And A Child Shall Lead Them, Part X, the conclusion
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The silvery form of Voyager gleamed against the dark expanse of space. The stars folded and unfolded as it effortlessly glided through their paths. The past months proved difficult and trying for its crew. The slipstream drive project was compromised and delayed, after Voyager, unexpectedly encountered a violent ionic storm that swept it into its path.
Voyager sustained severe damage to its outer hull and internal structural systems, the ships warp engines damaged, as it operated solely on impulse power.
It managed to limp to a planetary substation were Janeway, skillfully negotiated for the necessary repairs to her vessel. Her engineering staff was pushed to its limit, as they oversaw the repairs that took several months. The fact, that Voyager survived at all was a miracle in itself, three crewmembers lost their lives.
The entire event lowered the morale; Janeway in an effort to relieve the anxiety, allowed the remainder of the crew to embark on shore leave. The previous five months a painful setback, to their rendezvous, with the USS Enterprise.
As the months seemed to sail by, Kathryn took an overt interest in the unfolding events that pertained to Chakotays illness. For the moment, Starfleet accepted her explanation, regarding the commander's condition. His induced coma an integral part, in avoiding any further damage to his neurological system.
The Doctor was still, unable to provide a definitive solution for Chakotay. His previous attempts, to relinquish the life forms that invaded Chakotays body, nearly proved fatal to the Commander, as they assaulted him, relentlessly in an attempt to remain in control.
In the daily communiqués, Starfleet became aware of Kathryn's marriage to Seven. Admiral Hayes, leveled charges against her of, " conduct unbecoming an officer", for embarking in her relationship with a subordinate crewmember.
The charges were immediately dismissed, when Admiral Paris defended Kathryn and proved Seven, could not be quantified, as an actual crewmember. The panel convened and determined Sevens status on Voyager was to be officially noted as a civilian.
Admiral Hayes did not easily give up, as he continued his assaults passively, by investigating specific medical data on their unborn child. Kathryn and Sevens child continued to grow, the elaborate genetic test, unequivocally proved, the child was biologically Kathryns and Sevens. The Omega signature undetected in the unborn child, now in its six month, as the two women began to slowly embrace the life growing within Seven.
Kathryn stood in her ready room; the stars lay out before her, as she stared into their wonder. Her mind was relaxed, the previous lines of tension, etched on her classic face barley visible. She reveled in the new life growing within her wife; a soft smile touched her lips, as she pictured the image of her wife.
Her tapered waist expanded, as the life within her continued to grow. She swallowed the last drop of coffee in her cup and noticed the time. She shook her head idly and pondered were the time went, as she suddenly realized her shift ended an hour ago.
The past few months proved trying on the couple, Seven tried valiantly to adjust to the new life growing within her. The young woman found it difficult; to adapt to the subtle nuances and side affects associated with her pregnancy. She grew weary, as the weight inhibited her former agility, her edict mind at times faltered and her normally cool demeanor was prone, to wide mood swings.
The changes caused great distress to the young woman, the Doctor and Kathryn unable to reassure her, it was perfectly normal in her condition. She exited her ready room and entered the turbolift, her voice soft and low "Deck three." The soft hum of the turbolift resonated, as it ascended and deposited her on the floor leading to her quarters.
As always in the past months, she hesitated slightly as she passed the door to Chakotays quarters, a stark reminder of their failure in helping Chakotay. She entered her quarters and her heart caught as she inhaled the vision of her wife. Seven nestled in the sofa, her face soft with a beautiful warm glow. She raised her head gently; the brow arched high, her cortical implant rose sharply. Kathryn hesitated for a second; the warning alarms immediately sounded in her head "Oh God, she's upset."
"You are late" Seven added curtly, her tone sharp.
Kathryn swallowed deeply; her acute senses detected the imminent danger she was in. Rather then lose control of a volatile situation, she quickly changed her tactics and crossed the span of the room. Her eyes dark and sorrowful, as she pouted her lips slightly and sagged her shoulders
"I'm sorry darling, I was reviewing the doctors latest report on Chakotay" A blatant lie on Kathryns part, but relieved as she saw her wife's features relax.
Sevens physical demeanor changed abruptly. The tension subsided, as Kathryn breathed again. Quite proud of her, for executing, another brilliant plan flawlessly. She settled down comfortably next to Seven and drew her form close to hers; the young woman's back snuggled warmly against Kathryn's chest. Kathryns hand ran smooth circles, across Sevens swollen belly.
"I see" Sevens voice softened, her body relaxed under the gentle caress "Has the doctor found a solution?"
"No, I'm afraid not" Kathryn inhaled deeply, as the scent of Sevens hair, wafted through her nostrils. She placed soft kisses on the top of her head. She felt, when the baby struck her hand for the first time. The action both startled and astounded her, as she smiled broadly and warmly.
"Did you feel that? She kicked me" a sense of awe detected in her tone, as her eyes turned a brilliant blue.
She shifted her hand to a different spot and the child responded immediately, striking her hand yet again. She continued the exercise and laughed, each time the child struck her hand.
Seven beamed broadly, as she felt the movement of the life within her, for the first time. The fact, that she experienced it with Kathryn, rather then alone warmed her heart to the core. She shook her head, as Kathryn and their unborn child, continued their playful banter.
Kathryn continued, to shift the position of her hand, throughout Sevens swollen belly, as the child tapped it playfully in return.
"I do not appreciate, being used as a holodeck for your velocity match with our child" Seven responded sarcastically, Kathryn smiled warmly, as her hand continued its movement.
"Quiet, I'm teaching our daughter how to play velocity" Kathryn added playfully, her eyes vibrant and filled with pride.
"No doubt she will be as an infuriating opponent as you are" Seven quirked her mouth in disgust, the couples velocity matches, a long-standing thorn in Sevens side.
"You're just jealous, because you never beat me" Kathryn responded smugly, as she clasped Sevens hand, before she could playfully swipe at her.
"That is only, because you are unconventional in your methods."
"I win don't I?" Kathryn slowly threaded into dangerous waters
Seven raised her head and shot her a forceful look; Kathryn shuttered slightly and decided it was in her bet interest, to quickly rectify her error. Using the only tool she had against the young woman, she clasped onto her lips and kissed her passionately. Seven fell easily to her command and after a few long moments, Kathryn released her and looked into her eyes lovingly.
"Have you eaten anything today?" Kathryns chin rested comfortably, on the top of Sevens head. Her hand continued its languid movement across Sevens belly.
"Perhaps, you should be asking your daughter, if she has allowed me to keep any of my meals" Sevens eyes rolled in disgust, the young woman detested, the nausea she bore morning, noon and night, for the past six months.
Kathryn chuckled lightly, as Seven jabbed her in the ribs. "Ouch" she cried out mockingly "I'm sorry darling, but really it will pass, you won't continue experiencing it for long"
Kathryn stifled another laugh, Sevens aversion to retching, a major sore point for the young Borg, who found herself at the mercy of their unborn child.
"That is what the doctor keeps saying" she protested mildly 'However, it has already been six months and I still continue to be I-L-L" the last word, spat out in disgust.
"Well I'm sure it will get better. Besides giving birth, is such a wonderful experience. In the long run this will seem trivial, I promise you" Kathryn attempted to sound earnest, as a rueful smile touched her lips.
"I will remember that, when it is your turn to carry our next child" Seven determined to make her point.
Kathryn's body stiffened, the red alert alarms rang loudly in her ears. The thought of being pregnant sent an involuntary chill, down the length of her spine. "What do you mean?" a trace of fear laced her voice.
Seven smiled broadly, her point being made "In this case we were not given a choice as too whom, should carry this child. However, since I am sure we will be making that decision for our next child. It has occurred to me, you should not be denied the right, to share this wonderful experience."
Sevens voice dripped with sarcasm and a smile touched her lips, as she noted the physiological changes, in Kathryn's body underneath her.
Deciding now was as good a time as any to retreat. Kathryn stood and clasped Seven's hand into her own. She helped Seven stand and tilted her head, her face adapting a lost puppy dog look.
"I know what will make you feel better, why don't you let me give you a massage?" Her eyes took on a definitive twinkle, as she knew. Seven would not resist.
Seven eyed her suspiciously, before she followed her, her wife's obvious attempt to distract her, from their conversation not going unnoticed by the young Borg.
"You are trying to distract me" she spat accusingly.
"I am not" Kathryn adapted her most sincere look "I simply want to take care of you" her eyes filled with mirth.
"Somehow, I find you are not being truthful, however I will accept your offer, but not before we have our dinner."
Seven stood and completed preparing their meal as the two women sat and discussed the slipstream drive. Their previous encounter, with the ionic storm delayed the process, for six months and now that Voyager was operational again. The project moved to the forefront of their top priorities.
Kathryn managed to use Sevens breakthrough, on the slipstream drive as leverage against Starfleet. The captain was well aware, of what the technology meant, to the Alpha quadrant and Starfleets war against the Dominion.
It was her intention, to ensure Sevens safety and use it as a bargaining tool. Now, that Seven was pregnant her original plan was derailed, the nanoprobes that would mask Sevens biosigns would inadvertently hurt their child.
Kathryn if anything, was thorough in all of her dealings with Starfleet, when they pertained to Seven. In the event Starfleet attempted to rescind their offer. Kathryn would resign her commission and with her sister's help and powerful Federation allies, they would use the powerful political machine to have Seven instilled at the Vulcan Institute of Science. Where she would be granted sanctuary and be placed in charge of the Vulcan Slipstream technology team.
Kathryn cleared the table, as Seven rested on the sofa, the routine now second nature for the two women. After recycling the dishes, she replicated a cup of coffee and glass of milk and carried them over, as she handed Seven the glass of milk.
Kathryn settled next to Seven, she lifted her legs and draped them across her lap. She gently massaged her feet, as they enjoyed the moment of silence between them, each woman lost in her own thoughts.
"I was thinking" Kathryn breaking the comfortable silence "What about Annika?"
"I do not wish to name her that" the hurt tone detectable in her voice
"Why not?" Kathryn ventured cautiously.
"Because, it is a name that I can not associate with happiness and I want our child to be happy" her voice wavered lightly.
"I see" Kathryn answered.
A touch of sadness evident, for the profound hurt her wife was unable to let go. "You know darling, one day you're going to have to let the pain go" Kathryn's voice was soft and filled with compassion.
