DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended.
VIOLENCE WARNING: This story deals with captivity, please be advised that punishments are described that deal with technically induced physical pain.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Part 1: Beginning at the End
Stardate: 53010.08 (Jan 4, 2376 4:33pm)
"I'm sorry I ever suggested catching up with Voyager," growled B'Elanna to Elizabeth Janeway, a deep scowl etched upon her face, and her arms crossed over her chest, as she regarded the russet haired woman.
A short bark of laughter erupted, "Janeways have often shown more stubbornness than sense, it's somewhat reassuring to see that 400 years hasn't changed a thing about that." Elizabeth's smile turned wry, "We just didn't realize the extent of her prejudice against genetically modified humans." She shrugged after a long moment of silence, "Perhaps its all for the better, given the rules against genetic modification in the Federation, along with that personal example of how people react to it..." Elizabeth's voice trailed off and she sighed unhappily, "Well I think we can now say that the worst case scenario we thought up, that the Federation might insist that we submit to genetic re-modification, and not permit our children to go into any technical fields, might actually be the most likely outcome."
Elizabeth shook her head, and continued in an annoyed voice, "I'll have to say that I'm not impressed with anyone on Voyager right now. Captain Kathryn Janeway's response to us, combined with what I heard from some of the crew, makes me wonder how they can actually not choke on their claims of enlightenment and acceptance." Her attention shifted to Seven and her face tightened in anger, "Seven, I know you told me about them holding your having been assimilated against you, but seeing it today " she growled, "I really wanted to knock some sense into those jerks for you Seven. Assholes." she finished colorfully.
"I believe they thought you, Christina, and Tanya would as well." Seven noted with a small smirk.
"What?" asked B'Elanna confused, and with growing anger at the clear implication that someone had said something unpleasant to Seven.
Seven placed a reassuring hand on her arm, "Comments were made about my presence aboard Voyager by two of the crewmen in the Mess Hall. You were talking to Tom at that time, but Elizabeth, Maria, Christina, Nancy, and Tanya were with me. The crewmen decided to return to their duties shortly after Elizabeth and Tanya conversed with them regarding their comments. I believe it was made clear to them that their continued wellbeing depended upon them vacating the Mess Hall."
"Damn it, P'taq's. I'm sorry Seven, and thanks Elizabeth." Frustration and anger were evident in B'Elanna's tone.
Elizabeth merely nodded in reply.
"I am alright." Seven reassured her, "While it was initially unpleasant to hear them wish that I had remained lost, I was gratified by the response of my friends." Seven smiled at Elizabeth.
With an exaggerated southern drawl Elizabeth replied, "Any time Ma'am, always a privilege to defend a lady."
B'Elanna snorted in amusement, and Seven raised a brow at this reply, even as she smiled at it, recognizing Elizabeth's efforts to lighten the mood.
B'Elanna's anger rapidly diffused once it occurred to her that the situation had actually worked out for the better. Seven needed to know that she could depend upon the friends she had made among the other captives, that they would stand by her and protect her.
Elizabeth paused and her demeanor changed into a solemn one. She regarded B'Elanna and Seven evenly, "There will be a vote tonight. Stay with Voyager or colonization. I think we both know the majority will choose colonization once we make our reports about how Voyager reacted to us. All anyone wants at this point is to be safe, have the freedom to choose our own futures, and not have our children be discriminated against. I hope you two will be going with us." With that she took one long look at both of them, nodded and left the two of them still standing in Artemis' transporter room.
B'Elanna watched Elizabeth leave, knowing that the woman wanted them to go with them badly, but she was not the type to use emotional appeals, preferring to bluntly state her case, and let the other person make up their own mind.
As she turned toward Seven, she was still scowling, as soon as her gaze fell upon the blonde, the scowl fled and sadness replaced it as she regarded the former Borg. "I never though she would react that way. I knew she could be hard headed and stubborn but to insist that we let the doctor tamper even further with us to try and undo the genetic changes that were made Even after we informed her that we were told it would be dangerous to even make such an attempt."
Seven took a step forward and wrapped her arms around B'Elanna, laying her head on the half-Klingon's shoulder as she did so. "I was surprised by her reaction as well B'Elanna. I did not really consider that she would act in that manner, even though I assisted in developing the various scenarios."
B'Elanna wrapped her arms around Seven and nuzzled her hair, "Neither did I. And I'm sorry you had to hear some Borg comment, some people are just jackasses."
