or in other words Untitled
Darkness fades into half shadow and the clouds of slumber are replaced with the harsh realities of light. There is noise too. Incessant, monotonous sound that verges on the edge of my perception, desperately trying to break in. It is worse than the light in its torture, with its ability to seep in past all my defences. At least I can still block out the light by the simple expediency of closing my eyes, even if the effect isn't complete.
There! Yet more sound. Harsh, grating on my senses with no regard to my whimpering pleas. The noise is becoming deafening. It's pitch is both low and high, its tone resonant and above all insistent. But it is not monotonous any more. Now it has degrees of pain. The torturous effect tripled by the unexpectedness of every decibel.
God I wish the noise would stop! Please, let is stop!
Darkness came and with it the sounds ceased but I knew it was too good to last. With a sinking heart the light returns and with it the sounds. But this time it's different. They're not just sounds anymore, they're voices. Talking to me, talking to each other. Voices clamouring for an audience that I just don't want to provide.
"Seven? Can you hear me?"
The tone is feminine and resonating with an emotion I cannot name. It is a voice that demands to be answered even as it tries to soothe. My eyes try to focus, to put a face to that voice and hopefully ease some of the terror I feel building up in my very skin. The image is blurred at first, too full of colour and light to allow me to see properly. The only impression I can hold on to is that of red. A fiery, warm glow of red leaning over me. I want to run but don't know how.
"That's it, open your eyes," the voice is soothing still but I can just make out a touch of excitement.
I can feel my eyelashes fluttering against my cheek as my eyes fight to stay open. It is an odd sensation. But then everything feels strange in some way. Looking once more into the redness that is the other voice I begin to see details. A smile, a chin, two concerned eyes. A catalogue of facial features that mean nothing to me when taken as a whole. Who is she? This woman that looks at me with such...such love?
"Who," my voice catches and I can't even turn the word into a question. Yet I see her eyes at first shine with glee before the meaning of my half vocalised word registers. "Who are you?" I feel better for having said it, as if finally there is a chance the clouds will be swept away from the recesses of my mind.
She doesn't answer. He eyes dart towards a second figure, dressed in blue and sporting a frown of irritation. He too looks at me with concern but whereas the red's eyes looked unaccountably helpless in their regard, his are filled with an understanding. It is almost as if I'm a jigsaw puzzle he has just finished, only to decide he doesn't like the picture.
"As I feared, her memory appears to have been affected." He waves an instrument across my face and I flinch back in confusion. I wish I could go back to being unconscious, it at least felt safe there. "I'll send these readings to engineering, hopefully B'Elanna and Harry will have some luck deciphering the problem," he tells the red one and I am suddenly annoyed that he is talking to her about whatever is going on and not me.
"What is going on? Who are you?" I don't like being ignored. I may not know much of anything else at the moment but that fact is abundantly clear.
They exchange glances, deciding whether or not to answer my question. I want to bang their heads together for even contemplating withholding information from me. "I'm Kathryn Janeway," the red one begins, "and this is the Doctor," she points to the man as she speaks and he bestows what I presume is meant to be a beatific smile upon me, "You were hurt in an accident and brought here, to sickbay."
Her words sound sincere but I have no way of knowing if she's telling the truth. But even if I did suspect her of lying I doubt there is anything I could do about it. I can hardly work up the energy to lift my head, let alone go in search of answers to questions I don't know. "Who am I?" It seems like the most reasonable question under the circumstances.
"Your name is Seven." She looks towards the doctor, as if unsure of her answer. "Seven of Nine."
I wonder briefly if it is normal for people to be given numbers as names. It doesn't feel normal but at the same time it seems to fit. Maybe if I close my eyes for a while things will become clearer.
I do not like this room. Sickbay. It is aptly named, for it truly does make me feel sick. The noise is still constant, a fact I've traced to some of the equipment that lines the walls, and still excruciatingly annoying. At least the voices are no longer frightening in their aggravated jumble. Now they are only boring in their repetition, or confusing in their assumption.
They tell me my name; our location; what happened to me; what they plan to do to remedy the situation; even my favourite piece of music. It is all meaningless and foreign. Faces coming and going. Voices chiming in to explain or laugh in feigned delight at some phantom memory they've concocted. It is so hard to distinguish one from another. One male, one female. One Vulcan, one human. One hologram, one Borg. Then there are the names that they continue to tell me, even though my interest is non-existent. Janeway, Icheb, Tuvok, Paris...all meaningless. I just wish they'd stop talking and leave me alone to try and think. I just want to be able to think clearly for a moment and I know everything will be okay.
"Hey Doc, I need some more readings from Seven's cortical node." Yet another new voice to torment me and this one doesn't even have the decency to speak to me directly, even though I am the subject of her discourse. "Harry and I think we've calculated the frequency of the oscillation and now all we need do is map out the pattern of the internal pathways and we should be there." I've no idea what she's saying but she seems confident. That's something I haven't seen a lot of outside the doctor and I think his is mostly show.
"Excellent." For a hologram he sure smiles a lot. "Did you hear that Seven? We'll soon have you up and running around."
"I'm quite capable of running around now doctor," my voice is snippy but I don't care, "as for soon, I've already been in here five days. I hardly think that is soon. Unless I've just forgotten how incompetent everyone is?"
"Are you sure she can't access her memories?" the new arrival pipes up, "because that sure as hell sounded like the Seven of Nine we all know and avoid."