"I am aware of that Kathryn and I believe I will someday. But, I would rather not discuss this now" her ice blue eyes grew distant.
"Very well, but I want you to know I'm here for you if you ever wish to discuss it" Kathryn continued massaging Sevens feet.
"Thank you" Seven's tone let Kathryn know the subject was closed.
"Well, we can always give her a Borg designation," Kathryn added playfully, in hope of brightening the dark mood.
"That is not amusing" Seven nudged Kathryn gently with her foot "However, I was speaking with Phoebe and she did recommend a designation."
"Oh my, Seven, you're not suggesting we listen to Phoebe are you? I refuse, to name our daughter after one of her retro artist friends" Kathryn added dryly.
"It is not an artist, she has recommended the designation Ariane, its means most sacred"
"Ariane, was our great grandmothers name."
"That is correct and I find that, Ariane Hansen Janeway is quite appealing."
"I have to admit, it does have a nice ring to it. Very well then, Ariane Hansen Janeway it is."
"I am glad you are pleased," she added dryly, the subject was a sore point for the couple, as they constantly argued over designations. Seven found Kathryn acted, rather difficult and obtuse over the whole matter.
"Actually, I was hoping for Six of Seven" Kathryn eyed Seven through hooded lashes, a crooked grin on her face.
"Then perhaps, that is what we will name our next child, that you will carry" Seven returned her grin in response.
Kathryn blanched slightly and immediately mounted her defenses, wondering, how was it that she quickly lost control. "I believe, I promised you a full body massage" silently praying, the distraction would work for the second time.
"And I believe, you are attempting to change the subject" Seven watched as Kathryn squirmed.
Kathryn breathed deeply "Honestly darling, you truly are impossible."
Kathryn rose and lifted Seven gently into her arms, kissing her softly. Until she felt the beautiful woman concede beneath her, inwardly thinking "Well at least that always seems to work"
She let out a long sigh of relief, as she led Seven to the bedroom and provided her with a full body massage. Seven fell asleep in her arms, as Kathryn's thoughts, continued to be assailed, with visions of her self-pregnant. Until blessedly, she managed to blank out the thoughts and the beating of Sevens heart, next to her own, lulled her into a deep slumber.
The next morning, the senior staff was assembled in the conference room, the installation of the slipstream drive took precedence, over the standard operations meeting. Seven and B'Elanna took turns and updated the staff on the process involved for the installation.
Both women were confident the technology would work; however, it required a complete reconfiguration of Voyagers engineering system. A task, that was deemed to take two months and in effect, would place a considerable amount of pressure, on an already overworked engineering department.
Kathryn was concerned, on what the added workload, would mean to her engineering staff. B'Elanna and her department were just beginning to recover from their encounter with the Ionic storm.
"B'Elanna, I don't want engineering to over extend themselves. If we have to take longer to install the technology then we will."
"I understand Captain, but I think we should be able to handle it. I can always ask for volunteers if things get that bad"
"Very well, just so long as you understand, I can't afford to have your department falling apart from exhaustion. It is a considerable undertaking as is, combined with your department's efforts in the past six months; it is a lot to ask. I am concerned, about everyone's welfare and I do not want to take any chances. Tuvok, see what you can do about rotating extra personnel into engineering. I want to make sure B'Elannas staff, has sufficient down time as much as possible. Seven, what can we expect as we begin the transition to slipstream?" Kathryn was in full command mode as she snapped out her orders crisply.
"For the moment, there will be little difference, the two technologies will be converged and the enhanced nanacells will include Borg technology and programming. We have been successful, in adapting my former Borg alcove and have developed a micron bridge so to speak, which will allow both of the technologies to coexist. In case of failure, we will simply revert to warp technology, by activating the program sequence, of the micron bridge. The transference will be seamless and prevent a warp core breech. We have been able to prove its success in our holodeck simulations."
Kathryn was impressed "When can we begin?"
"We are ready to start the process today."
"Very well, let's do it. Seven you are in charge, anything else? Good dismissed."
The staff rose and quietly exited; Kathryn called to Seven and asked her to remain. When the two women, were alone Kathryn moved closer to Seven. Her hand reached and clasped hers firmly. She led the young woman, to the upper sanction and settled into the sofa with her. Seven was momentarily stunned, unsure as to Kathryn's reason for detaining her.
She eyed her wife suspiciously, "Kathryn?" her eyes, carefully scanned Kathryns for an indication.
Kathryn noted her wife's reaction and smiled, "There's nothing wrong" she answered dryly. "I just wanted to spend a moment with you, before you return to work. Is there something wrong in that?" Kathryn added dryly
"Indeed?" Sevens tone inflected she was aware of Kathryns concern.
"I can't fool you can I? Kathryn dismayed at Seven seeing through her.
"No you can not, however I have noted you enjoy in attempting to do so."
"Kathryn raised her hands in defeat
"I just want to make sure you'll be careful. If it means the slipstream drive will take longer to install, than so be it. I just don't want you overworking yourself and I don't want you taking any unnecessary risks."
"Kathryn, you must show more confidence in me, I will never do anything, that may bring harm to our child" Seven well aware, of what direction Kathryn was headed at.
"Nonetheless, I would be negligent in both my duties as your Captain and your wife, if I didn't show some concern. How are you feeling this morning?" Kathryn ran her hand, across Sevens smooth face.
"Before or after I lost my morning nutritional supplement?" the young woman added dryly.
Kathryn smirked, a teasing smile touched her delicate features. "After?"
Seven eyed her warningly "I have come to accept that it is futile."
"Nonetheless you have to keep trying, I'm sure you'll manage to hold something down" Kathryns face became more serious, though her eyes sparkled with mirth.
"I will try" Seven watched her closely.
"That's all I ask" her hand ran smoothly, across Sevens belly. The child kicked her immediately.
"Look she knows it's me."
Seven smiled crookedly "Perhaps you should order her to stop making me ill."
"I have a distinct feeling, in that aspect she'll take after you and not comply" she added dryly.
"I see, I believe, I am beginning to understand our impending relationship towards our child. When she refuses to comply, she will be my child, however, when she complies she is yours?" Sevens eyebrow arched mockingly.
Kathryn opened and shut her mouth several times, "Shouldn't you be joining B'Elanna and Harry?" Kathryn changed the subject immediately.
"I believe you are attempting to change the subject again. However you are correct, they are waiting for me" Seven rose awkwardly to her feet, Kathryn watched as she headed towards the exit, a satisfied smirk on her face.
Before the doors opened, Seven turned "I will enjoy discussing this further with you this evening" A smug smile, touched her lips as she watched Kathryns grin drop from her face.
Seven reached engineering, which was in a flutter of activity around her, as B'Elanna shortly snapped orders and had her crew working in harmony?
"Ah, if it isn't the expectant mother, so glad you could join us Boss. We anxiously await our designations" B'Elanna eyed Harry who paled at the words.
Seven detected her friends, mocking tone and took pity on the young Ensign, she decided to ignore her friend's mischief making and continue with the task on hand.
"We have to install the micron bridge perhaps you can assist me Ensign Kim"
Harry's face lit up; a sigh of relief escaped his lips, as he took advantage of his reprieve. " Sure Seven, I'd be more than happy too"
B'Elanna glanced at her friend menacingly, not please that she left Harry off the hook so easily. The feisty Klingon in a teasing mood quickly added.
"Gee Starfleet, I can see you'll make a fine Captain one day."
Harry was taken aback by B'Elannas compliment, momentarily stunned into naive silence "Thanks B'Elanna."
"Yep, you've got that ass kissing down pat" the Klingon snorted at her own joke.
Harry frowned, suddenly aware of the Klingons ulterior motive; he chose to ignore B'Elannas remark and seized the moment to change the subject.
"So, how's the baby doing, Seven?" B'Elanna rolled her eyes in disgust and mimicked Harry's voice, as she repeated his words exactly, followed by an uncomplimentary remark.
"She is doing well Ensign Kim, thank you for asking, she has now started moving and has taken to kicking more often."
"Really? Would you mind if I feel her?" Harry's face begged.
B'Elanna snorted rudely "That's about as close to Seven as you'll ever get Starfleet" she snickered deviously.
Harry blushed brightly, as Seven rolled her eyes at her friend, who continued to snicker in the background. She gently grasped Harry's hand in her own and placed it on her belly, the child kicked him immediately. Harry looked up in wonder, his face smiling broadly
"She's got some kick."
B'Elanna suddenly grew interested, in their conversation and padded over to Seven. "Can I try?"
Seven clasped the firm hand of her friend and placed it on her belly, the child remained still. They attempted the procedure several times, as the child refused to respond. Harry chuckled slightly, enjoying the look of dismay, on the feisty engineer.
"I guess she doesn't like you B'Elanna" Harry determined to regain some ground.
"Nah that isn't it, she's just a little stuck up Borg. Like her mother" B'Elanna spat out accusingly.
Her hand was suddenly knocked off Sevens belly as the child proceeded to respond to B'Elannas accusation with a swift kick.
B'Elanna looked up in shock, as the child continued to kick. "Kahless, that little targ kicked me. I can see it now, a little obnoxious Borg brat, with four pips on her bib"
The child kicked several times in protest, as the three looked at her movements and broke into an easy laughter.
The rest of the day continued, in various outbursts of Klingon expletives, as Seven continued to hand B'Elanna precise orders, in how to install the new technology. The Borg constantly, forced B'Elanna to adhere to the projected plan and follow it to the letter.
The process became a daily ritual, as the crew continued their efforts in adapting Voyager to the new technology The continued playful outbursts, between the two dominant women, now a common occurrence as their bond grew stronger.
As the weeks passed, the daily reports yielded positive results, as the project drew closer to completion, in the interim the crew threw Seven and Janeway a surprise baby shower.
Seven entered sick bay, for her weekly appointment, her belly large, as she entered the second week of her eighth month. She hesitated slightly, before entering. Her hairs stood on end, as she perused the facilities and spied the prone figure of Chakotay.
Though she would never admit it to anyone, the Commanders presence had an adverse affect on her. She felt her flesh rise and a sudden chill stole into her heart, as she noted the rapid movements of her child inside her, Seven detected it, as an internal warning of her discomfort.
The doctor appeared in a jovial mood, the expected birth, gave him a new project to focus on, a welcome reprieve, from the usual humdrum complaints.
"Ah, How's my favorite patient?"
