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

By H.W.


Chapter 31

Katzi walked into the Royal Holodeck, slightly surprised to see a re-creation of what seemed like part of a huge and modern city. Buildings and paved streets did look rather well kept, though there were some signs of graffiti to be seen here and there. Personal motorized transportation devices on rubber wheels and in all kinds of shapes and colors lined the streets. The only thing that was really missing was any sign of sentient life... well life other than plant life since any 'life' created on the holodeck would not actually be sentient anyway.

She walked down the street a little until she reached a small square that was void of any vehicles, and some signs at the beginning of the square said 'no parking' in the language of species 4,173. There she finally saw the first signs of 'life.' She slowly came closer to the six people standing in front of some monument. They were clearly from six different species, though funny enough none of them was from species 4,173. There were two men, two women, and two of a species where guessing which sex they were was impossible since men and women looked alike, unless you checked in one particular spot.

"I am Katzi of,"

She was interrupted by one of the women. "We know who you are. We have all the information we need to know about you. We are your trainers. We were considered the best in our fields on our worlds before the Borg came."

"You might want to know," one of the men added, "that though these bodies are holographic, we are real. We are in holodecks on the ships and planet bases we are assigned to and we are lending our real mind to these copies of our body, you might say."

"I thought that the Borg had deemed this technology impractical for use," Katzi frowned, calling on all she could remember of information that had merely shot by during regenerating.

"Impractical doesn't mean impossible," The man said. "It merely means that it is not really fit for general use. This technology needs a Borg information beam array that is dedicated to sending only the information of a single person. So that means that just with us being here we are taking up six beam arrays, and six of the beam arrays of Unimatrix 01 to receive our transmission. That you are on Unimatrix 01 is even the only reason why this is possible. As you see, totally impractical for normal use. But then, training the Royal Guards is definitely a little bit more than normal use."

"We are here to train you and bring your knowledge up to the level that is demanded of the Royal Guard that is tasked with protecting the Queen even in situations where normally no guards would be needed," One of the gender neutral people said.

After receiving a nod of understanding from Katzi, the person continued. "It is often at times like that; when things look absolutely secure, that assassins like to strike. We are given free hand in your training, as long as we keep certain parameters in mind. So good news for you, we are not allowed to let you die. Bad news for you, we are allowed to let you be wounded to the point where you have to be beamed to sickbay so that you won't die. Keep that in mind. We may not be real body wise, but we are real mind wise. We will not hesitate to give you a nice wound so that you remember some stupid mistake."

"Also," The second man said, "The same goes for enemies you will eventually face on this holodeck. Forget that they are not real because they will hurt you if they can. There are no holodeck safeties as we train, with the exception that if it looks like you are about to die, you are beamed to sickbay; that's it."

"I understand," Katzi assured. "I do realize that too much safety is counterproductive."

"Good," The first woman that had spoken said again. "In that case let me introduce." She pointed to one of the men. "This is Master Grua, his specialty lies in unarmed combat."

Master Grua stepped forward and looked Katzi up and down a bit before speaking up. "You are a broad woman, and damn impressively muscled. Do you think that it will help you win a fight?"

"Yes and no," Katzi said. "Yes in the fact that my body alone is often enough to prevent people from even starting a fight. Also, strength does help against untrained people that normally only rely on their own strength. There's a saying on Zamona; 'there is always a bigger bully than you.' Though I don't think or act like a bully, I was more than once the person that beat some sense in to people that thought that they were the toughest thing around. Having said that, I have also learned that my strength and body can be used against me by people that have been trained in how to do so. In situations like that, my body can actually be a disadvantage."

Master Grau nodded. "We have been given special permission to access all information of your mind scans, including that what normally is filtered out. Am I right in guessing that right now you are probably thinking about a former lover of yours? Small for a Zamonan warrior, but still capable of keeping up with you in training because she knew how to use her smaller body, as well as your bigger body, against you?"

"Indeed," Katzi agreed. "I know not to be misguided by how a body looks."

"Good. My task will be to train you in how to use your body right in unarmed combat. So that you can turn the table on people like that, so to speak. That they will see you and know for sure that they can beat you because they have trained extensively how to take out a huge person like you, only to find out too late that now you have also been trained in how to counteract them."

Master Grau gestured to one of the gender neutral people. "This is Master Oliankia."

Master Oliankia came a step closer as master Grau stepped back into the line. "My fields of expertise lie in speed and pain. To explain the last first. Borg drones can ignore pain; very convenient. But pain can be your friend. Pain tells your body how it is doing, what to look out for, what to protect. I will train you to where your pain threshold will be a lot higher than it is now, and to where you will think of switching your pain sensibility off only as a last resort. To answer the question that people normally ask now; yes, you will suffer; it will urge you on to learn faster. I will also train you in how to read your pain. Pain is not just pain; it has flavors."

A hand shot out and hit Katzi surprisingly softly on the arm, which just as surprisingly resulted in a bolt of burning pain shooting up her arm. "To you this now feels like pain. But I will train you to the point where that pain will feel like information, to where that pain will tell you that your arm is alright, but that for the next ten minutes you can only use it for thirty percent, and how you should use your arm instead for that period of time to still get the best out of it."

"I understand," Katzi assured while willing herself not to rub her arm. The pain did not worry her. She had felt pain in her training as a warrior, and after that she had lived with the pain of a broken back for months. No pain during training had ever been that bad, and she had survived that pain day after day for four months without complaining about it.

"Good," Master Oliankia approved. "Second thing, speed. We are lucky in regards to the fact that the Zamonan fighting style finds speed very important. What is it that one of your trainers once told you? 'In a fight there are only two kinds of fighters; the quick and the dead.' I agree. But blind speed is also not right. Now that you are a Royal Guard you will need to learn how to hold back until there is no other option, and only then use your speed. If you were the Royal Guard of the Zamonan Queen that might be different. There you can act because the person that threatens the Queen is sentenced to death automatically by your constitution. Here you are the Royal Guard of the Borg Queen. She might ignore a threat to her life because it would make negotiation more difficult if you just killed the entire ambassadorial team simply because they said that they might try to kill One of Many. I will teach you that border between waiting and using the speed that the Zamonan already trained you in. Of course, I will try to enhance that speed even more, but on that field you are already excellent."

Master Oliankia stepped away slightly and nodded to the second man. "Allow me to introduce Master Zwiala to you."

As Master Oliankia stepped back in line, Master Zwiala stepped forward.

"Greetings Warrior. My expertise is in weapons. I know that you're very good with your sword; so good in fact that you could teach me a few things. But that's not what I'll be training you in. My expertise lies not in the fact that I'm a master in one weapon; my expertise lies in the fact that I can use many weapons. I've not yet come across a weapon that I didn't know how to operate, given some time to have a quick look for the more advanced weapons of course. I'll train you in those. I'll train you in how to use phasers, disrupters, knives, axes, clubs, bottles. Look around you. How many things do you see that you might use as a weapon in a fight?"

Katzi took a few seconds to look before answering, "Twenty-seven."

Master Zwiala nodded. "Not bad for someone that has been brought up with the focus on sword use. But also not good enough. By the time I'm done with you I will ask you that question again in this very location, and your answer will be 348."

Katzi couldn't help but look around once more. With an indulgent smile Master Zwiala pointed to some things that Katzi had missed.

"Those are weapons too?" Katzi asked, wondering how a small twig that she could snap between her fingers and a piece of paper could be considered weapons.

"By the time I'm done with you, you won't be able to walk into a room without seeing weapons all around you," Master Zwiala assured. "Don't worry. It'll become such a part of you that you won't even notice that you're doing it. But if you ever need a weapon for something then you'll know exactly where they are."

Master Zwiala introduced Katzi to Master Queria, the woman who had spoken to Katzi first. Once Master Queria she had explained what she would train the Zamonan in, she introduced Master Hi'li'io, the second 'gender neutral' person, to Katzi. Lastly she was introduced to the woman that hadn't spoken a single word during the introductions.

Master Hi'li'io bowed slightly before saying, "And talking about you killing people; this is Master Gwenia."

"Greetings to you," Master Gwenia said with a very soft spoken and pleasant sounding voice. "The reason why I was introduced last is because you'll be mine for the rest of the day. The others will now go back to their own homes, so to speak. You'll never know who you'll meet on what day for what training and for how long. You might be trained in three different subjects in one day, or trained in the same subject for several days. We'll decide as your training goes along. Please, allow me the pleasure of walking with me."

Katzi bowed to the other five people like she had always done at home to the trainers; bowing to show respect, but never taking her eyes off them. Showing that their lessons were producing a vigilant warrior.

They started to stroll down one of the streets that ended in the square and after a moment of silence, Master Gwenia said in a soft voice, "Unlike the lessons you'll receive from my honored colleagues, I'm afraid that my lessons will be rather... boring. You see, most of our time we'll merely be talking. I hope you don't mind walking; I prefer to walk as I train. It makes for a loose and informal atmosphere."

"I don't mind at all; in fact I enjoy a nice walk at any time," Katzi assured.

"Good, good," Master Gwenia said almost absentmindedly. "The others will train you in when to guard, when to fight, when to hurt, how to think, and when to kill. I only come in on that last point. You see, killing is easy. It's the surrounding feelings that make it such a complex issue. People start to like the killing, or people get sick and then get killed themselves because they didn't see the second enemy because they were too busy puking. I'll train you in how to kill without it affecting you in either way. We don't want you to become sick, but we also don't want you to start liking it. You have never killed, but we cannot have you hesitate if it's ever needed. I'll train you to the point where seeing someone with their head cut off, or their intestines spilling out, will affect you just as much as seeing a straw dummy with its head cut off. Something you look at and then dismiss because it's no longer a threat."

"How will you make sure that I won't start liking it?" Katzi asked. On Zamona she had known a few people that always volunteered when there was a hunt for a wild animal that threatened a village. They liked the kill. You could see it in their eyes, even their personality became different when a hunt was announced. She didn't want to become one of those people.

"You will find out the exact how in your lessons," Master Gwenia said softly. "But in short, I'll train you to where you realize that life is the most important thing a person has, and that you should respect that property. That will prevent you from killing for the fun of it because it can never be fun because you know that you just destroyed something you yourself value as much as your own life. But if someone were to attack you, you'll then not hesitate to defend yourself or the Queen because then it was that person's own stupid choice as to what they did with that precious thing called life. And it was their own choice to do something that resulted in certain death. This approach has served me well, and all the assassins I ever trained in my life were all honorable and they respected life, and only took the life that was needed to fulfill the mission. I pride myself in the fact that not once has any of my students ever hesitated when the time came for them to kill for the first time."

"I... see," Katzi said slowly. Assassin. From the first second the woman had spoken there had been something... creepy about her. Oh, she was soft spoken and her voice was almost seductive, just like the rest of her person was, but still. There had been something that had put the hairs in Katzi's neck on end when she had spoken.

Master Gwenia laughed, it sounded like a sweet melody. "Don't worry, there's no commission for your life. If there were you would be dead now."

Then all friendliness disappeared and there was a cold and deadly look on that never the less beautiful face. "But we are here to train you to the point that someone like me would not be able to kill the Queen."

Then the smile was back. "In case you are wondering, just like you I found a new life with the Borg. But unlike you who joined because she wanted to, I stayed because I wanted to live a little longer yet. The Government on our planet decided that I was too powerful in the Assassins guild and didn't want me to become the Prefect of the guild they think they are controlling. They put a commission of ten million bars on my head, my dead head. That was too much temptation even for the students I trained in my own school. And then there were of course the students and masters of the other two hundred schools to think of. So after having, um, defended myself 32 times, I felt that it was time to leave and start anew on some other planet. Then our ship came across the Borg and they made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

"Being assimilated you mean?" Katzi asked.

Master Gwenia nodded. "That would be the offer I am talking about."

"And yet here you are training the person who is meant to protect the Borg Queen," Katzi couldn't help but point out.

"The Queen has some interesting ideas," Master Gwenia said with a shrug. "It will be interesting to be alive to see those changes."

"That's quite a change from your normal way of living though," Katzi noted.

"Is it?" Master Gwenia countered. "True, I won't go out to collect commissions anymore. But then, I haven't been doing that for years. I trained the people that went out and they then paid me twenty percent of the commissions they collected. You are just the beginning. I already have others that I'll soon be training when I'm not spending my time with you. The Queen needs protecting, yes. But so do other people in the Collective. With the Individualist drone system you once more have drones that have feelings and could never bring themselves to kill. You need other people, people that are ready to die, and kill, to protect the person they are guarding. My skills of teaching people how to kill are in demand with the Borg. Just that now I can stop looking over my shoulder to see if someone I trained is coming so that they can try and show me how good they have become."

Despite the fact that Master Gwenia was still giving her the creeps, Katzi had to chuckle. "Isn't that ironic? Linked drones can kill as soon as they get the command. Most Individualist drones can't and need to be taught how to do it... so that they then can go on hoping for the rest of their life that they never have to do it."

Master Gwenia shrugged once more, elegantly of course. "And there our lesson for today starts. Tell me, why do you hope you never have to kill?"

"I know I might have to," Katzi began, only to be interrupted.

"That's not what I asked. If I ask you a question, I want that question answered. I also want your honest thoughts and not what you think I might want to hear, or what you think your Mate would have liked you to say, or what you think might go over well with the Hive if they knew it. Don't worry, our conversations are all filtered out when regenerating. Only you and I will ever know what was said in our discussions, unless you go and start telling people."

Katzi was quiet for a moment before finally starting hesitantly, "Well, I myself would not want..."

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 06, Day 25, Hour 19, Minute 05.

"So, this is where you'll be sitting?" Katzi asked as she let her hand drop onto the First Officer's chair.

"Yep. Though, to be honest with you, I wonder just how much time I really will be spending here," Pagsha said thoughtfully.

"What do you mean?" Katzi asked, looking over her shoulder at her lover.

"Well, I may be the First Officer, but I'm also Seven and B'Elanna's assistant. I like that job, and Seven told me that she and B'Elanna would like me to continue to serve as that assistant. Seven assured me that they would find a stand-by for me that can take my place on the bridge whenever I'm not there."

"Then why give you a Senior Staff position at all?"

"As Seven said, she prefers my abilities in the senior staff as well. My personal opinion is that she kinda wants me to be an unofficial link between the senior staff and her. Not to spy on them or anything, but more to give Seven an impression on how they 'feel' as a team. You know, the stuff that's filtered out when they regenerate. Seeing that this is the first Senior Staff of Unimatrix 01, it's of paramount importance that they work well together as a group. And with 'work well' I mean more than the Borg acceptable levels kind of well."

"But this is your chair when you are on the bridge," Katzi persisted. After a nod from Pagsha she suddenly said, "In that case; sit. I want to see my little one sitting in the Second-in-Command's chair of the biggest and most powerful known ship in the galaxy."

"Come on now," Pagsha said as she sat down in the chair. "I'm pretty sure that somewhere in the galaxy there's a ship that puts Unimatrix 01 to shame."

"Probably," Katzi agreed. "But that's why I said 'known ship'." Katzi walked around the chair until she was standing directly behind her lover.

"You know something? You look really hot in that chair. You look so hot that it makes me really hot."

Katzi placed her hands on Pagsha's shoulders before leaning in and placing a kiss at the base of her neck.

"In fact, seeing you sitting here makes me so hot that I really want you; right now, right here."

"Here?" Pagsha said, trying to swallow with a suddenly dry throat. "I don't think that's,"

"I don't care what you think," Katzi interrupted. "Remember the deal? Whenever I want some, I get some, unless you aren't in the mood. But the mood is not the problem, is it? You are in the mood. I know it, and you know it."

Katzi lowered her hands until she was covering Pagsha's breasts. "And your nipples are already so hard just from the idea that I can see them through your uniform. So, I want some, right now. And I'm going to fuck you baby, right here, right now, in this chair, so that from now on every time you have to sit here your mind goes back to how I took you here, time and again. Now take off that uniform, or I'll do it for you."

Pagsha slowly opened the uniform, separating the upper and lower part. She knew that there was no arguing the point, not that she wanted to anyway. This was exactly why she wanted a dominant partner. The fact that Katzi had just told her to get naked and that she had to do it, was making Pagsha hot beyond belief. At the moment she was at the mercy of her lover, and it made her dripping wet.


Chapter 32

"Katzi, I really don't think this is a good idea," Pagsha said in token protest as she leaned forward a little so that she could take off her top with just the right amount of hesitant reluctance so to not look too eager.

But before she could take off her top she felt Katzi's hands move to her sides. Down they went, and then back up; taking the top and the underlying standard issue sports bra with them. Pagsha lifted her hands so that her lover could slip the garments off and mere seconds later she brought her hands back once again covering her breasts, or at least trying to.

"Don't you dare cover your breasts," Katzi snarled, only to smirk when the hands were immediately dropped. Katzi put her own hands on the breasts of her lover, kneading them softly. "Goddess baby, how I love your breasts. I love that they are so large that even my big hands don't cover them fully. You having fun baby?"

"The, the doors aren't locked; anyone can walk in."

"That's not what I asked. I asked if you are having fun," Katzi persisted as she continued to squeeze the soft flesh under her hands.

"Yessss," Pagsha could only moan when her nipples were caught between experienced fingers that knew to perfection exactly how much pressure to apply.

"You want me to fuck you baby?" Katzi asked, knowing that the 'yessss' had been the point of no return for her lover. "Or do you want me to stop?"

Pagsha looked back and up to the eyes of her lover and replied with a single emotion filled word, "Bitch."

Katzi laughed and captured her lover's lips for a quick kiss. "Now, now baby. Don't go calling me names. I might just get insulted and walk right out of this room."

"You are a bitch, and I can say it because I know that you won't leave. You like the taste of my pussy too much."

Katzi laughed again and lowered a hand into Pagsha's pants and further down to the body part in question. "You really like that word don't you? But you are right. You are mine, little one, and I'll be damned if I'm going to walk out of here before taking you. Taking you and tasting you."

Katzi placed her hand over Pagsha's hot flesh and slowly moved up and down a few times before removing her hand again and bringing it to her lover's mouth. "Lick."

Pagsha obeyed immediately and eagerly removed her own essence.

"Good girl. Now take off your pants."

