By Elizabeth Carter
Even as the Borg Queen's head toppled off her neck, the Diamond listed heavily to the port side. It was then that it dawned upon B'Elanna that the Borg vessel was heavily under attack. She knew that Seven would have carried out the masquerade and played the part of the person she was residing within if only to protect B'Elanna. Outwardly the Voyager crew would see B'Elanna, but it was indeed Seven within. B'Elanna had been desperate to save her wife and the only plan she could think of was inspired by the punishment the two women were forced to endure two months earlier. The Klingon would switch places with her BangwI and the Queen would see a tall blonde ex-drone, but in truth it would be B'Elanna's soul she was dealing with. The deception had worked. The Queen had no idea something was afoot and the ruse had indeed created chaos.
Almost in a synchronized attack pattern, Seven, using her wife's body, lead the squadron to volley against the Diamond at the same moment the Queen was tormenting her would-be prey. The head of the Queen fell even as the Diamond spiraled end over end. The juggernauts of terror had fallen.
B'Elanna wasn't the only one forced to grap a bulkhead to remain on her feet. All around her, drones gripped bulkheads or framework in order to remain upright, while some were sent to the metal floor as a second seismic wave reverberated against the hull. The young woman felt as if every bone was jarred out of place. It had to be Kellein, for no Starfleet vessel had such a weapon, at least not out here in the delta quadrant.
For a moment all illumination within the Diamond dimmed, power failure was imminent. What ever it was her crewmates and wife were about to do was going to happen very rapidly. A fleeting look to the Queen's empty alcove spurred the young woman to her own course of action.
"No Queen will ever come for you again, Annika. Not ever."
Stepping over the body of the still twitching body of the Borg Queen, B'Elanna navigated Seven's body into the alcove. There was no fear in her mind, only resolve to make the galaxy safe for her wife once again. She knew without a shadow of a doubt Royal Protocol would engage once she stepped into that chamber of horrors. In fact, she was counting on it. B'Elanna Torres despite which body her soul wore, was a stubborn one indeed, a woman of strong and independent thinking and more than willing to trust her own judgment above that of others, whatever their position and experience.
While in Seven's body two months ago B'Elanna never had to regenerate. After all, Seven was good for seventy-three hours without needing to revitalize her Borg systems. That time could be stretched if she ate regularly and slept at least four hours a day. Two days ago, the Queen had forced her to regenerate, all, of course, to activate the endemic memory synapses so that 'Seven' would be mentally weakened and more easily manipulated.
For B'Elanna it was like the suspended animation one feels during lucid dreaming, where you know you are a sleep and dreaming, and though you can manipulate the dream environment you cannot wake. To the Klingon, it was utterly disorientating, but of course this served the Queen's goal to once more dominate her Prime. It was in this half state of near awareness that the Queen planned to download all relevant directives, by using the interlink frequency found in their abdomens. A new drone is also implanted with a neuroprocessor just below the ribcage, which contains a memory chip that stores all the information and instructions received from the Collective.
Seven, like all Borg, had had modifications made at the cellular level, including the installation of biosynthetic glands and microcircuit fibers which infiltrate the body, and a microtubual network embedded in the esophageal tract. All Borg are fitted with a neurotransceiver in the upper spinal column which links every drone to the Collective. From this moment on, the drone is connected to a complex subspace communication network and can "hear" the voices of all other members of the Collective. It was B'Elanna's hope that the neurolytic pathogen could be introduced into the Hive Mind using the neurotransceiver. It would indeed wreak havoc on a massive scale.
B'Elanna had adapted to Seven's body well. She knew how to "communicate" with the nanoprobes in the biosynthetic glands and microcircuit fibers so that when she plunged the tubules into the Queen's alcove the pathogen was released to spread and bring chaos to order. That half-dream-half-wakening state of regeneration was nothing compared to the sensations coursing through her mind now. The neurotransceiver in the upper spinal column vibrated with the voices of billions of drones. In her regenerative state a smile spread across the alabaster features as the 'Maquis' Pathogen targeted the Hive Mind.
B'Elanna wasn't the only headstrong woman to employ a questionable strategy to engage the Borg. It was not a comforting thought.
Seven was not aware that the need for deception was no longer necessary, and so she continued to play the part she was forced into. She woke the night after making love the first time to find herself within B'Elanna's body, and had, from that moment on, pretended to be her wife. If the nanoprobes with which the Queen infested Voyager could somehow transfer the information of the body-switch into the Queen's own neurotransceiver, she would order B'Elanna's death regardless of which body she wore. B'Elanna's motive to keep Seven safe from the Queen could go both ways. Seven never let on she was within B'Elanna's body for that same purpose, until of course she was reasonably sure the Queen's nanoprobes had been neutralized.
