And A Child Shall Lead Them, Part IX

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Both Holodecks were carefully decorated in preparation for the wedding that was taking Voyager by storm. Neelix was going over the last of the preparations and ensuring everything was in order. Naomi Wildman was in a long white dress with a large blue sapphire slash.

Naomi as the only child on Voyager was chosen by the couple to bare their wedding rings. The hybrid human/ Katerian child meticulously paced up and down the aisle, practicing her role. Her long red hair was swept up, into ringlets and her blue eyes shined with the anticipation and exuberance only a child could possess.

Sheer fabrics of white, sapphire blue and gold silk were delicately hung along the span of the deck. The trellis that lead up to the gazebo, was adorned with flowers of white and gold replicated from the rarest of foliage obtained in Fn'enghia. The finely spun silk purchased in the Fn'enghian marketplace, generously hung and flowed lightly against a light warm breeze.

The guest seating was adorned with delicate flowers of white and gold, as the sun began to settle and a bright orange orb nestled gently, among snowy white clouds. Holodeck one was programmed into a scene reminiscent from Kathryn's home in Indiana, the grass bleached golden by the sun. In the center of the field stood a domed shaped gazebo decorated in gold lace and fine white silk. A pair of white doves nestled lovingly on the top.

Those crewmembers able to attend the ceremony were already formed and seated. Their level of anticipation ran high, as the start of the wedding neared and was merely two hours away. The ship wide communication link was held open, for those members unable to attend the actual ceremony.

Seven and Ensign Wildman were still asleep in B'Elannas quarters, the two women laid haphazardly on the couch. The eve of the wedding was spent in a typical Klingon style celebration. The Klingons penchant for providing mayhem far exceeded its usual parameters, the effect rendered them all helpless and unable to return to their own quarters.

Ensign Samantha Wildman and Seven awoke with thundering headaches, the relentless summons of the ships computer sent shock waves through their skulls. The room appeared blurred and unstable as they rose, the endless consumption of Klingon ale taking its toll on the two women.

Complete chaos ensued when Samantha Wildman cleared her head and glanced at the chronometer. "Oh my God, we have two hours to get dressed before the wedding"

A violent wrestling match ensued for the ensuite as each woman bullied and pushed her way into the prime real estate. A fevered rush of showers and unlady like behavior occurred, along with multiple volleys of accusations hurled at B'Elannas recklessness. After a few frantic moments of locating the appropriate articles, the three women began the rigorous chores of dressing.

B'Elanna was in an uproar running her full repertoire of Klingon expletives and huffing under her breath. Her latest outburst pertaining to Sevens hair, which she pulled and combed multiple times over, before settling on a simple off the shoulder look.

Sevens features were pained and fevered, B'Elannas words reverberating with a vengeance and forcing her to cringe. Holding the side of her temples she whispered hoarsely "Must you be so loud, Klingon?" as her eyes threatened to explode from their sockets.

"Loud? You call that loud Pe'twah? That's not loud, NOW THIS, THIS IS LOUD!" her voice higher in pitch, the harshness of the tone forced her to cringe as the pounding increased.

"Maybe no one will notice if we kill her and stuff her body in the ensuite" Samantha Wildman spoke painfully as she held her head in her hands, her face a pale green hue.

"I am sure you are correct in your assessment Ensign Wildman. If you will do me the honor of reaching for that B'eThal on the wall, I will grant us both your wish"

B'Elanna smiled ruefully the previous evenings events having less of an effect on her." Damn amateurs, you're both a disgraces to the Klingon race"

"I would like to remind you that neither Ensign Wildman or myself are Klingon. Furthermore if this any indication as to what it is to be a Klingon then I would much rather rejoin the collective" Sevens voice dripped with sarcasm.

"Here, here, Seven, for once I agree with you, anything is better than this, even the collective, is better than this. What was in that ale anyway, rocket propulsion fuel?" Ensign Wildman eyes squinted, the thundering headache intensified as she whispered hoarsely "Why is it so bright in here?"

B'Elanna attempted to look wounded and insulted "What do you mean rocket propulsion fuel? It took me six hours to distill that to perfection. You know I never realized what a bunch of prima donnas you both are. Kahless, do you know how difficult it is to raise the right blood worms for Klingon ale?"

Seven and Samantha Wildman looked up in horror, Ensign Wildman finding her voice first "Are you saying you added those disgusting Klingon blood worms to that ale? What else did you put in that?"

"Oh just a few beetles and some other stuff I found in Fn'enghia. Kahless would they get pissed if they found out what I used them for, heh, heh. Besides what did you think makes Klingon ale red, if not blood worms?"

Sevens face became visibly green, the entire vision of squirming blood worms overpowering her senses. She held her hand to her mouth and convulsed slightly "I am not feeling very well" as she quickly rose and rushed to the ensuite, the retching gasping noise an obvious indication of her discomfort.

"Oh that's just great B'Elanna, now you made her sick with all your talk of blood worms" Samantha feeling an empathetic link with Seven, trying vainly to subside her own queasiness.

B'Elanna pretended to be stunned at the accusation "Me? How did I know she could be so squeamish? Kahless, talk about a waste of good grog" she added defensively.

Seven rose from her kneeling position, her face returning to a lighter shade of pale, a stark improvement to her earlier shade of green. She brushed her teeth vigorously, her physical state remarkably improving despite the earlier discomfort. She stumbled slightly from the ensuite Samantha rising quickly to assist her, as she shot B'Elanna an evil glare.

B'Elanna stared at Seven in amusement, a rising fit of laughter threatening to ensue "Gee Seven, you ah, really adapted to heaving haven't you?"