"Baby, I don't know..."

"Take them off, or I'll rip them off," Katzi interrupted, making Pagsha's heartbeat increase even more with the forceful command.

Pagsha lifted herself a little out of the chair and pushed her pants and panties past her hips; letting them drop to the floor. She wanted to lean forward to remove them from around her feet, but she was interrupted by Katzi's voice.

"No, you leave that. I'll take care of that. You just lean back in that chair." Slowly Katzi moved around until she was standing in front of her lover. She smiled for a moment before bending down and removing Pagsha's shoes and then the pants, putting them aside with the rest of the uniform. She then moved back until she bumped into one of the chairs of the most forward work stations.

"Baby, people can come in here," Pagsha reminded again. As much as she loved what Katzi was doing, she did feel that her lover was taking time they might not have.

Katzi pursed her lips before relenting. "No they won't. I looked it up before we went out. This bridge is now considered finished and tested, but the Senior Staff will only start to serve next week. Until then nobody is scheduled to be in this room, do you really think that a Borg drone would come in here without a schedule?"

"But one of the Individualist drones..." Pagsha began while she squirmed a little under her lover's gaze. While her lover had obviously seen her naked before, there was simply something intimidating about being naked while your lover was still fully dressed.

"If one of the other Individualist drones comes in here they'll see you naked; deal with it. You are in a relationship with a Zamonan and we don't do the modest thing. Since I'm the one in control of our relationship I guess that means that you also don't do the modest thing, you got me?"

"Y... yes," Pagsha said shyly as she lowered her eyes.

"Hmm, you got a problem with that?" Katzi asked when she heard the hesitation.

"No," Pagsha said, still not raising her eyes.

Katzi tilted her head a little, wondering. "Are you okay with that?" She asked, now the dominant tone was completely gone, and Pagsha could hear the trace of concern in her voice.

Now she did raise her eyes before giving a hesitant but reassuring smile. "Yes, I am Kupiaxoc."

Katzi smiled at the endearment which was actually a word from Pagsha's language which basically translated to 'chosen dominant one.'

"Good, Sumisa," Katzi said, using a word from her own language as well, normally used to indicate a Zamonan that very deliberately left the decision making in the relationship to their partner. Not that this was a very common thing with the Zamonan, which was why a one worded description had formed over time that captured the whole, for most Zamonan, strange behavior.

"For a moment there I thought that we needed to have a little talk."

"Would you... would you really let someone look at me if someone were to walk in here?" Pagsha wondered.

"Lean back. There are bound to come times that you have to sit here through a boring shift where absolutely nothing happens, and when you tell me about that when you get home I want to picture you sitting in that chair as naked as you are now."

Katzi waited until her command was followed before honestly assuring. "Sure I would let them watch you. You are a gorgeous woman who has nothing to hide, and a lot to be proud of. As such you also bring pride to me. When people see you and drool, I can say 'yeah, and she's all mine.' Yes I would let them watch, and take pride in the fact that they want to watch what is mine. But rest assured, if they were to say one single disrespectful word, or act improperly... I would break their neck."

Now Pagsha smiled. "You would?" She asked as she slowly started to relax into the chair. She lifted herself for a moment to move her tail to the side so that she wouldn't sit on it, and started to blush a little when she realized that with that same movement she had acted as if wanting to present her chest to her lover.

"Sumisa, I already see those without you offering them to me," Katzi smirked, making her lover blush even more.

"I wasn't,"

"Of course you weren't," Interrupted Katzi in just the right way to make herself sound totally unconvinced.

Pagsha merely stuck her tongue out.

"Watch that; or I might have to punish you by you not being allowed to use that thing today."

"You are bluffing," Pagsha said confidently.

"You bet your ass I am," Katzi happily affirmed. "Like I would deprive myself of that talented tongue of yours. Now, spread your legs for me a little."

Pagsha did so, knowing that Katzi loved that sweet moment of 'revealing the hidden,' as she called it. Because Pagsha was sitting, her positioning and the chair hid most of her center while her dark blue pubic hair above her clit hid anything from a downward view. So even while Pagsha was slowly opening her legs, her center was still hidden from her lover's gaze.

"Is this enough?" Pagsha asked when her legs were little more than a hand width apart.

Katzi tried to swallow, but couldn't. At that moment there was no denying to either of them just who the one was that had the final control in their relationship. That was alright, Katzi figured, and that had been the deal from the start. Pagsha had the final word, but until they reached that point, Katzi was firmly in control. And at that moment, she figured that it was time to take back that control.

"No, that's not enough; spread them. Show me that little treasure of yours." The command was immediately followed with a, "Scoot forward until your ass is on the edge."

"My tail," Pagsha reminded.

"Scoot forward until your ass is comfortably on the edge," Katzi smoothly corrected.

Her lover did so, and moments later Katzi was once again looking at the view that she would never get enough of. Pagsha had wanted to have one of the doctors suppress her pubic hair growth, but to Katzi the dark blue pubic hair was an extreme turn-on; more so because the Zamonan didn't have pubic hair. So the compromise had been that Pagsha would have the hair grow suppressed, but leave a neat and modest bush of hair above her clit. Katzi had to admit that she loved the affect it gave when her lover spread her legs for her. She loved to see the blue hairs, and then right below it those open and wet lips, just begging for Katzi's touch.

"Mmhmm, how I love that view," Katzi said as she leaned back against the chair a little and crossed her arms. "In fact, I would just stand here and watch you for hours."

"Baby, please," Pagsha said, again squirming a little under the gaze, yet knowing only too well that her lover was making her wetter and wetter by her treatment.

"Please, what?"

"Please, I... need you."

"Not good enough. Try again, and in the meantime, show me your clit."

Pagsha slowly lowered her hand to her center.


She moved her hand faster and used her index and middle finger to pull the hood over her clit back a little to expose the little bundle of nerves that was rock hard for quite some time already. "Baby, I need you to make love to me."

"Still not good enough. Rub yourself slowly with your other hand." As her lover brought her second hand into play, Katzi added, "Only with one finger."

Pagsha slowly moved her middle finger over her aching clit, groaning in frustration because she knew she needed much more than that. Knowing what her lover was waiting for, Pagsha said in not much more than a pleading whisper, "Please, Kupiaxoc. I'm begging you. Please, please love me."

"Oh, but I already love you, Sumisa," Katzi said as she slowly came closer. "Say it. What do you want?"

"I want... would, would you do me the favor of kneeling here and licking me until I come?"

"That's a good little girl," Katzi said as she sank to her knees between her lover's legs. She placed a kiss on the fluff of hairs. "Ask me again," She asked with a smirk when she saw how her lover's whole center was twitching in anticipation.

"Please lick me."

Katzi extended her tongue and licked from the bottom up, raking her tongue over Pagsha's engorged clit for as long as she could, finally using the tip of her tongue to flick over the bundle in a playfully light way.

"Oh yeah," Pagsha groaned in an outdrawn way as she threw her head back. She gripped her lover's head and held it firmly in place as her lover started to move her tongue in earnest. Katzi allowed it, knowing that the time for teasing her Mate had passed.

Pagsha was so exited by the teasing that her lover had done that she knew that she wouldn't last long under Katzi's now suddenly ruthless attack. "Yes, yes, yes," She chanted as her clit was sucked and then captured between sharp teeth. Seconds later she was very pleasantly surprised when she suddenly felt two long fingers slip inside.

Katzi released the clit with a plop and started to stimulate it with her thumb as she moved up her lover's body and searched out one of Pagsha's nipples.

Pagsha was in heaven, but as much as she loved to feel her lover inside her, at the moment there was something she wanted to feel even more. "Tongue, please," She said with difficulty.

"That's right, you did so nicely beg me to lick you," Katzi agreed as she sank lower again. She placed a kiss on the clit before starting to swirl her tongue around it.

She had just started to focus on her task when she heard the very soft, but very unmistakable sound of a door opening. Her head shot up as she looked at the people that had just walked into the room.

"No don't stop," Pagsha said. She hadn't heard the door opening and thought that her partner we teasing her again. But as she looked down she saw her lover looking to the side with a very caught look on her face.

Looking to her side as well, Pagsha was horrified to see Seven and B'Elanna standing there, clearly just as surprised as Pagsha herself was. She could feel the blood rising to her face and she knew for sure that she had to be blushing all over her body.

For a long moment nobody moved or said a word. The thing Katzi noticed the most though was that Seven and B'Elanna hadn't left and in fact, B'Elanna was wetting her lips; clearly affected by what she saw. Then Katzi remembered a certain Zamonan party that she had attended, despite her broken jaw, and what she had seen at that party.

Seeing that her friends weren't leaving, Pagsha realized it was up to her to make the first move. She leaned forward, intending to stand up, but she was stopped by a commanding, "Did I tell you to move? Sit down and keep them spread; I'm not done with you yet."

Pagsha looked down in horror. Surely her lover hadn't just said what she thought she had said. She wanted to speak up but that thought quickly evaporated when she saw that Katzi was indeed getting closer again.

Katzi once again gave a long lick over her lover's center before sliding a single finger inside. As she slowly pumped in and out she looked back at Seven and B'Elanna and grinned before she gave them a wink.

Recognizing an invitation when she saw one, Seven looked at B'Elanna only to see that her lover was clearly enjoying what she saw. Seven connected to the Borg Hive for a moment and sent a command that the doors to the bridge had to be locked and that the bridge was off limits until further notice. She knew that since the bridge was not yet in official use, the Borg would not question this unimportant command from the Queen and instead simply follow it. Sometimes, Seven decided, it was indeed good to be the Queen.

"Told you I would let others see you," Katzi reminded. "You like being watched, don't you?" She then asked as she started to move her thumb over her lover's clit while never stopping the slow pumping motion with her middle finger.


"Now, now," Katzi said, not at all impressed by the negative answer. "They don't know the rules we play by. They might actually believe you when you say that." Then she repeated, "You like being watched, don't you?"

"Yesss," Pagsha moaned when a second finger slipped into her. "But only by people I feel comfortable with."

"Why don't you move over there, so that you can actually see something?" Katzi boldly suggested as she nodded to indicate the same spot where she herself had stood not so long ago.

With a grin, B'Elanna followed the suggestion. She was about to lean back against the chair but when Seven pushed against her shoulder softly, B'Elanna got the hint and moved forward enough so that the blonde could stand behind her.

In the meantime Katzi was once again fully concentrating on her lover. She figured that her lover had waited long enough and now Katzi was pumping her fingers in faster and moved her thumb over the hard clit as fast as she could.

Pagsha was panting now as she felt herself getting closer and closer to the edge. She had never even thought about having someone watch her in ecstasy. Then she had started her relationship with Katzi and Pagsha has quickly found that Katzi loved to see her masturbate. Sometimes they weren't even making love but simply sharing time in the quarters and Katzi would suddenly tell her to masturbate for her. Pagsha would then do so and all Katzi would do was watch until Pagsha came. Then Katzi would kiss her as a 'thank you' and go on with doing what she had been doing before.

And now Pagsha, who thought that she was as private as could be, was being watched by her friends while being made love to -and she loved every second of it.

"You are close, Sumisa, aren't you?" Katzi asked, knowing the answer only too well.


"What do you want to get you over? Harder or faster?"

"Yesss," Pagsha could only moan.

Katzi chuckled as she started to move in and out of her lover faster and with a little more force, making sure to brush her thumb over her lover's clit with every thrust. Within seconds she felt her lover's muscles clamping down in an uncontrolled pattern as Pagsha climaxed. Katzi slowed down and eventually removed her fingers. Then she leaned in and cleaned her lover's center with a couple of slow licks. As she looked up she saw that Pagsha was breathing heavily, but with a smile on her face. She also saw that those wonderful eyes were firmly closed. Katzi grinned. How she loved her lover's shyness. But she loved it even more to take her over that shyness.

"Stand up," She suddenly commanded and waited until a surprised Pagsha had gotten up and was standing beside the chair, not really knowing what to do. The still fully clothed Katzi sat down in the chair herself and for a moment Pagsha thought that her lover would demand to be taken care of, but she was proven wrong with the next command. "Sit on my lap."

Pagsha looked at her lover confused for a moment before slowly turning around and sitting down on Katzi's lap as if sitting down in the chair itself. Of course, to do so she had to straddle her lover's legs. The importance of this became clear to her mere moments later when she felt Katzi slowly open her own legs, in the process pushing Pagsha's legs aside and opening those as well.

"I think that our friends would enjoy a little bit more entertainment," Katzi said, slowly opening her legs more and more until Pagsha's legs were once again spread wide. "I was kinda obscuring the view before, so why don't you show them that sweet pussy of yours?"

Looking at their friends with a grin, Katzi added, "She really likes that word. She told me that you taught her that?"

"We did," Seven agreed, realizing what Katzi was doing. Though Katzi was clearly the one in control at the moment, by asking that simple question she got one of 'the watchers' to speak up and thereby show that they truly were a very willing part in what was going on. "Both B'Elanna and I like the way it sounds, which is convenient since it is used to indicate a body part we also like very much."

"Isn't she gorgeous?" Katzi asked before placing a kiss in her lover's neck. "I can watch her for hours. I love every curve of her body. To me, she is perfection; she's the most beautiful person I have ever met. But she thinks that I'm just being nice."

Katzi moved her hands up her lover's sides until she was cupping the two firm breasts. "Don't you?"

"Yes," Pagsha mumbled, feeling self-conscious while three clothed people were discussing her naked beauty.

"You're very attractive, and dare I say damn hot," B'Elanna assured. "If it wasn't for the fact that I'm hopelessly in love with my little Princess here, and also having a very wonderful relationship with her, I would have tried to get close to you a long time ago."

"Does seeing her like this affect you, beloved?" Seven asked, knowing the answer only too well.

"You mean, does it make me horny as hell, and badly in need of your attention? Hell yeah."

"Show them that sweet pussy of yours, Sumisa," Katzi said as she started to massage her lover's large breasts. "Go on, spread your lips, show them how wet you are."

Pagsha closed her eyes as she slowly used her left hand to spread her inner lips and offered her friends a view she had only ever given Katzi before.

"No, no, no, baby. Pretending that you don't know someone is watching is a whole different game. Open those eyes. Watch them watch you."

Again Pagsha did as she was told, and again silently thanking her Divine One for bringing such a perfect lover into her life. Katzi knew exactly how to treat her so that she was so aroused that she was ready to come again. This is what turned her on just as much as her lover's actual touch; that control that was unquestionable... for as long as Pagsha did indeed not question it. And seeing the look on the faces of her friends, Pagsha knew that she was as far as possible away from even suggesting to her lover to stop commanding her.

"Hold yourself open and rub your clit with the other hand," Katzi commanded as she captured both nipples between her fingers and started to roll them back and forth.

Pagsha groaned from the pleasure her lover was bringing her and then sighed as her right hand found her clit and started to move over it. She wanted to rub herself fast and hard to quickly reach her release. But as much as she needed that, she realized that her lover was right; she liked to be watched, and at that moment she needed that even more. She saw Seven whisper something in B'Elanna's ear and the Klingon immediately agreed with a quick nod of her head. Before Pagsha could wonder what that short conversation could have been about, she got her answer.

She saw Seven slip her hand into B'Elanna's pants and then start to move it up and down between her legs. Pagsha moaned at the sight and had to stop stimulating herself for a moment to prevent coming just from the knowledge that this was all because of her. Watching her made B'Elanna so hot that she needed to be touched.

Biting her lip for a moment in hesitation, Pagsha looked up and behind her to do some whispering of her own, knowing that her lover would hear her. In the mean time she never stopped rubbing her center though.

"Ask them," Katzi suggested with a smirk, never letting up on the sweet treatment she was giving Pagsha's aching nipples and breasts. "Go on," She then urged when her lover didn't speak up immediately.

"I... I want to see," Pagsha said hesitantly, making both Katzi and B'Elanna moan at the same time from the sweet hesitant tone in her voice. Hearing the combined moan, Pagsha realized that her shyness could work very much in her favor, and vowed from then on that at least as far as sex was concerned she would never lose her shyness, no matter how much work she had to put into remembering to be shy.

Seven smiled at the request before pulling her hand out of her lover's pants and then bringing both hands to the edge of the pants so that she could push them down. "That is a very reasonable request, do you not agree, B'Elanna?"

"Absolutely," B'Elanna agreed as her pants and panties pooled around her feet. She moved her feet as far apart as her pants would allow to give her lover more access and smirked when she saw Pagsha swallow. "Guess you can tell; I'm not shy at all. I just have some rules, but don't worry; I'll tell those later." Then she indicated Pagsha's moving hand with a nod. "You're very slow."

"If I rub faster I will come," Pagsha admitted. She saw Seven's hand once again go to B'Elanna's center, but this time she could see how Seven moved her whole hand over the Klingon's sex; sometimes slipping a finger between the lips while using the base of her hand to apply pressure to her the clit.

"I would really like to see you come," B'Elanna admitted, before adding, "Again. Your face is so filled with bliss right after... it's beautiful."

Suddenly Seven give a playful pinch to B'Elanna's clit. "She already knows that you like what you see. Do not praise her too much or I might get jealous."

"You just want me to make it up to you, so hush."

"Go on," Katzi urged. "Now that they have an un-obscured view of your pussy, let them see how you twitch when you come. Rub faster."

"Yes, Kupiaxoc," Pagsha said as she did as she was told; her eyes never leaving the hand between B'Elanna's legs. Mere seconds later she spoke up again, "I'm coming... now."

By now she was rubbing herself so fast that her fingers seemed like a blur. Then, as she sent herself over, she shook uncontrollably as muscles contracted and released with a will of their own. "Don't stop," She said with difficulty as she saw Seven slow her movement between B'Elanna's legs. "I want to see her come."

B'Elanna grinned at the comment, even as she felt Seven start to move faster again. "For someone so submissive she can be damn bossy."

Katzi grinned as well. "That's why we get along so well; we have our relationship worked out to perfection. I'm in undisputed control of our relationship... until she wants to be the boss."

Having come down from her peak, Pagsha got up and pulled at her lover's hand, asking her to get up as well by doing so. Once Katzi was standing, Pagsha asked shyly, "Would you do me the pleasure of bending forward a little?"

