DISCLAIMER: See Chapter 1

The Traveler
By H.W.

Chapter 19

Chakotay was debating with himself about whether or not he should give Seven another injection with the sleeping agent, but finally decided against it. Sooner or later, he was going to have to deal with her without her being under the influence of any kind of drugs. Better just get it over with now. At least now she would have something to keep her busy that would force her to work together with him; finding ways to survive on the planet. Having to work together now would considerately shorten the hostility she would certainly feel for him.

While Seven started to move more and more, Chakotay went outside through the emergency door to get a better look at the damage to the Delta Flyer. What he saw didn't make him happy. He had hoped to use the Flyer to find the best spot on the planet to live. After all, he might have to spend the rest of his life on the planet, but there was no reason to do things the hard way when you could do them the easy way.

But one look at the shuttle made it clear that its flying days were over. The only thing that was really left was the main compartment. The engines had been torn off and the outer shielding had been ripped away in some places, while the shielding that remained was burned beyond use, 'thanks' to the entry through the planets' atmosphere.

But on the other hand, he really didn't have that much to complain about. While the shuttle was no longer usable for flight, the main compartment that had survived would make a good temporary home while he would build a real home for him and Seven.

He still wondered how he had managed to land the shuttle. He couldn't remember those last few minutes. All he really remembered was the engines failing and then... seeing the branches of a tree lying against the windows of the Flyer when he woke up.

He looked to the main shuttle entrance, wondering if he should try to open it. He decided against it for the time being. All the electricity was gone and once he had opened the door manually, closing it again would take minutes. Way too long on a potentially dangerous planet. No, better keep using the emergency exit for now. It was big enough to walk through, and the door could quickly be swung shut on its hinges. When he was sure that the shuttle could serve as a temporary home for the time being, he looked to the surrounding forest again, this time taking in its beauty instead of only looking for potential threats, and he realized that the landing sight wasn't that bad at all.

They had landed on the edge of a forest. Great trees rose up around the shuttle, but only a short distance further, the tree line stopped and gave way to a vast grassy meadow. In the far distance across the meadow, he could see another forest starting. But then again, his original scan of the planet had already shown that it was rich in forest and wildlife. Somewhere to his left, he heard the telltale sound of a small creek, fresh water. He looked over to where he had heard the sound, but didn't see the creek. He did see something else however, small animals scurrying over the forest floor in their eternal search for food. His attention was drawn back to the meadow when he saw movement there. Slowly a herd of grazing animals came over one of the hills in the grass fields. Chakotay guessed that the animals' shoulder height was about equal to his head. He decided that it would be difficult to take one of the animals down for food. Difficult, but certainly not impossible.

Chakotay looked around once more and nodded his head, "Paradise."

Suddenly the herd in the fields started to move, quickly. They were obviously fleeing from something. And then he saw the reason. Out of the opposite tree line came a brown animal, clearly a catlike predator, which started running after the herd. Faster and faster the cat came, quickly evaporating the lead that the herd had built. One of the animals in the herd started to separate from the others and Chakotay saw the cat angle towards the separated grazer, the fate of the grazer was already sealed. A grazer that was smaller than the others, clearly a young one, also moved away from the group and towards the separated grazer, towards its mother.

Then Chakotay saw something he had never seen before. The cat changed its angle slightly, running past the separated grazer and its young.

There was no doubt in Chakotay's mind. The cat had made an obvious choice to spare the mother and its young so that the herd would continue to exist, and continue to be a food source for the cat. By now, the cat had reached its next target, but this grazer was not as lucky as the one before it was. The cat jumped at the grazer, tackling it to the ground.

A moment later, Chakotay saw the grazer get up again and try to get away. He saw something falling from the grazer... and then realization hit him, that was not 'just' something falling from the grazer, its intestines were spilling from its body onto the ground. The cat jumped at the grazer again and this time the grazer stayed down, obviously dead.

