DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning Star Trek belong to Paramount etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended, absolutely none what so ever. This is just a fanfiction using the characters that were created by some wonderfully imaginative people, brought to life by some wonderfully talented actors purely for entertainment. Oh yeah another note this story depicts a relationship of a loving and sexual nature between two consenting adult women.
SEQUEL: This story follow on from A Mile
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

A Journey
By Elizabeth Carter

Part Twenty

Miral now had chance to pilot the living ship Kellian, she had been more than impressed with its maneuverability and its finesse within a battle but she wanted to make sure this little ship was more than just the superior battle tactics of her daughters. After all with their skills they could pilot that furry Talaxian's unwieldy barge into a heated battle and come out the victor.

Not that a living ship could be retro-engineered but if the species produced completely asexually it might be worth the Empire' time to implement a small fleet of the ships, with Kellian of course being the flagship of the squadron. Miral imagined her daughter and her new daughter-in-law dressed like true warriors. None of the flimsy Federation cotton rags, but leather and trinium armor. An image one could be proud of.

Miral fancied her daughter wearing a silver bandolier with the chevrons of the house of Martok, the House of Presba. Perhaps one day even the emblem of the Order of the Bat'lath. Surly B'Elanna deserved to become a commander. Starfleet had a way to slow their officers from ascending into rank. By now that low-browed troglodyte Chakotay would have been killed for his severe lack of command fortitude. Had B'Elanna been in the Defenses Forces she would have taken the man's place. Of course if B'Elanna had still been in an active cell of the Maquis Resistance and the Caretaker hadn't interfered, the aging Klingon Captain would wager her daughter would be indeed Captain by now. Perhaps not by besting the painted-human but surely of her own vessel.

For her Housemate, Worf it had been a matter of honor that lead him to serve Starfleet. He owned them a life-debt for it had been officers of Starfleet that saved his life as a mere toddler. And as any proud warrior he maintained his Klingon heart, honored the debt and served the humans. B'Elanna owed no such debt and Miral had been angered beyond reason when she heard her child had joined Starfleet. Of course the Federation with all its pragmatic preaching of tolerance of diversity, when it comes to other races that do not re-mold themselves into perfect little human wannabes and act like humans they shout that said person is unbecoming of an officer. "Not Starfleet material." Miral was proud when her daughter quit the human factory and joined the Maquis.

Miral almost glowered at the self-righteous Starfleet Heads of State. What did they know of honor and glory, of cunning and the fortitude of the heart? They didn't even have any operas sung about them. No poems, no songs. There were exceptions however to the human factory.

Miral could see why B'Elanna followed Janeway, she behaved very much like a Klingon woman. And for that matter so did Stick-Girl. But her daughter-in-law had fought the adversity of the Borg to be free. Despite her birth in the Alpha Quadrant, Stick-girl was very much a girl of the Delta Quadrant, and she had proven she had a heart of a Klingon. She would do well in the Empire.

The Federation had long lost its hospitality to her child and the mate she had taken, Miral knew there would be no true rest for the Maquis in the reaches of Starfleet. Yes since the Cardassian massacre the Federation had given the remaining Maquis pardons but they were still being tracked down and killed. Accidents, 'killed by Cardasian agents' or fellow Maquis or any other excuses like the Dominion. Or so would say Starfleet.

And Stick-girl?

What true reprieve would a proven warrior have in the Federation. Starfleet would seize Seven and after interrogating her they would dissect her all in the trusting name of science and preserving the 'good people' of the Federation as a means to destroy the Borg. The children wouldn't stand a chance. Of course life might be rough in the Empire but your enemies faced you, you knew where you stood Klingons didn't fuck around either you were tolerated, liked or you were hated. No guessing. And the only elite organization was the Order of the Bat'lath. Of which she was a member as well as the Lady of the House of Martok which bought her a certain amount of prestige. Miral was a damn good captain even had a few songs composed in her honor, Stick girl and the Sochlings would be protected. Miral decided she'd have them on her ship when she got back, B'Elanna as her chief engineer, Seven would keep her position as astrophysics officer but on a Klingon battle cruiser.

