, then the gods would be happy. After all, it was expected of everyone, even from a fuðflogi. (Man who flees the female sex organ.) Sigrid had no desire to bear a barn, but knew not only Sif and her father wanted it, but also her people demanded it. First though she had to improve the community's strength by finding more slaves and women to run the farms.

On her 17th birthday Sigrid crossed the sea with her army of warriors in longboats, she had gone further than even her father had, and any other Viking of her clan. Some say it was an act of one of the gods that sent her there, others a sharp warrior's mind.

Once Sigrid landed, she invaded the unsuspecting peoples. She razed the villages to the ground, captured the strong women, slain the men and took what they needed. Some Vikings settled and integrated into the new land, wanting to find a bit of Valhalla. (Heaven/Sto-Vak-Kar ) Sigrid returned a victor, laden with spoils for all.

Sigrid continued raiding villages, and once raided they came under her protection. Any intruders that tried to harm that village would be seen as a threat to the Vikings, and would be shown no mercy. Her victories continued and the land owned by the Vikings grew and prospered. It was on a trip to collect tribute from a protected village, when Sigrid went further inland in an effort to prove her worth.

Two day's walk they come across a Fjell (mountain) and there in the Dal (valley) was an idyllic Seter (Mountain pasture, shielding (Summerset)). The Vikings found people with dark sun-kissed skin and hair of brown. They spoke a strange dialect and were quiet pastoral people. Sigrid led the charge and took the peaceful village, slaying any man or woman that dared to challenge her. The resistance was sparse though, the men that were there were of old age, or of little threat. She left the invaded village with some of her men and womenfolk and took the spoils back to her homeland.

She returned a year later after reports of marauding invaders raiding the protected village. Hakon went with her, taking his warriors too. Once they landed on the shores they went to the invaded village to find her men slain, and some of the women gone. It was found that some of the villagers that weren't taken had fought back, and were hiding elsewhere.

Sigrid and Hakon took their army and a native and went in search of their enemy. Not far from the dal was a torp (secondary village - outlaying farm) run by a group of warriors. A tall and strong dökkhærður (dark haired) woman led them, with eyes black like Odin's ravens. Sigrid saw this woman and wished to take her as her own, and left word that the woman was to be unharmed. Attacking the farm she and her warriors burnt the village to the ground, leaving no building, no matter how small, untouched. All around the torp sounds of metal clanging and pained cries could be heard.

The dökkhærður was quickly defeated, her small army no match for the might of these Vikings. Some say the dökkhærður hailed from the land of Jakobusland (Iberia - Spain), other believed she was from Sðrkland (Arabia), either way, the truth is lost to us now. What matters is she was defeated and transported back to Sigrid's homeland.

At the same time a strange pale skinned woman turned up in Sigrid's village, capable of speaking in many tongues. She could understand the dökkhærður's dialect, as well as the Vikings.

A friendship was struck between Sigrid and the strange newcomer after a duel was fought between the two. The creature had been wounded mortally, yet healed herself within moments.

The people were shocked and thought her a god, surely no mortal could have lived with wounds like that. The villagers suspected it was Sif herself coming to inspect Sigrid and see that Hakon's pact remained intact. All knew this was a woman of great power and knowledge, and as such dared not question her.

She came to Sigrid that night with the dökkhærður who was known by the name Turron. The god like woman ordered that Sigrid treat Turron well, and train her in the ways of her people. Turron was a good Viking name that suited the dökkhærður, it meant the mighty Thor, and love.

The moons changed as time went on and the three women spent all their time together, each one learning about the other's ways and coming to an understanding. Time came in Sigrid's life to bear a barn, it was time to take a man and do her duty. Sigrid left with her two companions and went to seek a worthy mate from the surrounding villages. When they returned months later she was with barn and to some she appeared in love with the dökkhærður. The two were a contrast, but complimented the other well, and no one in the village begrudged them their happiness. Like two halves finally joined, they made a good looking happy couple.

Sometime before she was to birth a barn, Sigrid did her duty and left her companions to check on the torp nearby for any invaders and lost livestock. Sigrid was gone for a few days, and on her return on that fated day, the skies were dark, almost as if the gods were angry. Sigrid returned to find her father wounded, and her companion Turron gone. Turron had taken a long boat with some of her people and fled.

Sigrid in a rage and seeking vengeance went after them, taking all her warriors and the surrounding torp's warriors. The sea was filled with longboats containing war - ready men and women eager to make their gods happy and their Chief Sigrid proud. When they finally landed the mass of Vikings lead by Sigrid tore the countryside apart, destroying and killing anything in their path. Finally after 2 months they found the dökkhærður Turron, only now she had amassed a vast army, men and women, all ready to die with honour intact.

