DISCLAIMER: The full disclaimer and author's notes can be read HERE.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By H.W.


Chapter 11

The half shift the day before the Zamonan party was spent mostly in Astrometrics, doing some standard testing and looking at a console that had started to act up just before Voyager found the Zamonan.

"Better?" B'Elanna asked from behind the console.

"Yes, now I can actually see something on the screen."

B'Elanna came from behind the console and stood beside Seven. She looked at the screen and saw hazy shades of color, but nothing that was actually decipherable. "Damn. What's up with this thing? It's been working fine ever since Astrometrics was created."

"Maybe it is complaining about the fact that I do not spend as much time here in Astrometrics as I used to," Seven suggested.

B'Elanna just looked at Seven in disbelief as an answer.

"You are the one that said that machines have souls as well," Seven defended.

B'Elanna grinned at Seven as she shook her head slightly. "Well, though I do think that machines work better if you give them enough TLC, what I actually said was that besides being half a machine, you had a soul too. And, I may add, I said that just before I decked that guy."

"And you said it while we were still hostile to each other and on an away mission."

"Right. I still wonder how the hell you knew that I said that though."

"B'Elanna, you of all people should know by now how good my enhanced hearing is. I was in the next room; do you really think that a thin dividing wall would prevent me from hearing you talk? It was then that I learned that I did not have to take the things you said to me seriously. If you did really feel like the way you sometimes sounded, then you would have agreed with the man, not hit him."

"Hmm, guess you're right. Guess I already liked you back then, I just didn't know it yet. Anyway, back to this damn thing here. You said that you could get it to work for a few minutes, but then it goes off again?"

"Yes," Seven confirmed.

B'Elanna stepped back end gestured to the console. "Alright; show me."

Seven stepped up to the console. "I must warn you; this is a highly advanced way of making the monitor work. You might not fathom how to do it."

"Just do your thing, Borg," B'Elanna said with a grin.

As a reply to that statement, Seven brought her hand down on the screen, giving it a good smack.

B'Elanna looked at Seven with her mouth hanging open for a moment before dissolving in a pile of helpless laughter. "That's your highly advanced way of making it work?"

Seven smiled at her lover, glad that she had succeeded in tweaking the Klingon. "Yes. The Borg acquired this way of making repairs from species 3,850. They believed that once a machine was built, this was the only way to fix it. Suffice to say, they never evolved space travel of any kind."

"Oh baby, please tell me you're kidding."

"Yes I am."

Grinning, B'Elanna asked, "So tell me, where did the Borg assimilate that sick sense of humor?"

"Species 1,039. Their government system consisted out of the ability to joke. The funnier you were perceived, the higher you would rise in the government."

"Now I know for sure that this is a joke."

Seven smiled. "Actually, no. Species 1,039 did indeed consider being able to joke and make people laugh a fundamental ability for governmental work. Having said that; it was not a demanded requirement."

B'Elanna shook her head slightly before gesturing to the screen. "Well, now that it's working for now, why don't you run a scan for inconsistent power flow? This clearly looks like a loose contact to me."

"Very well," Seven said while she started the scan. The scan had been going for a mere five seconds when she noticed that B'Elanna had come closer until she was almost standing against Seven's back. "You will not see the results from that angle, since I am taller than you," Seven pointed out.

"Oh but I don't want to read the results." B'Elanna placed a soft kiss on Seven's neck, just above the collar of her biosuit. "What I want is to touch you."

Seven felt B'Elanna close her arms around her and it brought an involuntary smile to her face. "B'Elanna Torres, may I remind you that we are on duty?"

"Your point being...?" B'Elanna asked while moving one hand up to cup a firm breast.

"My point is that I do not think that this is appropriate behavior while on duty," Seven said, pushing a button as the console beeped to let them know that the scan was complete.

"Do you really think that you need to run the scan a second time?" B'Elanna asked, lowering her second hand until she was cupping Seven's sex.

"I started the scan a second time?" Seven asked, looking at the console to see that she indeed had started the test a second time.

"What's the matter baby?" B'Elanna asked softly in nothing more than a whisper, letting her hot breath tickle Seven's ear. "Are you distracted?"

"So it would seem," Seven agreed, concentrating on the wonderful feelings that B'Elanna was giving her. After a moment of wonderful torture, Seven finally managed to ask, "B'Elanna, what are you doing? Someone could come in at any moment."

B'Elanna lowered her second hand between the blonde's legs, which she was pleased to notice, parted a little in invitation. Knowing that Seven was nude under the biosuit, B'Elanna created some pressure against Seven's center and started to rub up and down over the fabric.

"I know. But I just can't stop touching you. Maybe it's the Klingon inside me. All I know is that I want to make you come; now."

"What happened to finding the cargo bay too risky to masturbate?" Seven asked while making absolutely no effort to stop B'Elanna from what she was doing. "If the Cargo bay is too risky, then why do you want to make me come in Astrometrics? The chance of someone coming in here is just as likely as someone coming into the cargo bay."

B'Elanna sucked on Seven's neck for a moment, making sure not to leave a mark. "It's you baby. I wouldn't think about masturbating in either of these two places. But the idea of making you come right here makes me so hot, 'I' almost come."

B'Elanna sucked on an inviting earlobe before adding in a whisper, "I have fantasies, you know? One particular one that I had under the shower was me making love to you while others could see what we were doing. I know it's a fantasy that will never happen. On a holodeck I would know that the people aren't real, and I also would never do it in front of anyone of Voyager because I don't want someone to say to me two years from now, 'remember then?' So a fantasy is all it'll ever be."

"And this connects to you making me wet now... how?"

B'Elanna smiled. Before capturing the earlobe again and tugging on it playfully with her teeth. "I'm just sharing a fantasy with you, but I thought that me telling you that making you come here in Astrometrics is a fantasy of mine too would be a little too obvious."

"You do realize that you are talking to a former Borg drone; fantasies are irrelevant."

B'Elanna laughed again as she squeezed one of Seven's breasts a little. "And that from the woman that just said that I was making her wet. Forget it. You had your chance to object for real."

B'Elanna's hand moved to the other breast while she never stopped the slow movement between Seven's legs. "You know baby, I 'am' going to make you come right here where anybody could walk right in and catch us."

B'Elanna moved her hand to cover as much as she could of one of Seven's breasts before she softly squeezed it again. "Hmm, seems like someone is getting excited, your nipples are getting hard baby. I can feel them even through you biosuit."

B'Elanna put a little more pressure against Seven's center with her other hand as she continued to move her hand slowly up and down, smiling when Seven put her feet a little further apart. "Baby, I'm seducing you in a public place; you shouldn't be this eager for me to touch you."

Seven put her hands firmly on the console in front of her and leaned her head back against B'Elanna's. "There is one flaw in that reasoning; you do not have to seduce me, I am already firmly seduced. Now all I want is your touch."

B'Elanna knew that she couldn't draw this out too long; eventually someone really would show up. She continued to let one hand roam from breast to breast while she set a steady rhythm of moving her other hand up and down between Seven's legs. "You know, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea after all if you started to wear other clothing while at work."

B'Elanna stopped talking to softly nibble on Seven's ear before continuing. "I would really love to slide my fingers inside you now, in and out, setting a slow rhythm. But this damn suit is preventing me from doing so. You know, I really would love to see you naked right now, but I don't think that would be such a good idea. Anyone could come in right now. Oh baby, we could get caught at any moment."

B'Elanna could hear Seven's breathing quicken and she knew that the element of danger of getting caught was exciting Seven. Knowing that she couldn't do much more than she was anyway, she decided to use words to turn Seven on even more.

"But on the other hand, maybe getting you naked wouldn't be such a bad idea at all. I could then bend you over this console and fuck you from behind. You love that, don't you baby, having me take you from behind?"

"Yes, B'Elanna, you know I do," Seven agreed with a panting breath.

B'Elanna created a little more pressure between Seven's legs. "Gods baby, just think about that for a moment. Picture yourself standing here butt naked bent over this console, your breasts hanging down, begging for me to touch them. Me fucking you from behind... sliding in and out of you, taking you, fucking you. Tell me baby, can you imagine that?"

"Y...yes I can, B'Elanna, please, I'm getting close."

"My, my, shortening your words already baby? What is it that's making you so hot, the idea of me fucking you like that, or the fact that anyone could walk in right now?"

"Yes," Seven merely said. "Now B'Elanna."

"Yes baby, come for me." B'Elanna moved her hand a little faster, prolonging Seven's peak. "God's baby, can you imagine someone coming in right now, while you're coming all over my hand?" B'Elanna grinned when she felt Seven start to shake, she knew Seven's body well enough by now to know that the blonde was having a second orgasm while still riding the waves of her first one.

Using the hand that had been massaging Seven's breasts to steady the blonde, B'Elanna slowed the movement of her second hand, making sure to be there for Seven as she came down from her peak. "That's it baby. I got you. Relax."

Once Seven had calmed down, B'Elanna stepped away a little so that her lover could turn around. "So, how'd you like that? Was this a one time thing, or can I do this again?"

Seven knew that with 'this' B'Elanna didn't actually mean the very same thing in Astrometrics, but to have sex in other places on the ship. "I assume that making love in other parts of the ship than our quarters is also a fantasy of yours? Maybe the Captain was right and you really do want us to make love on the bridge?"

B'Elanna grinned and shook her head. "Neh, the bridge thing is actually a fantasy of those in command. But boy would I love to take you right against the warp core railing. Fuck, just thinking of you standing there, the warp core right behind you and me fucking you... But I don't think that'll ever happen. Since even at stand down condition like this there are always two people in engineering at all times. But there are a lot of other places on the ship I would love to have my way with you."

Seven thought about it for a moment before nodding her head a little. "Yes, you may do this again. I enjoyed it very much. But you do realize that I will return the favor at some time? Which I actually also want to do now, you must be excited, surely you need release as well?"

"Um, Seven, you know that I'm not like you. If you have to you can be quiet, like now, but I can't do that. There is just something about you. I was able to do quiet before, if needed. But something about you, when you have your way with me, makes me forget all about something as silly as being quiet."

Seven smiled, and it wasn't one of her nicer ones. "I know. I guess you have to work on the quiet part some more then."

"Oh, you are just plain evil, woman," B'Elanna growled, but there was no hiding the fact that the thought of Seven doing something like this to her excited her to the extreme.

"And you would not want me any other way," Seven said confidently. "I guess that we just have to practice some more in our quarters until you can be quiet if need be."

B'Elanna stepped closer and molded her body to Seven's. "Oh, baby, I love to practice with you, over, and over, and over again. She leaned in and they shared a passion filled tongue kiss that led to a make out session that left them both short of breath.

"Oh, do you two never stop?"

Both women straightened at the words and stepped away from each other. Only to then realize that they could have saved themselves that effort. The man that had walked in would have more than likely have preferred if they had continued to make out.

"I must apologize, Mister Paris, we did not hear the door open."

"So it seems," Tom agreed with a grin on his face. "You better be a little careful, you don't want to give people a show now... do you?"

"Not planning on it," B'Elanna said with a grin, knowing better than to tell Tom that it was actually one of her little fantasies.

"Though if you had arrived approximately ten minutes earlier a show would have been exactly what you would have received," Seven said with her well trained Borg indifference.

"Huh? What do you mean?" Tom asked as he joined the women at the console.

"We were in the process of repairing this console when B'Elanna decided that it was a good time to have her way with me. She made me come right here at this console; twice."

Tom actually laughed at that. "You still into the weird places thing, B'Elanna?"

"Yes, isn't it funny that I had to go to a woman to find someone who actually has the balls to go along with me and turn my fantasies into reality?"

"Well, I would have,"

"Tom, let's be honest, if it was set on the holodeck you would have done it anywhere, but if I had asked you to have sex with me in Astrometrics, you would have pissed your pants."

"Um, probably true," Tom admitted sheepishly. "So, was it any good?"

"It was wonderful," Seven said calmly as if talking about the weather. "Especially the fact that B'Elanna was standing behind me as she had me slightly bent over the console. I,"

Seven stopped talking when Tom lifted his hand.

"Seven, listen, I would really love to hear that, believe me I would. Hell I would preferably get a blow by blow description of what you two do in bed, but I really don't need the mental image of you bending over this console with B'Elanna.... awww, crap now I DO have that mental image. I'll see that every time now when I come in here. Thanks a lot Seven."

"Believe me, Mister Paris, you are quite welcome. Besides, when B'Elanna and I make love, be it in bed or somewhere else, we do not exchange blows, but maybe you would prefer a lick by lick description?"

Tom's eyes went wide at the question and B'Elanna started to laugh.

"Tom, what in the universe made you think that you could one-up Seven? She has portraying indifference down to an art form."

"Um, yes, well... Um, I think that this is a great place to move this conversation to a safer level," Tom said, clearly admitting defeat. But that was alright, if he could have these kinds of conversations with the two women, he would gladly lose every conversation they had. "The reason I came here. I was on the bridge and the captain gave me a PADD and asked if I could hand it to you two."

"It is time to leave," Seven agreed as B'Elanna reached for the PADD. "B'Elanna promised me a picnic, and a few hours after that, we are expected at the party."

"The Zamonan are having a party?" Tom asked, visions of being the only guy at an all girl party were dancing in front of his eyes.

"Forget it, Paris," B'Elanna said, knowing her former lover only too well. "The way these women are only interested in women, you would have more chance talking up some of the Voyager women."

Tom grinned before admitting, "You're probably right. After all, Perti asked me what time I would be at our vacation spot. She promised to teach me how to surf."

"Tom you already know how to surf."

Tom's grin got wider. "I know, and so does she. She saw me surfing yesterday, but she had to come to Voyager. So she told me if we could meet up today she would teach me the Risa way of 'bodysurfing.'"

"Well, let's get going then," B'Elanna said as she moved to the door. "We don't want you to miss your surfing lesson, now do we?"

The party was in full swing and B'Elanna and Seven were really enjoying themselves. Seeing that they didn't know the... dances... the Zamonan were doing, they were more than happy to just sit and watch. At least they assumed that the Zamonan were dancing; there was some rhythm to the movements after all.

Seven and B'Elanna, being guests of the village, had received seats at the main table. It was interesting to see how the Zamonan interacted loosely with each other, yet clearly respected the seniority of the people in charge, and the people that were considered important because of the craft they had mastered.

The main table seated more than twenty people, and every one of the village was free to take a seat if a seat was empty. If the seats were all taken then the others had to take a seat at another table. But if someone like regent Dasia came to the table, suddenly a seat would free up for them and one of the other Zamonan would go and sit at another table, after having taken a convenient detour to the drinks and food table. So it never looked like they deliberately got up to make room, yet room was made never the less. Fawza, as the leather craftswoman got the same privileged treatment, as did the blacksmith, the healer, the head cook, and of course any of their partners if they wanted to join their Mates.

B'Elanna looked at Seven once more, not getting enough of the way the blonde looked with her hair down and wearing nothing more than shoes, a leather halter top, and a short skirt. A very, very short skirt actually. So short that B'Elanna seriously doubted that it would cover all of Seven's behind if she were to bend down to pick something up off the floor without also bending her knees. But seeing that every other woman was basically wearing the same thing, with the only difference being in the cut or color of the clothing, it really didn't bother B'Elanna too much. Had they been on Voyager she might have asked Seven to put a little longer skirt on at least. But here she fitted in with the rest. In fact, B'Elanna was the only one that stuck out. She was wearing a T-shirt and long pants.

"Hmm, you know, you were right, Seven. I should've chosen something else."

"Of course I was right; I am always right."

"Only in your dreams, Princess, only in your dreams."

Seven had simply followed the advice of Fawza and now she was glad that she had done so. She had a feeling that B'Elanna didn't like sticking out so much, so she relented with her teasing. "Seeing that I had the foresight to ask what kind of clothing is normally worn to the party, I had the time to ask Fawza if I could borrow a set of clothing for you to wear, I have placed it on the bed. If you go to the hut and change you could be back in five minutes."

"Hey, if you knew that my choice of clothing wasn't any good, why didn't you just tell me so?"

"I did," Seven pointed out. "But you told me that you preferred the clothing you are wearing now."

B'Elanna sighed and shook her head a little. "Seven, don't you understand that a supporting partner would simply take the blame and say 'sorry' for not knowing that I had the wrong clothing."

"If that is what you expect from a partner than you will be sorely disappointed with me. Though you are an excellent lover, I have no problem with pointing out your many shortcomings to you."

