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Refreshing the Soul
The Captain always liked it when their missions included investigating new worlds, or in this case moon, which showed no signs of intelligent life forms. Being able to learn of new life and various other species without having to explore diplomatic treaties was a relief. From the scan, Seven had ascertained that the only life forms where simple celled life consisting of nothing more complex than hairless little creatures.
The shuttle time had been short, but being off Voyager and having Seven at the helm gave Janeway a chance to sit back and relax. The plan was to set the shuttle down on the moon's surface and to take a look around. If there is nothing significant to bring back, we'll at least have a chance to get out and walk in a non-artificial environment void of the hollow deck.
"Captain, we have entered the moon's atmosphere, do you wish to proceed?"
"Proceed to the coordinates Seven."
After landing, the Captain and Seven ventured out to explore a land that's topography looked similar to earth's own. The view consisted of degrees of color with the most vivid Technicolor extremes. After deciding on a direction, both women ventured off to explore their new surroundings.
"Captain," Seven remarked pointing over into the tree line.
"I see it Seven, what is it?"
"It seems the creature is of a standard chemical make up that breaths air, odd."
"It seems Captain that the DNA profile for this species shows that it is of not one sex."
"Are your telling me that it's both male and female?"
"No Captain, I mean that this creature has no detectable sexual organs, but does have a reproductive system. I question if this is by design or an environmental effect."
"Why would you question that Seven?"
"Well Captain, it seems that there are others like it and they also show the same physical traits. We will need to locate another species to see if this is common on this moon."
Looking out over an emerald green valley, the Captain was surprised that they had yet to encounter any different species. Traveling for some time the Captain and Seven had moved through different environments ranging from desert like conditions, to exquisite rain forest vistas. Off in the distance, Seven noticed something that to her resembled glass.
"Captain over there, is that not water? Possibly we might find life forms there."
At the waters edge both women arrived at an over look with the most pristine colored blue green either had ever seen. The shore line was met with a lush deep green grass like fauna that danced in the breeze & like a temptress beckoning the soul.
"I have to say that this is the closest I have been to such a wonderful place in nearly five years. This reminds me of a lake close to my family's house we used to swim in growing up. Seven, is there anything in this lake that could be harmful?"
"No Captain, the water is normal, within acceptable range."
"Well then", with that Janeway sat down on the ground and proceeded to remove her boots and socks.
"Captain, what are you doing?"
"I Seven am going for a dip; sit down and take off your boots."
"Captain, I do not believe going into the water is wise."
"I don't intend on entering the water completely Seven, only to place my feet in to feel the liquid between my toes."
Seven considered the Captain's statement, "I see no harm in that", and following her lead she proceeded in removing her boots.
It was like traveling back in time for Kathryn. Those days outside in the Indiana summer sun, enjoying the cool evening air and falling asleep under the star filled sky. Looking over at Seven the Captain watched the amazement and pleasure in her eyes as she experienced the cool envelopment of the water around her feet.
"So, what do think?"
"It is wet, but comfortable."
"I'm glad you decided to join me", Janeway said with a coy smile almost as if she was partaking in something that one could perceive as intimate.
Sitting side by side Seven looked over at Kathryn in wonderment of this small being who she was used to seeing as fierce and strong but could allow herself the perception of weakness in another's eyes. Seven had always admired the Captain for her leadership and stern resolve in different situations, but this side of Kathryn was a completely different person & Seven found her to be most attractive.
"Seven ..Seven, what are you thinking about?"
"Oh, I apologize Captain. I was considering the difference of you as a person to the Captain of Voyager."
With a laugh, she stated "Is that all Seven? From here it looked like you where about to say something important."
In Seven's mind she had been thinking of something she had been wanting to talk about with the Captain, but had not decided if this was the appropriate time.
"Seven, is their something troubling you?"
"Captain, I have a question I would like to ask you, but I feel that I do not have enough information to ask you properly."
"Then why don't you ask and if I feel I need more information than we can talk through it."
After a moment Seven felt she was ready, "Kathryn, may I call you Kathryn?'
"Kathryn I was wondering if you had considered selecting a mate from the members of Voyager. There is a possibility that we will be in the Delta quadrant for sometime still and I have noticed other crew members selecting mates for relations and possible breeding purposes."
With the statement Janeway had just heard she swallowed hard and sat looking at Seven as though she was lost in thought. Did she know that the Captain had a secret longing that even she had not confessed to herself?
"Kathryn, was my question not stated in such a way as to ascertain the information for which I want to know?"
"Seven, I had not realized my relations with other members of the crew in those regards was something concerning you."
"In the materials the Doctor has provided me, I find that for the survival of any species it is necessary to copulate. I merely wondered if you had considered such a situation."
"Are you asking me if I have thought about having a baby out here? Seven, I have passed that stage in my life. I couldn't even if I wanted to; I have a starship to be responsible for."
