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

By H.W.


Chapter 56

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

Year 01, Month 11, Day 21, Hour 12, Minute 09.

"I give up."

"Sorry, can you say that again, I think I didn't quite hear you there," B'Elanna said with a grin.

"You heard me perfectly," Seven disagreed as she looked out through the window and over the wonderful winter scene that stretched as far as the eye could see. "But just to make you happy, I said that I give up. I cannot think of the reason why we are alone in a nice and warm cabin in the middle of a beautiful winter setting. You asked Pagsha and Katzi to look after Vasha, you gave Zizirk the day off, you promised Vasha that we would spend the late afternoon with her. All so that we could spend the morning and early afternoon here."

"Did you enjoy our time?" B'Elanna asked. "We've got two more hours by the way."

"I loved the time we spent here. I merely cannot think of a reason."

"Is spending time with you alone not enough of a reason?" B'Elanna asked reasonably. "Maybe I just wanted a day just with the two of us."

"First, since Pagsha and Katzi moved in we have taken two days just for us, and the secondary quarters worked just fine for that. Second, no, you cannot simply do this because you want to. You achieve too much pleasure from thinking up an anniversary and then using that anniversary as an excuse to spend the entire day on the holodeck; be it alone, with our family, or with all of our friends. So, while you may have wanted the time alone, you first will have thought up some anniversary."

B'Elanna joined her Mate and looked out the window as well. She molded her body against her lover from behind and closed her arms around her. She placed a soft kiss on that wonderful neck. "Those are all real and honest dates," she defended with a grin, both she and her Mate knowing only too well how right Seven was.

"I never disputed that," Seven agreed with an indulging smile. She knew that B'Elanna was teasing her. But that was alright; she had been able to come up with a reason that Seven couldn't think of, so B'Elanna had all the right to bask in that achievement for a moment. "And I do love the fact that this day was my first ever experience of making love in the snow... which I am certain was not as cold as snow normally is. Thank you for making that little change in the programming by the way. I am sure that under the normal setting we would not have managed to lay in it for that long, no matter how much heat we created."

"Yeah," B'Elanna admitted. "I never did the nude in the snow thing, and today seemed like a good day to try it. It was fun, but I also didn't want to freeze things I don't want to have frozen. So I set the temperature low enough to just have a little bite and be distracting, but not distracting enough to stop what we were doing."

Seven's broad smile showed how much she too had enjoyed the repeated lovemaking. "So, what is it?" She asked, letting B'Elanna know that she really was curious. She loved how B'Elanna could come up with new reasons all the time, and she couldn't wait to find out what this one was. Especially because new reasons tended to result in the day being repeated again the next time the anniversary came around.

"Do we have to wait longer or shorter than a year to do this again?"

"Exactly one year, if we make it that far that is. Seven, believe it or not, but today is the anniversary of our last fight. It's exactly one year now."

"It cannot be. We have disagreements all the time."

"Disagreements are not fights," B'Elanna countered. "This right now is a disagreement, but we're not fighting. Remember, the fights we had, how we shouted at each other... alright, how I shouted and you would become stubbornly over-rational. The fights we both loved so much to have back then. So much that when Janeway put us in the brig you even worried that we'd stop fighting? We haven't had one of those in a year now. Now we disagree, discuss things, and then come to an agreement on it."

Seven went over the events ever since they left Voyager and realized that B'Elanna was right. "I really did like our last fight, yet at the same time it did not fill me with passion like the fights before it did; it felt staged."

"Because we don't need them anymore. We fought because it was a good release of energy... frankly baby, I prefer to take you to bed and love you to get rid of that energy. It just took us a year to realize that we didn't need the fights at all."

"I think less than that," Seven disagreed, the more she thought about it, the more she knew B'Elanna was right. "Yes, our last fight was one year ago, but it was over two months before our last fight before that, and over one month before that."

"Where as in the beginning when we were here we still fought almost every second day," B'Elanna agreed.

Seven looked at the scenery once more. Feeling that the discussion about their fights was over because they both agreed that they no longer needed, or wanted them, Seven turned around in her lover's arms and changed the subject.

"A year is a long time to wait. I do like the idea of celebrating once every year that we no longer fight by coming here alone, but I do like this, and I think I would like to come back here more often."

"We can," B'Elanna assured. "There's nothing that says that we can't run this program more often than once a year. Though this is only a holographic creation, I think that this would be a nice counter to our Zamonan resort. You're right, I also like this. I wouldn't mind hopping back here a few hours every two weeks or so. I'm sure that Vasha, Pagsha, and Katzi will like it as well."

B'Elanna's eyes lit up. "Oh yeah, we need to come here with Vasha. I want to play in the snow with her."

"You want to teach her how to throw snowballs," Seven accused with a tolerant smile.

"Well, maybe a little," B'Elanna relented. "It's the holodeck after all, so we can cheat a little with temperatures so that her little fingers don't freeze off. We could even make a copy of our cabin on Zamona and have that one here as well. With a few changes like having glass in the windows. That way we could come here in the afternoon and stay until the next day and go to work directly from here."

"Two or three bedrooms in that cabin?" Seven asked with a smirk.

B'Elanna winked back. "Two. I did say a copy of the Zamonan cabin. But here we can put soundproofing around Vasha's bedroom, and have sensors in her room so that we can hear her if needed," B'Elanna stated firmly with a grin.

Seven stepped out of the embrace but didn't let go of the hands. "Maybe... maybe we should not. The way a child is raised indicates how she will behave. We can shield her, or we can curb our lusts when Vasha can hear us. Or we can learn to ignore the fact that our daughter might hear us and she will grow up with it being a normal thing for her to hear some strange sounds coming through the wall sometimes."

"Seven, you can't," B'Elanna started, only to be interrupted.

"Vasha Borg. Remember her last name, love? She will be Queen of the Borg one day. Which means that she will also be Queen over deck sixty-nine. I am not saying that you should decide now, but just think about it. I honestly think that our daughter should grow up knowing that sex is a normal thing."

B'Elanna nodded reluctantly. "Growing up knowing, alright. But if she tries fooling around before she is at least twenty I'll kick her butt and kill the person she fooled with."

"But of course you will," Seven said tolerantly.

"Alright," B'Elanna relented. "Two bedrooms it is, and no soundproofing." Despite her word she couldn't help but cringe. But she knew that Seven was right. They could raise their daughter safely, but they couldn't shelter her. Not the next Queen of Borg. "Unless Pagsha and Katzi would prefer their own bedroom. But judging from how much time they spend in ours, I don't think that'll be a problem."

"I like how our daughter adapted to Pagsha and Katzi living with us," Seven said thoughtfully.

B'Elanna laughed. "Adapted? Honey, that sounds like she had to get used to the idea, and not like how it really went. Her saying, 'you live here too now? Good'."

Then B'Elanna frowned. "Vasha knows that her four mothers sleep in one bedroom, and we just agreed that we would stop sheltering Vasha behind soundproofing... assuming that Pagsha and Katzi agree. I'm almost certain that Katzi agrees since she grew is in a society where people have very good hearing and no soundproofing around their huts. She probably thinks that it's perfectly normal. Pagsha,"

"Pagsha will agree that its for the best," Seven said confidently, before adding amused, "And then resolutely ban all thoughts from her mind that her daughter could ever hear her."

"You're probably right," B'Elanna agreed. "But my point is, the step from knowing that the four of us like to sleep in the same bedroom and assuming that we also have sex there is a small one."

"Does it matter if she thinks we do?" Seven countered. "We are her parents, and parents have sex. I think that it is actually more likely that she will assume, if she ever wants to think about her parents sex life, that sex is between the four of us. I think that Vasha would accept it as totally normal. Because of her link to the Hive she knows, or will know soon enough, that there are over five thousand species in the Collective that prefer to live together with three or more people. She will also know that over two third of those species also shares sexual intercourse between group members. To Vasha, her four mothers living together and going to the same bedroom is not any different than how species 3,385, or 6,584, or 9,393, or... or any of the other species live."

"I guess you got a point," B'Elanna admitted.

Seven moved to the open fireplace and sat down, looking at the flames. She knew B'Elanna would follow, and a few seconds later she smiled when B'Elanna sat down on the rug as well in a way that allowed for pulling the blonde close and then proceed to some serious cuddling.

Eventually Seven decided to continue the conversation. "But the fact remains that Pagsha and Katzi sleep in our bed almost every night. How do you feel about that? Or more to the point, how do you feel about the changes that them living with us have brought?"

"What do you mean?" B'Elanna asked confused.

"Like the fact that now that Pagsha and Katzi have moved in, they have their own bedroom, yet somehow end up sleeping in our bed most of the time. In fact, it can be argued that we now have three sets of sleeping arrangements in our quarters. Our bedroom has turned into the bedroom that is used for sleeping if the people sleeping there don't mind someone else sleeping beside them. Katzi and Pagsha's bedroom is used if one of the couples wants to spend the night alone with their Mate, like we also have done several times. We have our bedroom, yet we moved to their bedroom because we wanted to be alone for that night. And then we have the extra set of quarters for those times that we want to be alone for more than just the night."

"We don't just move to their bedroom if we want to be alone for the entire night," B'Elanna reminded. "What we needed to do, and what lucky enough came so easy that you can almost call it natural, is adapt. Take our goodnight kiss. Normally we did that in bed and then it would lead us. We would either go to sleep, or we showed how much we love each other. We still have that kiss, just that now I push you up against the wall between the two bedrooms and we kiss there. If the result of the kiss is that we leave it at the kiss, we go to bed in the same bed as our friends. If the kiss shows that we need more, we walk into the other door and join our friends in the sleep bed a little later that evening."

"That is true," Seven admitted. Then she smiled. "I think that it is a good thing that Pagsha and Katzi do not go to bed to sleep and then end up making love. Unlike us when they go to bed at night they know what they will do, and to what bedroom to go to if they want privacy."

B'Elanna chuckled. "Yeah at least we know when we have our goodnight kiss if their bedroom will be occupied or not. Of course, that's not counting the times where we and they don't mind company and we simply make love in that bed."

"Which only proves that just like us they too still have their occasions where they make love and want to be alone," Seven reminded. "If so they simply go to bed in their bedroom and we know that they won't come to our bedroom that night."

"That's the fun part about complex behavior," B'Elanna said with a grin. "If it just evolves instead of being planned it's so easy to keep to it."

"I think that it is only fair," Seven said. "While we still talk about 'our' and 'your' bedrooms to indicate which of the room we mean; 'your' being our bedroom if Pagsha or Katzi is talking, we have evolved to using the rooms equally. Just that the different bedrooms are now more assigned for a certain state of mind instead of who the person in the room is."

B'Elanna nodded. "You're right; fair is the right word. It's fair that now our bedroom belongs to them just as much. We invited Pagsha and Katzi to live in the Royal Quarters. They're part of this family now, and not just guests that are living here indefinitely. As such, I feel that they have the same rights to rooms like we do. Our bed is more than big enough for all of us to sleep in it; especially since both the couples have the tendency to move together. I normally wake up draped half over you, and Pagsha is always all over Katzi. We have the room in the bed, and when we go to sleep there, we're not in the need to be alone in the room."

B'Elanna smirked before adding, "Of course, there's the benefit that you and Katzi don't need to use the bathroom. Since you both sleep more to the inside of the bed it's not like I have to crawl all over you if I have to get up to go pee. I like the levels we now have. I think it even helps. If we sleep in our bedroom, all of us know that we don't have to worry if the others would like to be alone for that night. Because if they did want to be alone they'd be in the other bedroom. That way we can still do the talking and joking we do at night in bed before going to sleep. We know, for sure, that we're not bothering our friends, our family."

"You are correct," Seven agreed.

"So, if you could change anything about the situation we now have, anything at all, would you?" B'Elanna asked.

Seven thought for a moment, "No. I am glad that they are living in the Royal Quarters. I like having them around. They are great friends, wonderful to spend time with. They seem to feel exactly when those moments are where the two of us want to concentrate more on each other for a day, and they leave us alone even though being in the same Quarters."

"Just like we do for them," B'Elanna added. "We don't start gaping when they start to cuddle, or when Katzi starts acting like Pagsha is the center of her Universe. We simply leave them be and do stuff by ourselves. I think that what all four of us learned early on is that you don't have to be alone to be able to spend some quality time with your Mate. I can spend an hour or so treating you to quality time with more people being in the quarters, as long as we're left alone. Same for our friends. As long as we leave them alone while Pagsha is relishing being held by Katzi in strong and secure arms, assuring her how much she loves her, they don't need to be physically alone. I think that we have truly become that one family. The four of us have become as close as we can. I don't want to think about them no longer living with us."

"I do not think that we have to worry about that, our friends also like the situation as we have it now," Seven assured. "You can see it easily in how they behave around us. Before, Katzi may have been one of our best friends, yet she now lets us see things that we never did before. Like tenderly folding Pagsha in her arms and simply holding her for dear life to show how much she loves her."

"Hmm, not to be one to change the subject," B'Elanna said, feeling that the subject was well talked out for now, "But how about getting up and into that bed one more time?"

Seven laughed when seeing the wink that accompanied the suggestion. "Why bother moving to the bed?" A metal covered hand found a very sensitive spot and caressed it expertly.

B'Elanna leaned into the touch and closed in on her lover's welcome lips for a much needed kiss when a signal came over her Neural link that the Borg wanted to talk to her. Looking at Seven's eyes she could see the clear annoyance there and couldn't help but laugh. Clearly the Borg had contacted them both. Since they had a 'please don't disturb' mark set on their link they knew that it had to be important for the Hive to never the less contact them.

"Yes?" Seven said after opening the link to the Hive, and adding B'Elanna to it so that she too could interact if needed.

{Our Queen, cube 4,573 reports that the Federation Starship Voyager is under attack.}

{Estimated chance of destruction within the next five minutes is ninety-two percent.}

Seven and B'Elanna looked at each other for a moment before B'Elanna finally noted, "It's about time we let them know that we're alright anyway."

"You are correct," Seven agreed before addressing the Hive. "Send in the cube. Prevent the destruction of Voyager, and if force is needed to do so, only use non-lethal force if possible. Tell the Captain of cube 4,573 that if the attackers fit the criteria, the first stages of diplomatic contact can be established."

Despite the situation, B'Elanna grinned at that comment. "Yeah, just because they're attacking Voyager doesn't mean that they're the bad guys. Voyager does have a history of sticking their noses where they don't belong, and pissing people off in the process."

"It seems that our time here is over earlier then expected."

"Why?" B'Elanna countered. "The last we knew of their position, it'll take us hours at transwarp to get there. Let's contact Wolkav and tell him to set course to intercept, and we enjoy our time here a little longer, instead of leaving now and then just waiting until we reach Voyager."

Seven hesitated for a moment before agreeing that B'Elanna had a point. She contacted the captain of Unimatrix 01 to let him know that a new course had to be set, and after closing the link she moved closer to B'Elanna and said softly, "I think we had some unfinished business?"

"Hey, had some fun?" Pagsha asked as B'Elanna and Seven walked into the living room from the kitchen, and as Pagsha knew straight from the attached holodeck. Seven and B'Elanna were only covered by an open hanging bathrobe; the only clothing they had bothered to wear when going to the holodeck to begin with. Sometimes it was easier to wear holographic clothing on a holodeck. Like the warm clothes they had used in the snow. They had no real clothing like that because they had not yet needed them in real life.

"Describe fun," B'Elanna countered, feeling even after as many times as they had seen each other nude by now, complimented by the fact that Pagsha's eyes took a moment to taken in the nudity that could be seen through the open bathrobes. Then before her friend could answer the rhetorical question, B'Elanna continued.