"Well, while the damage to her cortical node has cut off her access to the memory centres of her brain, it would appear that the basis components of her personality have been unaffected," said the doctor, "although, lucky us, she now no longer seems to be restrained by her Borg aloofness and is letting her sarcasm have full reign." I don't know what he's talking about, I've been the model patient. It's not my fault he's incompetent.
"A sarcastic Seven? What a shocker." I get the impression I'm not going to like the new arrival one bit.
The two of them talk for a while, not bothering to include me in their discussion, which appears to be par for the course. What makes it worse is that the new one, the female in the mustard coloured garment, hasn't even bothered to tell me her name. I could be wrong but I'm sure that's rude.
"Swing your legs around and sit up." Oh joy, she's actually talking to me or should that be ordering me about like a pack mule. She may be pleasant to look at but I find her more irritating than any of the other idiots who've come before her. "Seven!"
"What?" I sound like a petulant child. Which is really strange because I don't even know what a petulant child sounds like. In fact I don't really know what half the thing I think or say really mean but still they seem to make sense. God I wish this fuzziness would go away.
She taps my legs and I can feel the warmth penetrating my skin from even that casual a gesture. It feels strange but for some reason also pleasant. "Swing your legs around so I can examine your cortical node," she asks again, this time in a voice of pretend sweetness. I can tell she'd rather just manhandle me into position by the vein that is currently throbbing in her neck. It is an intriguing sight and I wonder for a moment how it would feel to brush my tongue along the skin and capture the beating pulse between my lips. It is a vague and disconcerting thought but the yearning to taste her skin remains.
"I believe I may be experiencing another failure of my cortical node," I tell her, pretty sure those random thoughts were the result of another failure of the Borg systems they tell me control my body.
"What?" She isn't happy.
I positioned myself where she advised and now I can do nothing but wait for her to finish her analysis. I'm positive she will find that I've suffered another cascade failure. My mind is now more crowded with random thoughts than before. They started when she stepped into me, bringing her body close to mine so she could properly examine my Borg circuitry. Her thighs unconsciously brush against mine as she moves closer, her breath feathering against my face as she leans further into me. My eyes flit towards hers but they are intent on their business, the body almost pressed against hers nothing more than another piece of machinery that needs to be repaired.
My illusions and random thoughts have now extended to include my olfactory nerve as it catalogues and sighs over the scent of her. The combination of warmth and heady sensuality a drug for my failing mind. It envelopes me. Seeping into every pore and demanding I pay attention. The wonder of it drives everything else away, all the noise and confusion vanish and I am left with nothing but her.
Smell leads to taste and my tongues grazes the air in an attempt to sample the musk that coats the atmosphere and brings the space around us to life. It isn't enough. I want to taste of her flesh, not just the ghost of its passing.
"Seven?" I try to focus on her face but my mind is too full of her to even see her anymore. My god, what is happening to me? "Seven, what are you doing?" Her voice doesn't sound angry, just confused.
Then I realise that in my madness my hands had reached up to encircle her, searching for a touch of skin that had been so cruelly denied to them. "I..." How do you explain running your hands across someone's body? How do you explain why your hand is still resting happily against their rounded bottom? I know I should remove it but somehow that thought doesn't get translated into action and instead my eyes close and my head falls against her chest to better experience the warmth that is her.
It is quiet and warm and safe and loving and... God, I never want to leave here.
My arms pull her closer and with every inch of her that is pressed against me I feel more at home. She is surrounding me in taste and smell and touch and I am falling into her as if she were the answer to all the questions that had been buzzing around in my head.
"Er, Seven what are you doing?" Her voice is bemused but her arms have pulled me in close, as if they too are controlled by my sweet madness. "Are you okay?" I wish I knew.
After a moment she steps away, her face troubled and unsure. I wish I could tell her she isn't the only one scared and confused by my actions but for the moment I cannot speak. All I can do is wonder in the aftermath of her closeness.
I do not even know her name but I know that I love her. Hell, I don't even know what love is but I know I feel it for her and only her. "What is your name?"
She looks startled, as if I'd slapped her and not just asked the simplest of questions. "B'Elanna."
I can only smile. It is a beautiful name and one I know I will remember, just as I know I will remember these feelings she has inspired within me. "Remind me when my memories have returned to tell you I love you."
Her shock doubles and she turns to leave but not before I detect the merest nod of agreement.
The incapacity brought on by my memory loss has resulted in a 14.6% reduction in the efficiency of my department. It is unacceptable. I have organised a new schedule to test the competence of my staff and evaluate the shortcomings of the current system. I estimate that it will take ten days before I have enough data to begin my analysis and in the meantime I plan to discuss procedures for...
"Seven?" B'Elanna has avoided me ever since I regained my memories and I can only assume her presence now indicates a severe problem in engineering. The need for my assistance in another department will only delay the efficiency of my own department. Still it cannot be helped, the good of Voyager as a collective outweighs that of any single component or department.
She seems displeased by my response. Everything is normal.
Her eyes close and for a moment I'm positive she will not speak, then brown eyes lock on mine and I feel my hands begin to shake. "You asked me to remind you of something."
"I know." I had tried to forget, to put the experience down to a failure in my systems. It hadn't worked, she was still buried deep in my heart. I breath in deep to savour her scent and forge my courage. "I love you."
She doesn't move. No smile; no frown; no words of joy or revulsion. Just perfect stillness that last an endless moment before she turns and walks away. It is only after she has disappeared from sight that her parting words rejoice in my mind "I love you too."
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