That Goddamn Borg
By Elizabeth Carter
"That goddamn Borg!" B'Elanna snarled.
Had there been anyone on the opposite side of the room they would have more then likely been hit in the forehead by a flying Data-PADD if they hadn't been quick enough to dodge, which wasn't likely.
"Ohhh." A disembodied voice cackled before the body appeared.
"Q!" B'Elanna growled. "What the hell are you doing on Voyager?"
"Ohhh just checking in with my favorite girls." He rubbed his hands together like one of the campy villain holograms in Paris's Captain Proton programs.
"Go bother Picard. I don't have time for you."
Q scrunched up his face. "He's lost his fun." He made a hand wave as if to shoo a fly. "Besides you have fire and are much more fun to play with."
"Oh that's original. Did you think that one up all by yourself?" B'Elanna rolled her eyes.
"What possible reason do you have for bothering me? Isn't the Captain your favorite target?"
"Ah well Red is a little busy."
"And this stops you from bothering her why?" B'Elanna was truly growing impatient. If she knew that calling security would do any good, Tuvok and Rothery would have been summoned a while ago.
"Because right now you're more entertaining. Besides the Captain's as I said is busy with her mate." He said with the grin of the Cheshire cat that ate the canary.
B'Elanna decided that was more information than she wanted to know about Janeway and Rothery.
"I tell you what I'll give you a change to get that...how did you put it 'that damn Borg' off of Voyager for good."
"Look Seven annoys me sometimes, but no way! No way in hell am I going to put a contract out on her. No. Murder . Are you insane?"
"I didn't say murder did I Lieutenant? I said get her off of Voyager."
"What kind of Pa'taq do you take me for? I won't have her abandoned or hand her over to the Queen of the Borg."
"So you care about her." The smile was wider
"I said she annoys me and if anybody does anything against my Seven it's me. Got that Q!"
"I can give you a chance say to keep her away from the Queen and your ship."
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "Go peddle your deals to the Ferengi."
"Oh I am not peddling anything Lieutenant. In fact I am doing you both a favor."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Snarled the Klingon Engineer.
Then Q snapped his fingers.
B'Elanna didn't know where Q had sent her. Though it bore the vague appearance of a cargo hold aboard any Starfleet Deep Space Station. Something shuffled in the darkness giving a sound like a wounded animal.
Looking around the young engineer spotted what looked like a pry bar. She picked it up and held it close to her body as if to wield a broad sword. Pressing her back against the metallic crates she prepared to face whatever it was hidden by the shadows. There was no telling what Q had trapped with her inside the cargobay.
B'Elanna Torres thought she was prepared to face down what ever it was, but she was sadly mistaken. She never expected to find a tiny child huddled in a corner. Her legs were drawn up to her wee chest, her arms folded about her, blonde hair covered her face, making it impossible to tell what species she came from.
Letting the pry-bar down B'Elanna knelt and slowly crept up to the girl so as not to spook her. "Hey there little one."
A head looked up, red and puffy from crying, the face was that of a human child. Defiantly the girl wiped her tears away, sniffed and watched the adult in front of her.
"Why all the tears."
"Go away." The girl's lower lip pouted.
B'Elanna wasn't about to abandon a child who for all intents and purposes looked as lost as she was. "Well I'd go if I knew where I was. So maybe I'll just sit here and figure out where I am." B'Elanna looked to the child. At least from a visual look over the girl didn't appear to be injured. Not getting an argument from the girl, B'Elanna sat down next to her. "Are you lost?"
"Okay " B'Elanna nodded taking it in. "Did someone hurt you? Someone chasing after you?"
"No." The girl was hiccupping from the earlier weeping.
"Tell you what. I'll tell you my name if you tell me yours."
Crystal blue eyes studied her intensely. B'Elanna tried hard not to look menacing. "You know Klingons might look a little scary but we won't hurt kids."
