DISCLAIMER: I'm just having fun with the Star trek characters but the story is my own and can't be copied except for personal use. It may not be posted at another site without my permission. Edited SDerkins. ©2006.
WARNING: This is also a romance between two women and written for adults. Please feel free to read something else if this would offend you. Not much vulgarity except here and there. So don't say I didn't warn you.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Starfleet Academy Mystery
By Golden_ruhl


Part Two

B'Elanna starred at the image in the mirror. The reflection staring back at her brought back so many memories that she had pushed aside and had nearly forgotten. She touched her forehead, feeling the lack of her normal Klingon ridges. It had felt bizarre the first time, so long ago in the Delta Quadrant. The Vidiians had split her into two complete people, one human and one Klingon, in order to use her Klingon half to fight the Phage.

She shook her head and tried to push away those memories. She stepped back and took stock of her face as it was now. She had more rounded cheeks and the angular cut of her adult face had been softened. Damn, she looked like a fresh faced cadet all right.

"I guess I'm ready. Now what?"

"Tomorrow morning you check in at the Academy. Remember to be unassuming and low key as you can manage."

"We've been over this already Admiral. I promise not to break any noses even if they deserve it."

The Admiral chuckled. B'Elanna had made arrangements for during her absence then spent quite a bit of time in the area near the Academy trying to observe the young adults that lived locally. She had wanted to catch up with the newest slang and watch how human girls interacted. As a girl herself she had been too angry to pay attention to the little details. Now she needed to learn all she could before the semester began.

The next day came too quickly for the former Maquis. She had forgotten how much you stood in line on your first day at the Academy. Her feet were hurting as she juggled her pile of newly issued cadet uniforms and data PADDs along with her duffel bag she had brought with her.

"Now where is room 212?" she muttered to herself. She finally spotted the desired door. It had an old-fashioned door handle (she never did figure out why they were still used in this day and age) and struggled to open it when it suddenly flung open.

B'Elanna looked forward then up at the 6' 5 inch Klingon female revealed in the doorway.

"Come in roomie," the Klingon growled as she slapped B'Elanna on the back in a friendly Klingon manner. B'Elanna grunted and was barely able to remain on her feet. Had she been truly human she would have been knocked to the floor and probably feeling humiliated and angry.

"Hey, ease up on the throttle. I'm not as strong as you so please try and remember that."

The Klingon female pouted. Pouted? If B'Elanna hadn't seen it with her own eyes she would have never believed it.

"Very well. My name is K'Trina. What is your name human?"

"Lanna Torres." And they say the Gods have no sense of humor? B'Elanna could swear she heard Kahless laughing his fool head off at this very moment.

B'Elanna was bored, bored, bored. A dangerous and frustrating occurrence for the half-Klingon. She was in beginning engineering and the instructor had given them each a small sublight engine to take apart and reassemble and make any improvements they could to test each of their abilities.

The engineer looked at the engine in disgust. She could easily increase its capabilities by 300% but that would be beyond her fabricated background's abilities. She was supposed to be the child of a shipyard's refurbishing engineer. Even supposing she had held a spanner as a toddler she'd only be advanced enough to bring it to 150% of its current settings. She growled silently to herself. Why didn't she have the doctor do a lobotomy on her while she could? It was infuriating to act like a student when she knew more than the instructor did.

She quickly tore it apart and reassembled it to 60%. She glared at the dirty engine then took it apart once more. Maybe she could get away with removing a few more redundancies. She glanced over at K'Trina. Her experienced eye saw the work she had managed so far. The cadet had removed three redundancies so far. She was pretty good. She ought to keep an eye on her for the future. The Klingon may turn out to be a decent engineer.

The instructor watched cadet Torres with interest. She worked quickly, with a grace only seen in natural engineers. He wondered why she hadn't sought acceptance in a more advanced class. Perhaps she hadn't wanted to stand out among her peers. Sometimes that happened. Or perhaps she had gotten friendly advice from someone who had gone through the Academy and suggested she take the course for an easy good review. Well, he certainly wouldn't hold it against her but hoped that when he pushed her towards a more challenging course she'd understand his reasoning. It was the hungry that got advanced not the nibblers. Another hungry cadet was the Klingon working at the next station.

He had seen her glance at the Klingon cadet often but knew she wasn't trying to get pointers. He believed she had also spotted the raw talent in the intimidating female. Good. Recognizing talent was a good trait in a Starfleet Officer. It meant you were paying attention to those around you. Students' grades weren't based on mere book knowledge. So many other factors unknown to the cadets added to their overall standings.

It was those small traits and skills that separated those with potential from the parlor pink hot-doggers. Satisfied that he had at least two cadets that would keep him on his toes, he moved on to the next set of first year cadets.

K'Trina happened to glance up and noticed that her roommate had stopped working and was glancing in her direction, her soft human face unreadable. She was an odd one. Her roommate didn't speak to her much, just keeping to herself. K'Trina could tell that the human female wasn't afraid of her which was in itself quite odd. The Klingon returned her eyes to the work at hand. The mystery of the human would wait until another time.

Admiral Janeway sat at her new desk at the Academy, deep in thought. She hadn't realized how surrounded by people she would be as Commandant. She was rarely left alone and students rarely sought her out. That eliminated the idea that B'Elanna could visit her in her office. People would notice. She needed a way to speak with the Captain. Janeway was reluctant to use communicators or sending text messages. Both were security risks. No, what she needed was a middleman who could easily pass messages without arousing suspicion. Perhaps a guest speaker or consultant. Then an idea came to mind.