Both Seven and Samantha looked threateningly at her, the Klingon responding with a roar of laughter. It was all Seven could take as she quickly attempted to cross the threshold, Samantha trying valiantly to hold her back. "I am going to throttle you, you Pe'twah"

B'Elanna quickly rose, the determined look on Sevens face convincing her now was a good time to surrender. Holding her hands up in defeat, she wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her hands.

"Alright" stifled chuckle "I'm sorry, I won't make fun of you anymore. I promise" her features attempting to look sincere. "Besides we have to hurry or you're going to be late for your own wedding" B'Elanna glancing at the chronometer for emphasis.

Seven glanced at the chronometer, realized time was quickly running out, and she would have to save her idle threats for later. With a heavy sigh, she relinquished her previous thoughts of killing B'Elanna. However, she made a quick mental note to get even with the feisty Klingon in the near future.

Samantha quickly retrieved the wedding gown and with B'Elannas, assistance began the process of dressing the bride. Sevens dress was made of the finest Fn'enghian silk ever spun. The long white gown was narrow and tapered down the length of her form. The fabric sheer, but for a thin veiled slip underneath.

The shadow of her form and long narrow legs tantalizingly detectable in the soft light, the shadowed effect allowed the imagination to wander. The front of the gown was bound to a vee shape, the sheer shoulder straps slightly off to the sides, her ample breast snuggled warmly in place.

In keeping with ancient earth traditions, B'Elanna loaned her a thin gold chain, which hung elegantly from her neck. She wore a garter of silver and gold with the symbol of two doves delicately intertwined, their heads nestled together. After an argument and much wrestling a gold band with a sapphire stone was added, adorning the upper part of her right arm.

She wore a simple veil made of small delicate gold and white flowers. The golden silvery hue of her cortical implant added to the appeal of her delicate gown. B'Elanna began the process of applying her makeup, the usual argument and protest ensuing quickly.

"Must you press so hard on my eyes?" Seven groaned painfully, her eyes shut tightly.

"I'm barely touching you! Stop being such a baby you over grown Borg."

"Don't worry Seven, I called the Doctor and explained everything to him. He promised to drop by after he takes care of the captain" Samantha passed a golden light powder to B'Elanna who was impatiently snapping her fingers at her, while Samantha tried her leveled best to ignore the rude gesture.

"Is something wrong with Kathryn?" an edge of concern rising to Sevens voice.

Snorting B'Elanna replied sarcastically "Nothing that a good hypospray won't cure. What do you think, we were the only ones celebrating last night?"

"Some how I feel it is a comfort in knowing Kathryn is feeling exactly as I do" Sevens forehead cringed at the sound of her own voice.

"Yeah, that just goes to prove misery loves company. Tom told me they found her passed out in her bed with all of her clothes still on from last night. You'll be glad to know you weren't the only praying to the porcelain god this morning" the Klingon snorted loudly.

"I have not prayed to any deity this morning, still if it will make this pain go away I will gladly do so"

"Honestly B'Elanna, you're such a witch stop teasing her she feels bad enough. Besides this is all your fault anyway."

"My fault how is it my fault all of a sudden?"

"Well, you know Seven can't drink."

"Hey, I wasn't exactly twisting her arm you know. She could have stopped if she wanted too."

"She would have if you weren't so insistent on making a toast every three seconds" Seven was about to interrupt the ensuing argument when the soft ring of the door chime blessedly interrupted them.


The doctor entered and seeing the physical condition of the three women immediately pursed his lips. His obvious distaste present as he proceeded to thoroughly lecture the three women on the evils of alcohol consumption. Seven took his entire speech to heart, the adverse affects and pain not worth the effort.

The sudden affects of the hypospray began to relieve her discomfort immediately. The doctor continued his speech as B'Elanna rolled her eyes and Samantha silently begged him to shut up.

"I guess I'm just wasting my time on you" the doctor eyeing B'Elanna disapprovingly, the soft hiss of the spray against her neck.

"What?" B'Elanna attempting to portray her innocence and failing miserably.

"Yes, that's what I thought, I guess I'll be leaving now. After all I have a wedding to perform, you'll be happy to know Seven that thanks to me your betrothed to be will be able to stand and make it to the altar after all. It appears you have something in common with your future wife."

"I thank you doctor"

"Yes, well remember what I said, no more drinking."

"You have my word Doctor" Seven now thoroughly convinced of the evils of alcohol. B'Elanna smirked at her friend's sincerity, secretly patting herself in the back for a blow out bachelorette party.

The three women exited B'Elannas quarters and entered the turbolift, the lift descended enroute to the holodeck, B'Elanna doing her leveled best to adjust her own gown. The silk layers of the Fn'enghian garment constantly exposing more of her form then she desired.

"Kahless how the hell do those Fn'enghians women were this junk anyway? I'm surprised there weren't a thousand kids running around the place. I might as well be wearing nothing at all" as she attempted to place the shoulder wrap back into place.

Seven shook her head in distaste reaching over and removing the wrap and rebinding it to its correct position.

"That is because you are like Kathryn. The directions are quite simplistic and precise in describing how to properly bind the layers together. Ensign Wildman had no problems in binding her gown" Seven fastened a gold dove pin above B'Elannas left breast, her garment made of sapphire blue and gold silk.

"Yeah, well who's bright idea was it to get these gowns anyway?"

"I believe it was you, as I recall your exact words were "I just have to have it"" Sevens implant flexing as she smiled ruefully at her friend.

"Yeah and since when did you start listening to me?"

