DISCLAIMER: Nothing Star Trek belongs to me and so on, and the devil made me do it. *ahem*
It's B'Elanna/Seven of course, but quite a bit darker than my previous fics of that kind... please stay with it though.
By Carola "Ryûchan" Eriksson
I remember everything that happened with a clarity that would have challenged even that famed eidetic memory of yours, as if the details are forever burned into my mind.
You had been taken once again... no, that's not true. You sacrificed yourself for the rest of us, like you had done so many times before. You gave yourself to her in exchange for Voyager's freedom and safety.
This time, when Captain Janeway mounted the rescue party, we were too late. You could not be saved. It had already been done.
I remember so well how we charged in, the cavalry with guns blazing and desperate courage, not a single one of us even considering that we wouldn't succeed even though the odds were stacked against us. We went to the Queen's Lair, knowing she would keep you close, thinking that confronting her would be the only way to get you and get out of there.
But the Queen that faced us in that room was... you.
We were captured, held back by Drones that you had waiting for us. I remember the iron grip of the Drones you had restraining me, clearly taking in account for the fact that I was the strongest and most unpredictable of our little rescue group. I can't remember the pain though, because the pain of those metal grips couldn't penetrate the utter chill in my soul when I looked at you... and saw her.
You always carried yourself in a way that set you apart, made me think of you as arrogant and superior, but in time I came to realize that there was a great deal of vulnerability in you. The creature before me then had nothing of this. Her movement slithered with promised menace where yours were graceful strength, even if the limbs were the same. The process had been completed.
I remember how it seemed I was watching from far away, almost in a tunnel vision, how you spoke to the Captain. How you explained the procedure that had turned Seven of Nine, a severed Drone, into the Borg Queen's new vessel. The old one had been discarded and was being recycled as you spoke, you told us, probably just to prove to the woman practically howling in front of you that there was no turning back.
Janeway broke that day.
I think she begged, pleaded, cajoled, anything she could think of to try to reach some remnant of her lost child. You ignored her. Instead you turned to me.
I couldn't shake the chill enough to clear my mind, reduced to just struggling vainly in chains I couldn't break and panting as if I just couldn't get enough air, and I didn't understand why. You came up to me and touched my face with your Borg-enhanced hand.
You smiled at me, wistfully, and I looked into your eyes like I hadn't done for all the years I had known you. I looked into those beautiful blue eyes of yours and saw the cold veil slip aside and show me...
Kahless have mercy on me, I had been such a fool!
I knew the truth behind the words before you spoke them, because it was all there in your eyes when you looked at me. The eyes of Seven of Nine, and I wonder if they always had looked at me like that, and I was just too much a hotheaded fool to see it.
You caressed my face and stepped even closer, your breath ghosting across my face as you spoke.
Seven of Nine had loved me, you said, loved me like no other ever would, and now I had lost that chance for love, forever. Then your other hand snaked around my waist and crushed me into you, your lips hot and burning on mine, the passion we had so long denied bursting through for all to see, although I was oblivious to our company. My heart exploded.
How long had I wanted, needed, craved this? How long had I loved you with every fiber of my being, yet deluded myself until it tore me apart inside? And how long had you felt the same way about me?
The Drones still held onto my arms, restraining me, as you kissed all sense from my mind. If I had been free to move, Borg or no, company or not, I would have pulled you down with me to make love on the floor where we stood, heedless of anything else but you. But I was held back.
When you released my lips those same Drones were also holding me up, as your touch made me to weak to carry my own weight for a moment. You caressed my face again, this time with your human hand, and told me that I would take something of you with me.
I was too busy looking into your eyes to even feel it when your tubules slithered underneath my clothes and plunged into my flesh. Your eyes were so warm, so loving... and so filled with sorrow and despair.
A moment longer, and then you stepped away, the struggle apparent in your eyes, or at least it was to me, then your voice was cold when you spoke. You told us that I would make a fine addition to the Borg, that I would add to your perfection, and that the next time I or anyone from Voyager crossed your path again, you would assimilate us.