Chakotay looked at the scene for a moment longer, he was impressed with the speed, strength, intelligence, and... deadliness that the cat had shown. Suddenly, the place didn't seem like paradise anymore.

He heard a sound behind him and turned around, only to see a Borg-enhanced fist coming at his face. Seven was still weak, barely able to keep standing up, but her hatred for all that he had done to her gave her enough power to floor Chakotay with one punch.

"You took me away from B'Elanna. I will kill you."

Chakotay could see that Seven was swooning a bit, clearly still under the influence of the sleeping agent. But he knew that trying to overpower her was something he could not risk. There was just no way of telling how much reserves those Borg enhancements gave Seven. If she had been all human, she would have still been asleep. So instead of trying to engage her, he kicked her feet from under her and quickly stood up to move out of her reach.

"Now, Seven, calm down. I did what had to be done. You were a risk to the Federation, too big of a risk. I do think that at this moment you believe that the Federation has nothing to fear from you. But you are too emotionally unstable."

Chakotay moved a little further away when Seven struggled to get up. Seven used the emergency door of the Flyer to pull herself upright again and when she stood, she held onto the door a moment longer, trying to steady herself, gathering her strength to go after Chakotay again.

Chakotay meanwhile kept talking, trying to convince Seven. "Seven, the problem is that you don't really know how to handle emotions. I mean look at it, B'Elanna shows some interest in you and immediately you think she is your partner for life. You don't even know the difference between your first crush and true love. And that is where things can go wrong. B'Elanna finds you interesting for now, but once she is back in Federation space, she is sure to find a partner that fits with her, that shares her interest, that doesn't always fight with her. But what would have happened when you also had reached the Federation? When you had seen how B'Elanna fell in love with someone else, someone she REALLY loves? I don't think that you could have handled that. You would have thought that your reason for living would have disappeared. But what would you have done to get revenge on B'Elanna and her new lover? The risk for, what you have called on several occasions 'the inefficient Federation,' would have simply been too great. Come on, Seven, if you think about it, you know I'm right."

Seven started slowly moving towards Chakotay. It was still difficult, but she could feel the effects from the sleeping agent slowly wearing off.

"You could not be more wrong. First of all, you do not know what B'Elanna feels for me. The only thing you see is how she reacts towards me when we are both on duty, when we both have to put Voyager above our feelings, when we have to act in a manner that our position requires from us. Do you know why B'Elanna will not look at me when we are performing a difficult task? Not because she is engrossed in her work, as you might think, but because she is afraid that when she looks at me, it will break her concentration. Just looking at me can make B'Elanna lose coherent thought." Seven launched herself at Chakotay, but he was too quick and moved out of the way, making her lose her balance and fall to the ground.

Chakotay took a defensive stand a little bit away from Seven. He was quickly becoming annoyed with Seven's stubbornness. Surely, if someone understood the problems that could arise from her being the Followers' Chosen, it had to be Seven herself. But here she was acting like a small child going on and on about how he had taken her away from Voyager, a place of which she had said, time and time again, that she didn't like it there. And suddenly she wanted to be back onboard the ship? If anyone had to understand the logic of her leaving the ship, it had to be Seven herself.

"B'Elanna and I are engaged to be married!" Seven shouted as if that explained it all and as if there was no higher reasoning than that simple statement. Chakotay didn't understand that for Seven there would never be a higher reasoning than the fact that she and B'Elanna belonged together. She came at him again, and even though he moved aside quickly enough to avoid the total force behind her swing, she still managed to hit his jaw with enough force to leave behind a painful sting.

"Don't you get it? B'Elanna never truly loved you; you just think she did," Chakotay said frustrated. "B'Elanna and I once shared a relationship, and I know what she is like. B'Elanna is a passionate person who needs a lover in her life. To her, you are nothing more than a convenient person that was available when her relationship with Tom went sour."