Having a pretty good feeling that she knew what her lover wanted, Katzi moved to the side of the chair and rested her hands on the arm rest, making herself bent forward in a 45 degree angle. Moving to Katzi's side so that she had a direct view of Seven and B'Elanna, Pagsha placed her hand on her lover's leather-covered ass.

That was one of the two reasons why Pagsha loved to see Katzi in her Zamonan leathers. First, Katzi simply looked incredibly imposing in the Zamonan clothing that was, from tradition, cut to enhance muscles and show off a warrior's strong physique. And second, even though Katzi was decently clothed, all that Pagsha had to do was slip her hand under the leather skirt and she was touching Katzi's heated flesh since the Zamonan didn't believe in underwear.

"Kupiaxoc?" Pagsha asked as she moved her hand over a muscled ass cheek and then lower until the hand covered her lover's wet center.

"Surprise me."

Pagsha liked that answer since it meant that Katzi was in the mood for pretty much anything and Pagsha could do whatever she wanted.

"Yes, Kupiaxoc," Pagsha said before suddenly pushing three fingers as far as she could inside the wet center.

Katzi actually screamed at the rough invasion. When she felt her lover still in reaction she assured; "Nice surprise Sumisa. Go on, now finish it."

In reaction, Pagsha pulled back and pushed the three fingers back in, while her eyes were firmly glued on B'Elanna, and what Seven was doing to her. Sensing her lover's needs, Pagsha started to twist her hand slightly with every thrust; corkscrewing in and out in a rough and hard pattern. Katzi braced herself against the armrest and put her legs a little further apart as she watched how Seven's hand was picking up some speed.

As she noticed her lover spreading her legs a little further, Pagsha wondered how far her lover would allow her to go. She added her pinky to the three fingers that had been moving in and out of Katzi's wet center and when the only clear reaction was a satisfied groan, Pagsha decided that today was the day.

She continued her rhythm of pushing in forcefully, twisting her fingers, and then pulling back out until the finger tips. But now she started to open her fingers as she pulled out, spreading her lover more and more and loosening those muscles that Pagsha couldn't see but loved even more than the muscles she could actually see on that perfect body.

Seven slowed her hand movement as her focus was pulled to Katzi's shaking body. With every thrust Pagsha delivered, Katzi moved forward a little as the fingers were pushed in as far as they could go. Seven could remember taking B'Elanna like that when the Klingon wanted some rough loving, she knew how it felt to be so deep inside her lover that the warm wetness actually covered most of the hand and the tightness actually pushed the hand into a perfect cone.

She also loved to see the changed look on Katzi's face. The woman was normally so self-assured and frankly quite imitating with her 1.9 meter tall, broad shouldered, and very muscled frame... that was until you got to know her better and discovered that she was the best kind of friend a person could wish for.

And now this tough woman was panting and groaning, and totally at her lover's mercy. Her mouth was hanging open and it was with clear trouble that she even managed to keep her eyes open to see what her friends were doing.

Pagsha noticed that her lover had gotten used to the four fingers moving in and out of her. She smiled at Seven and B'Elanna, trying to let them know that something interesting was coming. She pulled out once more and this time folded her thumb into the cone of her hand and pushed all of her hand in without a single warning.

Katzi threw her head back and left out a loud moan at the rough entry. Never before had anyone entered her so fully, so deeply, with something that was actually a part of her body. Pagsha stilled her hand and folded her second hand around her lover's body and mover her fingers over her lover's clit. As she did so she saw Seven switch position, and when she saw why Seven had moved, Pagsha once again got a sexual high from knowing how she was controlling the situation without actually seeming to be the one in change.

Seeing the forceful push, and realizing from Katzi's loud moan what had happened, Seven figured that it was time for a little change with her and B'Elanna as well. Until now she had been using her right hand to stimulate the Klingon, but now she sank to one knee, brought her left hand between her lover's legs and pushed two fingers inside her wet center from behind.

Pagsha slowly started to move her hand but quickly realized that if she did so, she couldn't use her other hand to stimulate her lover's clit as well. She saw how Seven started to move her fingers in and out, and especially how B'Elanna started to shake a little from the pleasure of feeling the metal ridges on the fingers sliding in and out. Pagsha decided that in and out was good and her lover simply had to get her pleasure from that.

She pulled her hand back slightly, feeling in amazement Katzi's outer ring of vaginal muscles resisting her pull as if they wanted to stop her from pulling out all the way. Even though Pagsha had decided that today would be the day that she would live out her silent fantasy of fisting her partner, of bringing the huge woman down to the mercy of a single hand, Pagsha has actually no idea of what to do next. It had been a fantasy, and not something she had actually researched. Having no idea of something as basic as just how deep she could move, Pagsha decided to focus more on impression than penetration.

She moved her hand back in just enough to take the pressure off the outer vaginal walls before pulling back with a sharp pull that once again brought the hand so far back that her last thumb knuckle was about to slip past the ring of muscles. She slowly moved back in, only to pull back sharply again.

Pagsha saw how B'Elanna shook even more and suddenly lowered her hand to grip Seven's in order to stop her fingers. Clearly the Klingon had just reached her orgasm. But Pagsha was nowhere near stopping. She set up a rhythm of moving back and forth with force, but only for a centimeter or so.

After a minute of this she slowly felt her lover loosen up a little and the grunts had turned into moans. "You like this, don't you?" Pagsha asked as she put her second hand on her lover's rear and started to move it over the muscled globes.

"Y... Yesss... I... yes," Katzi could only agree between pushes.

"Hmm, but such a big woman like you, surely you want more, don't you, Kupiaxoc?" Pagsha asked, suddenly treating one of Katzi's ass cheeks to a hard slap.

Katzi looked over her shoulder and caught her lover's eyes for a moment. After a moment of silence she very deliberately said, "I want whatever you want to give me, Kupiaxoc."

Pagsha's heart skipped a beat when she heard how her lover addressed her. Never before had Katzi put herself in such a submissive position. "Then, Sumisa, eyes front and center, and prepare for what I'll give you."

As Katzi did as she was told, Pagsha stopped the movement of her hand inside her lover and slowly started to fold her fingers; making sure to do so carefully as to not scratch her lover with her nails.

Katzi's eyes actually rolled upward when she felt how her lover was forming a fist inside her. When the fist was formed, Katzi managed to look at B'Elanna and Seven again; seeing that the blonde had removed her fingers and was now rubbing her lover slowly, just enough to satisfy the Klingon's need to be touched.

Pagsha figured that now that her fingers were folded into a fist, she should have more room without having to worry about going too deep and slowly she started to move back and forth five centimeters. When she had the penetration she wanted she once again started to add more and more force to her strokes until Katzi had had to brace herself once more to prevent herself from being pushed forward.

Katzi let out a loud grunt with every push, she knew it only too well. But the woman that normally liked to have control didn't care at all; the only thing that she cared about was the hand inside her that was fucking her in a way she had literally never been fucked before.

Figuring that her partner was now ready for that last little bit, Pagsha started to rotate her fist as she moved back and forth. Suddenly Katzi screamed and Pagsha stopped, fearing that she had hurt her lover.

"No, no, don't stop!" Katzi begged as she moved her body to get penetration again. "Please, exactly like you just did; you hit one of my spots."

With a smile Pagsha did as asked. Katzi had told her that Zamonan had several pleasure sports located inside the vagina, comparable to the g-sport in humans, but much harder to find. Until that day they had not managed to do so, but now that had changed. And the best part was, now Pagsha knew where to search for it. It promised a fun hunt for when they were in the mood for some playful loving. Pagsha twisted her hand again and again but it took several times until she hit 'the spot' again. But once she had, she made sure that one of her knuckles moved over it with every stroke.

"I'm gonna come," Katzi suddenly warned just before her muscles started to contract. Logic told Pagsha that she had to still her hand and leave it inside her lover as Katzi shook all over from one of the strongest orgasms she could ever remember. Seeing that one hand was out of commission for the moment, Pagsha brought her second hand to her lover's clit and rubbed it softly to help bring her lover down from her peak. To bring her lover down even more, Pagsha stopped stimulating her center and instead started to place soft kisses on her lover's broad back.

"Okay," Katzi finally merely said, but Pagsha understood and slowly unfolded her fingers before making her hand as small as possible and slowly pulling out. Finally a still slightly panting Katzi turned around and leaned her butt against the armrest she had been holding onto for dear life not long before. She looked at Pagsha who immediately sank to her knees in front of the tall woman.

"Thank you for allowing me to live out one of my fantasies, Kupiaxoc."

With a loving smile, Katzi caressed one of her lover's cheeks. "And thank you for letting me experience something I have never felt before."

"I wasn't too rough?" Pagsha asked slightly concerned. Now that the sexual situation was over, her shyness started to assert itself again.

"Let me just say that I don't think that this was the last time you live out that particular fantasy, Sumisa. But, it's something that should stay special so only on special occasions, like... when is your birthday again?"

"In two months," Pagsha said, knowing that her lover knew this only too well.

Then Katzi slowly folded one hand into a fist and looked at it for a moment before adding, "Of course, turnaround is fair. You had your fist in me, so..."

Pagsha looked at the fist in front of her with eyes full of horror. Her lover was a tall woman, with big hands. Pagsha loved that fact, and the fact that with two of Katzi's fingers Pagsha felt very pleasantly full. Now though, the fist suddenly looked as big as a standard Borg cube to Pagsha.

Katzi had to laugh when she saw the horrified look. "Don't worry, Sumisa, I'm only kidding. You are smaller than me so your hand in me was fun, but my bigger hand in your smaller body would definitely not be fun. I'm thinking more about a toy about 'this' big and 'this' long."

Seeing the indications Katzi had given with her hands when she had said the two 'this' Pagsha realized that it would be bigger than two of Katzi's fingers, but definitely nowhere near the size of her full hand. "That sounds a lot more pleasurable. You have something in mind since you know the dimensions?"

"I do," Katzi said as she helped Pagsha to her feet. "A little toy I brought with me from my Homeworld." She then turned to the two other people in the room, noticing that B'Elanna had pulled her pants back up. "So."


Chapter 33

"So," B'Elanna repeated.

"That was certainly not planned, but I won't say I'm sorry," Katzi stated.

B'Elanna laughed. "Well, that's one of the things that makes having sex in interesting places so hot; there's always the chance that someone walks in on you, like Seven and I did now."

"True, but most would certainly not have stayed, and on top of that also had sex so that Pagsha and I could see it as well. But as much fun as this was, I hope that my Little One will not be teased with this."

There had been a warning tone in Katzi's voice that was so clear to understand that Seven lifted an eyebrow in surprise. B'Elanna on the other hand merely shook her head. "I'm sorry, but not teasing her would be a waste of a perfect opportunity. After all, friends like to tease each other. The important part is that the teasing is done in fun and never moves into the uncomfortable."

Katzi looked at her lover, who nodded her head just a fraction to indicate that she agreed. "Their teasing has made me blush several times, but has never made me feel uncomfortable."

"Alright," Katzi agreed. "Well, if you excuse us. My little One has to go wash her hands, for obvious reasons, and I have to clean up as well; also for obvious reasons. So we'll be heading to my quarters now."

"One moment," B'Elanna said before activating her personal Borg link with Seven. A quick question and answer later, B'Elanna spoke up again. "Well, there's another option."

"Which is?" Katzi asked.

"You could use the bathroom in our quarters to clean up," Seven suggested. "And afterwards, if you are interested, you can stay and watch how B'Elanna fucks me with our toy. I do not know if you noticed, but I am the only one here that has not... yet... had a sexual release."

"Would that be the same toy that Fawza had for sale for years and then sold to you for an outrageously high amount and then boasted about it for a month?" Katzi asked.

"That would be the one," B'Elanna agreed amused.

"What about it?" Katzi asked, looking at her lover. "You want to go with them? Your choice, little one. What happened here today was an accident, fun, but still an accident; something that happens only once. But I have a feeling that if we go with them now, that it will be the beginning of something regular."

"We like to watch, and be watched," B'Elanna explained. "But we don't want any complications from it. A fun remark here or there, sure. A reference that actually has a bearing in another private conversation, sure. But all in all we don't want it discussed or mentioned when we're not having our fun."

"I was rather forceful and in control today," Pagsha said, her eyes lowered. "But normally I like to give all the control to Katzi. You, you wouldn't mind me being how I normally prefer to be; under Katzi's total control?"

"We would not mind at all," Seven assured. "After all, we know only too well that it is what you want. And not to forget, we did learn today who has the final word in your relationship."

"Then I wouldn't mind coming along," Pagsha assured.

Katzi placed a kiss on her lover's head. "Good choice little one. And when we have watched them, we are going to show them how we make love most of the time. Slow, tender, and very lovingly."

"Good idea, I think we'll do the same then," B'Elanna agreed. "In fact, if you're like us and like to take a nap afterwards, why don't you stay the night? Don't worry, both Seven and I are into watching only; no sharing."

"No sharing," Pagsha and Katzi agreed at the same time.

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 07, Day 01, Hour 20, Minute 11.

Katzi was bored. Not that she was about to admit that any time soon though. She liked the company, so she suffered the boredom. Liked? No, some of the company she even loved.

She, Pagsha, Seven, and B'Elanna were in the Royal holodeck where at the moment B'Elanna was facing down some holographic opponents in a training session.

Love. Katzi looked to her side where her lover sat. Shiny dark blue hair that felt, and sometimes even looked like the softest silk, reached halfway down that beautiful back. Katzi loved to see Pagsha move her hair. It always looked so... hot. How she would shake her head a little to get hairs out of her eyes. Or how she would shake her head with more of a snap so that the hair would be thrown over a shoulder. Or how it would frame that sweet and innocent looking face when the Ghdibrian was on top and looked down at her. How...

Katzi snorted. Lover's feelings. Even if Pagsha would have had two heads and four breasts, Katzi would have thought that the blue haired woman was perfect. And talking about breasts, those perfect breasts, how...

Now Katzi grinned as she indulged in some wonderful memories. Then she mused on. Who would have thought that she would one day think like that? That she, the person that for some time literally did have a list to write down her conquests, would willingly be brought down to her knees by love. She had done that several times already. She, Katzi, one of the best, if not even the best, warrior of her village, had literally kneeled in front of this wonderful person she was privileged to call her Mate. Oh, it had been in situations where there was some reason, where it fitted. But still, she had kneeled, she had surrendered, she had willingly given herself to someone else.

Life, was good.

She looked at B'Elanna and Seven, two people that were quickly becoming friends of her. No, they were already friends, but they were quickly becoming people that deserved the honor of being called 'best friends.' Katzi was very selective with that title.

Seven, Katzi knew, had once trained with B'Elanna, but had stopped for the time being because she didn't want to endanger the child she was carrying. Katzi's eyes drifted to the Queen's tummy. With her being three and a half months pregnant the baby was starting to show. But if you didn't actually know that the blonde was pregnant you also wouldn't see that she was pregnant. You might say that she had put on some weight, if you wanted to say it politely. And even there it wasn't like Seven had suddenly started to look overweight. It was just that it had been a month now since Katzi had seen the blonde for the first time on Zamona, and it was only because of this that she knew that the blonde's tummy had gotten a little bigger.

Katzi smirked. In fact, after B'Elanna and Seven had walked in on Pagsha and Katzi making love a week ago, they had shared a second night in which they indulged in the pleasure of watching and being watched. So Katzi had first hand... well, first look... knowledge of the fact that Seven still had a damn hot body.

Katzi wondered if her view on this would change; she was looking forward to finding out. She had known several pregnant women on Zamona, two she had even called friends. She knew that there was something interesting going on there. As they became bigger and bigger, their Mates continued to say that they looked wonderful, sexy, incredible. While everyone else just saw a fat woman waddling about. Well, Katzi had at any rate. She knew that the Mates of these pregnant women had been sincere in what they saw and Katzi had attributed it to love. If you didn't know the pregnant person, she was fat. If you did know her, and especially if she was pregnant with your child, she was the most beautiful thing you had ever seen.

So now Katzi was wondering what she would think of Seven. Seven was not her Mate, but she was a friend. Katzi didn't have sex with the blonde, but she had watched her having sex twice already. She also had a distinct feeling that there were more times to come. So... was Seven going to become fat to her, or was Seven going to look sexy to her despite being twice as big as she was now?

She grinned. It would be fun to find out. Besides, it would also be fun to be this close for once. To not just be a friend that comes for a visit, to not just be someone to say 'hi' in passing. No, to see a pregnancy develop from day to day and then see the baby grow up...

Which would mean staying longer with the Borg than just a year, she suddenly realized. Was she truly thinking of that? She had just joined; she hadn't planned to stay a day longer than that year. But then, she also hadn't planned to get the dream job of becoming a Royal Guard to the Borg Queen. She also hadn't planned to fall in love with a blue haired woman with a tail. A woman that would most certainly want to stay with the Borg instead of going to Zamona.

Now Katzi licked her lips and groaned.

"What?" Pagsha asked softly as she leaned closer to her lover.

"Nothing really," Katzi assured. Then she explained. "I was just thinking about some of the changes in my life and one of the things I thought was that I also sure didn't plan on falling in love with this sexy nymph. That in turn led me to remember that this little nymph of mine also has a very talented tail that she knows how to use extremely well."

Pagsha smiled shyly. "You inspire me."

She glanced at Seven who was sitting a little away and then at the still fighting B'Elanna. Then she whispered so soft that she knew Seven wouldn't be able to hear her, "Do you think we should show them?"

Knowing only too well what her lover meant, Katzi placed a kiss on her head, "That's your, and only your, decision to make. I'm fine with it either way. I wouldn't mind if they see it, and I also wouldn't mind if we keep that part as something special and private just for us."

"I... I'm afraid of what they might think."

"Why?" Katzi reasoned. "Do you think that they will find it weird that we make use of the fact that you happen to have a very nicely shaped appendage, of which I like the size width wise and that sure can reach deeper than fingers can? Frankly, I think that they'd be more surprised to find out that we didn't do that. Or for that matter that they would also not be surprised to find out that you sometimes also use your tail to fuck yourself if I demand a show from you. I mean, what's the difference between you pushing your fingers in, or you pushing the latex covered tip of your tail in?"