B'Elanna grinned. "I see where I stand." She was quiet for a moment before adding, "You do realize that I was kidding, right? You're the best partner I could ever hope for."

"I knew you were kidding," Seven affirmed. "I know what your tone of voice is if you are serious."

B'Elanna made a show of groaning. "Oh great, now I don't just have to watch what I say, but also how I say it."

"That is what you get for getting involved with a former Borg drone. If you want easy, I now give you my permission to use the holodeck to create a version of me that is exactly how you want her to be."

B'Elanna shook her head at hearing Seven's suggestion. "Baby, I already have the perfect version, any change would only take away the perfection that is the original."

Seven smiled at that. "That was a good answer, thank you."

"I thought so," B'Elanna agreed. "I'm especially proud of the fact that I managed to come up with it without looking like I was thinking about a diplomatically correct answer."

"Indeed, I must agree that you did so masterfully. I especially liked the inclusion of the word 'perfection' in that sentence."

"I knew you would," B'Elanna admitted while nodding her head to give her words more meaning. "I know how you Borg, and former Borg, view perfection as something close to divinity."

They looked at each other for a moment before they both started to laugh. It was the first time Seven actually laughed longer than just a few seconds and B'Elanna decided that she loved the sound of Seven's soft laughter; she wanted to hear it more often.

"Alright, I'll go change quickly. Thank you for thinking of me, baby."

"B'Elanna, thinking of you is no hardship; I always think of you," Seven said softly, a tenderness showing in her eyes that she only allowed B'Elanna to see.

B'Elanna just looked at Seven for a moment, not knowing how to react to that statement with words. Finally B'Elanna leaned closer and they shared a long passionate kiss. Not caring in the least about anyone that could see them.

Only when they broke apart did they realize just where they were and they glanced around to see what the reaction of the other women at the table was. But apparently seeing two people express their love for each other was not an uncommon sight in the Zamonan village. Most hadn't even reacted, and those that had, had done so with an indulgent grin.

"Um, I think I'll go change now." Not waiting for an answer, B'Elanna got up and moved away. But after having only taken one step, B'Elanna turned back and leaned close; whispering in her lover's ear. "Just for the record, Princess, to me you truly are perfection."

Without waiting for a reply, B'Elanna turned around once more and this time truly did leave.

"Is she leaving? It looked like you were enjoying yourselves?" Fawza asked from across the table.

"I finally managed to convince her to change her clothing; she will be back in a few minutes."

"Are you staying until the end of the party then?" Fawza asked, surprise clearly on her face.

"I do not know if we will stay until the end, but we are enjoying ourselves, and will probably stay for a while longer. Why do you ask?"

"Well, it's just that, um, seeing how... private you people seem to be in general, it kinda surprises me that you would stay after the children are sent to bed, that's all."

"You are comparing us with children?" Seven asked, her eyebrow rising a little in a mix between amusement and disbelief.

"Goddess no! I just... Well..." Fawza frowned for a moment before asking, "I have a feeling that nobody told you about the later part of the party, am I right?"

"Dasia asked us if we would join the party tonight and we agreed; that is all the conversation there was about the subject."

Fawza reached across the table and smacked Dasia, who was sitting beside Seven, on the arm. "You didn't tell them about the later part of the party?"

"Hey! Sure I did, I asked them if they wanted to join us. I actually expressed that it was the party to celebrate the rebirth of our patron goddess."

"And they would know what that means... how?"

Dasia was about to react but then snapped her mouth shut. Then she started to speak again, clearly saying something else than she was first going to say. "Um Seven, you see, um..."

"Never mind," Fawza sighed. "You go back to having fun with your Mate, I'll explain."

"I'm sorry, Seven, I really didn't think about it," Dasia said before turning back to her Mate.

"Alright, here's the deal," Fawza said as she leaned a little over the table and closer to Seven, who came a little closer as well in reaction. "You realize how important the bond between Mates is with us?"

"I do."

"Well, one of the reasons for that is that our patron goddess, the goddess of nature, hunting, and wildlife, is absolutely devoted to her Mate, the goddess of the five elements, water, fire, earth, wind, and life."

"Do those two fields not cover each other?" Seven asked. "Nature, wildlife, and hunting that wildlife all have to do with life."

"It does," Fawza agreed. "But that is normal. The fields that our gods cover always overlap some. It's why some gods truly hate each other and try to make the life of each other miserable. But in the case of our patron goddess and the goddess of the five elements, that interaction resulted in realizing that they could be great friends. They became friends, and soon lovers as well. But to come back to the reason for this festival... Because of that interaction between gods, at one point our patron goddess was killed by the god of evil who hates her with a vengeance. He forgot one thing though. Because the Mate of our patron goddess is the goddess of the elements, her Mate gathered her powers and was able to bring her Mate the goddess of nature, hunting, and wildlife, our patron goddess, back to life. That part is what we celebrate in the beginning of the evening. In the later evening, after the children are sent to bed, we celebrate what happened after our goddess was brought back to life."

"What did happen then?" Seven asked, dying to find out. Not that Seven's outside appearance or tone of voice showed that.

"Well, basically; they made love for a very, very, long time. You have to understand, since her Mate is the goddess of the elements, she possesses the elemental powers, and she passes a lot of those powers over to our patron goddess when they make love. In fact, every time there is a storm blowing, we always enjoy it because we know that our goddess and her Mate are making love again."

Fawza winked before saying, "The words, 'at least the Goddesses are having fun,' are said very often during such stormy days. Which is, if you know us Zamonan a little, basically a Zamonan really saying to her Mate or someone she likes a lot: 'The Goddesses are having fun, how about we go have some fun too on this day where there is not much else to do anyway?'"

Seven lifted an eyebrow. "An interesting pickup line for those 'someone she likes a lot' people.'"

"Our mating behavior can be a bit complex at times," Fawza admitted. "On one of our colony planets they have become, um, freer then here. In my exchange program, when I was young, I went there for a year.
Someone actually once asked me, 'hey you're cute, want to fuck?' Here we would never, ever, say that. But we would say things like,"

"The Goddesses sure are having fun; lucky them," Seven interrupted to show that she understood the difference. "This makes it easier for the other person to say no by simply not reacting, and in return also makes it look like the first person was not actually asking. This in turn makes sure that the person that asked, yet not really asked, does not 'lose face' which is a very important issue in a warrior society."

"I see that you are starting to understand us Zamonan," Fawza said, basically agreeing at the same time. "Now, back to the story. Since our goddess had just been brought back to life she was very weak, so she needed a lot of the power that only her Mate could give her."

"Which translates to?" Seven asked, even though she already had a pretty good feeling of what that meant.

"It means that normally when a couple gets a little too amorous we tell them to go find a hut. But tonight we honor our goddess and her Mate by allowing those couples to... enjoy their bond."

Seven filtered through the words before surmising, "You are telling me that tonight is the only night where public displays of sex are allowed?"

"Well, we don't like to use the word allowed, since it is allowed at all times. It is just that normally we discourage it. Believe me; the mood is soon lost if you have more and more people telling you to go find a hut."

"Is such a public display expected?"

"You mean if we would expect you and you Mate to have sex if you stay?" Fawza asked. "Oh, goddess no. We certainly would not expect that from guests. And even amongst us the public displays will vary. Some will not participate at all because they like to keep things private. Others will do nothing more than a little fondling of their Mate. Yet others will have sex, but in a relatively discreet manner. But you will also see some couples that actually want everyone to see. For them this festival is a good excuse to indulge in some things they would normally never do... be ashamed to do even, and then have it be alright and accepted because they can say that they were honoring the Goddess. So you can expect at least some... very interesting kind of... eating going on at one or two of the tables."

"So B'Elanna and I can just sit here and enjoy the rest of the evening and move to our hut if we want to be alone?"

"Absolutely," Fawza assured.

Seven saw B'Elanna coming back, and in that one moment where she had to make a choice, Seven decided to introduce B'Elanna to her truly wicked side. "My Mate and I will stay for now. Please do not tell her about what is going to happen later this evening."

"Why not?" Fawza asked, lowering her voice a little because she also saw B'Elanna coming closer.

"Because I think I am about to have one of my Mates fantasies fulfilled, but I want it to be a surprise."

"What is a surprise?" B'Elanna asked, having only heard the last words.

"If I told you that, it would no longer be a surprise," Seven said with a small smile that told B'Elanna that it was all the answer she was going to get.

"Well, now that you've got your Mate back to keep you company, excuse me while I go get something to eat," Fawza said while standing up.

As soon as Fawza was gone, B'Elanna leaned closer and whispered to Seven, making sure that Dasia, sitting on the other side of the blonde didn't hear her, "You do realize that you didn't lay out any panties with this? First I left on the panties I was wearing under my trousers, but that made the skirt really uncomfortable. So I decided to go without. In other words, don't ask me to bend and pick something up off the floor, I'd be giving these women an interesting view."

"You do not have to worry about that. True, these skirts seem rather short, but they are cut in such a way that they still cover all you would like to have covered, no matter how much bending you do."

"Somehow I doubt that," B'Elanna said with a grin.

"B'Elanna, none of these women wear any underwear, yet you do not see any 'interesting views,'" Seven said, while adding in her mind the word 'yet.'

"They don't?" B'Elanna asked surprised before narrowing her eyes and asking, "How do you know that?"

"They do not. They do have pants that they wear in certain situations where skirts are not practical, but those are not considered underwear since they are then worn instead of the skirt. As for how I know, when I handed Fawza the PADD with the clothing I was looking for, it also had the drawings of the leather underwear. While we were talking about the designs, it came up in the conversation that the Zamonan prefer to only wear one layer of clothing. They prefer to either wear a skirt or a pair of pants; the only exception being coats against rain or cold. Seeing that all of these women are wearing skirts, it means that none of them are wearing underwear."

"Yeah? And what about on top, don't they have any bra's either?"

"They do not. What they do have is the kind of 'tops' that you can see all around you. Granted, some of those would be seen as underwear on Voyager. In fact, some of those 'tops' are what I will receive and use as underwear."

"Yeah? Well, then tell me, Princess, what underwear do you have on under that skirt?"

"The same that I wear under my biosuits," Seven said calmly, knowing that B'Elanna would figure out what she meant in a single second.

"Oh, Kahless, that's something I really didn't need to know."

"You asked," Seven pointed out with a smile.

"Yeah? Well, you're damned lucky that these people are here, otherwise I think I'd fuck you right here and now."

Seven lifted her eyebrow a little before asking, "Are you thinking of fulfilling your fantasy of having public sex?"

B'Elanna closed her eyes for a moment while thinking how tempting it was. Seven was sitting beside her in clothing that was very accessible to roaming hands, and they were surrounded by real people, but real people that they would never see again once they left the planet. Finally B'Elanna sighed. "I should never have told you that. Now you'll torment me with the idea for the rest of our lives."

B'Elanna suddenly saw a brilliant smile coming to Seven's lips; a smile that lit up the blonde's whole face. B'Elanna went over her own words, wondering what could have brought forth that reaction. After a moment she realized what it was; it had been the 'the rest of our lives.' Then she saw Seven's smile starting to slowly disappear and she understood that Seven realized that B'Elanna was going over her own words and was now waiting for B'Elanna to correct herself.

B'Elanna took Seven's hand and placed a soft kiss on the metal covered knuckles. "But then, I guess there are worse things one could be tormented with for the rest of one's life. Just thinking of you asking me that question thirty years from now makes me damn hot."

Seven put her second hand behind B'Elanna's neck and pulled her in for a long and passionate kiss that left B'Elanna short of breath. "I love you, B'Elanna. You, my beloved, are perfection to me, you complete me."

Now it was B'Elanna that started the long kiss they shared. "I'm in love with you too, baby. You are the absolutely best thing that ever happened to me."

B'Elanna hesitated for a moment before adding, "In fact, I think that it's time we took care of a little detail. Seven, will you move in with me?"

For a moment, Seven was confused by the sudden change of subject. "I am already living in your quarters, which have already been deemed my official place of living."

"But I never actually asked you. Seven, me asking you to move in with me is a very important thing to me. I've never asked someone to do that before."

"Never?" Seven asked surprised, but pleased.

"Never," B'Elanna affirmed before asking once again, this time in nothing more than a whisper, "Seven of Nine, I am in love with you and I want to share my life with you. Will you honor me by moving in with me?"

"Yes, my beloved. I will move in with you. I am honored that such a proud woman like you is asking me to share her quarters, and her life."

"Beautifully said," B'Elanna said with a smile.

"Thank you. I assumed that you would appreciate me incorporating my version of the Klingon acceptance of a living bond request."

"I do," B'Elanna assured with a smile. "House or quarters, it's the same for me; as long as you'll be there."

Seven finally gave in to the impulse that she had been having since the tender conversation had started. She moved closer until her body was molded from shoulder to hip against B'Elanna's, and she put her arm around the Klingon's middle, pulling her closer still. "You do realize that we would scandalize the crew of Voyager if they could see us now?"

"Why?" B'Elanna asked as she put her own arm around the blonde.

"You have to agree that we are definitely not acting like a hotheaded, rough, and volatile Klingon. Nor like a cold hearted Borg bitch with a severe case of frostbite shoved down her throat."

"Baby, I said severe case of frostbite shoved so far up your ass that it showed with every word you spoke," B'Elanna corrected with a smile. "Well, I think we both still are that, but I have to admit that I like the fact that I can show my soft side to you."

"As do I," Seven agreed. "I like the fact that I can let my guard down with you."

B'Elanna grinned. "Just don't get the impression that I'll go easy on you if we have a disagreement. I'll still be more than happy to kick that Borg ass of yours out of my engine room."

"Promise?" Seven asked softly.

"Promise," B'Elanna assured. "Seven, no matter how much I love you, I love to fight with you way too much to give it up."

"I am just afraid that there will come a time where we will simply talk through our disagreements."

"Seven, trust me, as much as I love you, you still know how to drive me wild to the point that I blow a fuse."

"We fight less now than we did before," Seven pointed out.

"We do," B'Elanna agreed. "We kinda covered this already in the cell when you thought that we would stop fighting. It's just that..." B'Elanna stopped while she thought of another way to explain it to Seven, knowing that her first explanation in the cell had clearly not taken away all of Seven's fears. "Baby, I love to make love to you."

"And I love to make love to you," Seven said before asking, "But how does that explain what you are trying to explain?"

"I'm getting there. As I said, I love to make love to you. Boy, do I love to love you. I also love to fight with you. I really love our fights. You're afraid that we'll stop fighting, are you also afraid that we'll stop making love?"

"I do not believe that I would be able to go a prolonged time without touching you, beloved. But as you have pointed out, there is bound to come a time where we will make love less than we are now."

"And that's exactly my point. We are more than likely going to make love less than at least once a day soon, but that doesn't mean that we will stop doing it. And while we might make love less, we still will love every minute of it. And that is my point, we may fight less, but we both love it too much to ever stop doing it fully. And when we will fight, we'll still love to do it. Or let's look at it from the other side. We both love our fights. If, for some reason, there would come a time where we stop fighting then this can only mean that we did so because we found something else to do with that time that we like even more."


"Seven, just trust me on this. Fact is that our relationship is still evolving, and neither one of us can say for sure what's going to happen next. Only three days ago we were both still sure that we did love each other, but weren't in love. Now, only three days later we know that we are in love, and we are talking of spending our lives together. Maybe there really will come a day that we don't fight at all anymore. But... if we're both more than happy with that, then so what? We don't know how we'll feel about things in the future. I suggest we wait until we're in that future before worrying about what we 'might' no longer do. Just let our lives happen, and stop trying to analyze it."

Seven thought about what B'Elanna had said, and after a few moments she nodded her head. "You have a point. I will stop trying to analyze our relationship and instead live it."

"Good, but baby, let me make something very clear. Don't ever think that I don't want to listen to things that concern you. In fact, I'm more than happy to continue this subject if you want. If it takes me telling you this every day to make you feel secure in this thing between us, I'll gladly do it."

"It will not take you telling me every day. What it did take was what you just did; giving me the assurance that you are willing to listen to my concerns."

"I am, baby, I am. I want to know what's going on in that pretty head of yours."

"What is going on in my head right now is that I really want to make love to you; right now," Seven said, deciding that the conversation was closed enough for now, besides they were at a party.

"Well, we could go to our hut now," B'Elanna suggested with an exaggerated wink.

"We could, but then we would miss the rest of the party. I am actually looking forward to the rest of the evening."

"Really, why? Is there something special planned?"

"In a way, yes," Seven said, hoping that a little information would make B'Elanna want to stay as well. "It is the surprise I was talking about."

