The Feather is Mightier...
Q was pleased. Her plan would work. She had been watching Voyager for the past two months and was glad to see the friendship between Seven and B'Elanna grow. But now she was bored. Things were coming along nicely too nicely, and much too slowly. So she had devised a little plan. Grinning gleefully, she sat back, propped her feet up and prepared to watch the fun unfold.
"Hey Seven," B'Elanna called as she caught up with Seven. "Take a look at this."
"What is it?"
"It's called a 'scroll'... humans used it on earth in the past, thousands of years ago. I'm starting to like these better than PADDs"
Seven raised an eyebrow, waiting for her friend to elaborate.
"I love starting a new scroll... the feel of it in your hands... the look, so clean, so perfectly empty. Listen the way it crinkles the first time you open it. That smell... it's just a special untouched scent. Try it, Seven."
The borg sniffed at it daintily. "It smells like musty old leather to me."
Seven noticed that B'Elanna looked rather cross after her latest statement and hurried on. "What is its purpose?"
"Oh. Well... it can be used to record data..." B'Elanna produced a quill from somewhere. "With these."
"That is a feather."
"No, it's called a quill."
"It is a feather, B'Elanna. Why do you have a feather?"
Seven simply looked at B'Elanna with an expression that said "I am Borg. I have assimilated countless feathered species. I should know a feather when I see one."
B'Elanna glared back. "Damnit Seven, it's not just any feather. You can write with it. Look " The half-Klingon proceeded to carefully write a word on it.
"That's your name," B'Elanna said proudly, "The Doctor has been giving me writing lessons."
"I see." Seven looked less than impressed.
"What, you don't like it?" A tinge of annoyance coloured B'Elanna's voice.
"I..." She tried to mollify B'Elanna.
Seven shifted uncomfortably in a decidedly unborg-like manner. "It uh... just seems a little inefficient to me."
One look of B'Elanna's face told Seven that she had said the wrong thing. Enraged Klingons even enraged half-Klingons were never a good thing.
Seven opened her mouth to apologize but at that exact moment...
"Janeway to Seven."
Seven looked extremely relieved at the interruption. "The Captain needs me... we will continue this conversation at a later time." And with that, she fled the wrath of a very pissed off B'Elanna.
B'Elanna stormed into her quarters and tossed the scroll on her bed. Fuming, she paced around the room.
That damn borg attitude... nothing was good enough for her, was it? Inefficient this, inefficient that. No, nothing was good enough. 'It's a feather. Ooooh, the Captain needs me now, I have to go run to my precious Captain.' Damnit. B'Elanna sighed and sat down on her bed. She liked Seven but by Kahless did she get on her nerves sometimes.
'Well, no matter,' B'Elanna thought, 'I don't need her anyway.' The engineer retrieved her discarded scroll and looked at it. Seven. Why had she gone and written that? A nice fresh scroll, spoiled now, with a single word. All she could do, apart from discarding the scroll completely, was work the name into whatever she was going to write, somehow. B'Elanna was calmer now, although still somewhat peeved at her friend, and she decided to focus her energy and frustration into something productive. With that thought in mind, and a wicked grin on her lips, she picked up her pen and began to write...
Seven had gone fishing. A lone warrior, B'Elanna, awoke with a jerk as five borg drones beamed onto the bridge. Twirling her trusty battleth, she delivered kicks with such fury...
As B'Elanna wrote, she inexplicably began to feel sleepy. Yawning, she carefully placed the scroll and pen aside and climbed into bed.
Unbeknownst to her, Q was watching, and laughing delightedly.
B'Elanna awoke with a jerk.
"Tom? What the hell are you doing in my bed? We broke up three months ago!"
Tom continued snoring. Looking around, the chief engineer noticed that she was in her bed, which happened to be situated in a very empty bridge. At that moment, five borg drones beamed aboard Voyager and began to advance upon our hero and the unsuspecting jerk. B'Elanna sprung up, and snatched up her trusty battleth which, for some reason, was at hand. She twirled it about expertly. "Tooomm," she called, "We have company."
Shrugging, B'Elanna turned to face the drones. She executed a perfect backflip, elbowed one in the optical implant, and delivered kicks with such fury that the five borg drones were driven back.