"Are you referring to me or my companion?" Sevens looked at her belly, the phrase a loving term; she adapted to describe her unborn child.
'Well both of you I guess" the doctor taken momentarily off guard.
Kathryn entered and hesitated slightly, her small frame leaned against the door, as she watched her wife being examined by the doctor. Sevens nausea finally settled in her seventh month, much to the relief of the entire crew, as her demeanor took on a friendlier and approachable tone.
"According to my calculations, I have 348 hours, 46 minutes and 5.49 seconds before I deliver, do you concur doctor?" Sevens usual scientific approach, expected no rebuff.
The doctor stared at her in disbelief and suddenly realized the young Borg, was quite adamant in her conclusion.
"Seven this isn't like installing a slipstream drive. You just don't command a child, to come out at will, it will be born when it is time. These things have to occur naturally, it isn't unusual for a child to exceed its determined gestation."
"That is not acceptable, this child is scheduled to be born, at a designated time and it must do so efficiently"
Sevens mood indicative, of her anxiousness to give birth. As the doctor eyed her with complete exasperation, Kathryn chuckled and pushed off the door and crossed over to the biobed.
"Darling, what the doctor is trying to say, is that giving birth is not an exact science. I myself, was born two weeks later, than I was suppose too" a bemused look crossed her fine features, as she witnessed the emotional turmoil on her wife's beautiful face.
"I should say not," the doctor added dryly, as he continued his scan across Sevens swollen belly, his lips pursed as he pondered, how Seven could expect to adapt Borg reasoning, to a totally human concept.
'Explain?" Sevens eyes grew wide.
The thought of continuing in this fashion, a horrid concept to the young impatient Borg. The eight-month, of her pregnancy proved, most inefficient as she attempted to carry out her daily duties.
"Well, I was due to be born on May 6th, yet I held on a little longer, until I was finally born on May 20th" Kathryns features smoothed, as she attempted bravely to avoid bursting out in laughter.
Seven stared at her in horror; the concept never entered her mind. Her clinical indifference unable to ascertain the child not being born at the precise time it was due.
"You are teasing me" her mind unwilling to accept the reality, as she noted her wife's attempts at stifling her laughter.
Kathryn placed her hand over her mouth; the threat of laughter threatened to ensue. Biting down, on the fit of laughter rising, she continued cautiously.
"No darling I'm not, it's simply a scientific fact, there is always the possibility you may have" she cleared her throat before continuing. "You may have miscalculated, as to when your last cycle occurred, for the most part it can go two weeks either way."
"The Captain is correct Seven, you just can't hold the birth to a specific date and time" the doctor attempted to save the Captain, who was quickly sinking into shaky ground.
"This child is part Borg, she will comply, anything else is not acceptable" Seven eyed her stomach sternly, as she expected the unborn child, to understand and follow her orders to the letter.
Kathryns shoulders shook under her laughter, her eyes sparkled with gleam. 'Well, I'm sure she understands perfectly now, Seven"
The doctor looked on in complete astonishment, his face contorted to a frown "Yes, well if she's anything like either one of you, I'm sure she'll do what she wants" his voice dripped with sarcasm.
Kathryn burst out in a throaty laughter, as Seven looked on well aware, she was just insulted in some subtle way. The doctor continued his exam and ignored the entire situation completely.
Chakotays form laid still on the biobed, his life signs monitored by the soft hums and beeps of the computer. The life forms within him, became unsettled as the sensed the child near. His body convulsed slightly, as the forms continued their internal battle; each one attempted to gain control. The anger rose within them as they attempted to command the body that refused to move.
Chakotay was sitting on the dirt floor with his arms wrapped tightly around his legs. His naked form shook violently from the cold. The soot soiled his body and he could detect the rising odor it emanated. He silently wondered how long it had been, certain Voyager should have located him by now.
The dwelling was dark and he was fortunate, he didn't suffer any severe injuries, when his body sailed through the pit. The impact of the fall took his breath away; with time, his tattered uniform began to fall from his form "So long ago".
He knew it wouldn't be long before he perished and for some reason, he couldn't remember when he first arrived. However, he realized it was a long time, since he obtained any substance. His flesh clung loosely to his frame. At first, he thought he was on a vision quest, the jackal sat next to him until.
"Until...how long ago was it really?" his mind screamed in agony, unable to obtain the elusive answer, the darkness seeped in again and he could hear the low growling sound, the distinct sound, of small animals as they scurried by. Soon the smells would return and assail his senses, the putrid odor of rotted flesh, caused the bile, to rise in his empty stomach.
The voices would return soon, their daily assault now an expectant torture. The buzzing began, as the multiple voices appeared, some called his name, while others spat at him vehemently. He clasped his ears to his head, as they resonated their tones to intense levels.
The anger began to brew within him, as he shouted out in defiance, his voice raw and shaken "Shut up...Shut up."
The pain seared through his ears, as it pounded relentlessly and reverberated in his skull, the tears flowed freely down his face and his stomach burned from with the hunger.
He felt the heat rise in the pit of his stomach, the voice whispered to him in a hiss. "It is time, you must go on the hunt with us."
He felt his stomach jump in anticipation, his eyes glowed green, against the darkness of the pit. He flicked them lightly, until the pain from the bright light subsided and he regained his vision. He focused and his vision cleared as he recognized the room, the soft beep of the computer, rose slightly and he felt the movement of the others in the room.
He heard, when they ordered his eyes to shut in a hiss, as the beating of his heart slowed again and his breath regained its easy rhythm. The voice hissed quietly, warning him to lie still, the hunger would soon be sated and the burning would go away.
He heard them, the voices in his head, he heard their plans. Moreover, for once he felt whole again, the pain disappeared and he waited patiently.
"Well, that's all for now Seven, everything is fine and try to get more rest and see you next week" Kathryn helped Seven rise from the biobed. The doctor ambled over to Chakotays biobed.
"I'll make sure that she does" Kathryns forceful glare, broached no argument from the young woman, whose initial look of protest, was evident on her soft features.
They exited sickbay and walked comfortably sided by side "So, were do we stand with the slipstream drive?"
Seven was momentarily startled; the contrasting contradiction of Kathryn never failed to amaze her. "I did not believe you wished me to continue working?"
Kathryn was caught and shortly stunned, her Captain mode was back in full force once they exited sickbay.
"I'm sorry, I guess what I meant to say is, that I want you to work less."
Her peripheral vision noted Sevens bemused look the hint of a smile that touched her pouty lips. Kathryn smiled warmly in return, the fact that Seven was able to detect her thoughts, amused her to no avail.
Sevens tone, made Kathryn aware she read her thoughts. "We have completed the final program parameters. The slipstream is ready to be activated, at your command."
Sevens heart skipped a beat, as she inwardly acknowledged the leadership and command, of the beautiful woman that was her wife.
Kathryn was quick to notice the subtle change in her wife's demeanor, her ice blue eyes sparkled with awe and pride, as she looked at her lovingly. She blushed slightly, as the raw emotion Seven emoted warmed her to the core of her soul.
"Are you trying to flirt with me?"
The sudden change of subject startled Seven, as she paused in mid stride; Kathryn stopped in front of her. Her hands clasped firmly behind her back, as she looked up into Sevens face, Her dark blue eyes watched her with longing, as she cocked her head to one side.
Much to Sevens credit. She recovered quickly and responded teasingly in a low voice.
"I believe you are mistaken, however there is a certain appeal to you when you are wearing your uniform. I believe it is what attracted me to you, in the first place" Seven nodded her head elegantly, her eyes never leaving Kathryns.
Kathryn's features smoothed warmly, a smug grin present, as she reveled in her wife's confession. She leaned into Seven and whispered, teasingly in her ear, her voice a low smoky timber
"So, it was the sight of me in my uniform that did it?"
Sevens body tingled, as the warm breath brushed gently across her ear. The evident desire rose and she tried valiantly to quell it. The past several months spent in abstinence as Kathryn adamantly refused any intimate contact until after the birth of their child.
She breathed deeply, before she responded, the closeness of Kathryn to her a bittersweet torture. She quickly regained her composure and decided to retaliate in kind. She leaned close into Kathryn's ear; her soft velvet lips touched the sensitive flesh of Kathryn's lobe.
The effect was immediate, as Kathryn's body stiffened slightly, at the contact her voice was soft and laced with promised, as she whispered breathlessly into her ear.
"It was more of the thought of removing your uniform that intrigued me the most" she placed a soft feathery kiss gently, on her ear.
Kathryn closed her eyes, as she gratefully ingested the delectable sensations. She quickly retreated and straightened the front of her tunic, clearing her throat in the process.
"You are shameless," she added dryly, as she inwardly conceded how quickly her tactics backfired. Seven eyed her warmly, a smug smile now present on her face.
"Indeed?" Sevens voice tinged with laughter.
Kathryn rolled her eyes in frustration, as she steadily refused to admit her defeat, to the enigmatic creature that captured her so easily.
"There will be a meeting in two hours and we can discuss deploying the slipstream drive then" Her command mode back on line, as she tried elegantly to regain some dignity.
"Very well" Sevens tone, letting her spouse know, she just lost another battle in their playful banter.
The two women entered the turbolift and returned to their previous task. Seven entered engineering and with the assistance of B'Elanna and Harry completed the last of the final test on the two merging technologies.
They quickly exited and headed towards the conference room, the senior staff, was assembled and ready to discuss the actual deployment of the technology.
Kathryn waited patiently, as each member settle comfortably into their prospective seating. Seven struggled to settle into her chair. B'Elanna snorted ruefully, in the obvious discomfort her friend found herself in
"Kahless Seven you're as big as a house" The room erupted in stifled chuckles, as Seven shot her friend a forceful look, the stare only fueled B'Elannas laughter further.
"Alright that's enough" Kathryn struggled, to keep her own laughter from ensuing.
"Seven where do we stand?" as she quickly called the meeting to order.
'We have completed the last of our diagnostic testing. The slipstream drive is ready to be engaged"
"That is good news. I have contacted Admiral Picard and have received the coordinates to the Enterprise. Harry I want you to program them into the system. Tom, before we enact the drive, I want you to go over the simulation in the holodeck one last time. I do not want a repeat of the past, with any luck we should reach the Enterprise in an hour. Tuvok, let's make sure all of the systems are working and online. I expect everyone to be ready in an hour. We will be engaging the slipstream drive then. Dismissed."