"You done joy-riding in my ship, Mother?" B'Elanna asked as she plopped down at the tactical station next to the pilot / captain's chair.

The older Klingon smirked. "I wanted to see if it was you or this vessal that made those moves." In her musings Miral had continued to make Kellian do several loops, hairpin turns entering her into several evasive and combat maneuvers. She was once more impressed with the living ship's capabilities. "She's good."

B'Elanna smiled, she had to say she was proud of Kellian even if her engineering skills hadn't come into play. Kellian was still her ship. If the Maquis had a fleet of Species 342 they might have had a better chance against the Cardassian onslaught.

"I brought this up before and with good reason. Think about joining the Defense Force, under my command as my Chief Engineer."

"What?" B'Elanna starred at her mother. "You want me on your ship?"

"Yes. B'Elanna you've always had a talent for the science. I couldn't keep you away from schematics or tearing apart an engine or any other technology to improve it when you were a kid. You've always had talent. I want it on my ship. I need someone with your skills B'Elanna. Think of the glory. A battle cruiser. Stick Girl will be my Astrometrics Officer, the boy can keep his position as her aide. It's a better future I'm offering you than you'll ever find in the Federation."

"Mother, I don't know.... I don't think I am Klingon enough...they'll see me as a mongrel child and too small...."

"Baaa!" Miral spat. "You battle the Queen of the Borg for your mate! What greater honor can one mate give the other but to battle against insurmountable odds and conquer your enemies. The Defense Force will know of your triumph and they will sing of it!"

B'Elanna was still frowning. "Joining the Defense Force wasn't what I had in mind once I returned back home."

"And joining Starfleet was?"

"Not only no but hell no." B'Elanna shook her head. "I thought of going independent. Seven and I as independent contractors on Kellian. With the Sochlings we have a full crew. Setting up shop in the Beta Quadrant isn't out of the question, in fact its probably a bit better than the Alpha Quadrant," B'Elanna said evenly.

"Then it has crossed your mind what might happen to Seven and your kids."

Again B'Elanna nodded. When they had traversed the nebula she had made a joke about the fact if the Voyager crew had a hard time with Seven as an ex-Borg imagine what they will think once she got back to the Alpha Quadrant. It wasn't something Seven was looking forward to. In fact Seven seemed to want nothing more to do with the Alpha Quadrant other than seeing Indiana where the Captain grew up. B'Elanna knew that Janeway had promised to take Seven there to once they all returned.

"I'll think about it Mother." That was all B'Elanna was going to promise. "But I am nearly certain we are going Independent or joining the Maquis." the younger woman held up a hand. "Yeah I know it's rumored they are all wiped out or gone. I know that's not true. I know a few cells would have survived. I know in my gut Ro Larren lives. If we join anyone it will be them. My honor demands no less."

Miral could without protest lose her daughter to the resistance force, even tolerate her as Independent Contractor. What she would loath to have was if B'Elanna joined or rejoined Starfleet, even if they 'did' let her. "Join Ro Larren's Maquis, Lanna. You bring great honor and glory to the House." for a Klingon this was heavily sentimental and endearing. No child could receive a higher praise than to have their parent tell them they brought honor and glory to the House.

So as not to get too sentimental the older warrior clapped her daughter on the back with a wide grin. "Why serve a captain when you can be your own captain? My daughter a Maquis Captain." The smile grew wider revealing the deadly sharp incisors. "Qupla!"

Kellian had picked up the address of Captain given from Miral to B'Elanna, her Borg enhanced memory core also caught on to the use of Maquis. If she was going to be a Maquis ship the young ship though it logical to start modifying her behavioral patterns in the CPU to respond like a Maquis ship. Her hull colors changed from blue-gray to a mottled blue-deep green and gray of Klingon ships. Her pectoral fins would bare no markings not even the Borg-Klingon triskillion as she had been sporting earlier.

Seven or Soch as B'Elanna had called her was recognized as her Queen, B'Elanna her captain. As for ranking, B'Elanna would be recognized as in charge of the crew, her Queen Kellian would obey. She would of course go as far as to belay all orders if they conflicted with the Queen's desirers, if they were not she had no qualms about following her captain. Being a Maquis ship also meant Kellian was going to be a warship. A warrior like her Queen and her Captain. Again behavioral patterns in the ICU upgraded. She would delve into her own Borg-enhanced memory core and glean the countless battle tactics from billions of species. By the time they rejoined Voyager, Kellian would be a fully operational battleship.