The actions of Mizoti and Naomi had prematurely made Seven act against her better judgment. However, she also knew that the Queen would not wait long before she began the mental assault. After that, the Queen would lure her arrant Prime from Voyager's Collective, and finally seduce her to willingly surrender to become inducted into Royal Protocol.
"Kellein, transfer me to these coordinates." The caramel hand quickly tapped in the designation into the living-ship's neuroprocessor using the kiosk interface.
"Not a good idea," Kellein responded. " You should reconsider."
"I am not going to discus this as a committee. Comply," Seven snapped, her borrowed Klingon vocal cords adding an unintentional growl to the order.
"Kellein will comply."
In a single instant the body of B'Elanna Torres materialized within the Queen's chamber. Seven acted in haste. She knew the Central Plexus connected her nemesis to the rest of the Collective. If destroyed, the Queen would be severed from the Hive mind long enough to secure the hostage and escape.
The Queen would take precautions against the standard Starfleet issued phasers, since the last time Janeway had destroyed the Central Plexus she had used such a weapon. A Borg disrupter, however, could easily destroy the target.
Seven turned and saw the figure of her father. No, not her father, but the drone known as Three of Five. Beside him were two nearly identical Klingon drones. From Starfleet records Seven recognized their faces: one was Be'tor the other Lursa. She didn't know their designations, but it wasn't relevant.
The chamber was closed indicating the Queen was within regenerating. Seven's first priority was to neutralize the Borg potentate, then search and rescue her beloved wife. So far the three drones had not assessed the Klingon intruder to be a threat.
"I am sorry, Papa," Seven said as she moved as a predator to Three of Five. Her phaser drawn too quickly for an eye to follow, she pulled the trigger, hitting Three of Five in the chest. He buckled and a second shot sent him to the metal floor. Be'tor and Lursa awoke to the threat and moved on the intruder like a pair of targs.
Seven fired, but it bounced harmlessly off their personal shields. They had adapted. Seven unsheathed the D'ktahg she had worn since B'Elanna's disappearance. The compact body of the younger Klingon moved to rush her assailant. Be'tor slashed at Seven as she came closer. Ducking the swipe, Seven lodged the blade into the torso of her victim only to have it blocked by the drone's arm. The blade cut deep into armor and flesh and bone, blood spurting all over the metal floor, the drone and B'Elanna's body. Seven ripped the blade back before the drone could pull her arm free. Then Be'tor reached with her free hand to grip the caramel neck, but Seven shifted too fast and the mesh covered hand of the drone sliced into the Klingon's neck instead of breaking it. Fire lit her entire neck and shoulder, but the pain only gave Seven focus. With renewed resolve, she slammed the blade into the abdomen of her foe even as she wrapped her arm around Be'tor's the neck and spun around using the taller Klingon-Borg as a shield.
Lursa fired her wrist phaser. Be'tor absorbed the blast and was dead before Seven let her go, removing the blade as she did. Lursa fired again but Seven threw her blade at the drone. There was a sickly wet thwack as the blade plunged into the center of Lursa's forehead. Seven descended upon the blade sticking out like a unicorn's single spiral and ripped it from the skull only to find a new home deep in the belly of the drone. Seven plunged her hand into the abdomen as if to gut a fish and ripped out the neurotransceiver in one breath and cast it aside with another.
Using the blade once more, Seven severed the added appendage on the drone's left hand and took custody of the blaster. Raising the weapon, she prepared to fire at the Central Plexus.
Within the alcove, B'Elanna was suddenly aware of a new presence on the Diamond. In fact the presence, though previously deemed irrelevant, suddenly made itself a threat. Three of her drones fell in protecting what they perceived as the Queen. Three of Five was first to fall, then One of Seven and Two of Seven. It was an odd sensation to know that drones had become deactivated. It occurred to B'Elanna that the intruder was a single Klingon warrior. Snapping her eyes open, B'Elanna commanded the alcove to disengage Royal Protocol, and to release her.
Seven fired the weapon just as the Alcove opened. Time was still the enemy. Seven knew that as soon as the drones fell the Queen would come for her. At full power the Borg-phaser would not only destroy the Central Plexus but would also, while the Queen was still locked within the regenerative cycle, cause a chaotic feedback loop in such a way that the experience with Vinculum would be a moment of pure clarity in comparison. The Queen would know pain.
It was not a sound, not a word, not a voice that Seven thought heard emerging from the Queen's alcove. It was too surreal, too extraordinary too hear one's own voice call out to gain your attention. Even more surreal was the image of your own body toppling as if dead to the floor.
Pure instinct drove Seven. She gathered the limp form of her own body and held it close, for a most precious essence remained within. Hitting the combadge on her chest it was a Klingon's voice that roared. "Kellein lock onto my signal. Two to beam out now!"