"Oh I know that." The girl sniffed. "My bestest friend is a Klingon." Then suddenly a whole new flood of tears filled those blue eyes and the blonde child fell back into crying. Heartened B'Elanna took the girl into her arms and let her cry for a moment.
"Hey hey what're all the tears for little one?"
"She's going away. So am I I don't want to, I want be with her."
"Ohhh" B'Elanna nodded and wiped the tears away. "You're going to miss her."
"Yeah." The child nodded, her lower lip jutting out in sadness.
"I think I understand." A caramel hand feathered back the blonde hair. "Do you feel like telling me your name?"
Sniffing again the child nodded. "Ann " She swallowed. "Annika."
'Oh my god.' The Klingon stared. "Annika .as in Annika Hansen?"
"Yeah." She nodded. "That's my whole name Annika Erin Hansen."
B'Elanna swallowed hard. This was Seven of Nine . A four year old Seven of Nine she was so little, so frail looking, so vulnerable. In two years she would be taken by the Borg and assimilated.
"Annika .honey is this DS4?" B'Elanna said.
"Yeah." A weak voice. "We're only here for a little while then Me, Papa, Mama have to leave." The girl sniffed once more. "I don't want to. I want to go with my bestest friend. She's leaving for Kessick IV with her mommy."
'Oh God . Oh God I remember this Annika .Annie . My only friend in a long time. She never made fun of me ..she she wanted to come with Mother and me. She was so desperate .'
"What's your name?" the tiny voice said now a little less shaky than it had been.
"You said if I told you my name you would tell me yours."
"Oh. That's right I did." B'Elanna said. 'Well I can't tell her my real name . she's already friends with me ..as B'Elanna.' "K'Ehleyr." It was the only name that popped into her head. 'Well at least K'Ehleyr was half human as well. Of course it was her mother that was human '
"K'Ehleyr. That's really pretty. So are you." Annika reached up and gingerly caressed the cranial ridges. A full smile appeared on the child's face. "I like your ridges. I want ridges. My forehead is plain."
"You think forehead ridges are nice?" B'Elanna was a little stunned.
"Yeah. I said that to my friend B'Elanna but she said I was silly because she doesn't want them. She wants to have a smooth forehead like me. She said kids at school tease her. I don't like it when people make fun of her. I threw an apple at a boy named Tommy and his friend Harry cuz' they were mean. Lanna said I was brave."
B'Elanna chuckled, she recalled that incident. The little human who she had just recently made friends with defended her against a gang of rude little boys. The ringleader of the troupe's name was Tommy, a sandy blonde boy with a cruel teasing temperament. Annika didn't care for the fact Tommy had called B'Elanna turtlehead and threw her apple at him and hit him square between the eyes. B'Elanna recalled being very impressed that the four year old had such a good aim. The boys left them alone after that.
"Well sweety I think you're very pretty just as you are."
"But K'Ehleyr if I was Klingon then Miral would take me with her and Lanna and .and I wouldn't have to go away. I don't want to go after the Borg. My Papa and Mama they want to get the Borg. I think they will be very scary. I don't want to. What what if they get me?"
B'Elanna felt sick.
She couldn't look into those large blue eyes. She couldn't look at the frightened child and not feel like she would betray her. B'Elanna knew exactly what would happen. The Borg would come. They would take Annika away. The Queen would steal Annika's soul and replace it with a drone's mindless servitude.
'Goddamn temporal prime directive.'
The metallic sound of heavy doors opened and closed. B'Elanna looked up and saw yet another child walk into the cargo hold. She was small, but walked as if she owned the place. Confidence and arrogance. She was backlit so it was impossible to tell who she was but she seemed very sure of herself.
"Who are you!" She demanded hotly glaring at B'Elanna.
The young engineer stared. "Kah'less "
"Annika come away from her." The young Klingon demanded.
'Oh my god that's me!'
"But Lanna K'Ehleyr is nice."
"Yeah well she might be or she might be putting you on. Now get over here."
Annika flashed an apologetic look to the elder B'Elanna. "She can get a little grumpy sometimes." The girl shrugged and went to her friend's side.