"You know, if I would ask any of these women, I'm sure they would tell me," B'Elanna said with a grin.

Seven's only reply was to stick her lower lip out a little in a severely adorable little pout.

"Awww, crap baby, you don't play fair."

Seven added some 'pressure' by crossing her arms over her chest and sending a small command to her cranial implant that instructed her tear ducts to produce more moisture, making sure that it was just a little bit, knowing that too much would ruin the effect.

B'Elanna was dismayed to see a few silent tears rolling down Seven's face, even though she knew that Seven was only playing.

"Awww, baby, please, no tears. Fine, I won't ask them. Who would have thought that the Borg were right after all?"

"Right about what?" Seven asked with a smile, wanting to make sure that B'Elanna knew that she wasn't really upset.

B'Elanna took a moment to kiss Seven's tears away before answering, "Resistance is futile."

"The tears were not a little 'too much'?"

"Naw, those are the things that did me in. I was dismayed to see that I made you cry."

"In that case, I will not do it again; I did not mean to make you feel bad."

B'Elanna placed a soft kiss on Seven's cheek. "No baby. I love it when you play with me, in whatever way. Even if it is by using tears to get your way. But please, promise me that you won't do it if we have a real disagreement that we need to talk out."

"That, I promise you. I also promise you that I will not do it to end a fight."

"In that case, you can use tears all you want to get your way with me."

"And I really would like to have my way with you now... but we cannot leave yet."

B'Elanna sighed and resigned herself to just waiting to see what the surprise was. For a moment she thought about moving away from Seven again, but then she decided that she actually liked where she was sitting just fine, and apparently none of the women around the table seemed to mind either. "So how much longer do I have to wait for that surprise?"

Seven looked around the village center and saw a distinct lack of children. There were a few young women left who were arguing with older ones, and Seven assumed that they were daughters that were trying to convince their parents that they were old enough to stay. "I have a feeling that it will be not much longer now. But do not wait for it, B'Elanna. Instead, enjoy the party."

"I just don't want to miss it."

"Believe me; you will most certainly not miss it."

It was half an hour later when B'Elanna started to notice a difference in the women around her. Most were suddenly kissing a lot more, and a lot more intimately. Some where actually fondling their Mates, while others were clearly enjoying what they could see.

"Um, Seven?" B'Elanna asked.

"Yes?" Seven asked innocently as she placed her hand on B'Elanna's leg and started to slowly caress the Klingon's inner thigh; making the poor woman jump in surprise.

"Wha... What's going on here?"

"Your surprise is going on here. Just sit back and enjoy the view; they do not mind. In fact, the people that do more than kissing most definitely want people to see what they do."

From where she sat, B'Elanna could see under parts of some of the other tables, and when she saw a hand disappearing under the skirt of one of the Zamonan, B'Elanna suddenly had a damn good idea what her surprise was. "Um, Seven..."

B'Elanna stopped talking when Seven turned a little towards her until she could reach B'Elanna's neck with her lips.

"Yes?" Seven asked right before she started to suck on B'Elanna's neck with an enthusiasm that was bound to leave a mark. She changed hands, knowing that she could reach more of B'Elanna's body with her right hand. She placed her hand on B'Elanna's thigh where her left hand had been, and moved it slowly up until it was resting against the Klingon's sex.

"Remember what you told me?" Seven asked softly, "That I could enter you whenever I wanted, as long as you were wet enough to allow it?"

Seven moved two fingers up and down B'Elanna's folds a few times, making sure to pass over B'Elanna's aching clit every time. "Hmm, it seems to me that you are definitely wet enough to allow it. I was right, was I not? You are always ready for me."

Before B'Elanna could answer, Seven kissed her. She didn't need to hear the Klingon's answer, the moisture she felt told her more than enough.

After a few moments of teasing B'Elanna, Seven finally stopped at B'Elanna's opening. "B'Elanna, you know what I am going to do now?"

"What?" B'Elanna asked, in nothing more than a whisper.

"I am going to fuck you; right here, right now. I am going to make you come while all of these women can see and hear you." Seven slowly pushed her fingers into B'Elanna's warm canal. "I will let you choose; slow or fast?"


Chapter 12

B'Elanna couldn't hold back a moan when Seven entered her. Hearing her own moan she looked around her, only to see Dasia looking back with a smile that told her that she knew only too well what Seven was doing with her hand under the table.

Kahless, Seven was going to make her come in front of these people. She was going to fuck her right there. For a moment B'Elanna wasn't sure how to react to Dasia's smile, until it registered with her that Dasia's top was hanging open and that her Mate, Gici, was busy sucking one of Dasia's nipples. B'Elanna decided to smile back as she gave herself fully to Seven's desire. She scooted forward a little to give the blonde better access. If they were really going to do this publically, she sure as hell was going to enjoy it.

"Slow," She said, answering Seven's question.

"Slow it is," Seven said as she slowly started to move in and out of the Klingon.

"Oh, god," B'Elanna moaned, not really believing that this was happening.

"Kiss me," Seven demanded as she pushed her fingers as far as she could inside B'Elanna.

B'Elanna was only too happy to oblige and soon her tongue was dueling with Seven's. "God, baby you're the best," B'Elanna panted once they broke apart.

As a reply, Seven curled her fingers a little to caress B'Elanna's g-spot.

"God yes!" B'Elanna moaned loudly as she threw her head back in ecstasy.

"Look around you," Seven whispered, letting her breath tickle B'Elanna's ear. "Can you see what the others are doing?"

Seven moved her thumb to B'Elanna's clit and moved it over the sensitive nub in pace with the slow pumping movement of her ring and middle finger. "Can you see how they are kissing? How they are sucking each other's breasts? Can you see how some are fucking each other, just like I am fucking you now?"

"Yes. Please baby." B'Elanna had no idea what she was begging for, she just hoped that whatever it was, Seven would give it to her.

"What are you looking at now?" Seven asked before she lowered her head and started to lick as much as she could of B'Elanna's still covered breasts.

"Baby... Please..."

"Tell me, or I will stop," Seven threatened. It was an empty threat; both of them knew that Seven wouldn't stop until B'Elanna had reached at least one orgasm.

"I... Oh god," B'Elanna interrupted herself when Seven once more started to caress her g-spot. "I... I can see right under that table there, and I can ssssee.... god, yes baby... I see how Zaki is being fucked by her Mate just as y... Oh, baby yes, please, rub my clit more."

B'Elanna's request was honored right away and with difficulty she continued. "Her Mate is fucking her, just like you're fucking me."

"Can you see everything?" Seven asked before she abandoned the valley of B'Elanna's breasts for the moment to start kissing, licking, and sucking the Klingon's throat.

"Yes. Please baby, f... faster. I need to come."

"Only if you keep talking. What can you see?"

"I can see her fingers moving in and out."

"How many fingers?"


"Three?" Seven removed her fingers from inside B'Elanna's warmth for a moment, only to re-enter her lover with three fingers. "Like this?"


"Is Zaki enjoying what her Mate is doing to her?"


"Are you close, B'Elanna? Do you want to come?"

"Yessss. God yes."

"I want you to do one more thing for me," Seven started to move her thumb faster over B'Elanna's hard nub, knowing that she would bring her lover to release in less than a minute. "Tell me, are there also people watching us? Is someone looking at how I fuck you?"

"Yes, s... several actually."

Seven laughed at that. "I am not surprised. You, in ecstasy, are a wonderful thing to see. Select one of them. Look her in the eyes; invite her to keep watching as I make you come. Allow her the privilege of seeing me make you come."

Seven was slightly surprised, but in a way also thrilled as she noticed that B'Elanna turned her head to the side. Seven was sure that her lover was looking at Dasia now.

"Come for me," Seven asked just before she kissed B'Elanna. She knew that her lover would come with a scream, and while she wanted people to watch, she didn't want everyone to turn to them.

B'Elanna screamed her release into her lover's mouth as her muscles clamped down on the fingers still inside her.

Seven left her fingers inside her lover for a moment while B'Elanna enjoyed her orgasm; knowing by now that the Klingon enjoyed the feeling of being filled as she came. She softly continued to move her thumb over B'Elanna's clit, prolonging her peak for a moment longer. Finally she stilled all of her movements and smiled at B'Elanna.

"Did you like having your fantasy fulfilled?" Seven asked before she reluctantly removed her hand and then not so reluctantly started to lick her fingers to clean off B'Elanna's essence.

B'Elanna looked over at Dasia once more, but saw that the woman now had her eyes closed as she was clearly enjoying a similar treatment from her Mate Gici as Seven had just given B'Elanna.

"I enjoyed that very much. There is just one problem with it; that wasn't my fantasy."

"It was not?" Seven asked surprised, but not at all sorry.

"No, my fantasy was me fucking you in front of others."

"Ah, I see." Seven thought about that for a moment before smiling. "Well, that is easily rectifiable. Fawza did tell me to expect some interesting kinds of eating today."

"Really now?" B'Elanna asked with a grin. "So, would you like it if I were to lay you on this table like a meal and start eating?"

Seven smiled at her lover, knowing that B'Elanna was only joking. "While I think I would enjoy that, I do not want to rob these women of their much needed table space; they need it for their food and drinks. However, I would not object at all if you were to do an up close and personal investigation to see if I was telling the truth when I told you that I am wearing the same underwear as I normally wear under my biosuit."

B'Elanna grinned at that. "Actually, baby, I would much rather get under this table and start eating your pussy."

"I rather prefer my way of stating what I would like you to do."

B'Elanna winked at her lover. "I know you do, but nice words won't get me under that table to do the dirty."

"B'Elanna, there is nothing 'dirty' about you making love to me."

"It's an expression, baby. From the time where talking about sex was considered a 'dirty' thing to do."

"I knew that," Seven stated with a smile.

"Alright, fine, it that's the way you want to be, see if I care."

Seven knew that B'Elanna was now playing her, just like Seven had played B'Elanna before. Seven had used tears, but that would just look strange if B'Elanna were to do it. Instead the Klingon was treating Seven with a dose of indifference.

Seven heard the soft moans beside her getting louder and knew that Dasia was getting close to an orgasm as well. The idea of being able to actually see the Regent made love to while she herself was being made love to, turned Seven on to the extreme. Seven kissed her lover before resulting to a direct approach; begging.

"B'Elanna, please. I need you to make love to me right now. Please fuck me."

B'Elanna's hearts actually skipped a beat when she heard Seven's plea and she was already moving off her seat and under the table before she knew it herself.

"Your wish is my command, my Princess," B'Elanna said as she moved between the blonde's spread legs. She could now see the blonde's sex, and it was very clear to B'Elanna that her lover was anticipating her touch. B'Elanna hooked her thumbs on the sides of Seven's skirt and moved it up, smiling when Seven lifted herself a little to enable B'Elanna to move the skirt up all the way. Her smile got wider when Seven sat back down in such a way that she was just barely sitting on the bench. Apparently Seven wanted B'Elanna to have all the room she needed.

"Kahless, baby you are so wet," B'Elanna said, knowing that despite the sound of the party and the sounds of pleasure around them, Seven would still be able to hear her. B'Elanna placed her hands on the insides of Seven's legs and leaned in. She first took some time to lick away her lover's excitement before finally following Seven's lips with the tip of her tongue.

Seven closed her eyes for a moment from the pleasure of feeling B'Elanna touching her in the most intimate of ways. But then she quickly opened her eyes again and looked to her side to see Dasia with her head back and one of her nipples firmly captured in Gici's mouth. She saw Gici looking at her and wink as she softly tugged on Dasia's nipple with her teeth, before removing her hand from between Dasia's legs and offered it to Dasia who gladly started to lick her own essence off the fingers.

Gici's eyes never left Seven's as she lowered her hand once more and slowly pushed two fingers inside Dasia. After a moment of slowly moving in and out, Seven saw her whispering something in Dasia's ear, and the next moment the regent opened her eyes and looked down.

Seven looked down as well, and noticed that she could see B'Elanna's head, and could also see what she was already feeling; all the wonderful things B'Elanna was doing to her with her tongue. There was no doubt in Seven's mind that Dasia and Gici could see the very same thing. Seven's eyes drifted to Dasia's for a moment, only to see that the regent's eyes were firmly glued between Seven's legs. Looking at Gici instead, Seven found the eye contact she was looking for. Their eyes locked and after a moment Gici smiled once more before again whispering something in Dasia's ear. This time Seven made an effort to hear the words, and what she heard made her moan softly.

"Look at Seven, my love. I want you to look her in the eyes and hold that contact. I want you to see how she reacts to her Mate loving her, and I want you to show her how you react to me loving you. I want you to keep looking at her. I want her to see your eyes when I make you come."

Seven saw Dasia's eyes focus on hers, and she was only too happy to return the gaze. After a moment of not really knowing how to react, they both smiled and continued to hold the gaze as their Mates continued to love them.

B'Elanna had no idea of what was going on above her; all she knew was that she was doing what she loved to do; love Seven. She placed a soft kiss on Seven's clit. She loved to kiss Seven like that. Hell, she loved to kiss Seven in any way. Then she moved down a little and licked over Seven's sex with one broad stroke of her tongue, smiling when she felt Seven jump a little at the contact.

Suddenly she felt Seven's hand on her head, guiding her to where Seven wanted her. B'Elanna smiled before happily sucking Seven's clit into her mouth and closing her lips around it. She flicked her tongue across the sensitive nub with a rapid, but soft touch. She knew that now was not the time to take things slow.

After a moment of making love to Seven like this, B'Elanna finally let go of Seven's clit with a soft pop. She trailed her tongue down and up her lover's inner lips for a moment before starting to circle her opening a couple of times. B'Elanna knew what Seven wanted, needed. She could feel the blonde's muscles jump under her tongue; clamping and releasing in the irregular pattern of lust. She poised the tip of her tongue at Seven's opening and waited.

Seven's breathing was quickly becoming irregular, it was clear to her that B'Elanna was not taking her time this time, and that was fine with her. She was so worked up at the moment that fast really was her preference. While holding Dasia's gaze, she could still see the woman's fingers moving in and out of the regent's sex with a slowly, but surely, increasing speed. She felt how B'Elanna was about to enter her with her tongue and all of a sudden... nothing.

Seven looked down only to see B'Elanna looking up, her tongue extended as far as she could and ready to enter her lover. They looked at each other for a moment before Seven finally understood what the Klingon was waiting for. She placed her hand on B'Elanna's head and slowly pulled her closer, pushing her extended tongue in at the same time. Seven moaned at the erotic feeling of having her lover slide in at the exact pace that Seven herself was setting.

She looked back at Dasia and saw that Gici had stopped her movements and both of them were looking at the erotic scene of B'Elanna slowly sliding into Seven. Seven pulled B'Elanna as close as she possibly could before pushing her away a little until B'Elanna's tongue was once again waiting at Seven's opening. All three women were waiting for Seven to move B'Elanna closer once more, but she didn't. Instead she spoke up.

"If you want to watch, you have to give me something to watch as well." Seven's eyes drifted to Dasia's sex to indicate to the two Zamonan what she was talking about.

Gici grinned a little sheepishly and once again entered her lover. "Sorry, I was a little distracted."

Hearing what Seven said, B'Elanna looked up to see three set's of eyes looking down at her. Surprised, but thrilled at the close scrutiny, B'Elanna flicked her tongue a few times to let Seven know that it was up to the blonde to set a pace. Seven smiled down at her before pulling her close once more. Soon they had established a rhythm with Seven guiding B'Elanna's head back and forth, and by that her tongue in and out. Seven had to admit that it actually felt a little strange to have B'Elanna enter her like this; strange but good. She knew that the sexual pleasure she was feeling wasn't really coming from the penetration, but more from the fact that while B'Elanna was making love to Seven, B'Elanna was still the one fully giving herself to her lover.

"Fuck me," Seven pleaded when the need for release was getting too big to hold off much longer.

When hearing the simple two word plea, B'Elanna took over once more. She moved back to Seven's clit and started to swirl her tongue around it while pushing one of her thumbs into Seven's tight opening. She moved it in and out a couple of times to make sure it was firmly covered with Seven's moisture before lowering it to Seven's puckered opening and slowly pushing inside.

"Yesss," Seven moaned as she felt B'Elanna start to move her thumb in and out of her in tune with the strokes of her tongue across her clit.