"It was your decision, not mine"

B'Elanna snorted "Well at least Tom will like it" her eyes lighting with anticipation. You know, come to think of it, all the time we were there did you ever see any children?"

B'Elannas two companions stared at her quizzically, each going over their encounter with the Fn'enghians in their own minds. Samantha Wildman answered first

"You know I did question that, but some how they managed to change the subject and I never got around to asking it again. It is odd, I can't say I recall seeing any children while I was there"

Seven tilted her head slightly her golden silvery implant reflecting the captured light of the turbolift. "We did not see any children either" Seven paused a moment and looked at B'Elanna questionably.

"Yeah, well I wouldn't doubt if there were none. A guy could lose his interest by the time he removes all these damn layers" B'Elanna tugged at her outfit in disgust.

"Indeed? I assure you Kathryn was quite adept at removing mine when we returned. As I recall it seemed to have intensified her desire" with that said she exited the turbolift elegantly, the layers of silk caught with the slight breeze as she walked, the fabric floated gently behind her before settling on her form.

Samantha and B'Elanna stared at each other, B'Elanna pursing her lips in disgust "You know I really hate her" The two women walked quickly in an attempt to catch up with her.

The music began to play as the three women arrived and took their prospective positions. Kathryn and Tuvok stood in front of the gazebo in their full dress Starfleet uniform. An obvious look of concern on her face, as she shifted restlessly and waited for her bride to arrive, Seven was already fifteen minutes late "No doubt due to B'Elanna" she thought dryly.

Seven stood behind B'Elanna, as the full impact of the event struck her and took her completely off guard. Her mouth suddenly went dry, her heart beat wildly and small beads of perspiration formed on her brow. She found herself unable to move as Naomi began her slow practiced steps down the aisle, followed by Samantha and B'Elanna.

Seven found her legs locked in place, her mind unable to command them to move. B'Elanna whispered quietly under her breath "Come on Borg, move those feet"

Seven was in a panic as she found every crewmember's eyes focused intently on her, her eyes shifted nervously. She felt a gentle nudge from behind, Ensign Gaines reassuring her quietly. She took the first awkward step forward the rest following mechanically.

Her mind in a quandary and unable to control her feet as she moved them. A small voice screamed in her ear, a last minute threat and call to arms to quickly flee the vicinity. The thought almost seemed plausible for a moment and she paused, until she saw Kathryn.

Her heart skipped a beat as she locked onto her eyes and found their warmth. A crooked grin appeared on Kathryn's face as she read Sevens thoughts clearly, her eyes a vibrant blue and filled with mirth. Seven walked the rest of the way in a trance, her eyes never leaving Kathryns. As she neared, she found her heart rate decreased to a more acceptable level.

Tuvok leaned discretely into Kathryn and whispered quietly in her ear. "It appears Captain, Seven may have some reservations. Perhaps she has suddenly realized what she is getting herself into?"

Kathryn chuckled lightly and under her breath whispered back "It's too late now, I ordered a high security seal on the doors just in case" her eyes shining with laughter, Tuvok merely raised his eyebrow an indication he was amused with her response.

It appeared to Seven it took an eternity to reach Kathryn, her heart no longer sitting in her mouth as she reached out and grasped the elegant hand held out to her. Kathryn reassuring her with her touch, the warmth of her hand in hers calming her and bringing her back to reality.

Kathryn stared at Seven in awe and wander, the vision of Seven walking down the aisle astounding her every sense. She felt her knees weaken, as Sevens beauty swept her heart away. Her pulse raced wildly as she tried to control it, the anticipation building as Seven neared.

It appeared to Kathryn that Seven would never reach her, her pace painfully slow, Kathryn ached to enfold her in her arms and never let her go. She felt the sting in the back of her eyes as the emotions swept her and took her by storm. In that one instant Kathryn knew this was her destiny, that in this life time and many more to come she would always intertwine with this beautiful soul and become one.

Kathryns hands moved tentatively, shaking slightly, as she lifted Sevens veil, her breath catching as she caught the first glimpse of the beautiful soul well hidden in Seven. Their eyes locked onto each other and the rest of the world was forgotten, as their inner souls fused together and became one.

The doctor watched and quietly cleared his throat to break their spell. The two women returned to this reality and faced him.

"Ahem, Yes well, if we can begin. Crew of Voyager we are all here as family and friends. We have gathered today to witness the bonding between two of our own. It is in their love and commitment to each other that we are here. In their own words and in front of all their family and friends they would like to commit their vows to one another" the doctor looked at Kathryn and nodded his head.

Kathryn turned to Seven, held both of her hands in her own, her vibrant blue eyes emitted her undying love and devotion, and she lowered her voice to a husky throaty timber.

"Seven of Nine, Annika Hansen, I have existed in this world solely to meet and love you. To you I freely give my love, my honor and my commitment to love only you. In you I have found the bane of my existence and know that I can not exist without you. I will be there to carry you when you are weak, to love you when you feel unloved, to cherish you when others take you for granted and to grant you the power of possessing my soul from this existence and unto others."

Seven swallowed deeply, a lump formed in her throat, as a single tear fell down her cheek, B'Elanna sniffled quietly in the background.

"Kathryn Janeway, I was born simply to become one with you. To you I give freely of myself all that I am with every fiber of my soul. In you I have found my humanity and the depth and strength of compassion a single individual can possess. I will be there to hold you when you are alone, to carry you when you no longer have the strength to continue, to love you through all of the darkness and bring you back to the light of our love. I give myself to you and only you from now until there is no further existence. Know that without you I would not have found my soul which can not exist with out you."