Blue eyes opened to see an overly jovial face of the doctor and the scowling face of B'Elanna Torres. And the concerned eyes of a Klingon mother and a Starfleet Captain. Of course seeing one's own body sneering at you was beyond an oddity.
"Welcome back, Seven. You gave everyone here quite a scare," the Doctor said in his singsong voice.
"Indeed you did, Seven, but we're glad you're home safe," Janeway said with her own smile on her voice.
"A bold move, Stick Girl, to take on the Tin-Bitch " Miral said but was interrupted by the younger Klingon at her side.
"That isn't Seven of Nine," B'Elanna's voice was heard to say. "That, in fact, is my wife B'Elanna, who took my body."
"What?" Miral, Janeway and the EMH said as one.
"You mean to tell me Commander Chakotay agreed to do that mumbo-jumbo yet again?" The photonic physician was aghast
"No," the blonde shook her head. "I did it."
"Ho .how?" Miral stuttered. She was still trying to comprehend that the whole time aboard the Diamond, Stick Girl was none other than her daughter.
"Yes, Banal, you will comply and tell me how you were able to switch your body for mine." Seven crossed her arms, staring at her own body upon the bio-bed.
"Can we discuss this latter?" B'Elanna looked at her mother and then to the captain. "Like when we are back in the bodies we belong to?" It was too unnerving trying to explain the switch while she was looking at her own body.
"No. I wish to know. Comply. Then I will retrieve the necessary items so that you can switch us back immediately," Seven ordered.
"Ah no!" B'Elanna sat straight up, and was rewarded with a wave of dizziness for her trouble. Sitting back so she was resting upon her elbows she winced. "We can't do that."
"You know, I want to know how you did do the switch, Lieutenant. I thought I ordered Chakotay never to invoke that particular ritual," Kathryn sternly commented.
"Exactly so," Miral demanded. "And who exactly is this Chakotay to think he can play with such an abominable force and meddle with a warriors' soul?"
B'Elanna rolled her eyes (or Seven's eyes as it were). "Okay fine Look, I didn't do the whole meditation thing." She deliberately ignored her mother's anger. "I wasn't sure how to. But the drug Chakotay used needed to be used in some sort of transcendental meditation. I gambled on the euphoria of lovemaking." The blonde head dropped as did the gaze of blue eyes. "Annika, loving you sent me to the stars, I was soaring. I knew then that I had a chance to save you, like you wanted to save me."
"The prayer before we made love, you pouring blood wine onto the wick of the candles and in the incense. It was the same peyote derivative Chakotay used in its raw form. I detected a change in the scent, but I am not accustomed to burning incense nor candles, and thus have no basis of comparison when bloodwine or the peyote is added," Seven responded.
"Yes. I know Chakotay prayed to his spirit guides and poured the peyote crap on both the candles and incense. I had to try, Nic," B'Elanna softly said.
"But I did not consume enough of the tainted blood wine to make the transference possible."
"It was in the bloodwine, yes, but it was just a start. Nic, it wasn't the bloodwine."
"The water!" Seven exclaimed.
B'Elanna nodded. "You drank it so rapidly that you never noticed the slight earthy taste the water had. Already floating from the after effects of lovemaking, the drug worked like a charm. You fell asleep and when you woke you were in my body."
For a long moment no one said anything.
"Chakotay would never consent to giving you the drug," Seven said at last.
B'Elanna shook her blonde head. "He didn't. He never knew I had the drug."
B'Elanna related her tale.
"Chakotay watched me as I paused in his quarters for a moment, and spoke only when I came to the table filled with his ancestral relics. I began to fidget with the clay jars and stone fetishes and noticed the vial of peyote. He was talking, the words barely filtering into my mind as I started to form a plan.
"'B'Elanna, yes, I am surprised that this relationship happened as quickly as it has. Only two months ago she had you by your throat, hoisted up into the air. Maybe Seven loves the Queen,'
"His words gained my attention. I wanted to rip his throat out right there on the spot for saying that targ shit. I whirled around and faced the man leaning forward, watching him. I even told him it was the stupidest thing I have ever heard. But he went on to spout his crap.
"'Think, B'Elanna. Twice she's gone to the Queen all in the pretense of sacrificing herself for Voyager's freedom. She always said that one day she would return to Borg Royal Protocol. It never crossed your mind that this is what Seven wanted all along? Give the appearance of being a hero to the entire crew rather than a traitor, then she gives herself up, takes out the old Queen to become the new one. Or she takes her position as the Prime and as the Queen's mate. It's never crossed your mind that Seven wants this? That Seven is in love with the Queen?'
"'You're way out of line, Chuckles,' I roared out, my fists slamming down and upsetting the table of artifacts. 'Annika loves me.' I grabbed the vile from the table and clutched it in my fist, hiding it from his eyes.
"'Yes, but Seven is Borg. Only Annika is human, and Borg will always be Borg. A scorpion can not act outside of its nature nor can a Borg, B'Elanna.'