"Yeah, we had a lot of fun. Did some playing in the snow, did some loving in the snow... which was an interesting experience. Did some heavy talking, got a message that Voyager got into trouble again and that this time we did have to bail them out. All in all a fun day."

B'Elanna walked over to Katzi and took a moment to look at her friend who was lying on the couch, and at their daughter that lay sprawled all over Katzi's broad chest. They were playing some game of tag, where Katzi would hold up a hand and Vasha would slap at it, only to try again after Katzi moved the hand after a successful hit. "And what are you two up to?"

"I'm training our Princess here. You know? Fierce warrior stuff; hand/eye coordination, and all that."

"God, they really do start you Zamonan young, don't they?" B'Elanna laughed as she squatted beside the couch and addressed her daughter. "Hey young lady, having fun?"

Vasha looked at her and smiled. "Mamma! Mag says I great warrior be... What mean?"

B'Elanna smiled and caressed Vasha's cheek before placing a soft kiss on her head. "That means that Katzi will be the one that is as of now in charge of your physical and martial arts training, regardless of who is giving it. And that she's the one who'll have to suffer at some point through you being a teenager that thinks that she's so good that she can conquer the Universe."

"Oh," Vasha said before adding with a frown, "Mamma, what mean?"

"It means that your Mamma is teasing me," Katzi spoke up, "And that it will be my honor to teach the future Queen how to protect herself. But for now, it means that you and I will be playing even more games in the future."

Having heard the, to her, most important thing, the infant happily agreed. "Good."

"Is something wrong, since you said there was heavy talking going on?" Pagsha wondered.

"Nope, in fact, everything is alright," B'Elanna assured as she stood up and made room for her lover to greet their daughter as well. "We just discussed how much we liked you two living here."

B'Elanna shrugged before continuing. "You know how it is. We have absolutely no secrets from you, yet we need to be alone to talk about you and express how much we like the fact that you're part of the family now."

Pagsha laughed and waved a hand between herself and Katzi, indicating the both of them. "Been there, done that. And just for the record, we are also very happy to be part of the family."

Seven also took a moment to greet her daughter with a kiss to her forehead. Where B'Elanna had squatted beside the couch, Seven simply bent forward to kiss her daughter and then spent a moment to simply touch and caress her. In the mean time she explained. "We also talked about having the program we visited today saved and add a copy to it of the cabin on Zamonan, so that all of us can go there sometimes for a few hours on a day where we have nothing planned in the evening. Oh, and we talked about the fact that we have to keep in mind that Vasha will be Queen of the Borg and that we think it is better that as of today we no longer shield her with soundproofing. Well, we are not planning on removing the soundproofing around her room, but we mean in other places. Like Zamona or holodeck programs. We will explain it further tonight."

Katzi waved her off. "No need explaining. As far as I see it you finally came to your senses and will start raising her like children are raised on Zamona." She quickly glanced at her lover. "I'll explain it to you after dinner love."

Then the Zamonan looked back at Seven and added with a grin, "Unless you are planning to keep standing like that while I'll explain to my Mate. Then I'll be more than happy to explain in great detail and take a long time to do so."

Seven frowned, and then realized that because of her open bathrobe, Katzi had gotten a very interesting view when Seven bent forward to kiss her daughter.

"And you, my friend, are a pig," The blonde stated, but never the less bent forward to place another kiss on Vasha's head. "And I love you all the more for it."

Then she placed a kiss on Katzi's forehead, simply because she could. Slowly she stood before eventually pulling her bathrobe closed. "There, now how about you paying us back for that little treat I just gave you? You feel up to trying to creating those Zamonan dishes again?"

"You really want to suffer through that again? Last time I had the spices mix totally wrong; I'm no cook, and you know it. But thank you for the treat never the less. You look great in a bathrobe, my friend."

"It wasn't as good as replicator food is," B'Elanna honestly agreed. "And definitely not as good as the food in that Zamonan restaurant on deck 143. But it was also not so bad that we stopped eating it or had to force it down. I think that all you need is a little training. And if there's one thing you don't give up on, it's training. Hang in there, my friend. You'll get it eventually, and along the way we'll be your faithful test subjects. Unless you don't want to try and master those Zamonan dishes of course; that would be different."

"No, I want," Katzi assured as she got up and cradled Vasha in her strong arms. "It's..." She lowered her eyes before admitting, "It's just that I'm not that comfortable with you seeing me fail. All of you, even Pagsha, have seen me be good at things, and getting only better along the way as I trained them even more. You saw me fail the last time I tried to cook, and I didn't like it."

"We didn't see you fail," Pagsha disagreed. "We saw you cook Zamonan dishes from scratch, better than any of us would be able to. Now, it was not perfect, and you can get better at it, but that doesn't mean that you failed; it just means that you need more training." Pagsha smiled shyly before adding, "And you know how much I love to see you train, my Mate."

Katzi could only grin at those words. "Alright, some mediocre Zamonan food it is. Any preferences for a time?"

"How about now?" B'Elanna asked as she took Vasha from her friend. "We'll be meeting up with Voyager in a little over two hours. I have a feeling that we'll have to do some explaining to them, and that's best done in comfort around a table with food on it. I want some room in my stomach by that time to be able to nibble while talking. So either we have to eat now, or skip it. I rather not skip a meal with my family if I can prevent it."

"Yes, what about Voyager?" Pagsha asked, as they moved to the kitchen.

"They got into trouble again," Seven stated somewhat bluntly. "However, this time they were not able to outrun the people they had problems with. They were about to be destroyed, so I ordered the cube in to intervene. We will have to wait until we are there to hear the story from both sides, but it says enough that the cube initiated the first ties of diplomacy with the attackers."

Seven stopped speaking for a moment as she connected with the Hive. Then she snorted, one of the very few times she let herself do that. "Can you believe it? Voyager has managed to anger the Barudians."

"You got to be kidding," B'Elanna said in disbelief. She sat down in one of the chairs around the kitchen table before adding, "How the hell did they manage to piss off the only people in an entire sector who'd ask you if you are having a good time if they walked in on you fuc... pleasing their partner."

"Mamma, why you correct? I know what you want say," Vasha stated as she looked up at B'Elanna.

"Because I sometimes speak before I think, and I don't want my daughter to learn those words, and then think that it's alright to say them because her mother did," B'Elanna explained. Sometimes it was so easy to forget that their daughter had an IQ level much higher than her own. She might be innocent and inexperienced, but she was most definitely not stupid.

"I not use if you say I should not use," Vasha assured. "But trying to correct self is silly. You are part Klingon. Not use strong words is dis... disho... diononing what you are."

All four women felt a shiver run down their spine at Vasha's statement. It was a statement that was decades ahead of Vasha's biological age. But then again, as much as B'Elanna and Seven tried to ignore it most of the time, Vasha was more than just the result of mixing their genetic material. She was the result of mixing their genetic material and then nanoprobes shifting it all around to the highest possible state of perfection that could be achieved by mixing their DNA.

"And you, my wonderful daughter, will one day be an extraordinary wise Queen," B'Elanna finally said. "So you promise that you won't start using those words if you hear me say things like 'fuck'?"

"Promise," Vasha assured with a smile. "Love you Momma."

"And I love you. By the way, that word you tried to say is spoken as 'dishonoring', try it."

Vasha did so, and after four tries and four corrections, she managed it, even though she still had problems with the 'onor' part of the word.

As B'Elanna had been teaching Vasha how to say the word 'dishonor,' Katzi had placed several ingredients on the kitchen table. In the back of her mind, B'Elanna had noticed that this was different from the last time, where Katzi had done all the food preparations on the kitchen counter. But it was only when the Zamonan asked if she could hold Vasha that the meaning behind the change became clear.

"Um, sure, but won't she be in your way?" B'Elanna said as she handed her daughter to Katzi.

"No, she won't," Katzi assured as she placed the infant on her lap. She reached for one of the knives and than gave it to the infant to hold.

Seven and B'Elanna both wanted to object, but their friend's next words stopped them.

"In fact, Vasha will help me cut the vegetables and the meat, won't you, my little Sprite?" Then she looked back at her friends and addressed B'Elanna.

"You are right; they do start us Zamonan young. We never get told to not touch knives; we get told how to hold them. We never get told not to play with knives; we get told how to play with them and not get hurt. All of us respect the sharpness of a blade, but none of us fear it. I promise you that Vasha will grow up and be so used to blades that she'll feel naked if she isn't at least wearing one knife on her body. And once she's far enough in her training, the normal knife will be replaced by an Lawandoran assassin's blade; capable of slicing through anything, including the strongest body armor we know. I promise you, on my life, that Vasha's last line of defense, herself, will be a force to be reckoned with."

Seven looked at how the infant was looking at the sharp blade in her hand with great interest. She knew that Katzi was right; this too was something the next Queen needed to know. Seven closed her eyes, but couldn't stop the tears from falling. She took a moment to compose herself, glad that her Mate and her friends understood and let her be for the moment. Finally she opened her eyes and forced a smile to her lips when she saw how Vasha was holding onto the handle of the knife while Katzi guided it and did the real cutting. She reached across the table and placed her hand over the one of her daughter, stilling the knife in the process, and making Vasha look up.

"Promise me that you will do exactly what Katzi tells you when she lets you play with knives, alright?"

"Promise Momma," Vasha assured.

"So tell me more about this Voyager situation," Pagsha asked, mostly to distract Seven.

Seven looked at her and smiled in understanding, and thanks. "It seems that..."


Chapter 57

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

Year 01, Month 11, Day 21, Hour 16, Minute 52.

"I see that Voyager has taken on a few more battle scars in the last two years," Seven couldn't help but notice as they watched the long range sensor data coming in on the viewscreen of the bridge on Unimatrix 01.

"Well, we did leave them to fight some of their battles themselves when we knew that they could handle it," Pagsha reminded. "The order you had given was to protect them from destruction, not baby them."

"I know," Seven agreed. "And rationally that makes sense; let them stand up for themselves if possible. However, irrationally for several years of B'Elanna's life it was her deep pride to keep Voyager in the best condition possible. She will not be pleased to see Voyager hurt. And talking about hurt," Seven opened her Borg link to B'Elanna and added Pagsha and Katzi as well before asking, {How is our troublesome terror of crib designers doing?}

{She'll be fine,} B'Elanna assured the three women on the bridge. {But I think that it's time that we ask Anidan for a favor and have her create a Vasha destruction proof crib for us. Vasha only has a few scrapes, and a good scare, but I'm taking her to see Lonika nevertheless. Just so that her medical file can be updated.}

{In other words, let the Hive know that Vasha is alright,} Katzi translated. {Don't you think it's funny that they actually care? Not long ago they wanted to put all children in maturation chambers and grow them until they were useful as drones, and now there are trillions of minds concerned about the welfare of a single child.}

Seven smiled before guessing, {I believe that here too we brought something new into the Collective. Vasha is the first child that the Hive truly experiences as a growing individual being, instead of some biological being that is grown in a maturation chamber. A place where it is kept in a semi-comatose state and only fed drone relative information.}

{And not to forget that you cheat, beloved,} B'Elanna added, and despite not being able to hear the real voice, they could still feel some of the fondness that B'Elanna was feeling.

{You're making good use of the fact that you're Queen and you're letting some of your feelings seep into the Hive when regenerating. Before the Hive thought it totally irrelevant how a child grows up, as long as it results in a good drone. But now, now even the voices in the Hive that think that Individualist drones are a waste of work time because those people have time off, knows just what a mother feels when she's holding her infant close.}

{Guilty,} Seven admitted. {But it is not like I am hiding from them that I am doing that. They can read my mind when I join them, and they know full well that I am doing that so that the Hive can understand the sometimes irrational choices people make if their child is involved. Not that it means that suddenly they will all start behaving differently or will not use force if needed in a war, but at least now they know why a parent will fight to the bitter end if they are protecting their child. And that for that very reason they might also be open for suggestions that will keep their child alive while they themselves are willing to die in a war.}

{Lonika is now closing the scratches,} B'Elanna informed.

{And we have reached Voyager,} Seven added. {Take your time; I will take care of this.}

{Yes ma'am.}

{B'Elanna, do not tempt me,} Seven scolded as she glared at Pagsha, who was doing her best to hide the fact that she just snickered.

{I love you baby, see you later.}

{I love you as well, my most troublesome Mate. It is clear to see that Vasha comes by it honestly.}

{I hate to remind you, but not really, that there was a number key-lock put on that crib after Vasha escaped last time. The rest you can blame on my Engineering genes, but you're to blame for her having the code-breaking knowledge to get past a four digit number lock; where you can choose between ten numbers per digit.}

{And we just dropped out of transwarp,} Seven said, changing the subject smoothly. {Seven out.}

"Nice save," Katzi grinned before they turned to the matter of contacting Voyager.

"Wolkav, please open a channel to Voyager," Seven ordered.

A moment later, Seven was looking at the Senior Crew of Voyager, and despite the seriousness of the situation, she had to hide her amusement at seeing the shock on their faces.

{I think that their jaws just hit the floor,} Katzi said over the Borg link.

"Captain Janeway. It is good to see you again," Seven said, while at the same time saying over the Borg link, {Be nice. Do not make me laugh; they would not understand it.}

{Alright, I'll be a good little Borg guard for now.}

{Little?} Pagsha asked amused. {But, yes, time for business.}

"Seven?" Janeway was finally the one to talk.

"Yes Kathryn. It is me, as I was two years ago. B'Elanna wanted to be here as well to greet you, but there was a little... problem she had to take care of."

"Seven... how..."

"I am sure that you have a lot of questions. May I suggest a meeting so that we can discuss them? There is also the small fact that there are three Barudian ships here waiting to take you into custody."

"That sounds like a very good idea," Janeway agreed. And after a moment of hesitation she asked, "Seven... What about B'Elanna? How is she?"

"B'Elanna is well," Seven assured. "You will see her when we meet. As I said, she would have been here, but she had to take care of a little problem."

"What kind of a problem?" Chakotay spoke up.

Seven gave a smile that could best be described as indulgent before answering. "It seems that our daughter has not only inherited my IQ, but also B'Elanna's Engineering skills. She escaped from her crib and hurt herself when falling out of it. B'Elanna has taken her to sickbay."

Once again there was a stunned moment of silence on the bridge of Voyager.

"It seems that we truly have a lot to discuss," Janeway finally said.

"Indeed," Seven agreed. "I would suggest that you beam to my ship, but I know that you do not feel comfortable on a Borg ship. So instead, I would like to ask permission to beam on to your ship."

"P... Permission granted," Janeway said after a moment of hesitation.

"Thank you. I first have to check on my daughter. After that B'Elanna, I, and four drones will beam onto Voyager in thirty minutes."

"Drones?" Janeway asked, and Seven could see that her former captain did not like that part at all.

Seven gave the impression of shrugging her shoulders without actually doing so. "I 'am' the Borg Queen. They are there for my protection. I know I do not need that protection on Voyager, but that is part of the deal B'Elanna and I made with the Borg. A deal consists out of giving and taking, and the Hive insisted that whenever I and/or B'Elanna leave Unimatrix 01, we will be accompanied by four drones to ensure our safety, more drones if the situation is known to be insecure."

"I... See," Janeway said slowly, but Seven could clearly see that the redhead still didn't like it. Seven just hoped that the Captain didn't try to do something unwise. "Very well, we will expect you in thirty minutes," Janeway finally said, before adding a last, "Janeway out."

A moment later the connection was cut and Seven looked around the bridge at the people that surrounded her. Family, friends; people that had affected her life in the most positive of ways. The fifteen people of the Senior Staff; all of which she considered close friends. Then there was Pagsha and Katzi; the best of friends, and dearly loved family members. This, was home.