Then the Drones holding us pulled us away, me struggling like never before and the Captain howling her desperation, but it didn't matter. You remained unmoving behind us, the last look I had of you had you practically frozen in a blank expression, but your eyes... your eyes showed your agony, your conflict, to me.
I believe that what happened next was by your design, and not some strange and outlandish coincidence that you through some miracle had overlooked. The Drones lumbered us back to the Delta Flyer, making good on your promise to spare us this time, but as the others were hauled into the Flyer, the Drones holding me let go too soon.
I wrested free, intending to get to you regardless of the danger, but other Drones blocked my path as I ran. I believe that I was shepherded to where the other ship was docked, and it wasn't until I had nowhere else to go but into that ship that the Drones began using lethal force.
With no other choice, as much as that grated, I ran inside the strangely open door to the ship, and found it easy to start up even though I was alone and the ship was large and foreign. It was not the size of Voyager, but still a single person should not have been able to start it up and steer it that easily unless it had already been prepared. I have since found many such subtle signs that this ship was your gift to me, but never anything concrete that I can prove to anyone else, so I don't mention it.
I escaped, or rather was let go, and as soon as I joined the Delta Flyer outside the Borg vessel, that vessel moved away from us and entered a transwarp conduit. I tried to follow, in sheer desperation, but the tunnel closed in front of me and I had lost you.
I was fortunate that the others with us still thought clearly, for both I and Captain Janeway were too distraught to know what to do. Tuvok, Tom and the doctor got the Delta Flyer onboard my new vessel, and set our course back towards Voyager.
Six full days passed in which I was mostly numb and my mind foggy. My ship, for yes, I claimed it as mine as soon as I walked down it's corridors and happened upon what I assume had been the Captain's chambers, was smaller than Voyager yet large enough to rival some Starfleet vessels, and it's technology was more advanced than what we had. The reason I claimed the vessel as mine was that the moment I walked into that room I knew it was made for us, for you and me. So well suited to everything I could want, yet made to serve you as well, it even held a regeneration alcove embedded in one wall.
I wanted it. It was _ours_, and frankly I didn't care if anyone would try to argue with me on that point. But with Captain Janeway lost in her own misery after losing you, only Chakotay could have protested, and my old friend chose not to. He even kept quiet as I moved my things into the room onboard my unnamed alien vessel and spent nearly all my time there, familiarizing myself with the systems and what the ship could do, keeping so busy that I would not think, or worse, sleep.
Icheb, the sweet child, took it upon himself to care for me after hearing what had happened. He moved into another room onboard my ship, one of the several that had alcoves installed and seemed suspiciously perfect for young ex-Borg. On the third day Icheb by accident found out that you had used your tubules on me, and made me see the doctor. It was then we found out what your words about taking a part of you with me had been about.
I am pregnant with your child.
Many wanted me to abort this baby, our baby, fearing for me and for what it meant, what this baby girl will become when she leaves my womb. She has nanoprobes in her body, and according to the doctor, she may even be born with some Borg implants. It doesn't matter, this is our baby and I will not let anyone harm her.
On the sixth day I saw another event of your design, and although I can't prove it I think that this time everyone knows it to be true.
It was a way back to the Alpha Quadrant, through a transwarp conduit that had somehow broken and degraded. It would remain open only for a handful of hours, but would be stable enough once entered to carry us all back, nearly all the way back to Earth itself.
I refused to go.
The Alpha Quadrant is not my home, my home is a pair of pale blue eyes that I swear I will see again. Like Janeway stubbornly refused to admit defeat and swore to see her home in the Alpha Quadrant again no matter what it took, so do I swear I will find my home again. And Chakotay and Tom couldn't persuade me otherwise.
I would stay, in my still unnamed ship, and find a way to save you after all. Icheb, that dear boy, chose to remain with me and not abandon you, which I never found particularly surprising. He is your son in all but blood, and you never left a family member behind to suffer either.