The hour passed quickly as the bridge prepared itself for the initial engagement, of the slipstream drive; Kathryn sat comfortably in her command chair her legs crossed elegantly, as her face depicted her intense focus.
The doors to the bridge hissed, as Seven quietly entered and stood at her station, to the aft of the bridge. Her elegant fingers flew smoothly across the panel, as she rerouted control from engineering to her workstation.
Kathryn' body relaxed as she sensed her presence and took comfort in its proximity. The anticipation levels were high, as each crewmember took the moment, to carefully go over the procedure one last time.
"Mr. Paris take us out of warp" Kathryn snapped firmly, her command mode on full force
"Aye Captain, disengaging warp drive" The blonde helmsman responded quickly. The resonant hum of the warp engine faded, as Voyager resumed its journey under impulse power.
"Mr. Kim open a ship-wide comm link" Kathryn not waiting for his response, confident in her crews abilities.
"Crew of Voyager this is Captain Janeway, I want all hands on full alert, with any luck we will be within range of the USS Enterprise in under a minute. I just want to add, it has been a pleasure to serve as your Captain, I couldn't ask for a better crew, Janeway out."
She nodded to Harry, who quickly broke the communication, his youthful face beamed with anticipation. Janeway turned her head towards Seven, a shared silently thought crossed between them, as they both inhaled deeply.
Sevens implant flexed, as she bowed her head elegantly and silently acknowledged her readiness. Kathryn closed her eyes and nodded in return, before returning her vision to the viewport in front of her.
"Seven, engage slipstream on my mark" her hands clenched the side of her command chair tightly "Mr. Paris, the rest is up to you, get us there safely"
"Aye Captain, Understood" his eyes gleamed with excitement, as his hands flew nervously across the panel.
"Slipstream drive is ready Captain" Sevens voice cut through the bridge.
"Very well" Kathryn scanned the face of each crewmember, silently conveying her thoughts to them "Mark" she snapped.
Voyager shuttered slightly, against the sudden thrust that propelled it silently through space. The portal opened before them, its eerie spectrum, luminescent against the dark enfolding space.
"Report" Janeway barked
"Shield are holding at 99.9 percent" Sevens eyes gleamed, as she lifted her head from her panel and gazed proudly into her wife's eyes.
"Ten seconds to our mark. All systems functional and holding" Tuvok continued to scan his terminal quizzically.
"Get ready to disengage slipstream, on my mark. Harry count it down."
"Counting down, five, four, three, two one."
"Slipstream disengaged" Harry's voice rose an octave higher
"Mr. Paris, bring us about."
"Bringing us about, captain."
The entire bridge sucked in a collective breath, as the large silvery elegant form of the USS Enterprise came into full view. Her majestic form caused a lump to settle in Kathryn's throat, as she sighed inwardly and blinked away the sting that formed in her eyes.
"Were being hailed Captain" Harry's voice cut into her thoughts with glee. The exuberant shouts from the Voyager crew echoed through the hull.
"On screen, Mr. Kim."
The imposing figure of Admiral Picard appeared on the viewport, his larger than life presence filled the room with awe. He stared at the smaller figure in front of him, an evident expression of respect flashed quickly through his eyes.
Kathryn nodded her head elegantly, her back stiffened against the chair, as she stood and walked to the front of the viewport. Her small frame grew larger than life, as she stood to full attention her formidable presence filled the expanse of the bridge, each crewmember took their cue, as they stood to immediate attention.
"It's good to see you again. May I commend you and your crew on a brilliant job well done" his tone inflected his sincerity, as he quickly scanned the bridge of Voyager, his eyes settling on the figure of Seven.
"Thank you Admiral, we couldn't have done it with the expertise of my Astrometrics officer, Seven" Janeway added demurely, her immediate protectiveness of Seven surfaced, her intent not going unnoticed by Picard.
"So I understand Captain, I look forward to speaking with her at length. Be ready to be boarded" his eyes unreadable, as Kathryn scrutinized his intensely.
"Aye Admiral understood."
Janeway was pleased with the outcome; the home court advantage worked greatly in her favor. The comm link ended abruptly, as Kathryn nodded to Tuvok and crossed the span of the Bridge. The Vulcan waited patiently and took a position behind Seven, as they headed towards transporter bay two.
B'Elanna and Ensign Gaines joined the trio, as the Vulcan and the Klingon flanked Seven protectively. A subtly not going unnoticed by the young woman, as she derived comfort in their presence.
Conflicting emotions ran rapidly through her thought process, the excitement of meeting Locutus for the first time, conflicted with the level of fear for both herself and her unborn child.
Admiral Picard was once assimilated and his uniqueness added to the Borg collective. His rebellion and victory over the Borg queen well instilled into her edict memory.
The whining sound of the transported beam filled the room, the four prominent figures appeared on the pad before them. Their larger than life reputations well known to the crew of Voyager. Admiral Picard stepped of the pad, followed by Captain Riker, Commander Worf and Ambassador Spock.
Tuvok raised his left eyebrow and exchanged a silent look with Janeway. She squared her shoulders and straightened, her chin jutted out in defiance, her posture assumed its full command mode, as she prepared herself for the reunion.
"Admiral Picard, Captain Riker, Commander Worf and Ambassador Spock, welcome to Voyager. May I present my senior staff."
Janeway swept her hand elegantly, her own crew straightened tighter to attention. "Lt. Commander Tuvok my Chief of Security, my Chief Engineer Lt. B'Elanna Torres and my Astrometrics officer Seven of Nine"
"I believe you already know Captain Riker and Commander Worf, this is Ambassador Spock, I am sure you are aware of his reputation, he is here representing the Federations interest.
"Of course I do, Captain, Commander" she bowed her head elegantly to them, and turned on her best diplomatic smile into high gear as she turned her attention to the legendary Vulcan.
"Ambassador it's an honor to meet you. It has always been a life long dream of mine to make your acquaintance, welcome on board"
"The honor, is all mine Captain Janeway I assure you. May you live long and Prosper" his powerful hand rose as he formed the Vulcan greeting."
Janeways postured straighten, as she held her elegant hand in front of his and returned the gesture in kind "Live long and prosper, Ambassador."
Picards noble features flexed slightly, as he and the rest of the members of his team introduced themselves; the two Vulcans shared momentary exchange knowledge.
"I understand you have yet to achieve a resolution for your first officer, is that correct Captain?" more of a statement then a question, coming from Picard.
"It is, but our EMH has been working diligently on it" a sudden sense of foreboding crawled into her skin.
"I want you to have your EMH transfer his medical files to Dr. Crusher and arrange for his transfer to the Enterprise immediately."
It was not much what Picard said, but what he left unsaid that caused Kathryn to raise her guard immediately. Her right fingers touched the side of her temple, as Tuvok read the signal and began to enact the Captains plan.
"As you wish Admiral, I'll make sure the doctor transfers all of the medical data immediately."
The group continued their journey towards the conference room, where the debriefing process would begin. Kathryn's voice revealed little of her internal concerns. Commander Worf and Captain Riker, found it difficult to gain access to the young Borg, the Klingon and the Vulcan, flanked her protectively, as the Ambassador watched the unfolding event with a keen eye.
"See that you do Captain" Kathryn stiffened, the force of the order caused her a momentary lapse, it had been so long since she was required to adhere to orders. She found the command voice rather offensive, as she swallowed deeply in disgust.
She tapped her comm badge instinctively and relayed the Admirals request to the doctor, then quickly added that he join them. Her mind processed her options, as the events unfolded rapidly, they reached the outer door of the room and she immediately assumed her position at the head of the table.
Immediately assuming control, Seven was ushered by Tuvok and B'Elanna and forced to sit closer to Kathryn, as she found herself guided by B'Elannas body, to the chair normally reserved for Chakotay. B'Elanna and Tuvok immediately seated themselves directly in front of her and next to her.
The doctor entered and immediately sat, as the debriefing session started, Picard took control of the meeting and began the debriefing with an aura of command.
"Captain, we've read your reports regarding the encounter with the Omega entity. As you are well aware, the Omega molecule is of a great concern to Starfleet. I don't believe, I need to remind you of the Omega directive and Starfleets order to destroy any Omega molecule we encounter."
Kathryn quickly bit down on her rising anger, the Admirals reminder to her of the Omega directive not sitting well with the formidable Captain.
"No Admiral you don't, however, I would like to point out the Omega directive was issued under the assumption it was a manmade molecule of pure energy. I assure that is and probably, has never been the case, the fact of the matter is, and the entities we encountered were intelligent life forms. I would like to point out, Starfleets directive 2341.2 in making first contact with a new life form."
Picard raised his eyebrow in response, the bite to Janeways tone, cut through the air, as the tension in the room rose to a higher level. Inwardly he was impressed by the small woman's audacity and tenacity and regretted deeply, the orders he was forced to follow.
"That maybe so, but in this case the first contact directive does not apply. The Omega signature is a considerable threat and if it reaches the Borg, there is no telling what the threat to life as we know it is. Your Astrometrics officer, is to be beamed to the Enterprise immediately, were she will be examined by a team of scientist for any residual affect, of her encounter with the Omega entity"
His voice turned dangerously low, the reputation and reports he studied regarding Janeways past five years in the Delta quadrant, made it clear Janeway operated outside of the normal mainstream of Starfleet regulations. Under different circumstances, he would have commended her on her tenacity and formidable leadership qualities, for bringing her crew safely home under such adverse conditions.
Janeways jaw flexed tightly, her eyes turned a stark steel gray, as she leveled a force ten glare at the Admiral. Her crew instinctively cringed. Commander Worf and Captain Riker watched on, with interest an obvious test of wills was about to unfold.
The full Klingon Commander was impressed by the smaller woman's tenacity, Ambassador Spock remained silent and noted the physiological changes in Captain Janeway, and his interest in the event rose intently.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible, as you can see for yourself my wife is expecting our first child. I do not intend to submit either her or our unborn child to any unnecessary testing. You have my doctor's weekly medical reports on her, since her initial encounter with the Omega entity. Your team of scientist will have to be satisfied with those findings" her eyes locked on to Picards like a wild targ to a bone.
Picard never flinched "You have no choice in this matter, this isn't a request Captain it's an order. If you don't comply, I'll be forced to remove you from duty and Commander Worf will assume command of your vessel."