She looked back at the view screen and at the image of Voyager. She knew that she also had friends over there, but it had never been her home. {Beloved?}

{Yes,} B'Elanna asked. {Vasha and I are on our way home.}

{That is why I contacted you. I was just hit by the greatest irony of my life.}


{Yes. I just realized that once I thanked Voyager for taking me away from that hated place called the Borg Collective. And now, here I am, living in the Borg Collective and realize that it is my home more than Voyager could ever be.}

{Baby, sometimes we have to leave home to realize where our home is. Besides, to be fair, you can't compare the situations. Back then you were just a drone forced to do whatever the Hive ordered. Now you're an individual with a family, with a child, with friends, who is loved by the Hive for what you did and do for them. You can't really compare the two.}

{I love you,} Seven merely said before adding, {I will see you in a moment.}

Then she turned to her other family members. "Pagsha, I will be taking the Royal Guards along because that is the deal we have with the Borg. But I also know how uncomfortable the Voyager crew is with Borg drones,"

"Say no more," Pagsha said in complete understanding. Normally she went where Seven and B'Elanna went if they left the ship. This time she would not, but only to make Seven's old friends more comfortable with the initial meeting. "How about I'll just take the First Officer position for now, since Krawan is in that meeting with the Civilian representatives of sector five?"

"A good idea," Seven agreed. "He might be stuck there for some time yet. But first, we still have some time. Why do we not go home and check on our daughter." Seven smiled. "There you, Pagsha, can help me in scolding Vasha for being so careless and doing unsafe things, while you, Katzi, can help B'Elanna in praising our daughter for her excellent abilities."

All of them smiled as they left the bridge; looking forward to spending some quality time with the infant that had all of them firmly wrapped around her little fingers.

After B'Elanna and Seven had brought the Senior Staff of Voyager to the Royal Holodeck, they had started to tell about their life over the last two years. Over four hours passed as B'Elanna and Seven explained in turn. Light food had been brought, eaten, and dishes removed. Sometimes things had drifted away from the main explanation to move to details that had not much to do with how the Borg had been changed, but all to do with Seven and B'Elanna's life.

"Maybe it would be better if we continue this conversation tomorrow?" Seven asked into the silence that had fallen around the table. But then, Seven assumed, the Voyager crew would need some time to digest that she had just told them that Species 8472 were now allies of the Borg. And that a rather big number of them were actually serving in the Borg Collective.

"How... what is 'a rather big number'?" Janeway whispered in shock.

"There are now over thirty-nine billion members of the Siill in the Borg Collective," B'Elanna added. "That's their species name. Species 8472 is actually called Siill, just like you are a Human, Kathryn."

"We are pleased with the alliance, and I can assure you that the species is no longer interested in destroying this Universe," Seven added. "I am sure that Starfleet will be glad to hear that this threat is no longer something to worry about."

"However, it has been replaced by the threat of the Siill and the Borg possibly coordinating a combined attack against the Federation," Tuvok pointed out.

B'Elanna opened her mouth to speak, but then closed it again. After a moment of hesitation she admitted, "It could be seen that way. But I hope that Starfleet will realize that it doesn't make a difference. If they really wanted to destroy the Federation, the Borg would not need the help of the Siill to do so."

"So you say," Tuvok countered, to then explain his defensive position. "And knowing all that I know I personally would agree with that. However, the question is if Starfleet will see it like that. The fact remains that with the exception of the battle of Wolf359, each and every encounter from Starfleet forces with the Borg resulted in those Starfleet forces either winning the battle with force, or outsmarting the Borg. Also not to forget is the fact that Starfleet did learn from each encounter, including the information we sent them of you being taken by the Borg two years ago. For years now they have been building starships while keeping a potential Borg threat in mind. The Defiant and Sovereign class come to mind. I am also sure that the shielding system that we came up with two years ago to prevent the Borg from beaming in is now set as a reserve option in every Federation starship."

"Good points," B'Elanna agreed. "But also out of date. We were already able to beam through those shields back when the Borg took us."

"Because they had your knowledge," Tuvok disagreed. "However, I am certain that Starfleet will believe that the base idea is very valid. It was after all a very big advance in shield technology; something one can build on to enhance shields other than just trying to make them stronger. All that this new design would need is some adapting to prevent your knowledge of the shields to be of influence. I am sure that they will have used and improved the ideas in the last two years. We ourselves on Voyager have tried to improve the shields. With limited success, because we do not have a fully staffed science department, and our two best scientific minds left the ship when you were taken."

Tuvok indicated Harry's wife to be by nodding in her direction, before continuing, "Now we have Gazec Felov in our midst and I am certain that looking at those shields would have been one of her tasks. The Federation has the Starfleet Applicable Science Department, the Vulcan research group, the Daystrom Institute, the Theoretical Propulsion group, the VJB Research Facility, and numerous other research groups and think-tanks. Be it governmental or private. I am sure that by now Starfleet is already certain that they have shields that the Borg cannot penetrate."

"You think, but you don't know?" B'Elanna asked confused.

"I never bothered to ask," Janeway spoke up. "We sent them all the data we had though."

Then she smiled ruefully. "As much as we in Starfleet like to believe that no ship and no person is expendable, we all know that it's not true. Starfleet will proverbially do everything to bring Voyager home, but would they truly do anything? If the Dominion offered them to bring us home, if they could, but in exchange the Federation would have to surrender the war, would Starfleet do it? Of course not, and we would never want that anyway. I never bothered to ask if they improved that shielding system because I knew only too well that they would either politely lie, or I would more bluntly get told that I'm not getting it if they have it. We have had too many run-ins with the Borg. They cannot afford to share the new knowledge with us because they know that we are still only one ship. Send in a cube and have them simply out-wait us until we must drop the shields. Or we run out of supplies because we can't restock the ship with the cube being that close. Both situations will result in the Borg having the new shielding system that's supposed to protect the Federation... if they have adapted it of course. So, why bother to ask on the limited time that we have during connections? It would be of more use to use that time to have them beam us some new replicator patterns. Because that, I know, they would, and have, done. I even have some real decent tasting coffee now."

The little joke had the desired effect and the mood lightened again. It was not often that a Starfleet captain had to admit that they were expendable, and there was no use to dwell on it.

"But to come back to Tuvok's points," Janeway continued, "He's right. Starfleet only has a history of one battle that they totally lost with the Borg, and for the rest they won. Though winning is in the description of the teller. Voyager won several battles with the Borg, but in reality that means that we were merely able to run away. But, Starfleet will still have those records of us having an encounter with the Borg, and surviving. And they have new ships like the Defiant class and the Sovereign class. On top of that, they have been at war with the Dominion. As you know, as macabre as this sounds; the best inventions are often done during wars."

"We realize," Seven agreed. "Species 7003 also believed that. Because of that the northern and southern hemisphere of their planet went to war for six months every ten years, even though they got along just fine and were a united species the rest of the time. It was as if war was some kind of bloody game they played. They believed that the best inventions were done then. They believed that after the wars the economy would boom, they believed that war was good."

"As weird as that thinking is, those are valid points. Inventions are done, and afterwards the economy booms. Strange way of doing it, but they do have a point," Janeway said thoughtfully.

"No," Seven disagreed. "The point is that at the moment there are only fifteen members of species 7003 alive, and those only because they were space explorers that were assimilated before the total destruction of their planet. The species went one invention too far and literally blew up the planet they lived on."

"And your point?" Chakotay asked.

"My point is that unless the Federation invented a weapon so powerful that even the process of testing would have resulted in destroyed planets, then the inventions done in the Federation are irrelevant. Even if they found a way were they were capable of destroying one thousand cubes for every one ship we destroy of theirs. Even if they were capable of finding a weapon that kills one thousand drones for every one Starfleet person..."

Seven stopped for a moment to let the 'even if' sink in, and decided that there was no reason to add the 'then' because the others realized that the Borg would still win. "The biggest problem I see is that the Federation still underestimates the Collective. We never have been able to fully understand why the old Queen did not attack the Federation in force. It is as if she was interested in the Federation, to the point of even traveling there herself at one point, yet at the same time so uninterested that it seems as if she could hardly be bothered with giving an order to attack the Federation."

"Maybe we were not interesting enough for her as a whole, yet one of her replacement drones, you, came from there. So she checked it out to see what formed you?" Tom guessed.

"I don't think that's it," B'Elanna disagreed. "Simply because of Borg/Federation interactions she should've taken more decisive action. It's what she did in the Grazwiok sector. There a federation of five different species had evolved to the point that they were powerful enough to destroy the five cubes that entered their sector, with relative ease. They were so proud of themselves. They had stopped the Borg threat... they weren't prepared for the Queen's next order. It was basic, but deadly effective. The Queen simply told the Hive, 'if five cubes aren't enough, sent in fifty thousand'. The Grazwiok sector was turned into proverbial ash within three hours. Proverbial because the planets weren't destroyed, but they were added to the Borg Collective, as were twenty-five billion new drones."

"But you are correct," Seven said to the Voyager crew. "From the Federation's point of view the Borg have been a big threat, but one, so it seems to them, they have been able to deal with. And then you also have the added problem that, if you are able to convince them that now the Borg have changed their way of doing business, then they might believe that the Borg are now controlled by a Borg Queen and especially a Borg Princess that are technically still working for the Federation. They might believe that they have a point of leverage to hold possible talks from a superior position. They will know that we will not destroy Earth, so they will think that they can push, knowing that the worst that can happen is that the Borg tell them they are not interested and leave again. Which might actually be something they would prefer."

Janeway chuckled when a specific part of Seven's explanation registered. "That's true. While you, Seven, were a civilian that had no contract with Starfleet, B'Elanna here is technically still a Lieutenant in Starfleet. That'll be a whole uncharted part... more than the rest already is. Will they think that because of that negotiations with the Borg will be easy? After all, the second most powerful person in the Collective is working for the Federation. Or will they just believe that you are some mindless puppet of the Queen that's controlled by the Collective with every word she speaks?"

B'Elanna smirked before stating, "Then they might have a problem, because I'll follow every command of my Queen here blindly." And simply because she could, B'Elanna added over the private Borg link, {If I'm in the mood for a sexy Queen ordering me how to please her that is.}

{I thought I was your Princess. You are my most wonderful Queen though, and I love to follow your every command as well... if we are in that mood.} Seven countered over the link, as she spoke out loud to the others. "As I already suggested, why do we not postpone this meeting until tomorrow? It is getting late, and there is still a lot to tell."

"Sounds like a good idea," Janeway agreed. They all got up and Seven and B'Elanna started to escort them back to the transporter room. As they walked through the living room of the quarters, Janeway was surprised to see that the huge insectoid was gone, but instead the Zamonan guard and the Royal Advisor were in the living room. The advisor was telling a story to the child, who took a moment to look at the group before waving a hand and stating 'bye'; once again making shivers run down Janeway's back.

Janeway had been around children a lot in her life; she literally saw her younger sister grow up from an hour old baby to a wonderful, if mischievous, artist who's work was sought after in the entire Federation, and beyond. But still there was something very unsettling to have a child that couldn't even walk, talk to her and ask her questions like what was wrong with having implants.

Once in the corridor, Seven suggested. "Kathryn, maybe it would be better if you, Chakotay and Tuvok stayed half an hour longer. There are a few things we still have to tell you that are only meant for the highest command levels. Not that I have a problem with our friends here hearing it as well, but you are Starfleet and as such there are some things they are not allowed to hear, according to Starfleet rules."

"We are a close group, Seven. As you know, my crew knows more than most Federation crews get told by their captain."

"I know, and I also know that you shared the knowledge of the Omega Directive with them; I was there when you did after all. But do you really want to put them in a position where they hear us talk about how we are now using the Omega molecules in our weapon banks, or for that matter how we can give you some information about the Dyson Directive, or the Xindi Directive, or the,"

"I see," Janeway interrupted. "You aren't even supposed to know the names of those directives."

"I am Borg," Seven merely stated as they reached the transporter room.

"And Starfleet never bothered to change the names after Picard had been assimilated and so nicely gave the Borg that info," B'Elanna added with a grin.

"Alright," Janeway agreed. "Chakotay, Tuvok, we'll stay a little longer. The rest of you, take a good night's rest. There's a lot more to do tomorrow."

"I agree. Not only talking, but also to show you some of the ship," Seven added. "I suggest we make a full day of it tomorrow. Do not eat breakfast; we will do that in one of the restaurants. Then we show you some parts of the ship. After that we eat lunch in a different restaurant. After that we talk until it is time for evening supper, which we can eat in yet a different restaurant. After which we will beam you home again."

"Seven, have mercy. You can't show them all your favorite restaurants in one day," B'Elanna laughed.

"No. However, I can show them a few between showing them things like deck fifteen and deck sixty-nine."

B'Elanna laughed again before explaining to the Voyager crew, "Be prepared when you visit deck sixty-nine. It's a deck where in all places that aren't critical for ship business, clothing is optional... and public sex could be something you see... probably 'will' see."

Seeing Janeway frown, B'Elanna added. "But I agree with Seven. Those two decks, and a few others, will help you see the diversity of the Borg Collective. Because where deck sixty-nine is free of almost all moral restrictions, on deck fifteen something as simple as shaking hands is seen as immoral contact."

"Why would you have such different way of behavior on one ship?" Chakotay asked.

"You have to keep in mind that there are almost fifteen thousand species in the Collective," B'Elanna explained. "The more drones we turn into Individualist drones, the more levels of what is considered right or wrong will start to form. Instead of oppressing our personal beliefs on fifteen thousand species, we've divided Unimatrix 01 into sectors, and levels. For instance, many people actually go to deck sixty-nine simply because the few restrictions give them a feeling of freedom. While also many people go to deck fifteen because the strict rules there make sure that they can relax without seeing things they don't like. Because of that those areas have actually gotten a full deck that goes across the vertical sectors."

"But won't having different approaches cause friction?" Harry wondered.

"Surprisingly, no," Seven assured. "In this the united Hive mind is a wonderful tool. Someone that prefers deck fifteen does know that someone on deck sixty-nine prefers other things, but is nevertheless not an evil person that needs to be destroyed. In fact, many of them have become friends because they start out wondering what the other sees in their way of life and they started to talk. They become friends, but the things they do together will not be done on deck fifteen, nor on deck sixty-nine. But on one of the other decks on which both of them do not mind going, even though it is not where they would want to live."

"Since we can't visit all the different kinds of societies that we have in one day, why don't I send over a list later tonight," B'Elanna suggested. "That way you all can have a look and indicate a few sectors and decks you'd like to visit. That way you can also assure Starfleet that we weren't trying to hide stuff from you; since you were allowed to go wherever you wanted, within reason."

"A good idea," Janeway said, and thereby approving the suggestion.

"When you make your choice, just know that deck fifteen and deck sixty-nine are already on the visit list. As is deck 765; there we have a no talking zone because all communicating is done telepathically," Seven added.

"So we won't be able to ask questions there?" Tom asked.

"You will," Seven assured. "A part of why this system works is because of an 'it is expected, but not mandatory' mentality that we demand. People on deck 765 normally do not talk verbally, but if someone were to go there and ask verbally where to find the set of quarters of their friend, they would be answered verbally. The same with deck sixty-nine. We will go there, dressed, and nobody will frown at you for it."

"Well, some might frown because they think you're spoiling their view," B'Elanna added with a grin. "But really it's a give and take. You can go to deck sixty-nine fully dressed and nobody will act outraged. But, the 'give' part in this is that if you go to the deck, regardless of being dressed or not, you won't act repulsed if someone steps up to you and asks you if you'd like to have sex with them."