"Girl you gotta learn not everyone is going to be nice to you okay? Sometimes they are mean and will steal you way, or they might do bad things to you. You can't trust any grown up except your parents."
"But she seemed so nice." Annika protested.
The Lieutenant tried to smile reassuringly but the eight year old scowled.
The young B'Elanna fixed her older self with a stare but spoke to Annika. "Well you shouldn't be wandering around by yourself. You're too little. And why did you run away anyway?"
"I was mad at you you're leaving tomorrow and I don't want you to." The sniffles started again. "And your Mommy won't take me with you."
Eight-year-old Lanna hugged her friend. "It's okay Nic okay? We can talk on subspace and everything and maybe see each other in a few months, it won't be that bad."
"Okay Lanna." Annika held her friend's hand tightly.
Both girls seemed to forget they are being watched. "DO you remember what I told you about strange places and scary things?"
"Um walk in like you own the strange place, cuz no one will bully you."
"Right." Young Lanna said approvingly. "And what about the rest."
"Um .even if I am scared don't .don't let the others know cuz' they will try to make me feel small and .try to to."
"Use your fear against you."
"Yeah, so pretend you're not scared even if you are."
"That's my Nicky." Lanna hugged the tiny four year old.
"Oh and the bad dreams about the gray lady with tubes in her head growl at her cuz' dreams can't hurt you .and and .and if I see the gray lady for reals I call her a um... P'taq."
Lanna again approved. "Good girl."
"Lanna I practice my growl ..see." The young human gnashed her teeth together and snarled. It sounded like a kitten growling.
The elder B'Elanna couldn't help herself.
Both girls were aware then that they were being watched.
'God that is just too cute." She was still giggling. The young Lanna snarled. Trying to look very fierce. "What are you laughing at!"
"I'm sorry .Its just I don't think I ever heard a human child sound er Klingon."
Annika pouted. "I am not funny. And I am too a Klingon .only .only my ridges are invisible!"
That made B'Elanna laugh all the harder.
Young Lanna thrust the four year old behind her, marched right up to her older self and punched her in the nose.
That sobered B'Elanna right up. The punch wasn't enough to do any actually lasting damage but did sting.
"Don't you make fun of her! She doesn't understand she's only four!" Lanna snapped. "You leave her alone And besides she's my best friend so bugger off P'taq. Or you'll answer to me!"
B'Elanna bit her lips together. "It is honorable that you protect one who is weaker than you and against a foe that could easily defeat you." She finally said.
"I'm not afraid of you!" Lanna said defiantly, though it was visibly evident the eight year old did feel some intimidation.
Annika peeked around the taller body of her friend. "Stay behind me Nic! It's my job to protect you ."
Whatever else the pint sized Klingon was going to say was lost as Q appeared and took the young Engineer into what appeared to be a void of blackness.
"Little snarling darlings." Came a reply dripping with sarcasm.
"I'd forgotten .." B'Elanna admitted. "It was so long ago .we had three weeks together before we headed off in different directions of the quadrant. But ...for the longest time she remained my dearest and best friend. For a time we were able to send subspace messages .and letters to each other .then she disappeared." Lanna swallowed hard. "I think my mother must have tried to find the USS Raven. She must have found out it was lost in the Delta Quadrant. Starfleet wrote them as MIA. My mother told me that I should probably think of her as dead because ..it would be easier."
"And did you?"
"Not at first. Then life became complicated and I just forgot .." The young Klingon turned to Q. "Why the hell did you show me this?"
"Oh to give you a chance to change history. If Annika Hansen was never aboard the Raven when it was lost to the Borg. That goddamn Borg would not be on your ship now."
B'Elanna thought about that tiny four year old. "I will never hurt a child."
"Did I say to harm her? All I said was that she doesn't need to be on the USS Raven." Q flashed a sneaky grin. "After all if she's not assimilated .. she wouldn't be here in the Delta Quadrant."
Again B'Elanna seemed lost in thought.