Katzi winked before adding. "I really like that by the way. I mean, yeah, it's to cover that fluff of hair you have on the tip of your tail. But I like it because the covered hairs result in there being this soft bulb before the part where you have no hairs. It... adds to the sensation."

"So you told me. And of course I know, but," Pagsha stopped when suddenly a body came to rest at their feet. It was one of B'Elanna's holographic opponents who had been treated to a bat'leth in the gut, and had then been booted out of they way.

"Ewww, tell me again why I enjoy seeing people train?" Pagsha asked with a wince.

"Because you like to see muscles move," Katzi dutifully reminded. Then she saw something on the body and placed a foot on a shoulder. It was enough for the holodeck computer to know that the dead body was still part of the scene in some way and therefore it didn't dissolve the body.

Katzi bent down and pulled a weapon out of a sheath that was attached to a belt around the hologram's waist.

"A machete," Pagsha noted.

"A nicely shaped machete," Katzi corrected. "Hmm. I like the way it looks. The ones we have on Zamona are basically just a straight piece of steel that is sharp on one side and only have a little curve to the tip so that you can also use it as a fine tool if need be."

Katzi turned the blade around and studied it from several angles. "I like how with this one the back is only straight for halfway down the blade before curving down and then going straight again; making the blade width one third smaller there. And then the nice S shaped flow of the curve at the cutting side. This would actually make a pretty good short sword. Well, not a standard shape for a short sword, but I like it."

"On our planet the machete had the nickname of being 'a poor man's sword'." Pagsha noted. "So it's not uncommon for it to be seen as more than just a cutting tool. There were many small boarder wars that were fought with nothing else really; the kinds of wars where towns went against towns instead of countries doing the warring and bringing in the big guns, so to speak."

"Interesting." Katzi held the machete against her leg. "Good size too. The point ending exactly beside my knee and the grip ending exactly at my hip. It wouldn't even limit my movement. I could wear one on either side."

"You could," Pagsha agreed before asking, "But why?"

"Because I had most of my training with my sword. The sword is just fine if you're living in the woods. But as guard to the Borg Queen I'll be in confined spaces. Rooms, corridors; places where there's not enough room to use my sword freely. Short swords, or these machete would do nicely then."

"Well, yes," Pagsha agreed. "But I say again, why? You are Borg. You have a beam weapon built into your arm and you have thousands of weapons to choose from to take along besides that. So why bother with a machete?"

Katzi thought about that for a moment and sighed. "I guess you're right. It's probably my new training shining through. You know; trying to see as many weapons as possible around me. And if I then see such a fine blade, well." She shrugged.

Pagsha took the black bladed machete and felt the edge; it was sharp enough to give her a little cut just from the experimental touch. She frowned and showed the small cut to Katzi.

"Has B'Elanna the safeties set low again?"

"For her they are set to level three," Katzi agreed as she looked how the cut stopped bleeding. There definitely was something to be said for nanoprobes. "For the rest of us they are set to level five, so that's about the most you could get hurt."

Katzi took the blade back and pushed her thumb firmly against the edge before adding, "Good thing too because this blade is so sharp that it would probably have cut you three times as deep for real. Ooh, I do like this baby."

Pagsha smiled. "Then why don't you get a few for real? If nothing more than to train with. You know how I like to see you train. And it'll be fun to see you try something new."

"Oh, yes, it's always fun when we try something new," Katzi drawled.

Pagsha blushed in response. Then she admitted shyly, "I think I'd like for them to see us when I use my tail. After all, they didn't act disgusted when I put my hand in you."

"When you fisted me in front of them in the middle of the bridge," Katzi corrected with a wink. "Neh, I think they won't object to seeing that at all. I have a feeling that this is one of the reasons why I can see this watching thing between us going on for a looong time. Just like us, they simply enjoy what feels right and don't let themselves be held back by things like someone somewhere once deciding that it's something wrong. After all, if you were to listen to that then you are condemning yourself straight to hell every time you make love to me. I mean, you just thinking about having sex with another woman already got you a death sentence, let alone actually doing it. Fuck what others think, as long as we are having fun doing what we like doing."

"Ooh, I love it when you talk tough like that," Pagsha said as she kissed Katzi's shoulder.

"And I have a feeling that our friends would love to see us make love tonight. How about it, my Little One?"

Pagsha hesitated before nodding.

"For real because you want to?" Katzi asked to clarify. Sometimes being a very clear and dominant leader in a relationship could lead to your Mate doing things for you that she didn't really want to do. Katzi didn't want that, not with Pagsha at least.

"For real," Pagsha assured.

"Good. Besides, I think that the only thing that'll happen is that they'll be jealous."

"Jealous?" Pagsha asked surprised.

"Yes," Katzi assured before explaining. "They need toys to be able to do what you can do. And on top of that, you feel what you are doing. Alright, so it's not a sensitive organ, but you still feel me gripping you, still feel my warmth. And that's you. No toy, nothing fake; all real and all you."

"Will you invite them for tonight once we are done here?" Pagsha asked.

"Sure I'll ask, my shy one," Katzi assured with an indulgent smile. "But since we'll be here for a few hours yet, let's concentrate on what our friends are doing."

A few minutes later, B'Elanna finally took out the last of the opponents and looked at Seven expectantly.

Seven connected with the computer for a moment before saying, "You have a score of seventy-three out of a possible hundred."

It seemed to satisfy B'Elanna. "Not bad."

Then she looked at Katzi. It had been the first time that the Zamonan was present during a bat'leth training. "So, what do you think?"

"It looks impressive," Katzi admitted.

B'Elanna frowned. "Come on, we're amongst friends here. Feel free to say what you're thinking. I get the feeling that you're holding something back."

"It really does look impressive," Katzi assured. "But if you really want to know; that's the point. It looks impressive but doesn't do much. I don't think that it's the kind of training you should be taking."

Then she hesitated. "Well, that's not quite right. You have a very lean body and for that this fighting is very effective training that keeps you looking like that. But personally, it's the wrong training."

"I don't think I really follow on the personally wrong part," B'Elanna admitted.

"Well," Katzi said hesitantly, "You are Princess of the Borg Collective. You don't need to know some impressive fighting style that keeps you from being hurt by an enemy for five minutes in a row; you need a fighting style that takes out that enemy within five seconds. The longer a fight lasts, the more chances there are for mistakes. Every block, every thrust, every parry, is a potential for you to die. As one of my trainers once told me, 'there are only two kinds of fighters; the quick and the dead.' This fight should have been over within a minute, not have lasted twenty. Unless, as I said, you were actually using it for physical training and not as a way to know how to defend yourself if needed."

"Well, I actually do use it to keep my body in form," B'Elanna admitted. "It's more entertaining than doing some other boring training. But I can see your point about time in a fight. Do you think it could have ended much faster?"

Katzi hesitated for a moment before saying, "Under ten seconds, from the moment you started it."

Now B'Elanna grinned. "I don't want to put you on the spot here, but care to put your money where your mouth is?"

"With us that means if I dare to bet on what I just said," Katzi noted. "Bet for what?"

"Um," B'Elanna thought about what to say next. She was surprised that Katzi was even taking her up on the bet.

"How about the winner can decide what program we will run in the next hour?" Seven suggested.

"Sounds good to me," B'Elanna agreed.

Katzi nodded and connected with the Hive for a moment. A few seconds later a sword sparkled into existence in her hand. She took it out of the sheath and swirled it around a couple of times to get a feel for the balance.

"A reproduction of a Zamonan war sword," She explained when she saw the others looking at it. "Not mine though. My sword is in my quarters."

"I saw something like this when I was on earth in the Academy. They had something similar in the weapon's display. It was called a Katana and was used in a country called Japan by a warrior class. It's generally considered to be the best sword design ever created on Earth; the perfect balance between all that a sword should be."

"That would explain why we came up with it as well," Katzi noted as she looked at the blade. "Because it is that, and much more. Two different kinds of metal; the core from soft steel to be able to flex and bend so that it doesn't break, and the outside from extremely hard steel that can often cut through other metal without even leaving a mark. The perfect mix between strong, flexible, and sharp. A curve that's best suited for both hacking and slashing, yet it's still straight enough to be used for stabbing. It can truly cut through a body... vertically. This holographic one is not bad and will do for now."

"Do you want your own?" Pagsha asked. "I can go get it; it's not that far."

"No need, my Little One. This one will probably be better than my own one. I was still saving to buy me a good quality sword. Mine is basically only one step up from a training sword."

"Still saving? Are they that expensive?" B'Elanna asked while asking with a hand gesture if she could take the sword.

Katzi handed the sword to the Klingon and spent a few seconds to explain how to hold it. Then she answered the question. "Expensive? That depends on how much you can pay basically. A cheap training sword costs you about fifty Koli. But those are just a strip of metal that's been hammered and sharpened into shape; not folded at all."

"Folded?" B'Elanna interrupted as she gave the sword a few practice swings of the kind she had seen Katzi make; it was harder to do than it looked.

"Ah, yes, the outer layer is more than just hard steel. It's actually several layers of steel of different hardness that have been stacked and then hammered into one piece of steel. Then on top of that this piece of steel is folded over and hammered back into one piece, then folded again, and so on. With the result that you get hundreds of microscopically thin layers of steel; harder, softer, harder, softer, and so on, but still all harder than the relatively softer metal of the core. This folding takes a lot of work of course since it's done by hand... well, hammer."

Katzi took the sword back as she continued to explain. "The more folds, the more expensive a sword becomes. Mine cost me two hundred Koli, and it was folded five times. Doesn't sound like many folds, but you have to keep in mind that the fact that it is folded 'only' five times, does mean that it actually exists out of different metal with there being a softer core as well and not just one strip of metal that is formed to look pretty. There are swords that are folded so often that they have up to six thousand layers, and I know of at least one sword that cost over 40,000 Koli."

"Ouch, I'd call that expensive alright," B'Elanna agreed, remembering from her time on Zamona what the value of a Koli was. She watched how Katzi slung the sword over her shoulder and waited until it was adjusted into the right position on the Zamonan's back.

"Alright, let's see how good you are." B'Elanna looked at Seven and asked, "Seven, could you please?"

Seven nodded and activated the ten opponents once more. "The time starts from the first attack," Seven explained as the enemies started to circle the Zamonan.

"You might want to take the sword out," B'Elanna said amused.

"A drawn sword makes you a target," Katzi explained. "But a sword in its sheath makes you an unknown factor that 'might' be an enemy."

Then the holographic enemies attacked, some swinging their own versions of swords wildly.

It happened so fast that B'Elanna could only truly 'see' what happened by calling on her memory.

Katzi had reached a hand over her shoulder, brought her sword to waist level and then turned in a circle with her sword extended. It was only when thinking back that B'Elanna could remember the sword actually touching people during its trajectory.

"Time," The Zamonan said, not moving, her sword still in the position where she had stopped it. The only real movement from her was from her darting eyes that were going from one body to the next. Of course, there was plenty of movement from the holographic enemies that were lying on the floor.

"2.3 seconds," Seven spoke up.

"Hey, they're still alive," B'Elanna noted.

"You never said that I had to kill them," Katzi countered. "Killing them is not the point; neutralizing them is. They are dying, but might live if they get medical help soon... if they were actually alive that is. But the most important part is that I am no longer surrounded and can move and bring myself to safety."

Katzi finally put the sword away. "Besides, we were trained to hurt, not kill. Not because we have to preserve life, but because of the result. If you have fifteen enemies and we kill five, we still have ten enemies that can come after us. But if we hurt five people to the point where they need help, we take out all fifteen. Five hurt, and two per person to carry them away. And let's not forget; you can't ask dead people questions like who ordered the attack."

"The computer gave you a score of five out of a possible hundred," Seven noted amused. "However, the important part to note here is that as you can see by the enemies still being here; I did not end the scenario, the computer did. I merely checked the time. The computer has decided that the fight is over since the enemies are not capable of fighting anymore."

"So, I get a mere five for how pretty I fought, but I get a score of ninety-five for effectiveness," Katzi deducted.

"It's always interesting to see Katzi train," Pagsha spoke up. When three sets of eyebrows rose at the words she blushed and added, "Besides for that reason. A fight hardly ever lasts longer than ten seconds, with the exception of the times where she deliberately goes on for stamina training just in case a fight ever does last longer. She fights, wins, fights, wins, and so on."

Katzi took a last look at the sword before connecting to the computer and making it, and the enemies disappear. "Too bad that I won't be able to use it anymore, other than practice though. With all the weapons the Borg have there's not much use for a sword."

"Actually, I'm not so sure about that," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "There might actually be some good reasons for you, as Royal Guard, to carry a sword around."

Katzi's eyes lit up at the suggestion, but the obvious question came from Seven.

"There is?"

"Sure. Now, let's ignore the weapons the Guards have in their arms because people don't know about those. Having a visible beam or projectile weapon with you sends a message of mistrust, even if the people carrying that weapon are guards. But swords are a different matter. Swords, or other bladed weapons, are often seen as dignified and/or part of a uniform. I mean, can you picture a Klingon walking around without at the very least one knife with them?"

"A valid point," Seven agreed. "In fact, a Klingon treats you with more respect if you have a weapon than if you do not."

B'Elanna nodded. "An old Klingon saying states; 'only babies don't know how to hold a knife'. Oh, that right there is another place where the Guards having swords or knives will benefit. There are a lot of species that will actually feel more comfortable if both sides have some basic weapons with them. And not to forget, if the guards are apparently only armed with swords and knives, then a lot of people will actually dismiss them as being ceremonial window-dressing and vastly underestimate them."

"Well, if we are going on the 'weapons are good' mentality, then I have one more for you," Pagsha said amused. "How about the symbolic angle? If the guards have swords with them they can hand them over at the beginning of negotiations to show good faith. Everyone knows that you still have a starship up there that can blast their entire planet to dust, but, hey, the guards did give up their swords."

"Somewhere in that mockery there was actually an interesting point," Seven said as she lifted an eyebrow and looked at her blue haired friend.

Pagsha smiled. "Sorry; couldn't resist. But you know it's true. You have Unimatrix 01 hanging above their head, but they will see it as a sign of good faith if the guards hand over their visible weapons."

B'Elanna nodded once more. "So, how about this, tree trunk? I,"

"Listen, you may be Princess of the Borg Collective," Katzi interrupted hotly, "but if you insist on calling me tree trunk more than this one time, I'll be forced to find an equally complementary nickname for you."

"Don't like it?" B'Elanna grinned.

Katzi merely growled. Not like B'Elanna sometimes did, but more of a low throaty rumble that got the message across only too well.

B'Elanna lifted her hands a little. "Alright, alright. Don't worry, I'm just kidding. So let me get back to your sword. How about in some situations we tell you that you can take it along, and in some we tell you that you have to leave it. If we don't tell you either way, it's your choice."

"I would like that," Katzi assured. Then she asked, "Is that only for the sword though? Because I just found something I liked."

Katzi connected with the computer again and a moment later she was holding the machete. "I was thinking of training with this, well two of these actually; one in each hand. As I just told Pagsha, the sword is great and it's my first choice. But as your guard I'll be in confined spaces a lot. Corridors, rooms, looking at stuff. In a lot of situations these would then be a lot better."

B'Elanna shrugged, giving her answer that way, so Seven put it into words. "That is fine with us. We will decide in certain situations which of them you can and cannot take along and if we do not mention it, then the choice is yours to make."

"Hey, you said you want to train with those things, you mean you don't know how to use them?" B'Elanna asked as she indicated the machete.

Without being asked, Katzi handed the blade to the Klingon. "Well, yes and no. No, because I trained mostly with the sword. There I know exactly how to use it, how long it is, how deep a cut will be. So, since I don't know that about these, I don't really know how to use them like I know how to use my sword. But at the same time, yes, because you could also call it a short sword of sorts, so a lot of my fighting style will also work with these. So, yes and no."

"Are you interested in a training partner?" B'Elanna asked before explaining, "Seven did me the great pleasure of training with me until recently. But not because she wants to, but more because she doesn't mind to and I want to. If you're up for it we could train instead. That way I get to learn your fighting style some, and Seven and Pagsha are free to do something else,"

"Or watch you train," Pagsha interrupted with a shy sexy grin.

"That would be... stimulating," Seven agreed.

"Or watch us train," B'Elanna dutifully corrected her last statement. Then she explained. "I do like my bat'leth training and I'm not going to give that up any time soon because it keeps my body in shape just the way I like it. But you were right, Katzi; I also need to know how to defend myself quickly. And if I lean to use this thing well enough I might even add it to my own outfit."

"I'd like that," Katzi agreed. "It will be fun to spar with a real opponent again." Then the Zamonan grinned and asked with a wink. "Tell me do you like to wrestle?"

B'Elanna slowly let her eyes drift up and down the body of the Zamonan who happened to be a head taller than B'Elanna, and on top of that had huge muscles that were the result of relentless training and not merely for show. And not to forget, that had won the wrestling contest in her village the last four years in a row.

"No I actually hate wrestling," B'Elanna finally said with a straight face, making Katzi laugh. Then, figuring that since they had watched each other have sex a couple of times now, B'Elanna shrugged and added, "But just between us, mmmm you have one hell of a body, and I sure love to see you and Pagsha move when you... wrestle in a whole different kind of way."

Having the perfect opening, Katzi said, "And talking about that, how about a change in scenery? There's this really... satisfying thing that Pagsha can do with her tail and I was wondering if you would be interested to see that."

As on cue, Seven and B'Elanna looked at the blue haired Ghdibrian, and then at the tail.

"I'd been wondering about that," B'Elanna finally admitted.

Katzi put her arm around her lover while saying to B'Elanna, "Ah, then let us satisfy your curiosity to the point where you will need Seven to do a whole different kind of satisfying to you."

B'Elanna laughed. "It seems you still have to learn a few things about me, my friend. Just by putting that image in my mind I'm already at the point where I need my Mate. The real question will be whether we can watch you without already starting ourselves before you're finished. It'll be fun to find out."


Chapter 34

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 08, Day 18, Hour 15, Minute 05.

"Somebody is bored," B'Elanna said with a singsong voice.

"Somebody is correct," Seven agreed as she moved to yet another table.