"Give, and take," B'Elanna repeated. "If for instance a member of deck fifteen were to go to deck sixty-nine, they chose for it and won't comment on the nudity. But the people there will also more than likely not step up to that person for some sex because logic dictates that someone that's dressed so much that only their eyes are showing, probably is only there to visit a specific person, or is on duty."

"On duty surpasses everything," Seven explained. "If someone from maintenance goes to deck sixty-nine in a uniform, to repair something, that person will not be bothered. And if the thing to repair is in a public part of the deck, then people will be polite enough to stay out of the line of sight so that they do not distract the maintenance drone."

"Complex," Tuvok merely said.

B'Elanna shrugged. "So is every society. We didn't actually sit down and designed it all like that from the get-go. It evolved. The more people became Individualist drones, the more different kinds of social environments were wanted. We're just glad that we're able to work it all in perfectly. Yes, we did set down some base rules, but those were more to guide than to force. Like; 'to each their own, but respect what the other likes as well'. Simple, but it worked. Take that person from deck fifteen that finds nudity a sin, they'll still stand and protect someone from deck sixty-nine to the death if needed. Because regardless of whether they like nudity or not. Whether they prefer their sex private in quarters, or out for all to see. Whether they prefer to breathe helium or air... they're all Borg. As such every drone is a proverbial brother or sister, and they'll protect their family to the death. I can't even start to explain how happy Seven and I felt when we first felt this sense of... family... drift through the once emotionless Hive."

"And on that note, how about we go and have that extra talk?" Janeway asked, and moments later the rest of the Voyager crew was gone, with the exception of Tuvok and Chakotay.

As they entered the Royal quarters once more, the scene had shifted to Vasha being on the floor and playing with a stuffed toy while Katzi was sitting on the couch with Pagsha being held securely in her arms.

"Sorry, we didn't know that you would be back," Pagsha apologized as she moved out of the arms, but not off the couch.

Janeway realized that the apology was for them, and not for B'Elanna and Seven.

"We still have a few more things to discuss with them," Seven explained. "The kind of things that the rest of the crew is not allowed to hear because of Starfleet law."

"Ah, how about we take Vasha and move to the kitchen? That way you can sit here," Pagsha suggested.

"Thank you." Moments later Pagsha, Katzi and Vasha were gone and Seven asked the Voyager crewmembers to sit down.

"They seemed rather... comfortable in your quarters," Janeway pointed out. "And I find it strange that the Borg would insist on having a guard in here while none accompanied us to the transporter room."

"To answer both questions at once," Seven said as she sat down besides B'Elanna on the second couch, "They are both comfortable here because they are being comfortable in their own quarters. These are the quarters of the Royal Family, and they are part of that family. Apparently I was not clear enough when I said that they are such close friends that we consider them family. The Borg have designated us an 'interspecies community', but we call each other family. But to get the true closeness across, let me add that the Borg have it registered that Vasha has four mothers."

"I... see," Janeway said slowly, her mind going in all kind of different directions, trying to figure out what exactly 'true closeness' meant. Some of those directions were a lot more explicit than others, while others were extremely mild as if scolding herself for thinking about the four women together, doing... Not getting any further explanation, she decided to move on. "You said that you're now able to use the Omega molecule?"


Chapter 58

"I don't know what to do," Janeway admitted once back on her own ship. She let herself flop onto the couch, despite the fact that Tuvok was in her living room, as well as her lover Chakotay.

"Can you believe that? The biggest known threats in the universe, and they control all of them. The Borg, species 8472, the Omega molecule. Forget about the Dominion, or the war as the biggest threat. Seven is Queen of the Borg Collective. The gain, the potential gain of that. Just imagine, the Federation is facing the Dominion forces, and if we manage to get Starfleet to talk to Seven and B'Elanna, they could ask the Borg for help. The war would be over within a day."

"Back then Tom was partially right," Chakotay said thoughtfully. "We were able to outmaneuver the Borg way too easily, in hindsight because we were training Seven for them. But, not just us, but others as well, have been able to defend themselves against the Borg. If we can believe the stories that they changed the Collective, that still doesn't make them perfect or unbeatable."

"Everyone is beatable, as long as there is a bigger or better player in the game," Tuvok noted. "However, the biggest player we know to date, that does not possess omnipotent powers, is the Borg Collective. The real heart of the matter is whether or not we can believe the stories, or if this is another way that the Borg try to conquer the Federation."

Knowing how much the Vulcan had always liked Seven, and appreciated B'Elanna's abilities, Janeway didn't bristle at the words, but she still asked him to explain himself.

"When we were walking through Unimatrix 01, B'Elanna told us clearly that the Borg did not trust us at all, but that they did trust B'Elanna and Seven," Tuvok reminded before explaining, "There is a chance that they actually also do not trust Seven and B'Elanna, but that they merely learned how to use people; manipulate them. I stated this before, and their explanations have not disputed the possibility. It is still a possibility that the Borg are using B'Elanna and Seven to gain our trust. Use us to gain the trust of the Federation, and once there destroy the Federation."

"I don't think they would bother with games like that," Chakotay said as he moved to the replicator. He asked Tuvok and Janeway if they wanted something, and after replicating them both a drink, he continued as he sat down beside Janeway. "That time has passed. We have seen individual thinking on that ship. Even if every single one of them was being played by the Hive, that individualistic thinking would long since have led to at least one of them wondering, 'why don't we just go there with Unimatrix 01 and simply blast Earth out of existence'. We now know that it was the old Queen's unexplainable way of thinking that made the Borg only interact with the Federation on the smallest of levels."

He shrugged before reminding, "You know Seven, you know B'Elanna, and you know them both well enough to know that if they had to deal with the problem that is the Federation, the option of simply destroying it all would come to their mind. Even if only as an option that should never be used. If they were not indeed totally free to think and act like they want then the 'should never be used' part would be considered irrelevant by the Borg, and the idea of simply destroying Earth would be a very valid option. Destroying Earth is a ruthless step, but on the scale that is the Borg Collective, destroying a simple planet that has no meaning to them other than being a potential threat is a quite effective way of getting rid of that threat."

"No, they aren't controlled by the Hive," Janeway said resolutely. "But they are controlled by the fact that the Borg Collective is their home now. Their home, their family, a place they'll protect with their life. There is no doubt in my mind that they would side with the Borg if there's a problem with the Federation."

"Then I would say that you have no choice left, Captain," Tuvok pointed out. "You have to work to try and mediate a contact between the Borg and the Federation, now that the Borg Collective is actually interested in such a contact because Seven and B'Elanna are interested in such contact. If we let this opportunity pass, then we will either lose a possible ally in the war with the Dominion. Or we will lose a possible ally in the war with the Dominion, and leave the door open for the Borg attacking the Federation in the future if they are under the control of a new Queen."

"That was, um, interesting," Janeway said once they were all sitting around the large table in the Zamonan restaurant. Images of seeing a couple have sex on the table of a meeting area on deck sixty-nine, and six people sitting around it and enjoying the entertainment still burned in her mind. But something else that burned in her mind was the total respect that she had seen for Seven and B'Elanna. It was not like people dropped to their knees when the Queen passed by, or even stopped working or having conversations. Still, there was a certain atmosphere... eyes drifted in their direction, and... Janeway shook her head when thinking back to the visit of deck sixty-nine. Those people were in the middle of having sex, when the 'one on top' had seen Seven and B'Elanna and actually pulled out, and wanted to stop entirely. Until Seven had told her to carry on, and then added with a smile; 'it is not nice to leave a needing woman waiting.'

Janeway thought back further, to the visit on deck fifteen. There the closest contact between people she had seen was when two hands came close while someone handed a PADD to another person. There too Seven had seamlessly adapted. When someone walked out of a room, not having seen the group, he had almost collided with Seven. It was Seven who had prevented this contact by taking a step back. It were extremely small things like this, Janeway realized, that made these people respect Seven.

Seven was their Queen, but the reason they respected her was not merely because she was the Queen, but because she had earned that respect. Seven had given respect to every person Janeway had seen her interact with, and as a result of that, these people were willing to do everything for her, Borg linked or not.

God, she had seen a Siill warrior in one of the corridors. He... she... it... just seeing it had sent shivers down Janeway's spine. But it had respectfully backed up to not stand too close too Seven and tower over the blonde. The contact had been small. Seven had touched it lightly on the arm. There had been no other interaction; simply a slight touch on the arm in recognition. The result had been immediate; the Siill had straightened. Janeway swore that if it had been a Human, the Siill would have been puffing out its chest. Later Seven had explained. All Siill were telepaths. As such direct contact was something not often done between Siill that were not Mated to each other. Because of that, touching a Siill in a deliberate, yet small and harmless way, was a way of showing clear appreciation for the fact that that Siill was there in that location where it could actually be physically touched.

Then another shiver had ran down Janeway's back when she realized that these people, both the Borg and the Siill, were willing to die for Seven because of how she treated all of them. She had realized that Seven was in control of a Collective ten times as powerful as the one the former Queen had ruled. Whatever the former Queen said would be done. But the drones couldn't have cared less. In earlier encounters Janeway had never seen a Borg drone run. They were told to go from point A to point B and they walked there or were beamed there. Now though. Now the drones did care. A drone would run, a drone would retreat a step or two so that they could regroup. These drones would know when to switch from phaser to hand to hand contact by themselves. They didn't need to be told by the Hive that using the phaser was no longer an option because of close quarters; they would know.

These drones did care. These drones cared for the place they would fight for. As such, they would dig deeper and fight harder than they would ever have if simply getting a command from the Hive and not caring if they lived or died. And on top of that, Seven had turned the Collective around and had made it a home for these people; a home that they would willingly die for to protect it.

Janeway looked at some of the Zamonan in the restaurant, and at their state of dress. All was just within the lines of decency, but it was even more revealing than the clothing she could remember seeing on Zamona. It led her to ask a question that had nothing to do with her musing, but was safer to ask. "Is there a reason why this restaurant is located on deck seventy, with a direct mini-lift to deck sixty-nine?"

B'Elanna nodded. "There is. There are quite some Zamonan that live on deck sixty-nine, and the decks close to it. They like the atmosphere there. Especially the ease with which they can find someone to spend the night with, that doesn't expect them to come back the next day. Or if they do go back on a regular basis, that doesn't expect a relationship."

"It sounds to me like the Zamonan are using the people that inhabit deck sixty-nine," Harry noted.

"They are," B'Elanna happily agreed. "Most Zamonan are fiercely independent and they're the ones that want to decide when to have sex. To have an entire deck with almost two million people that are willing to have sex pretty much so easily that all you have to do is say 'please,' is a Zamonan's dream come true. Deck sixty-nine is like a treasure trove to them. They can go there, look around, and wonder. 'Hmm, red, blonde, baled... dark skinned, light skinned, blue skinned. Tall, short... hey, should I try what the thing is about men?' They love it. But the thing to keep in mind is that the people that live on the deck also want that, otherwise they wouldn't be living there."

"You said that some Zamonan live on that deck themselves; does that not mean that they too have to say 'yes' to pretty much everyone that asks?" Chakotay noted.

Seven gave a small smile. "You are starting to understand the concept of the different decks. You are correct, mostly. They do not 'have' to say yes. Despite all, final choices are always left to the individual and should be respected. Granted, there are a few species that do not want to be in control of that final choice and they tend to get together with members of species that like to be in total control over their partners. But what they often do not realize themselves is that this is still making that choice. They make the choice to give the choice to someone else; but that is still their choice to make. But to come back to those Zamonan that live on deck sixty-nine. Though members of species tend to behave generally in the same way, there are still individuals that prefer things that the majority does not. This is the same with the Zamonan. There are a few that actually do want others to make the choice for them. But, in a society that is all about being independent, how do you stand up and tell people that they do not have to try, that it is almost certain that the answer will be yes? In this case, they go and live on deck sixty-nine."

B'Elanna grinned and continued where Seven had stopped. "It helps them by the way. People go to the deck, wonder which person to approach to sleep with... and then they see a Zamonan there. They're ecstatic; here is their chance to sleep with a Zamonan without first having to spend weeks to get them to the point where they say yes. But there's more to it than that. So this Zamonan that actually wants to give control to a partner is living on deck sixty-nine. And this fiercely independent Zamonan that wants to be in control goes to the deck to find someone to have sex with that night. They see a Zamonan there... could it be? A Zamonan that wants others to decide for her? They hook up, and stay that way. The fiercely independent Zamonan that wants to be in control finds a partner that wants her to be that way. That on top of that, understands and appreciates all Zamonan customs down to the last detail. And that Zamonan that wants to have a partner that is in control can have that partner, and still from then on be a full part of the Zamonan society and have a partner that prays to the same gods as she does."

"There are by now over two million people here on Unimatrix 01 alone that have ended up in couples, and groups, that are considered steady relationships," Seven added. "Because they wanted to see what this or that way of living was about, and then found that they liked it. Or that found people of their own species to start a relationship because living here enabled them to admit things that they would never have admitted in their own society."

"Do you have any suggestions, or should we pick blindly," Janeway asked slightly amused as she looked at the menu and realized that it was written in only one language; Borg. It made sense, she guessed, because every single person in the Borg Collective would be able to read that language as soon as they had regenerated for the first time.

"Do you all appreciate Human food?" Katzi asked.

"In various degrees," Tuvok spoke up, slightly amused when the other non-Terrans in the senior crew of Voyager nodded their agreement to his words, even Neelix.

"Then allow me to order a Zamonan Spring Festival platter for you. It's a lot of smaller dishes and you pick from them. You may not like some things, but the others will still be to your liking." After getting agreeing nods from several people, Katzi did so.

Once food was ordered, Chakotay asked, "You said that people of the same species like that they could pray to the same gods as their partners. I wonder what exactly your stand on this is. As you know, in the Federation believing in gods has diminished to basically non-existent after finding out that a lot of those gods were actually omnipotent beings like Q that happen to cross the Federation's path."

B'Elanna thought about that for a moment before explaining, "I think that one of our most important rules is the one of 'do what you want, but respect what others want'. Within reason of course. Some of the species in the Collective don't believe in gods, while others believe that every single move is governed by gods. We let them both be. We have places of worship, but those people don't go attacking other people because they don't believe in their god. We have many different belief systems, just like we have many systems having to do with society that cover the same thing, but are done differently. For instance, take marriage. We have species where a marriage is for life, and we have species that never marry but still live together for life once they are in a relationship; the Siill come to mind. We also have things that are now done by many species even though it was originally not part of their normal society. They became acquainted with the system in the Borg and liked it. For instance, the Zamonan Mate system. Even if they are not Zamonan, it has become a norm for people in relationships to call each other Mate to indicate how serious they are. Most people like the fact that it can be for life, or can be ended after days with hardly any problems at all."

"To be fair, the fact that B'Elanna and I do use that system does add to the popularity," Seven added. "If people of different species start a relationship, do they use the bonding system of one species, or the other, or both, or none? Especially because they do not know if their species are compatible for a long life together. Many of those couples prefer the Mate system because it does cover it all. It makes clear that it is a serious relationship, to be taken just as serious as marriage, yet it can be ended on a minute's notice. And though the Zamonan did not use it this way, the Mate system has also been adapted by species that live in groups. Now a 'Mate' stands for a person you love, that you are physically intimate with, and with whom you strongly believe that you can spend a loving romantic relationship. It is irrelevant just how many Mates there are in the group, just as long as you love them all."

"That's quite complex," Gazec noted. "As you know, I'm from a species that sees sex separate from love, so I for one would actually prefer to live on deck sixty-nine, but we won't because I know that Harry won't like it."

"Um, maybe we should actually talk about that," Harry said with a blush. "It would not be fair for me to deny you something that's part of you."