The doctor blinked, his program displayed a depth of emotion he was never meant to experience. The entire room was silent and in awe over the words so eloquently spoken. "Kathryn and Seven will now exchange their rings, a symbol of their bond and commitment to one another.

Naomi Wildman stepped forward, the red cushion soaked with her tears. The delicate platinum rings sat proudly, two women interwoven delicately, their arms reaching out to each other and becoming one.

Kathryn took the ring and slipped it delicately on Sevens finger "With this ring I commit my love and life to you."

Seven took the second ring and slipped it delicately on Kathryn's finger 'With this ring, I commit my love and life to you"

B'Elanna stepped forward and handed the doctor a delicate white silk scarf, the doctor bonded both of their left hands together.

"Is it your wish Captain Kathryn Janeway to be bonded with Seven of Nine, Annika Hansen?"

"It is."

"Seven of Nine, Annika Hansen, is it your wish to be bonded with Captain Kathryn Janeway"

"It is."

"Then by the power vested in me by Starfleet protocol 247.54, I now pronounce you bonded. You may kiss the bride, I mean brides. Oh you know what I mean."

Kathryn leaned in and kissed Seven deeply, the depth of their love exposed for the first time to the crew of Voyager. B'Elanna was crying openly, as Kathryn and Seven released each other to the cheer of the crew. Tuvok stepped in and hugged Kathryn affectionately, Kathryn hugged him warmly in return and kissed him on the cheek.

B'Elanna wiped her tears and hugged her friend tightly as Seven kissed her forcibly on the mouth, the Klingon feigning anger and Seven laughing wildly.

The couple continued accepting the warm wishes and open affection as a procession quickly formed. Chakotay the last of the senior staff to approach the two women. As he neared, his face became taunt; the smooth tattoo crinkled slightly, his eyes dark and intense. He tried to look at Seven as he spoke, but the sight of her face fueled his anger and he tore his eyes away.

"Congratulations, I hope you have a long life together" his voice tight and controlled

Seven tilted her head, her astute mind detecting his anger and attempt at disguising it "Thank you Commander" she ventured cautiously "We are most grateful you were able to attend" her hand involuntarily squeezed Kathryns tighter.

Kathryn watched the exchange between them with a keen eye and acute awareness. She found the recent behavior of her first officer erratic and at times hostile since Voyager left Fn'enghian air space. She noted his controlled anger towards Seven and set it in her mind to speak with him of it immediately.

However, she doubted Chakotay cared for her as anything other than a friend. She could detect he was harboring some resentment and anger towards Seven. A problem that could eventually result in serious ramifications of her command if not addressed immediately.

"Yes, thank you Chakotay, it's good to have everyone here like a family" Kathryn attempted to lighten his mood, Chakotay merely smiled at her and bowed his head gracefully then turned and left.

Kathryn watched his retreating form, her mind processed his actions, she rolled her left shoulder in an effort to dispel her internal alarm. Seven and B'Elanna exchanged quizzical looks, the Klingon shrugged her shoulders at Sevens unasked question, her eyes focused on Chakotay as she tried to read his thoughts.

The second holodeck was decorated for the reception and the women sat closely together at the bridal table. They continued receiving the flow of well wishers and gifts as the reception went into full swing. Seven and Kathryn rose and stepped onto the dance floor for the first time as a bonded couple.

A soft love song from a twenty third century earth torch singer, Diane Morris playing, the words of the song symbolic to the couple, relating to the quest of finding an elusive love.

Kathryn led Seven to the center of the dance floor and placed her right arm around Sevens tapered waist. She pulled Seven to her closely, her body melting into Sevens and finding the familiar warmth. She inhaled deeply the sweet familiar scent, as she led her slowly and gracefully around the room. Her eyes never left Sevens as they spoke of the depth of her love.

Seven moved in perfect time with Kathryn, her movements languid and caressing the very essence of Kathryns being. Her mind centered on the beautiful classic face she would spend the rest of eternity waking up to.

Her heart beat rapidly as the emotions overwhelmed her and she leaned into Kathryn's ear and breathlessly whispered "I love you Kathryn, I always will."

Kathryn swallowed deeply as she closed her eyes and melded her body tighter to Sevens. Her thoughts swimming in euphoria over the love she held so delicately in her arms. She raised her head and kissed Seven deeply, the wealth of her emotions conveyed to Seven in a simple kiss.

The sweetness of Seven's mouth a taste of paradise for her and for once Kathryn felt completely completely. All of the past pain, guilt, self-doubt she carried was gone, and all that remained was the enlightenment in knowing she was loved and could return it willingly and freely.

The song ended and they remained a moment longer before releasing each other and in a husky low voice, Kathryn whispered "You are my beloved and I love you more than life itself."

Surprising Seven she reached out to her and sealed her words with a long and loving kiss. The crew applauded and cheered them on, until breathlessly she released Seven, their eyes sparking in unison with a renewed vibrancy, a testament of their love.

They returned to the table and after performing all of the traditional rituals insisted upon by B'Elanna, they carefully exited unnoticed by the crew and headed to their quarters.


Upon arriving at the door they paused momentarily, Kathryn taking Sevens hands into her own "You realize this is the first time we are entering these quarters as a married couple?"

"Indeed" Sevens eyes aglow with warmth, the color of the sea touching the sky "There is still one tradition B'Elanna insisted I follow" and before Kathryn could protest she lifted her effortlessly into her arms and crossed the span of the threshold into their quarters.

Kathryns throaty laughter escaped unencumbered, her arms around Sevens neck as she leaned in and kissed her deeply. Seven held her tightly as Kathryn released herself from her arms and slid seductively along Sevens form. Her hands pressed firmly into Sevens back as she increased the intensity of their kiss.