They were on a planet whose government was delusional enough to think that just because the Borg had stopped assimilating, killing, and forcing their will on others, that now suddenly they were people that could be taken gross advantage of in negotiations.

But Seven suffered through it for now. She had by now learned that for some strange reason people liked it better if you first listened to what they had to say before saying no, instead of saying outright that the things they were trying to bargain were of no use to the Borg. So she resigned herself to a day of boredom. The next day it was her turn to set terms.

At the moment they were visiting a science fair that happened to be going on on the planet when contact was made. It was the finishing event in a worldwide contest of inventions, which meant that the newest of the newest inventions, on that planet, were to be found there. The Government thought that it was a perfect opportunity to show the Borg just how advanced they were. For the Borg it only showed that there was nothing of interest technology wise to be found on the planet.

"There is no need for both of us to be bored," Seven said as she set down a device that looked like an ancestor to the Borg's short wave sonic welder. At least they had reached the stage where the device was finally small enough to be held in one hand. "Why do you not spend some time with Anidan? You are both engineers, you will even appreciate this... material."

B'Elanna lowered her voice so that the Government representative that was following them couldn't hear. "I think that this is the closest I have ever heard you come to saying the word 'crap'."

"I was tempted," Seven admitted amused. "Go on, spend some time with her, I'm sure that Pagsha can keep me company."

Seven and B'Elanna glanced to the side when they saw movement relatively close by. Only to see that Katzi had already politely but clearly blocked the way to prevent some curious people of coming closer.

"She is good," Seven approved.

"Alright, I'll go bug Anidan a little," B'Elanna said. "For me it will actually be fun to look at old technology."

"New technology," Pagsha corrected as she stepped closer. "It's not their fault that they are only one species that had to invent things for themselves."

B'Elanna frowned before understanding where the Ghdibrian was coming from. "What, are you applying for the position of our public relations officer now?"

Before Pagsha could reply, B'Elanna relented. "You're very right of course. I shouldn't mock their achievements merely because the Borg, and the Federation for that matter, already know what these people only now invented. Leave them their pride in how advanced they think they are."

"Something like that," Pagsha agreed.

"And on that note," Seven spoke up. "Pagsha please help me in keeping the Government representative entertained."

Having heard the conversation, Katzi indicated to the man that he could come closer even before Seven could ask her to do so. Meanwhile, B'Elanna joined Anidan.

"So what do you think?" B'Elanna asked as she looked at the same device that Anidan was studying.

"Besides that all of this is total and utterly useless crap you mean?"

"Yes, besides that," B'Elanna said amused. "The crap part I already figured out. Tell me something good."

"Something good," Anidan said thoughtfully. "Alright, if these inventions are anything to go by, then I think that the Engineers on this planet would make excellent Individualist Engineering drones."

"Really?" B'Elanna asked surprised.

"Yes. Most of these inventions are old stuff to us, but I did notice that all of them had at least one, and most of the time even at least two, failsafe systems installed. They take safety very serious. I like that. It's not like that on most worlds. Inventors do have a tendency to fixate on getting something to work, and not on how safe it is working. That's normally only for the second or third version... if they are still alive then."

"Hmm, good to know. It'll give us something to work with."

"So, care to tell me why I'm here?" Anidan suddenly asked. "You don't need me for this, I could be spending time creating things that would put all of this stuff to shame. So why am I wasting time here? Are you trying to prove to me that I'm not a prisoner on Unimatrix 01 and that I can leave the ship if there's an opportunity?"

"What?" B'Elanna asked confused. "No, why... well, I guess it's not that far fetched a thought for you. But no. Sorry to disappoint you but it's more basic than that. It's an approach that's used in the Federation, and Seven found on Voyager that it works, and I agree. You see, it's normal to send at least one technologically inclined person along on away missions to new places. This is so that this person can see if there is something of interest there. And more often than not, if there's a problem you need a scientist to fix it. On Voyager normally either Seven or I were sent along."

B'Elanna chuckled before continuing. "Don't let it go to your head, but you do happen to be the best scientist in Unimatrix 01, in your field that is. In fact, the best in all of Borg space. So, unfortunately for you that means that if Seven and I go to a new place, you'll be more than likely tagging along. Look at it from the plus side; at least you get some fresh air."

"Wonderful," Anidan sighed. "I am doomed to having to waste time because I'm good. Come on, B'Elanna. I can get your reasoning, but even if I'm the best, surely there's a second best that you can take along instead. I would li..."

Anidan's words trailed off when she saw a little trinket on the table. She looked at the man behind the table to see if she could pick it up. After a nod of agreement from the man, Anidan did so as he started to explain.

"It's a prototype of a miniature cold-fusion reactor. It's not working yet, I'm afraid to admit. But I'm close and I wanted to see if I could spark some interest here today."

Anidan looked at it for a moment as the man droned on.

"Can you imagine it? A device of that size in every home. There would be a surplus of power for everyone."

"It will never work," Anidan said bluntly. "And even if it did, your government wouldn't allow the use as you want it, because a cold-fusion reactor of this size would blow up a city block if it went critical. This metal you used, the inner orange part, what is it?"

"Bramium," the man said, hurt by the fact that this stranger was telling him that his life's work was of no use. Not that he believed it of course.

"You must have paid a lot of money for such an amount of the metal."

Now the man snorted. "What? Pay for that? That's just a waste product in my family's mine. A metal that is always mixed in with the gold. Or more to the point, the gold is mixed in with the Bramium. We have to refine it to get the gold out. I just used it because it absorbs all radiation."

"Oh yes," Anidan agreed. "That it does. Do you have more of it?"

The man looked down at the feet of the table confused.

Anidan did the same and was amazed to see blocks of the metal being used to hold the tables in place. Seeing a smaller block that she could easily lift, she did so and started to run her scanner over it to see if she was correct.

"Anidan, what's going on here?" B'Elanna asked confused.

"Talk to Seven, we need a trade alliance with this planet."

"What? Why, what for?" B'Elanna asked still confused.

Anidan looked at the scanner when it beeped and hummed. "I was right. On our planet this metal is called Lianciam, and it's so rare that you would pay about two billion for a block this size. So it never made it into any products with the exception of some jewelry. But here it's so abundant that it's a waste product, used to weight down tables. Oh the stuff I can do with this."

"What are you talking about?" B'Elanna asked as she gestured to Seven that she should come closer.

Seven excused herself from the Government representative and joined them in time to hear Anidan answer.

"As he there so rightfully pointed out. One of the traits of Lianciam is that it absorbs radiation, of any kind. But even more than that; it doesn't get saturated. It just keeps absorbing the radiation until finally the metal breaks down and disintegrates. Which means that you can physically see how good your protection is by measuring how thick the wall is. If it becomes too thin, replace the wall and you have protection again. And to make it even better, this breakdown depends on the level of radiation, but the equation doesn't change. Meaning that X amount of radiation is Y amount of breakdown. After measuring how much radiation you have to deal with, you know exactly that in two days, or two hundred years, you have to replace the shield."

"Sounds impressive and useful," B'Elanna had to admit.

"I once bought a little of it to experiment; cost me two million, but it was worth it. I was looking to see if I could use it in my, then, new transwarp coil design. Eventually I didn't use it because it wasn't feasible since the stuff was too expensive. Not, mind you, because it didn't work. But with it being so common here, and if we can trade them for it, I can use it in the transwarp coils."

"Meaning?" B'Elanna merely asked.

"Meaning that the transwarp coils would no longer wear out. My rough estimate is that you would have to replace an amount three times as much as this block here for every four hundred hours of transwarp flight. But the coil itself would still be usable. Just replace the shielding and you're done. It would be nothing more than five minutes of work per coil, while the coil is still tied into the transwarp system, and you're good to go for another four hundred hours. Well, the amount of hours is a guess of course."

"Even if it was at every hundred hours," Seven said, "A transwarp coil is depleted and unusable after twenty hours of use at the moment. To be able to keep using the same coils, just merely replace a shielding, it would vastly expand how far we can travel and how much we can use transwarp. I will make it the a focus point in the negotiations."

B'Elanna pointed over her shoulder at the man behind the stall. "You might want to throw something in for that guy there. Anidan just dashed all his inventor hopes. But his family does own a mine where this metal is already taken out anyway to get to the gold in it. A good place to start mining I would say."

"I will see to it," Seven assured.

B'Elanna grinned at Anidan. "Now tell me, aren't you happy that we dragged you along?"

Anidan sighed before asking Seven, "Does she always enjoy saying 'I told you so' this much?"

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 09, Day 04, Hour 17, Minute 08.

Seven, B'Elanna, Katzi and Pagsha had just spent a nice picnic close by the lake of the replication of the Zamonan village where Katzi had once lived, and now they were taking a slow stroll through the woods. Nothing too strenuous, keeping in mind that Seven was almost six months pregnant. Though, Seven was not showing any real signs of the pregnancy... other then her slowly swelling stomach and the occasional mood swings. Having long since come to terms with the fact that it was the Borg that had demanded that Seven have a child, now B'Elanna and Seven had reached a stage where they were actually glad that they were having the child while living with the Borg.

Now they had the excellent expertise of their friend Doctor Lonika, plus the Borg more than willing to do all that was needed to let the pregnancy continue smoothly. Seven and B'Elanna knew that it would not have been so smooth on Voyager. By now the nanoprobes had needed reprogramming twice already. Easily done with Seven's new ability to actually reprogram her nanoprobes, and the Borg giving the information of what the new program should be. But Lonika had told them that if they had tried a pregnancy with Seven's old nanoprobes still intact, and not being able to reprogram them, that there would be a 60% chance that they would already have lost the baby. While now it was actually 300% less likely that there would be complications in comparison to a normal Human pregnancy.

"I shamelessly admit that I'm really glad that you decided to take the Borg up on making this into a holodeck," Katzi noted happily after she took a deep breath of fresh air. "I never thought that I would be breathing fresh air like this on a starship."

"That's the advantage of mixing the replicator technology of you Zamonan with the holographic knowledge of species 11,712; real trees that produce real air, real grass under those trees brings the sent of real grass, and real... well, you get the idea," B'Elanna said as she reached down and picked a strand of long grass.

"So, not that I'm complaining mind you, but why have I been the focus of attention for the last two hours?" Katzi asked. The attention had been fun, but now she was really getting curious.

"What? You don't know what day it is today?" Pagsha asked as she hopped in front of her lover and started to walk backwards.

Amused, Katzi put her hands on her Mate's shoulders to guide her while the Ghdibrian kept walking backwards in total trust in her lover to not let her walk into things.

"I could give you the Borg date..." Katzi started, but suddenly she looked at Seven. "Are you going to change that to the Federation's Stardates as well?"

"Oh Hell no!" B'Elanna exclaimed before Seven could answer. "I always get a headache when trying to calculate back just what calendar date a Stardate is. I know that it's needed in the Federation to compensate for the time shifts of different ships traveling at different faster than light speeds. But here we are in the Borg where all relevant data is sent out right away over Borg link. On top of that, every damn ship gets a 'time ping' every damn hour over that link so that they know how much time has passed at point zero so that they can adjust their own chronometer to that of point zero, or the Main Data Storage Facility to use the Borg name. I like that system a lot better. Simply have 30 hours in a day and 300 days in a year. And best of all that means that the time comes pretty close to that of Earth, or Zamona for that matter. Only 240 hours more than an Earth year, and 12 hours less than a Zamonan year."

"I believe that B'Elanna just made an arbitrary decision," Seven said amused. "Lucky for her, the Borg Queen agrees with her enough to let it pass."

"Hey," B'Elanna objected, "We're in this together, my Princess. The Borg may have made you their Queen, but you're still my Princess. So you don't outrank me and therefore I can make the occasional choice that I feel strongly about, so there."

"Oh, you sound so mature," Seven countered. "Someone I can easily trust with the command of the Borg, I am sure." Then she smiled and kissed her lover. "But for real, I think it is an excellent choice. That only leaves one question; which year is it?"

"The year 10,335," Pagsha spoke up as she stopped walking backwards and moved to Seven's side.

Katzi connected with the computer for a moment. Seconds later the path became a little wider so that there was enough room for four people to walk beside each other and she took position beside her lover, who more than willingly moved into the arm that Katzi had extended in invitation.

"Is it the year 10,335?" Seven countered. "The Borg have existed a lot longer than ten millennia, so why is it now the year 10,335?"

Having no idea, Pagsha connected to the Hive for a moment to find out. "That's when the Borg started to use the new time and date system, and they simply started from zero at that point."

"Well, if you don't want to go on with the year 10,335, then you could introduce the Zamonan system," Katzi suggested. "Whenever we get a new Queen the year count started anew. At the moment it's the year 21 in the reign of Queen Erda on Zamona. You could go for something like that. Now that you are switching to the Borg having a Queen that passes their title on from generation to generation, that might work."

"I like that," B'Elanna agreed. "In fact, back on Earth they used a similar system several times in history. The Chinese had something like that... something with dynasties... the Ming dynasty is the first thing that springs to mind. Alright, so their system was with families that were in power instead of just starting anew when a new Queen gets to power, but it's basically the same thing. And the best part is, since we are talking about the Borg, where every freaking drone has a nano computer in their brain, keeping track of longer periods of time won't be a problem because they will simply add reigns together and be able to tell you right away that 'this' happened in the third year of the reign of 'that' person, which is 763 years and 5 days ago."

Then she spoke to Seven. "With a little backdating we could start it of from the minute the Borg made you their Queen. The rule of One of Many, year one, day whatever."

"First of all, one does not start counting at one if one wants to count years properly," Seven countered. "I have not been the Borg Queen for a year yet so it is not year one; we are still in year zero. Furthermore, One of Many is not a good title to use since the next Queen will also be One of Many then. There would be no difference in name between eras."

"Alright, that's the negatives, but you're not dismissing the idea," B'Elanna grinned.

"True," Seven agreed with a small smile. "We could add a née to it. Something like 'the reign of One of Many, née Seven of Nine; Queen of Borg."

"How about Annika Hansen instead of Seven of Nine?" B'Elanna suggested. Before Seven could ask, B'Elanna explained, "As far as I know, née basically means 'formerly known as.' And while it is true that you are now One of Many to the Borg, you still introduce yourself to friend and enemy as Seven. So you are not formerly knows as Seven; you are 'still' known as Seven. But, you most certainly were formally known as Annika Hansen at some point."

After a moment of hesitation, Seven nodded her agreement. "So, keeping the backdating in mind that would make this moment in Borg history marked as such: The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg. Year 00, Month 09, Day 04, Hour 17, Minute 47."

"I kinda like the sound of that," B'Elanna agreed.

"So be it," Seven said before connecting with the Hive. After a moment, Seven asked, "Pagsha, please check what time and date it is?"

Pagsha did so and said after a moment, "The computer has the time and date as: Year 00, Month 09, Day 04, Hour 17, Minute 48, in the reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg."

"Am I the only one that gets a kick out of how we can change things so easily?" B'Elanna asked. "That with one decision we change how trillions of people keep track of time."

"Do not let it go to your head," Seven warned. "I have a feeling that it started out like that for the old Queen as well. And we know where that led."

"Oh, don't worry, I don't suffer from delusions of grandeur just yet," B'Elanna assured. "I remember only too well some of the other things our decisions have resulted in. People died because of us. But still, it's kinda cool that we don't have to negotiate the smallest thing with them anymore."

"True, but they still evaluate every decision made."

"Um, excuse me," Pagsha interrupted. "We had a deal; no business this afternoon."

"Pagsha is correct," Seven agreed.

"More than just correct," B'Elanna added. "We really do have to be more strict about the fact that when we say that we're having private time, that we stay away from business unless it's truly something that can't wait."

B'Elanna placed a hand on Seven's stomach before continuing. "I mean, us, we can understand it if an idea strikes and we discuss it for a moment in private time. But what about when this little Sprite is born? Are we going to promise her to spend time with her only to tell her that something came up?"

"And you are correct as well," Seven agreed. "Very well, since B'Elanna just made an arbitrary decision, so do I now. As of now once something is dedicated private time, it stays so unless it is something that truly cannot wait."

"Um, is it still an arbitrary decision when it is a Queen that makes it, or is it then simply law?" Katzi asked.

"Funny," B'Elanna said, "And actually a good enough question that I'm very deliberately going to ignore it for something more fun. Katzi, you asked why you were the center of attention."

"I did, and I was asked if I knew what date it was."

"Well, do you?" B'Elanna prompted.

"Besides the very obviously actual date that you just changed... I have no idea."

"Let me give you a hint," Pagsha spoke up, "I really enjoyed my birthday party last week."

Katzi nodded her head a little. "Ah, now I get it. But I think you must have a few facts wrong. First of all, my birthday is only in five months, and second of all, we Zamonan don't celebrate our birthdays."

"No, you do not," Seven agreed. "However, you do celebrate profession day. That is the day that it was decided that a person was good enough at what they were training to become a craftsperson, or in your case a warrior. Not that your training was done yet, but you were considered good enough to be called a warrior on this day exactly eight years ago. Which, if I understand it correctly, is considered quite a feat. Not many warriors become warriors at the age of fourteen."

"Almost fifteen," Katzi corrected. "And normal is in the sixteenth year, so I'm not that early." She shrugged. "I was just driven. I knew I had to be good to become a Royal Guard so I pushed myself."

"I think that you are being unnecessarily modest," Seven pointed out. "Yes, you went on training, but you were nevertheless good enough to be handed a purple warrior's token. And there are only three of those handed out every year; not even Queen Erda achieved one on the day of her becoming a warrior."

"When did you lose that anyway?" Pagsha asked. "I mean, when I asked you one day why you don't carry your warrior's token attached to your sword, I know you told me that you lost it. But I read somewhere that it's normal for warrior's tokens to be attached to the handle of the sword. But since the Hive doesn't consider that relevant information I don't know all the detail about it. Back then I forgot to ask because you were distracting me so nicely. But how did you lose it, why don't you have a new one?"

"Because they are normally not replaced unless you pretty much lose it right away and still need it to prove that you are a warrior. And yeah, I really was pissed when I noticed that I lost it," Katzi sadly admitted.