"I didn't know what the hell he was trying to get at, I knew only what my gut was telling me." 'Seven of Nine is my wife! Annika Torres is my wife and they are the same person. She is mine! I am hers and I will not have you belittling her sacrifice.' I wanted to weep because he refused to see what it was costing you to give yourself up. Having been in your body before I knew the terror and the anguish you felt being near the Queen. Oh God, Annika, he just flung it all out the airlock, and I wanted to cut off his friggin head for it!
"'I only want to point out it might not be as big a sacrifice as you think it is, B'Elanna. I've known you for a long time and you were right in mistrusting Seven in the beginning. Looking at the facts, as they are, I would say she's been playing the double agent all-long.'
"He had no clue, none, None at all, how huge a sacrifice it was for you. I think his ego is still bruised from you shooting him down for his sexual advances. He is painting you a traitor, BangwI. That isn't something your wife will easily let go of. Not ever. The day he called you a traitor was the day he threw away our friendship and my loyalty. I will no longer honor the Pa'taq with my friendship! I even told him as much.
"'I am not going to stand here and listen to this shit, Chakotay, not from you. Dishonor my wife once more and you'll see just want a pissed off Klingon is capable of.' I stepped forward, fists clutched at my sides and hiding the vile, my knuckles white from clinching them so tightly. I could smell his fear of me and it burned in my blood.
"'Are you threatening me, lieutenant?'
"He tried to sound intimidating, but it was too late. All his posturing only caused me to burn hotter."
"'I am Maquis, Chakotay, not Starfleet, and as I see it the one that has been corrupted here isn't my wife. It's you. You're as bad as Admiral Necheyev. She wants fucking genocide for the Borg. She will never see Seven as human and she will never see Seven as Annika. She only sees a Borg drone and so do you. Of course, that's only if you get over looking at my wife's breasts .'
"I knew he was sexually covetous of you, Banal. First he wanted to kill you, then he wanted to fuck you. He tried to tell me I was out of line. The truth was he was embarrassed I caught him in his lust. I wasn't about to let him get away with it. Nic, I defended you and I meant what I said. I told him to back off and that though he was my friend I would never suffer insults and dishonor to my wife. Nic, I told him and I am telling you now, BangwI, you mean everything to me, and I mean everything."
It was B'Elanna's face that showed the smile Seven was feeling. "In that case, Banal, I forgive you for the theft of my body." It was an odd sensation for both of them when they kissed. Seven moved back and smiled. "A curious sensation. Is kissing my own body considered narcissistic or simply the prelude to masturbation?"
B'Elanna and Miral couldn't help themselves, but belted out full deep belly laughs. The doctor for his part backed out of the area and retreated to his office. And Janeway shifted from foot to foot, wishing futilely that she hadn't heard what she had heard.
"Janeway, get this Chakotay so I can welcome my daughter-in-law properly," the older women demanded. 'And then I shall explain to this weakling Pa'taq what it means to dishonor a daughter of House Prasba.' The latter comment Miral kept to herself.
For some reason beyond the Captain's ken she found herself yet again complying with the Klingon. She justified her obedience to the fact she wanted to see her officers restored to their rightful bodies just as much as Miral and the young women themselves did.
"BangwI, I think your method of transference is preferable to that of the commanders. And it is more efficient."
"Annika, you know what that entails ." B'Elanna would not finish but felt the alabaster skin warm with a blush.
"Of course. We make what you termed 'mad passionate love' and "
The blush deepened at Miral's laughter and Janeway's own snicker.
"Kah'less, Nic . Not in front of the mothers!"
This spurred the other two women to laugh even harder.
"Is this not a preferable and more enjoyable way to transfer our essence into each other?" Seven asked innocently, ignoring the laughter of the others. She saw nothing funny in wanting to love one's wife.
Apparently Seven was completely unaware of the double-entendre as B'Elanna laid back on the bio-bed and drew the Mylar blanket up over her head. "Oh God."
"Come, Janeway, we should leave the young lovers to their work. May you break the bed daughter!" Miral clapped the captain on the back ad started for the sickbay doors.
From under the blanket, 'Seven's' voice mumbled. "Shut up MOTHER!"
The laughter only deepened as they left.
"Kah'less, I am never going to live that down," the muffled voice muttered.
"BangwI, you are angered with me," came the subdued voice of 'B'Elanna' though it was Seven's words.
"No, Nic, no." B'Elanna sat up. "Come here, Love. It's okay. Hell, I forget sometimes just how bluntly honest you are. Klingons respect that. It's just that sex and mothers are not good companions, at least not for this Klingon."
"I apologize if I embarrassed you, but I meant what I said. It is more efficient and more pleasurable."
"Can't argue with that." B'Elanna rubbed the blonde hair on 'her' head. "But won't it be weird making love to our own bodies?"