Pulling away teasingly, she whispered breathlessly "Hmm, you can do that to me anytime" Kathryn's eyes a deep rich blue.

"I will make sure to remember that" Seven reached for her playfully as Kathryn skirted out of the way.

"Make sure that you do" she tossed her head back and headed to the bedroom, Seven followed closely a warm smile touched her lips.

When they entered their bedroom, the couple found a bottle of champagne sitting on ice, a gift from Tuvok and the crew. Kathryn lifted the bottle and poured two glasses, a warm smile touched her lips as she recognized the vintage from Chateau Picard. "I wonder where they got this from?" she marveled at the crews resourcefulness'.

Kathryn handed the glass to Seven and quickly noticed the flash of fear crossing her eyes as she accepted the glass, with a rueful smirk she added dryly "Is something wrong my love?" already aware of Sevens bout with alcohol from the evening before. "It is customary to toast our marriage" her eyes gleamed at Sevens facial expressions.

Seven hesitated slightly her stomach twitched as she looked at the glass in horror "I was not aware of that" her voice small and timid, biting down on the queasiness beginning to rise, she held her glass up. "What shall we toast too?" her mind secretly hoping it would not be reminiscent of a Klingon toast.

Kathryn stifled a smile and stepped closer to Seven her eyes gleaming with mischief "To us, may we never stop loving each other" she clinked her glass to Seven and watched through hooded lashes as Seven valiantly swallowed the golden liquid. Her face contorting slightly as she involuntarily held her stomach.

Kathryn removed the glass from her hand and kissed her warmly, the taste of the bitter champagne lingering on Sevens sweet lips, Kathryn delighted in the wonderful contrast. Seven enveloped her into the kiss and found her queasiness subsided. The warm sweet flavor of Kathryns mouth drove the sickly feeling away as she put her arms around Kathryn and deepened their kiss.

Kathryn felt herself grow weak and with a terrible reluctance pulled herself away. She looked at Seven warmly and tilted her head to the side "I do love you. You simply take my breath away."

The words so openly stated and spoken with raw emotion. Seven blushed slightly, removed herself from Kathryn, and entered the ensuite, closing the door behind her.

Kathryn remained staring at the door in wonder, despising being separated from Seven if only for a moment. She placed the two glasses down and disrobed, she reached for a long flowing nightgown made of fine silk and spun in gold. A wedding gift from envoy Pooran before their departure from Fn'enghia.

Seven was preparing in the ensuite, placing scented oils on her pulse spots as instructed by B'Elanna. She removed her wedding gown and slipped into a sapphire blue silk nightgown of Fn'enghian silk that was given to her by envoy Pooran. Envoy Pooran extracted a promise from Seven that she would wear it on the evening of her bonding. She checked herself in the mirror and pleased with the results exited the ensuite.

She was immediately struck by the enthralling figure of Kathryn dressed in a beautiful gold silk nightgown. The imposing figure astounded her as she marveled at the sheer beauty of the woman. Her red hair hung loosely to her shoulders and her penetrating eyes a brilliant blue.

The contrast of lights and shadows between the golden color of the gown and Kathryns natural features assaulted her senses and left her momentarily stunned. Kathryn walked slowly and seductively towards Seven. The vibrant sapphire blue of the soft silk gown against her soft pale features astounded Kathryn.

The soft shadows of the passing stars caressed her features gracefully and gave her a regal appearance. Kathryn inhaled deeply as she neared, her voice low and soft "My God, you are exquisite. Your beauty never seizes to amaze me" and she enfolded her warmly into her arms. Her body pressed closely to Sevens until she felt her heart beat underneath her own.

"And you Kathryn are perfection, you are my Omega and I love you" Seven squeezed her tighter as they held each other and reveled in their love. They walked slowly to the bed, the soft sheets of satin calling to them. They paused by the edge and Kathryn took the moment to drink in the sight of her beautiful bride. She kissed her, their tongues intertwining with a sweet familiarity as the passion consumed them with a greater intensity.

Kathryn pulled away from her mouth and placed soft feathery kisses along the length of Sevens neck. Seven pulled her head back and moaned against the sweet gentle assault. Kathryn ran her hands down the length of Sevens sides removing the thin straps of her gown in the process. The warmth of Seven's skin drawing her like a moth to a flame. She traced down the length of her shoulders alternating between soft kisses and light suckles.

Sevens flesh burned with an intense desire as she surrendered herself willing to the being who possessed her soul. She slid the gown from her slowly and continued her exploration of the supple flesh. Seven moved her hands along Kathryn's form and enjoyed the exciting sensations of Kathryns hidden flesh beneath the soft silk fabric.

Her own hands removing Kathryns gown as it fell and landed to her feet. The immediate contact of warm supple flesh on flesh caused them both to shudder. As their hearts began to beat in a fast pace rhythm until finally they beat as one.

The soft whispers of love expressed freely and entangled between loving caresses. They moved to the bed slowly a practiced anticipation quenching their desire as they took long moments in exploring each other.

Seven lay on her back, Kathryns form half on her as she stroked her face gently and whispered lovingly into her ear. "You are my heart Seven" she kissed her softly, the kiss lasting an eternity, as her hands began their gentle caress.

She moved her hand slowly across her form until she reached her breast. Touching it softly and smoothing her hand over it, her fingers rolling across the raised bump. She continued her movement lower and captured her essence in her hand, Seven moaned into her mouth and her hips began a slow rhythmic motion.

