DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and its characters are the property of Paramount. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Part one of the Voq Je Bang 2012 Monthly Challenge. 1) Write a one-part fic each month, on any theme. 2) Each fic must be linked to the preceding one although it cannot be a continuation of the previous month's story. 3) At the end of the year, the work should be twelve separate one-shots linked together by a narrative with a beginning, middle and end.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To dehickey[at]hotmail.com

The Trials of Herculanna and Sevcules
Part 1- The Lion of Nemea Prime

By Gemini1179


Seven had been resistant, going so far as to even say "Lieutenant Torres, if Mr. Paris, Ensign Kim and Commander Chakotay- all widely considered by the female members, and some male members of the crew to be the 'catch' of the crew- could not secure a 'date' with me, you- my most clear antagonist- have, as humans say: no chance." B'Elanna had laughed at the clear look of contempt and posture exuding arrogance on the beautiful Borg of her desires. Clearly Seven had yet to grasp the concept of sarcasm. Harry's romantic fowl-ups were legendary; the Helmrat was a womanizing man-child and Chakotay- well, he was considered untouchable because no one WANTED to touch him.

"We'll see my Borgiful Seven, we'll see. Resistance is- as they say- futile." Then she'd left the suddenly speechless blonde at her console in Astrometrics to ponder the words left to her by the grinning Chief Engineer of the Federation Starship Voyager.

That was two weeks ago. Now, alone in this dark cave, B'Elanna began to wonder if she'd gone temporarily insane. Seven had studiously turned down or ignored all her invites to dinner and even lunch, as well as stubbornly decrying the purpose of attending social events until Captain Janeway eventually relented and allowed her to skip them much to the chagrin of the newly determined B'Elanna Torres.

It had all made sense at the time. She'd had a 'eureka' moment one evening after Seven had driven her nuts for the umpteenth time in Engineering with her constant corrections to B'Elanna's work. The fact that her corrections were all right made it all so much worse and yet so much better.

It was her Human curiosity that sparked her natural problem solving acumen that allowed her to finally understand. Her Klingon side wasn't big on exposition and it left B'Elanna confused more often than not. Her Klingon side also did not have time to hold her hand and explain the inner workings of her hearts to her. It was her Klingon side that had responded to Seven as it had with every other challenge B'Elanna had encountered in her life. Only this time, the 'challenged' did not back down; did not run away from the 'scary Klingon'. No, this time the one so challenged by her Klingon instinct had challenged right back; had not been afraid one bit of her nature and had stood toe to toe with her. Several months of antagonistic interaction was all her Klingon side needed to finally approve of Seven as a mate. Her Human side had been a bit more dense on the matter unfortunately and it ended up taking another year and a resigned date with the Helmrat followed by a day of Seven's constant corrections in Engineering for her to take the hint. Finally, she'd found the one to hold her third heart- and damn it if the stubborn Borg wasn't going to make it just that much harder on her. Probably on purpose too.

Voyager was orbiting Nemea Prime enjoying a rare encounter with a friendly species for once; the crew on shore leave, her Captain enjoying the diplomat treatment in the Capital city, and Seven of Nine- former Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One- was working hard in Astrometrics. But B'Elanna had a plan. Thirty days is what they had despite the Captain wanting to get on the move earlier. The senior crew had said that the break was needed for morale; a long vacation would do everyone some good.

On her first day on the surface, B'Elanna had traveled to one of the smaller countryside villages to see if she might be able to find a unique gift for her Borg-to-be. What she discovered, however, was that this particular town, Cleonae, was plagued by a mysterious creature and in their attempts to kill it, they discovered that its golden fur was apparently immune to energy-based weaponry. Striking from the darkness, local farmers had been losing cattle and the occasional townsperson for years. Somehow, the locals had gotten it in their head that this was a mythical creature and that using modern technology to rid themselves of the problem was bad luck. Several hunters had tried without success over the years to track and kill the beast.

Hearing the description of the golden-furred beast, B'Elanna had volunteered to rid the small village of the beast once and for all and the locals had agreed readily. Over the next week-and-a-half, B'Elanna prepared. She'd done her half-shifts on Voyager when required, but otherwise had focused on the hunt. Brief consideration was given to her Klingon armour, but that was more about pomp and circumstance then actual combat. Leather with metal trim; broad shoulder pads and an exposed chest traditionally indicating a Klingon female's desire to grant a handicap to their foe thereby demonstrating their battle prowess was culturally inspiring but ultimately impractical for hunting from what she gathered was a large lion-type animal.