"Perhaps disorientating. However we can learn what pleasures the body the most. If I feel within your body which touch is more enjoyable, once I am back in the body I belong to, I can more efficiently and more productively stimulate you, BangwI, to grater climax."
"Gotta hand it to you, Seven of Mine, you can turn anything into a scientific exploration." The full lips pulled back into a smile.
"Does this mean that you will not comply?"
"I think it will be weird, but what the hell, I'm game. I'd love to know first hand what you feel when you have an organism. Hell, it might be fun to feel what your enhanced senses can do " There was a wicked grin on alabaster face. "I am dying to know what you feel when I kiss the starburst implant." Long slender fingers traced the implant on the right cheek.
"And I wish to know what your body is fully capable of," Seven returned with her own devilish grin.
"All to make you a more proficient lover," B'Elanna teased.
"Of course." Up went a dark eyebrow. "I am formerly of the Borg. Would you expect any less?"
In the astrometrics lab, Miral, Captain Kathryn Janeway, Megan Delaney and Icheb Hansen stared at the scans of the Borg Diamond.
"Captain, the ship remains dormant, though there are still seven hounded and nine active Borg life signs still animated. The scans indicate they are dormant as well," Icheb said. "It appears the pathogen was successful."
"Pathogen?" Miral asked. Stick Girl or rather her daughter -- spoke of such a thing when they were together in the assimilation chamber.
"Yes, um . . . Seven constructed a pathogen, and planned to introduce it into the Collective, either by directly linking with the Queen or, if forced to, through Royal Protocol," the Captain said. "Or at least that was the plan. Apparently B'Elanna was able to introduce the pathogen into the Central Plexus. "
"We spoke of it," Miral admitted. "Should we not destroy that garbage scowl?"
"Negative, Captain Miral," Icheb answered before Janeway could. "The pathogen needs time to worm its way into the Hive Mind to be its most productive in introducing the contagion. It is designed not for genocide but to sever the Collective consciousness from assimilation to a more independent awareness. Without the force of the Collative voices, the Borg will not be as formidable and the chaos too extensive to be easily overcome."
"You are neutralizing the Borg," Miral concluded. "And this was Stick Girl's idea?"
Janeway smiled at the nickname that was obviously given to Seven despite that Miral now knew the ex-Borg was B'Elanna in disguise.
"Captain Miral, please clarify 'Stick Girl'," Icheb requested in his typical Borg monotone.
"It was a name I gave your mother on that cursed Borg ship. Of course at the time, B'Elanna inhabited her, but I didn't know that. I am curious just how well B'Elanna did play her part."
"If the Queen did not detect the subterfuge, I would say my Mor played her part rather well," Icheb commented. "The Queen is NOT easily fooled."
"Okay, you clarify something loDHom," Miral demanded in a soft command to the boy. "Mor? That isn't Spanish," she remarked with an obvious question in her voice.
"B'Elanna chose to honor my SoS'oy's Swedish heritage, just as Seven of Nine chose to honor Mor's."
"Seems fair to me. But you seem a little old to call her SoS'oy rather then simply SoS."
"I fail to see how age will put a restraint on how I feel about the woman who is my mother," Icheb said evenly. "Mizoti calls her SoS'oy. Mor said the suffix 'oy conveys a feeling of great affection. It is what I will call her until she says otherwise, beb'HoD."
"Honored Captain, eh, loDHom? You wouldn't be trying to suck up to me, would you?"
Icheb blinked, looked to his captain and then back to Miral, "Please clarify."
Miral chuckled. "It means to try to gain my favor by spouting out platitudes."
"Is not beb'HoD accurate? You are the Benel of Chancellor Martok, you are also a member of the Order of the Bat'lath, an honor given only to those warriors the most deserving."
"Cadet Hansen, how do you know this?" Janeway wanted to know.
"Upon her right arm beb'HoD Miral wears the medal representing her captainship within the Klingon Empire. Upon her bandoleer she wears the medal of House Prasba but also, and more predominately, the crest of the Chancellor's house. She also wears the medal indicating her station within the Order of the Bat'lath. Therefore the title beb'HoD is an accurate designation."
"PugI'lod," Miral switched from calling him 'boy' to 'grandson' out of her own acceptance of him into her family. "B'Elanna is the only Klingon you know. I can't imagine her sharing all of this information with you since she was never one for embracing her Klingon heritage." There was a small fragment of disappointment in her tone.
"I am Borg, I have the accumulated knowledge of the Collective, though not as extensive as SoS'oy for I emerged out of the maturation chamber prematurely. And I took it upon myself to research all of my Mor's heritage, Klingon, Spanish, and Swedish.."
"What about your own?" Miral wanted to know.