What might surprise you, because it sure surprised me, is the others that chose to stay as well. The doctor, now installed in my ship, Neelix, and a handful of my old Maquis friends. Captain Janeway wanted to stay, indeed Chakotay had to sedate her to keep her with Voyager as he steered Voyager into the transwarp conduit and the way back to their home. By Chakotay's request we still wear our Starfleet uniforms, but this is my ship, not Starfleet's, and I am Captain here.
I wonder, did you have anything to do with what happened next?
My crew now consists of no less than sixty-three individuals, among them the other little Borglings, Mezoti, Azan and Rebi, that found their way back to Icheb and myself through very mysterious circumstances. Your old friend the Hirogen hunter is also a member of my crew, as is his son... in that specific instance, both he and I are aware that you helped him find his son, and that is the main reason why he has joined me in this 'hunt' to free you.
Do you remember Kurros? He was a member of that infernal Think Tank that tried to take you, so long ago. The Think Tank is gone now and he is just a very solitary man with a brilliant mind, coming to terms with being an individual and having his own will rather than obeying his small collective... yes he reminds me a little of you, and that is the reason I didn't just kill him when he crossed my path. Instead he serves this ship very well with his brilliant mind, and his knowledge has helped us all quite a bit on the way to the solution we've sought.
No-one can honestly say that they do not see that you were involved in bringing that crippled Borg Cube with severed Drones that had regained their individuality in our path. If it weren't so perverse of me, I'd think you deliberately found the one vessel filled with liberated Drones that had the most Klingons aboard it and sent it my way, just to tease me. My ship, that somehow got the name Huntress while I wasn't looking, consists mostly of Klingons and liberated Borg, and might just be the only place anywhere that you and I would not stand out in the crowd.
The fact that I'm surrounded by these big, burly warriors of my mother's people, and individuals with enhancements that make them stronger than me, yet have them all practically doubling over in their efforts to please me would probably be damned amusing if I wasn't so cranky. I'm told that being pregnant will do that to a girl.
Our daughter is strong and healthy, and likes to remind me that she's there by doing her best to crack my ribs from the inside... I'm sure she's training on your Tsunkatse-moves in there sometimes, our little Kathryn Miral. I think that you will approve of that name. As I enter the end stretch of this pregnancy, the doctor, Icheb and Neelix all strive to care for me as best they can, trying to be there in your place. They are sweet, all of them, but I really want the 'daddy' of my little girl to be with me when it's time for me to give birth, and it's drawing closer to that time now.
But something quite unexpected happened.
We had been working on something that would work somewhat like an individuality virus, separating each individual from the Hive mind and returning their lost sense of self to them, and according to all calculations it should work. The problem was that we did not think it would work on you.
Then out of the blue we were contacted by Species 8472 who wanted us to collaborate with them on what they saw as the ultimate way to destroy the Borg. It appears that they don't really care one way or the other if Drones are destroyed or not, what they want to eradicate is the will behind the Hive mind, the will of the Queen. Apparently they had observed what we had done, somehow, and offered their aid and knowledge in separating your mind from that of the Queen, then destroying her.
You know, I still don't like nor trust those sleazy creatures. I honestly think you're right about them, but in order to save you I'd strike a bargain with the devil himself if I had to.
The bottom line is that I have it now, the way to rescue you at long last. That is why I've aimed the Huntress towards the heart of Borg space, towards where I know you are. That is why I'm betting everything and everyone on this one last, desperate gamble.
But you know what? I know I'll win. I know you'll let me. Because I know you love me and that you have been holding on, waiting for me to come for you.
I fully intend to have you back, to have you hold me as our baby girl is being born. I intend to marry you in front of what of our friends that remain here in the Delta Quadrant, then I intend to take you to bed and make love to you until not even that Borg stamina of yours can keep you from passing out. I intend on waking up every morning for the rest of my life with you beside me.
So that is why I'm on my way now. Hold on a little longer, then it'll be all over, I promise. After that I'll turn this ship around and aim it towards the Alpha Quadrant, so that one day our little girl will meet her grandmothers, and I can show you those places in the Alpha Quadrant that are still beautiful and peaceful. I'm coming to get you.
Resistance is futile, my love.
Computer, end log.
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