Knowing that her lover was close, B'Elanna sped up her movements. She sucked Seven's clit into her mouth and flicked her tongue across it as fast as she could. Knowing that it was only a matter of seconds now, B'Elanna looked up; wanting to see her lover's face when she came. What she saw was Dasia and Seven looking at each other, both of them breathing hard, both of them obviously mere moments from orgasm. She sucked on Seven's clit as hard as she could before suddenly letting it go and starting to lick it with long strokes. On the fifth pass over Seven's hyper-sensitive flesh, she felt her lover shake as her orgasm shot through her.

B'Elanna heard a soft moan coming from Seven, and a split second later a louder moan from Dasia. B'Elanna stayed between Seven's legs for a while longer. First to bring her lover down from her peak: then to clean away all traces of her release, and finally simply because she could. For a few minutes she simply sat and randomly placed soft kisses from thigh to thigh, with every second kiss being placed somewhere on Seven's center.

Seven could see Dasia and her Mate looking at each other in a way that made it very clear that they were 'discussing' something without actually speaking. Finally they seemed to have reached some kind of agreement and Dasia spoke up.

Chapter 13

"Is your Mate coming from under that table any time today?"

"She might," Seven answered the Regent's question with a smile. "And then again, she might decide to stay and keep kissing the very same spot she is kissing now." Even though it had been a part of the conversation with Dasia, B'Elanna did as Seven hoped she would and placed a series of kisses on Seven's clit. "Why do you ask?"

"Because there is something we would like to ask you both."

Hearing what Dasia had said, B'Elanna reluctantly moved from between her lover's legs and back up onto the bench.

"And what would you like to ask us?" Seven asked while she tilted her head a little to give B'Elanna room to kiss her throat.

"We would like to ask you if you would like to come to our hut with us."

Both B'Elanna and Seven's eyes got wider at the question. Finally B'Elanna spoke up. "Um, Dasia, I, um, think that we might have given you the wrong impression here. What Seven and I just did; making love with people watching, that's something we could never do on Voyager. But with this party, and with what's still going on around us, we felt that we could do this here. Especially because there is nobody to say 'remember when' once we leave this planet. But looking is one thing. Both Seven and I aren't into sharing. We're damn possessive of each other, and neither one of us would be able to stand someone touching our Mate like that."

Dasia shook her head a little. "That isn't what we're asking. My Mate and I are also not into sharing. What we are into however, is watching. We love to see people making love, and we love to be watched as we make love. From what we just saw, you both like that as well, and what we're doing is inviting you to our hut to watch and be watched. Surely it must sound tempting to you to be lying on a very comfortable bed while making love to your Mate... with us sitting on our cushioned bench touching each other and watching you make love."

Seven and B'Elanna exchanged a long look, clearly having the same kind of silent communication that Dasia and her Mate shared only moments before. Finally Seven gave the smallest of nods to B'Elanna, and the Klingon spoke up. "Alright, you've got a deal, but I have some conditions."

"What conditions?" Gici asked, seeing Seven raise her eyebrow a little, clearly also surprised by the fact that there were conditions.

"Well, firstly, if we go with you, it won't be for a five minute thing. As you know, Seven and I are relatively new lovers. We made love for the first time here in this village actually. Because of that we don't have a 'record' yet. If we do this, I want to use the opportunity to set a record. I want to see how many times I can make Seven come. That brings me to the second condition; us going for a record means that you two will have to go along to keep us worked up."

"Well," Dasia said with a grin. "I think it's time we worked on our record as well. It's been several years since we tried to break it. But I must warn you; our record stands at an even ten orgasms... for the both of us."

"Oh, good, that gives us a record we can try to break," B'Elanna shot back with a grin. She really loved the way she could interact with these women, and not just on a sexual level, but on all levels.

"The third condition is food and drinks. We need energy and I don't want to take a break to go to the food hut."

"Way ahead of you," Gici said with a grin. "We know that it's almost impossible to get food from the food hut the day after we celebrate the rebirth of our Goddess; for some reason the cooks are always too tired to cook the next day. We have food and drinks stored up to last us two days. Divide that by four people instead of two, means that it's enough for one day. But it'll still be more than enough."

"Is there a fourth condition?" Dasia asked.

"The fourth condition is something that I want to make very clear to prevent misunderstandings. No touching of anyone except your own Mate. Looking, but no touching."

"We fully agree," Dasia said for herself and her Mate.

B'Elanna got up and offered her hand to Seven to help her up. Once Seven was standing, B'Elanna put her arm around the blonde and looked down at Dasia and Gici with a grin. "Well, what are we waiting for? Time 'se wasting, and I have plans for the evening."

"Is she always this bossy?" Gici asked as she and Dasia got up as well.

"No, only when she knows it will turn me on," Seven said as she let herself be led away by the bossy Klingon. "She knows only too well that I am the one with the last word."

"That's my Princess. Come on, I really need to get royally screwed by you, my Princess."

"It is hard to leave; these women have become my friends."

"Our friends," B'Elanna corrected as she saw Dasia coming closer. "I think that for you it's mainly the Borg factor."

Seven who had been looking at the village turned to look at B'Elanna.

"They don't know the Borg, except for knowing that their ships have passed through the sector once without detecting them," B'Elanna explained.

"The Voyager crew did know the Borg and feared them. These women gave you something we on Voyager never did; a chance to just be yourself. They simply accept you for who you are. If we had done that then I think that you'd have a lot more friends on Voyager now. But we feared you, forcing ourselves to keep a distance from you, and forcing you to hide behind that Borg armor of yours. Even Kathryn and the Doctor didn't simply take you for what you are; they tried to change you back into a 'normal' human. And baby, you will never be a normal human, just as I will never be a normal human."

Seven thought about it for a moment while they waited until Dasia had reached them. "I think you are right. But it really is no longer important now. Now I started my life anew; with you."

Seven turned to Dasia and greeted her. "Dasia, I wish to thank you once more for the warm welcome you and your village extended to me and my Mate. I also wish to thank you for allowing us to make a holo-recording of the village so that we can recreate it on the holodeck."

"Believe me, both of those things were my pleasure. But if you like my village so much, why don't you take us up on the offer to add us to the program you'll create?"

"Because we would know the real people. Those copies would only make us miss this place more since we know that we are not talking to our real friends. We will add Zamonan people. We will program the computer to randomly generate the same number of inhabitants that this village has."

"I see," Dasia said in understanding. "It will give the holographic village a feeling of being lived in, but it will take away much of the 'fake' feeling because those generated people are new people to you. Then you can just pretend that it's a different village."


"Dasia," B'Elanna spoke up, "I also wish to thank you. You made us feel at home here; more so even than on our ship. Here was the first place where Seven and I could just be us all the time. Hell, just saying that would get me raised eyebrows on Voyager, but not here. Here I'm simply B'Elanna. I won't miss the huts that make this village; we are taking those with us as a holo-program. But I will miss the people that make this village; for they are irreplaceable. Thank you for giving us a place to just be us."

"It was my pleasure to have you both here, and I'm sorry to see you go. I would offer my village to you as a home, but I know that your priority lies with your ship. Just know that even though you will never take me up on this offer; you do have a home here."

Seven and B'Elanna looked at each other for a moment. Finally it was a reluctant B'Elanna that spoke up. "Dasia, I,"

Dasia lifted her hand to stop B'Elanna. "As I said, I know you won't take me up on it, but that doesn't mean that I can't offer it. Now, why don't you go say goodbye to Fawza, I believe she has some packages that are meant for you two."

With much difficulty, the two women turned and started walking.

"What's wrong, baby?" B'Elanna asked concerned.

It was the morning of the fourth day after Voyager had left Zamona. The night before they had made love. It had been different than normal. Well, they had made love in several ways already, all depending on how their mood was. From slow and tender to a hard fuck; both of them enjoyed it all in the right mood. But last night had been the first time ever in B'Elanna's entire love life that she had simply... let go. Knowing that she had a partner that could take all that B'Elanna could give her, things had not stopped this time, but moved on. The night had turned rough with both of them urging the other on. There were bruises on both their bodies from bites and grasps of hands that had been too firm.

But still, it had been different, yes, but it had also been great. Just another aspect to their love life to sometimes indulge in, B'Elanna had thought. So why was Seven suddenly so miserable this morning?

Seven was sitting on the short couch and silent tears were rolling down her face. She wasn't shaking like people normally did when they cried; she wasn't making any sound at all. If you didn't see the tears, you would never have suspected that the blonde was crying.

B'Elanna knelt on one knee in front of Seven and tenderly wiped the tears away. She knew that these were real tears, and not the ones that Seven could produce with nothing more than a command from her cranial implant.

"Talk to me, baby. Tell me what's wrong," B'Elanna persisted when Seven stayed quiet.

"I hurt you."

"You didn't hurt me," B'Elanna disagreed. Now she knew only too well what this was about.

"I broke your wrist!"

"You fractured it," B'Elanna disagreed.

Seven shook her head a little, her eyes refused to meet B'Elanna's. "You are the Klingon, yet I am the one who lives up to the myths about Klingon sex."

They had awoken after a long night of love making without restriction. Both of them had aches all over their bodies, yet both of them felt absolutely wonderful. It was during breakfast that B'Elanna began to wonder about the annoying dull ache in her wrist. A quick trip to the Doctor had given the explanation and the treatment.

B'Elanna laced her fingers with Seven's and put soft kisses on their combined hands.

"I think that you're way too hard on yourself. You didn't hurt me. All you did was hold on to my wrist, I never even felt it being fractured; it was only today that I noticed it. Seven it really is nothing. The fracture was so minimal that there wasn't even any swelling or bruising."

"I lost control; I was rough with you,"

"And I spurred you on," B'Elanna interrupted. "And I also distinctively remember that once you had your way with me, that it was my turn, and I wasn't tender with you either. There is a big chance that I would have fractured some of your bones as well... if I didn't need a sledgehammer to actually do so. Seven, last night, that was something we both wanted, something we both needed. Don't be hard on yourself, because I sure as hell want to do it again."

Seven looked up at B'Elanna in disbelief. "You do?"

"Sure," B'Elanna said confidently. "Kahless, Seven I haven't been able to let go like that while making love in... ever. Now that I've finally found someone with who I can, and who lets go right along with me, I want to do it again."

B'Elanna laughed out of pure delight. "Certainly not daily, I admit that I don't think I could survive that for a long time."

Seeing Seven's eyes getting wider, B'Elanna was quick to add, "Talking figuratively, baby. No, not daily, and not even weekly, but maybe once every now and then... just think about it... last night, no restrictions, no holding back. Fuck baby, just thinking back to how you were fucking me like there was no tomorrow makes me want to do it again right now."

"I do not want to hurt you," Seven stated, coming back to the heart of the matter.

"Seven, you never hurt me."

B'Elanna saw that Seven was about to say something and shook her head. "No, listen. Granted, if someone was to fracture my wrist now, it would hurt like hell. But last night, with the mindset we were both in, it wasn't hurt, it was pleasure. Come on, baby, you're supposed to be the one with the combined knowledge of a gazillion species. Isn't an orgasm nothing more than pain that the body registers as pleasure?"

"It is ten thousand species, and that is an extremely simplified explanation, but yes, basically that statement is correct."

"And that is the point, baby. Under the right circumstances pain is pleasure, last night we had the right circumstances, now we don't. Last night the pain was pleasure, now it would hurt like hell."

"I did not hurt you?" Seven asked.

"Not at all, baby," B'Elanna assured. "You know, thinking about it, the only time I can actually remember you holding my wrist with enough force that it may have caused the fracture, was when I was lying bent over on the kitchen counter and you held my hands behind my back while you were fucking me. Did I look like I was in pain then?"

"Not at all. In fact you were urging me on, demanding that I take you like I actually meant it."

B'Elanna stood up and pulled Seven up with her. "And that, my love, is the part you should remember. You should remember that I urged you on, and not what a little side affect was from me urging you on."

"I will try to remember."

"Good. Then also remember this; I love you, Seven of Nine. I love you as you are. Did you ever wonder why I don't ask if I may call you Annika? I mean, if I wanted only your 'human side,' wouldn't it be more than logical for me to call you Annika instead of Seven?"

"It would," Seven agreed.

"Well, the simple answer is because I fell in love with Seven of Nine, the human, and the Borg part. Seven, please try to understand that I love the fact that I'm the only one you show your vulnerable side to. I love the fact that I'm the one that you talk to now about the things that bother you, even though it's sometimes really hard for me to not go out and punch some people for how they treat you. But as much as I like that, I also like the fact that you're part Borg. As much as it annoys the hell out of me, I still love the fact that you have that superior attitude complex and that you still treat me with that attitude some times. Kahless baby, do you have any idea what a turn-on it is for me when you fuck me with your mesh covered hand? You have the strength to bend hull-plating, you can crush a tension regulator in your hand, and you can use those strong fingers to slide in and out of my most sensitive flesh."

B'Elanna took hold of said hand and placed a few kisses on the metal covered knuckles.

"You do realize that that entire hand is actually artificial?" Seven asked.

"Not to me it isn't, B'Elanna disagreed. "You told me that you can feel with that hand just as you feel with the other. To me it feels like a real hand, the right temperature and softness and all. So to me that is a real hand. Your real hand; and I love it."

B'Elanna placed several more kisses on the knuckles before asking, "Extend your assimilation tubes for me."

Surprised by the question, Seven needed a moment before she sent the command that made her assimilation tubes appear.

B'Elanna looked at the tubes for a moment. It was the first time she'd actually seen the metal gray tubes up close. What fascinated her most was how they were moving back and forth like snakes; as if they were looking for something to attack. B'Elanna moved her hand closer and touched one of the tubes with a finger, laughing surprised when the tube wound itself around the finger.

"People fear these," B'Elanna said after a moment. "They can assimilate people, they can take over computers, they can drill holes in the strongest alloy used on any Federation star ship. Just seeing these would send a lot of people running away. But you know what? I'm not one of them."

B'Elanna suddenly moved and closed her mouth around the second tube. It felt weird to feel the tube moving around in her mouth; it reminded B'Elanna of the Gagh she had eaten... once. But where the feeling of the Gagh had made B'Elanna gag, the feeling of the assimilation tube in her mouth made B'Elanna excited to the point where her toes almost curled from the sheer pleasure of it.

Here was one of the most feared things in Federation history; the Borg assimilation tubes, and she was sucking on one as if it was nothing more than a strand of spaghetti.

"B'Elanna, what are you doing?" Seven finally asked.

"Showing you something," B'Elanna said after she let go of the tube. "I love you. I love every part of you, and that includes these tubes. Seven, let me tell you something. The fact that you are part Borg excites me. Kahless baby, just the thought that I can do what I just did makes me feel as if I'm riding a Mark 10 phaser beam. I long for those Borg parts of you just as I long for the rest of you. And that brings me to my point. Eventually you 'will' hurt me, Seven. There will absolutely, no question, one day come a time where I push you even further than I ever have before. But you know what? That's exactly what I want. Believe me, otherwise I wouldn't be pushing you in the first place. Baby, don't be afraid to hurt me physically, because if you do it will only be because I pushed you."

"Which you could still hold against me."

"Is that what you fear?" B'Elanna asked. "That you hurt me and I'll hold it against you? You don't have to worry about that. I know what I got myself into when I fell in love with you. Seven, I... Let me put it like this. I'm a Klingon, and I have bladed weapons as decorations on the walls. I collected those weapons, and I have to clean them from time to time. If I cut myself on one of those weapons while cleaning them, who do you think I would blame? The weapon or myself? Would I blame the knife for being sharp, or would I blame myself for sharpening the knife to begin with? Seven, I can promise you this right now, on my Klingon honor, that I will never blame you for me getting hurt if I got hurt by urging you to do what it was that hurt me..." B'Elanna frowned as she went over her words. "Um, did that actually make sense to you?"

"It did," Seven said with a smile. "Thank you for reassuring me. I do not want to hurt you, beloved."

"Baby, remember that I'm part Klingon, alright? Even if you'd actually broken my wrist to the point that my bones had poked through the skin, I wouldn't have blamed you for it. That 'hurt' is forgotten as soon as the Doctor healed the break. But you know what really would hurt me?"


"If you would try to change into something you're not simply because you think that this is what I want. I know that it's a lover's thing to say, 'you're exactly what I want,' but baby, please believe me that you are exactly what I want."

"And you are exactly what I want," Seven said. They were quiet for a moment before Seven asked, "B'Elanna, seeing that you are such a tough Klingon, and I am such a dangerous Borg drone, how would you feel about doing something really rough and dangerous?"

"Like?" B'Elanna asked.

"Like cuddling on this couch for an hour or so."

"Now, that sounds like a great plan," B'Elanna said with a smile.