"The Brunali genetically manipulated my conception as a weapon against the Borg," Icheb said coldly. "My natural mother wished only to use me as such once more when I was reunited with her. SoS'oy and Mor are my true mothers, they are the only relevance to me as is my little sister Mizoti."
"Where is that little spit-fire?" Miral asked the Captain suddenly, realizing she had not seen the child since the bridge some twelve hours ago.
"She and Naomi Wildman are in the brig for one day of confinement for their sabotage of the ship. Their mothers have complete visual and audio surveillance of them, but the girls are led to believe they are in solitary. I could almost forgive the highjacking of Kellein, since the ship belongs to their mothers on an independent level. But the sabotage of my ship I can't let that go so easily. Basically they're grounded."
Miral had other ideas. She thought the girls reacted like true warriors, albeit extremely young, but the sabotage of one's ship was, even in the Klingon Empire, a punishable offence. Depending upon the severity it could cost one's life, so a day in the brig for two young girls seemed to be a fair punishment. Still, their courage should be rewarded, as should their ingenuity. Miral would see to it that the girls knew how honorable their attempt to rescue Stick Girl was.
"I still believe our escape was too prosaic, Captain. That infernal ship has no power, destroy it now and annihilate the enemy," Miral suggested in a voice that was accustomed to giving orders.
"Seven and B'Elanna risked their lives to deliver the pathogen, Captain Miral, I am not going to let that sacrifice be for naught. As a warrior I am sure you can appreciate the effectiveness of 'annihilating' more than one enemy. By allowing that diamond to remain, the pathogen will not simply be contained on one ship. The Borg must have a contingency plan if their first chosen Prime is deactivated or gone missing. By now, no doubt, a new Prime has been inducted into Royal Protocol and the pathogen will spread to her and so on and so forth," Janeway explained, as a diplomatic Starfleet captain should.
"And if there is no second choice Prime?" Miral challenged.
"Then we still have the rest of the Borg to cope with. The pathogen will still spread throughout the Collective."
Miral waited and assessed the merits of Janeway's plans. She had to admit, to cripple an entire race by allowing a single enemy to escape was militarily sound. Why simply satisfy the hunt with one targ when you can have the whole pack?
"THAT was definitely different," B'Elanna said once she was in the body she was born too. She leaned over and stroked the long slender body she had inhabited for the better part of a week. Her fingers trailed gently along the starburst implant which she knew, from personal experience, with just the correct amount of pressure, could be exceptionally sensitive and more than stimulating.
Seven sucked in air and arched into B'Elanna's touch, her full lips opening slightly as her moan slipped out of her throat.
"You are insatiable," Seven managed despite her lover's playful touch.
"You're fault, BangwI. I know exactly how to manipulate your body. You were right, it was efficient." The klingon tried her hardest not to snicker.
"Indeed," Seven uttered as her own fingers moved along the slight spinal ridges of B'Elanna's back, starting with light pressure at the nape of her neck and increasing the pressure as she slipped down to the tailbone. By the time she reached the small of her lover's back, B'Elanna was moaning. "It was intoxicating when you did that to me, I know how incredibly wet it makes you."
B'Elanna, always the strong one, felt small and safe in Seven's arms. She felt herself let out a long sigh that started at her shoulders and bled down through her body just as Seven's hands had done seconds before. Seven's kisses felt wonderful on her face. Eyes closed, she let the feeling carry her as Seven's lips nipped her throat. It was an incredible turn on.
Seven moved from the caramel neck. B'Elanna shuddered as she felt the full lips of her wife trail down to her abdomen. Here the blonde paused for a moment, thrumming. Using her sub-vocal processor, Seven thrummed softly in a purr. The vibrations over her ovaries caused B'Elanna to shutter. She could feel the heat rising deep within her, flashes of lightning flared behind her eyelids.
Seven massaged the caramel thighs with surprising tenderness. B'Elanna's entire body tingled with the tease, she could feel herself growing wetter, and Seven had yet to touch her mound. Goosebumps covered her body, the thrumming so intoxicating that it made it hard for B'Elanna to breath.
B'Elanna forced her eyes open to see her lover perched on top of her, she rose slowly looking incredibly sexy as she straightened her back, nipples erect and shoulders squared. Seven took Bella's legs and pushed them apart making a space for herself, wedging herself in. As Seven nibbled B'Elanna's thigh, her nose grazed her lover's clit, making the Klingon shudder.
Seven bit the inner thigh causing her wife to shudder again. Her tongue snaked all around indiscriminately, drinking in the tangy essence, her hunger just as indiscriminate.
Seven stopped. She looked up. Suddenly very calm and controlled, she slipped her finger into her mouth and back out, the silver digit glinting with her saliva, and she cupped her hand around B'Elanna's butt, applying pressure with her thumb as she manipulated her moistened finger with in B'ELanna's arse. B'Elanna suddenly felt incredibly good. The sensation filled her inside with incredible warmth.