Kathryn shifted her weight to the right and separated Sevens legs with her knee, the warm sweet essence of Seven bathing her immediately. She began moving her knee slowly matching the rhythm of Sevens hips. She continued placing kisses along her neck and moved downward until she captured the erect nipple in her mouth. Rolling it between her teeth and suckling on it gently.

The sensations from pleasing Seven aroused Kathryn and she wrapped her legs tightly between Sevens left leg. The movement of Sevens hips making her rise and fall, Kathryn's warm essence escaping and bathing her leg freely.

Seven raised her right leg and allowed Kathryn's hand further access. Her skillful fingers seeking the sensitive nodule and rubbing it languidly, as she continued her assault on the sensitive nipple with her mouth. She parted her sweet lips gently, and teased her further until Seven moaned in protest.

With a slow controlled movement, she entered her, the muscles tightened instinctively against the long slender strokes. Her hips undulated with deep rising motions and Kathryn inserted a second digit, her own form rising and falling with Sevens. She shifted her mouth to Sevens and kissed her deeply, her entire being placed into the kiss when the first wave caught them both.

A warm purple light enveloped them as they rose and fell as one, their eyes closed deeply, their tongues joining and separating until becoming one. They felt as their souls touched deeply, warmed in the purple light blinding their closed eyes.

The image of envoy Pooran appeared above them, her smile warm and knowing, her white wings rising to flight, as she lifted their souls from their physical state and bound them into one. The second wave consumed them as the ecstasy of the joined souls consumed their very essence. Until slowly they spiraled down in unison, the image of envoy Pooran disappeared and left a warm aura of purple light behind her.

They two women took several moments to come to their senses, their inner beings retreating to their prospective owners. A light sheen of perspiration covered their bodies the joining of their souls leaving them breathless. Kathryn opened her eyes and noticed the soft warm glow of the room.

She raised her vision towards the window and noticed a purple nebula passing by. A warm sense of tranquility and inner peace filled her as she held tightly to the woman she loved with her entire being. Seven trembled under her arms, the intensity of their love touching her very soul.

"You have captured my soul and I love you with all that I am" Her mouth seeking Kathryns as she kissed her gently and thoroughly before releasing her.

"You are the bane of my existence and without you I am nothing. I love you with all my heart" Kathryn whispered into her ear. For some unexplainable reason, a sudden weariness consumed them and they fell asleep in each other's arms. The afterglow of their love shined on their serene faces.

A brilliant triangular light of blue, aqua and green appeared the form of Michael, Raphael and Gabriel materializing. The aura of their lights filled the room with a soft glow. They gazed lovingly on the sleeping forms, tender smiles gracing their smooth angelic faces. Michael nodded and they raised their hands in unison, the arc of their power emitted from each of their hands.

Until the three rays of light joined and formed one, Michael raised his hands upwards his brilliant blue temporal eyes closing under the long satin black lashes. The lights struck the sleeping forms wombs and formed an arch until the two became one.

The cry of a babe was heard, as the tears rolled down the faces of the angelic beings. The faith and love shared between the two women encompassing time and forever etched into the life thread of the three beings.

The beings heard the protest of the beast as he hissed and screamed in anger. His voice reaching across the span of space and time. His ancient words in their native tongue spoken lyrically against their ears, his breath hot and sweet. "You have not won Michael" he hissed "The child will never see its birth"

The brilliance of the lights engulfed the room completely and swept through the span of Voyager, it's image glowing brilliantly against the darkness of space. Chakotays sleeping form convulsed violently and the many voices screamed into the night.

The Jackal appeared in his room and settled on his chest, its hot putrid breath falling against his ear. The beast filling him with its blood lust, Chakotay found himself running through the decks of Voyager. The voices resonated in his skull as he screamed out in protest, his hands pressed tightly against his head. He heard the voice of his true father call to him this time, warning him of the danger, but the voices turned louder and drowned out his words.

He tried to discard the distorted voices and focus on that of his father. However, the multiple voices increased in protest, until the buzzing returned and he felt his inner life force explode against the assault. He felt the slow agony of death inside of him, the darkness consuming him and swallowing him whole.

His voice cried out in torture and agony, his body wrecked with the intensity of his pain, then the jackal crawled closer to his face and licked it gently and the pain subsided.


The following week was spent with Kathryn and Seven enjoying their new beginning as one. The senior crew assumed their responsibilities as the two women spent the time alone and unmolested.

They were in the holodeck, the San Francisco skyline in front of them. Lounging lazily on a chaise in the balcony, of the former home Kathryn left behind in the Alpha quadrant. Kathryn comfortably snuggled between Sevens long lean form, her head nestled against Sevens chest, rising and falling against her even breaths. Sevens hand ran idle long smooth strokes through Kathryn's hair the languid touches lulled Kathryn into a relaxed state.

Kathryn's laden eyes fought against the soothing effect, she gently turned her head upward and stared into the beautiful ice blue eyes. "Have I told you how much I love you? Love being with you like this?"

"At least four times today, however I never tire of hearing it" the back of Sevens hand ran smoothly down the length of her classic face. Sevens ice blue eyes burned with intensity and profound love, her heart skipped a beat.

Kathryn ran her hand lovingly along the long muscular leg, the soft touch caused the gooseflesh to rise immediately. Kathryn chuckled lightly, a smug smile touched her relaxed features. It always amazed her how her touch could cause such an immediate response from the cool young woman.

"I wish we could stay this way forever" her hand continuing its quest.

"As do I, however tomorrow we must return to our duties. Kathryn?"