Even though Seven was using a lot of her reserves to fight with Chakotay, she noticed that instead of getting tired, she was feeling more and more powerful with every minute that passed. She realized that whatever he had given her was quickly wearing off. She decided that she had enough power to try tackling him once more to the ground.

"You know nothing about B'Elanna, and you disgrace her by talking like that about her!" Seven moved at the end of her last word and did manage to get a hold of Chakotay, but not to tackle him to the ground because of his bulk. But since she was hanging onto him, she used the opportunity to hit him in his stomach as hard as she could.

Seven's blow knocked the wind out of Chakotay, but somehow he was able to push her away from him. He realized that he had to end this, and end this now, he could not go on like this much longer. He saw that Seven was preparing to come at him again, and he realized that that she had no intention of stopping this fight until one of them was knocked out, or worse. Trying to get through to her one final time, he shouted, "Damn it, Seven! Stop trying to hurt me. I did what had to be done. And you might not like it, but we are the only two people on the planet. We're going to have to work together to survive!"

Seven couldn't believe what she was hearing. " I will never work with you! You kidnapped me. You took me away from my friends, my love."

She came at him again and this time he knew that just moving away would not be enough to stop her. He blocked her punch and countered with a punch of his own to her stomach. Even though he held back on the power behind his punch, it was enough to make the still weak Seven sink to her knees to catch her breath.

Chakotay didn't want to move too far away from the shuttle remains so when he had to move away from Seven, he did so towards the shuttle. "I took you out of a bad situation, can't you see that?!" Chakotay nearly screamed. He was getting more and more frustrated with the way Seven refused to see the situation for what it really was, dangerous and potentially fatal if anything went wrong between the Federation and the Followers' Chosen.

He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself, but he didn't have much success. Seven's stubbornness was getting to him. Once again, he would give reason a chance, he knew that reason always worked with Seven before. "Okay, maybe you are right, I can't really know all that existed between you and B'Elanna," He moved back until he was once again standing by the emergency door of the shuttle. "But the fact remains that you are too dangerous, the power that you have with the Followers makes you a potential risk that can't be allowed to reach the Federation."

Seven got up, this time with the help of a convenient tree. "Despite your continued dislike for me from the moment I came onboard Voyager, I always thought that you were the one seeing potential dangers in actions. Where Captain Janeway does like to take the occasional unnecessary risk, you were always pointing out the dangers to her. You always were the one wanting to take the safe way out. That is why I do not understand why you can not see clearly on this? Why you can not understand that I am not the threat here?"

Chakotay was glad to see that for the moment Seven kept standing there, steadying herself with one hand against the tree. He tried to lower his voice some, give it a soothing tone. Now that Seven was not attacking immediately again, maybe he had a chance of getting through to her. "Come on, Seven. If you hate the Federation enough, the Followers might just decide to destroy it, and you know it."

Seven moved away from the tree a little bit, but Chakotay was sure that he was still outside her reach, so he decided to stay where he was... for the moment. Seven could not believe that Chakotay didn't see the possible consequences of what he had done, and might do.

"You really do not understand. You think that I could simply go to Empress Shadeen and demand of her that she annihilate the Federation? She, the Followers, would never do that. If I hated the Federation so much that I would want to see it destroyed, then the worst the Followers might do is see that as a sign that they should not have any contact with the Federation, or break any possible existing contacts. That is the worst what might happen if 'I' decide to do something against the Federation. But what you have done is much worse than that. You are a Federation officer, who has kidnapped the Followers' Chosen. Do you think that the Followers will just forget about that? Now, because of what YOU did, you can start wondering what the Followers retaliating actions will be. A Federation officer has kidnapped their Chosen. What will they do? Destroy the starship the officer came from, destroy Voyager? Or worse, will they see this as a sign that the Federation should be destroyed? You, 'Commander', Chakotay might very well become the one who is to blame for the end of the Federation." Once again Seven moved and this time she was quick enough to get a good grip on Chakotay's uniform.