"But would you entertain the idea of being in relations where a child might be involved?"
"Seven, I don't understand where this is coming from. Why are you thinking about this?"
"I have realized that I would at some point like to venture into a relationship with a person and I would like to have a child, start a 'family' with that person. After my relationship with One, I have thought about the prospects."
"Did you have some one in mind? Is it even an option for you to have a child?"
"I have spoken of this with the Doctor and he assures me that physically I could conceive a child and with minor manipulations of my bands, I could carry and birth a human child."
"So the person you have in mind is human?"
"Does this person know of your intentions?"
"No, I have not approached them yet with my intentions."
"Then how do you know if what you're considering is even plausible?"
"I know Captain for a fact that what I want is implausible, but that does not stop me from wanting it."
"Why is it not plausible? What you want is quite obtainable."
"No, Captain it is not. The human I wish to have relations with would be unable to provide me with the necessary chemicals needed to create a child."
"And you know this how?"
"Because Captain, two women cannot create a child."
With that Janeway froze. Had she heard what Seven had truly intended to say? How could Seven be this far in thought about a woman she obviously has feelings for to consider having a child and yet the Captain not having known? Seven had always come to her with questions in her quest to grasp her humanity. But, she has never eluded to this 'woman' she seems to find so captivating to have considered such things. For the Doctor, how much had she shared with him and why had he not mentioned this topic of a child from Seven? So may thoughts, as she raised her fingers to the bridge of her nose; "Damn, not now?"
"Captain, I have caused you pain?"
"No Seven, I believe that I have had quite a bit to take in and I think it is time we returned to Voyager."
"If I have said something to upset you I apologize, I only wished to share with you something that has been a concern of mine for some time."
After redressing, Seven and the Captain returned to the shuttle. Janeway would have rather enjoyed the ride in silence, but she could see the distressed look in Seven's eyes. Not wanting to avoid making eye contact with her for the remainder of the journey, she asked
"Seven there is something else you wish to discuss?"
Inhaling silently she began, "I am 24 years old now, am I not entitled to consider these choices of my humanity?"
"Yes, Seven you are. I just think that you've thought about all of this without the opinion of the other person involved and that you would have more answers if you were to approach them with your concerns."
"But you said on the surface that you had not expressed your intensions with this person?"
"I have now." Looking over at Janeway, Seven's eye contact conveyed the message and it was received.
After docking with Voyager, the Captain instructed Seven to transmit all samples and information to the Doctor for further analysis. Then relaying to Seven, "please inform the Doctor to have a report on his findings available for the staff meeting tomorrow." The Captain then tapped her combadge to inform Commander Chakotay that she would be taking the rest of the day off.
Janeway was perplexed as she moved through the halls to the transporter & her quarters. Focused on making her way down the corridor and having a double whiskey, the Captain kept her head down to avoid any possible conversations with her crew. She needed all her concentration with this headache that was ever present in her temple and being engaged in simple banter with anyone was not an option. Janeway thought, the first thing I'm going to do when I get rid of this headache is make my way to sickbay and give that Doctor a piece of my mind for not informing of Seven's new interest in 'her' humanity. But that will have to wait; Seven is there assisting him with the samples and data we brought back. I'll just lie here on the couch for the time being.
"Computer state the time", it is 2200 hours. "Whoa, I've been asleep for 5 hours". Realizing she was still in her uniform, the Captain decided that a change of clothes was in order and a shower would be just the thing she needed at that point. Feeling better, she returned to the replicator, asked for a night cap before returning to her bedroom to settle in with a book before bed.
Hearing the chime of the door in her quarters, the Captain knew of only one particular borg who would be as bold as to call this time of night.
"Come", she stated as she walked to meet Seven in her sitting room.
"Captain, I have disturbed you."
"Is their something you needed Seven?"
"It concerns our conversation today ."
Stopping her before she could continue, the Captain raised her hand. "Seven, I have a bad headache and I'm tired. Can I ask that we finish our discussion another time?"
Seven knew that was the end of the conversation & that she somehow had said something wrong. She did not know what that was exactly, but knew she should not push the topic, not now.
"As you wish Captain," and with that she turned and left the room without pausing to notice the Captain beginning to speak.
"Good night to you too Seven."
The next morning at the meeting; "Okay people, let's hear it, B'Elanna your first."
"Well Captain, we ran our diagnostic on the warp core and everything is working within acceptable ranges."
"Captain, I've plotted out our course through the next section of the quadrant and beside a few planets you might want to take a look at, I see no real concerns."
"Commander, anything to report?"
"No, everything's been quiet Captain."
"Okay Doctor, what do have for us concerning the samples brought back?"
"Well looking over the data yourself and Seven returned with, I have a few test still to run; but all in all nothing seems to be of concern."
"What have you discovered on the creature we located; any reasoning to their mating paralysis Doctor?"
"I don't see it as a paralysis Captain, but that is a question I hope to answer after I get the results from the current set of tests Seven I are running."