"Chol, BangwI Benel," Seven commanded her beloved wife to cum.
"Kah'less, Nic .Hija yes Hija!" Never in her life had B'Elanna thought she would recapture her Klingon heritage as she had. And what a way to reclaim it! The surroundings had melted away, she let the feeling carry her away as Seven's lips touched her clit. Seven licked slowly, her tongue supplying a countermeasure to the leisurely rhythm of her hand. Seven moved her wife's body without effort, rolling in sync to the feeling, floating in a sea of sensations she never experienced. Seven's voice seemed distant.
"You are enjoying it."
"Hija God, yes!"
Seven's tongue began working again. Her breath spread across B'Elanna's legs and belly, then her breathing became a little faster. Her hand and tongue kept pace. Before B'Elanna even realized the tension had built, it unwound all at once. She climaxed, long and slow. And again. Harder.
The sound of her own orgasmic cries woke her from her trance. Her velvet chocolate eyes shot open. Seven's face was there, between her legs, lapping furiously now. B'Elanna came so had this time she lost control. Seven wrestled to hold her down, and neither wanted it to end.
When B'Elanna eventually collapsed, Seven got up near her and took her head in her hands. They kissed, but Seven's lips were as limp as the rest of her.
Kissing B'Elanna's neck, Seven whispered, "I much prefer love making in our own bodies, BangwI."
"I agree, Babe, you taste better," B'Elanna murmured.
"I am disinclined to acquiesce, BangwI."
"Mater of perspective, Lover. Still I love the feeling of this little implant "B'Elanna teased as she kissed the starburst on Seven's alabaster jaw. "I love knowing just what it does to you."
Seven giggled, and nuzzled into her lover's arms.
"He-ey, I am one up on you .you didn't get an eighth .."
"Don't care," Seven said sleepily. "I gladly defer my eighth to simply hold you next to me."
B'Elanna was about to protest, thinking Seven was just placating, but she could see the sloe eyes struggling to stay open. "Sure, Hon, I'd love that too," She said as she kissed the blonde's sweaty forehead.
"I want to wake up as me."
B'Elanna chuckled. "Not to worry, Seven of Mine, you will." The Klingon wasn't positive, but she had hoped her wife had heard her last words even if Seven was asleep.
They slept for what they thought was a full day, but in fact was only four hours of hardcore sleep.
Rousing themselves, the lovers felt a warmth neither of them had ever felt before, the warmth that says you are totally loved, safe and complete. B'Elanna, for her part, never felt truly compatible with any of her former lovers. They were too fragile in some cases, with others it was only a fling with no substance. That included her last lover who was now in stasis for his hate-crimes. But even with those that had substance there was something missing. In Seven she had found it. Soul.
Seven had never known love apart from her parents those first four years of her life, before they became involved with the Borg. Their focus shifted and that four-year-old child knew that the soul of the love was gone though the substance was not. The Queen, the Borg, consumed the child of six for the next eighteen years. Seven never knew what was missing from her life until she was severed. Now she had found what it was to be truly loved, loved so deeply that her beloved would sacrifice her sprit, if only to save Seven's. B'Elanna had placed Seven's spirit into her own body, knowing she would never be able to talk Seven into not going. The young Klingon had found another way to fulfill the Queen's ultimatum. Yes, you can have Seven's body, but it would not be her. Seven treasured the love given to her as the rare and precious gem that it was. She had found her soul in more than one way in her BangwI, her B'Elanna.
Seven shifted in her sleep and felt the arm wrapped around her waist tighten. "Not yet, Hon," B'Elanna murmured. "It's too cold outside the blankets, I like it right here." To prove her point, B'Elanna snuggled her spooned position even closer to her wife's lanky body.
To that Seven rose an ocular implant. "Bella, the temperature outside of the confines of our blankets has remained constant. Our combined body heat "
"Nic, you think too much." B'Elanna kissed the nape of the neck in front of her. "Go back to sleep."
Seven turned in the arms holding her. "I cannot. I am concerned for Mizoti. I wish to see her."
B'Elanna's brown eyes snapped open, her lips pulled back into a grin. "You know, she takes after her mother. I heard what she did, pretty amazing."
"Which mother does she take after Benel? After all you 'ARE' Maquis," Seven chided.
"So are you. Pretty big move for you to defy the Captain and wear my Maquis badge. For anyone else that's tame defiance, but for you, BangwI, it's a big thing." B'Elanna kissed Seven's angel nose. "We should replicate one for you, or rather me. You keep mine, Hon, as a gift."
Seven kissed her wife back. "Thank you, Bella."
"Let's go see the girls."