"I'll give you a day to decide." Then with a snap of the fingers he was gone.
Hours later B'Elanna found herself in Cargo bay two. There she discovered Seven all nestled into her alcove with the four children. Softly as if her steps would awaken the five, Lanna moved to the dais and looked at the tall blonde and she remembered both as a child and woman that tiny girl.
"You really were one of the best friends I ever had." A caramel hand touched the soft milky check. "I remember feeling so protective over you because you were so small and so trusting. I remember being worried for you when you ran away after I told you I had to leave. I remember you cried so hard. So did I. I even remember you trying to hide inside a cargo container to stow away on our ship. You were so desperate to stay with me. And so terrified of the Borg. I am so sorry .your parents they didn't care that you were scared did they? They should have left you behind with your aunt Irene."
Gingerly B'Elanna took the silver meshed hand into her own and Seven didn't awake. "You know I can make sure you do stay behind. That you're never assimilated." Bolder now B'Elanna placed a chaste kiss upon the full lips of the sleeping Ex-Borg. Casting a glance to the four children then back to Seven, B'Elanna smiled.
"I am going to make it right Sev Annika ..my Nic .I will. I promise."
B'Elanna waited and as the entity promised Q appeared twenty-four hours on the mark.
"Well little Klingon what have you decided?"
"I am going to make it right." B'Elanna said.
"I see . How very honorable of you." The words dripped with sarcasm.
"Yes it is." B'Elanna would not rise to the bait. She only smiled.
"Well if that's what you want. That's what you want."
And Q snapped his fingers.
(A time later)
"That goddamn Borg!" B'Elanna snarled and chucked a Data PADD across the room with such vigor that should anyone have been on the other side of the quarters they would have been hard pressed to find cover in time enough not to have been hit by the missile.
Long willowy arms enfolded around her waist from behind and a softness pressed into her back. "What have I done now Klingon." Seven of Nine cooed as she nibbled the caramel throat of her lover.
"Look just because you are my wife doesn't give you credence to walk into Engineering like you own the place and .."
"Bella I was only complying with your orders."
"What?" frowned the Engineer, though she was finding it difficult to show her disfavor as Seven's lips were working magic upon her earlobe.
"You told me I should do so." Teeth raked against dark skin. Black clad arms held her catch tighter to her body. "Anytime I walk into a place I should do so as if I own it."
B'Elanna turned around in the arms of her beloved and fell into the blue eyes. "So now you listen to me." Her smile was wide and sardonic. "You're still in trouble."
"I know." Seven smiled brightly. "You can chastise me later Be'nal. For now I have other things that take precedence."
"Hummm." Seven picked up the woman she was holding and carried her into the ensuite of their quarters, then laid the compact form of her captive down upon the bed. "As of five minutes and twenty three point six seconds ago we are off duty for two weeks. The children are on a holographic camping trip with their 'Uncles' Tom and Harry and will not be a deep concern. And your 'baby' the warpcore is all 'tucked in' under the watchful eyes of Carey, Nicoletti and Vorik, also not a concern. Once we are back on duty you can issue your reprimands Lieutenant, as of now you are B'Elanna Torres my wife not my direct CO."
B'Elanna grinned. "Don't think I'll forget this indiscretion Borg."
"I doubt that you would Klingon." Seven trailed her meshed hand along the toned body of her lover. "However you are all that is relevant now."
B'Elanna flashed a very toothy grin. Privately she thanked the Fates, Providence, Kah'less and Q for the infuriating loving woman she had taken as her wife. It was forever and always as once a promise had been made.
Several years ago.
"Nic .it will be okay I promise." Eight-year-old Lanna cuddled her little friend. "I will be your friend forever and always okay?"
"Forever and always." Large blue eyes looked deeply into dark brown.
"On my honor."
"Me too Lanna. I will always be your friend." Annika hugged her best friend tightly.
"Hey and just wait one day we can play together again okay. We just have to wait. It won't be that bad or that long. We just have to wait. I promise."
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