Everyone around the table understood the real reason for Harry's words, and most partners would be upset at the mere suggestion, but Gazec smiled broadly at it. "What are you saying, my love? That you don't want to deny me, or that you don't want to deny yourself? Are you thinking about the possibility of living on deck sixty-nine because you're in a relationship with someone that you know for sure won't mind one bit if you were to sleep with someone else?"

Harry lowered his eyes when he realized that he should have talked about this in private. But he loved Gazec, and he was not about to deny the truth simply because people were around them. He looked back up and looked at his wife to be before stating boldly, "I don't want to deny either of us. If I know for sure that I won't lose you or hurt you, then I would be interested in living on deck sixty-nine, and going along with what it means to live there."

"You won't lose me, nor hurt me," Gazec assured. "If you're truly open to this possibility then I thank you for it. I was willing to have sex with only you because of your beliefs, but if you're truly able to understand that I'm still fully faithful to you, even if I'm having sex with someone else at the moment, then I would love to live on deck sixty-nine."

"It's part of who you are," Harry said, taking the last step of fully accepting his wife-to-be for what she was.

Gazec leaned in and kissed him passionately before saying softly, "Thank you for accepting me fully. Believe me, you won't be sorry." Then she winked. "Remember, we're in an equal relationship. Don't ever hesitate if you want to have sex with someone else. As long as I know that it's me that you're coming back to for love, then I'll be happy that you enjoyed some extra pleasure."

"And with all respect, I think that this conversation has turned much too private," Janeway interrupted. "Gazec, were you using your species as an example for a reason?"

"I apologize, captain. Yes, I did."

As Gazec started to explain, Janeway couldn't help but think about the other things that were said. About Gazec and Harry living on deck sixty-nine. For them to live there they had to leave Voyager. Voyager wasn't even back in the Alpha Quadrant and the splitting of the crew was already beginning. She knew that Seven and B'Elanna would gladly accept them on Unimatrix 01, and probably others of the crew as well. It hurt Janeway to know that maybe she really could bring her family, the Voyager crew, home this time. But that she would be doing it only so that the family could be split apart.

"What I meant was," Gazec continued, "That because our species sees sex separate from love, we can actually take the, for other species, complex level of sex and things that go along with it, out of the equation. Like jealousy or a feeling of being denied because the partner is not in the mood because they already had sex that day. The thing is that our species only bond to one person; having love relationships with more than one person is absolutely unheard of in our species. But what would happen if Harry is my Mate, and he falls in love with someone else and wants that person to be a Mate as well? Because I love Harry I simply cannot love this other person like that as well. Sure, I could, and probably would, have sex with that person. But love? The thing that would make me say that Harry is my Mate... no. So, how does that work? Does that mean that Harry has two Mates, and I have one? And to take this further. Let's say that this other person has someone else he or she loves as well. Does that mean that I'm one Mate of Harry, and that he has a second Mate, and that this second Mate also has a second Mate that neither Harry nor I have a relationship with, or maybe even know? That's what I wonder about. I can see the Mate system between two people, but more? What if three people are Mates, and one stops loving the second while the third still loves the second. Does that mean that the first only has one Mate while the second and third person still have two Mates? Or how about,"

B'Elanna interrupted with a chuckle. "It is clear to see that you're a scientist; you think things through to the tenth level. And you do have a point; anywhere else this would be an almost impossible system to have with more than two people in a relationship. But here we once again have the Hive mind, and personal links between the people involved. Yes, it can, and does happen, that a person has more than one Mate, but that these other Mates are not Mates to each other. But because of the link between them they know what the other thinks. And they can ask to have the standard mind scan, which is done with every regenerating cycle, to be adapted. It's possible to feel feelings then as well. Then it'll no longer be a case of thinking jealously, 'what does that person have that I don't'? Then it will be, 'I see, so that's what this person makes my Mate feel'. And because of that they can either accept that their Mate has another Mate, they and this other Mate start to get along better and become Mates as well. Or the person can accept their Mate having a different Mate that the person themselves only becomes friends with at best. Or the person can still not accept that the Mate has another Mate and decides that ending the relationship is the best thing to do. Bottom line, and most important, is that they know, for sure, what the feelings are and it helps in keeping relationships going, or to find a point where they can stop the relationship but still be friends."

"All you have told us this far sounds very positive," Chakotay noted. "It makes it sound like the Collective is a perfect place to live, where nothing bad ever happens. That's not realistic. So, what are the bad parts?"

"The bad parts?" Seven repeated. "You mean like the fact that there are indeed instances where we have to prevent people from becoming Individuals again because they want to harm the Collective for their own gain? Or like the fact that because of decisions I made, orders I gave, 7,290,161 drones have died? Drones, that means not also counting people that were not part of the Collective. I would make those choices again today, but the fact remains that because I said yes, literally millions have died. Or that no matter how hard I try not to, sometimes I look at my daughter and think of the babies that died that were younger than my own daughter, because I gave orders. Or like how because I approved experiments that eventually went wrong, I now have to live with remembering the screams and feelings I felt over the Borg links as 15,683 drones literally melted into a bloody puddle. Or how because of my orders we replied to attacks which resulted in wars, which on its turn resulted in millions of deaths on non-Borg side, and one destruction of an entire planet? That kind of 'bad parts'? I apologize for only wanting to show you the positive side of the Borg Collective. But if you really want to experience the negative sides, you can join the Hive for one day and we can let you feel the pains of the Borg drones that die every single day because of decisions I make."

"You feel that?" Janeway spoke up to get the attention off a clearly uncomfortable Chakotay.

"Not all the time," Seven admitted. "There is an option to filter out those feelings and that is normally active. We do not want to make the life of every drone miserable simply because how they feel how a drone fifty light-years away died."

"But," B'Elanna spoke up, "Seven believes that one of the things that made the old Queen so ruthless, and unpredictable, is the fact that she never felt the results of her actions. Because of that Seven sometimes deactivates this filter to actually feel it all. She's the only one though. I don't do that; I don't think I could feel all that and not go insane."

"The reason why I do not go insane is because I feel all," Seven explained. "Yes, I feel the drones dying, but at the same time I feel the joy of other drones when they hear the person they love say 'yes'. It balances out. I feel the negative result of my actions, but I also feel the positive result. I feel how millions have died, because of my choices. And I feel how billions have a better life than they had ever dreamed of, because of my choices. Also, I do not do this every day, and when I do I first spend a few hours to prepare myself for it."

"And the Hive loves her all the more for it," B'Elanna added. "For the old Queen, drones were tools to be used. Now the Hive feels how Seven mourns the loss when voices go quiet." B'Elanna hesitated for a moment before explaining, "Voices going quiet, is what we call people dying. Because of the Borg link those people could have been light-years away, but you still can 'hear' the death right here if you want by there suddenly being one voice less in the Hive."

They were interrupted by the food being brought, and Tom decided that a different direction for the conversation was needed. "So, tell me, how does one fly a Borg cube? I mean, I saw that you have a bridge on Unimatrix 01, but it's more of a centralized command thing. Don't you have ships that are really piloted directly by a pilot?"

"Why, do you want to be the first Federation pilot that flies a ship that's bigger than a Sovereign class?" B'Elanna asked amused.

"Well, yeah," Tom admitted a bit sheepishly.

B'Elanna grinned. "If you're really interested in flying a big ship, we can give you a little time behind the helm of Unimatrix 01 later. Centralized command or not, that's still where Unimatrix 01 is steered. I don't think that any Federation pilot will be able to beat that."

B'Elanna's grin turned into a laugh when she saw Tom making a move as if wiping away some drool. "Fine, you get your shot later. But just so that you know, we're very happy with our Senior Staff pilot, so there's no way that you'd ever be able to get that job, so don't start dreaming."

"Oh, but I wouldn't mind serving on the Beta shift," Tom assured. He had been joking, mostly, but he was not about to say that out loud when Seven spoke up.

"There is an option there. We have a pilot on the Beta shift as well, but she could be very suited, and is interested in, becoming an Alpha shift pilot for one of our X-cubes."

"I'll be in touch," Tom assured with a broad grin.

"X-cubes?" Gazec asked.

"Ah, right we didn't tell you that yet," B'Elanna said. "Gazec, you as a scientist might find this approach very interesting. You see, what we do now if we want to test something is..."


Chapter 59

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

Year 01, Month 11, Day 25, Hour 11, Minute 02.

Looking across the table of Conference room one, the place where Seven normally had meetings now with people that didn't have their own office or place of work on Unimatrix 01, she decided that Queen Erda of Zamona had not been exaggerating. Her niece truly did look twice as good in real life. Seven had thought it impossible for someone to look even better than on the picture that Erda had shown had.

The Queen's niece, Jena, was a redhead in the true essence of the word. It wasn't like often with people described as redheads, that she merely had brown hair with a few red highlights. No, Jena had flaming red hair that had the color of brightly polished copper with just enough orange mixed in to give it an even redder shine. The wonderfully thick mane of hair cascaded down her back and round her face in beautifully natural curls. They had to be natural because they were too un-kept and therefore all the more sexy, to be made by any device. They had that tossed and crushed look to them that you got when someone was used to sleeping with curls. The hair was simply stunning in beauty. That the color was real was proven by the fact that her thin and perfectly formed eyebrows had almost exactly the same color; just a shade darker.

She had golden colored eyes that were so bright that it almost looked like they shone with an intensity that you could only get from electronically powered lights. Her face was a sculpture of beautiful lines that worked perfectly together to show off just how fine and delicate the face was. Lips were just puffy enough to be called full and lush lips.

Her neck was elegant. And Seven noticed that nature had decided that this specimen didn't need the freckles that redheads almost always had. The neck flowed into sensual lines of a body that could only be described as sex on legs. Breasts that were between Seven's and B'Elanna's in size somehow worked to form a cleavage that was worth groaning about.

Seven had to admit, if only to herself and her adult family members over the Borg link, that she was sad that the woman was sitting down and that not more of that beautiful body could be seen. A body that was only covered in form hugging Zamonan leathers.

Seven realized that the most amazing thing was that Jena's body had a huge 'but the rest' ability on top of all that nature had gifted her with. As in, even if you truly hated redheads... but the rest of that body made you not mind that she was a redhead. As in, even if you preferred breasts to be bigger or smaller... but the rest of that body made you not mind that her breasts were that size.

There were fifteen thousand species in the Collective, and because tastes did differ there would be thousands of species that would describe Jena as ugly as dirt, or hell, or whatever they preferred to use as emphasis to show just how ugly ugly was. But still, Seven guessed that for about eleven thousand species Jena would turn heads, at least. On a scale of one to ten most species would rate her... an eleven.

That is until she opened her mouth and started to talk. Then it would be a fifteen. Queen Erda had been right there as well. That voice was incredible. It was so sensual that you could get sexually excited just listening to her read out an instruction manual.

Then Seven smiled as she realized that as incredible as this woman was, as tempting as she was, she stirred nothing more in Seven than a deep appreciation for nature's abilities. She heard B'Elanna chuckle over their link. {Yeah, you don't want to touch her because I'm the only one you want to touch, but damn do you want to see her nude and in ecstasy.}

{Pagsha and Katzi are the only ones I want to see making love,} Seven reminded the three other women that shared the link connection. Only to then relent. {But if I were to happen to walk over a beach and saw her making love, I think I would stay and appreciate nature from that convenient location.}

B'Elanna laughed, out loud this time. "Yeah, and then not even know what color the flowers were," She said out loud before addressing their guest. "I apologize for our stunned expressions, but you do have a certain effect on people."

"So I'm starting to learn," Jena said with a smile. The smile was too sophisticated to call it pure sex, instead it was more like a promise all by itself. "Last year one of the women that became my Mate for a few weeks shortly after, described me as, that one day our patron goddess was bored and had decided to see what arousal would look like if poured into a Zamonan form, and that I was the result. I didn't understand what she meant back then, but since she smiled I just assumed that it was a compliment."

"Forgive me my rude behavior and allow me to make proper introductions." Seven pointed at her lover. "This is Two of Many, B'Elanna to friend and enemy. This is Pagsha, our Royal Advisor, and a family member. This is Katzi, one of our Royal Guards, though she is not here in that capacity right now. She is also a close friend and family member and I appreciate her input in situations. And finally, I am One of Many, Queen of Borg. Seven to friend and enemy. You are doing well, I see. I hear that your procedures were... quite severe."

Well, that was one way of putting it. Tests had shown that Jena had suffered from a brain defect after all. Just that it had been beyond the Zamonan doctors to determine. Once Jena had the temporary implants and could make an informed choice she had been grossed out, as one of the doctors had said in a report, by how she was living and she had eagerly agreed to the permanent procedure. The solution for the problem had been fairly easy, for Borg medical standards, but at the same time extreme. 75 percent of Jena's brain had been removed and replaced by a Borg computer unit.

The results had been better than anyone could have hoped for. Before starting the replacement the doctors had been able to pinpoint just which parts of the brain were being used. Those 25 percent had been carefully preserved and protected. Implants had taken the strain off those parts, controlling the body was no longer done by the brain, but by the Borg implants. Which resulted in that those 25 percent could focus even more on being Jena the person. The result was that Jena's personality had been preserved. Though like Seven had warned, it had changed.

Jena now had a head full of Borg nano-processors, and storage crystals that worked on a subatomic level. Plus the Borg standards like the Borg equivalents of a photographic memory and instant recall. Which meant that her head was now filled with a computer that had more processor ability and storage ability than Voyager's main computer core had.

Now Jena could still laugh about a joke, but it had to be funny for her to do so. Where before all that was needed was that someone told her that it was a joke. Now people could no longer get away with calling her a great lay and then say that it was just a joke. Because now Jena realized that first of all the comment was not funny. And second of all Jena was smart enough to turn words around and say things like, 'oh, so you say that me being a good lay was just a joke. So you mean I'm not a good lay'? To which people would start with an 'of course not, but', at which point Jena had them and proverbially ripped them to bits with cutting words and the sharp edge of a Borg honed mind.

Jena tapped herself against the forehead with a slender and well formed finger. "With quite severe you mean where they actually gave me a brain to work with? Yes, you could call it that. Plus a few other implants. But I only picked things that are under the skin."

"A lot of people do," Seven assured. "The skin is a barrier to protect the rest of the body from the outside, for many people the skin seems to be an emotional barrier as well. They love to get implants, as long as they do not see them when they look at themselves in the mirror. Obvious exceptions of course being when implants are needed for a certain job."

"Right, jobs," Jena said. "Which brings me to the following. I decided to join the Borg because it took me only three seconds with having my now functioning brain to realize that my village would soon bore me. But I'm not sure about a job I can do. As soon as I found out that there are jobs that don't demand body altercations, I signed up. I had no idea that I would be shipped here though."

"That would be my choice," Seven explained. "As soon as Queen Erda informed me that you had decided to join us, I felt that I wanted to meet you in person."

"Really?" Jena said with a brilliant smile that lit up the already glowing face.

Seven couldn't help but blush.

"Seven is my Mate, and Pagsha and Katzi are Mated as well. Zamonan style," B'Elanna warned. "Don't play unless you want to follow through on getting the normal Zamonan reaction from the Mates."

The smile stayed, but somehow the sex drained out of it to leave mere pleasantness.

"Sorry, automatic reaction," Jena said sincerely. "You could call it a survival skill. It's what made sure that there was always someone ready and waiting to take care of me."

"You seem quite proud of that fact," Katzi noted. But then, the woman had a right to be. It was not easy to talk a Zamonan into bed. With having slept with over forty of them before meeting Pagsha, Katzi could be considered an expert. So to get a Zamonan ready and eager to sleep with you with nothing but a smile... that was a true master at work.