Kellian divided a bit of her attention elsewhere, a warship needed allies if a conflict were to be victorious. Kellian would face her enemies, enemies of the Maquis and the Empire, enemies of her Queen and her Captain without fear. If she were to engage into theater with the odds against her she would have a fleet to cover her crew's six. Her self-imposed prime directive protect her crew

In the Alpha Quadrant hundreds of Maquis-Borg cubes flared to life was the Hive Mind became aware of the directive from the Queen's vessel. Protect the crew of the Kellian at all costs, fight for the Maquis, conquer the enemy which included Section 31. Because of Seven's knowledge of the hidden organization and its members from assimilated participants Kellian and thus the Maquis-Borg had such knowledge.

The crew Voyager had somehow lost the great fear of the Borg, the old enemy had been encountered on a regular basis and several confrontations with the Queen herself the trepidation had simply waned. Those aboard Voyager who knew Seven of Nine, Icheb and Mizoti no longer saw the implants when they looked at them they saw crewmates. The inhabitants of the Alpha Quadrant did not have this luxury, when a Borg Cube showed itself terror was a foot.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard watched in fascinated horror as three cubes off his port bow vanished, wavering in what he knew to be a cloaking device. That astonished him as well. The Marquis -Borg had cloaking devices, more importantly they could attack while cloaked. He waited for an attack, something. Perhaps a volley of the spider-like torpedoes that could disassemble a ship in seconds. It never came. The aging captain wasn't about to loiter about waiting to be picked off. He ordered Data to locking a course and hit Warp Nine. It puzzled him why they suddenly broke off an impending attack and ran. Borg do not run they destroy, they assimilate but they never retreat. Why now?

It was the same question on General Martok's as they watched from the main viewer aboard 'The Sword of Kah'less' six Borg cubes engaged their cloaking devices and vanished. The Maquis Borg were not at all predictable, not like their cousins. Once again when the Klingon Battle Cruiser encounter the fleet of Borg vessels, the ships would not engage in battle even when 'The Sword of Kah'less took the first shot. Then they had merely vanished.

Commander Worf however had a different encounter. He had been on his way to Pathfinder as ordered by Chancellor Martok when his fleet had been thrust under heavy attack from Jem'hadar ships. Death was immanent.

Worf had plunged his ship into battle losing all but fifteen per cent of the Defiant's shields, depleted all phaser banks and they only had five torpedo's left. . Today was going to be a good day to die! How glorious a battle Jem'hadar and Borg! Worf sneered at his immanent death and welcomed it.

"Worf we've got incoming!" Jadzia Dax yelled out. "Several ships unknown origin."

Seven ships...

Worf stared wide eyed as the cubes abruptly wavered into view left the Defiant unscathed and engaged the Jem'hadar. Seven cubes, three Dominion war-cruisers the math wasn't that difficult. The Dominion ships didn't stand a chance. Defiant watched as the seven ships opened up their torpedo bays deploying thousands of the jelly-fish / spider torpedoes. The Swarm zinged its way in a metallic cloud for the Jem'hadar.

'Let the Maquis Borg crush the Cardassians into ashes, let them wipe out the Romulans, Breen and Changelings, its like using a Quantum Torpedo we will use them as a weapons resource. You must be ever vigilant, let us go to glory.' These had been Martok words. Worf had even had supported the renegade Borg if they engaged the enemy leaving the allies alone.

"Orders?" Chief Miles O'Brian asked

"Cloak." Worf ordered.

"Sir?" the Irishman quirked a red eyebrow. He had never known the Klingon to cut and run. It wasn't the man's style. It definitely wasn't Klingon.

"We are winning the war with the Dominion but our greatest resources are nearly depleted, we have lost many fine warriors and, we must use this opportunity that has been given to us. The Borg engage the Jem'hadar. Let them destroy each other. Only a fool battles in a burning house."