"She is too much for us." One of Five said, alarmed. "Persistence is futile we must retreat." The drones disappeared at once, in flashes of green light.
B'Elanna suddenly felt a little strange and swooned on her feet. What had happened? Her state of daze was broken when she heard an unflattering snort behind her and she turned around to find that the helmsman had awoken.
"Did you see that? Backflips! Wait... I don't do backflips." B'Elanna looked around. "Where is everyone?" A pause. "Who were those--? Why are you--? Wait a minute."
Tom just blinked at her, looking confused as she retrieved her scroll and looked at what she had written the night before.
"Seven had gone-- the lone warrior, B'Elanna-- five borg dronesshe started twirling her trusty battleth, delivering kicks of-- such fury... I wrote this."
"Whoa whoa... waitwaitwait, are you saying that anything you write in there comes true? Excuse me while I laugh." Tom laughed.
"Hold this for a sec would ya, Tom?" The annoyed half-Klingon handed her Battleth to him and once again picked up her quill. As she wrote in the scroll, Tom began to act strangely. First he tripped himself with the Battleth he was holding. Upon getting up, he began to bash himself over the head with it, uttering an "ow!" with each hit. B'Elanna decided to take pity on the poor guy and finished the sentence that she was writing. But she couldn't resist adding one more thing in. Next to her, Tom's face suddenly turned green and spotty.
"Hey, why did I just hit myself with your Battleth?" he asked, incredibly disturbed with what had just happened to him.
"Because I wrote you did." B'Elanna said smugly. She grinned widely showing her teeth. "I can write anything, and it comes true... I could write us back to the alpha quadrant."
At that moment, Tom realized something. "How'd I end up in your bed anyway? What did you write to bring me here?" His face brightened all of a sudden. "Did you write something like... B'Elanna appeared with... a guy with the heart of a lion, best helmsman in all four quadrants of the galaxy... that sort of thing." Tom took the scroll and began to read from it. "Seven had gone fishing. B'Elanna awoke with a jerk. B'Elanna awoke with a jerk now that's a funny phrase." He quickly scanned the rest of it, concluding "Nope, I can't find anything. I must have come here on my own."
B'Elanna was smirking, which confused Tom even more. "So uh... what do we do now?" he asked.
"We go and find the Captain."
After three trips around the ship, one shouting match with the computer and numerous futile attempts at communicating with Janeway through the comm badge, B'Elanna concluded that the Captain was nowhere to be found. And neither was Seven. It was therefore also logical to conclude (as Tuvok had pointed out), that the two had disappeared together. B'Elanna wondered why she suddenly experienced a strange twinge of something that felt suspiciously like jealousy.
By now, all the senior officers were aware of Janeway and Seven's disappearance. They were all seated around the conference table, wondering what to do next. B'Elanna had told them about her scroll, but some were still extremely skeptical of her story.
"This is not logical." Tuvok stated for the fifth time.
"No, it isn't," B'Elanna agreed. "But what else is there? You've seen what the scroll can do." She motioned at Tom's green and spotty face.
"Well, you could have murdered both Seven and the Captain in a jealous rage, threw them out of the airlock, and turned Tom's face green and spotty using coloured markers, just for the fun of it " Chakotay pondered, thoughtfully.
"Waitaminute, what do you mean by 'jealous rage'?" B'Elanna scowled.
Further questioning on her part was forestalled by Tuvok.
"Commander, I would like to point out that your reasoning is as illogical as Lieutenant Torres's theory. If she had murdered Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine, she would hardly be using this flimsy idea of a magic scroll as her cover story."
Chakotay fell silent and decided not to talk anymore, which made him seem ever more slightly wooden.
"Well, whatever the reason is, we still have to find Seven and the Captain." B'Elanna said, rising from the table. "I've had enough talking, you can choose to believe me or not but I'm going to find some answers instead of sitting and squabbling all day."
The half-Klingon left the room and a short silence descended.
"I do not 'squabble'."
Everyone looked at Tuvok. Tom smirked annoyingly at him.
"I do not 'squabble'."