"No! Look, you just can't take that power away from there."

"That power is not fully taken away; merely reduced by fifty percent. That would leave more than enough power to run those other systems."

B'Elanna took another mouthful of one of Neelix's 'mystery creations' while taking the PADD back from the blonde sitting across from her.

"Look, the problem is this; true, under normal circumstances there would be more than enough power. But as soon as the ship is under attack again we'll need that extra power. With the changes you suggested, we can't reroute power away from those places where you want to have it."

"That is the purpose," Seven said with her cool voice. Never showing the agitation B'Elanna was sure she was causing her lover. "I am tired of systems in Astrometrics failing every time the ship is under attack. It is at those times that the Captain normally contacts me for information, and I cannot give accurate information if the systems that have to give me that information are not working."

"Look, I do understand that, but this proposal is just not doable. When power starts to drop there, and your systems take away the last power, life support is more than likely to go offline in decks four through six."

"Life support is irrelevant."

"Yeah? Well, we aren't all Borg drones that can walk through the vacuum of space for hours on end."

"I can no longer do that," Seven defended, "In my current state, my Borg systems would keep me alive for thirty minutes only. After that I would die as well."

"I'm sorry to hear that it would take that long. That way you can still be saved after I push you out of a damn airlock."

"Lieutenant, I can assure you, you do not have anywhere near the power needed to push me out of an airlock; I possess superior strength."

"Listen Drone, I don't give a fuck what you have; I am telling you that you are pushing the line. You asked for my help, I'll be more than happy to walk right out of here."

"Then you would miss your lunch," Seven pointed out, amused by the fact that B'Elanna was somehow able to throw insults at her, and yet continue to eat her food. "The only reason I asked you this is that I knew that otherwise you would complain to the Captain about me 'fucking up' your systems."

"Well, you do. Whenever you 'fix' something, I have to go check it out to make sure that it won't destroy the ship in the long run."

"I thought that you always went to check the repairs I made so that you could learn how to do it correctly yourself in the future."

B'Elanna dropped her fork to the now empty plate. "Oh, that actually was a good one."

"Thank you. I try. You should do the same; try. Maybe at some time you will actually rise to the level of being at least a mediocre Engineer who can actually understand my proposals."

"Listen you Ice Bitch, I can take a lot from you, but don't you go insulting my engineering skills,"

"You do not have any skills I could insult," Seven interrupted.

"That's it. I'll kill you! I'll throw that Borg ass of yours off my ship!"

"Last thing I heard, this was actually my ship, Lieutenant," A well-known voice behind B'Elanna said.

B'Elanna cringed slightly before turning around. "Captain."

"Lieutenant, I think it's time that you joined me in my ready room for a little talk."

"Um, Captain, I can explain,"

"My ready room, Lieutenant," Janeway said before she turned around and walked out of the mess-hall. She knew of course that B'Elanna and Seven were only having a little fun, their kind of fun. But B'Elanna was a member of Starfleet and had to act accordingly. And having a fight in the mess hall was not acting accordingly.

B'Elanna sighed. "Great."

"B'Elanna, I am sorry. I did not see her come in; otherwise I would have warned you."

B'Elanna turned around to the blonde and gave her a small grin. "It's okay. This won't be the first time I'll have to suffer through a dress down from Janeway."

"I am still sorry that it is on my behalf."

B'Elanna patted Seven softly on the shoulder. "Hey, I could have just shut up and not reacted. Listen, I do mean what I said, we need to talk about your plan, don't just go implementing it alright?"

"I will not."

"Great. Well, I better get going... By the way, 'you do not have any skills I could insult.' Nice comeback, Seven."

"Thank you. Do you intend to work late today?"

"No, I should be home around six."

"Very well. In case the Captain decides to punish you by putting you in the brig... please let me know, I will be more than happy to take over Engineering for that time. It would be a good time to implement some changes. Do you think Lieutenant Carey will object to being called two of twenty-one?"

"Oh, Kahless help me," B'Elanna mumbled while she moved towards the door.


Chapter 14

{One of Many, Queen of the Collective has been deactivated. We need a new One of Many...}

{Magnetic couplings have proven to...}

{A new One of Many has been selected. She will...}

{Cube 90,894 was destroyed in a graviton eddy, during the explosion...}

{I can't do this! I don't want to be an individual! I...}

{...A rift opened for 0,0008 seconds to a place that seemed filled with Fluidic space. We need to test...}

{One of Many was not suited for individuality. We must adapt...}

{3 of 3, tactical drone 8778, report to sector 53. You are to...}

{We must choose certain drones and condition them to where they can take the designation One of Many if needed. We...}

{We have selected nine drones that are suitable for conditioning. They will...}

The voices ebbed away and Seven knew what was coming next. It was a very predictable, but yet enjoyable cycle. She would hear many voices telling her all kinds of things. Things she already knew from her time as a drone. Then after some time, the voices would fade away and she would see a scene of her life, and then the voices would come back.

The Queen walked down the line of nine drones that had been selected to replace her in the unlikely event she was deactivated. Not that she thought that would happen anytime soon. Unlike her predecessor she actually liked the individuality she had, while still being linked to the Collective. She could be just one voice; she could shut the other voices out and concentrate on one single event.

She also liked the fact that with a mere thought, she could make the entire Borg Collective do something... like assimilating a certain species that the Borg would normally never have assimilated. No, she didn't really think these nine drones were needed, but... it paid to be prepared.

These drones would be put in charge of overseeing certain jobs. Over time, they would take control over more and more drones until they would be able to give direction to an entire Collective.

The Queen stopped in front of one of the drones and looked at it for a moment. It was a Human drone. The Queen was surprised. Maybe she should have overseen the selection of the drones personally. "A Human drone? Humans are weak."

The Queen looked at the drone, a young female, for a moment longer before calling up the information on the drone. Human, female, seventeen years old, special traits, a brain makeup superior to the average human, making her well suited for complex tasks. Designation; 3 of 3, tactical drone 8,778.

{Humans have shown to have a high level of individuality, yet eager to follow their leaders with blind devotion.}

{She is extremely suited to learn about individuality, yet she will not long for that individuality as long as she is connected to the Hive mind.}

The united voice of the Borg was quiet for a moment before adding, as if agreeing with the Queen; {The drones physical weakness will have to be corrected by replacing her implants with enhanced implants.}

"No," The Queen disagreed after a moment of hesitation. "This drone is perfectly suited to test the implant designs created by species 9,493. I think it is time we found out if the deal I made with them to leave them alone was worth it."

{The implants are being prepared. Drone 3 of 3 you will rep,}

"Wait. Since drone 3 of 3 has been accepted as a possible replacement for me, her new designation is now Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01."

{Drone Seven of Nine, you will report to your regenerations station. Maintenance drone 5,764 of 563,221, report to alcove 764,432 to upgrade drone Seven of Nine with the implants designs by species 9,493.}

While Seven saw her younger self walk out of the scene, she saw the Borg Queen step up to the next drone, which would eventually be called Eight of Nine.

The voices came back.

{Drone Seven of Nine, you will begin...}

{Drone Seven of Nine, you...}

{Drone Seven of Nine, you will function as a liaison between the Collective and the Federation starship Voyager. You...}

--Bleep. Regeneration cycle complete.

When Seven stepped out of her alcove, the dreams finally made sense. The Collective was calling her back.

"No. No, no, no." She ran another diagnostic cycle, but once again it came back as negative. For a moment Seven didn't know what to do. All she knew was that she had to stop this. Hesitantly she brought her hand to her communicator. "Seven of Nine to Lieutenant Torres. I require your assistance in cargo bay two."

It took a minute before B'Elanna answered. "What's the matter baby? Can't this wait? I'm sorry I wasn't there when you woke up, I fell asleep on the couch and had no alarm set. I'm just about to take my morning shower... on second thought, since you are 'up', why don't you come here and wash my back?"

"No. This cannot wait."

Seven could hear the sigh that B'Elanna let out before replying. "You know, baby, if it wasn't for the fact that I love you, you would be really pissing me off quite good right about now. Fine, I can skip breakfast, I guess. Let me run my shower and,"

"I... B'Elanna, I need your help."

"Seven? What... Forget about it, give me five minutes, I'll be right there. Torres out."

"Dreams? You had me running here for some damn dreams?!"

"B'Elanna, please not now."

B'Elanna closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. "Alright, not now. But come on, baby, you made it sound as if I'd find you half dead here."

"I am not having mere dreams. These are memories of my life as a drone. If they were normal dreams, I would also have them while I am sleeping; I do not. The only way these memories can be triggered is if a Borg signal is interfering with my alcoves."

For now, Seven decided not to tell B'Elanna what she thought this meant. Seven was trying to do the human thing; ignore the problem away. Her rational mind told her that this would not work, but that didn't stop her from trying.

"Well, maybe regenerating is partly responsible for that. Maybe you body knows that it's regenerating and this triggers memories from your Borg time. While when you dream during normal sleep that link isn't there, and therefore the memories aren't triggered," B'Elanna ventured to guess.

"Your speculation on dreams while I am asleep might be correct, but that does not take away the fact that the Borg alcoves have been designed to keep a drone in a comatose state during regeneration. I should not 'dream' while regenerating, nor should I 'remember' memories."

"Alright, fair enough," B'Elanna conceded. "But you just told me that you scanned the alcoves several times now. I don't really know what you want me to do here. These systems are as clean as can be. There's no way that they're picking up a signal. Or better said there's no way that I can see."

"I... I believe it is more a case of me needing to tell someone."

"Seven, what's the real problem here? You aren't acting like your normal self."

Seven walked away from the console they had been standing at and sighed before turning back to B'Elanna. "I am... confused. My memories of the Borg should be about terror, about helplessness. They should not feel like home."

"Home?" B'Elanna repeated confused. "Our home?"

"No," Seven said right away. "No dream could compare to our home, beloved. With home I meant a 'homely' feeling. Warm, secure. I do not know what else to call it. But while these memories can not compare to what we have, they are creating a feeling of home I have longed for."

"Alright. Do you want to go 'home'?"

"I do not want to return to the Collective, you know that."

"I know, but I still had to ask. So, what do you want to do?"

"I want the memories to stop. I already know all that I see, just that now I am also feeling it. But those memories are a part of my past. This, Voyager, you, is my present."

"Well, the way I see it, there are two options you have then. First, we can tinker with the alcove settings until we find a setting that suppresses the memories and truly does put you in that comatose state."

"That would mean that I would still have the memories during regenerating until we find a proper setting."

"True," B'Elanna agreed. "And that could take weeks. That's where the second option comes in. Remember when we made you that emergency mobile regeneration unit some months ago?"

"Of course, I have a perfect memory. However, if you mean that I should start using that unit to regenerate on a regular basis, it will not work. The unit has enough power for normal regeneration cycles, but sometimes the alcove is also used to correct small defects in the implants."

"I know that. What I'm thinking about is to take the design of the portable unit and scale that up until we have a stationary unit you can use for regenerating. That way you would have an alcove created fully from Starfleet technology, and we would know for sure exactly what each and every component does."

"That is an acceptable suggestion."

"Alright then. We also might look into what you really need nowadays. I mean, when the Doc removed your abdominal implants, we had to work on this damn alcove for two days before it finally accepted that it didn't need to regulate the implant anymore."

"I agree. I think the best thing to do would be..."

When Seven stopped talking, B'Elanna came closer and took a good look at the blonde who was actually swaying a little. "Seven?"

"I am feeling disorientated. My implants are not reacting as they should."

"Come on, I'll take you to sickbay. Let the doctor have a look at you. I'm starting to think that this is more than an alcove problem."

"No. I do not want to be a burden."

"You aren't a burden, Seven. You're my Mate, who is sick and needs to see the doctor."

"If you put it like that, very well."

By the time they had reached sickbay, both of them knew that something was seriously wrong. B'Elanna was more carrying Seven than just supporting her, but what bothered the Klingon the most was the fact that a small stream of blood had started to flow from Seven's nose.

"Computer, activate EMH."

"Please state the nature of the medical emergen... Seven! What happened?" The Doctor asked while he started scanning Seven.

"We were in cargo bay 2," B'Elanna started to explain. "She'd called me because memories from her time as a drone had started to come back to her. She thought it was something with the alcoves. We were checking it out and talking about building a new alcove from Starfleet technology. Seven suddenly said that her implants weren't acting right. We decided to come here at that point."

"You should have used an emergency beam-out. Her implants are depolarizing."

"It wasn't as bad just a few minutes ago," B'Elanna defended.

"Put her on that bio-bed. Seven, can you hear me?"

"Y...Yes Doctor. What is happening to me?"

"Your implants are depolarizing, but they aren't fully deactivating. To the contrary; they seem to have gone into overdrive, they are extremely active."

"No! I do not want this! Make it stop. Make..."

"Seven?" B'Elanna asked.

"She is unconscious. Lieutenant, please step aside." The Doctor took a moment to activate his com. link. "Doctor to Lieutenant Paris."

"Paris here."

"Lieutenant, you are needed in sickbay, we have an emergency."

Suddenly the voice of the Captain came through the link, indicating that Tom must have been on the bridge. "Who?"

"Seven of Nine. Captain, I really need Lieutenant Paris down here."

"Tom, get going. Doctor, how is Seven?"

"Captain, I will update you as soon as I know something myself."

"Of course, give me a report as soon as you can, Janeway out."

{Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01. Your presence is needed. One of Many has been deactivated, you must take her place.}

"No." For the first time in her dreams, Seven could actually hear herself talk. Apparently, the united voice of the Borg could hear her as well.

{Resistance is futile. You will become One of Many.}

"I will not. Take one of the other drones."

{You are the last of the selected drones. The others have been deactivated.}

"Then go back to having no Queen. The Borg survived until recently without a Queen."

{The Collective has adapted. The Collective now needs a Queen to make individual decisions.}

"I do not want this."

{You have no choice.}

"An individual always has choices. I do not want this!"

{We have activated your implants, they are at this moment changing from secondary to primary makeup.}

"No! I will terminate my own existence. I will not have you make my decisions for me, not anymore."

{Unacceptable. We will override your individual choice.}

"That would mean that you would only get one more mindless drone."

When the united voice of the Borg was quiet for a moment, Seven knew she had them. She decided to push on before the Collective could adapt.

"You have a choice, you will either have an individual drone that will terminate its own existence, or you will have a mindless drone that is no longer suited for your purpose. Choose."

{Both options are unacceptable.}

"Then your only other option is to set my implants back to the dormant setting."

{The design of the implants do not allow for that option.}

"Then I guess you will have one dead drone as soon as I wake up."

{There is an alternative.}

"What? I will not become a mindless drone, and I will not return to the Collective."

{The state of your return will be decided at a later time.}

{For now we must ensure the continued existence of drone Seven of Nine.}

Seven thought for a moment. She didn't want to die, and this might give her the time she needed to find a solution. "Tell me the alternative."

Seven hesitated for a moment when she walked into the conference room. She and the Doctor were the last to arrive, and Seven could feel the eyes of everyone focus on her. By now all of the senior crew knew that there had been 'some' problem with Seven's implants. There wasn't a set of eyes between them that didn't drift to Seven's abdomen, and the new abdominal implant outline which could be seen through the tight biosuit.

"Alright Doctor, can you update us on what's going on here?"

"Certainly, Captain. I could give you a lengthy medical explanation, but the bottom line is that Seven's implants have changed; become more advanced. The most visible visual change is the new abdominal implant, but there's much more. Her cranial implant has grown,"

"Wait, what do you mean with grown?" B'Elanna interrupted. "That thing is sitting on the inside of her skull; the only way it can grow is if it replaces parts of the brain."

"Sorry, Lieutenant, a bad choice of words," The Doctor apologized. "The actual size of the implant is still the same, but it's much more advanced now. It's like comparing the holographic matrix of one of Mister Paris' holo-programs with my matrix."

"How has the implant changed, Doctor?" Janeway asked.

"We aren't yet fully sure of what the limits of the implant is; we haven't reached those limits yet. However, as you know, the cranial implant manages the ability to multitask. Seven is now much more capable of multitasking than she was before."

"Even more than before?" Tom asked surprised.

"Seven always excelled at multitasking," Janeway agreed. "If it wasn't physically impossible since she would have to be at different places at the same time, Seven could fly this ship all by herself without the help of the computer."

"Well, if Seven could fly this ship by herself before, she can now fly every ship in Starfleet simultaneously... in close formation... having them perform maneuvers. Talking theoretical comparison of course."

"I would call that multitasking alright," Neelix spoke up.