Jadzia had to smile at her mates ease in taking the usurping of the Borg against the Dominion warriors. A lesser warrior might have felt his honor threatened by the Borg simply taking over the battle. Worf on the other hand simply saw the cyber menace as means to use yet another weapon. And why not let them battle and destroy each other, it was a wise move.

"Cloaked they may not yet scan for us. Take us three light years away, I want to study their tactics." Worf commented. "I choose my battles."

"Aye, sir." Jadzia answered in full warrior mode. She deftly piloted the Defiant away giving her commander enough berth from the skirmish between the two enemy forces.

Defiant's crew watched the Swarm, black, quiet, quick, deadly, focused, moving with one thought one goal. As they, as he Worf, needed to be. In sheer moments the Swarm had dismantled the Jem'hadar vessels to little more than scrap iron. This new Borg held great power, ferocity, and cunning. They seemed to be questing. Hunting, destroying only the enemies of the Maquis. Not all Starfleet ships had been targeted. Those that had, had been known to go up against the Maquis themselves. Why then did the new-Borg not hunt Defiant?

"They strike without warning, dealing out death to those deserving, not flinching from a task. They kill swiftly and fairly." Jadzia uttered with a fain of reverence in her voice. They scanned us, but didn't strike. The Swarm could have easily taken us."

"Perhaps they don't think we're worthy." O'Brien offered, his red eyebrows met in the center as a deep frown. Of course he didn't mind the fact the Borg didn't think them a threat. But Worf would take it personally.

"No." Worf shook his head.

The Irishman started, 'What - is he Betazed now?'

"There's something else." Worf was puzzled, he couldn't quite pin down why the Borg hadn't sent a Swarm of the spider/ jellyfish torpedoes after them but in his gut he knew it had to do than they were simply a non-threat.

"You're Klingon." Jadzeia said. "They scanned us. Worf you said it yourself. If this woman Seven of Nine is ....who is as Intelligence reports indicate their new Queen and this same woman 'controlled' by B'Elanna Torres, the Maquis-Borg would not attack anyone in their own House. After all Chancellor Martok did adopt B'Elanna as his daughter after taking Miral of House Prasba as his mate."

"You're reaching Jadzia." Worf dismissed his mate's theory. After all he had been judging this new cell of Borg against what he already knew of the cybernetic race. What the Trill was suggesting was highly unlikely and less than plausible.

"You got a better reason, I'd like to hear it." The voice was Jadzia's but the words belonged to Dax. The symbiote would wager nearly anything that it had to do with Worf, the Klingons and B'Elanna Torres.

"I'm still betting we're not a threat, the Jem'hadar were better prey." Miles said. "We're meat to be wasted, and why bother when you have a whole mass of ready-made warriors."

"The Jem'hadar do not make viable drones." Worf commented. "Their dependence on the drug makes them worthless to the Borg."

"So the Borg killed Jem'hadar for the hell of it. So what! I say better for us." Young Nog, spoke up for the first time. The small Ferengi didn't care why the Borg did what they did. Their actions didn't cut into his profits why should it matter if they wanted to kill Jem'hadar for sport? The Ferengi Starfleet ensign saw this as a means to gain profit and that was always a good thing.

To Worf it was imperative he contact B'Elanna Torres ASAP. If anyone had the answers it would be the mongrel child. And if she had such control over her mate, and the Borg that pledged some bizarre oath to this Seven of Nine, Jadzia might be right on the reasons for the attack.

"Best speed to Pathfinder," Worf ordered. Not looking back on his enemy as the seven ships wavered back into the blackness of space behind their own cloaking device.

Quark could only watch as three Borg Drones beamed into his tavern. The small Ferengi yelped before ducking behind his bar vainly trying to get the Jefferies tube access open while keeping his small eyes on the drones. Try as the small man might he couldn't pry the hatch open. His fear far too loud in his great ears and heart.

The bar went into panic mode, red alert was sounded when Julian Bashir hit his combadge almost shouting "Borg! Sisko oh my god DS9 been invaded by Borg! Say again BORG! Three drones!" The doc ducked behind a dabo table.