Said in the same monotone, but slightly louder. There was also a decidedly dangerous glint in his eye and nobody dared dispute his squabbability any further.
Q was sitting on her motorcycle when five very flustered looking borg drones whooshed past her in a small cube.
She whistled for them to come back.
The little cube reversed and screeched to a stop before her.
"Did the little half-Klingon scare the big bad borgypoos?" she teased.
"We are Borg. We fear nothing!"
"Yeah," agreed Two of Five.
"We fight with the heart of a lion!"
The other four drones looked a little confused at why One of Five used this particular analogy, but were sure that there was a reason for that line.
"And you run with the feet of a chicken!"
Again, the drones wondered why they felt insulted by it (apart from the fact that Borg in general feel that the Gallus Domesticus is one feathered species that is unworthy of assimilation).
"Now, go back to Voyager," Q ordered.
The little cube spun around like a top for a few minutes as the drones tried to decide which side was the front before flying back towards Voyager in a rush.
Q sighed and rolled her eyes. "Drones."
B'Elanna sat in the mess hall feeling rather sorry for herself. She had tried for hours to find information about magic scrolls on the database and had come up with absolutely nothing. She sighed and wondered how Seven was faring. Then she wondered if Janeway was with Seven. Suddenly, she began to worry what the abundance of fish might do to Seven fish was an aphrodisiac to the Borg, wasn't it? She was sure it was. What if Seven and Janeway Kahless. She couldn't finish the thought. Then an even worse thought struck her: Seven was stuck somewhere, with nothing but fish and Captain Janeway and the Captain had no coffee! What would a coffee-deprived Janeway be capable of? The more B'Elanna thought about the situation, the bleaker it became.
"Hello B'Elanna," it was Neelix approaching with a plate of food, "Don't look so glum I'm sure you'll figure something out."
Tuvok, Tom and Chakotay also joined them and B'Elanna assumed that they had finished squabbling.
"Did you find anything Lieutenant?" asked Tuvok.
"Hey B'Elanna, how about writing this food into something edible?" Tom joked.
"Well, it certainly looks colourful." B'Elanna answered, "Any greener and it'd resemble your face."
Neelix, who had been greatly hurt by Tom's insensitive comment, chuckled at this. Tom's face flushed an odd looking purple, which clashed badly with the spots that were still green.
"Lieutenant Torres," Tuvok interrupted tactfully, "Changing the food would be a convenient way of proving to me that this scroll is magical." He too had no great wish to taste Neelix's latest culinary delight.
"Good idea," B'Elanna agreed, trying not to sound too eager.
She looked at the greenish sludge that would resemble Tom's face except that it had fluorescent yellow splotches on the outer edges. Leaves of a strange vegetable, native to the Delta Quadrant, were immersed in the sludge and looked only slightly better than the sludge itself. It would take something short of a miracle to turn it all into something tasty, and B'Elanna decided that if the scroll could do it, she would be able to convince Tuvok and every other person in the mess hall of its powers.
The food that Neelix cooked became irresistibly good to eat.
No sooner was it written than everybody grabbed servings of the sludge and began cramming it into their mouths.
Unfortunately, the scroll had not changed the taste of the sludge only its appeal. People couldn't get enough of it but it tasted terrible. The overwhelming urge to stuff your mouth with it did not abate until all of it was gone, and by then almost everyone in the mess hall had passed out from the horror of it all.
B'Elanna, who had been cursed with a more resilient Klingon stomach, was one of the unlucky people still conscious, and she was unfortunate enough to still be aware of the aftertaste in her mouth. Fighting the urge to throw up, she stumbled over to a replicator and began gurgling cold water. She felt minutely better.
Tuvok (who felt it was beneath a Vulcan to gurgle) had to draw upon all the willpower he had left to endure the aftertaste and not run to a replicator.
"Lieutenant," he managed with difficulty, "I would advise you to be more careful with the wording in future."
He promptly fainted.
Two hours later, most of those who had passed out were awake again and there was a long line behind every replicator in the vicinity. A plethora of glares and disgruntled mutterings found their way towards the chief engineer of Voyager.