"I believe your mistaken Admiral, the ships doctor can override any order given by a senior officer regardless of rank. If and when that order, is in direct violation to the operation of this ship or the safely to its crew, Starfleet mandate 327.4"
"The Captain is correct Admiral, you have no authority in this matter. It will be a serious health risk to both the mother and child" Janeway continued her steady glare, never once flinching or breaking eye contact with Picard.
Picard sighed deeply his inner voice spoke to him "Very good Captain, I believe I may have underestimated you" a rueful smile touched the side of his upper lip.
"If you don't mind doctor, as a holoprogram you are no longer the lead physician. Dr. Crusher will be performing her own examination and your program will no longer be necessary."
"I'm afraid I can't allow that to happen Admiral, the doctor was granted sentience by both myself and Starfleet. You will note his record reflects as much" Kathryns ire rose, as she came to the full defense of her crew.
"That order was rescinded by Admiral Hayes this morning. In any event, we have the full support of Starfleet and are the lead vessel in charge. So, in other words Captain, if I have not made myself clear, I am in charge of your vessel and you will comply with my orders " Picard slid a datapad across the table, Janeway refused to acknowledge its presence.
Janeway clenched her jaw; she had no personal problem with Picard in fact, she had long been a supporter and great admirer of his. However, this was her vessel and on a personal level, it was her wife he was speaking of with a clinical indifference, she was not particularly appreciative of.
"I suspected as much Admiral. So, if you will indulge me a while longer, several months ago I contacted Ambassador Spock and asked that he intercede on our behalf. The Ambassador is a diplomatic envoy and Federation representative. In this case Admiral, the Federation out rules Starfleet and the league of Federation, has granted my wife sanctuary on the planet of Vulcan" Janeway slipped her own datapad across the long conference table, which stopped conveniently in front of Picard.
"Since technically I am still in charge of my vessel, Ambassador Spock will remain onboard Voyager to ensure the mandates are followed to a letter."
The quick flash of surprise in Picard's eyes did not go unnoticed by Kathryn and the rest of the members. B'Elanna snorted audibly, as Janeway shot her a forceful glare. The Klingons disrespect, would not be tolerated under any circumstance, B'Elanna froze and muttered a quiet apology, her eyes dropped immediately to her hands on her lap.
Ambassador Spock, who remained silent throughout the entire procedure, seized the awkward moment to interject. He tilted his head to the side and looked directly at Picard, his aged face revealed little of his intent.
"Captain Janeway is correct, you will find all of the necessary documentation associated with the ruling of the high courts. I am afraid not to comply, with these order, would lead to a court martial offense leveled against the crew of Enterprise and Admiral Hayes. For the moment Admiral, Seven of Nine former human designation Annika Hansen, is a Vulcan citizen and has been accorded full rights within our laws" Spocks tone not was not meant to add further fuel to the fire, instead his Vulcan logic merely pointed out the facts.
Picard was amused at the outcome; the soft smile that touched his lips, was followed by a deep rumble that emanated from his broad chest. He shook his head modestly; a touch of relief smoothed his stern features.
"Touché Captain, I can see you've thought of everything."
Picard was inwardly glad to be relieved of the ominous duty he was assigned, it was painfully evident to him, the young former Borg posed no threat to the Alpha quadrant whatsoever.
Kathryns face softened, a smug grin touched her lips. "I can be thorough when I have to be" the tension in the room dissipated quickly, as each member took the opportunity to expel their breath.
The admiral rose and crossed the room, his hand reached out to Janeway, as he clasped it firmly. His steel grip made her grimaced inwardly, though she refused to show the evident discomfort.
"You're a formidable opponent captain, I'll make sure to remember that in the future."
"Thank you Admiral coming from you I'll take that as a compliment."
Admiral Picard turned to Seven, when a violent rock suddenly shook Voyager, the Young Borg held firmly in the viselike grip of the powerful admiral. The red alert klaxon rung loudly the voice of Tom Pairs, ordering everyone to their battle stations
"Report" Janeway, instinctively slapped her comm badge.
The concerned voice of Tom Paris boomed over the link "The angels back Captain, the bad one, he's off our port bow and he's not a happy camper."
"I'm on my way, Janeway out."
The officers immediately exited the conference room; Voyager rocked violently, by a second strike.
"Seven I want you in engineering with B'Elanna, under no circumstances are you to report to the bridge. Tuvok, I want a security team assigned to engineering."
Janeway snapped her orders quickly; the taller men struggled vainly, to keep pace with her, her strides sharp and tight. Captain Riker immediately communicated, with his ship and found the entity leveled his attack against the Enterprise as well. The smaller vessel, obtaining the brunt of the damage caused by the unexpected attack.
They quickly exited the turbolift, as Janeway maintained her balance and a second attack rocked her vessel. Riker immediately assumed the aft station, normally occupied by Seven. Picard assumed Chakotays vacant chair next to her, as Tuvok took his position by his station, commander Worf accessing the second panel by Harry.
Her voice tight and crisp as she witnessed the attack on the two vessel through the viewport. Lucifer was dressed in full regalia. The cruel smile, distorting the beautiful childlike angelic features of his boyish face.
His laughter reverberated through the hull of both vessels, as he alternated with a brutal vengeance, the arc from him golden sword held high above his head, striking both vessels at random.
"Shields are down twenty percent and holding" Ambassador Spock, watched with a scientific indifference.
"We have minor damage to engineering and on deck 4" Harry Kim's brow fraught with worry, as his hands continued to work effortlessly across the panel.
"Captain, I recommend a combined strike" Captain Rikers voice rose, over the piercing sound of the red alert klaxon.
Janeway doubted it would have little effect, but she was damned if she wouldn't go down swinging "On my mark, captain. Tuvok, lock onto him."
"Phasers are locked onto to target, Captain"
"Captain?" Janeway spoke without turning around, Captain Riker responded immediately.
"Enterprise is locked on and ready."
"Fire at will" she barked firmly, the blue lights of the phasers struck their mark.
The entity of Lucifer was stunned momentarily, as the dual impact struck him firmly on his breastplate. His aqua blue eyes turned into dark pools of dark, a golden cloud escaped his mouth, as he hissed into the dark expanse of space.
His quiet hiss reached to the form of Chakotay, who laid prone in a biobed on Enterprise, his eyes opened wildly and the computer began to beep loudly. His life signs reached critical heights, as the life forms within him grew in strength, the voice of their master beckoned to them.
Chakotays eyes were feverish, as the voices continued to assail his senses, his voice guttural and unintelligible, as he muttered softly under his breath. The sweat flowed freely from his brow, as the glow of a gold light surrounded his body, Dr. Crusher was thrown forcibly against the room, as she reached out to him.
His body dematerialized, as Dr. Crusher quickly regained her sense and contacted Captain Riker'
"Dr. Crusher to Captain Riker."
"Riker here doctor, go ahead."
"Commander Chakotay has vanished from sickbay. I'd say that angel has something to do with it"
'Understood Doctor" Riker shifted his head to Picard, who quickly accessed the panel by his side. Voyager shook violently again, as Lucifer renewed his attack with a vengeance, the being taking a distinct pleasure, in toying with the lower life forms.
"Sensors are detecting the Commanders life signs on deck 8" Picards voice cool and undetached.
"Janeway to security, Chakotays on his way to engineering make sure that you stop him, use force if you have too."
"Aye Captain understood" Ensigns Gaines voice responded crisply.
Janeway turned to Tuvok the concern etched on her face, detected only by her old friend "Send a second team down Commander."
"Understood" the Vulcan immediately commanded his second squad to engineering,
Lucifer stopped his attack and turned his head towards Voyagers viewport, his beautiful features soften and his aqua eyes shone brilliantly, the sparks of temporal lights snapped sharply within them.
He laughed hauntingly, his voice soft and lyrical "You will lose her again Kathryn and even Michael's master, won't be able to save her. She will join me in my realm, with your unborn child and I will revel their agony" the cruel smile returned.
"I'm not afraid of you and you'll have to take me along with her" her mind silently constructed a silent plea, a cry for help to an unseen entity.
The first glow of blue light appeared on the bridge, as the form of Michael materialized, his wings expanded to their full height, his weapon drawn and ready.
The second form appeared on the bridge, the third form materializing on the bridge of the Enterprise, a flurry of activity ensued, as the voice of Captain Riker boomed over the comm link and ordered his crew to stand down.
The fourth began to materialize and the purple aura changed into the form of envoy Pooran. Her form was transparent and surreal, her wings expanded upward, the soft glow of the purple aura formed a glow against her snowy wings.
"You dare to bring her here Michael? Are you such a fool, that you believe her presence can stop me?" Lucifer hissed softly.
"Kathryn, you must go to her, she is in danger and we can not protect her" envoys Poorans voice was soft and lyrical to her ears.
Picard reached out to Kathryn and grasped her arm firmly, "Go ahead, Captain that is an order, we will take it from here" his voice strong and reassuring.
Kathryn nodded to him silently, her eyes a vibrant blue, the look of relief conveyed.
"Understood Admiral, you have the comm" She rose immediately. Tuvok followed closely behind, as Ambassador Spock assumed his vacant position. He looked with a distinct interest at the continued battle between the two life forms.
"Your war is with me and not with Pooran. She is here simply to witness your defeat" Michael returned the taunt in kind.
"You are a fool Michael, I am immortal, you can't destroy me, you can only vanquish me, but you are too late my soldiers have gone after the Borg creature and they will kill both her and the child. I will take their souls with me and turn them into my servants."
Michael and Raphael moved in unison, Michael's form disappeared through the viewport, as the two Starfleet vessels became encased in glowing beams of aqua and green. Raphael and Gabriella's life force protected the vessels, from the battled in front of them.
The arcs of blue and gold lights lit the dark space around them. The bridge crew was stunned into a dead silence, as they witness the incredible battle before them. Their jaws fell wide open, as the two beings swords clashed and the violence of their energy exploded around them.
Chakotay ran wildly towards engineering his voice raw and pained, he saw the guards, as they came towards him and ran intentionally towards them. Crewmember Boggs ordered him to stop, their phasers drawn, as Kathryn and Tuvok rounded the corner, her laser held tightly in her grip.
She heard Chakotays fanatical screams his imaged loomed a distant before them and covered in the shadows. As he neared, he leaped towards the armed guards; their lasers cut like knives through the air, his form morphed into the jackal and a howl escaped his lips.