Then she recalled, "One day during training it was just gone at the end of the day. I had run twenty miles through the woods and I assume that it got stuck in the bushes somewhere; I never found it. And since I was already established as a warrior at that point I didn't get a new one. Besides, that's kinda normal. It's rare for the warrior's tokens to survive. The whole point is that you put them on your sword so that people can see that you are no longer a kid that they can boss around; you are now a warrior that only takes orders from commanders. But since you actually use your sword during training and such, eventually the tokens just... get lost. But by then people know you are no longer a kid."

"Well," B'Elanna said brightly, "not to change the subject, though I actually am, since Pagsha, Seven, and me all celebrate our birthday while you don't, we decided that we would pick a different day to throw you a little party. Oh, only us this time so that you can get used to the idea, but next time..." B'Elanna didn't finish, but her grin said enough. Next time the Zamonan was considered fair game for party material.

It was not much later when they reached the lake once more, but this time on the other side from where they had their original picnic. A blanket was lying on the grass and to one side of it stood a rather large wooden box.

"And now it's present time," Pagsha said happily. "I know, you don't give presents on profession day, but I guess you just have to suffer through it so that it equals a birthday. And just in case you're wondering, these things are real."

"Alright," Katzi said slowly as she sat down on the blanket.

Pagsha sat down beside her, closer to the box, while B'Elanna and Seven sat down opposite of them.

"Who's first?" Pagsha asked.

"Considering that you are her Mate, I would say you," Seven noted.

Pagsha nodded and opened the lid of the box just enough to put her hand inside. She narrowed her eyes at Katzi playfully to make it clear that there was no peeking into the box allowed.

Having found what she was looking for, she closed her hand around it and explained to her lover. "When we had that talk in which it was decided that you could carry your sword if you wanted to, unless clearly instructed not to, I personally felt that your sword was not up to the job. As you said yourself, it's basically a step up from a training sword. It's certainly not something for a Royal Guard to carry around."

"True," Katzi had to admit.

"So I sent a message to Zamona to let them know that we were in need of a sword that's worthy to be carried by a Royal Guard that's tasked with protecting the Borg Queen."

Katzi chuckled. "That must have put some people in a state of, well, almost a heart attack actually."

Pagsha pulled her gift from the box and handed the new sword in its sheath to Katzi.

Katzi took it and looked at the decorations on the sheath and the handle. All of it was black, with the decorations being a mix of carvings and fabric that was wound around the hilt in just the right way to give a crisscross pattern that would most definitely aid in having a secure grip. While there were decorations on it, they were actually quite modest to some decorations she had seen on some swords. But it only impressed her more. She knew that this meant that it had to be a sword of high quality because the better the quality, the more toned down the decorations were; the craftsmanship of the sword itself had to be the real decoration then.

"This is high quality; someone put a lot of work into this."

"That someone would be Hijal of Platrio village; you heard of her?" Pagsha asked.

Katzi's eyes went wide when hearing the name. Her hands actually started to shake slightly when she pulled the sword out of its sheath to be able to look at the blade, and at the master's stem that was hammered into the blade close to the hilt.

"Hijal is the best sword maker alive, and one of the best from recorded history," Katzi whispered in awe. "82 years old, she now lives in semi retirement and only makes blades like that of the Queen and some of the highest Regents."

"And the Royal Guard," Pagsha added. "So it's fitting I would say."

Katzi looked at her lover. "This must have cost a fortune. I have heard that she doesn't even start working on a sword unless there's a down payment made of 20,000 Koli."

Pagsha smiled. "Hijal assured me that this is one of the best blades she's made in a long time; something she would also have handed to her Queen if the Queen had been in need of a new sword. Of all the blades she ever made, this is one of only six blades that she is not willing to put a price on because no amount would do it justice. She thinks that this will be the last great sword she ever makes. And she is honored that it will be carried by a Queen's protector."

"You mean she actually just gave it away?" Katzi asked in disbelief.

"I have a feeling that at her age she is no longer in need of a large amount of money," Seven noted. "So she took her reward out of knowing that for one final time in her life, she performed her craft so excellently that it resulted in a sword that is worthy to be used to give protection to a Queen."

Katzi put the sword back in its sheath before putting it down reluctantly. "This is amazing. I don't know what to say." Then Katzi suddenly leaned to her lover and showed her thanks by a hungry kiss.

"You are welcome," Pagsha said after they finally broke apart. "Though it seems that I can only take credit for the idea. As said, Hijal didn't want any money for it, so I didn't actually pay for it. And even if she would have wanted money, I wouldn't have been the one to pay. As you of course know; we Borg don't do money so I would have no means to pay for what that sword might cost if a price is asked. So I went and asked Seven if she would be able to... loan, I guess... the money to me."

"I declined," Seven spoke up. "As soon as Pagsha explained what she was thinking of, I assured her that the Borg collective itself would match any price asked. After all, you will be using the sword in the service of the Borg, will you not?"

"Absolutely," Katzi assured right away. "Or more to the point, I'll be carrying it in service of the Borg, and hope that I never have to use it other than in training. Since me not using it would mean that you are not in danger."

Seven nodded. "Very well, then in that case since you are putting your services with the sword to the use of the Borg collective, I now hereby state that the sword is your property."

"Oh, um, that's kinda like Borg drones that leave being allowed to keep or ask for certain implants," B'Elanna explained. "Got to have the technicalities covered, you know? We couldn't just go handing you an outrageously expensive sword for nothing more than the fact that you happen to be a friend of ours. As you know, Seven and I don't want to go down that road. That Hijal didn't want any money for it is beside the point; we found that out only after placing the order."

"If I didn't know that you mean that for real I would say that you just invented an excuse," Katzi said as she picked up the sword and stood up. "Don't mind me, I'll be right back."

When she had moved ten meters away she took the sword out of the sheath and started to swirl it around her body in well trained patterns. "So, now that it's so clearly stated for the record that you are not abusing the Borg by giving me this, I'm curious; just whose gift is it?"

"I guess you could call it a combined gift," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "With Pagsha being the main giver. She came up with the idea, and she actually did all the work like contacting people. Then there is Hijal of course, who made a gift to the Collective of the sword instead of selling it. Then you have Seven who handed this tool that was given to the Borg to you, so that you can use it in your job. And then there is me, of course."

Katzi made an attack to some invisible enemies before asking, "And what part do you play in this?"

"Me? Isn't that obvious? I'm going to be your training partner on occasion when you use that thing to train."

Katzi stopped mid motion. "Um, do you remember how many scrapes I'm putting on you when we train with the machete? Those are only scrapes because they are holographic and we are using safeties. I don't know how you would fare against a real sword."

Katzi started to move again before adding, "And just for the record, Hijal did a perfect job; this is perfectly balanced."

B'Elanna stood up and suddenly stepped well into the space that Katzi was using for her sword movements. The sword stopped only a few centimeters from B'Elanna's head and Katzi shouted in outrage, "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

"Showing you why I don't worry about training with you while you use that sword. I know how good you are with a sword. Now, granted, I wouldn't do this in the machete training because we're both still learning. Or better said, I'm learning from you while you're still adapting the moves that you have learned for your sword. But I know what kind of control you have over a sword, and I know that you won't hurt me."

B'Elanna grinned before admitting, "But as my wonderful Mate pointed out to me; accidents do happen. So she created a level 6 in the safety settings. It's really cool. You don't activate it; it activates itself as soon as the sensors register that sword on the holodeck. Sensors keep track of it at all times. And as soon as it ever touches real skin a dampening field will be activated to keep the sword in place. So, at worst you can cut someone about one centimeter deep before the dampening field prevents you from doing more damage. Still deep enough to bleed from pretty badly, but not fatal and leaving more than enough time for a beaming to sickbay."

"I appreciate the offer," Katzi said as she put the sword back in its sheath. "But I really don't want to hurt you. The machete training is as far as I want to go; cuts that only just break the skin enough to bleed."

"And I appreciate that you don't want to hurt me but... come on, let's sit down again."

Once they were sitting, B'Elanna continued. "But, um, you would actually be doing me a favor." Seeing the disbelief, B'Elanna quickly added, "Honest."

Seven decided that Katzi would be more inclined to believe her if she explained it instead of B'Elanna. "Katzi, when you became Royal Guard, you told us that you had studied Klingons. Surely you must know that Klingons thrive on the exhilarating feeling of danger. Sometimes, B'Elanna also needs that thrill. This is also why me being part Borg makes her so hot at times. She knows what I could do, that she is feeling fingers inside and on her that can crush bones. Not merely break, but literally crush them. B'Elanna needs danger at times. Sometimes we indulge in that in our love life, though I admit that there it is more the idea of what I 'could' do if I wanted to, and not what I actually do. However, B'Elanna needs more exposure to danger than merely the mental image of danger. She needs to know for sure that if she does something wrong, it 'will' hurt. That she might truly need to see a doctor."

"Not something I can really indulge in," B'Elanna spoke up. "Outside of Unimatrix 01 I can't go doing dangerous things because the Guards would step in to protect me and it might literally end in a war. So I need to find my thrills here inside Unimatrix 01. And I for one would really like it if I could get that thrill, and in the same time learn something. And on top of that have some fun with a friend. Practice fights are fine, but sometimes I need that thrill to know that if I don't look out, I might actually have to suffer real consequences. So, let us train on that level from time to time. You get an opponent that actually thinks like a sentient being, and I can get my kicks at the same time."

"Very well," Katzi finally relented. "But on two conditions. First of all, if you do get hurt I don't want to keep hearing about it; it's your own fault then."

"More than fair," B'Elanna could only agree.

"And the second condition is that this is on the record, so to speak."

"Don't you mean off the record," B'Elanna interrupted.

"No, I do mean on the record, as in known. I want it to be made very clear to the Hive that this is what you want, and I'm merely humoring you. The last thing I want is that I'm replaced as Royal Guard because I actually hurt you instead of protecting you."

"I will take care of that," Seven assured. "I promise you that whatever happens in training on the Royal holodeck will never be held against you."

Now Katzi finally grinned. "I guess that you just found yourself a sparing partner, Klingon. Believe me; you'll be sorry."

B'Elanna also grinned. "I don't think so; I like a good challenge, even if I have to suffer a bit to enjoy the challenge."

"So, are you thinking of training with the sword after all then? If you want to fight against me while I use my sword?"

"Actually, no," B'Elanna said before explaining, "Just how realistic is that anyway? Just how big are the chances that you come up against an enemy that uses exactly the same weapon as you? Well, on Zamona the chance of both people having a sword is a lot higher. But I mean now, with places we visit. I think that the fun challenge in this will actually be in the mismatch of weapons. Your sword against my bat'leth, or against my machete. Or you with machetes against my bat'leth for that matter."

"And talking about other weapons," Seven said as she opened the box once more. She took out something that was wrapped in some blue colored cloth and handed it to B'Elanna.

"Thank you." B'Elanna folded away the cloth to reveal two machetes in their sheaths. "When Pagsha came with the idea for the sword, I figured that Zamona was just the place to order some machetes for you that are a little bit more personalized than those that you have from the replicator. While Hijal was making the sword, her Master Apprentice was busy making these to match. I myself have ordered a set as well, but they weren't ready yet."

"Quality over quantity," Katzi said right away. "That is a motto every Zamonan weapons smith lives by. All delivery dates should only be seen as estimates."

"I know," B'Elanna assured. "I don't mind that they aren't ready yet, especially since it's probably my own fault. You see, your weapons look good, but they impress mostly by their quality. I deliberately stated that I want mine to give a misimpression. I want to wear them on certain occasions, like going to meet a warrior species. But I want people to see them and dismiss them because they look showy and therefore can't be any good, which means that I probably don't know how to use them."

"Good approach," Katzi agreed. She knew that if a Zamonan weapons smith deliberately set out to make a good sword, or in this case machete, look like cheap and showy material that is bound to break in real use, then it would indeed look that way, but it would still surpass the bladed weapons of the enemy by far. She agreed with B'Elanna. Most that knew how to use blades themselves, and then saw the clear show pieces would vastly underestimate the Klingon's ability to defend herself.

B'Elanna pulled one of the machetes from its sheath and showed it to Katzi. "Obviously, because they are so flat they don't have a core of softer steel like the sword does, but for the rest they also exist out of folded steel. Though since a lot of the machete fighting exists out of using one of them more as a shield to block, I think that for our trainings we better make replicator copies of yours and mine and use those so that we don't damage the real ones in training."

"Deal," Katzi agreed. "I really like that both the machete and the sword are black and relatively sober looking. That way they really fit with the black uniform."

"Ah, but there will be a little bit of color to your sword," Seven disagreed. She reached into the box once more, and this time took out a small box that fitted just on her outstretched hand. "My turn for a present."

Katzi took the box and opened it. She was surprised to see a five centimeter long purple braid lying on blue velvet.

"A warrior's token?" Katzi asked confused.

"On Zamona, yes," Seven agreed. "But on Zamona and the rest of the Borg collective that is now the sign of the Private Royal Guard. As you know, the Royal Guard will not wear insignia or colors to indicate what they are. In fact, one could say that their distinct lack of such symbol of position 'is' a symbol of position because for the rest every Individualist in the Collective will wear an insignia of position; even the civilians. However, B'Elanna and I talked it through, and asked the Hive if they agreed, we feel that one of the guards should stand out a little; a focus of attention if you will so that less focus is on the other three guards. Since you are already selected to be the guard that will be the closest to B'Elanna and me, we figured that you would do nicely as that point of attention in the Guards."

"Besides," B'Elanna added with a chuckle, "You stand out as it is; might as well make use of that. So, you'll be the one that stands more to the front, that takes that imposing step closer to someone that comes too close to us, and so on. If you want, of course."

"I would be honored," Katzi assured right away. "But why me, why not the Guard that plans your visits?"

"That is actually part of the reason," Seven explained. "We want him to be able to focus on that, besides protecting us of course. So we want to give people a different point to focus on than him. The second reason why we would like this to be you is because you are also the guard that is always in the room with us no matter what, once we are off Unimatrix 01. The two facts enhance each other in the eyes of others. Surely such a special guard must be the most important, more so because she is also the one that speaks for the Guard. It is so obvious that they ignore the unobtrusive guard that is standing to the back and that is at the same moment coordinating a data scan of the entire planet through his Borg link."

Katzi nodded in understanding. "Ah, I see. Well, as I said, it would be my honor." Then she turned to B'Elanna. "But, um, won't you have a problem with a different warrior taking such an important visual position towards your Mate. You are part Klingon after all."

B'Elanna waved her off. "Neh, I have learned to outsource."

B'Elanna grinned at Katzi's confused look. "Just kidding. I think that here the part comes in where I'm actually only half Klingon. Once I have soothed my bruised ego, I have no problem with admitting that others are better at stuff and let them do it. You don't see me turning down Anidan's help do you? I know that she's a better Engineer than I'll ever be, so I listen to her. Same goes for ZAn, the same goes for Lonika, the same goes for you. From our training I know that you are a way better fighter then me, so I'm more than happy to let you get the attention as being the Queen's warrior in situations where such attention is needed... like if we ever were to meet with Klingons. Besides, as much as people like to think so, Klingons aren't morons. Not every person in a position of importance is a good warrior. It's perfectly normal and accepted to have these people guarded by better warriors. Just that it's also expected that if the fight does reach this important person, that this person then still puts up a fight. And believe me, if ever needed I'll put up a damn good fight."

"One could even say that we are all here now as Individuals because B'Elanna put up a fight," Seven noted. "She took on the entire Borg collective; and won. She persuaded them that I had to be an Individual to be able to do my job. So, Katzi, as of today you are my personal warrior. I believe that you call such people a Champion on Zamona?"

"We do," Katzi said softly. "I thank you for such a great honor. And I give you my word that you'll never regret making that choice. Thank you, my Queen. Thank you, my friend."

"I thank you," Seven countered. "And I am sure that you will excel at the job."

"Um, is that now an official position?" Pagsha asked. "Is she now your Champion or your guard?"

Before Seven could answer, Katzi did. "On Zamona it's never written down who someone's champion is. Knowing it is all the honor one needs. And also, if it's written down, then an opponent could prepare by first taking out the Champion in an ambush before challenging the person that was protected."

"That sounds a bit un-honorable, and un-Zamonan," B'Elanna noted.

Katzi shrugged. "You have to keep in mind that our society isn't perfect. As a whole we are honorable people, but that doesn't mean that there are not some conniving and backstabbing cowards to be found on our planet. On the same note, most Zamonan would not steal, would not take what isn't theirs. Most. But we nevertheless have robbers roaming through the territories between villages. Personally I like it. Perfection makes for a very boring day. But flaws keep you on your toes. It is flaws like that, that we do have robbers, that actually make it worth looking into a forest for ten hours on a guard shift. If there were no robbers, we might as well go and sit around a table playing cards."

Suddenly B'Elanna straightened a little. "She's right. We have to keep that in mind when we make our changes to the Borg. Um, not that I'm suggesting that we have robbers running around the ship. What I mean is that we have to make sure that there are enough things to keep people busy while they aren't on duty."

"We have the restaurants and the holodecks, and other areas of interest, like gyms," Seven noted.

"Yeah, but still. That's not really differences. That's merely having the option to do different things at different times." B'Elanna snapped her fingers when an idea came to her. "Oh, I know, how about instead of mingling the Individualist drones all around, we... steer... certain ways of living to certain decks. That way we create certain areas on the ship that have a certain sphere and people can go there to experience something else than what they are used to."

"That is something worth exploring," Seven agreed. "Why do we not ask ZAn for his opinion? He is a designer, he should be able to tell us if giving certain areas a certain 'feel' does influence people to live in a certain way."

"And you are doing Borg stuff again," Pagsha noted. "There is one more gift for Katzi, and then it's time to have some fun... at least I hope it's fun because it's Katzi's choice what we're going to do."

"You are correct," Seven had to agree. She pointed to the wooden box that the gifts had been in. "Your last gift."

Katzi looked at the box. It was made of reddish brown wood, and decorated with beautiful, but still pretty basic carvings. Certainly not something that would stand out by its ornate design. It was nice to look at, but that was pretty much it.

"Thank you, but, um I don't really get it."

"Go on, open it," Pagsha urged.

Katzi did so and was greeted with a view of the inside of the box. Once again it was the color of the wood, but the only real difference was that now the carvings were a grid of crossing lines on all sides of the box.