"What else?" Janeway asked.

"Her strength has increased, her body strength as well as the strength of her implants. The metal that is coating, and protecting, her skeletal structure has changed from Duranium to Monotanium."

"To what?" Tom asked.

"Monotanium," B'Elanna spoke up. "An extremely strong, but hard to find, metal. Mostly used as armor on space ships which don't rely on force-field shielding. Since the Federation uses only force-field shielding now, the Federation hasn't used the stuff in centuries. But that doesn't take away from the fact that it is much stronger than Duranium."

"So Seven now basically has armor inside her body?" Janeway asked.

"Well, yes and no," The Doctor said. "Her skeletal structure is much stronger than the average human, but her bones can still break. It's just that it would take blunt force trauma that would cause most others to die from internal wounds. But the Monotanium layer on her bones is still only the thickness of about two fingernails. You can get through that with ease, if there's enough force. There are also 'supports' between the bones now which make it possible for Seven to actually use her implants without ripping her own arm off, for instance. "

"One should also not forget," Seven spoke up for the first time, "that it is my skeletal structure that has been enhanced, but I still have a body made from human flesh. I can still be cut, can still bleed."

B'Elanna closed her eyes for a moment. She had heard that little undertone that one would only pick up if they knew the blonde well enough. Clearly Seven was annoyed by the fact that others were talking about her as if she wasn't there. B'Elanna thought back to the time she spent in the brig with Seven. She remembered how it annoyed Seven when people talked about her as if she was a piece of meat, and that was exactly what they were doing now. "May I make a suggestion?"

"What is it, B'Elanna?" Janeway asked.

"When we keep going back and forth like this, we'll be sitting here for the next three days. Why don't we simply let Seven tell us what changed? It's her body; I think it's her place to tell us what changed."

"You have a point, B'Elanna," Janeway agreed. "Seven, why don't you give us a short description of they major changes, you can go into more detail in a report handed in at a later time."

"Very well, Captain," Seven said before giving B'Elanna a quick look, but B'Elanna had seen that little upturning of the blonde's mouth corners.

"The Doctor already talked about my skeletal enhancements and the change of my cranial implant. My cortical node has also changed significantly. As you know, the cortical node is considered the most important Borg implant. It regulates almost all other implants. It also makes sure that I can control whatever I assimilate."

"Which explains why you could take over Voyager's computer simply by plunging your assimilation tubes into a console when you took us into fluidic space back then," Janeway spoke up.

"Indeed. The cortical-node has now changed to where I no longer need a physical contact through my assimilation tubes. As long as some of my nanoprobes are in, or on, the item, than I can activate and deactivate them by sending a command through my cortical node. I can control them by remote control, you might say. More importantly, my cortical node is now able to automatically repair most of my implants. Before it could only tell me what was wrong with the implant and the Doctor would then correct the problem. Now the defective implant can be repaired. And if the implant is beyond repair, the implant can basically be rebuilt using 'blueprints' that are stored in my cortical node."

"Normally that isn't possible?" Tom asked.

"No. This is done to prevent species from capturing a drone and using the information to rebuild implants for their own use. A drone normally has to be regenerating in a Borg alcove that is connected to the Borg Collective by subspace link at the very least before the Collective will send the repair information needed to a regenerating Borg drone."

"Why didn't you ever run into that problem?" Chakotay asked.

"Because my implants have never been damaged to the point where they would have to be rebuilt. Or if they were, it was seen as a good reason to just remove the implant entirely. With smaller problems this is not relevant because, as I said, normal small repairs are done by the alcoves without being connected to the Collective."

"But I remember when your implants were activated by the signal from The Raven. You suddenly started to grow implants then," Neelix pointed out.

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "And normally when someone gets assimilated implants start to grow all over their body."

"I apologize for not being clear on this," Seven said while dipping her head a little in agreement with the statements.

"The Borg have two categories of implants; primary and secondary. The blueprints for the secondary systems are actually stored in every single nanoprobe. The body armor and similar implants are considered secondary systems. The blueprints for the primary systems are not stored within the individual drone however. Implants like the abdominal, cranial, cortical-node, those are considered primary implants. Also, you should not compare what you have seen my implants do, with what the implants of normal drones can do. I did not know this myself until recently, but I have experimental implants. My implants were designed by a species that made a deal with the Borg; species 9,493. This species had, and I assume still has, very advanced technology. The Borg wanted that technology, but they were not able to assimilate any member of species 9,493. The Borg did have the weapons and numbers to destroy the planet however. To end the standoff an agreement was created, species 9,493 would give the Borg the technology they wanted, and the Borg would leave them alone forever."

"The Borg aren't known for keeping deals," Janeway pointed out.

"It depends on the situation. True, the Borg did not get all the technology that species 9,493 had, but they did get more technology than they would have acquired if they had attacked. Also, species 9,493 still had the technology to destroy many Borg ship before the Borg would have been able to destroy the planet by sheer force of numbers. Either way, they would have lost more by attacking than by honoring the deal. The Borg attack if they do not get what they want; but they did get what they wanted and therefore there was no reason to attack."

"Thank you for clearing that up," Janeway said. "Now, anything else you want to tell us?"

"Two more things. First, my nanoprobes have changed. Besides the fact that they are now 'remote control' they are now also much more advanced. Their internal memory has quadrupled amongst other things, which means that they are capable of performing much more complex tasks. For instance, I could now also use my nanoprobes to repair the warp core, while a breach is in process."

"Please don't tell me that you're now going to take over Engineering and run everything by yourself," B'Elanna joked, trying to set Seven a little more at ease.

"I can assure you, I have no intention of doing so."

"Glad to hear it," B'Elanna grinned. "So what's the last thing?"

"The last thing is that as you can see, I once again have an abdominal implant."

"Does that mean that you have to go back to drinking those fancy milkshakes?" B'Elanna asked.

Seven shook her head slightly before answering. "That is a common misconception. My abdominal implant has never had any affect on my digestive system. The implants that take care of digesting food and liquids are located inside my abdomen, but they have also changed. I am now able to ingest things that would kill the average human, but I am certainly not immune to everything. The abdominal implant that could be seen on the outside of my body was actually a part of my former body armor. It was also a support for my skeletal reinforcement, which is why my enhanced strength dropped by twenty percent once the implant was removed. This implant once again returns that strength and more. But besides that, it now also takes the place of a full Borg body armor. This abdominal implant is capable, once activated, of forming a personal force field that is far superior to anything the Federation has."

"Alright, now that we know the big changes," Janeway said, before asking, "can you also tell us why they changed?"

"I can," Seven said reluctantly before continuing with a more confident voice. "You never asked me why my designation is Seven of Nine. I was assimilated together with my father and mother, logic dictates that my designation would be One, Two, or Tree of Three. My designation once was Three of Three, tactical drone 8,778. Then twelve years ago, the Borg lost their Queen and needed a new one. There were... complications... and the new Queen could not adapt to being in command of the Borg. A new Queen was chosen once more, but the problems with the previous Queen had shown that they needed to change how new Queens were chosen. Nine drones were selected to be trained as possible replacements should something happen to the Queen. I was the seventh of those nine drones."

"Why exactly nine drones?" Janeway asked.

"They felt that nine would be a number suited well so that we could be divided over different sectors of Borg space; making it less likely that all of us would run into trouble at the same time. Besides, nine is just a number. If it had been eight you would have asked why eight, if it had been ten you would have asked why ten."

"So if there are eight more drones, why do they suddenly contact you now?"

"Because there are none left, and the Queen has died."

"But you told me that you've had these 'dreams' for several months now," B'Elanna interrupted. "If the Queen died back then, why 'call' you for so long and not just do what they did to you right away?"

"There are two main reasons for that. First, they wanted me to rejoin the Collective under my own free will. If they had set my implants to the advanced stage earlier there would have been no way that I would join them willingly. In fact, I still have no intention of joining them, they know this. They would have preferred to 'call me home' for several more months. They believe that over time I could be enticed to go back, but they do not understand that my home is here on Voyager. That I could never give up what I have here to go back to them, no matter how tempting they would make it."

Though Seven had been talking to the group in general, her eyes had not left those of B'Elanna, showing the Klingon that Seven counted her as that home. Then she looked at Janeway. "The second reason as to why they were taking such a long time was that the Queen was still alive. The number of replacement drones were dwindling though, therefore they started to call me back. With the Queen still alive, but only two more replacement drones left, they thought that it was time to get me back. It was not considered a reason to get me back as fast as possible. But two days ago the Queen made an... unwise decision and ordered the Borg to assimilate a species that was highly suitable for assimilation. Her biggest mistake was to be personally present to oversee the assimilation, and the last two replacement drones were there as well. They figured that this was an acceptable thing to do since all three of them were on different ships. The Queen was on a sphere while the two replacement drones were in two different cubes. Unfortunately for them they had vastly underestimated the technological level of this unknown species. They had very advanced weapons. Every Borg ship, eighteen ships in total, were destroyed within minutes. Deciding that they made their point, the unknown species decided to not take the fight to the rest of the Borg Collective. But it did leave the Collective without a Queen, and without a living replacement drone... except for me."

"Why aren't the other six left?" Chakotay asked. "And why did the Borg never add more potential replacement drones once the numbers were dwindling?"

"To answer your first question, space travel is a dangerous occupation. Borg drones die just like Federation personnel die in space. Being that these drones were selected to replace the Queen, they were trained by fulfilling nonstandard tasks. These tasks are more dangerous than the normal drone life is. This is also the reason why I was selected as a liaison between the Borg and Voyager; and you know how close I came to being killed. If I had not been able to hold on, I would have been jettisoned into space with the other drones. As for your second question, I cannot give you an answer since I do not know."

"Why didn't you ever tell us this before?" Janeway asked.

"Captain, some of this I did not know until the Borg told me now. But moreover, I originally estimated the chance that the Borg would try to get me back extremely small. Therefore I chose not to tell you this part. Remember how difficult it was to incorporate me into the Voyager Collective. People did not trust me; they feared me. In fact, some still fear me, but I do like to think that at least they do trust me now. Can you imagine how enhanced this reaction would be if these people had known that I was selected as a potential replacement for the Borg Queen?"

"This also explains why the Borg always tried to get you back when we came across them, yet they didn't actively search for you," Chakotay guessed. "As a Queen replacement you are important enough to get back if they come across you, but not important enough to actually focus on getting you back."

"Indeed. Especially since every day I spend on Voyager, I learn more about individuality and therefore my stay on Voyager would be to my advantage if I were to become the Queen."

"That's not going to happen," B'Elanna sated firmly.

Seven shook her head slightly. "We might not have a choice in this. Now that they have started to actively search for me they will find me. This time they will not back down until they have me. No matter how many drones and ships it will take to get me back. It is only a matter of time."

"How much time?" Janeway asked.

"While they do communicate with me, they do so through the Borg link. The advantage of this link is that it cannot be interrupted like subspace links can. Contact can only be interrupted by destroying or removing the actual transmitters inside the drones. The disadvantage of this Borg link is that you cannot 'track' the signal to see where it is coming from like you can with subspace links. The only factor that can indicate anything at all about position is the fact that whether or not you are in receiving range does mean that you are in a certain radius of the broadcasting source. I assume that they are slowly closing in on the general direction of my signal by sending ships out in different directions to see if and where they will loose my signal. Then they will establish a search pattern in the general area of where they think I am. If we keep moving at the warp speed that we are moving at now, I think that it will be three days at most before they find me."

"Can't we just remove the implants that send that signal?" Tom asked, it seemed like the most obvious solution to him.

"We can't," The Doctor spoke up. "There's a very good reason why we never removed all of Seven's implants to begin with. Seven needs those implants. Without them she'll die. Unlike the normal transmitter that we already removed from Seven when she joined Voyager, this secondary transmitter is worked into one of Seven's most important implants. I do not dare to try and shut down the transmitter; there is a eighty-five percent chance that Seven wouldn't survive it."

"So the only real option we have is to find a way to out think the Borg," Janeway said thoughtfully.

"Didn't we already use all our luck in trying to outsmart the Borg?" Tom asked. "I mean, I'm not suggesting that we hand Seven over, but we shouldn't just assume that we can outsmart the Borg, again."

"I don't get your point," Janeway said. "You don't think that we can outsmart the Borg again, but also don't think that Seven leaving is an option."

"No, Captain, what I mean is that we should not treat this like the other interactions we have had with the Borg. Has nobody ever wondered just how the hell we were able to actually survive all our encounters with the Borg? I'm sure you all heard of Wolf 359? That was just one Borg cube against forty Federation Starships, and it was a total catastrophe. Thirty-nine ships were destroyed; eleven thousand Federation personnel died in that battle, and the cube continued its journey unharmed."

"Yeah, but the reason for that was also because the Borg assimilated Captain Picard and knew all there was to know about Federation tactics and strategies," Chakotay interrupted.

"Which only enhances my point," Tom argued. "They know all about Federation technology, tactics, and strategies. Even though we did some creative thinking while handling the Borg, they had the knowledge to outthink us."

"He is right," Seven agreed. "You were lucky when you were able to outsmart the Borg when I came on board, but in retrospect, the Borg gave up much too easily too many times. Any Borg cube easily outguns Voyager."

"So what's the point you're making, Tom?" B'Elanna asked, seeing that both he and Seven had a point in just how relatively easily they were able to handle the Borg in their Delta Quadrant encounters.

"My point is that I think that the Borg took it easy on us until now because they really didn't mind us getting away. After all, we were training their Queen replacement 'on the job.' In fact, us escaping was better for them than if they had destroyed us, which they couldn't really do because we had Seven on the ship. Back then they wanted Seven to actually stay with us, but now they want her back. If we meet the Borg now, we won't be meeting the Borg we have met before; we'll be meeting the Borg that the Federation met at Wolf 359. I'm willing to bet that they'll simply beam Seven out and then destroy Voyager."

"He has a point," Chakotay agreed.

"But surely they must know that doing that will turn Seven against them," Neelix spoke up.

"Yeah, but now they don't care," B'Elanna said, knowing what Tom meant. "As long as they thought they had time to woo Seven, they did so. But now that they've run out of time, they want her back, now, and by whatever means."

Janeway nodded her head in agreement. "You all have some very valid points. I too think that simply getting away won't cut it this time. They will continue to search for Seven. We must find a way to deal with them; find a way to cause the Borg so much trouble that they'll forget all about getting Seven back."

"And how do we do that?" B'Elanna asked.

"I'm still working on that part," Janeway said with a small smile before getting serious again. "Alright, I think that Tom had a very valid point in that they'll more than likely beam Seven out. So the first priority is to find a way to prevent that. Seven, B'Elanna, Harry, do you think that you could find a way to enhance the shields in a way to prevent the Borg from beaming Seven out, or beaming themselves in?"

"You don't ask the easy ones do you?" B'Elanna asked. "I like to think that Voyager's shields are pretty darn good, and yet the Borg are normally able to beam through them."

Harry leaned forward a little in his chair to look past Seven at B'Elanna. "Yeah, but until now the only thing we could really do was to rotate shield harmonics, but we know that the Borg can adapt to that within minutes. Maybe we can approach it from a different angle and change them in a way that it gives a little more protection against beaming."

B'Elanna shook her head. "Harry, we have the shields at the highest possible protection level now, any changes will make the shields weaker."

"So?" Harry asked. "Look, even if our shields are at their best, they really have no chance against the Borg if they really want to destroy us. But if we can find a way to keep Seven on the ship, they won't destroy us. So our shields can be weaker, having Seven on our ship is our real shield."

B'Elanna didn't answer, but did lean back in her chair, slouching a little. Her silence was an answer in itself though; she knew that Harry was right.

"However," Janeway spoke up after a moment of silence. "Making changes to the shields won't cut it in the long run. It'll only be enough to give us some time to do something else; we have to work on the 'something else.' Alright people, since we have some time yet... Harry, B'Elanna, Seven, you three start working on those shields. You have unlimited access to holodeck one for this. But do go home in time today, I want you all to think about a way that we can deal with the Borg for real. Tomorrow we'll meet again, and I'll want to hear some ideas. Tomorrow is early enough to start pulling double shifts, if the work on the shields needs it. Tom, bring us up to warp eight, we can sustain that speed a couple of days if needed. For now, dismissed."

They left the conference room, most returning to their posts, but Seven, B'Elanna and Harry got into the turbolift. "Engineering or the holodeck?" Harry asked.

B'Elanna leaned against the turbolift wall and crossed her feet. "I would say the holodeck. We can replicate whatever we need there, and nobody to interrupt us."