"I am," Jena agreed. "That's really the only part where my parents and aunt were wrong. They thought that I slept with all those women because I didn't know any better. I did. I may have had the intelligence of a rock, but I knew damn well what I was doing. I slept with them, and they bought me new clothes. I had a great time with them because I love sex, and on top of that they took care of me. It's just too bad that I didn't know how to keep them happy outside of the bed and make them stay longer. But then, that was not that bad either. I like variety. It's a shame I couldn't count further than ten; I would love to know how many women I slept with."

Pagsha chuckled. "I see that we will soon find another Zamonan living on deck sixty-nine."

"I was looking at living arrangements and the deck interested me," Jena partially agreed. "But I don't know, as much as I like variance, the behavior there seemed too random. But I have seen a few behaviors I do like. If I may be so bold and actually point to the First Family. You are living together. I think that interests me more... um, a group I mean, not you. I never came between family, not even back when I couldn't think. No, I'm thinking more of a group of a few people as a family. Some people to live with permanently so that I have that variance in my own family. And that on top of that don't mind that, then, I head to deck sixty-nine on occasion if I want something else for an hour of so."

"We leave relationships to the people," Seven assured. "The concept you are thinking of is not new and actually in use by quite a number of family groups."

"Wonderful," Jena said, smiling again.

Some of the sex tried to seep back into that seductive smile, B'Elanna noted. "So, do you have any idea what kind of job you would like to have?" B'Elanna asked.

Jena thought about that for a moment before shrugging... apparently there was nothing the woman couldn't do without making the movement look sensual. "Not really. There are a few interesting things, but... do you happen to have something in which I can use my body?"

"Unless you want to work in Unimatrix Zero, almost all jobs in the Borg require the use of the body," Seven noted.

Jena shook her head. "No, that's not what I mean. I mean, you know, use my body."

Four proverbial lights went on in the minds of the First Family. "Um," Pagsha started, but didn't really get any further than that.

Jena waved a hand to indicate her body. "I always liked the way I look. On top of that I always liked using my body to make others take care of me. While I don't need others to take care of me anymore, I still would like to use my body. I was curious and checked all the Zamonan the Borg have files on, mostly the ones working in the Borg now, and I dare to declare that I look the best of all of them, save for personal preferences of course. I think our patron Goddess blessed me. And while I'd love to have that family group I just talked about, I think that it would be unfair to the Goddess' blessing to restrict her gift to only a few people."

Jena hesitated for a moment. "More so even because that wonderful brain of mine just pointed out to me that thanks to my nanoprobes I'll look like this until the day I die. Ooh, I'm so glad that those were mandatory because they are needed to keep my brain in top condition. I always feared at what age my looks would leave me; now they never will."

It was B'Elanna who managed to lift her jaw off the floor first. "Um, well, um, no official job comes to mind now. So how about for now we put you in security here on Unimatrix 01 while you look at jobs a little more? On Unimatrix 01 security is really more a place that's called upon if we have people on the ship that are't part of the Borg and that need... a tour guide basically. If more than that is needed the ATSD teams jump in."

Jena seemed disappointed with that but nodded nevertheless.

"I did hear that a few people are creating holodeck programs in their free time," Pagsha noted. "Some with more success at good results than others. I think on deck 597, sector 38 there's a small but serious group. They exist out of people that were active in the industry on their planets before the Borg assimilated them. It may not be the using the body you are thinking of, but it might help. But I think I should point out that with your looks, you will by definition be typecast as the fame fatale of the stories. Be it a good or evil person."

Now Jena smiled again. "Thank you, I'll check it out." Then she looked at B'Elanna. "So, security here are basically tour guides? Why not simply call them tour guides?"

"Well, because..."

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

Year 01, Month 11, Day 27, Hour 18, Minute 46.

"What is this program about?" Seven asked once she, B'Elanna, Pagsha, and Katzi had entered the holodeck.

"I don't know," Pagsha admitted. "Jena's note merely asked if we would allow a program like this to be created and used by the public. Oh, and that it's not suited for young children. I thought that simply running it could be fun. If nothing else we will be surprised by the program. After all, it can't really be that much since it was only created in two days. One really, if you count the fact that Jena didn't go directly to the holoprogram making group. And even after that they have to think of something to do and think up dialogue. She did say in the note that if the Queen would allow such a program then she and her group hoped that they could turn it into their official job for the Borg."

"She and her group?" Katzi asked amused. "It seems that she was chosen to be the spokesperson after the very democratic process of walking into the room."

Seven smiled. "So it seems. Very well, we are here now. Start the program."

Pagsha did so and they were surprised when the holodeck changed into a bedroom."

"It seems that someone's quarters here on Unimatrix 01 were chosen as décor," Seven noted. "That helps explaining why they were so fast in creating the program. They merely recorded and had the images transformed, instead of actually programming a computer program."

"Probably," B'Elanna agreed. "An approach not used that much anymore because programming allows for the hologram to react in more ways than only the recorded ones. But the result of recording is just as good, if not better, if you can live with there being only a few possible reactions."

The conversation was stopped by a door opening and Jena walking in. Four throats swallowed. The Zamonan leathers had looked incredible on the woman, but the robe, if you could call it that, that she was wearing now looked ten times as good. It was of a thin black material that seemed to be made from strings knotted together. The result was that it looked like it were full pieces of fabric, yet the holes between the strings gave a promise of what was underneath. The perfect mix between cover, and showing just enough color of skin to show that the contents simply had to be much better than the packaging.

Then the hologram started to talk, and it was clear that when the recording was made, Jena had unleashed all her vocal sex skills. "Hey sweetie. I'm glad that you finally made it. I told you that I wouldn't bite, unless you asked. But what's this? You brought some friends along?"

The Jena hologram shook a finger and tisked, in an incredibly sexy way of course. "You are a naughty girl. You know that this program was created for one on one education. Now, if you all want to learn then you have to take turns, because I'll only teach one at a time. Of course the others can stay and watch if they want."

"Computer, pause program," Seven spoke up.

They looked at each other for a moment while the holographic Jena stood frozen in place.

"This is not what I was expecting," Seven finally said. She looked at Pagsha who lifted her hands.

"The note made no reference that this was other than normal."

"Love," Katzi said softly, "Who says that this is not normal for Jena? With as many woman as she's been with apparently, I wouldn't be surprised if she had been the first person any of the girls in her village had sex with over the last ten years or so. I have the distinct feeling that Jena started very young."

"Did the program have a name?" B'Elanna asked.

Pagsha nodded. "Sure, it's called..." She groaned and then cringed. "I so interpreted that title in a different way."

"Is that the title?" B'Elanna asked amused. "The program is called, 'I so interpreted that title in a different way'?"

Pagsha stuck out her tongue. "You are such a comedian. No, it's called 'woman seeking woman, the first time'." Before anyone could say anything Pagsha defended. "She is Zamonan, I thought it was some... I don't know, martial arts training. Some basic moves or something."

"I think you have that part right," Katzi chuckled. "Looks definitely like training of basic moves."

"And you are no help," Pagsha shot back while crossing her arms.

"You know what I think?" B'Elanna said, deciding that her friend had been teased enough. "I think we should definitely offer the person who directed this a job as director of new holodeck programs."

"Are you insane?" Seven asked in disbelief.

"Love, look a layer deeper." B'Elanna made a waving gesture to the hologram. "Not at Jena and what we can guess is coming next. But at how the program is done. This program is clearly created for single use. Yet we're with four people here. Honest raise of hands, who felt like she was the person that Jena was talking to? Who felt like 'sweetie' meant her?"

B'Elanna lifted her own arm, reluctantly followed by three more. "That's quality directing. And, granted, quality ability of Jena to put directions into act. She... the hologram, made just enough eye contact with all of us to make it seem like she was talking to us, but short enough to make it look that she was merely glancing at the others. Who felt exactly the same as the others, like she was meant. And there's more. Did you hear the reference? She said something like, 'this program was created for one on one education'. This is a holo program, she could just as easy have said that she prefers one on one sex and that, um, we, have to take turns. But no, she made a clear reference, reminded clearly that this 'is' a program, and that this 'is' meant for education."

She pointed a finger at Seven. "I bet you breakfast in bed that they deliberately recorded things in such a way that this hologram is a great teacher for people that want to learn what to do. But that the actions will quickly become boring and the same if you run the program time and again because Jena is so hot and you want sex with her. I even bet you that she won't be doing as much as having done. It's education, teaching what to do. She'll tell someone exactly how to make a woman feel good, and she'll even respond to touches to her body that are done during that time, but I don't think that you'll be able to get her to focus on you while you simply lie back and enjoy."

"That is a lot of betting and guessing," Seven noted.

"Want to run the program and see?" B'Elanna asked with a grin. Then she explained. "Remember what I told you? My first time ever with a woman was actually a hologram. I ran an education program because I wanted to know what to do. If they were serious about this being for education then it'll go along those lines. Of course, as nice as that Risan hologram was, Jena puts her to shame hands down. Though I wonder what Jena will do for her second program."

"There will not be a second program," Seven stated firmly.

"I wonder," Katzi said thoughtfully at the same time. "Seven, would you mind being Queen for a moment and monitor the Alert channel? If I'm right you will know when to let the Hive know that we are merely testing a new holoprogram."

Seven frowned, but did so. She looked how Katzi stepped closer to the hologram and then punched it in the face. There was no flying or falling body. The only reaction was that the hologram disappeared, including the bedroom setting.

"An alarm was sent that a nonviolent training hologram was just assaulted by Katzi of Erdania Village, and that security and a counselor should be sent to her location."

Some of Seven's annoyance made place for reluctant admiration. "They did not take the security of their program lightly. The alert has been neutralized."

Now Seven even smiled. "But only after the Hive checked where you were and saw that both I and B'Elanna were with you and that therefore the claim that it was a test can be believed. I am glad to see that the Hive finds the new Alert channel also something to take very seriously."

"So what are you going to do about this?" Pagsha asked. "Tell them to not make holoprograms like this anymore? Remember how Jena said she wanted to use her body? As B'Elanna just said, I wonder what her next program would be. I have a distinct feeling that she found her way of using her body. After all, she said she likes sex. It's not that far fetched to think that she will also enjoy knowing that people want to run a program so that they can have sex with her hologram. What did Jena say again? Her body should be shared?"

Having calmed down from her initial shock, Seven shook her head. "I think we should allow them to do what they want. Even give them help, within reason. In return of which we will also demand a good quality product, clear securities like the one that we just saw. And, I think the categorizing of holoprograms needs an overhaul. A program like this should be clearly marked as adult education, just like ones that are merely for fun should be marked as adult entertainment. After all, such programs already exist, just that they are created fully by computer programming and no longer use real people for recording. And we indulge, and depending on the deck even encourage, casual sex between strangers. Clearly in the whole of things having a group produce adult entertainment is only a minor footnote."

"If she stars in other programs I'll bet you that she'll be a lot more than a footnote. She'll become famous under the Individualist drones," B'Elanna pointed out.

"Then maybe we should promote that as well," Pagsha suggested. "Make it clear that we appreciate her service to the Borg. And also make it clear that we will only condone the creation of adult holoprograms, where real people are recorded, if they live up to certain quality standards. If people want something else, then they can play with the fully computer generated programs."

B'Elanna nodded. "Alright, if we do that, then we should promote her as an actress, not an adult actress. Make it clear that we'll also condone programs where people are recorded that have nothing to do with adult entertainment. But that live up to the same quality standards. Make it all one industry that simply produces different things. That way those actors won't be restricted to certain types of programs."

"Do you think that would happen?" Seven asked. "I mean, of course there will always be restrictions. For instance, Jena will never be cast to play an old witch, but she might be cast to play the innocent heroin of the story that needs saving."

"Witch, innocent heroin?" Katzi asked confused. Both terms being totally foreign to her.

Seven started to speak, only to stop when she realized it would only confuse her friend even more. Instead she opted for," It is part of a children's story I once attended with Naomi. Now that Voyager is stationed beside us I will download it and that way we can discuss its many flaws at another time."

Now Katzi grinned. "Ah, one of those stories in which innocent means a woman in need of help because she can't find her own a,"

"Yes, one of those," Seven interrupted before her friend could describe just what the main person in the story probably couldn't find with both hands tied behind her back.

"Yeah, I think that people would be restricted to a certain kind of entertainment if we don't prevent it," B'Elanna assured, answering Seven's original question. "If we don't make sure to prove that we've got no problem with them being active in several fields, the reaction will be things like, 'I don't want to run that program, it's with that adult entertainer. I'm not in the mood for adult stuff'. We have to prevent that. Take Jena. Just because she makes a program today where she gives someone the best lay of their life, should that mean that because of that tomorrow she won't be allowed to be in a program where she plays hide and seek with a child? As long as programs are clearly marked and locked for certain groups of people that should be doable."

"A valid point," Seven agreed. "Maybe it would help if we publicly commended this group on their work, if it is good enough to warrant a positive public appreciation of their work of course."

B'Elanna grinned. "If we make entertainment so mainstream I wouldn't be surprised if they start calling Jena the Queen of Porn soon."

Seven lifted an eyebrow. "They can call her Queen of Porn all they want, as long as they realize that there is only one Queen of Borg, who outranks the Queen of Porn by a long shot."

"Hey, for you to comment on how good her work is, you first need to have run the program," Katzi reminded.

"That is the point," Seven said. "To show that the top of the Borg fully condones that kind of work as long as certain conditions are met. However, I will make sure to say that my Mate and I enjoy Jena's work very much. I will leave it up to the imagination of people to think about what that means. Personally I doubt that they will realize that I only turn to my Mate to take care of things if something turns me on. Let them think what they want; they do think what they want about us four anyway."

"That's true," Pagsha agreed. "But are you really going to watch her work?"

Seven hesitated and glanced at her lover before admitting, "If you and Katzi can forgive us for getting stimulated from seeing someone else make love, then yes."

Katzi only let out a breath, but her Mate was more vocal.

"Goddess yes! But can we watch with you? Jena is so hot, I want to see her in action." Of course, Pagsha being Pagsha she blushed deep red while making the admission that she was dying to see Jena nude.

"That only leaves us with a small problem," Katzi pointed out. "With all of us being into watching but not touching others... just who is Jena going to have sex with? After all, all those holoprograms are created just like this one, to make it seem like that the person using the program is the person the action is about. In this case, the person being taught how to do things."

"Um, good point," B'Elanna admitted. Then she grinned and snapped her fingers. "Let's scare someone shitless."

Not waiting for the others to ask what she meant, she opened a link to Jena. "Hey Jena, Seven, Pagsha, Katzi and I are on the holodeck checking out your program."

"Um, yes?" Came a hesitant reply.

"Well, we want to see what happens after the program asks us just who'll go first, but as hot as you are, we prefer to watch. Since it's a recorded program you needed someone else, someone that stood in for the person that activates the program. Someone that was then deleted from the program I guess?"

"Um, yes. The director's assistant," Jena replied, a little more confident. Having a good hunch why B'Elanna was asking, she added, "A really cute Granzian with a very nice body."

"Oh, pastel red skin color. Should look nice with your red hair draped all over her."

"She did," Jena agreed, this time the confident sex appeal back in her voice. "She's sitting right across from me as a matter of fact; we are discussing potential future projects."

"Ah, you might want to wait until we've had a talk with your group," B'Elanna warned.

"Oh," Jena said, once more hesitantly.

B'Elanna looked at her Mate who gave her a nod. "Nothing to worry about. We aren't going to tell you to stop. But we want to sit down with you for some input. We want to make sure that the work your group seems interested in creating is admired and respected. Am I right in the fact that you want to do more than just one educational program?"

Jena laughed softly. "It all depends on what you call an educational program. I can be very educational."

"I'm sure," B'Elanna said amused. "But for now we want to check out this program. So why don't you just send us a copy of the master file to the holodeck; with the deleted director's assistant still firmly intact? At least I assume that she won't mind?"