So B'Elanna fashioned her own new set of armour. With permission from the Captain, she'd obtained some of the junk Borg ditanium technology that they'd never gotten rid of and created a new bad-ass-yet-practical set of matte black armour to wear. Using a fabric mesh underlay woven with deuterium micro-fibres and Vulcan Spider-silk technology, she'd made the perfect comfortable and practical base layer. Unbeknownst to the Doctor, she'd also used some of his bio-suit tech to help regulate her body temperature and ensure that she gave off no heat signature- she didn't want to take any chances not knowing the creature's sensory capabilities.

Next she'd moulded the plating she would need to cover her vital areas and pieced everything together. Using the spinal plating from the Klingon design as inspiration, she created ditanium plate mail spinal protection surrounded by a hard shell covering her ribs, chest and upper back. Attached to the hard shell chest was more of the ditanium plate mail woven again with micro Vulcan Spider Silk fibres covering her mid-section which would expand and contract as needed once the suit was powered on giving her maximum flexibility and protection. The suit was completed with shock-absorbing shoulder pauldrons, greaves, forearm and bicep bracers, a helmet as well as armoured shin-guards on her boots which attached to the armoured knee pads on her greaves.

It took another few days for B'Elanna's hidden hunter's instincts to pick up the creature's trail and track it back to its lair in the mountains near the town. Along the way, B'Elanna had run into a local farmer, Molo, who had pleaded with her for vengeance upon the creature- but for what he didn't say. He promised a number of supplies to Voyager if she brought back some proof of the creature's death.

Shaking herself out of her thoughts, B'Elanna scanned her helmet's internal HUD again. The sensor tech in her suit had mapped out the bulk of the cave's internal structure which had revealed to her the second entrance to the cave that she'd already sealed with a well placed phaser blast. Knowing there was only one unexplored section left, and thinking of her glorious return to the village and Seven with evidence of her prowess, B'Elanna unsheathed her twin dk'taghs as a feral grin spread across her face hidden by the black helmet she was wearing. Slowly and carefully she made her way towards the innermost chamber and the heat signature contained within.

The enhanced vision provided by her helmet showed in muted gray tones the surrounding walls and ground in detail as she approached the large chamber. Reading again the location of the stationary heat signature in the room, B'Elanna slowed her breathing and prepared to strike at the creature as she moved silently into the room.

A sudden whimper froze her in her tracks as she was about to launch herself upon her prey.

There on the ground, huddled near a pile of bones and what appeared to be torn clothing, was a little boy clutching his legs and shaking in fear. It must have been the man Molo's son, the resemblance was there and it would explain the man's anger.

Without conscious thought, her purpose changed- she would get this boy out of here and back to his father. Thoughts of a glorious battle and impressing Seven with the tale seemed to fade into the background of her mind as B'Elanna closed on the small boy. Being unable to see in the darkness but feeling the approach of a foreign body, the boy began to recoil in fear.

"Easy little one, I'm not here to hurt you." B'Elanna reached the small boy and pulled out a protein bar and a liquid ration from one of her belt compartments and quickly fed the boy who all but launched himself at her clutching on for dear life when he heard her voice and realized it wasn't the creature coming at last to feed on him.

It took a few moments, during which B'Elanna had switched on a light and removed her helmet, to get the boy to calm down and eat and drink what she had for him. While he was busy greedily scarfing down the food and drink, B'Elanna did a quick physical inspection of the boy and found that his left leg was seriously wounded and was mildly infected.

"I've got to get you out of here, can you understand me? Nod for yes." So far he hadn't said a word in favour of the food and drink selflessly offered by his rescuer but the pain and fear had abated since the arrival of the darkly-clad heroine. Her universal translator, having been properly set since Voyager's arrival in system did its job and the boy nodded as his bright purple eyes regarded B'Elanna's own deep brown orbs.

"Ok little one, I'm going to lift you up and-" The little boy's face had gone white and B'Elanna heard the low rumble only a fraction of a second before pain exploded on her right side as the large creature's mammoth jaws clamped down on her mid-section. While her armour prevented her flesh from being pierced, the plate mail still allowed for point compression and she knew she'd have bruises and possibly a cracked rib or two from the first attack alone.