When Chakotay saw Seven swinging her arm back, he knew that if she would hit him like this, holding him in place with her other hand, that she was sure to knock him out. He quickly managed to break her grip and turn her around, taking her in a grip from behind. He was sure that he had a good hold on her, maybe he could hold her like that at least long enough for him to catch his breath. But he certainly was not prepared for her next move. Seven let herself sink to the ground a little bit and brought her elbow up as hard as she could into his groin.

The pain was so much that stars formed in front of Chakotay's eyes and before he could stop himself, he lashed out at Seven as hard as he could, knocking her out.

Chakotay sank to the ground beside Seven, his hands clutching at his groin and rocking back and forth until the pain subsided enough for him to start thinking again. He knew that all the noise he and Seven had made was sure to attract some of the predators that had to be in the surrounding woods. With difficulty, he got to his feet, grabbed onto Seven's biosuit and started dragging her the short distance towards the shuttle. He was pissed at Seven and his groin still hurt like hell, at that point he couldn't care less about the fact that he was dragging Seven around like a big sack of Neelix's leola roots.

He was about two body lengths away from the emergency door when he felt that he and Seven were no longer alone. He hadn't heard a sound, but his gut feeling was telling him to turn around. When he did, he turned around to a sight that made even him try to swallow to wet his suddenly dry mouth. About twenty meters (sixty feet) away stood one of those giant cats, looking at him with devilishly red eyes. This one had brown/white fur. At least that is what Chakotay thought until the red eyes and their meaning registered with him. The color of the eyes and the brightness of the white fur made him realize that this cat wasn't partially brown, it was an all white albino cat and the brown really was dried blood stuck to its fur. The cat came a step closer and Chakotay realized that he had only seconds to get into the shuttle, if he wanted to stay alive. He slowly bent down to once again grab Seven's biosuit to pull her into the shuttle, his eyes never leaving the cat. His fingers just touched Seven when he saw the cat coming at him. His automatic reaction was to stand up and put his arm in front of him in a hopeless attempt at a defense.

To his surprise, the cat only butted him in his abdomen with its head, but the force of this 'little' head-butt was still enough to make him stagger back in an attempt to regain his balance. He gripped the edge of the emergency door in an attempt to steady himself, but all that he ended up doing was pulling the door half closed and falling to the ground behind it. For a split second, he looked into the shuttle, knowing that safety was there. He only had to close the door all the way and he was safe. But that was not the kind of man that he was. He had to save Seven. No matter what their differences were, she was still a human being. He had to save her, or die trying. He climbed to his feet, using the door as a convenient help. He was just about to step out from behind it when something smashed into the door with so much force that the door slammed into Chakotay, sending him flying through the shuttle and into the wall on the other side. But Chakotay didn't feel any of it. The force of the initial impact of the door had immediately knocked him out.

After the cat had butted Chakotay away, it turned to Seven but just when it reached the unconscious ex-drone, it heard the sounds Chakotay was making and turned in that direction once more. It took two steps in that direction to get some extra speed in its attack and then jumped up, crashing into the door with all its weight and force its muscles could put behind the jump. It was Chakotay's luck that the same power that had knocked him out also had made the door fall into its lock, putting him outside the cat's reach. The cat tried a few more times to get to him but all it ended up doing was putting dents into a door that had proven strong enough to survive a crash-landing unharmed. Finally the cat gave up on trying to reach Chakotay and focused its attention on Seven, who was still lying on the forest floor, but slowly started to move once again.


Tom staggered forward, trying to find his balance again. "Could you please tell him to stop doing that," He asked annoyed, trying to move away from Toby so that the cat would stop bumping him in the back.