Seeing the confused look, Pagsha relented. "It's not as basic as it looks. There's technology worked into it. Go on, put something in the box, but once inside, just let it drop."

Katzi picked up the sword and looked at her Mate to see if it would be alright. Considering that the sword came from the box to begin with she assumed so, but she wanted to be sure.

Once inside the box, Katzi opened her hand and was surprised to see that the sword didn't drop. Instead it just kept floating where it had been when Katzi let go.

"There is a mix of a low level gravity neutralizer, and a low level dampening field worked into the box," Seven explained. "On a technological level basic technologies. But the gravity neutralizer negates the gravity in the box, and a little bit above it if the lid is opened. While the dampening is just high enough to stop items from moving unless moved by a force, like a human hand placing it in a certain position."

"The Zamonan are a lot like Klingons in a lot of ways," B'Elanna spoke up, "And totally the opposite in other ways. Both have a love for bladed weapons. But where the Klingons love to display them to impress others, the Zamonan normally put their weapons in a secure place if they're not carrying them with them. So we thought that you would like this. This means that you can put anything in this box wherever you like it without having to worry about stacking things on top of each other or whatnot."

"Oh, I really like this," Katzi said happily as she put the other gifts back and played around a little by rearranging them in different ways. Finally she stopped and favored her friends and her lover with a smile.

"Thank you all very much. I, I know I'm not showing it, but I'm really thrilled about all of this. It's just..."

"That warriors are trained to not show emotions," B'Elanna said in understanding when Katzi's words trailed off. "We understand, and you're welcome. But just to let you know. Some of these are some pretty hefty gifts. We have no wish to start a race of sorts here. Don't expect anything like it the next time, or that we're expecting something as valuable in return the next time. It's just that it all happened to come together now."

I won't," Katzi assured. "We Zamonan don't do gifts a lot, and because of that we have long since learned that it's not the gift that is important, but who gives it, and why."

Katzi took the sword out again, as well as the box that held the warrior's token. "These two are a perfect example. This sword is great, and I love it. It's also so expensive that I would never be able to buy it. I'm really happy with this gift. But," Katzi spent a moment to attach the braid to the little loop at the end of the sword's hilt.

All Zamonan swords had that little loop for exactly the reason of attaching braids. On Zamona braids were used a lot, and different braids meant different things. A warriors token was one of the most used ones. But there was also the one to indicate mourning, or the one to indicate that an oath was placed that someone's death would be avenged with that sword. The last was not often done on Zamona in the last century or so, but it did still happen. Besides the braid that Seven had now given her, and which she would wear in public, Katzi also had four other braids that she kept in the privacy of her quarters. These were reminders of things she had once vowed, or achieved.

Once the braid was securely attached, Katzi added, "As awesome as the sword is, if I had to choose between the two, I would pick the braid because of how it proves the trust you place in me. This is important. The sword is just a tool."

Now she grinned. "A tool I love to own, but a tool never the less."

"Alright, I'm getting tired of sitting around," B'Elanna noted. "So, tall one; what's next?"

"Tall one?" Katzi repeated. "You really do stink at coming up with nicknames, don't you?"

"As far as I know I only heard you come up with one, which you use for Pagsha, and which isn't that original either," B'Elanna shot back.

"I'm Zamonan," Katzi defended. "We don't do nicknames, with the exception of for our Mates. And there we keep them respectful as can be."

"I heard you call her honey," B'Elanna said in turn. "That's a nickname."

"That's not a nickname; that's an endearment. But if you really are that set on having a nickname for me, then be assured that I'll do my best to return the favor with flair."

B'Elanna chuckled. "Why does that sound like a threat I don't want to face? Alright, enough goofing around. So... Katzi, what's next? Your choice on what program we're going to run."

"Hmm, give me a moment to think of something our Mates will also enjoy doing."

"Great, no famous battle or hunt then," Pagsha said sweetly.

"Oh, just for that you do get a battle." Seeing her Mate's fake pout, Katzi assured, "Don't worry; you'll love it. How about it. You and Seven are the commanders of the defenders of a technologically advanced city, while B'Elanna and I are the commanders of a vast army that hugely outnumbers you, but that is decades behind you in technology. Brains verses brawn."

"That might actually be interesting," Seven agreed. "Very well, lead the way."

"And when we're done we can come back here to get Katzi's box, and relax some," Pagsha suggested.

"Good idea," B'Elanna agreed as she stood up. "Then Seven and I can continue telling you our life's story, since now that we reached the point where we joined Voyager we can both tell it. Should be fun to find out what Seven thought of me in those first months."

"The same as I do now," Seven assured. "That you can be irritating and frustrating like no other person I ever met. I merely still have to figure out why I actually like that."

B'Elanna merely grinned.


Chapter 35

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 10, Day 15, Hour 06, Minute 21.

Seven decided that as much as she liked lying in bed with her naked Mate, this was a waste of time since neither of them was talking about what was clearly on both their minds. Reluctantly she moved up until she was sitting against the headboard.

"Come here."

B'Elanna had looked at her as soon as she had started to move, and now reluctantly moved into the open arms. Not that she was reluctant to be in Seven's arms, but she was reluctant because she knew that now they would have to do the dreaded T word; talk.

"You only slept three hours, at most," Seven started. "Your slow heartbeat as you sleep has a triggering effect on me. If you sleep I am able to sleep as well. If you do not, then the longest I can sleep is the three hours my body truly needs these days."

"So, if I sleep you sleep," B'Elanna surmised.

That would explain why Seven had been able to sleep ten hours on the few days that they slept in. It was because B'Elanna had been able to sleep that long then.

"I can't tell you how long I slept, but I can tell you that I'm surprised that I was able to sleep at all." B'Elanna took a deep breath before admitting, "I'm scared shitless."

"Should I contact Lonika and tell him that the procedure has to be done at some other time?"

B'Elanna shook her head. "That won't matter. It'll only mean that I'll be scared shitless then, and feel like a coward now for not going through with it and getting the implants. I have to do it eventually, and I really do want to do it now and get it over with. But still."

"It scares you."

"Yeah, it does. Some warrior, huh? Scared of undergoing surgery while fully under anesthesia."

"Fear is not rational," Seven countered. "Did you know that Fralin is scared of needles?"

"What?" B'Elanna asked surprised and turned a little to look at Seven. "We are talking about Fralin, Anidan's third in command? The guy that has his whole body tattooed? Done by needles?"

"That would be the one," Seven agreed. "I asked him about the meaning of his tattoos last week. While the meaning of them is interesting, it is not of relevance now. The important part is that he is scared of needles. He even passed out, as he called it, five times over the years that it took him to get the tattoos. Oh, and he also does not like pain, at all. Yet he still had the tattoos because of what they mean to him."

"One could say that that's part of the reason for me as well," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "Once I have implants I am truly Borg."

"It is not the implants that make you Borg," Seven noted.

"But it goes hand in hand," B'Elanna countered. "How often are the words 'Borg' and 'implants' said in the same sentence? Baby, even if I didn't want any implants at all, I still would have to get some simply to show the Borg that I'm truly one with them. Just what message would it send to the Hive if their princess, their second in command, rejects the very thing that we're asking them to embrace about themselves? We're bringing new drones into the Collective because we use the implants to heal them, to give them a life. I, in my position, simply can't say that I don't want implants. I can't."

"True," Seven was forced to admit.

"And let's be honest," B'Elanna continued, "One would be a fool not to at least take some of the implants. Things that can be undone, or that leave no impact on the body. And what's more, I really do want some of those implants really bad. Take the Borg link. To not just to be able to talk to you or our friends over it, but also to be able to address the computer. You know how frustrating it's becoming for me that every time I want something, I need to ask someone else to do it? A new holodeck program, activating scanners, changing settings on some things. I can do none of it. Hell, I've even taken to having a damn fridge in our kitchen because I don't want to ask you if you could get me a drink from the replicator every time I'm thirsty."

Despite the seriousness of the subject, Seven smiled. "Yes, I have never seen such a look of abhor on ZAn's face as when you told him that you wanted him to incorporate a refrigerator in the extremely modern kitchen he designed."

B'Elanna shrugged. "Well, maybe that was a bad example because I would have asked for that no matter what. Replicators are fine, but sometimes I don't really know what I want. On those occasions I want to open a fridge and see different tempting drinks there so that I can pick from them."

"What scares you the most?" Seven asked, not wanting to get too far off subject. "You originally started out with a list of small things that were not really permanent, but,"

"But," B'Elanna interrupted, "I wised up. I'll need those access tubes as much as the Borg link. I'm just glad that with the design Anidan and Lonika came up with and that is used for new drones now the arm doesn't have to be removed; just one muscle."

"And the eye?" Seven asked.

"I think that that scares me the most," B'Elanna admitted. "But, I really do like the benefits, like the micro zoom, the night vision, and the thermal imaging."

"But are you ready to see that reminder every time you look in the mirror? We know that Pagsha really loves the reminder, but that right there indicates that a person is indeed reminded of the fact that the eye is not real with every time they look at a reflective surface."

"I'm hoping that it won't come to that," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "I was kinda thinking of trying a middle way. Remember how the Doctor on Voyager was able to make your artificial eye look just like the real one? I was hoping that Lonika will be able to do something like that for me now."

Seven thought about that for a moment. "Well, he could scan my artificial eye and use that to replicate one for you, which would then be adapted to look like your real eye did before removal. The technology of the eye is so relatively basic that Lonika won't need any help from Anidan for that. However, it will severely limit the quality of the eye. As much as I appreciate the Doctor's creation on Voyager, the eye he designed does not come close to the eye design Anidan made."

"Yeah, but that's for people that already have an artificial eye, like Pagsha did, or people that need one for their job, like Katzi does. But there's nothing that says that people that don't need it can't go for the 'looks better, but is not so good' option. I don't need the eyepiece for my job so I can settle for the design the Doctor came up with on Voyager. Alright, so my night vision will only be half as good and Katzi's, but the fact remains that it's still about twenty times better than what I now have with my normal eye. Same for thermal imaging. It will only be half as good as Anidan's design creates, but the fact remains that now I actually don't have thermal imaging at all. But after the operation I will. People that don't need the new eye for the job they want, might want to take the option to get an improved eye that looks like their real eye did, just that it's not the best that the Borg have to offer. If they want the best, then they'll have to take the eye implant where you can see the lens if you look the person in the eyes."

Seven tilted her head a little. "A middle way indeed. It fits, since we are offering the Borg a middle way between drones and Individuals."

B'Elanna turned further in the arms until she could kiss her Mate. "I guess that after today I can't call you a walking machine anymore."

Seven smiled at hearing one of the insults that B'Elanna liked to use when Seven had just joined Voyager. "Sure you can. I am, after all, still a walking machine. Just that now I can counter with, 'look who is talking'."

Then she became more serious. "Do not worry my Mate. This I can promise you; after a short time of adapting the implants will feel like they are part of you. You will not hesitate to use them, will not loathe having them. No, they will simply be part of you. And you will use them if needed without even thinking about them, just like you now use your arms or hands without thinking about it."

"Maybe we should contact Lonika to tell him that we might as well get it over with now, this waiting is killing me," B'Elanna admitted.

"At this time Lonika will still be asleep, I hope," Seven countered. "Give him his time of rest, I want him rested when he operates on you."

Seven moved her arms and playfully cupped her lover's breasts. "I could distract you in a very enjoyable way if you are interested."

Seven had expected an amused, 'I'm always interested', but instead she got a nod and B'Elanna admitting, "I would really appreciate it. If I think much more about this operation, I think I'm going to puke."

"Then let me distract you," Seven said before starting to do just that.

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 11, Day 02, Hour 19, Minute 04.

"How about Annika?" B'Elanna asked as she rinsed Seven's hair. "I really have to thank ZAn by the way; I love this bathtub."

Seven laughed. "You already thanked him 12 times, but I am certain that he will never tire of hearing you thank him."

"Well, I never had a bathtub before that I could swim in."

"It is only big enough to sit six people," Seven pointed out.

"You're always so damn logical," B'Elanna countered with a fake pout, only to stop when she realized that since Seven was sitting with her back to her, she would not be able to see the pout anyway. "Kahless I love washing you. I love you, my Mate."

"And I love you, my Mate. Hold us."

Hearing the 'us' instead of 'me,' B'Elanna dutifully hugged the blonde in such a way that her arms were resting on the swollen stomach. "Only one and a half months to go, we really should pick a name."

"You are correct," Seven agreed. "However, I do not think that Annika is a proper choice."

"Why?" B'Elanna asked as she started to caress the skin that was protecting their child. "Your abdominal implant is still not giving you problems?"

"It is not," Seven assured. "As you know, the bands exist out of individual segments that are linked together. Those links are stretching to accommodate for my ballooning size. As for the name, I think it is not a proper choice since the name means absolutely nothing to me. I am not Annika; I am Seven. I think that it would be more suited if we give our daughter a name we both like for a reason we both like, instead of the unreasonable fact that it just so happens that my parents once came up with the name Annika."

"You are not ballooning; merely rearranging shapely forms I love to see."

Seven smiled. "B'Elanna Torres, I told you before. You do not have to worry. My hormone levels are regulated. I may suffer from the occasional mood swing but I do not start to cry or think that nobody loves me merely because I am pregnant."

"Good, because you are most definitely and most extremely loved."

Seven turned in the arms and scooted away a little, only to beckon B'Elanna closer. Getting the hint, B'Elanna moved and put her legs over Seven's so that she could come closer until they were touching. B'Elanna loved this as much as Seven did. Like this, stomach to stomach, B'Elanna could also feel it when the baby moved or kicked. Plus, they could look each other in the eyes, and kiss.

Seven winked, one of the rare times she did so. "Yes I am most definitely extremely loved. And our friends also like to see me being loved."

B'Elanna chuckled. "I think that especially Katzi suddenly got the bug."

"The bug?" Seven repeated.

"Yes, the one where suddenly the most sexy curve on a woman's body shifts. It's suddenly no longer the boobs, or the ass, or the legs. Suddenly the most sexy thing is the incredible curve of the stomach. But more than seeing us make love, I think that it's simply that she is enjoying being so close to a pregnancy for the first time in her life. I think it could only be better for her if Pagsha were the one being pregnant."

Seven thought about that for a moment. "I am not sure whether I should tease you about how you just said that you do not like my boobs and my ass anymore, or whether I should comment on the fact that they decided to wait with having a child."

B'Elanna laughed. "Kahless, I'm really grateful that you have that implant regulating your hormones. I don't think I would even want to start fighting the battle of telling you how much I like your boobs and ass, but I also like your stomach."

"You can be very grateful indeed," Seven agreed. "Because I have a feeling that I would butcher you. I do, after all, remember ever single word you said."

"Thank you baby, you're the best," B'Elanna said sincerely before kissing her Mate senseless.

After a long moment of enjoyable kissing they finally broke apart and Seven asked, "Since we cannot agree on a first name, let us concentrate on the last name. And before you suggest it, Hansen also has no meaning for me."

"And Torres has no real meaning for me," B'Elanna said. "My father walked out on my mother and me. One can argue about the reason why of course, but what's the use? I personally think that he just didn't try hard enough. He just wanted a Klingon to fuck to show what kind of man he was. Then he knocked her up and ran away when he found that he couldn't handle a stubborn Klingon with a stubborn child that doesn't listen to, 'because I said so'. I still can't understand why she gave me his last name."

"Torres is most definitely not an option," Seven agreed. "I do not want our daughter to be subjected to such crude language when she ever asks you the history of the name Torres. More so because it has no Klingon history."

"Sorry," B'Elanna relented. "It just still pisses me off at times. Because honestly, that's what I think he did it for. Can you imagine in the Federation of 30 years ago... a man being able to say that he's having sex with a Klingon woman? That would almost make him a hero, at least amongst his drinking buddies."

"So," Seven started, but then didn't continue.

"So," B'Elanna repeated, but she did continue. "Both Hansen and Torres are out. That means that we have to give her another last name. We could go with one of our closest friends, but I really don't want to single one out that clearly. It would be Pasha's last name because Katzi doesn't have one. But Anidan is also becoming a really close friend of mine, of us, just in a different way than Pagsha and Katzi, and I don't want to hurt her feelings."

"I think that the solution for the last name is actually easy," Seven said thoughtfully. "Did you know that in the Borg the name Borg is only used to indicate the whole that is our combined species? But there is not a single person that has the name of Borg. We are changing the Borg, we are making things so that the next Queen, our daughter if all goes right, is the new kind of Queen that the new kind of Borg need. We are the transition stage. We could make the name 'Borg' the official Royal last name. A name that nobody else in the Borg Collective is allowed to use."

"Oh, I like that," B'Elanna agreed. "Just like the implant above the eye that only we two now have is a Royal thing. A Queen does deserve some compensation for the unity she gives to the Borg. Just that we have to make sure that this compensation doesn't lead to her having more power than the Hive."

"True," Seven agreed. "Very well, the last name is decided on. Now let us finally pick a first name. If we choose it today we can 'try it out' until our daughter is born to see if it is a name we like to hear being used for our child."

"Good point. And if we get tired of it within a week we can still pick something else. Alright, let's see. If we don't go for names that are linked to us in some way... so that means also no calling her Lanna or Ann or something like that, right?"

Seven nodded. "I would agree."

"Then I think that the best option is to go at it from the other side. There are over 12,000 languages in the Borg database. I say we pick something that we want a name to mean and then go looking at how that word sounds in different languages and pick the one we like."

"I like that approach."

B'Elanna thought about it for a moment. "So what do we want the name to mean? The first, leader, Queen, woman, pain in the ass, what?"

Seven smiled. "Do you know that in the Gralikiruom, 'pain in the ass' actually translates to Gwendia? So we could actually pick that."

"And have our daughter hate us for the rest of her life because she knows only too well what the name means?" B'Elanna asked amused. "No thanks. How about... what would we do? If she becomes Queen, what would be one of the first things said? Something that still sounds nice even if translated? Maybe, 'You can do it'? Eh, no."

"Be wise, be just?" Seven countered. "Good fortunes to you?"

B'Elanna bit her lip for a moment. "Hmm, the last might be a good start. How about simplifying that? Good fortune to you... how about good luck?"