Odo had been in the bar as was his nature harassing his favorite Ferengi because he could as Constable of joint Bajoran / Federation space station, when the Borg made their appearance. He drew his phaser knowing he could get off one maybe two shots before the cybernetic race adapted. The Changeling didn't hesitate. Twice he fired his weapon on the highest setting.

The drone he targeted fell back once, rose and fell again as the second beam of energy slammed into his chest, flinging the black armored drone into Bashir's dabo table. The table and drone toppled to the floor on top of the doctor pinning the small framed man to the floor. The pale dead flesh reminding the doctor this had once been a living willful creature. He didn't know if he shuddered from the sudden impact of several hundred pounds ramming into his body or the fact the thing pinning him had once had a soul. At first Julian shivered under the intense stare of the drone as it looked at him, it took moment to notice the lifeless doll's eyes stared out at nothing. The thing had been deactivated.

Brenna Covington Director of Covert Operations and Deep Cover assignments, Earth Division, had gone to DS9 to speak to one of her agents on a need to know basis. A part of Starfleet Intelligence the Director had information concerning Changeling operatives that had tried to pass them selves off as members of Starfleet HQ. Her eyes never wavered far from Odo that was until the sudden shocking appearance of the drones.



What the hell?

Covington dove for cover seeking the nearest exit that wouldn't get her trampled. The stampede cut her off. There was no way out. Her next shot at freedom was one of the Holo-suites. Jean-Luc Picard had in his briefing from his encounter with the Borg revealed that he had escaped them by running a holo-program. Covington thought she might be able to do the same.

Even as Odo was firing his weapon the Director of Starfleet Intelligence darted for one of the suites. From somewhere behind her a shrill voice called out. "Where do you think you're going!"

It was the barkeep.

"Open the holo-suite, Ferengi." Covington ordered over the screaming voices of terror.

"You want to book a suite? Now?" the small eyes widened to massive saucers of disbelief.

"To take cover you imbecile, now open that god damn suite." Covington snatched Quark's large ear and yanked. Hard.

Quark wailed. "Okay. Okay. But I am coming with you."

Twin beams of red light fixated first on Quark, who let out a high pitched squeal and tried in vain to brush the lights from his body as if they were glob fly larva. The light swung around his body to Covington.

"We are Maquis-Borg, you will be assimilated, your biological distinctiveness will be added to our own." The remaining drones spoke as one.

"On second thought human, you're on your own!" Quark yelped and he sprinted away. Or rather tumbled and crawled away under several legs broken bits of glass, spilled drinks and tables.

The former Bolian and the other Klingon ignoring anything else but their targeted pray moved together as if one body heading for Covington. Quark once more caterwauled his deep fear of the drones and ran as fast as his thin legs could carry him to the shattered dabo table the dead drone and Bashier. Seeing the felled Borg, Quark rolled off thinking better of his hiding place and made for Odo's security teams, determined to stay behind them and out of range. He didn't care one bit others would think him a cowardly troll. Better a coward than Borg. Besides no one would blame him. The Borg were seriously freaky and very deadly.

The Borg bodies slammed forward from the phaser fire, all of it ineffective. They kept coming for Brenna. Her pale eyes darkened in fear, her pale skin became more blanched, from somewhere over her shoulder she heard the sounds of the security force.

"They've adapted!" it was the changeling, his voice betraying his own desperation.

'Of course they adapted you golden bodied slug! They're Borg!' Covington wanted to scream. She crab-walked back behind the bar trying even as Quark had before to pry open the Jeffries tube hatch. But as before it simply would not budge.

"Concentrate all phaser fire on the blue one." Kira Nerys barked as she fired her weapon again and again. Behind her a massive Klingon cook raised his disputer fully intent on disintegrating the Klingon-drone.

The Bolian-Borg reached for Covington, one enhanced hand snatched her around the neck, her weight nothing to him as he lifted her a full meter off the tile floor. The director futilely struggled, kicking even biting trying to wrench herself free to no avail. The drone's left hand formed a fist causing assimilation tubules to slid out, wriggling like snakes just before they plunged deep into the Director's neck. A sickening crack of bones, and slap of meat hitting tile ricocheted off the floor as the Borg dropped its quarry.