B'Elanna rested her hand on Toby's back and, for a moment, they played their game of trust. Toby would extend some of his body claws and B'Elanna would scratch his back as if she didn't see the claws. She trusted the cat, knowing for sure that the cat would retract its claws when she came near enough to them that she could hurt herself. Toby always did. "Oh, come on, Tom. He's just playing. You should see that as a compliment, he likes you." Then she answered the question Janeway had just asked her. "I don't know where we are going, Captain. It's just that... we have to start somewhere, and if Toby wants to lead us somewhere, then I'm going to follow him. With the tricorders not working, any direction is just a guess. All I can tell you is that Toby has a superb sense of direction, and that he wants me to follow him."

Zerisan came walking beside Janeway and B'Elanna, now that the path they were following allowed for three people to walk beside one another. "Besides, we couldn't ask for a better protector. None of the other predators on this planet will come near us as long as we are in the company of a Tertra cat."

"I can see both of your points," Janeway agreed. "So, B'Elanna, now that we are moving, how about telling us how you know this animal?"

"Well, Tom kinda already told you. I know him from my dreams. For years now, pretty much as long as I can remember, romance and love being of interest to me, I have on occasion dreamt of being on a beautiful planet being held in the arms of my friend, and later, lover. We would just lay and enjoy the sunset, or walk through the woods. And we would always be in the company of two of these cats. Captain, you had a dog, you remember how it always followed you around, always was with you when it had the chance? Well, to my lover and me, these cats acted like that. In my dreams, I have seen Toby here take down and kill prey that was much, much bigger than him. Kinda like me being attacked and killed by a Tika cat."

"Tika cat?" Tom interrupted.

"Klingon verdant of a housecat." Janeway answered for B'Elanna.

" Right." B'Elanna agreed. "So I do know that he is dangerous, deadly even. But with my lover and me, he is so much different. He follows me around as one of your dog's puppies would have. You have seen how he behaves towards me, he is always like that... with my lover and me."

They were quiet for a moment while they maneuvered around a fallen tree that was blocking the path. When the path before them was clear again, Janeway continued, "Okay, but dreaming is one thing. But how can you dream for years about an animal you only meet today for the first time for real, and how can he know you?"

"I don't know really, up till today, I thought that that's all it was; dreams. But since waking up here, seeing Toby, and actually recognizing some of the areas we have been walking through, an outrageous theory has started to form."

"Oh? Please do tell." Despite the serious reason of why they were on the planet, and the fact that it was still uncertain if they would ever be able to get off the planet again, Janeway felt good walking through the forest. Being on a spaceship trying to get home just simply didn't give enough opportunity for a shore leave where even the Captain could spent a moment to enjoy the scenery.

"Well, you see," B'Elanna reluctantly started. "As I said, I have dreamt about this place on occasion all my life, since I was a child. That person that later is my lover, first was my friend. I know Toby here since he was just a little kitten."

"And your theory is..." Janeway prompted to get B'Elanna over her reluctance.

"I'm getting there. I never knew who my friend, and then lover, was. She would always be behind me, or standing in the light so that I couldn't see her face, or holding me in the dark. You name it. But with all that has been happening lately, I can reach only one conclusion. And it feels so right that I know it is true, no matter how strange it sounds. I think that this 'phantom' friend/lover is Seven, and has always been Seven."

"Seven?" Tom and Janeway asked simultaneously.

"Yeah. Think about it. Seven will be adopted into the Follower race," B'Elanna looked passed Janeway to Zerisan and asked, "Tell me, just how often does your race adopt people?"

"Hardly ever. On average, about three people each year become honorary members of our race. But true adoption into our race, that is ONLY reserved for people who are Chosen ones. So beside Seven, the last time someone was adopted into our race was three thousand years ago."

They reached a fork in the path and when Toby went to the left, B'Elanna and the rest followed. "I figured as much. And I also figure that once Seven is a part of your race, you will make no difference between her and any other Follower. She will truly be a member of your race."

"Of course."