There was one person perfect for the job. She nodded to herself and activated the COM link. A blonde woman's face filled the screen.

"Seven, it's good to see you," she said warmly.

"You as well, Admiral. What can I do for you?"

"Still right to the point," Janeway grinned. "I have a favor to ask of you. Could you come by my home around lunchtime if you're not to busy? I'd like to discuss a problem that needs your particular talents."

Seven's expression was both curious, and to Kathryn's eye, relieved for some reason. It had only lasted a second but long enough for the perceptive woman to notice. Well, Seven would explain only if she felt like it. She was still very much a private person.

"Would 1100 be acceptable, Admiral? I have a meeting to attend at 1230," Seven asked.

"That would be fine. I'll see you then. Janeway out." The screen went blank. Kathryn chuckled, happy she had been the one to finally end the communication rather than Seven. The former Borg had the habit of saying what she needed then abruptly terminating the transmission once finished. Perhaps Seven had something else on her mind that caused her to hesitate.

In fact, the ex-drone did. The Admiral's communication gave her the hope that she would be called away from the Daystrom Institute for a period of time. If so, she would have a legitimate excuse to turn Harry Kim's invitation to share lunch times together. He was becoming increasingly more insistent on beginning a romantic relationship. While she regarded Harry as a good friend, she had little desire to change how they interacted. She was no longer floundering. She had discovered much about herself since Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant.

Her relationship with Chakotay, although pleasant, had brought to light the qualities she required in a relationship. The Commander, a fine person, could not fill those roles she needed. She hadn't shared her discovery with him, unsure how to do so but honor demanded she end their relationship. He had protested of course and they had gone their separate ways.

Now Harry was in the picture causing difficulties. She didn't feel comfortable telling a human male that she was far more attracted to females. She had done some research on human mating rituals and had received several non-verbal signals from receptive women. Unfortunately, Harry Kim had suddenly appeared at the Institute and quietly staked his claim. The females had backed off thinking they had misinterpreted her signals. If it weren't so against her nature she'd scream in frustration. She held onto the hope that the Admiral would give her an excuse to put Harry's request on hold. Perhaps he would even find another female to focus his attentions onto.

Seven of Nine logged out of her station causing several surprised glances. Seven never stopped for lunch. When Harry Kim came into her work area her associates informed him that she had just left for lunch. Seven would have been most gratified at his look of shock that she had left for lunch and not with him.

Promptly at 1100 hours the former Borg activated the door chime to Kathryn Janeway's home on the Academy campus. The Admiral greeted her warmly, genuinely pleased to see the lovely young woman. She escorted her to the dining area where she had a light luncheon prepared. Seven had gradually eased her body into accepting solid foods rather than the bland supplement she had been forced to consume on Voyager.

The Admiral kept up a light banter between them, encouraging Seven to learn small talk. As they completed their meal the ex-Borg carefully placed her fork down and looked directly at her former Captain.

"Admiral, what is the purpose of this meeting?"

Kathryn smiled indulgently. "Seven, I have repeatedly asked you to call me Kathryn. I am no longer your Captain but your friend."

Seven raised her Borg implant above her eye and replied. "Very well, Kathryn, what is the matter you wish to discuss with me?"

Janeway swallowed her laughter caused by the young woman's expression. She turned and retrieved the PADD from the sideboard and handed it to the tall woman. Seven scanned its contents within seconds. Her Borg implant nearly reached her hairline as surprise etched her features.

"Ad-, Kathryn, what is it you require of me?"

"Seven, I need someone on the inside to act as a liaison between B'Elanna and myself. It would look suspicious to have a cadet constantly entering the Commandant's office. What I would like is to have you attend the Academy as a guest speaker and specialized tutor for several of the courses, such as Exobiology and the Advanced Tactical Training. You wouldn't be considered a teacher and it would be acceptable for you to form casual friendships among the cadets. Besides giving B'Elanna and I a way to communicate you may be able to hear things we wouldn't with that enhanced hearing of yours. Keep your eyes and ears open—figuratively," she added quickly, knowing the woman could be quite literal, "and perhaps we could end this mystery and get back to our normal business. Besides, it may not hurt to socialize among the youngsters rather than always talking shop with your co-workers," she added.

Two thoughts crossed Seven's mind. One, she would have an acceptable excuse to avoid Harry Kim for a period of time, and two, she would spend time with B'Elanna Torres. She had missed their spirited arguments.

"I accept. When do I begin?"

"I've made arrangements to have you released for the remainder of the day from the Institute. You have three days to clear up your calendar and report to the Academy where I'll introduce you as a guest lecturer and that you've volunteered to tutor cadets part time. I don't want you overloaded by students eager to spend time with you."

Seven's eyebrow lifted slightly. She still didn't see why others found her attractive. After all, she wasn't fully human and would never be completely separated from her Borg implants. She ignored the playful teasing and continued asking questions about her role in the investigation.

B'Elanna's fake records had been fixed to state a weakness for temporal mechanics. The half-Klingon had been annoyed by this and her outraged expression had caused the Admiral to bite her cheek from the effort not to laugh. After all, among the Voyager crew the Chief of Engineering had been almost the Captain's equal in knowledge of the complex science. Well, things ought to be interesting with those two at least. Seven and B'Elanna mixed like oil and water. She showed the former Borg out, glad to have two allies within the Academy. Janeway was confident they would soon find the answers they needed.

Part 3

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