Even as the Bolian-drone assimilated his catch the Klingon-Borg stood by his fallen comrade, punched a code in the armor encasing his right forearm and in the next instant he had beamed off the station taking the downed drone with him. A moment latter both the Bolian-drone and the Director had vanished leaving beyond the bar a shambled mess, several panicked patrons and stymied security officers. No one knew quite what to think. Never before had the Borg gone after a single target. Never before had they simply retreated.

This might have been the first incident.

It would not be the last.

Kellian which was now as large as Voyager's saucer section and had as many decks most of which had yet to be fully developed contained many labs. In one such lab, Seven had had found a home in an astrophysics setup that rivaled the one on Voyager, if not slightly more powerful as Kellian didn't have to divide her resources as badly as Voyager.

Seven frowned as she read the terra quads of information streaming past her monitors faster than a human eye could possibly read. The frown so deeply etched, B'Elanna thought it might have been carved into the Borg's flesh. She had come in hunt for her wife after leaving her mother alone on the bridge. The kids had gone off exploring the vessel staking claim to their own large quarters simply because they could.

"BangwI, what is it?" the Klingon said stepping around her wife, wrapping her arms around the woman she loved. For a moment she tried to read the quick flowing text but her dark eyes blinked there was no way she could possibly keep up. The engineer knew better than to question if Seven was actually reading the information. She had seen the former drone do such things several times in the past when their relationship wasn't so amicable. She had been amazed then as she was now.

"The minds of the Collective are powerful, able to send images, messages information and intelligence to one another and the Queen faster than the speed of light, the speed of thought. It is how the Hive Mind works so effectively, efficiently. Example. Drones in the Delta Quadrant know exactly what is happening to a cube in the Gamma Quadrant."

"Yeah I know, makes them a bitch of an enemy to go against. But Borg tend to ignore things that are not relevant to them at the time. Sure Gamma Quadrant Borg can be fighting off Jem'hadar, Those in the Beta Quadrant can be fighting off a Bird of Prey and in the Alpha Quadrant fighting off a starship while here in the Delta Quadrant they can be assimilating a planet. Linked but not preoccupied. So...what?"

"My mind's brief interment with Royal Protocol had given me enough touch with algorithms of the Hive Mind to be more than aware of their activities. When I had to link with Kellian apparently she too had been connected." Seven reported in her typical monotone.

"I thought you said this girl was free from the Hive Mind." the frown like a virus transferred to the Klingon.

"There is a new Collective, B'Elanna." Seven turned to her wife.

"The virus we slipped them changed them?" B'Elanna offered.

"Not them. Us."

B'Elanna opened her mouth then closed it. "Say again."

"Look here at these algorithms." Seven pulled up what almost looked like EKG, and MRI readings from a medical record. "There are two distinct wave patterns. One the Borg as we knew it. By now there is a new Queen. There are always several Primes waiting to be inaugurated into Royal Protocol should the chosen one become unviable. Such was the instance with me.

"The second evolution of the Borg......is not logical. B'Elanna. The Borg have many advantages, but one thing they can not escape and that is almost a disadvantage is the nearly flawless logic by which they operate. Vulcan masters strive for the precise logic of the Borg. Organic beings can bluff, as we've seen with Captain Janeway, they can go off on tangents, have inspired insights as you are known to do. But the Borg are ruthless in their functioning and structure as they are in their decimation of worlds."

"That makes a frightening amount of sense." B'Elanna admitted. "So this second Borg...they're not logical? I don't get it. What did this virus do?"

"B'Elanna, organic beings had created machines. But it was the machines that made organic beings Borg. Everything Drones do are in response to the orders of their Queen, her instructions to the Hive Mind. Damage the Queen and the Collective begins to fall apart."

"Until a new Queen pops up."

"Indeed. I have survived three incarnations of Queens. One was destroyed at Wolf 359. One fell to Captain Jean-Luc Picard." Seven couldn't help but wince for it had been her hand that had assimilated the Federation Captain. "And she who....you had slain, the one I was meant to replace."