"Well, at the moment she is vigorously shaking her head no to indicate that I shouldn't send the file. She thinks she isn't pretty enough to actually be seen in a real program. I think she is. Why don't you tell us which of us was right when we have that talk? I think I would like to have a steady recording partner. After all, there are always people that prefer to watch; we can make that an option."

"I like the way you think," B'Elanna agreed. "But if she doesn't want to,"

"I think I can persuade her to agree, since it's only the First Family, and not general release. And on top of that I'll make sure that she has something else to keep her occupied while you run the program."

There was a purr best described as liquid velvet wrapped around hot sex. The purr changed to words after a moment, but was still more of a purr. "Yes, very occupied." Then a laugh came. "She's sending the file now. Jena out, I have things to do."

A moment of amused silence later the program was started again. This time a nervous woman was sitting on the bed. It was clear that she thought that she would never be seen in a program. "Maybe we can get someone else, I,"

"You are just want I want," said Jena's hot voice before she walked into the detection field of the recorders.

It was clear that the room had been recorded first, and then the recorders had been set up to record all between the bed and the door. It made sense. When recorded like this, the recorders had to be placed somewhere.

Jena walked out of the room so that she could enter again, from where the eventual program would start. While the redhead was gone the women looked at the person sitting on the bed, who was wringing her hands nervously.

"Jena's right, she is cute," B'Elanna spoke up, knowing that this time the holograms would not react to people since it was the recording and not the finished holoprogram.

"A bit boyish in the face, but definitely a woman's body," Pagsha added. "I like that. She looks nice, but cute is the best description. I think Jena's right. They contradict each other so extremely, they would be a great permanent match to look at if you don't want to participate."

More conversation was prevented by Jena entering and the program continuing. With every passing minute the heat in the holographic room seemed to raise a little. B'Elanna's guess proved right and the program was clearly set up for using Jena's hologram to learn how to treat a woman right.

At one point Jena threw her head back and pushed one of her breasts into the mouth of the other woman while letting out a moan that turned knees weak.

"Fuck!" B'Elanna exclaimed. "Seven fuck me right now, please."

Seven more than willingly did as asked, while Pagsha and Katzi made love as well. But despite that, their eyes never left the holographic couple on the bed for longer than a few moments to close eyes in pleasure or during release.

And as B'Elanna was returning the favor to her lover, Seven thought that she herself would make 'Queen of Porn' an official title and hand it to Jena.

Of course, in the end she didn't, but she also never did anything to deter the title being used unofficially to indicate the woman that carried that unofficial title with great pride. Unimatrix 01, it turned out, was the home to yet another civic leader; a Queen in her own right.


Chapter 60

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

Year 01, Month 11, Day 28, Hour 13, Minute 01.

The decision had been made that the best way to contact Starfleet was to use the scheduled contact that was coming up through the MIDAS array. Not that the Borg didn't have the technology to send a message to the Federation; they did and then some. The reason was threefold. First, Starfleet would not have the living crap scared out of them by receiving a signal on a Borg carrier wave. Second, normally Admiral Paris was there at initial contact so that he could speak to his son, and also brief Janeway personally on some of the more delicate things going on in the Federation. And lastly, it had given the Voyager crew one week 'shore leave' on Unimatrix 01 in which they could relax, and could also witness themselves for a longer and unguided time the new society that was Unimatrix 01.

"Kathryn, good to see you again," Admiral Paris said with a small smile. "You look... relaxed. Things are going good I hope?"

"Admiral Paris, how secure is this transmission? I have some very classified information; even more important than Omega."

Janeway could see the shock, and then curiosity.

"Hold on," Paris finally said. A few seconds later the screen flickered, and Janeway guessed that some kind of encryption had been put in place. "Alright, the transmission is secure. What is it Kathryn?"

Janeway lifted her hand in invitation and Seven stepped into view. "Admiral, may I introduce? Seven of Nine, presently known as One of Many; Queen of Borg."

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

Year 01, Month 12, Day 5, Hour 13, Minute 50.

Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko was not a happy person in recent days. People called it a tactical retreat, but in Sisko's mind it was running away. Oh, sure, he knew he had no other option. He knew that he had to leave DS9 to the forces of the Dominion and the Cardassians so that he could take the war to them from a different location. But it still hurt. He had already been on route to Earth when the message had come. Every single Federation ship that could reach Earth before a certain day and time had to go there; high priority. They also first had to make a quick stop at the Mars Utopia Planitia Shipyards to have cloaking devices installed. That Starfleet command had so clearly given the order to have cloaking devices installed had told everyone how severe the situation was.

The fact that Federation starships were designed to be fitted with cloaking devices was a secret that was only known, but never really talked about, by Captains and Chief Engineers. So for Starfleet to actually take the action of fitting cloak devices to the ships was a very severe step. But the last bit of information had been the thing that had everyone literally fearing for their lives. It seemed that Starfleet Intelligence had managed to find out that the Borg were coming back, and were estimated to arrive at a certain day and time. This time the Federation wanted to be ready.

It was because of this that the USS Defiant was waiting, along with over three hundred other Starships, cloaked and ready to attack as soon as the order was given. The Starfleet flagship USS Enterprise E was also amongst this fleet of ships, and Sisko couldn't help but look up from where he was standing at the viewscreen. He saw nothing but space of course, but he knew that somewhere there was waiting Starfleet's most powerful warship, and he was just as sure that just like on his own ship, every single person on that ship had already written their last will. For nobody, not even Jean-Luc Picard, a person that had actually been a Borg drone for some time, had any illusion of being able to stop the Borg if they decided to come in force this time.

Both Sisko and Picard agreed that with the idea of using the combined Starfleet force, and upgraded weapons to ships like the Defiant and the Enterprise, they might be able to destroy up to five Borg cubes; if they were lucky.

Sisko was just about to turn away from the view screen when he noticed a small point of light getting bigger very fast.

"Sensors are picking up a ship traveling at warp fifteen... and twenty-three warp cores," Worf said, with clear disbelief in his voice.

"I'm not surprised, judging from the size of that thing," Jadzia Dax noted as she indicated the viewscreen with her head, and the huge ship that had just dropped out of transwarp.

They looked at the ship in silence, all of them having the distinct feeling that the last day of their lives was about to get even shorter than it had already seemed.

"Why am I not surprised?" B'Elanna asked rhetorically as she looked at the viewscreen.

"You can't really blame them for having ships waiting," Janeway defended. "Good intentions or not, you are the Borg. The Borg have proven to be hostile."

"I have no objections to the ships," Seven assured. "I do however have an objection to them hiding behind cloaking devices, considering how the Federation normally pretends to pride itself on using no cloaking technology." Before Janeway could say something, Seven spoke up again. "Hive, do you want me to leave?"

{The situation has not changed.}

{The Federation's actions have been anticipated.}

{We stand by our original conditions.}

"Thank you."

"They aren't worried about those ships?" Janeway asked.

"No, and neither was I," Seven said confidently. "I merely asked if the Hive had a problem with the situation because if the Federation is hiding ships, who knows what else they have planned."

Seven pointed at the viewscreen before adding, "I know that you cannot read Borg, Kathryn, but do you see those symbols in red under the ships? Those are the numbers of the different beam cannons that are targeted on each individual ship. Those ships do not worry us; they are not powerful enough to damage us, and we can already consider them destroyed if it comes to that. It is up to them to see if they force us to take that step."

"But for now we are going to leave them their fake feeling of security," B'Elanna added. "Ten more minutes before scheduled contact."

Once the contact came, they were surprised that they were greeted by Admirals Hendricks and T'Lara. "Where is Admiral Paris?" Janeway asked. "He said that he would negotiate these talks."

"Captain," Admiral T'Lara said, all but telling Janeway to shut up by tone of voice alone. Then the Vulcan continued. "Admiral Nechayev felt that Admiral Hendricks and I were better suited to deal with this situation."

"And the Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet did not feel that she herself would be the best person to handle this meting?" Seven asked surprised. She didn't ask because she was insulted by lower level contact; she knew that often those with a lower level were easier to negotiate with anyway. But she was used to two years of Borg diplomacy by now, and fact was; whenever the Borg showed up, it were the highest leaders of the society that opened the first negotiations. And Fleet Admiral Nechayev was the highest ranking Starfleet officer. The second highest authority in the entire Federation in fact; right under the Federation President.

Many people said that because of this the Commander-in-Chief was actually the highest ranking person in the Federation. This because while technically the President of the United Federation of Planets was the commander of all Starfleet forces, in reality the President normally always followed the suggestions of the Fleet Admiral, in this case Commander-in-Chief Nechayev. This for the simple reason that the position of President was an elected one, while the Commander-in-Chief stayed in office, often for decades, and therefore often had literally decades of experience on how to deal with certain issues. It had been the balance the Federation had deliberately chosen. Have a position of command that was held by a seasoned person that did not have to worry about winning a popular vote. And have one level of command, the Federation President, above this person so that they could be taken out of office if the power of command went to their head. It would not be the first time in history that a military leader would think they were a god because there was nobody to stop them. Hence the Federation President having more power, on paper, than the Commander-in-Chief.

"With all due respect," Admiral Hendricks said diplomatic, "Admiral Nechayev is busy with dealing with the Federation President, and other people that need their hand to be held because they found out that a Borg ship would be appearing only minutes away from Earth. When captain Janeway contacted Starfleet, she told us that the Borg Queen was interested in starting negotiations with us?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of cleaning the air, so to speak," Seven countered. "There is nothing we would need to negotiate for since we do not need anything from you. That I am here now is merely because of the fact that my friends are from the Federation and I promised them that I would bring them home, and the fact that I do not want the Federation to continue to live in fear of a Borg threat."

"Then maybe we can meet in person?" Hendricks suggested. "Unless you want to… have conversations over the viewscreen."

Seven looked to her side where B'Elanna was standing. Something didn't feel right to her. But then, they were already expecting Starfleet to try some things in an effort to get an upper hand in the talks. B'Elanna shrugged and Seven looked back at the viewscreen.

"We will beam down to Starfleet headquarters in fifteen minutes. We will materialize on the front square. Please, do not do anything foolish; we will have an active scan going at all times, and an automatic transporter lock."

Hendricks nodded his head slightly. "I assume that you'll be taking security with you?"

"I will," Seven agreed. "However, exactly because of security I will not tell you what this security is."

Both Admirals clearly did not like that, but they never the less agreed. "Fifteen minutes."

The communication was ended and the people on the bridge of Unimatrix 01 looked at each other for a moment. Finally it was Katzi who spoke up. "You know Seven, from all the meetings I saw you have with government representatives, that felt the strangest yet."

"There is something else going on here," Seven agreed.

"Do you want to wait, not be the first to go down?" Katzi asked.

Seven smiled. "What, and deny you the privilege of assuring my safety in an unclear situation?"


"I am only kidding. The security measures we have in place are sufficient; let them think they have the upper hand… for now."

They materialized at the agreed upon time, on the agreed upon place. From the Voyager crew only Janeway was with them; being that her rank as captain was the only one with a high enough clearance to be present during talks that Starfleet had labeled 'classified'. From the Borg side there were Seven, B'Elanna, Pagsha, the four Royal Guards, and a secondary security detail of ten drones that had formed a circle around them before they beamed down.

They had only spent seconds in the transporter room, so Janeway didn't have much time to look at the guards. Now she did, and she noted that the secondary security detail existed out of black-clad Individualist drones of several different species, all of whom had a beam weapon in a holster on their hip, and something that looked like a disruptor rifle slung over their back.

The Royal Guards didn't have the hip holster with weapon, nor did they have the disruptor rifles. But they certainly weren't unarmed. Janeway could see weapons attached to the uniforms that hadn't been there on any other occasion where she had seen the guards. The interesting part was that this was different for each of the four guards. Clearly they were carrying the weapons they preferred to use, and not some standard weapon. The most noticeable was the person she herself had come to respect greatly over the last week; Katzi of Erdania Village.

The tall woman also had a sword clipped to her back that looked a lot, but not exactly the same, as the Japanese Katana that Janeway knew from her Starfleet history lessons. The handle and sheath were black. A dull black that somehow seemed to absorb the light. That was the detail that told Janeway that the sword was made with one thing in mind; being used. Black that didn't reflect light and might give you away at night. The sword had no decorations at all, safe for a purple braid that hung from the handle. But even that bit of dark color would easily disappear into the blackness of night if needed. A sword to be used, not impress. A sword meant not to hand to you to look at, but to chop off the reaching hands.

Beside that the Zamonan also had a long machete attached to the outside of both legs. It was clear that the length had been especially made, or at least selected, for the woman's body. The tip of the blades ended at exactly the knees while the handholds ended exactly on the side of the hip. Clearly making the knives as long as possible, yet making sure that they would not restrict the woman's movements.

Janeway had been inside the circle of guards, but outside the square of Royal Guards. But then, even Pagsha had not been inside that square. It seemed that the title 'Royal' Guards was indeed a very precise one. At situations like this the Royal part was more important than who those royals happened to call family.

Lined around the front square were Starfleet security who also had heavy weapons at the ready. Clearly trust was far to be found on either side.

Hesitantly Admirals Hendricks and T'Lara came closer and Hendricks addressed Seven. "One of Many," then he looked around at the many armed people. "If I may suggest? We have a conference room in this building that is especially designed for highly confidential negotiations. Maybe we can go there? There would be less possibility of someone getting nervous and doing ill-advised things."

"Very well," Seven merely agreed, seeing the logic of it. Especially since some of the Starfleet security were clearly nervous from seeing Borg drones in real life for the first time.

They were led inside and through a maze of corridors. About ten minutes later they finally stopped in front of a door. "This is our secured conference room," Hendricks explained as he gestured for Seven to enter.

Seven hesitated for a moment before speaking up. "If you do not mind, I will not enter that room."

"Why not?" Admiral T'Lara asked.

"Because history has taught us that if someone is as desperate as you are for me to enter a room, then it is a room that they think will give the people that want me to use that room an upper hand. What is it? A dampening field, phasers build into the walls, gas injectors?"

Before either of the admirals could speak, Seven suggested. "There is a room of similar size four doors down this corridor. Why do we not negotiate there?"

"What? How... how do you know that?" Hendricks asked. Then he looked at Janeway, wondering if the Captain had given the Borg the schematics of Starfleet headquarters. But no, that could also not be it; she had been lost in the Delta Quadrant before the recent modifications had been made.

"I am Borg," Seven merely said as she walked further and waited for the admirals to join her.

Hendricks looked at the rest of the Borg party before suggesting, "Due to the nature of these talks, I would suggest that your security detail waits outside."

Seven indicated the four Royal Guards. "These are the Royal Guards. They will be coming with me. The rest of the security detail will take up position on several different places in this corridor."

Then she indicated Pagsha. "This is my Royal Advisor. She will also accompany me. Though it is your call, I would also suggest that you allow Captain Janeway to accompany us since she is an eye witness to some of the things I might need to discuss."

"I assure you that in that room your guards will not be needed," T'Lara objected. "I give you my word on that."

"The matter is nonnegotiable; where I go, they go," Seven said resolutely. "If you object to that then the only option is for me to go where they go... when they leave."

The admirals looked at each other for am moment before finally nodding. "Captain, you are with us," Hendricks said before preceding them into the room.

Once they were inside, Hendricks closed the door, and then locked it by entering a code in a security lock.

As he did so, Seven took a moment to look around the room. It was basic; only having a long table that held six chairs on either side, and a viewscreen to one of the walls.

Hendricks walked around the table to where T'Lara was already waiting. "Well then," he said, not even bothering to sit down, "Now that we're here, let's talk about the terms of your surrender."