The jackal absorbed the lasers easily and the full impact of the beast body struck the security team on their chests. The force caused them to fall and land on the ground; their lasers scattered in front of them and out of reach.
Kathryn and Tuvok immediately fired upon the jackal; the eerie green glow of his eyes stunned them into silence, as the lasers passed through its form unaffected. The beast broke into a full run and entered engineering; the sound of laser fire broke out, as chaos ensued behind the closed doors.
Kathryn and Tuvok entered quickly and scanned the room in search of the beast. B'Elanna and Seven were pressed against the wall, as the jackal neared them. His lip was curled back and his teeth were bared, his jaws snapped opened and closed. His low growl rumbled deeply in his chest and he began to close the gap between them.
His eyes fierce and focused on the image of Seven, Kathryn and Tuvok were unable to fire on him, afraid that their phaser fire would pass through the beast and strike the two women instead.
As the beast neared Seven, it rose onto his hindquarters and morphed into the form of Chakotay. B'Elanna acted immediately and drove a blinding blow to his stomach, as Kathryn and Tuvok descended upon him immediately.
The three crewmembers fought violently in an effort to subdue him. It was B'Elannas blow that struck his jaw, the sound of breaking bone filled the air, as the Commander fell to the deck.
The life forms within him began their retreat, as the battle was lost, their transparent life forms joined into one complete entity. They hovered into the air, the multiple heads joined to one body, as they hissed and spat at Seven. Seven remained frozen against the wall, as Tuvok and B'Elanna struggled to stand.
The two quickly lost their footing and crashed back into the deck. Their bodies entangled with the commanders, as they valiantly attempted to stand. Kathryns rose effortlessly, her natural agility took over and she quickly moved towards Seven, as the multiple beings morphed into the image of a golden jackal, he open his jaws and spewed a golden arc of light.
Kathryn responded quickly, her body crossed in front of Sevens as the arc struck. She fell to the ground her mangled form laid twisted in front of Sevens feet, a loud wounded noise escaped and cut through the air in sheer agony, Seven knelt and held Kathryns lifeless form, to her bosom and began rocking her gently.
Willing her to return to her, B'Elanna and Tuvok crossed quickly to her. The image of envoy Pooran materialized and struck the golden beast with full force, as it screamed in agony and the multiple lifeforms escaped and dissipated into the air.
Michael lifted his sword, his vibrant temporal eyes filled with intensity and fire, the bolts of light arched and made them glow. He raised his wings to their full length of three meters, his face twisted with pain. In one graceful move his body flew and sailed uninhibited through the space.
His sword raised, as it arced with its glowing blue light, he struck the golden form of Lucifer, as the battle grew in intensity the force of the blow rocked the two ships violently. He whispered in a low breath, his voice taunted and teased Lucifer.
"Your war is of arrogance and because it is you will fail. You have lived an eternity and still you will not accept this. It is your own vanity that prevents you from seeing and you have lost. Your army will fall under her feet and all that you have sought to destroy will be restored. We have won Carrier of light "And the Child Shall Lead Them""
Lucifer hissed a dark red cloud emitted into the dark span of space from his breath.
"The war is never over Michael, it just continues with different soldiers, do you think that your gift to the child will be enough to save her and her worlds? I am aware of what you have done Michael, you have given her the knowledge of the ancients, what will your master say when he learns of your deception? You will fall as I fell and I will revel in your disgrace"
"It matters not what will happen to me, I have grown weary of this eternity and welcome the end. I have given her the knowledge to destroy at will. Just as I have given her the knowledge to rebuild all that was lost. You have lost and you will never win, you are powerless against her."
"Do you know the price you will pay Michael, you will be hunted by your own kin, you are worst then me now, you are a pariah among us"
"I do not fear what will happen to me, in the end the price will be small."
He raised his head and screamed into the dark void. The voices of Raphael and Gabriel joined his primal call, the Carrier of Light held his hands to his ears and screamed out in agony, as the sword entered his side and pierced his heart.
His form disappeared into the darkness of space the crewmembers of both vessels releasing their own ears. The screams reverberated through their skulls and nearly shattered their teeth. The form of Michael disappeared into the darkness and re-materialized in engineering.
Michael crossed the span of the damaged engineering room, the bodies littered freely, his face was pained and tortured, as he felt the life forms escape. He walked to Janeway and scanned her mangled body; her face hung to the side. He screamed out in agony, his voice crossed the span of space.
Those that heard his scream called out in answer to his wounded call, as Seven clung to her possessively, Tuvok and B'Elanna unable to pry her from Kathryn's lifeless forms. The feisty Klingon wept openly, as she begged her friend to relinquish her hold on the captain.
"Please Seven, you have to let her go" her voice pained and constricted, as the sobs escaped openly.
"No, Noooo.... She can't leave me B'Elanna she can't" her voiced torn with agony, as she felt her heart shatter to a thousand pieces.
Michael turned to Pooran, his eyes a silent plea, she closed her eyes and nodded her response, as she indicated no.
"You must" he pleaded his voice raw with hurt and pain.
"I will not Michael, it must be this way" her own voice shattered and faltered. The images of Raphael and Gabriel appeared next to him and gazed upon the fallen figure, the tears rolled silently down their ageless features.
Seven turned her eyes towards Pooran, her features contorted with pain, the ice blue eyes lifeless and flat.
"Why won't you help her?" her voice a contorted tone of pain and anger.
Pooran stared at her compassionately unable to make the young creature understand.
"I am sorry it must be this way, she has given her life, so that your child may live. Take comfort in knowing that her love for you will never seize to exist, she is with me now and I will guide her into her next life."
Sevens shoulder shook violently, the pain cut through the very fiber of her soul, her heart felt ice cold and a chilling numbness consumed her body and soul.
The lifeforms began to dematerialize; their tears stained faces disappearing, as B'Elanna and Tuvok cautiously neared Seven. The Vulcan took control of the situation, as he gently pried the figure of Seven from Kathryn.
B'Elanna enfolded her in her embrace, as the young woman held her fiercely; her body shook violently, as the force of her sobs escaped her. Their tortured sound cut through the very heart of B'Elannas being, her own tears, stained the fabric of Sevens tunic.
The crew of Voyager was assembled in stunned silence, Admiral Picard and his senior staff present and in full dress. The silvery tube draped with the Federation flag, laid in stark contrast with the sullen mood, B'Elanna stood next to Seven, her arm slipped protectively through Sevens.
The young woman's face was blank and void of emotion, the last three days spent in stunned denial and endless tears, as the scene of Kathryn's death replayed mercilessly through her edict mind.
Picard cleared his throat, his voice low and pained.
"I have had the honor, of knowing Captain Kathryn Janeway, both as a colleague and as a friend. It is with deep sorrow that we are here today. It is with deep resignation and regret, that she would be unable to join us in the Alpha quadrant. Yet, it is in knowing that she sacrificed her own life and in the end, obtained her final goal in guiding Voyager and her crew safely home. That we must now take comfort, we commend her body to space, in hopes that she may reach that final frontier."
Picard nodded solemnly, as the mournful sounds of taps and Amazing grace played in the background. The honor guard removed the flag and folded it with precise movements into a triangular shape.
The crewmember handed the flag to Seven and saluted, she reached out blindly and clasped it firmly, holding it tightly to her chest, as if the act alone would will Kathryn back to life. The tears silently fell down her graceful face, as the silvery capsule was released into space.
The stifled gasps of cries was heard throughout the room, her senior staff unable to still the pain in seeing their fallen commanders form slip silently away from Voyager. They quietly exited and left Seven and B'Elanna alone, Seven moved aimlessly to the window her breath caught in a painful rasp, as she watched the capsule disappear.
Until she could no longer see it and it left her sight, her shoulders shook violently, as a painful cry escaped her lips, B'Elannas own tears flowed freely, as she hugged her friend tightly and offered her what little comfort she could.
Pooran stood in the midst of the field bleached golden by the sun, she watched, as the formidable form of Kathryn Janeway neared. Her strides long and agile, her features smooth and ageless, the deep blue eyes were brilliant and vibrant, the flecks of gray barely detectable.
The envoy continued to watch, as the commanding figure, cut effortless through the tall reeds of wheat, her hair shone and captured the suns ray. A strong aura emanated from her being and engulfed her completely.
She was about to call out her, when she noticed her figure begin to fade Kathryns eyes looked upward, as the winged creature swooped down and encircled her in his embrace. His eyes a brilliant blue and the temporal lights danced within the brooding spheres, he rose upward with her in his arms, their forms disappearing into the bright sky.
Pooran raised her vision upward and watched, as their figures disappeared, a warm smile touched her lips. "Oh Michael what have you done?" she whispered quietly.
Two and a half weeks transpired, since the unexpected death of Voyagers captain. Admiral Picard resumed control and ordered both engineering teams, to retrofit the Enterprise with the slipstream drive. The crews worked eagerly in completing the project. The Delta quadrant now left them with a bitter taste in their mouth and they were eager to escape its claw.
Chakotay was restored to full health and eventually was instilled as its new captain. The weight of the four gold pips weighed heavily on his conscious, the price too large for him to pay, as the guilt rattled him without mercy.
On the second week of Kathryn's death, he found the courage to approach Seven, the worn painful lines etched deeply into his brooding face. To his surprise and great relief, the young woman showed the new captain an unexpected gift of compassion.
Her logical mind explained to the commander, he had little to do with Kathryn's death. The fault lied elsewhere, as she silently swore to exact her revenge some day. The last of the drive was completed and Seven examined the results of the diagnostic test carefully, her unborn child remained silent, since Kathryn's death and refused to move.
Concerned, Seven became a daily visitor to sickbay, the doctor unable to quell her fears of her unborn child's quietness. As much as he tried, he was unable to make Seven understand it was a natural state that occurred, just before giving birth.
The doubtful young Borg even engaged the services, of Dr. Crusher, to ensure Voyagers EMH was not mistaken, the soothing bedside manner of the gifted doctor, served well to ease the impending mothers concerns.
The silvery tube that carried Kathryn away appeared in the viewport, the image of Michael gently guided it towards Voyager. Chakotay snapped to attention and beamed the silvery coffin on board. Michael appeared next to its side, he stood next to the silvery tube and opened the front panel effortlessly.