As her instincts took over, B'Elanna reached to her left hip holster for her dk'tagh as the creature with its golden fur and large burning amber eyes snapped its head back and to the left, releasing the armoured Klingon and sending her flying across the room where she landed with a groan in a heap.

Luckily, she had not relinquished her grip on her blade and so the timeless dance of death began in earnest. B'Elanna didn't fight for glory; she didn't fight for anything other than to protect a little boy. Her natural eyesight had adjusted to the low light and the armour she wore gave her the protection, added strength and agility she needed to come out the victor in the short battle that followed. Sharp claws striking at her head were not a match for calculated warrior's instinct and it wasn't long before her blade found purchase in the throat of the mighty beast ending the creature's reign of terror over the countryside.

The villagers of Cleonae quickly came to greet the small black-armoured woman carrying the small boy as she arrived a short time later. Bruised, bloodied and somewhat beaten, B'Elanna floated through the reunion of the boy and his father and the praise from the villagers at the knowledge that the beast was defeated once and for all.

It was as she was pulling off the last bits of her armour and sitting in her black bodysuit that B'Elanna was finally shaken from her fatigue.

"B'Elanna Torres, if you wish to impress me with suicidal attacks on large creatures, understand that you will fail." The crisp usual monotone of Seven of Nine held something akin to reproach as she opened a medical tricorder and began to scan the gash on B'Elanna's forehead as the woman in question stared up at the object of her desires with wide eyes.

"Wha-" thoroughly confused, B'Elanna tried to piece together why Seven was running a dermal regenerator over her forehead in an almost… loving manner after appearing in the out-of-the-way village seemingly out of nowhere.

"Shush. You should know, however, that selfless acts of courage are something that I find most attractive about you. As well as your intelligence, stubbornness and determination."

Perking up and brimming with hope as Seven's words sunk in, B'Elanna could do nothing but smile at the beautiful blonde above her who was trying very hard it seemed to concentrate on what she was doing and not smile herself.

"Bu-?" Full cognitive process seemed to elude the tired hero at the moment.

"Hmm, perhaps I was mistaken about your intelligence. You will have to impress me with your knowledge of warp and trans-warp theory over dinner if I am to seriously consider you as a mate." Seven crossed her left arm under her right elbow as she tapped her chin thoughtfully with her right index finger in a perfect imitation of mock consideration.

B'Elanna recovered quickly at seeing Seven tease her so easily and grinned. "Challenge accepted, Borg."

"Indeed. However, I shall have to think carefully about whether or not I shall refer to you by your newly acquired title." Seven began to walk away from B'Elanna leaving the brunette once again confused and suddenly aroused at the same time.

"What title?" B'Elanna called after the retreating woman.

"Herculanna- evidently in the local dialect it means courage and/or glory." Seven turned and gave B'Elanna the first real smile the half-Klingon felt she'd ever truly received before tapping her communicator and disappearing in blue wisps of a transporter beam.

One month later…

"So Bang'wI, I never did find out how you found me on Nemea Prime." Exhausted from their lovemaking, B'Elanna curled her sweating form against Seven's pale body highlighted by her implants that seemed to sparkle in the passing starlight. She pulled the golden fur blanket up to cover the two exhausted women and kissed her lover on her right cheek implant as she settled into welcoming arms.

"I had been following your progress the whole time from Astrometrics. Before that I had been observing you for several months while waiting for you to finally listen to your hearts."

B'Elanna propped herself up on one elbow and looked down into the blue depths of her lovers eyes. "You what? How did you- why did you reject me at first then?"

"I observed you. I am quite capable of determining the meaning of physical indicators, especially yours, since I concluded my research into Klingon culture and mating habits. Finally, I had to ascertain whether or not you were serious about your intentions. It was not difficult to determine that a test of your resolve would reveal the truth of your hearts to me. I had not however, intended for you to conquer a large beast to 'impress' me." The last part said as blue eyes narrowed in a clear message that reckless behaviour would not be tolerated where B'Elanna's safety was concerned.

"Well, I've never really been one to do things the easy way." She grinned down at her own vision of perfection lying beneath her.

"Indeed. Perhaps you can regale me once more with the tale of how you conquered the great beast."

"Ooorrrr… I can show you."

B'Elanna pulled the fur blanket over her shoulders before growling playfully and pounced upon the suddenly giggling ex-Borg.

The End

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