For two days they raged and battled one another, both races willing to die for their female leader and gods. The forests were blackened, the grass blood red and scorched. The very river was black and red, filled with blood and corpses, a testament to the conflict. Though fatigued and hurt, the warriors continued fighting. Some say the very battle caused a great evil to be born, and the gods to weep. Finally only two combatants were left standing, the two proud leaders.

The truth is lost to us, but we do know the strange god like woman was too late to stop the carnage. She had arrived when Sigrid was drawing her last breaths, her barn still inside her wounded womb. That day the creature knew what pain was, and cried Blódstarar. (Tears of Blood - Crimson Tears)

It was her that pulled the two girls out of their brave mother's womb. They would grow to bear the mark made by the woman Valia, and to fear the Coming. The two bonded by blood but forever lost to hate. The two destined never to lay eyes upon the other in their lifetime. Never to touch for fear of bringing upon the world hate and death. Their kith and kin fated to one day face an evil that could tear apart all life.

To this day, we tell the tale of love and hatred, life and death. How these things are inextricably linked, and always a fine line is drawn between them. A single event can spark a hatred that succeeds time itself. When hate rules one's head and heart, reason no longer becomes a factor.

This is the sad tale we tell our first child, and in time, they tell their child. When it is right, you my daughter, shall have a child and tell them this sad prophecy. This way, when time comes and the fated ones meet, life can have a chance. If we fail, the fated ones will destroy each other. Only one of blood can speak the words, and only the ears of one who shares it can hear it. Take heed little ljóshærður one, the fated ones depend on it.

The young woman was standing in the dais, almost statue like, tears coursing freely down her fine alabaster skin. In her mind the dream changed before her, and she watched on as the two women killed each other over again.

Seven cried out as pain flooded her body and she fell to the floor, weeping for her mother and the pain of loss, still caught in the dream. Seven laid on the cold ground in a foetal position unable to stop the emotions overwhelming her. Why was she able to dream, and why such bloody terrible dreams? Why now was it possible to dream?

Slowly sitting up Seven became aware of the pain from her head. The blood from her eyebrow fell upon the hard cold floor, and Seven felt fear unlike anything she had experienced before. Blood will start the Coming; she knew that, but how is it triggered. Seven didn't have all the answers and not for the first time she cursed her Borg memory. Before another thought could cross her mind, she collapsed onto the decking.

In another deck, the creature was feeling the pain tenfold, and could only watch helplessly as the unaware crewmember dreamed of their past.

The child in the dream saw their father sitting on a chair, and as the child was the right age, he urged them to remember a riddle.

Listen my child; fate depends on your knowing the path of love. Know time does not matter when evil is present. A single touch can bring about change. Remember all this when the Coming approaches.

Once proud people torn apart by hate.
Out of lose comes life.
Marked by another, protected by space.
Separated Souls avenge an injustice past.
The spilling of blood will bring about the Coming.
Fated ones beware of those that come seeking.
Beings of outer world power steal into the night, and tear the fated ones apart.
Death to you they bring, no mercy to you they show.

Like moths drawn to flame, Souls lost will return for the Coming,
All must choose their path well.
Ruin will be your path should you fail,
Your kin will reap your loss.

The child sat there confused, the poem made no sense, yet if it was important to father, then it was important to learn.

The crewmember then awoke clutching their chest in pain, not seeing the creature hiding in the bathroom. The crewmember never saw the woman enter the bedroom and help them as they passed out.

Seven woke up feeling cold and weak. She had never felt this emotionally unstable and physically drained before, why weren't her nanoprobes helping her. After she checked that no one had entered the room she headed to the sickbay. She could not shake the too human feeling of dread as she walked the corridors.

Entering the sickbay Seven was greeted by the ever-happy Holographic Doctor. "Ah Seven, what brings you here?"

"I require medical assistance. I would like you to inspect my implant..... please."

Taking a seat on the bio bed she quietly sat there as the Doc examined her. Seven knew something was happening, but how do you warn the Captain when you didn't know what it was?

Ten minutes later the Doc declared that everything was in functioning order. Thanking the Doc Seven was about to leave when he spoke up.

"You know it's funny. You are the second person to come in here complaining of pain. I had a patient not more then 20 minutes before you. They had experienced pain and bleeding above their eyebrow, they lost a lot of blood. Ensign...."

"Red alert. All hands to battle stations. Intruder Alert. Senior staff to.........."

Seven quickly left the room, hurrying to her science console on the bridge. She never heard the doctor say the Ensign's name.