"You are picking up more idiomatic expressions from Elizabeth and the others," Seven noted amused pulling away slightly so she could look into the half-Klingons face. "Their comment did not damage me, and it was gratifying to see Elizabeth and the others react to protect me, though it was not necessary. I was used to ignoring such comments before we were taken captive." Seven commented, but B'Elanna could see the disquiet in her eyes.
"Seven, you don't deserve such treatment, you never did. And you should have never have had to get used to or ignore such comments." B'Elanna stated with intensity. She waited until Seven nodded and then pulled the blonde into a tight embrace.
They stood for long moments silent, wrapped in each other's arms. After a minute of silence B'Elanna sighed and spoke, "Lets go to our quarters and discuss this."
Stardate 53010.42 (Jan 4, 2376 7:33pm)
"Captain, I must protest, I don't think now is a good time for you to insist that they undergo any more genetic manipulation, even if I could figure out a safe way to do so. They're simply too traumatized by their experiences to add any additional stress." The Doctor paused for breath, "And I absolutely refuse to perform any such procedure upon Seven at this time."
Janeway had been about to tell him that after the discussion Tuvok and Chakotay had with her earlier, she had already rethought her initial reaction and regretted how she had handled the entire meeting, but this obvious insubordination angered her. Janeway gave him a furious look, "And just why is that Doctor," she asked in a frosty tone.
"Besides the fact that I feel it is unethical of me to force treatment upon anyone, I couldn't predict the effect of such a treatment upon the fetus." He answered frostily.
"Fetus?" Janeway repeated in a blank surprised tone. "Seven's pregnant?"
"Yes, eleven weeks pregnant. As it is, she's not as healthy as I would like, I gave her some supplements to take and instructed her to rest. She definitely does not need to be subjected to any additional stress right now." The doctor punctuated his statements with emphatic gestures of his hands and a deep frown cut into his face.
"She didn't mention that she was pregnant." repeated Janeway, shock evident in her tone.
"I assure you she is," the Doctor defended.
Janeway stared at him for a moment, then a defeated look crossed her face, "I didn't mean to imply that she wasn't, I'm just shocked that neither of them mentioned the fact."
He regarded her silently for a moment, then in a kinder tone "I think Seven and B'Elanna are still dealing with the idea of it themselves, after all it wasn't a voluntary choice on their part. Right now I suspect they're both just relieved that they are free and will never have to worry about the child being implanted with those ," he paused an outraged look upon his face, "barbaric pain inducers. I don't think they've thought of much beyond that."
Janeway winced at the reminder of the past treatment of the two women. "Alright, I get the idea Doctor. I'll apologize to them tomorrow, and let them know they don't have to agree to any procedure."
The Doctor inhaled and Janeway interrupted him before he could begin speaking, sure he was about to continue berating her. "It's just They are not the women who left on that away mission bickering and sniping at each other. B'Elanna should be with Tom, and Seven, she's not ready for any relationship yet. Much less being a mother." She began pacing, her hands on her hips, she began striding back and forth in an abrupt fashion, "I want my Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres back Doctor." She stopped in front of him and looked him directly in the eyes.
In a soft tone he said, "I don't think that's possible Captain." She opened her mouth as if to interrupt him but he held up a hand and continued, "Even if I could figure out how to safely make such changes, I don't think it would bring the women we knew back. Captain, they've suffered through severe physiological manipulation and abuse for an extended period of time, with no one but each other to depend upon. No one goes through that type of treatment and remains the same." He hesitated, then gamely continued, "I would think that you would understand that Captain, given your own past experiences."
Janeway's face tightened and she turned abruptly away from him, absorbing his words. She sighed deeply, strode over to her desk and leaned against it staring out the port, "Yes I do, and no they don't." She admitted.
Straightening, after a long silent moment, she turned toward him, "They were both so serious and quiet. I remember Seven being somewhat like that, but B'Elanna, never. And so reserved, I couldn't tell what they were thinking or feeling. They just seemed to shut down emotionally, and refused to respond to me." She was quiet again and then in a regretful tone, "I just want them to get back the fire they both used to have."
"I suspect that was a by product of the way they were treated, Seven was punished whenever either of them displayed anger or questioned any orders they were given." the Doctor theorized in a grim tone.
Janeway's eyes widened in shock, "They obviously told you more details about what happened to them than they did me."
The Doctor grimly nodded, "From what Seven described to me of her experiences, I believe that whoever was responsible knew quite a lot about human psychology, and had an utter lack of moral compunction about how they used it."
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