B'Elanna mutely nodded. She knew that the Queen was almost a super-Borg. The Queen was the complete operating system for the entire mammoth structure. She was more than a single being—she was the Borg. She was the program made flesh and machine. She was Goddess from Machine. The Borg had made their god in their own image by giving their super Borg access to Royal Protocol. Seven had had that access.

"Annika, you said you weren't in there long enough to become reintegrated into the Borg. What are you saying. What's up with this second Borg Collective?"

Seven pointed to the second wave graph. "They have rebelled. They have formed a new collective. In fact The Borg proclaim those they are about to conquer jeghpu'wI."

"Jeghpu'wI?" B'Elanna frowned. "Are you sure?"

Seven only raised her silver ocular implant.

"Okay so you're sure." B'Elanna placed a reassuring hand on her wife's long back. "But how can you be sure? Nic what's going on?"

"I am not completely certain. I am only vaguely aware of them as if they are some half remembered conversation one would have as a child or a dream. They call themselves the Maquis-Borg."

Had anyone else said that B'Elanna Torres would have said they had made it up out of some bad holonovel or trade paperback. But this was Seven of Nine, whose sense of humor though in its infancy was dry and even witty neither sophomoric nor fanciful. "Okay so...they are Maquis Borg... independent of our old pals. So why are they speaking Klingonese?"

"Good question." Seven answered.

"Okay here's a better one." B'Elanna was now leaning against the computers her dark eyes resting on Seven's ivory skin. "I understand how you can be somewhat aware of these 'Maquis-Borg.' but Kellian how? I know she's partially assimilated but she was never linked to the Hive mind like you and the Sochlings."

"Perhaps it is vicarious through my connection. When the Queen was near I was always aware as are all Primes. Those who have ever been assimilated by me carry a single nanoprobe that directly connects them to me. Should I ever become the Queen, they would be recalled and given new designations within Unimatrix Zero One."

"A bit like your own royal guard."

"Yes. Kellian is connected to me the virus which spread through the collective would have carried Royal Protocol Nanoprobes since it was released through the central plexus."

"So the virus worked to sever the Borg well some of them...and make them independent...well independent enough that now they call themselves Maquis-Borg?" B'Elanna frowned trying to ascertain everything she had heard.

All Seven had to do was to point to the screens showing the conflicting algorithms. "Yes."

"Babe, look I don't understand why are you concerned? This is a good thing this is what we wanted." B'Elanna took both of Seven's hands into her own. "You're not fully connected. Baby you're not going to lose yourself to becoming Queen of the 'good Borg.' if that is what you're worried about."

"What concerns me is that I might be indirectly influencing them, regardless if I am their Queen or not."

B'Elanna had nothing to say to that. How could she? She wanted to reassure her wife. Deny it, tell Seven that she was mistaken. Only B'Elanna couldn't. Had she herself not been in Seven's body, not been inside the Central Plexus during Royal Protocol she had felt exactly what Seven was describing. Seven had the endemic memory to relive it, but B'Elanna had felt it first hand. She knew what it had been like to be linked to trillions of minds. One hundredth of them had seceded from the Hive Mind and formed their own Collective. The Maquis-Borg.

Torres was still assimilating this when she herd her mother hail from the bridge. "You two, we've got something on the sensors. Take a look."

"Kellian activate and augment main sensor array, what is it?" B'Elanna ordered. It must have not been hostile as the proximity klaxon hadn't sounded. However what ever it was, it had been enough to raise an alarm in Miral. She was a Captain of a Battle cruiser, she didn't start easily.

Kellian facing wall slide open revealing a large screen. The viewer flickered once as the living ship complied with her captain.

Ahead of them a black-green hub something akin to a mechanical spider's web, hovering tantalizingly in sight, . Borg technology. "Nic is that what I think it is?" B'Elanna couldn't help but stare. And all to familiar design.

"If you think it is a Borg transwarp hub, then you would be correct." Seven answered.

"Isn't this a bit covenant?" B'Elanna turned to her wife. "We're talking about what is happening in the other quadrants and we just happen to cross paths with a transwarp hub?"

It was Kellian that answered. "Confirmed. Borg Transwarp hub, it is operation. It is a construct of the Collective, outside the Hive mind thus not afflicted with the liberation virus. The hub can be used to return to the Beta Quadrant."