Chapter Eight

'Fated ones beware of those that come seeking.
Beings of outer world power steal into the night, and tear the fated ones apart.
Death to you they bring, no mercy to you they show.'

All was quiet on the bridge. The new pilot was concentrating on flying the vessel. It was all too new to her. Up till Paris's death, she was still being trained for the job. She wasn't meant to be trained on this ship, she was just a back up, besides her chosen field was in sciences and history not flying.

However she loved the challenge and wished to prove she was capable of doing the job well. Ensign Maris (Mar-re-is) Bengtson was 27, and hailed from Earth. She kept her tall, trim figure by running inside Voyager and using Holodeck time to work out.

An attractive tanned skinned, and dark haired woman she took her job seriously, and strived to prove her worth. Maris did not want to make the mistake the other Ensign had made with the nebula. She sat there with her eyebrows furrowed together in concentration, her lips pursed in concentration.

Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Voyager was watching the new Ensign put the ship through its paces. The ship was on its way to being in tip top shape, and she hoped that the Ensign would get more practice at flying.

Janeway had already decided she liked this Ensign, she was smart, funny, cool headed, dedicated, and Janeway had to admit the woman had an attractive body.

Janeway didn't know a lot about this Ensign, she kept to herself, and her profile was mysteriously short as she came onto the ship at the last moment.

But she had displayed her level headiness by piloting the ship away from the nebula. She was more suited to flying than some of the others that had tried piloting the ship.

The silence was interrupted when Maris spoke up. "Captain I am detecting some energy readings 40,000 Kilometres away on the port side. It is travelling at an accelerated rate."

"Captain, I can't get a lock on it, nor determine what it is." Spoke the ever - youthful Ensign Harry Kim.

"It has come to a stop and is just sitting out there, 10,000 Kilometres away."

"I want sensor readings people, I want to know what we are facing." Janeway was standing now, and pulling her red command shirt down and straightening it, she walked over to stand beside Maris.

"Come to a stop Ensign, nice and steady."

"Aye Captain." Janeway quirked her lips at the response, she wondered whether the Ensign was aware she didn't quite say Captain right, the T was almost silent.

Suddenly the sensors picked up a surge in energy and within moments a blinding flash of white light engulfed the bridge, knocking over and disorientating all on the bridge.

Ensign Maris got to her feet first, and held out her hand to her Captain who was sprawled on the floor in an un-Captain like manner. Taking the Ensign's hand and righting herself, Janeway quickly ordered sensor sweeps and a report of anything unusual.

Janeway went to Harry's console when she was beckoned over by a perplexed Ensign. Janeway could clearly see the strange energy readings that were moving quickly from deck to deck.

She ordered red alert immediately but stopped mid sentence in shock. Those on the bridge later would have sworn they felt chills run along their spine moments before the incident.

"Humans, we mean not harm, we come for the Chosen Ones, and take our leave."

Janeway closed her mouth, and after straightening up, gave the intruders on board a deadly icy glare.

With hands on hips she spoke "Who and what the hell are you?"

"We be Q."

Chapter Nine

Fallande tårar, blodiga slag.
De utvalda skall återförenas,
Med en beröring skall allt skingras.

När svärdshugget träffar,
Och du glider in i mörkret,
Skall ditt släkte gråta tårar av blod.



Falling tears, bloody battles.
The chosen will reunite,
In a touch, all will part.

When the sword strikes,
And you slip into the darkness,
Your kin will weep tears of blood.

"Of course you are." Janeway muttered darkly under her breath, she had thought she had seen the last of the Q continuum.

"I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship USS Voyager. I demand an explanation of this intrusion. What gives you the right to invade my ship?"

"We are the Q." As if that explained everything.

"Who are the Chosen Ones, and what do you want of them?"

"We seek the fated ones." Janeway felt like she was listening to an old record stuck on the same part.

Seven walked onto the bridge, and stopped short of the three intruders onboard. She had heard the last of the words the three visitors had said, and it chilled her to the very bone.

Smoothing her cool features and masking her anxiety, Seven purposely walked towards the Captain and stood beside her in quiet support.

"Captain, I seek a private audience with you. Now. " Janeway could sense Seven's uneasiness and placed a soothing hand on her shoulder.

Before anything more could be said, Ensign Samantha Wildman walked onto the bridge, and stared from one person to the next. The tall Ensign who lived most of her live on Earth had come to the bridge to report some strange occurrences.

The attractive blonde woman was stunned to see the aliens, and tried to rid the goose bumps that appeared on her arms. Sam glanced at Seven, the Captain, back to Seven and then finally her eyes rested on the new intruders.