"And that's my point, Captain. Zerisan told me that in their race, couples become a couple at a very young age, often before they can actually speak. And the bond they share is for life. Now, Seven is chosen to be the Chosen by the Traveler. He basically gives the green light to have Seven become a member of the race he patronages. Is it then so farfetched to think that he gave Seven the same thing that all the Followers have? To know her partner for her entire life. I think that whenever Seven and I would be asleep at the same time, the Traveler would bring us here to his home 'in spirit,' so to speak, so that his future Chosen could be with her mate, with me. That would also explain why I would only dream about this place every once in a while. We would only be brought here when we were both asleep at the same time."

"That is some theory you have there, Lieutenant," Janeway said, not dismissing B'Elanna's idea since it was as good an explanation as any. "There are two things that speak against it though. First of all, the Traveler would have to have gone back in time to bring you both together after he chose her as his Chosen, and secondly, we all know that Borg do not dream. Seven told us this herself."

"Are you so sure about that? What if they do, but they just can't remember? Seven has been doing a lot of dreaming lately, ever since... since her life changed enough to make dreams relevant. But who knows for sure that she didn't dream before? Captain, I, you, we all have dreams we don't remember. In fact, we usually only remember the last dream we have before waking up. And that is simply because we wake up during the last REM sequence, so basically during the dream. Who says that Borg drones can't dream on occasion? It can very well be that Seven has been here throughout her life, she just doesn't remember it because once she would wake up those memories would disappear.

"And about the Traveler having to go back in time, first of all, Q once brought Voyager to the moment of the Big Bang. So I guess you can say that the Q can travel through time. And apparently the Traveler is even more powerful than the Q since the Q don't dare to enter the space of the Empire. But I don't think that this has to do with time-travel. I think that this almighty being simply knew already at the day of Seven's birth that she eventually would be his Chosen. Just like he also knew that eventually I would be Seven's life partner. After all, he already brought us together here as children, not as the adults we are now."

Janeway sighed, she wanted to disagree with B'Elanna, but at that point they were only guessing and until they actually knew what was going on B'Elanna might be as much right as wrong. It was Zerisan that spoke up and tipped the scales a little bit in the direction of B'Elanna's theory being right.

"The Chosen IS usually a little bit favored by the Traveler. Though not in a way that it would make the Chosen do things differently, after all, it is the Chosen's free choices that are needed."

"Care to explain that a little more?" B'Elanna asked. "And why do Seven and I always have to find out things about her position as Chosen in a 'by the way' manner? Can't you people simply sit us down and tell us all there is to know?"

"Well, B'Elanna Torres, I could turn that question around and ask you; Why have you never asked us to tell you all that we know about Chosen Ones? There are some things we can not tell you, like the tests that Seven passed. But this we could have, and would have, told you. But, Seven is a very reluctant Chosen. WE do not know just how much detail you both WANT to know."

The Klingon knew that Zerisan was right. Ever since all the talk about Seven being the Chosen started, she and Seven really just wanted to forget about it. She nodded her head in agreement. "Point taken. So what is this about Seven being slightly favored?"

"Well, for instance, all of our electronics don't work anymore after passing though the electronic layer in the atmosphere. Have you thought about what this layer might have done to Seven's Borg implants?"

"Truthfully, I have deliberately blocked that out. I don't want to think about that."

Zerisan could certainly understand that. "I can't be absolutely certain, of course, but I can tell you with very high certainty that you don't have to worry about that. And that is what I mean. We think that the Traveler put that electronic layer in the atmosphere, but for this example that doesn't really matter. You see, I'm pretty sure that the Traveler would protect Seven from those harmful charges. And I also think that he would make sure that Seven would survive the landing, or crash, of the shuttle. Unless Commander Chakotay deliberately crashed the shuttle into the ground to kill Seven. And that is also a good example of the line of his favoritism. The Traveler would protect Seven from dying in a situation over which nobody had any control, like an accident. But if Commander Chakotay deliberately chooses to kill Seven, then the Commander will succeed in doing so."


For the next several hours, everybody was quiet except for the occasional small talk. Finally B'Elanna spoke up, "We are getting close, I can feel it. It won't be much longer."