"Okay, keep me informed. Does anyone have anything else to add?" Then after a short pause, "Good then, dismissed."
With that everyone gathered their things and left the meeting room, including Seven.
After few days the Captain was informed that Seven and the Doctor had come up with readings from the samples that warranted further investigating. It has keep Seven preoccupied and given me enough time to go over and over again in my head the discussion we had on the surface of the moon. I have to say that I have been broad sided before by the best with conversations I would prefer not to have had, but Seven in all her best intentions was well aware of what she was doing. I think she has learned her 'humanity' skill of conversation 'too' well.
"Doctor to Captain Janeway, please respond:" "Janeway here."
"Captain, could you please report to sickbay:" "On my way."
Arriving in sick bay "Captain", "Doctor what can I do for you?"
"I have a few questions I would like to ask you concerning your time on the moon's surface."
"Was Seven unable to assist you?"
"No Captain, Seven is currently in Astrometrics regenerating and I need your assistance to proceed."
"Okay, what can I help you with?"
"Could you please tell my about your time on the surface pertaining to interactions with the elements."
As the Captain relayed the information she studied the Doctor's facial expressions. Seven has an eidetic mind; she doesn't miss anything on details so why is he having me tell him this again? I think though I'm going to choose to leave out our conversation at the waters edge, hoping that Seven deemed our conversation as private and left it out.
"So, how much time did you and Seven spend near the water source?"
"Not long, why is there a problem Doctor?"
"When Seven and I investigated the non-represented organs for the species you encountered, 'paralysis', as you called it, we had to understand how they were still propagating. The only common factor was the water. Seven and I went back and re-analyzed the water ..
"And," the Captain interrupted with concern.
"Captain I'm getting to that. We discovered a protein that's only design was to detect DNA sequences pertaining to hormonal activity. The protein would identify the hormone and search for a like DNA structure and fuse the two together to cause an external form of reproduction."
"So how does that explain how the species is able to essentially reproduce?"
"I believe that when one, or another like species, returned to the water it came in contact with the strand and resumed its roll within the body to activate the reproduction cycle."
"Seven to the Doctor"; "Go ahead Seven".
"Doctor I am not functioning properly and will be reporting to sick bay."
"Well, I wonder what this is about," stated the Doctor. "She was fine this morning?"
As she entered sick bay their eyes met.
"Captain are you sick?"
"No Seven, I'm here assisting the Doctor."
"So, what seems to be the problem Seven?" asked the Doctor.
"I am not sure Doctor; it seems I am experiencing some sort of nausea."
"Have you eaten something Mr. Nelix has prepared as of late?"
"No, I have not partaken in any substances other than my supplement shakes since my return."
"Alright then, please lie here on the bio table so I may check you for any viruses that might be affecting you."
"Hmm, this is odd. I thought the two of you were only exposed to the water for a short time?"
"We were", the Captain responded rather short, "Why what seems to be the problem?"
As the Captain looked at the Doctor searching for any clue as to why he was checking and rechecking his instruments the Captain found her patients running thin, "DOCTOR."
"There's no reason to raise your voice, I wanted to be sure of what I was going to" pausing to examine his words, "this is not something I was expecting to find, Seven, you're pregnant."
Like a planned reaction both women's eyes rose, enlarged with surprise and then Captain's voice blasted the Doctor "WHAT?!"
"Yes, I said pregnant. From what I can tell only a few days, but all indications show Seven is with child."
"Doctor, may I have a word with Seven alone?"
"Yes, of course Captain, I'll be in my lab if you need me."
Seven turned to meet Kathryn's eyes "Captain, I'm not sure how to respond to the situation."
"Well Seven, things have an odd way of working themselves out I suppose." She had thought of ways women had secured relationships with men whom they questioned their commitment, but this was a first. Definitely unintentional, but the results would lead to the same outcome.
"I do not wish for you to feel that you are in anyway responsible for my condition. I will learn all the pertinent information concerning my situation. I believe I will be able to adequately handle this event."
"Seven, do you believe I want no part of this? I'm not going to miss out on one of the most wonderful things that could happen in the world; after our conversation and knowing the way you feel, you couldn't keep me away." With a smile confirming her words, "I just never considered that we would be a 'family' so soon."
"Then you have thought of us having relations?"
"Yes Seven, but we haven't even crossed that bridge yet and here we have the beginnings of a new life before us."
A look of joy washed over the woman who emotionally had paid a price over the years and had lost so much, Captain Kathryn Janeway has been handed a gift. The woman she loves is pregnant, here wanting to be with her. Looking into Seven's eyes Janeway took that first step to 'cross' that bridge. Slowly leaning forward she placed her lips gently upon Seven's only to feel her respond in kind.
One small leap for man; one giant leap for Kathryn Janeway.
As the Doctor entered the room he exclaimed: "Captain, what are you doing with my patient?"
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