"Yes my love"

"I believe I have discovered the flaw in my calculations regarding the slipstream drive. I sent the new calculations to B'Elanna and she has applied the changes, the slipstream drive is working" Seven inhaled deeply, anticipating Kathryn's response.

Kathryn's eyes clouded before clearing again, a million questions flowing quickly through her mind. "When?" an edge of fear coating her voice.

Seven detected the subtle change in tone "The day after our wedding, are you not pleased?"

Kathryn swallowed deeply before responding, her mind quickly assessed the ramifications of Sevens discovery. "No, I'm pleased" Her voice attempted to disguise her concerns.

"But you are concerned?" Seven seeing through her deception, detecting the slight stiffing of Kathryns form beneath her.

"Yes I am. I'm concerned for you" her breath increased, a sudden chill stealing into her heart.

"How so?" Sevens innocence unable to grasp the full ramifications of her discovery.

"Because it only bring us closer to the Alpha quadrant, earlier that what I anticipated and I'm concerned for you"

"I see, I...did not think of that" Sevens smooth features tightened, her face grew pensive. "I was only thinking of the others"

"I'm well aware of that darling, that's why I love you so much. You never think of yourself first regardless of the danger it can hold for you"

"I don't have to install it...However..." Seven stopped speaking her eyes closing.

"Continue" Kathryn prodded gently already aware of what her response would be.

"However, it would be wrong for us to deny the crew the right to return to their families, regardless of what it would mean too me" her voice tight with pain.

Kathryn closed her eyes, her right hand automatically rubbing them, the dull ache forming. She was unable to dislodge the lump in her throat. The truth behind Sevens words struck her harshly the cost of the discovery too high a price for her to pay.

"You're right" her voice cracked and she cleared her throat before she continued. "But I wish you would have told me before you gave B'Elanna the calculations. Now I can't control the outcome of the discovery, every crewmember will already know about it."

"Would you have stopped us from applying the changes?"

"I can't honestly answer that, it's quite possible I might have, I'm not sure. If we were not so close to home I would never have hesitated. However, the fact is we are only nine months away from our rendezvous with the Enterprise. We will not be so alone out here anymore. In two and a half years we'll reach earth, it would have been a smaller price to pay to have waited a while longer."

"If you were not in love with me would you have waited?"

"That isn't fair of you to ask of me" her body tensed slightly.

"My intention is not to hurt you with my words. But you must answer my question truthfully it is very important too me"

Kathryn breathed deeply, her eyes remained closed as she felt her heart sink. "All right, no, I wouldn't have waited"

Seven let out a long sigh of relief "Then my decision was correct. You are the most important thing in my existence. If I had allowed you to do this then I would have caused great harm to the being that you are. I love you for what you are and part of what you are is being a captain. In order to love you, I must accept all the things that make you what you are. Part of that is being a great leader and your heart has always placed the concerns of your crew before all else. To disallow that would be to demean and change a part of you that makes you a great individual. I would never be able to continue to exist if I was responsible for extinguishing that part of you. You must have faith in me that what I did was the right thing for both of us. I have you and I do not fear what lies ahead for me because I know that you are with me"

A silent tear rolled down Kathryn's cheek, her mind unable to deny the truth spoken, her voice trembled slightly. "Annika, as long as I live I will never know how it was that I was so fortunate to find you. To be loved by you has been the greatest accomplishment of my life. I know that what you say is the truth, but it doesn't mean that I have to like it. Please don't ever deny me the right to want to protect you"

"I am not trying to deny you that right Kathryn, I am simply redirecting it to find another solution. I have faith in you, faith in us, faith that we will find another solution. One that will not deny the crew the right to have what we have found with each other"

Kathryn snorted "Who's the teacher now I wonder? Whatever made me think I could teach you how to embrace your humanity? In truth, it appears you are now the teacher and I your humble student" Kathryn turned her body and hugged Seven tightly until she felt all of her anxieties relinquish their hold on her.

"We have taught each other Kathryn and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives" they kissed deeply and rising entered the bedroom and took their time in discovering the wealth of love and respect, allowing it to set the pace.


The next morning the entire senior staff was assembled in the conference room, Kathryn called a meeting to bring every one up to speed on the recent slipstream resolution. She waited patiently as B'Elanna, the last to arrive, settled into her chair, her eyes gleamed with a definitive fire as they looked at Seven.

"Well, let's begin. Seven and B'Elanna have resolved the shield integrity problem on the slipstream drive" Kathryn allowed a moment for the words to settle.

Tuvok raised his eyebrow aware of the clandestine tests B'Elanna was performing in holodeck 2 "Will we be adapting Voyager with the slipstream technology?"

"I want Seven and B'Elanna to run further test before I make that decision. Judging from the results I'll make my decision then" her eye's carefully scanned her staffs, reading the various emotions flashing through them.

"How is that possible?" Chakotays eyes blank and unreadable.

Kathryn stared at him intently before responding, in an effort to dispel her previous observations she punted the question to Seven, paying close attention to Chakotays physical responses.

"Seven is the best to answer that" Kathryn dipped her head to Seven and indicated for her to respond.

Kathryn immediately noted the stiffing of Chakotays shoulders, his vision turned downward not wanting to look at Seven, his jaw clenched and his nostrils flared slightly. If she had any doubts before they were quickly dispelled now.

"I found the previous flaws in my calculations. I have found that if we invert the polarity stream to our shields. It will allow us to glide along the wormhole. There will be no damage to Voyager since the proton ionic of the wormhole will repel us"

"Like hanging a ten" Tom Paris responded with enthusiastic gleam. Seven merely raised her eyebrow quizzically "Ensign?"