Seven paled. "If we intend to use it, we must act quickly before the Borg are alerted."

"I will cloak." Kellian said. "We will not be detected."

Hope resurfaced as did the memory that Kellian could mask her signature. "Kellian assume the signature of the Transwarp hub." Seven ordered.

"I will comply." the ship responded. If her Queen was concerned over discovery, Kellian would insure protection just as she had in the other Quadrants by ordering the hunt of members of Section 31 and those who sought to bring harm to the Maquis. The living ship used the Queen's algorithm ordering all Delta Quadrant Maquis-Borg to naturalize and assimilate any enemy Borg that came within fifteen light-years of their position.

Seven shook her head for a meant hearing the slight background buzz within her mind. For a moment it felt as if some had been starring at her from afar and when she turned to see who had being watching her their was no one to be found.

'I am becoming more human. A Borg is not paranoid.' she chastised herself for her bout of weakness. Chalking it up to her previous conversation, Seven ignored the feeling, besides she had far too much work ahead of her if they were going utilize the hub.

"Kellian, messenger Voyager, relay our findings." Seven commanded.

"I will comply." The ship almost sounded pleased with herself.

"Kellian you said Beta Quadrant..."B'Elanna hinted clearly wanting more information.

"Yes, near grid 339.779, respectively territory of the Klingons; species..."

"I don't need to hear my species designation, thanks." B'Elanna held up a hand forestalling the ship. "But the Romulan's are closer to the boarders between the Delta Quadrant and that of the Beta."

"As an engineer you would know transwarp travel and traversing wormhole proximity is irrelevant and relative." Seven seemed almost amused.

"I know, I know." B'Elanna shook her head. "It's a lot to take in, and we've had close calls for home to often to get ones hopes up."

"As your mother pointed out BangwI, the Alpha Quadrant is not my home."Seven said, keeping her tone as even as possible.

"Well neither is Unimatrix Zero-One. But the Beta Quadrant can be. I am not found of the Alpha Quadrant myself and considering what's been going on with he Maquis being disbanded, I wasn't so sure I wanted to go back. But now that we have a real chance to make a difference, I saw we snatch it."

"And what of the new generation of Borg?" Seven asked.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

"There are no bridges in space B'Elanna." Seven pointed out.

"I mean...." The young Klingon started with a heavy sign then stopped recalling months ago Seven of Nine admitted understanding more allusions and analogies than she had let on to. "Good one Ben'el, you almost had me going. I am saying right now that cell of rebelling Borg are the lest of our concerns. Let's hit the bridge and brake the news to Mother. We're back to the Empire. Back home."

"Home..." Seven echoed the word. Before the word held no meaning for her. She had her Collective. She had her Unimatrix in her family, including a new mother-in-law and a sentient

starship. "I have in truth never had a home. I merely lived in many different places. The Raven, three different cubes and Voyager now Kellian."

"You okay with this?" B'Elanna looked deep into her wife's eyes. "Look ....I....we can stay here, my mother can catch a ride on Voyager once she goes through the transwarp hub."

"No, B'Elanna. Although I have no desire to go to the Alpha Quadrant, I would like to see the Empire. I wish to see the homeworld of my wife."

"Its been a long time since I've seen Q'ronos, Nic. I grew up on Kessik IV, but....yeah it would bee good to see it. Ever since you've come into my life, the Barge of the Dead and Mother...well I've got a better appreciation for things Klingon. Besides I want to see the man who married my mother. Kah'less she had to go and take the Great Oath with the Chancellor of the Empire!" The smaller woman shook her head. 'She's terrified that Starfleet will rip her apart, I can't help but wonder what will the Empire do with us. What will happen to us now that our journey in the Delta Quadrant is nearly finished. Kah'less we've got a long way yet to go. Walk a mile in someone else's boots, find yourself on a hell of a journey and ....to where some far shore?' B'elanna closed her eyes waiting for her hearts to give her an answer.

They were silent.

'Some far shore it is.' the Klingon said as she and Seven headed back to the bridge and the threshold of their future.

The End

To Be Continued in 'Threshold'

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