It was actually Janeway that spoke, and even then it was only one word; "What?"

Ignoring Janeway's reaction, Hendricks continued. "It was very perceptive of you to object to the first room. But did you really think that it was the only room with security measures in it?"

"Actually, I did not 'think'; I know," Seven countered. "And to answer your question; no it is not the only room with security measures. It was however the only room in which there is a cyanide gas system installed that has a failsafe system that activates when the system is deactivated in any way. The security measures you have in this room are irrelevant. Now, if I may suggest, why do you not stop trying to maneuver yourself into a superior position and instead we start talking about smoothing out any misconceptions there may be about Borg plans for the Federation."

"I disagree," Hendricks persisted. "I think the security measures are very important. Like the one that there are now twenty automated phasers aimed at you."

B'Elanna shook her head when hearing the threat. "When I was at the Academy here I disagreed with a lot of stuff, but at least I didn't think that those people were stupid. So I really wonder how two total morons could possibly become Admirals in Starfleet."

"And you, Lieutenant are hereby under arrest for being AWOL, and that is just to begin with," T'Lara noted. "I personally find it a very intelligent move to be able to capture the Borg Queen."

"Um, excuse me, but did you just have a brain fart," B'Elanna said in disbelief. "Borg? You know, those beings that are on such a high technological level that they literally have it built into their body? Do you really think you can come up with anything that we cannot counter?"

"Besides," Pagsha added, "Just what do you think that capturing our Queen would accomplish? Do you really think that the entire Borg Collective would roll over and play dead just because the Queen has been captured?"

"It is more about what that Queen is willing to do so that we don't kill her," Hendricks countered. "The way I see it she's at our mercy. Just one word and she is dead. So, let's talk about what you need to do to keep alive."

"Very well, give the order," Seven suggested. "I think it will be the fastest way for you to find out that one tenth of a second after we beamed down here, we put a dampening field around me in a ten kilometer circle. Not a single beam weapon in that area will work anymore. With the exception of our own specially calibrated disrupters of course. So, should we start negotiations, or should I start getting annoyed?"

"Phasers, stun targets," Hendricks merely said with a smirk, only to lose that smirk when nothing happened.

Seven lifted an eyebrow, but before she could speak, T'Lara did. "It is a good thing that in Starfleet we believe in having backup plans." With that she made a movement with her hand and it was clear that she pushed a button under the table. Seconds later a part of one of the walls opened up and a group of at least thirty security people ran into the room.

The reaction was immediate. Seven and B'Elanna both took a few steps back and away from the table, and the four Royal Guards changed position to where they now formed a diamond shape around them, with Katzi at the front, two other guards at the sides, and one behind them to protect that side even though there was no threat there; one never knew what would come next and one had to be prepared. Pagsha on her turn had also stepped back and was now standing behind the wall of security that involved her Mate. She took out her disrupter, but realized that by the time all of this had happened, the first of the Starfleet security troops had already reached them.

Starfleet security knew that Borg drones were strong, and that you had to use advanced hand-to-hand training to outfight them. But they were not prepared to meet Borg drones that were trained in martial arts and were moving with the speed of individuality.

Katzi only had a second to react. She knew that using her disrupter was of no use. By the time it would have been activated and aimed, there would be more targets around her than she had time to deal with. So she did what was second nature to her and she reached over her shoulder and pulled out her sword. A hand reached for her, and was cut off with an almost casual sweep as she brought her sword into position to gut the second opponent. The down stroke cut a third person at knee level and he too fell too the floor screaming in agony. She turned her sword and made a sweep upwards, five more targets were hit. Six strikes later the blade stilled.

It had been over in less than fifteen seconds. Katzi was armed with a razor sharp sword, and had been trained in the use of swords ever since she had been a child. While the security detail had only been armed with knives at best, and mostly merely had their numbers; which Katzi had used expertly against them. She swirled her sword once, twice, to remove most of the blood and gore from the blade and stepped up to the highest ranking security member. She held the tip of her sword under his chin. "Your choice. At the moment none of you is dead and all can be treated by our doctors. Yield and you live, be stubborn and all of you die. Choose, now."

The Commander showed more intelligence than the admirals had and he merely nodded while letting himself drop back onto the floor.

"Good choice." Then she looked at Seven. "My Queen, some of them only have minutes left."

"Thank you, my friend." Then Seven was quiet for a moment as she contacted the Hive. Moments later the injured security people, including separated body parts, disappeared in the green light of Borg transporters.

Katzi glanced at her sword and decided that it was clean enough for now. Luckily Zamonan steal didn't rust and cleaning could wait. With a movement that could be called negligible, if you didn't realize that it took years of practice to be able to make it look that easy, she returned the sword to its sheath on her back. A last look told her that security was under control for now, and she took a step back, which brought Seven and B'Elanna more to the front.

Seeing that the injured had been beamed away, Janeway couldn't help but notice, "You could have beamed out at any point?"

"I could have," Seven agreed. "If we had not foreseen possible complications then we would have beamed out as soon as the admiral here suggested that we should talk about my surrender. We did not, and we were not beamed out because we were not considered in any real danger. Though I must admit that I had not expected Starfleet to resort to the most basic of means and try a rush attack."

Seven turned to look at the admirals, but it was Janeway that spoke to them first.

"Are you insane? Even if you did manage to capture Seven, did you forget that there is a starship hanging up there that is powerful enough to literally destroy Earth with one shot?"

"Watch your words, Captain," T'Lara warned. "I don't think that they will destroy Earth when we have their Queen in custody."

"But talking about that ship," Hendricks added, "No matter how big the wall is, if you take enough sledgehammers to a small enough part, you can still create a breach and get inside." Suddenly he tapped his communicator and ordered, "Engage Alpha."

{Engage Alpha.}

The crew of the Defiant heard the order but couldn't really believe it. They were really ordered to attack a ship that was half was wide as Earth's moon, but probably just as big in square kilometers because the ship was mostly rectangle in form.

"Prepare for plan Alpha," Sisko said reluctantly, having the distinct feeling that he was about to commit suicide. Plan Alpha was crude and basic, but also looked like it was the only option. It simply meant that all ships would target the same spot and then pound away at it; hoping that the sheer power would be able to break through the shields and reach the unshielded parts inside the ship.

Despite being refitted with cloak systems, Starfleet ships still had to decloak before being able to fire. It was because of that that the Enterprise-E had been selected for opening first fire; it was the ship bound to have to suffer the first counter fire. Only seconds after decloaking, the Enterprise fired one phaser shot, marking the target. Five seconds later all the other ships decloaked and opened fire with all they head.

The Defiant never let its weapons rest. Over one minute worth of continued rapid fire phaser pulse cannon fire was mixed with a continued stream of phaser bank fire, while the quantum torpedoes kept firing as well. Even the probe/photon launcher shot its one shot; firing it equivalent of 120 standard photon torpedo rounds.

Even while other ships had already stopped, the Defiant and the Enterprise continued. But eventually it was even over for the Defiant. The entire torpedo armament was launched, and the phasers had drained energy to the point where the warp core had automatically shut down to prevent a self-destruct.

"We are so dead," Jadzia Dax said in disbelief as she looked at the huge ship that had only sustained a little superficial damage, which was already automatically repairing.

"That was severely unwise," Seven said as she watched the scene unfolding on the viewscreen.

"Considering that your people aren't reacting, I would say that our assumption was correct," T'Lara countered. "Your people do not know what to do now that you are in our power."

Seven frowned. People could not really be that stupid, could they? "We just beamed your security detail out of this room and into a sickbay on our ship. And you really think that I could not do the same myself if I wanted to? You really think that you have any say about me still being here?"

"I don't see any reaction from your side," Hendricks persisted.

"That is because the ninety seconds are not over."

"Ninety seconds?" Hendricks repeated.

"That is the timeframe in which the Primary Auxiliary Fleet has to be ready for departure in case of a red alert. It seems that our captain has decided that this is a good situation to give the Auxiliary fleet something to do."

"What Auxiliary fleet?" Janeway wondered.

As an answer, Seven pointed to the view screen. "In four, three, two, one."

As on cue it suddenly looked as if Unimatrix 01 had coughed out thin needles on all sides. But then the scale set in. Compared to the size of Unimatrix 01, those 'needles' had to be about two hundred meters in length.

"Those are…" Janeway started in shocked whisper.

"Bioships," Seven added. Then she looked at the admirals. "Every single bioship has beam weapons that are 150 times as powerful as your Galaxy class."

"That must be hundreds of them," Janeway couldn't help but notice.

"One thousand actually," Seven corrected. "Unimatrix 01's Primary Auxiliary fleet exists out of one thousand bioships. Of course, for smaller side missions we normally use the Secondary Auxiliary Fleet, which exists out of cubes and spheres."

Sisko had seen the secure files that Voyager had sent to the Federation after encountering species 8472, had seen how a single one of those ships had destroyed a Borg cube with a single shot. And now three of those ships were facing them directly while their own weapons were still depleted. "Status on those phasers?"

"Banks are still slowly recharging, ten percent now," Worf spoke up.

"Try to," Sisko was stopped when suddenly a message came over everything that could carry sound in some way, including the ship's computer speakers.

"Federation starships, we are the Borg. This is Captain Wolkav Zakad'e; commander of the Borg starship Unimatrix 01 speaking. You have just initiated an unprovoked hostile activity against us. Be advised that we will react in kind if you do not abide by our demands. You will lower your shields and surrender your ships. You will be boarded, and you will follow the commands given to you by the boarding drones. Do not resist: resistance is futile."

Only seconds later forms started to appear on the bridge, despite the shields still being up.

"Nice words, but," Hendricks started.

"But, I feel that my patience has been tested enough," Seven interrupted. "Admirals, you seem to be determined to provoke me into hostile action for some reason. If you really want me to act that badly, I will. As of now you can consider yourself under... protective custody. I will not call you prisoners of war because that would indicate that there is actually a war."

"You can't just," T'Lara started.

Seven merely rolled her eyes, and one command later the two admirals disappeared in a sparkle of green light.

"You were in contact with the Borg at all time?" Janeway asked.

"Yes," Seven merely agreed.

Janeway sighed. "Seven, I have no idea what just happened here. I..." She shrugged, truly at a los for words.

"Something strange is going on," Seven agreed. "If the people in charge of Starfleet were truly this stupid, they would have lost the Dominion war long ago. Maybe we should find someone else to talk to."

Seven walked over to the door, followed directly by the rest. She tried opening the door, only to sigh when the button did not work. "I am getting tired of this." Suddenly she plunged her assimilation tubes into the control panel.

"I thought you no longer had those," Janeway noted.

"No, I said that new and Individualist drones no longer have assimilation tubes. They have something we now call access tubes. B'Elanna has those as well. They can still be used to interact with technological units like I am now. However, I myself actually still have assimilation tubes. As will my daughter when the time comes. Again, part of the agreement made with the Borg. Even if we do get to the point where there is not a single drone left with assimilation tubes, the Queen will always have them. This as an emergency back-up, that if worse comes to worse, she can assimilate people and these new drones will then have assimilation tubes again so that the Collective can survive."

Having explained, Seven opened the door.

Janeway literally took a step back when the door opened to reveal two huge Siill warriors that had clearly been guarding the door.

"Clia'W, Dlk'E, where is your commander?" Seven asked.

"My Queen, our commander and the rest of the team have secured the corridor to the exit," one of the three legged beings replied. "The security detail that beamed down with you has been assigned other locations to guard in this building."

Seven stepped forward, between the two guards. Janeway saw that once again, Seven took a moment to touch both beings for a second before speaking up again. "Thank you. Fall in behind the others."

"Thy will is our command, My Queen."

Seven smiled. "My will is to know that my back is guarded by some of the best that the Siill have to offer."

As they walked to the exit they came across more Siill warriors. Each existing out of a pair of them that was guarding a key location on way to the exit. The last team, along with their Zamonan commander, was guarding the exit itself.

Janeway looked at the woman that was certainly not of the normal Zamonan body build. In fact, the woman was even shorter than Janeway herself; literally only coming up to half of the height of the three meter frame of the Siill that were standing at her side.

"My Queen," the Zamonan said with a grin.

"Maindi, are you having fun?" Seven asked with a smile.

"The best," the Zamonan said before giving Katzi a sweet smile. "Katzi, nice to see you."

Before Katzi could reply, Pagsha joined them at the front of the group and merely tapped Katzi on the arm, making Maindi laugh.

"Don't worry; I know only too well what's written there, and just who my one-time lover firmly belongs to. Besides, I have my own Little One to keep me busy; which is really funny because she's a full head taller than me."

Pagsha smiled. "As long as that's clear, then you should come by some time. Catch up with my Mate, maybe join us in training. She told me that you were very able to use your size in your favor in a fight. I would be interested in learning a few things about that."

"I'll be in contact," Maindi assured before looking back at Seven. "Please forgive me the indiscretion, my Queen."

"There is nothing to forgive," Seven assured. "I do not mind friends talking for a few moments when they meet after a long time, as long as there is no emergency going on."

"Well, it may not be an emergency, but I did get a message just before you arrived that the situation is considered secure."

"Very well, in that case, let us go and find a real party to talk to."

As they moved outside, Janeway clearly noticed the change. The Royal Guards once more formed their standard square around Seven and B'Elanna, while the security detail that had joined them in the corridor formed a protective ring around the group in general as soon as there was room. A little further away there was another ring of guards, but these were further apart from each other, and they sometimes broke rank to move people out of the way; sometimes literally carrying them away. Only to then come back and take their place in the circle once more. Janeway also saw that each entrance to buildings was guarded by Siill warriors, and she could only assume that there were even more drones inside the buildings.

"You've simply gone and occupied Starfleet headquarters?" Janeway asked in disbelief.

"Not at all," Seven disagreed. "We did not simply occupy Starfleet headquarters; we occupied Starfleet headquarters, Starfleet Academy, The Federation Council, and... all of Earth actually."

"What?" Janeway asked in a shocked whisper.

"At the moment there are half a billion drones on Earth. All strategic locations have been occupied; main cities like here in San Francisco are under our complete control as well. It is only in rural areas where you might not be able to find Borg drones within ten minutes if you are looking for them."

"That's impossible."

"Not if you happen to have a starship that carries two billion drones," B'Elanna spoke up with a grin. "Then you can spare a few to secure places and prevent people in those places from doing foolish things."

Janeway didn't know what to say. She had been on Unimatrix 01 for over a week. She had seen the vastness of it. She knew that the ship itself was powerful enough to destroy Earth. And on top of that she now knew that it carried a thousand bioships. Still, despite that she had somehow missed just what exactly was following Seven around at any moment of her life. The blonde literally had enough power with her in Unimatrix 01 to conquer entire sectors of space. While she may not have enough drones with her to occupy every planet in the Federation, she sure had enough bioships with her to go and hold every Federation Homeworld hostage, simply by going there and shoot every ship out of space that tried to leave. Only to then beat the planets into submission by destroying city by city until the point of surrender.

Soon she noticed that there was a clear target to their walking, and that they were heading to the central gathering area. The central gathering area lay between Starfleet headquarters and Starfleet academy so that both could use it for mass gatherings. As they came closer, Janeway saw that the gathering area was filled to capacity; clearly used as one of the places where to bring people to be able to control them.

Room was created by the Siill warriors and Seven made her way to the speaker podium. There a huge ten meter high viewscreen was located, including a sound system, so that even the person standing at the very back would be able to hear and see the speaker.

"There must be over twenty thousand people here," Janeway noted. Remembering from her days at the academy that the square was designed to hold ten thousand people that were sitting in nice and orderly rows of chairs. Now with them standing huddled together the number had to easily be double.

Part 61

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