Tuvok the loyal Vulcan Starfleet security officer had been in battle mode the moment the strange readings occurred. Standing by his station he received a subtle nod from his Captain letting him know to stand down.

Years of serving with his commanding officer gave him an insight to the way Captain Janeway worked and he knew to stand down from red alert, but to remain vigil against the intruders.

B'Elanna and Ensign Nicola Jemae (Jamay) entered onto the bridge, their journey on the Turbo lift silent, each person there as duty calls, and both were surprised by the situation that faced them. It wasn't everyday you had intruders on the bridge, ok, so it wasn't rare, but it wasn't a common occurrence.

Each crewmember stared at the other, bewildered and angry looks exchanged. B'Elanna could only stare in shock, she looked at Seven and was unnerved to see she was anxious. She recognised the slight twitch of lip and eyebrow as a nervous habit. She also noted the Captain's hand on Seven's shoulder and felt an unjustifiable amount of irritation, her hand coming to rub her eyebrow.

"I am the Captain of this ship and I make the orders. Now, will you please specify exactly what you want of us."

Janeway took her hand off from her young friend, folded her arms over her chest and pointedly looked at the Q, awaiting answers like she expected them.

"We are the Q, we come for. "

"Enough." Janeway held her hand up, the other one to her forehead and walked over towards the ready room, Seven close behind her heels.

"Would you... Q... kindly follow me into the staff meeting room, I am sure we can come to some arrangement."

Janeway was thinking a few ill thoughts towards the new Q and tried hard to keep her voice neutral. Was it too much to ask for a few weeks peace, some stress free from limited supplies, or even some decent coffee?

When the Q just stood there watching Seven and observing the rest of the crew Janeway wondered if it was rude to tell the Q to go to hell.

Janeway got a closer look at the three Q and decided to use all caution when dealing with them. Something about the Q was setting off Janeway's warning bells. She knew innately that this situation was serious as were the Q.

The older looking Q was a woman with eyes that held a dangerous shrewdness to them. She was the one who spoke for the others and who seemed to be the leader. She appeared in human form and looked to be around 70, wrinkles lining her harsh face.

Her hair was tied in a fierce bun, the once brown hair now dusted with grey, and her small slim figure moved with an ease and grace that belied her human body. A middle aged stocky man with balding brown hair, grey beady dull eyes and a belly that no clothing could do justice to, was busy watching Chief of Security Tuvok.

The final Q was a young male of old earth Asian lineage who in human years looked to be about 20. Janeway thought he would have looked quite dashing if not for the superior condescending look he were directing at her.

Though their human bodies were but a vessel for them, the Q were the picture of blandness and malice quantified, their red Starfleet uniforms without a mark or crease. The trio gave off a palpable wave of hostility and menace, their very manner dictating caution.

Ensign Maris (Mar-re-is) looked at the new arrivals to the bridge in shock. This was not good at all she thought. Maris watched as Lt Torres and her friend Jemae walked closer to the Captain.

Maris shot them both a warning look and went to go to them when Jemae raised her eyebrows in a subtle communication. Maris inclined her head and stayed where she was. Now how were they going to get out of this? The Q must not find out the truth.

"I had thought the Q continuum were finished interfering with humans. What do you want of my crew?" Spoke Janeway.

"We seek only the prophesised ones. The error that is their being will and must be corrected."

Janeway felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise.

"I do not know what you want, nor can I give it to you. If you seek someone of my crew then you can leave now for I shall not just hand them over."

"Captain Janeway, You are close to peril. We come for the Fated ones, and leave not without them. Bring them before us, or annihilate the ship we will. It is your choice alone Captain."

The older Q stood there her eyes narrowed, jaw clenched, and a cruel sneer on her lips. She made the rank of Captain seem like some kind of insignificant bug, one that needed to expire immediately.

How she hated dealing with these inferior humans. Why they just didn't destroy the ship was beyond her. If a few humans had to be sacrificed to prevent the prophecy, then so be it. If she had her way the people along with any traces of the vessel would be erased, the dissident dealt with, and the continuum would remain safe.

Janeway felt a just amount of anger in her and used all of her training to rein in her quickly disappearing control.

"Leave this ship now." Janeway savagely pulled at her uniform shirt as if she could hurt the Q that way.

The trio looked at each other and the female uttered a few words that no universal translator could decipher and pointed to Janeway.

"Shelter not them, the protectors will fail. The mark will unravel their destinies, and eliminate them. You have been warned, now we will finish them."

With that said the female Q clapped her hands together and the ship proceeded to shake, powerful flashes of lightening striking outside and inside the ship.

Chapter 10

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