Kathryn's form intact without degrading, he smiled warmly and silently thanked Gabriel, for following Kathryn's death. He reached in and gently lifted Kathryns lifeless body from the silvery grave. Her form lay limp in his arms and he cradled it gently to him, the warm blue light engulfed them both.
Kathryn felt the intense force of heat radiate through her entire being, as her breath broke in a harsh painful rush. She found herself waking into the vibrant temporal eyes of Michael, a soft angelic smile touched his lips, as he closed his eyes and his long black satin lashes brushed gracefully against Kathryn's face.
He held her in his arms and kissed her gently, she felt the powerful sensations of his life form, run through her, as she smiled warmly against his lips.
Seven rushed into the transporter room and gazed, into the loving vibrant blue eyes of her wife filled with life. She rushed into her arms and held her tightly, Kathryn barely able to enfold her form, heavy with child into her embrace. Kathryn felt, as their daughter kicked her gently in protest, as Seven broke into a pitiful cry and reveled in the wonder of two beings that meant more to her than life itself.
Her tear stained face rose as she locked eyes with the beautiful face of Michael and whispered a breathless "Thank you"
Michael bowed his head elegantly and his form began to slowly dematerialize, as he warmed in the glow of the love between, the two lovely creatures he came to love so dearly. The heart beat of their child rung loudly in his ears, as he heard its soft little voice gurgle happily in his ears.
Seven refused to release Kathryn, as she tried without great success to wipe at the tears that trailed down the side of her face. Chakotays blinked and covered his eyes discretely, wiping away his own tears unnoticed. Tuvok swallowed deeply, as an anxious expression crossed his stoic face, he was the first to find his voice.
"Welcome back Captain, it's good to see you again, old friend" his voice filled with as much compassion a Vulcan could display. His dark brown eyes warm and soft against the gentle light.
Chakotay swallowed deeply and attempted to clear the lump in his throat, the lump stubbornly refused to give way and he found his voice cracking as he spoke softly.
"It's sure good to see you again Kathryn" the tears welled in his eyes and threatened to overflow.
Kathryn managed to release herself from Seven and threw her arms around her first officer and hugged him tightly, her own voice raw with emotion.
"It is good to see you too Chakotay. I expect you to return my pips" her eyes glistened with mirth.
The Commander bowed his head, his own eyes shined with love, at seeing the return of his friend. "I wouldn't have it any other way" his tone light and airy.
Kathryn found herself swept, into the powerful embrace of her chief engineer, B'Elanna not caring that her tears fell easily from her eyes. She lifted her slightly off the ground, before setting her back down again quite ungracefully, Kathryn took the moment to recapture her breath.
"It is good to see you too, B'Elanna, it is good to be home" her eyes returned to the face of her wife, as she locked onto the ice blue eyes possessively.
"Kahless Captain, Starfleet is bound to make you and Admiral now. Who else could kick Satan's ass twice and still live to tell about."
B'Elannas colorful statement brought an easy and relieved laughter into the room, as each member embraced warmly and exited in the direction to the bridge, Seven hung possessively to Kathryns hand and refused to let go, as they walked together side by side.
They exited the turbolift and Kathryn crossed the span of the bridge, as her crew stood up to attention, the wet moisture evident in every pair of eye.
"Captain on the bridge" Toms voice boomed loudly, as each member stood to attention and saluted her. "Welcome back captain" his boyish grin plastered across his handsome face.
'"Good to be back Tom, Harry, Ensign Nicoletti" Kathryn acknowledged every member of her bridge crew, before Harry's voice broke in.
"Captain, we're being hailed by Admiral Picard."
"On screen Harry."
The viewport changed to reveal the enigmatic face of Admiral Jean Luc Picard. His features stiffened, as he beheld the sight of the formidable captain he buried two and half weeks ago.
"Glad to have you back captain. I can see it's hard to keep the good ones down" If Picard was in the least bit surprise as to Kathryns return he masked it well.
"Glad to be back Admiral, and you're right they'd have a devil of a time trying to keep me down" Janeways eyes twinkled brightly, a smug smile touched her lips.
"I'm sure your staff has brought you up to speed, Captain. Voyager will be engaging their slipstream drive first and will be following, we'll meet you on the other side Captain, back home."
"I am looking forward to it Admiral, Janeway out" the viewport screen returned to its view of the glimmering stars, as Janeway scanned the bridge.
"Well people this is it. Harry open a ship wide comm link."
"Aye Captain, opening a link" the young ensign smiled warmly at his commanding officer.
"Crew of Voyager, this is Captain Kathryn Janeway speaking. In a few minutes we will be leaving the Delta quadrant and returning home. It is good to be back, but it will be better to be back home. Janeway out."
Kathryn walked to her conn chair and sat down, her elegant legs crossed automatically in front of her. Ensign Nicoletti handed her a cup of coffee before she returned to her station. Kathryn smiled at her in deep appreciation and nodded her head.
"Thank You Ensign, you're a godsend."
"So are you captain" the young women smiled at her warmly.
Kathryn turned to Seven and smiled lovingly at her, before she turned her vision to the front of the bridge, with deep pride and little trepidation she barked out her next order'
"Mr. Paris, bring us out of warp."
"Aye Captain, disengaging warp drive."
"Seven, engage slipstream drive, on my mark."
"Aye captain, engaging slipstream drive" her voice dripped with evident pride, as she admired and watched the beautiful profile of her wife.
"Mark" Voyager shuttered slightly against the sudden thrust that propelled it silently through space. The portal opened before them, its eerie spectrum luminescent against the dark enfolding space.
"Shield are holding at 99.9 percent" Sevens eyes gleamed, as she lifted her head from her panel and gazed lovingly into her wife's eyes.
"Ten seconds to our mark. All systems functional and holding" Tuvok continued to scan his terminal.
"Get ready to disengage slipstream on my mark. Harry count it down."
"Counting down, five, four, three, two one."
"Slipstream disengaged" Harry's voice rose higher.
"Mr. Paris bring us about."
Harry was the first to shout out his glee, the big blue marble on the viewscreen the most delectable sight he ever beheld.
"We're home Captain, We're back home" he hugged Nicoletti tightly, Tom Paris let out a loud whoop, as the rest of the crew of Voyager broke into applause, cheers and tears.
B'Elannas voice boomed over the comm link '"You did it Borg, you finally got it right" Seven smiled broadly, her eyes locked onto Kathryns and they shared a warm look between them.
Chakotay stood and hugged Kathryn fiercely to him and forced the air from her lungs to expel.
"I believe those are my pips you're wearing commander" Kathryn jutted her chin out to Chakotay defiantly.
"Yes ma'am, anything you say."
Chakotay gladly removed the four gold pips from his collar and handed them to Kathryn. Seven crossed the span of the bridge and proceeded to assist her wife, in replacing the pips properly. Kathryn held onto to her wife closely, when she felt their child kick her playfully.
A rueful smile touched her face, as she looked at Sevens extended belly in awe.
"We're finally home and you my little one will be born on earth, just like your mother" her faced glowed with sheer happiness, as the euphoria continued to spread.
B'Elanna entered the bridge and was greeted romantically by Tom Paris, who swept her into his arms and kissed her deeply. For the first time in their tumultuous relationship, the feisty Klingon was at a loss for words.
As Tom positioned himself on bended knee and proposed, B'Elanna was finally roused from her shock, when she was elbowed by Seven and ordered to reply.
The silvery form of the USS Enterprise appeared on their right port a few seconds later. The cheers' erupted louder as the two ships stood side by side and glistened majestically against the dark space.
Admiral Picard and Captain Janeway exchanged congratulatory words and were then ordered to beam down to earth, with their senior staff for debriefing by Admiral Nechayev.
Seven was due to join Kathryn later due to her advance pregnancy she was forced to arrive via shuttle. Tom offered to pilot the shuttle and B'Elanna offered to accompany Seven, much to the young Borgs relief.
The three entered the shuttle as B'Elanna grunted and complained over the ridiculous amount of luggage. Seven insisted on taking.
"Kahless Seven, is there anything you forgot to bring with you? Are you sure there isn't a Borg alcove you may have forgotten? And for the love of Kahless, can you tell me why you need to bring this along?"
B'Elanna pointed to a brown paper wrapped package, the shape and size indicative of a painting
"This is a painting right? Oh wait I know, you intend to enlighten Admiral Nechayev on your debriefing by showing her a painting of the slipstream drive, am I right?" B'Elanna spat out sarcastically.
"No" Seven replied tersely as she pointed to B'Elanna as to where she should place the painting.
"Be careful you clumsy Klingon and be sure you do not damage it"
B'Elanna stared at Seven menacingly, as Seven ignored her idle threat and pointed demandingly as to were B'Elanna should store the painting. B'Elanna muttered a rash of Klingon expletives under her breath, as she begrudgingly followed her commands.
"It is a painting of Kathryn and our daughter and I wish to place it in our new home in San Francisco" B'Elanna stopped in mid stride and spun around.
"Do tell me, what on earth does any of the stuff have to with a debriefing? You do realize you dumb Borg, that we are an advance civilization. Foreign as it may seem to you Borg, we do have crews who handle these matters quite efficiently"
"Yes, I am well aware of that, however they may be manned by clumsy Klingons and I would much rather not leave it in their inept care" Seven stared at her quite matter of factually.
"That's it" B'Elanna dropped the two heavy containers and headed towards Seven menacingly determined to throttle her.
Tom jumped in the middle and promptly prevented B'Elanna from nearing any closer. Seven stared at her feisty friend with mild amusement, a smug smile plastered on her face.
"I don't care if she is pregnant I'm going to throttle her and wipe that smug smile off her face. Sevens rich throaty laughter filled the air, as Tom chuckled, B'Elanna turned on him immediately.
"I may not be able to throttle her, but if you don't wipe that shitty grin from your face, you'll rue the day you were born Tom Paris" Tom swallowed deeply and immediately turned serious, B'Elannas threat making its point.
Tom immediately began to back pedal and changed his tactics to serve in his best interest.
"Come on Lanna if we don't hurry up and push off we'll be late and this radiation storm isn't helping the situation either."
His baby blue eyes softened into two large saucers, B'Elanna was unable to resist as she begrudgingly relinquished to his plea.
"Well all right, but if you think I'm going to help you unload this junk you have another thing coming you pompous Borg. You can get Janeway to help you."