B'Elanna was proven right when half an hour later the group saw the remains of the Delta Flyer through the trees. As they came closer, they saw one of the Tertra cats sitting beside Seven. B'Elanna saw the others stiffen slightly when they saw the cat. "It's alright, look."

The others looked back at the cat to see what B'Elanna was pointing at and saw how Seven had lifted an arm and that she was playing with the big cat. She was pushing its head away, only to drop her arm again to let the cat come closer. The others could see Seven's hand slipping on more than one occasion into the animal's mouth while she was pushing its head away.

B'Elanna moved towards Seven and the cat. She looked down at Seven and couldn't contain her smile, "Here I am worrying about you, following you across a solar system. And then I find you here playing with White. What do you have to say for yourself?"

"I love you."

Seven's words had been spoken quietly, but so full of emotion and love that they sliced right through B'Elanna's composure. She dropped to her knees and took Seven into her arms, slightly pushing the cat away with her shoulder. White understood that playtime was over for now and left the couple alone.

"I've been so worried, Mesh. For a moment, I thought I lost you. I almost went crazy, everything took so long. The others just kept talking and talking instead of going after you immediately. And then the Followers brought up that you passed your second test and they kept talking about that, and all the time I could feel you moving away from me further and further. I..."

Seven leaned up a little bit and silenced B'Elanna with a kiss. "Only in body, Lanna. In spirit, I could feel you with me all the time. I knew you were coming after me physically, but you have never really been away from me." She rested her head against B'Elanna's shoulder and they held onto each other for an unmeasured amount of time, just comforting each other and enjoying the feeling of holding the other in their arms.

Finally, B'Elanna thought of the others standing nearby. She helped Seven to her feet and kept her arm around the Borg to steady her, and because she didn't want to let go of Seven. Seven saw the albino Tertra cat lying a short distance away and she gave the animal a quick hand signal. The others had seen the small gesture but still were surprised to see the cat jump up and run away.

"Where is he going?" Janeway asked when the cat had disappeared out of sight.

"He is a she," Seven answered when she had reached the others. "She is Toby's mate. And she is going to wash up. She knows I do not enjoy it when she runs around with blood covering her fur."

Tom, who was by now slightly used to Toby, dared to actually move in front of the animal when he moved closer to Seven so that he could check her out. "They sure don't act like a couple, they barely sniffed each other."

B'Elanna helped Seven rest against a tree. "That's because you all are here. Now Toby is protecting you all against the dangers of this planet, and White made sure that Chakotay didn't harm Seven. Which reminds me, where is he?"

Seven looked around for a moment before answering. "I was unconscious for some time. Since I do not see any blood and since those dents in that door were not there before, I assume that he is inside the shuttle remains, where White could not reach him."

"Do I get three guesses as to who named her White?" Tom joked.

"It seemed appropriate," Seven defended herself. She looked to her left when she heard a sound and saw a wet and dripping White coming back.

Suddenly she looked at B'Elanna, then over to Toby, and then back to B'Elanna. "But this is all from my dreams. I know that even without White and Toby in the vicinity, we will be safe on this planet." Seven gave another hand signal and White immediately reacted, coming to the Borg's side and laying down, just like the signal meant. "I remember dreaming about teaching her that."

B'Elanna nodded her head in agreement. She too remembered the days that Seven and White had spent hours playing, slowly establishing a system of signals and reactions to those signals. The Klingon could still remember how at the end of one day Seven and White had developed so far that not only did White react to every signal Seven gave, it also worked the other way around. White would do things, and Seven would understand what the animal meant. B'Elanna still believed that Seven and White established a form of language that day. Only the most basic form of course, but still. Seven could tell the cat what she wanted, and the cat could make Seven understand some of the things it wanted. B'Elanna took Seven's hands into her own. "I know, and I have a theory as far as those dreams are concerned." And so B'Elanna started to explain.

Part 20

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