"Good one," Tom had woken up and was now next to B'Elanna again, much to her annoyance. "This couldn't get any worse."
"Well, this wasn't supposed to happen," the half-Klingon said defensively.
Suddenly the five borg drones appeared in the centre of the mess hall, causing people to scramble out of the way in fright.
"It got worse." Tom mumbled.
"Weare Borg," stated One of Five proudly, "We will "
B'Elanna hurriedly wrote something on her scroll.
" go west."
The other borg drones looked at One of Five in confusion.
"Yes," he said, more sure of himself, "We will go west."
The Borg disappeared as quickly as they had appeared and the crew breathed a sigh of relief.
"Lieutenant Torres, I believe they are heading straight for Earth."
"Shit!" B'Elanna swore. "Okay minor setback."
She wrote on the scroll again:
They turned East.
Somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant, One of Five suddenly had a hankering to turn East.
"B'Elanna, now they're headed our way again." Harry Kim spoke up.
B'Elanna set her quill to scroll once more.
"Um 'the borg drones disappeared from the galaxy!'"
Somewhere, One of Five had another sudden and startling inspiration to change direction.
"We will leave this galaxy, and become the first drones to assimilate on an intergalactic scale!"
B'Elanna groaned and quickly thought up a temporary solution:
The borg drones went to some caves on an uninhabited planet and fell into a deep sleep.
"Wait! To the caves! We must regenerate."
The other drones did not question One of Five's decision. Nor did they ask him just how they would regenerate in the caves of an uninhabited planet as there were obviously no alcoves there. They were all used to his highly erratic behavior by now.
"Good save," Tom smirked that annoying smirk of his again. "So what are you going to write now?"
B'Elanna glared at him. "I am not writing another word. We're just going to have to find Seven and the Captain without the scroll."
"And how are we going to do that?"
"Find the nearest fishing spot. Seven will be there, and probably Janeway too."
Harry ran a scan for all the nearby fishing spots and came up with a total of 53 planets, each of which had an average of 450,000 places where you could fish.
B'Elanna looked confused. "F***? Why am I saying a beep instead of f***? F***!!"
"Because the author only put a PG rating on this story," an unnamed ensign piped up helpfully.
"Oh." A blink. "Well f***."
The senior officers decided that the mess hall wasn't the best place to be standing around and swearing as they were gathering quite an audience, so they retreated to the conference room.
"There are too many possibilities where Seven and Captain Janeway could be," B'Elanna decided. "I'm going to have to use the scroll."
Chakotay snapped out of the trance he had been in for the last hour or two or six (nobody knew the exact time his face had the same expression whether he was in a trance or not).
"Now hold on a minute, Lieutenant. I'm the highest ranking officer here; don't you think I should make this decision?"
"Well, okay then." The Commander fell silent again.
Tuvok raised his eyebrow again but did not comment.
Surprisingly it was Tom who gave B'Elanna some sound advice. "Well-- maybe it's too vivid. Maybe it needs a little work-- editing, or something, you know?"
The half-Klingon snapped her fingers. "That's it I just have to be more careful about what I write," she said, "I can bring them back I just have to phrase it correctly."
B'Elanna thought for a moment, and then carefully wrote: The cause of what has happened
A distant yelling could be heard and the Doctor materialized a few feet above the conference table and fell onto it. Splat!
"Ow! Wait, I'm not supposed to be able to feel things."
The Doctor poked himself. "Ow."
He happily prodded himself a few more times, amazed with the novelty of being able to feel.
"Uh okay." B'Elanna said. "I'm guessing the Doctor appeared because he's the one who taught me how to write."
"Try again, but phrase it differently this time," Chakotay said.
"Hmm, okay, I've got it."
The force that enchanted this scroll lost its powers.
Another distant yelling sound could be heard, but this time it was distinctly female.
"Aaaahhhhh!!!" . Thwock.
Q had fallen onto the conference table and moments later, a motorbike clanged onto the table next to her, narrowly missing the Doctor.
A short silence ensued until the newcomer laid eyes on the dented bike lying on its side next to her.
"F***!" the until-recently-omnipotent being exclaimed.
Return to Voyager Fiction
Return to Main Page