The three settled into their seats as the shuttle bay doors opened and Tom skillfully piloted the shuttle towards the beautiful sight of home. A slight tear threatened to fall, as he watched the image of the most beautiful blue and green sphere grow larger.
The shuttle was half way to reaching its destination when Seven suddenly rose her head from her console. A look of pain and mild shock crossed her graceful features. B'Elanna who had been casually glancing her way noticed the change in her friend's features.
"What?" B'Elanna asked questionably
Sevens face flexed again, as she turned her vision to the deck below her. "I believe I am experiencing labor pains" she added with a touch of fear to her voice.
"What? You can't do that and what the hell is that mess on the floor?" B'Elanna stared in complete horror at the puddle of water by Sevens feet. She began to pant and her olive dark complexion paled considerably.
"I believe my water just broke?" Seven responded in shock and awe.
"Huh, you can't have that baby here, Tom get up and stop her" B'Elanna slowly reached a higher level of panic.
"Torres to Voyager, we have a medical emergency here, Sevens about to give birth send the doc over"
Ensign Nicoletti's voice came over the comm link
"Sorry Lt., but Starfleets in the middle of downloading his database to their main computers. The doc is off line, should I contact the Captain and let her know?"
"Of course you fool and see if she can beam on board."
"I don't think she'll be able to do that Lt., all of the transporters are being affected by this storm."
B'Elanna outwardly groaned "Great just great, Kahless if it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all"
Seven folded over in pain, as the next contraction struck her a cry of discomfort escaped her lips. Tom Paris engaged the auto pilot system and quickly rushed over, to assist Seven, who was now lying on the floor, as B'Elanna paced wildly around her. The Klingon in a quandary as to what to do, her initial thought of beaming out, circumvented due to the radiation storm.
"B'Elanna stop pacing and go and get one of the mattresses and a blanket."
"Why not move her to a bed in the back, that way I don't have to look at it" Her face curled into distaste.
"Because she's having this baby now and we can't move her, now move!"
B'Elanna snapped quickly to Tom's order, though inwardly she was cursing Janeway and herself for volunteering to accompany Seven. Tom immediately began to remove Sevens slacks, as her body convulsed from the second contraction, she rose her pelvis upward, as the wave of pain rose before it slowly ebbed from her body.
Between pained breaths Seven whispered hoarsely, "I have been able to determined the contractions are 5:2 minutes apart."
Her Borg logical mind able to accesses her progress with a clinical indifference, as her human mind caused her to howl out in agony when the third contraction struck.
B'Elanna returned with a thin mattress and blanket and between her and Tom, they placed it under Seven. The blanket covered the bottom half of her body, much to B'Elannas relief, who just witness more of the Borg then she ever had a desire to. Tom adjusted her knees upward and separated her legs.
"B'Elanna help Seven breath and hold her hand. The contractions are now 2.5 minutes apart, its almost time."
Tom's forehead began to bead with perspiration. The viewport suddenly activated, as Kathryn's image appeared on the screen, Tuvok and Chakotays forms visible in the background.
"Tom, how is Seven doing?"
Kathryn's face lit with anticipation, B'Elanna was holding Sevens hand and panting along with her, as she tried valiantly to block out the pain that Seven was causing, as she crushed her hand.
"She's doing great Captain, she's crowning it won't be long"
"Come on Borg breath, Breath" the Klingon grimaced, as she felt the death grip tighten around her hand.
"Kathryn why are you not here with me? You should be here with me" Seven spat out in a pained breath.
"She's crowning " Tom stated with excitement, as he continued to assist Seven.
"Okay Seven on the next contraction, you can't push."
"I'm sorry Darling, but this radiation storm has taken all transporter systems off line. Come on darling it's almost over" Kathryn continued coaching Seven over her rising screams, as Tuvok and Chakotay watched on in amusement.
"Come on Darling you can do it" The contraction struck her full force, as a Seven relayed a string of obscene words of what Kathryn should do and with whom and where.
B'Elanna snorted loudly recognizing the phrases well, many of which she used herself against the young Borg. Kathryns jaw dropped, her mouth opened and closed several times, as she turned and looked at Chakotay who was chewing the bottom of his lip, his eyes filled with laughter, Tuvoks eyebrow rose off his forehead.
"I wasn't aware Seven was capable of using such colorful euphemisms, Captain" Tuvok added flatly a gleam of Vulcan mischief in his eyes, Chakotay burst out in open laughter unable to control it any longer.
"I wasn't aware that was possible," Chakotay added between fits of laughter
Kathryn glared at them both and snapped her mouth shut before she turned her head back to the viewscreen and continued to urge her wife on with words of encouragement.
The next scene was total chaos, as both B'Elanna and Seven howled in tangent and the audible noise of broken bone was heard. Kathryn, Tuvok and Chakotay cringed, as they witnessed the young Borg crush B'Elannas hand.
The Klingon howled in agony and sent a string of expletives freely into the air, her mangled hand dangled before her.
"It is quite logical to assume she has learned these phrases from Lt. Torres" Tuvok added sarcastically, as Chakotay continued his laughter.
"All right Seven, were almost there, one big push on the next contraction" Tom wiped the sweat from his brow with his sleeve.
Seven forcibly grabbed B'Elanna by the collar and pull her down, the action caused the Klingon to choke and lose her breath.
"Get this thing out of me" Seven spat.
B'Elanna attempted to free herself from Sevens vise grip hold and failed miserably, as she gasped for air and tears formed in her eyes
"This is it, here she comes, push Seven push."
Sevens rose abruptly and dragged B'Elanna along with her, the Klingons face turned purple, as the oxygen failed to enter her lungs, Seven refused to relinquish her hold on B'Elannas collar, despite Kathryns urging, another string of expletives and threats flung freely to Kathryn, spewed from her lovely mouth.
The child cried loudly, as Seven dropped back down to a prone position, her death grip on B'Elanna finally released, as the Klingon fought valiantly for air.
Both women remained on their backs and attempted to control their breathing and return it to a normal level. Tom quickly scanned the child and cut the umbilical cord, he cleaned her and handed her to Seven.
Seven sat up and held her child in her arms, the beautiful vibrant blue eyes stared back at her, a full head of strawberry blond hair, covered her head and she had soft pouty lips "Congratulations Seven, Captain you have a beautiful healthy girl, 8 pounds five ounces"
"Good work, Darling" Kathryn beamed from ear to ear, as she beheld the sight of the two most beautiful creatures she ever had the good fortune of seeing.
B'Elanna remained on her back as she held her broken hand in front of her.
"I need some medical assistance here" she moaned in a pained breath.
Tom quickly moved to his betrothed and ran the bone-knitter across her hand, the repair to the damaged limb occurred instantaneously, as B'Elanna flexed her hand and began to rise slowly with Tom's assistance.
Chakotay and Tuvok slapped Kathryn in the back and offered a sincere congratulation, as Kathryn handed them cigars, Chakotay turned to Seven.
"Congratulations Seven, what are you going to name her?"
"Her designation will be Ariane Hansen Janeway, after Kathryns great grandmother."
Seven beamed proudly, as the babe squirmed in her arms and turned her tiny head to the viewport and glanced at her mother. The two pair of identical vibrant blue eyes with flecks of gray exchanged knowing looks of recognition.
B'Elanna finally regained some semblance of her former self and padded over to the viewport, she glared at Janeway and snorted.
"I better get a medal for this, your wife broke my hand and nearly choked me to death."
Kathryn's throaty laughter echoed through the screen.
"I've got one better Lt., for all of your brave efforts, Seven and I would be honored if you would be Ariane's godmother, the christening will be another month and don't be late."
"What? Actually have to enter a church are you both crazy? Why don't you just name her B'Elanna instead, it has a nice ring to it, B'Elanna Hansen Janeway" the Klingon added smugly.
"Because there can only be one B'Elanna" Kathryn responded dryly.
Seven snorted, as she detected the blatant lie by her wife. B'Elanna spun her head, to look at Seven and by the gleam in her friends eyes she detected an obvious joke at her expense
"Why do I have a feeling that isn't exactly a compliment?" she eyed Janeway suspiciously.
Tuvok seized the moment to respond "Perhaps because you have a suspicious nature Lt."
The statement caused the entire group to abrupt in laughter, as B'Elanna joined in the merriment at her own expense. She padded over to Seven, took the babe from her arms, and cradled her gently. The babe looked deeply into B'Elannas face and gurgled happily, as the shuttle began its decent home.
Seven sat in the field bleached golden by the sun, Ariane nestled quietly in her arms. The child was now seven months old and filled with energy, her personality and strong willed independence emerging, as each month passed. Kathryn and Phoebe sat on the balcony of their mothers home, the family gathered for an old fashion reunion with Kathryn's former Voyager crew. The approaching figures of B'Elanna and Tom came into view. As Kathryn rose and met them halfway, they greeted warmly and headed towards the field were Seven sat with Ariane.
Tom was anxious to see his goddaughter and walked ahead of the two women. The two women walked leisurely arm in arm and updated each other on the unfolding events, of the past seven months. B'Elanna was promoted to Lt. Commander and Tom took a position, as the Captain of the Orion one of the first starships built with the new slipstream technology, that Seven and B'Elanna managed to perfect in the months that followed, their return to the Alpha quadrant.
Tom called out to Seven and she gracefully turned and shaded her eyes from the sun. A warm smile touched her lip, as she recognized the approaching form of Tom Paris. Tom reached her and took his goddaughter from her arms, the child gurgled happily and grabbed forcefully onto his chin, e assisted Seven to her feet, as she stared proudly at her daughter, her vision spied the four pips on his collar.
"Tom Paris, you have been promoted to captain, why did you not tell us sooner?"
"Oh it was nothing really" he grinned from ear to ear, when Seven reached up and kissed him on the cheek.
"Congratulations" she offered a warm glow evident on her face, as she beamed proudly for her friend.
Kathryn and B'Elanna approached them, as Ariane attempted to leap out of Tom's arms and into Kathryns. Kathryn reached out and took Ariane from his arms and the child playfully reached for her nose, as Kathryn pretended to nip at her chubby hands.
B'Elanna and Seven hugged affectionately, as Tom and Kathryn looked on, Ariane gurgled in protest and lounged towards the clenched women, falling quickly into B'Elannas arms.
"Look at you, you little targ you've grown huge" Ariane swiped playfully at B'Elannas nose, as the four friends turned and headed back towards the house.
All endings are new beginnings
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