Miral must have had a similar idea to visit her rebellious granddaughter to see how the girl was holding up. A seven-year-old child confined to ones quarters was one thing, but Janeway's scare tactic in a brig was another. However, Miral thought that if her PugnI'be could outwit several adults and overcome several Starfleet securities lockouts to sabotage the vessel she could withstand twenty-four hours locked up. Still, Miral knew how protective little girls could be of their mothers. John Torres had told Miral that when B'Elanna was six and on the camping trip, she had snarled at him for what he had said to his brother about his wife. Then B'Elanna said, "You shouldn't talk that way about Mommy! If you hate Klingons so much then go away! I hate you!"
When he had gone the child transferred her anger to her mother, thinking it was Klingons who drove the man she idolized away. She had blamed herself for being too much of a Klingon so that her father no longer loved her. Miral was pleased to know that was no longer the case. Even in the tall blonde's body, B'Elanna had recaptured the proud Klingon heritage. Why else would she have adorned her wife in battle armor?
It seemed to the older Klingon that some of B'Elanna's reclaiming her heritage was due to Seven of Nine. Miral's drifting mind came to a teeth jarring halt as she saw Stick Girl holding a security officer up by his throat with her mesh covered hand, her words a snarl. "THAT is my child and my goddaughter, and you will not keep me from them, ensign!"
B'Elanna stood with her feet shoulder width apart watching her wife make the unfortunate man understand that separating a mother from her child was not a wise thing, no matter who gave the order the prisoner should have no visitors.
With her free hand, Seven typed in the commands on the kiosk that would disengage the forcefield. The man in her iron grip tried futilely to free himself but stopped when he felt the hand close even tighter. "I can and will snap your neck. Don't move. You were stupid enough to prohibit me from reclaiming my child. Don't prove to be an idiot."
The forcefield fell and Seven turned to the children as they scrambled out.
"BangwI, take them to our quarters," Seven commanded her wife. "You!" Her ice blue eyes chilled the tawny haired ensign even further. With ridiculous ease Seven threw the security officer into the cell that had once contained Mizoti. "Don't ever come between me and my child again." With that she commanded the force field to erect itself once more.
Miral was smiling wickedly. What she thought of Stick Girl on the Diamond was only proven to be true. Her daughter had indeed chosen well for a mate. Perhaps Icheb was correct, that Lanna had portrayed Seven with accuracy. For what she just witnessed was the same as what she had seen in the assimilation chamber. Seven was driven when she made up her mind and focused on an objective.
"I think I'll join you," Miral said to the blonde.
"Please do. I think there is much to discuss. We were under the impression you had died. B'Elanna must have been surprised to see you aboard the Queen's vessel."
The corridors were relatively low in traffic, not that it would matter for a Klingon Captain of a Bird of Prey or an ex-Borg if they weren't, but at least their conversation wasn't hampered.
"I died, huh? Is that what my daughter told you?" Miral almost felt the sharp point of a Met'leth plunging into her heart.
"It was what she experienced. She was in a shuttle accident that caused her to have a near death experience and she was cast onto the Barge of the Dead for dishonoring you. She was under the impression she was a disgrace to you. When she went into the foredeck cabin she would not take the brand because she wasn't truly dead. Once inside she saw you there. The Doctor then revived her before she was allowed to intervene. She pleaded with Captain Janeway to re-experience the accident. After much soul searching and pleading with our Captain she was allowed to undergo a procedure to allow her back onto the Barge of the Dead."
Miral stared in awe. "Stick-Girl, no Klingon willingly wants to go to the Barge of the Dead. It is a place of great dishonor, it takes you to Grethor."
"I am aware of this. It is better to be aboard the Black Fleet and taken to Stov-o-kor where the brave do battle. You distract me."
"Sorry." Miral was amazed at herself for apologizing, but her daughter-in-law had such charisma and blunt honesty, that the aging Klingon found herself admiring her.
"As I said, Bella wanted to undergo this trial so that she might take your place on the Barge of the Dead since it was her dishonor, not yours, that placed you aboard the vessel. In B'Elanna's vision she was able to send you to the Black Fleet. Even when she agreed to remain there, no trick, no backing out because of the controlled procedure, she simply took your place. The brand was removed from your cheek and placed on B'Elanna's own.
"She challenged Kotare the God Slayer to a battle of bat'leths. She recaptured her heritage and was sent back to the world of the living by you. You told her that her anger was her death. She was too angry and she should let go of it. When she did, B'Elanna was restored to life."
Miral was agog by the revelation. Her daughter truly wasn't the angry woman she had known ten years ago. B'Elanna had changed so much, and Miral had never been more proud of her daughter. B'Elanna had been willing to sacrifice herself to Grethor so that her mother might be saved. And she had done it again; she had taken Seven's place aboard the Queen's vessel so that her wife might be saved.
It was time, Miral thought, to not only get to know her daughter-in-law, but it seemed her own child as well. B'Elanna had become an extraordinary woman indeed. One a mother would be extremely proud to call daughter.
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