"I agree," Seven said.

"Well, I think that this should do it," Harry said in a tired, but clearly satisfied voice. "It won't hold them out indefinitely, but it should hold for a couple of hours. After that time the power drain will force us to shut the shields down; never mind the Borg doing it."

"I sure hope they notice the difference in our shields," B'Elanna said while giving the new design a last once-over. "It will keep them out, but we can only run the shields at twenty-five percent of normal strength."

"They will," Seven assured. "It is standard behavior of the Borg to scan a ship as soon as they notice it. They will know about our weaker shields before we even get into weapon's range."

"Alright then. Let's get some sleep and go over this again in the morning, we managed this way too easily, there is bound to be some problem that we didn't see."

They started to walk to the holodeck door and B'Elanna added, "Now comes the really hard part; finding a way to convince the Borg to leave you alone, Seven."

"I have been thinking about that," Harry said. "But I can't think of anything that will work. I mean, I came up with some ideas, but there's no need to discuss those because I myself can already tell you that it won't work for this or that reason. It's like 'hey we could... no wait we can't because...' It's damn frustrating really."

"Well, give it a good night's rest, Starfleet, I'm sure we'll come up with something; we have to."


Chapter 15

"Are you comfortable?" B'Elanna asked. "Want a drink?"

"Yes I am, and no thank you," Seven replied, wondering what was going on with her lover.

"Alright then, in that case it's time for us to talk," B'Elanna said while sitting down beside Seven. "Now, you know I love you, and I wouldn't think of doing anything else but fully supporting you while others are around. But now that we are alone... Why the hell didn't you tell me this? I deserve to know something like that."

"You deserve to know?" Seven asked, her voice making it very clear what she thought of that statement.

"Don't you even think about going there, Princess. You bet your pretty ass that I deserve to know. I'm your partner, your Mate, your lover, your other half. Call it what you want, I'm it. As such I deserve to know that you aren't just another drone. I deserve to know that there might come a day that the Borg would hunt you down. Damn it Seven, yes, I do deserve to know."

Seven looked at B'Elanna for a long moment, and the Klingon could clearly see that Seven was walking the fine line between retreating into her cold Borg armor or opening up to B'Elanna.

"Seven, don't get me wrong, I'll be there for you, I'll always be there for you. Knowing this now doesn't change how I feel about you, but yes, I did deserve to know."

"And when should I have told you?" Seven finally asked, making it clear that she had chosen to open that last dark part of her existence to her lover. "Beloved, in the beginning when I came on board Voyager, if I had told you then... you might not have voted to set me off the ship, but you would have shouted the loudest for extra security measures; making me a prisoner on this ship. Then we became friends, I could not tell you then either because once we were friends you would have reacted like you are now; saying that I should have told you. Then we became lovers, and any chance to tell you had long passed. I could not tell you, beloved, because there never was a good time to tell you. Besides..."

"Besides, what?" B'Elanna asked when Seven stopped talking.

"Besides... There is also the fact that I myself never really expected the Borg to come searching for me this actively. I assumed that if the number of replacement drones started to dwindle, they would simply train new drones to keep the number constant. I did not take into account the irrational mind of the Queen, who apparently found it acceptable to let the number of replacement drones drop like that."

"She probably thought that nothing could happen to her," B'Elanna guessed, seeing Seven's point. "I mean, here she was, having all the power of the Borg behind her, how could something happen to her? I think that this is also the reason why she was so close when they tried to assimilate the species that got her killed."

"Probably," Seven agreed. She sighed before continuing, "I am sorry, beloved. You are correct; you did deserve to know this. Even if what I hoped would have been the case, that the Borg would not come for me, then you still should have known this. It is just as I said; there was never a good time to tell you. Besides, in the beginning of our relationship I also feared that knowing this would turn you away from me."

"And do you still think that?" B'Elanna asked, knowing that at some point with her previous lovers it would have pissed her off to the extreme if they had assumed that they would know how B'Elanna would react. 'Guess true love really does makes the difference,' B'Elanna thought as she moved a little closer to Seven and put her head on the blonde's shoulder.

"I do not," Seven assured. "But..."


"I... I do wonder if this will affect our physical intimacy."

"What do you mean?"

Seven lifted her enhanced hand and showed it to B'Elanna. "My implants have changed; most look different now."

B'Elanna looked at the metal bands covering Seven's hand and saw that they did indeed look slightly different. Without B'Elanna having to ask, Seven extended her assimilation tubes and there the difference was clearly visible. They were longer, a little thicker than before, and the color had changed from metallic gray to metallic blue. But the thing that had B'Elanna's interest the most were the changed heads of the assimilation tubes. Where before the tubes had reminded B'Elanna of snakes by the way they moved, now she could even see the faces of little snakes in the design of the heads, with a little imagination. She knew of course that this 'face' was formed by the indentations where different tools could come out of the tubes.

After a moment of examining the tubes, B'Elanna looked Seven in the eyes and winked with a huge grin on her face. "Remember how I told you that I have a little bit of a leather fetish? Well baby, I think I have a Borg fetish as well. Because let me tell you, the fact that I can examine active assimilation tubes from this close is turning me on like there's no tomorrow."

"I knew it; you only like me for my assimilation tubes."

B'Elanna looked at Seven for a moment in total disbelief before Seven started to smile.

"Hehehe," B'Elanna laughed a little sheepishly. "Well, that sure is an original line, and it packs a lot more of an impact than 'you only like me for my breasts.' But let me tell you, baby, I do like you for your breasts. I like you for that great ass you have. I like you for those wonderful lips you have. I like you for those beautiful eyes. I like you for that perfect brain you have. And yes, I like you for you assimilation tubes. I like you for your strength. I like you for your enhanced senses. But you know what? I love you for being you. I love you, Seven of Nine. I would still love you if you didn't have a single thing Borg about you, and I would love you if you still looked the same as the first day you were on Voyager. I love you, Seven, and nothing about any of your implants will ever change that."

Seven placed her second hand on her middle before speaking softly, "I have an abdominal implant again, and this time it is one that cannot be removed."

"Great, more to get my Borg fetish worked up about."


"Come on, baby, how often do I have to say that I don't care? I'm sure that I will love it; I can already imagine placing kisses all along the bands. That's part of loving, Seven. Love makes it perfect. You know, before we made love, I hated it when a lover teased me. I just wanted them to get their act together and fuck me. But then you came along and love entered the picture. You like to tease, and all of a sudden I love to be teased. What I once hated, I now love. And where I loved to pay homage to that perfect belly of yours, I'm sure I now will love to pay homage to your implant covered belly. Come on, baby, can't you imagine me trailing my tongue along those bands? Me kissing the soft skin between the hard metal? I think that the real question is; does it bother you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I talked several times already about the fact that I don't mind you having implants, and you know that I really, really, like it when you use your mesh covered hand if you're fucking me hard. I really like the feeling of those ridges then, while I like it if you use your other hand if we make slow and tender love. I have never given you any indication that I have a problem with your implants... Let me correct that, I have never given you any indication ever since we spent that time in the brig. It's you who always brings up your implants. It almost sounds as if you do have a problem with them, where as I don't."

Seven opened her mouth to reply, only to close it again. After a long moment of silence she finally spoke up. "Maybe I do."


"What do you mean, why?" Seven asked. The reason seemed so obvious to her.

"Baby, don't get me wrong, I can understand why you hate having been a part of the Borg. It was because you had to do things, terrible things, while not having any say in the matter. But that doesn't necessarily make your implants a bad thing. There are millions that would love to have the implants that you have. Just look at what they enable you to do. They pretty much turn you into a super human. You can do things no other human can do, and the great thing is that they don't make you any less human either. You are still a loving person who can be the tenderest person I know. You value things that the Hive mind never found interesting. Baby, value what you have. You can value what you have while still hating where it came from."

"Maybe the problem is that I never had a say in the matter," Seven said after thinking about B'Elanna's words for a moment. "I can see, and agree, that a lot of people would like to have Borg implants if they could have them without having to go through the only way one can get Borg implants. The thing is that I did not choose it. Yes, if I had been Annika Hansen who would have received the offer of having the implants I now have, I think that I might have taken the offer, at least for some of the implants. But I never had a say in the matter. Even now, now that these implants have been set to the primary setting I have implants that literally are the best that the Borg has to offer, yet I did not choose them. If I had the choice, I may have taken the senses that are even more enhanced now, but which are now controlled in a way that I do not have the onslaught of information I sometimes had before. I would however not choose to have an abdominal implant again. I did not have a choice in the matter. Is that so much to ask for; a choice?"

"It's not too much to ask for," B'Elanna said softly. The tone of Seven's voice when she had asked the last question had cut into B'Elanna like a knife.

"I wish with all my being that you could have that choice baby, but the thing is you don't have the choice in whether or not you have the implants. This means that you have a different choice. You can choose to hate the implants because they are Borg, or you can choose to accept the benefits the implants give you, despite their origin. It's kinda the same with the Borg modifications that were done to Voyager. Remember back to when you came onboard. A lot of modifications were made to Voyager because we needed them to survive our battle with species 8472. A lot of those modifications were actually good modifications, things that Voyager could have continued to use. But the Captain decided to remove them, and at that point I agreed a thousand percent with that. We didn't trust anything Borg, including you, and we wanted those modifications gone, even though they made Voyager better. That was our choice then."

B'Elanna stopped for a moment to take Seven's Borg enhanced hand and entwined their fingers. "The thing is, since we removed those modifications, we've made a lot of them again when you presented them to us and explained the how, what, and why. About forty percent of those modifications were implemented again. The only difference being that we see how we can change Federation technology to do what the Borg enhancements would do. We had a choice. First we chose to not use the modifications because they were Borg. Since then we chose to use the modifications despite them being Borg. You don't have the choice of removing the implants, but you do have the choice of being happy with what they enable you to do."

"I do appreciate most of the benefits the implants give me," Seven finally agreed a little reluctant.

"Well then, go with that, baby. Accept what you have, and use it to make sure that the Borg don't get what they want."

Seven slowly moved closer and kissed B'Elanna. "I..." Another kiss. "Love..." Kiss. "You." They shared a long kiss this time before Seven continued. "Thank you for being there for me, beloved."

"That, I promise you. I'll always be there for you, baby." B'Elanna sighed before continuing. "Now, I think it's time for us to go to bed. We need to get some sleep so that we can come up with a plan tomorrow to outsmart the Borg."

"Very well," Seven agreed and they moved off the couch and into the bedroom.

Seven peeled off her biosuit and was just about to put on her sleeping outfit when B'Elanna spoke up.

"Wait. Would you mind if I had a look?"

Knowing only too well what B'Elanna meant, Seven placed her hands on her abdominal implant before looking at B'Elanna with a raised eyebrow. "Borg fetish, you said?"

B'Elanna laughed a little sheepishly before winking at Seven. "Well, while I'd really love to indulge my Borg fetish and show you just how much fun it can be if I pay homage to your abdominal implant, we just don't have the time. We need our sleep. This is actually simple curiosity; I want to see what you look like."

"Very well, you may have a look."

"Thanks." B'Elanna kneeled in front of Seven and took a closer look at the blonde.

"Be careful, remember what happened the last time you kneeled like that to examine my abdomen?"

B'Elanna looked up to see Seven smiling down. "Oh, I know only too well. But do you really think that I would ask you to leave this time? Damn, I really do wish we had the time."

With a sigh B'Elanna looked back at the implant in front of her. Where Seven's assimilation tubes had reminded B'Elanna of snakes, the abdominal implant reminded her of a spider. There was a diamond shaped plate where Seven's navel had been, and four metal strips on both sides moved up in a diagonal line to meet up at Seven's side, with similar metal strips coming from Seven's back.

"Turn around please."

Seven did as she was asked and presented her back to B'Elanna.

The design on her back was pretty much the same as the one on the front. The only difference was in the size of the diamond shaped plate. Where the plate at Seven's front was only five centimeters across (two inches), the plate at her back was about four times as big. "Damn baby, how can you even move with that attached to your back?"

Seven twisted to look behind her, mainly to show B'Elanna how she could still move. "The plate you see is nothing more than a flexible cover plate. The implant actually exists out of segments that are attached to each other. These segments can move individually. Therefore they do not actually hinder my movement, even though one would assume that they would."

"I'm glad to hear that. For a moment I was afraid that it meant that I could only make love to you in certain positions from now on."

Seven turned around all the way and extended her hand to help B'Elanna to her feet. "Far from it. In fact, this implant makes me more... flexible... than I was before."

Seven stepped closer and molded her naked body against B'Elanna's equally naked one as she took the Klingon into a lover's embrace.

"And I cannot wait to show you just how... flexible... I am." She put one of her legs between B'Elanna's and moved it up against her lover's center. "Are you sure that we do not have enough time to make love?"

"Um, well, maybe we do have time for a little loving after all," B'Elanna said. There was no way that she could say no to Seven, especially since the blonde had the ability to set B'Elanna on fire with nothing more than a single touch.

"I thought so," Seven said as she stepped away, and closer to the bed; never letting go of B'Elanna's hands.

"You know what I'll miss?" B'Elanna asked as she followed Seven.

"What?" Seven asked as she put one of her legs onto the bed.

"Your bellybutton. I loved to kiss and lick your bellybutton, but now I can't anymore."

Seven stopped moving, one foot still on the floor. And after a moment she tilted her head a little with a small smile on her face. "Do you want to see an interesting trick?"

"Um, sure," B'Elanna replied, confused by the question.

Seven pointed to the diamond shaped plate on her belly and said; "Now you do not see it..." Suddenly the plate started to move and then it disappeared into the sides of the diamond form. "...And now you do see it," Seven finished, tapping her finger against her now visible bellybutton.

"What the hell?" B'Elanna asked, her voice full of surprise.

Seven followed the diamond shape with her finger. Now it existed out of the same metal bands as the rest of her implant.

"Most of the technology of the implant is in the diamond shape on my back, and also under my skin, which is why it can no longer be removed. A part of my spine has been removed and part of the implant now takes that place. Also, the new Borg spinal cord that replaced my old Borg spinal cord now actually passes through the implant. The plate on the front however was nothing more than a cover plate designed to protect an implant that I do not have. So I could change the design of the implant to remove the plate in I wanted."

"You can change the design of your implants?" B'Elanna asked in disbelief.

"I can, within limits. Is this also one of those things that you deserved to know?"

"That depends, are you going to mention it in the report that you still have to write for the senior staff about your implants?"

"I am."

"In that case, no. There are bound to be more things that I don't know yet. I'll find that out in the report. But, um, what do you mean by 'within limits'?"

"There is now a nanocomputer in my cranial implant. Its sole purpose is to keep my implants at peak efficiency, or as efficient as possible if I am in a situation where peak efficiency cannot be maintained. It will allow any changes that do not affect the implants in a negative way. Removing a cover plate that is not covering any implant does not affect my implants negatively, therefore I could remove it. I would not be able to change the form or the positioning of the bands, for instance, because this could mean that when the force-field is activated it would not cover me fully."

"Then why doesn't this nanocomputer activate the other implants? I know that you don't have implants that normal drones have. Wouldn't activating those mean that you would work at a 'higher level of efficiency?' Take the eye piece for instance; I know that your enhanced vision could be improved even more by giving you a protruding eye-piece again."

"That too will make it into my report. The short version is that the Hive mind and I reached an agreement. They would not set my nanocomputer to start making implants that I did not already have at the time that the agreement was reached, and I would not terminate my own existence. Unfortunately my abdominal implant was already created by that time."

"What?! Seven,"

"B'Elanna, I do not want to die," Seven interrupted. "But I also do not want to be a Borg drone again. If I have to choose between the two, I will choose my termination."

B'Elanna closed her eyes for a moment, but didn't reply. Though she couldn't bear to think of losing Seven, she too would not want to live as a drone and she would probably make the same choice. "Alright, fair enough. But promise me baby, that is an absolute last resort."

"I promise," Seven assured. "There would truly have to be no other option before I would even think of ending my life, and thereby giving up any chance of living my life with you."

"Alright, as long as we got that settled, back to your implant... why don't you have a new eye piece?"

"Because they had not yet replaced the implants gathering information, only the one processing it. I still have the artificial eye that the Doctor made for me, and the old Borg implants that enhance my sense of smell and hearing. Unlike with a normal humanoid, that information does not go directly to my brain. Instead it goes to an implant that enhances the information gathered. That implant has been replaced and the new one is thirty percent more efficient than the old one. Therefore my senses have been effectively enhanced by almost that number."