She laughed. "Yeah, come to think of it, I might actually tell her that. 'Good luck; you are going to need it'."

"Good luck sounds like a good choice," Seven said thoughtfully. "If you look at it not as the name giver, but as the person that hears the name, then it still fits a leader of the Borg. As in; she brings good luck to all."

B'Elanna agreed. "Alright, let's go with that. Good luck. Now let's find a language that it sounds good in. You can do that, if you don't mind. How about you narrow it down to a list, of say hundred names? You know how much I don't like going through the Borg database."

"How about, since we are now enjoying this nice bath, I instead connect now with the Hive and go over the list and read out the translations I would like as names?" Seven suggested instead.

"Alright, go."

Seven connected to the Hive and moments later she stated, "Starting from the first languages recorded in the Collective, the founding species of the Borg, there is actually one that does sound nice. 'Good luck' translates to Vasha. It was often used in greetings; Vasha to all. The next,"

Wait," B'Elanna interrupted. "I like that one. Vasha Borg. How about it? We might find better names, but the more choice we have, the harder it will get to pick a beautiful name."

"Vasha Borg," Seven repeated slowly. "I do like the sound of that. Let us try it for a while. Whenever we refer to the child we call her Vasha. By the time we have to decide permanently on a name, the name will either feel normal and comfortable in use to us, or we would have long picked something else."

"Let's do that," B'Elanna agreed. "There, that was pretty painless. And here I thought we would be going over names for hours. So, now what?"

"Now we leave this water and go eat," Seven decided.

"Good idea, I am your humble servant, my Princess, and I'm more than willing to follow your command."

"Now that it suits you," Seven countered. "Let us leave before I decide that I should order you to feed me."

"That could be fun though," B'Elanna grinned. "In fact..."

The reign of One of Many, née Annika Hansen; Queen of Borg.

Year 00, Month 11, Day 27, Hour 14, Minute 22.

"Are you alright?" Seven asked slightly concerned.

"I am," Chief Engineer Anidan Dubinak assured. She rubbed her neck slowly with one of her hands before adding with a sigh, "I'm just tired; not enough sleep."

"You, just like the rest of your species, only need around five hours of sleep every three days," B'Elanna pointed out as she looked up from the PADD she had been studying.

On the PADD there was yet another suggestion from Anidan for a change, and yet again it was brilliant. It would need a little bit of tweaking to fit into the bigger scheme of things, but B'Elanna already knew that in a month, at most, the new design for surge-back protection would be standard on every Borg vessel. The unit would be destined to replace the old units at regularly scheduled maintenance to the unit. This in turn meant that in half a year the unit could be found on millions of ships; Making catastrophic overloads on Borg starships virtually impossible. Sometimes it still boggled B'Elanna's mind how a simple idea discussed between friends could end up on ships throughout the galaxy.

But at the moment she was more concerned about her friend than about the design on the PADD in front of her. "Only five hours, every three days, and yet you're tired?"

"There's a lot to do," Anidan merely said with a shrug, indicating that she simply didn't have time to sleep, even if that was only five hours in three days.

"Since we are on the subject of sleep, let me bring up the subject of regenerating," Seven said.

"I regenerate," Anidan said defensively. "I don't skip hours there, so theoretically I don't even need the sleep at all."

"Theoretically," Seven agreed.

That too had been something the tests with Pagsha had shown early on. Individualist drones didn't need to sleep because they regenerated. But somehow they felt more relaxed and at ease with themselves if they also slept some besides the regenerating. With Pagsha's species it was two hours every day. With humans, Seven included, it was three hours every day. Though Seven slept more now that she slept with B'Elanna in her arms. And for Anidan's species it was five hours every three days.

"But that is not the point I wanted to discuss. When it was agreed that you could regenerate like I do; in a conscious state, one of the stipulations was that you would regenerate at least once every month in the normal way, with you joining the Hive mind again. It has however been four months now since your mind joined the Collective. The Hive is getting worried,"

"Let them worry," Anidan interrupted. "I agreed to stay and even if you were to offer me a ship right now I wouldn't leave. But I will not join the Hive again. I like my individuality just fine."

"And what a lonely individuality it is," Seven added. "You made a few friends, but hardly see them. You spend time with B'Elanna and me, not because we are your friends, even though we are, but because of your work. The Hive and I agree that you do a lot for us, so for now we will continue to condone the fact that you are breaking one of the ground rules that apply to every single drone, including me. But, Anidan, let me give you advice as a friend; join the Hive, you might be surprised by,"

Seven was suddenly interrupted by the united voice of the Borg, and Anidan was all too glad for it.

{One of Many, your attention is required.}

"Yes?" Seven merely said, knowing that the Hive rarely contacted her so directly. Mostly they would first check if 'now' was a suitable time to discuss something.

{One of Many, cube X4 has detected activity of species 8472.}

"Red alert," Seven immediately commanded.

The red, yellow, and blue alert had been implemented in Unimatrix 01 on the same day the Senior Staff had their first shift, five months ago. The alerts didn't matter to the drones on Unimatrix 01 because for them an alert of any color was irrelevant. They only cared about the Hive mind making decisions and then telling drones what to do. But there now also were Individualist drones. Drones that were off duty, drones that were sleeping, drones that were having private conversations with drones on other parts of the ship, or somewhere else in Borg territory, through their individual link. For all of those drones the alerts did mean something. It meant that they had to go to their station, or go to strategic places where they would be on standby. Ready to be called upon within one minute if needed.

"Does the senior staff know?" Seven asked.

{Yes, One of Many.}

{They were informed at the same time as you, with the exception of Third officer Anidan Dubinak since she is with you.}

"Tell them to get to the conference room, we will go there now." Seven didn't wait for any further comment as she, B'Elanna, Pagsha, and Anidan nearly ran out the door.

"Status," Captain Wolkav demanded from the Hive mind as soon as the women had entered the conference room and would hear the information as well.

Thus was the clear line. Wolkav was in undisputed control of Unimatrix 01 and as such had the command of the most important ship in the Borg Collective. While Seven was in control of all things Borg, including Unimatrix 01, and therefore could make suggestions, or give orders, at any time. Including counteracting orders given by Wolkav. So while Wolkav was in control of the situation, Seven merely was in control; period.

{Cube X4 has not yet been detected and is awaiting further orders,} The united Borg voice stated.

Everyone around the table knew only too well that it had been a blessing in disguise that it had been cube X4 that had come across species 8472. The short designation 'X4' was the designation of Experimental cube 4, which was the result of the X cube program Anidan had suggested.

The idea had paid off extremely well. The Borg's old approach had been crude, but fast. New technology would be adapted for use within days, sometimes hours or even mere minutes. Anidan's X cube approach was slower, sometimes taking weeks to test technology that had been already tested to the full by the species that had supplied the technology to the Borg.

But surprisingly the Borg did not mind the slow approach, unless it was an 'it is needed now' situation. This because there were clear benefits. While testing technology its uniqueness was discovered, and its flaws. Flaws for which the Borg almost always had the knowledge to remove them. This then resulted in the technology, when it was finally used, being of a much purer, stronger, and more useful level.

As was the case with cube X4. This cube had mainly been testing two things; a cloak system, and an enhanced engine system that was testing Anidan's new and improved transwarp coil design. The abundant source of the new metal used in the coils had resulted in an extremely prolonged life of the coils. But more than that, because of it, Anidan had been able to tweak the coils differently. The result of that was that now a ship using the new design could travel at warp 18 without needing a transwarp corridor. Normally Borg ships could only travel at warp 15 without the corridor. And even there they could only travel at transwarp without a transwarp corridor at all ever since Anidan had been assimilated and the Borg had been able to use the knowledge that had been in the brilliant engineer's mind.

Cube X4 had proven successful. The cloak had been tested by entering the space of species that were known to have powerful detecting technology, like the Hirogen and the Joika; none had detected the cube even though in some cases the cube was mere kilometers away from their ships. The speed had been tested too, this by traveling at warp 18 in random directions for as long as the engines would allow before overheating.

It had turned out that Anidan's guess had been almost right; the X cube had managed to travel at transwarp for 380 hours before a shutdown had been needed. And best of all, there too Anidan had been right. After replacing the shield around the warp coils the cube had been ready to go, after only two hours of downtime. It was on they way back to Borg space, still far away from normal Borg territory, that they had come across the signs of species 8472.

"Have cube X4 hold position for now and have it send all sensor data to us, including visual," Wolkav commanded.

Mere moments later information was coming in and the main monitor was used to show the view that would normally be projected onto a view screen. There were the things they were expecting; the bioships and the planetbuster ships. But there also were other ships. They gave the impression of being bioships as well, but they were much, much larger.

Where a standard bioship was a little under two hundred meters in length and only a mere forty meters across in diameter, at most, most of the other ships were actually much bigger than a standard Borg cube with its 3.036 kilometers across. Scans showed that some of the ships were even five kilometers across. Yet at the same time the scans showed that these ships were far inferior in weapon power; only having half as much firepower as the small bioships.

"Looks like transporters to me," Wolkav noted.

"I would say so as well," Anidan agreed. "Which makes it my guess that the smaller bioships are the fighters. Built only to carry and protect their main weapon while these bigger ships are used for other things. Things where you don't want to use a lot of space for weapons; especially if you can provide those weapons by having a few of these bioships escort the big ships."

"I find it rather interesting that they seem to be building up their forces in our space and not in fluidic space," Pagsha noted. "The last time they came in waves that made it very clear that they had entered into formations before traveling through the singularity. But now they are just dripping in; just as if they are hurrying out of fluidic space for some reason and travel though the singularity whenever a ship happens to reach it."

"Though the sensors can't read much from inside the ships, they do suggest that the big ships are full with millions of separate life signs each," Second officer Lachakivediras observed.

"It could be their soldiers; ground troops that they bring in now while the other ships are still coming," Wolkav guessed. "True, last time they weren't much interested in doing any ground warfare. They were more interested in simply destroying ships and planets. But we don't have enough information on them to know for sure that this is how they always behave. Maybe they simply changed their approach."

"One way or another, we need to deal with this situation before they bring in so many troops and ships that we cannot defeat them, despite having the upper hand this time around," Seven said, before adding decisively, "Set a course, we are going to prevent species 8472 from destroying this universe."

{Species 8472 has proven to have weapons that are vastly superior to our own,} The united voice of the Borg spoke up.

{Given enough blasts they could destroy Unimatrix 01, and if the first blast is accurate enough and damages the engines you would be in grave danger.}

"I thought that we had a deal?" Seven asked. "I could go places, and the Borg would then decide on how to protect me there."

{This agreement still stands.}

{However, in this case the risks are too significant.}

{We can only protect you to a satisfying level if you are not in the vicinity of species 8472.}

"So you are not allowing me to go?" Seven asked.

"I don't think that's it, baby," B'Elanna spoke up, not caring at all that the senior staff, and probably the entire Collective had heard the endearment.

"They never said that they wouldn't let you go; they even said that the deal still stands. They are merely voicing their concerns. In fact, I'm willing to bet that if Katzi was here right now that she, as your guard, would be much more vocal and demanding than the Hive mind was. They have a point, Seven. It's too dangerous. I know that we two agreed that there might be occasions where you might have to go somewhere while knowing that it's dangerous. But this is not the battle to fight that. This is too much of a risk, and totally not needed as well. There's no reason for you to be there unless there might be a chance for a dialogue, and that could only be possible if the situation has been secured. Right now we don't even know if we really do have the upper hand, or if they adapted to our nanoprobe weapons. Remember, as a show of good will, Janeway did give a warhead with the nanoprobe technology to those members of species 8472 that we encountered, that were running a Starfleet Academy program to see how they could destroy Humans the best way."

"But she did reach an agreement with them, clearly negotiating with them is possible," Seven insisted.

"And I'm not saying that it's impossible. All I'm saying is that you wait until we make the situation secure. And if negotiating is then possible you can go in, fully protected, and do your thing."

Seven thought about B'Elanna's words and after a moment agreed that she had a point, and that the Hive mind had been right as well. "You are correct, my Mate. My security has to be assured."

Then she addressed the Hive mind. "And the Hive was correct as well. I thank the Hive for being concerned about my safety. The fact that you did not actually forbid me to go, but merely pointed out the dangers of going, shows me that you cared about my safety because you do care for me. And that it is not just because you do not want to lose a Queen. My Mate was right, this was not a battle I should have been fighting, and I apologize for it. It pleases me to find that the Hive is so concerned about me because of who I am, and not merely because of what I am. One of the things that was the previous Queen's undoing was that she made foolish choices. Hive, feel free to always point out when you think that I am about to make a foolish choice. I promise that I will seriously contemplate your objections."

The united voice of the Borg was quiet for a surprisingly long time before they finally spoke up. {Yes, our Queen, we will advise where needed.}

Seven looked startled when she heard the new designation the Borg had just given her. The Borg did not change designations on a whim; clearly something had changed. Confused she looked at a grinning B'Elanna.

"If you ask me, they just accepted you as their Queen; unconditionally this time. No conditions, no restrictions. You showed that you actually value their opinion while the last Queen just brushed them off and did whatever she wanted. You, my dear, are now truly One of Many; Queen of Borg."

{Your observation is correct, our Princess.}

"See, and I even got a boost out of it too," B'Elanna said, the grin never leaving her face. "Probably because I also thought that you were making a bad choice, and thereby showed the Hive that I'll side with them if I think your safety is an issue; which I will."

"Then how do we deal with this situation?" Seven wondered. "I also do not want Borg ships to simply go there and open fire. As I stated, Captain Janeway has shown us that at least with some of species 8472 negotiations are possible."

"You're right," B'Elanna agreed. "And as much as I don't want you to just simply go there, I do think that you should be there 'if' negotiations are possible. Seven, Hive, listen up. How about this compromise? At the moment we have cube X4 there. We pull back X4 beyond species 8472's sensor range. Then we send the cube back in, this time without the cloak active so that we don't give away that we are experimenting with a cloak system and just how good that system is. My guess is that species 8472 will attack the cube to remove the Borg threat. The cube will be our testing ground. We'll see if the new shielding system that Plojkian created holds against their weapon power."

The 'Plojkian' that B'Elanna mentioned was the Individualist drone that had created the new Borg body armor, and the new personal force field armor. Besides that he had also taken a closer look at the force field shielding that protected the Borg ships. He had changed it, surprisingly with the help of the changed shields that B'Elanna, Seven, and Harry had created for Voyager. Though the three hadn't known it at the time, the method they had found to prevent the Borg from beaming onto the ship could be adapted to prevent a lot more from reaching the ship.

And so Plojkian had adapted the shields to where they now existed out of two layers. The first, closest to the ship, still had the Borg strength and endurance. The second, placed directly above the first, was the shield that had been created on Voyager. The result of this was that the power drain of the shields had gone up 125%, so any ship that didn't have a transwarp power source would not be able to run the shields for more than on hour or so, at best. But transwarp ships had always had a surplus of power simply because the transwarp coils provided it, even if not traveling at transwarp. Such ships could run the shields without any problem at all.

Plojkian had explained that it was better to have the two layers instead of having incorporated the technology in one single force field armor, which he could also have done. This because now the most outer layer would protect the inner layer from getting damaged, basically creating a reactive multilayer armor that could withstand six times as much impact as the strength of the individual shields was if you merely added those two strengths together. At the time Plojkian had boasted that this new shielding could even withstand weapon fire of species 8472. And today, it seemed, the time had come that his boast would be tested for truth.

"Since it's a new cube it was built with the new force field technology built in," B'Elanna continued. "We test if the shields can withstand the weapon fire of species 8472, and if it can, the cube turns tail and runs at transwarp. As you know, species 8472 can only travel at warp 9.99993 at most. Then when cube X4 has run far enough they activate the cloak and head back. This time to see if they'll be detected by species 8472 now that species 8472 knows that Borg ships might be around. Besides checking if the new shields can cope with the weapons of species 8472 we can test the cloak some more as well."

"We would be putting cube X4 in danger," Seven pointed out.

"They are an X cube, the Individualist drones knew that they have a risk of dying if something goes wrong; they still freely accepted the positions. And the linked drones... Seven, we need to get info and if it's not with cube X4 than with a different ship, or waiting for a war to start that will kill a lot more than just the people on cube X4. But if we know for sure that the shields can take the weapon damage, then we can go there with Unimatrix 01 in relative comfort since we have the same shields on this ship as well. After all, the Borg were quick to use it on this ship because tests showed it to be stronger than the old shields. Even though how much stronger was still a question of testing, stronger is stronger, so they used it."

"You are correct, some calculated risks have to be taken," Seven agreed reluctantly.

"Hive?" B'Elanna merely asked.

{Your compromise has been deemed acceptable, our Princess,} The Hive spoke up.

{There is however still risk even if the new shields are up to satisfaction.}

{Species 8472 could do a lot of damage because the amount of numbers they have.}

"We will have numbers as well," Seven spoke up. "I want to go there, but not without taking a sizable force with us. I hope that we can negotiate with species 8472, but if not we need to be prepared to eradicate them if needed. When Unimatrix 01 travels to where species 8472 is, we will be accompanied by every Borg vessel that has the improved shields and that can reach us in time. I also want 50,000 standard cubes to be there as well and be held in reserve at a distance that they can reach the destination in five minutes if they travel at warp 15."

{Yes, our Queen.}

{The ships will be ready.}

"Who would have thought a mere year ago?" Wolkav asked with a grin. "Borg; protectors of the galaxy. I for one like to be part of that force, even if we are protecting the galaxy from species 8472 purely out of self interest."

Then he bowed in the direction of Seven before adding with a grin because he knew he was needling the blonde, "Long live our Queen."

Seven merely rolled her eyes while B'Elanna burst out laughing.

As this was going on, none of them, not even the Hive itself, realized that deep inside the oldest layers of the Hive mind something was stirring. The conversation had been an awakener. There had been a mix of the Queen listening and agreeing to the concerns of the Hive, the Queen hoping for a peaceful solution to the problem, and yet at the same time the Queen not hesitating to bring in the might that was the Borg Collective if it was needed. It had been millennia, but maybe the time had come to speak up once more; to be more than just some of many voices in the Hive mind.

The ancient were awake.

Part 36

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