"Kinda like how we improved Voyager's sensors some time back by enhancing the computer processing unit, and not by actually touching the sensors themselves?"

"Indeed," Seven agreed.

B'Elanna peeked around Seven to her back, and Seven helped by twisting slightly so that her lover could see more of the blonde's back.

"You know, I kinda like the location. I mean, yes, the small of your back is covered by the diamond shape. But it stops above your ass, and at the same time is low enough to still leave most of your beautiful back bare."

"With the exceptions of the bands," Seven reminded.

"They don't really cover your back," B'Elanna disagreed. "Yes, the top one is a bit high, but honey..." B'Elanna trailed one of the bands down to the diamond shaped base with her fingers, and then up the other side. Then she moved her hand over Seven's back. "Maybe you should have a look in the bathroom mirror tomorrow. But for now, feel how much of your back is uncovered? Besides, yes there are the bands, but they're only two centimeters wide at best. So it's not that those four bands cover all of your back. I think that if you take it all together, the bands and the diamond shape, it still covers less of your back than that leather top that you were trying on yesterday."

That seemed to be good news to the blonde. "Really?" She asked with a smile.

"Really." B'Elanna moved her hand over Seven's back some more. "And the best part of it is, it leaves all of the right places free, see? Your shoulders and back, even the sides below your ribs because the bands move up like this. Honest, the only thing I'll miss is the really cute small of your back that's covered now. I always liked to place my hand there when we were in Engineering and I came to stand beside you to look at stuff. A great place for an innocent and totally allowable touch, yet it still clearly showed how close we are because I was allowed to do it."

"True," Seven agreed. "I liked those touches, and I will miss them."

"Maybe a change is needed," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. Then she shrugged. "We will adapt, as you like to say. I can start touching you more to the sides now. Still on your back, but just like I said, more to the side; below the bands."

The fingers moved as B'Elanna started to follow the edges of the implant. "But despite the fact that you didn't have a choice in it, I personally think that it was a pretty decent deal. We lost the small of your back, but we got a really sexy implant back. I never saw you nude with your old implant, and maybe this is just my Borg fetish talking, but honest babe, I think it looks damn hot."

"But which one would you prefer?" Seven persisted. "The implant, or no abdominal implant?"

"If I truly had a choice? Then I would prefer what you want."


"It's your body," B'Elanna interrupted. "And my choice would be that you would have had the chance to actually choose. I love your body without the implant, and I love it with the implant. I love you, so to me it doesn't matter if you have the implant or not, as long I'm allowed to touch you, love you, feel you. I love you, Seven. You say that you have no choice; the implant is here to stay. So, that means that I love it, that I find it damn hot, and that I think it looks damn sexy on you. End of discussion. Well, not really end of discussion; that was just a saying, like saying, 'I love you, period'."

"And I love you, my Mate. But you are correct, it is end of discussion. I have no choice; I have to live with the implant from now on. So, going with the 'look at it from the positive side' approach I can only say that I really like having the implant because I know that my Mate finds it sexy as hell."

"I do," B'Elanna assured with a grin. Then she sighed. "Alright, that's enough question and answer for tonight. It's time to go to bed. Um, Seven... I know I just said that I wanted to make love to you, and believe me I do, but the conversation did cool me down a little to the point where I can ask you again if you don't mind if we just go to sleep. Tomorrow we have to work on a way to make sure that the Borg don't take you, and I'd much rather work on that rested."

"You are correct," Seven reluctantly agreed. "We do need our rest."

She moved until she was lying on her side of the bed. "It will be interesting; this will be the first time we go to sleep without making love."

"Don't you want your sleeping clothes?" B'Elanna asked as she moved to the replicator.

"B'Elanna, we never wear sleeping garments when we fall in sleep after making love, why would I wear some now? I think that we have proven by now that I do not need the sleeping garments the Doctor designed to get a good night rest; all I need is to be able to hold you."

"You have a point," B'Elanna agreed. She moved back without replicating her PJ's and crawled into bed. If Seven was going to sleep naked, B'Elanna sure as hell wanted to feel all of her lover's warm flesh against her.

They lay facing each other for a moment before Seven put her hand on B'Elanna's bottom to indicate that she wanted her to come even closer. B'Elanna did so, sliding one of her legs between Seven's and smiling when she felt Seven slide her un-trapped leg between hers as well. Soon hands were resting on each other's rears and they were touching all along their bodies.

"This feels great, but I doubt we'll be able to sleep like this," B'Elanna said with a very un-Klingon like giggle.

"A giggling Klingon, I think the crew will love to find out that you can giggle like a little girl. And I know that we cannot sleep like this; we will move in our sleep and find more comfortable positions. The point however, is that we can fall asleep like this, and that is what I want."

"If you ever dare to mention to anyone, anyone, that I giggle, I'll... I'll..."

"You'll, you'll... what?" Seven asked, deliberately shortening her words to mimic B'Elanna's.

"I'll.... ah. I'll cut you off. No love making for a whole month."


"You heard me, Borg."

"Hmm, Borg. That reminds me. Did I tell you that the implant that regulates my hormone levels is also improved? If I need to I can actually go without for a month, the question is... can you? Could you really cut me off for a month while I am walking around in here with nothing on but a leather thong and the smallest of top's Fawza made for me?"



"How about this? Seven, please don't tell anyone. I'll do anything you want."

"Anything? So now you do not threaten to cut me off, instead you promise to do anything I want?"

"Hell yeah," B'Elanna laughed. "Because I'm sure I'll love the 'everything you want', but I wouldn't survive a month of not making love to you."

"I will think of a proper 'everything I want' as a payment to keep your secret, but you do realize that you are easy?"

"Only for you baby. Tom sometimes really had to beg to get some, but I love giving some to you."

"I was not talking of that kind of easy. But come to think of it; B'Elanna, you are easy."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm easy. I love to make love to perfect, former Borg, six foot blonde sex bombs; somehow I don't think I'm the only one in the universe."

"Probably not," Seven agreed with a smile. "But you are the only one in the universe who will make love to this particular perfect, former Borg, six foot blonde sex bomb. Now go to sleep so that we can work tomorrow on making sure that we will continue to be together for the rest of our lives."

"Yes Princess."

"Alright, before we begin, Seven, how's that report coming along?"

"It is not, Captain. We worked on the shields yesterday and I was planning on writing the report on my implants after this meeting, while Lieutenant Torres and Ensign Kim test the shields."

"Good," Janeway agreed before looking at B'Elanna. "Since Seven is talking about you testing the shields, I assume you made good process on them yesterday?"

"We actually finished it. We didn't really have to change anything; it was really nothing more than changing the settings and adding some creative programming of Seven's side. We stayed away from Borg algorithms and all that, but Seven's still the bomb at crunching numbers. The bad thing is that even at peak efficiency, we'll only have the shields at twenty-five percent of the strength of what we normally have."

"Peak efficiency huh?" Janeway asked filing that little Borg like speech pattern away to tease B'Elanna with at a later date. "Finishing the shields already is a lot more progress than we expected, so why are you wearing that frown on your face?"

B'Elanna was quiet for a moment before sighing. "Engineering superstition really. It just went too easy, Captain. There has to be something wrong with it, something that we overlooked. I mean, the data shows that I can almost guarantee that it'll take the Borg at least four hours to get in... As long as they don't take the risk and try to destroy our shields by targeting Engineering and blowing it to bits."

"They will not," Seven assured. "The risk of a chain reaction that would destroy the entire ship, and me, is too big. More so because they know that Engineering is one of the places where I often am in emergencies. They will know that the changes in the shields are only a temporary solution and will concentrate on getting through them. The Borg can be very patient if need be."

"Right," B'Elanna said before continuing. "As I said, it all looks good, and we had absolutely no problem with figuring it out. We could have figured this out years ago if shield strength wasn't normally the highest priority. Harry deserves extra credit for suggesting that we try going the other way. We lost the most time by simply checking frequencies and such."

She shook her head slightly. "I don't trust it. I would like to run some more tests first. If we need to implement the changes before the testing is done, well, that won't really be a problem. It's done within a minute by simply changing the settings. We already uploaded the new system just in case; it only needs to be activated."

"You do that," Janeway agreed. "I'm not new to things going too easy, so I can understand your concerns. Now, assuming that the shields do hold and give us those four hours of time, that means that we have four hours, at most, to implement something that will make the Borg leave Seven alone. I would like some ideas on that 'something.' Suggestions?"

It was eerily quiet around the table for a long moment before Janeway spoke up again. "I've been coming up with just as much; nothing. The one thing we could rely on until now with our encounters with the Borg, was that they ignore people inside their cubes as long as they aren't perceived as a threat, but we can't even use that trick this time. They're looking for Seven, and therefore they'll be looking for anyone on their cubes that don't belong there."

"I would agree with that assessment," Seven said.

"I thought of something," Chakotay spoke up. "I don't think it will work, but maybe it might give someone else an idea. We could,"

{Red alert. Captain to the bridge.}

"Report," Janeway said as she and the rest of the senior staff moved out of the conference room and to their stations.

"Captain, we were just passed by a ship traveling at transwarp. They overshot us, but there's no doubt that they must have noticed us," Ensign Davits said as he moved out of the captain's chair.

"Which gives us about two minutes before they turn around and reach us," Janeway said in understanding. "All hands to battle stations."

She looked at B'Elanna for a moment before sitting down in her chair. "Guess the testing you wanted to do is going to be field testing. Change the shields."

"Aye Captain."

"Shield strength dropped to twenty-five percent," Tuvok reported before almost immediately adding, "Sensors are picking up a ship closing in at transwarp speed."

"B'Elanna?" Janeway merely asked.

"New shield settings are holding. Guess my fears were unfounded," B'Elanna said with relief in her voice.

"A Borg cube has dropped out of transwarp," Tuvok said. "They are trying to beam onto the ship... shields are holding and preventing the beaming."

"The Borg are sending a message on all frequencies," Harry spoke up, just before said message could be heard on the bridge.

{We are the Borg. Lower your shields, and surrender your ship. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours. Resistance is futile.}

"Can't they ever come up with a new mantra?" Tom mumbled in frustration.

"What I'd like to know is how they found us so fast," Chakotay spoke up. "I thought we still had a couple of days."

"As did I," Seven agreed. "Apparently the Borg have found a way to improve their searching capabilities since I was severed from the Collective."

"Actually, I think it's more a case of us underestimating the amount of ships the Borg are using to find you," B'Elanna corrected. "Even if they had sensors that only scanned for a single light year, use fifty thousand ships and that one light year radius per ship will still give you one-hundred thousand light years of information."

Tuvok lifted an eyebrow at the logic of the statement. "I do believe that Lieutenant Torres has a point, especially since we forgot to take into account that the Borg already knew our general vicinity."

Janeway didn't say anything, but looked at him in a way that made it clear that she expected him to explain himself.

"We have been traveling in the same general direction for the last seven years, Captain."

"Of course," Janeway sighed in understanding. "And our run-ins with the Borg gave them several points to plot, clearly showing that line. Just have several hundred cubes flying along that line and they were bound to find us as quickly as they did."

"Captain, more cubes are dropping out of transwarp and matching our course," Tuvok informed. "The Borg are continuing to try to beam onto Voyager."

"B'Elanna, how are the shields doing? Are those extra ships influencing the timeframe you gave us?"

"The shields are holding, Captain, and if things go as they went in the holodeck, then they can bring in as many ships as they want. It doesn't influence the shields how many or how often they try to beam onto the ship, or someone off the ship for that matter. We do have two problems though. First, I'm sure that soon the Borg will try to get through the shields in a different way, and there's a chance that they'll hit on a solution that we didn't think of. And the second problem is the power drain. As I said before, in this setting the shields are draining so much power that they can only be activated for four hours at most before the warp core will automatically shut down. Actually three hours and forty-five minutes now."

"In that case, let's head back to the conference room and do some brainstorming. Chakotay, you said that you might have an idea?"

"I had, but it was built on the Borg not knowing where we were. It won't work now."

"To the conference room people."

Tuvok was just about to leave his station to the Ensign standing by to take over, when he noticed something on his monitor. "Captain, sensors are picking up another Borg ship; a massive Borg ship. The readings show twenty-three separate warp cores."

"What!? Twenty-three warp cores... on one ship?" Janeway asked, thinking that she must have misunderstood. She knew that the Borg used transwarp coils to travel at transwarp, but these were still linked to a warp core that formed the backbone of the transwarp system. And it was the warp cores that were picked up on sensors, not attached coils. But she had never heard of a Borg ship having more than one warp core. "On screen."

A moment later, they were looking at the biggest ship they had ever seen, or even heard of. "What the hell is that?" Janeway asked, for a moment forgetting her Captain's demeanor.

"Unimatrix 01," Seven said in a whisper before continuing in a stronger voice. "It is the heart of the Borg Collective; the 'home' of the Borg Queen. Normally it is always deep in the middle of Borg territory. Though, as you can clearly, see the ship is very capable of space travel, normally it is not used for this."

"Which explains why she was on a sphere when she was killed," B'Elanna added. "If she'd been in that thing she might still be alive.

Seven hesitated while going over the information that the Borg had given her from the situation of the Queen's death. Then she agreed, "She would with a hundred percent certainty still be alive as long as she had not left Unimatrix 01."

"So why name a ship Unimatrix 01, why not name their original Homeworld that instead?" B'Elanna wondered.

"Because at some point in the history of the Borg 'Unimatrix' was nothing more than a name of a certain class of starships, like Voyager is an Intrepid class ship." Seven explained.

"Unimatrix 01 was the designation of one of the first Borg ships of notice; the ship they once picked as their fleet command ship because it was more advanced than the ships before that time. As the Borg evolved, they adapted and modernized their home. That is still Unimatrix 01 because the first ship was never actually decommissioned. The ship has been modernized, changed and added to, so many times over the existence of the Borg that in reality nothing is left of the original ship. Which, by the way, was not much larger than Voyager. Unimatrix 01 has always been considered the 'home' of the Borg, and is now designed in such a way."

"That isn't a ship; that's a flying city," Harry blurted out as he looked at the huge rectangle shaped ship with sides just as relatively smooth as the sides of the cubes were.

"More like a flying country," Tom agreed. "There must be millions of drones on that thing."

"Normally there are half a billion drones based on Unimatrix 01," Seven corrected. "But there is room for three times that number. The mass is roughly half of that of Earth's moon, but obviously it is approximately the same diameter as Earth's moon since unlike the moon, the interior of Unimatrix 01 exists out of more cavities than solid matter."

"Isn't that an inefficient use of space than?" B'Elanna asked. "Why have room for one and a half billion and than 'only' have half a billion onboard?"

"The reason it can carry more drones than it does is because the Borg believe that one-point-five billion is the number of drones needed to build a new completely self-sustainable Collective. Should they ever encounter a force that can, and does, destroy the Borg, then Unimatrix 01 will be loaded with the most suitable drones to build a new Collective and it will flee Borg space. While the rest of the Borg Collective fights the opposing force in a self-destructive battle to ensure the escape of Unimatrix 01. This tactic has never been used in the existence of the Borg, but they did prepare for it."

"The Borg running away?" B'Elanna asked in disbelief.

"Believe me, B'Elanna, the Borg are not above 'running to live and fight another day,' is that not how the saying goes?"

"It is," Janeway answered for B'Elanna, knowing that B'Elanna would have added something to indicate how much Klingons hate that statement. "It's just that they haven't yet encountered a force that made them run. But why bring this... Borg safe-haven here, and not leave it securely deep in Borg space?"

"I can only assume that they brought it here because it is also the place where the Borg Queen is normally based. Maybe they think that its vicinity will convince me to go to them freely. Besides, seeing that the purpose of Unimatrix 01 is to ensure the continued existence of the Borg Collective if they are faced with potential destruction of the Collective, Unimatrix 01 does have the offensive and defensive capabilities needed for such a task. They do not have to worry about the destruction of Unimatrix 01. I do not know of a power that could do enough damage in a short enough time to prevent Unimatrix 01 from leaving. Even if it was attacked by species 8472 Unimatrix 01 would be able to escape with no more than an estimated ten percent of damage... assuming that the rest of the Collective would intervene and prevent species 8472 from pursuing Unimatrix 01."

"Well, maybe this turns things in our favor," Janeway said, an idea starting to form in her mind. "Conference room, people." Janeway walked over to the engineering station while the rest started to file into the conference room. "Keep a close eye on those shields, Ensign. If it looks like they are starting to fail, I want to know."

"Aye Captain."

Part 16

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