"Hanging a ten, surfing a big wave" he ignored B'Elanna and Seven as they both rolled their eyes at him. "It's like surfboarding, the force of the wave against the board allows you to glide through the tube"

"If you say so Ensign Paris" Sevens tone inflected obvious distaste at his childish description regarding a complex scientific solution. B'Elanna snorted loudly in disgust.

Kathryn covered her mouth and stifled a laugh. The evident childish but simplistic explanation offered by her helmsmen, obviously annoyed her Chief Engineer and her wife to no avail.

"I must admit Tom that is a different way of putting it, however it is a correct a statement" Kathryn cringed slightly as her spouse glared disapprovingly.

B'Elanna couldn't contain her dismay any longer "Honestly Tom you could ruin a wet dream" the metaphor going over Seven's head though she nodded her head in agreement.

Tom looked wounded "What do you mean?"

Kathryn raised her arm and stopped B'Elanna before she could continue her assault any further.

"The point is I'll be informing Starfleet of our findings. I don't want any of this leaving this room until we know for sure. There are still some further tests to run before we know if it will work. Harry I want you to work with Seven and B'Elanna on this. Seven you're in charge I want a full report at the end of each day"

"Understood Captain" Kathryn smiled at Sevens evident surprise. B'Elanna snorted at the audible groan that escaped Harry Kim. Harry painfully remembered the last time Seven was put in charge on the Omega directive project. She forced them all to work as a Borg hive, and gave everyone a Borg designation. Seven called him Six of Ten, until she demoted him to Two of Ten for not working efficiently.

"Very well then, Dismissed" everyone rose and exited, Tuvok remained behind to speak further with Kathryn.

"Tuvok" Kathryn walked along side of him in the direction of her ready room.

"Captain, if I may have a word with you" his hands clasped behind his back as he walked.

"By all means, in my ready room" Tuvok proceeded to follow her into her ready room the door hissed closed behind them.


The Vulcan took a moment to before proceeding "Captain about the slipstream drive, have you given it some thought as to what this would mean for Seven?"

Kathryn's eyes grew sullen "Tuvok, I haven't been able to think of anything else. It certainly changes the dynamics of everything"

"Yet you have chosen to move in this direction?" the Vulcan impressed by Janeways logical reasoning though she was emotional involved.

"I have no choice Tuvok, as much as this is very difficult for me on a personal level. I simply can't allow it to cloud my judgment as to what is best for the rest of the crew"

"And Seven is in agreement of this decision?"

Kathryn chuckled loudly "Not only is she in agreement with it, the truth of the matter is it was her decision. She gave B'Elanna the new calculations and asked her to test them before telling me. Though on a personal level I'm not in agreement with her method, I must admit as a Captain having to face a decision, which has a significant impact on both of our lives, I feel relieved somewhat. In the end she took the burden of the decision from me, it appears I had no choice but to comply"

"I see" the Vulcan's admiration for the young woman growing. "She has made a logical decision, Captain."

"I can't argue that Tuvok, it still doesn't make it any easier for me, not as her wife."

"Have you come up with an alternative plan Captain?"

"No, I can't say that I have. Seven only told me of this last night, but believe me I'm thinking of one. That's why I've ordered further test, I'd like to give myself an opportunity to come up with an alternative. The delay would only take a week, and then we will have to install the new technology. According to B'Elanna that will take at least two months, I should have something by then"

"There can be a certain advantage to this."

"How so?"

"It is possible to have the accident occur while testing the Slipstream drive. This way Sevens death can still be staged."

"I've thought of that, but I can't see a way of getting around B'Elanna discovering our plan. I can't drag her into this, she may have enough problems of her own as a former Marquis."

"It was my understanding Starfleet exonerated all former Marquis members of any charges. In fact they have already shown an interest in recruiting them into service for their war against the Dominion."

"That maybe so, however their initial interest in Seven was as a scientist, I assure you it's a lot different now. Perhaps being stranded here alone in the Delta quadrant has left me somewhat jaded somewhat. I just cannot find a way to trust Starfleet any longer, a lot has changed since we left my old friend. It's not the same Starfleet we are returning home too, I can't help but feel that we're working on different agendas. I never thought I would feel this way, Starfleet has been my way of life since as long as I can remember. It hasn't been easy for me to accept this, still I will not let anything happen to Seven. I care too much for her to allow it; she has become my touchstone Tuvok. Her presence has added balance to my life and I'll do everything under my power to protect her, including defying Starfleet."

"Perhaps it will not have to come to that. However we should not discount that an accident can be staged without Lt. Torres being involved."

"Have you ever known B'Elanna not to know of everything that goes on around here? God, if she wasn't such a brilliant engineer she would make a superb chief of security" Kathryn shaking her head and smiling.

"You have a point Captain, she is if anything resourceful when it comes to idle gossip. However I still believe we can easily devise a plan without her knowledge. There is another matter Captain, something that I must bring to your attention. It is about Commander Chakotay" Kathryn leveled her eyes to his questionably.

"Go on" her eyes searching Tuvoks.

"I have noticed the Commander has not been himself for quite sometime" Tuvok paused the subject a delicate matter pertaining to the commander.

Tuvok well aware Kathryn was cognizant of his initial distrust of the former Marquis member. Though Tuvok gained a larger trust in Chakotay over the last five years, he was chief of security and it was his duty to inform the captain of any indiscretion committed by a crewmember.

"I'm listening" she offered tentatively.

"My investigations have proven Commander Chakotay violated the secure file from Starfleet intentionally. I am sorry Captain, but it was not caused by an error on his part."

"Are you sure about this Tuvok? Chakotay is one of my most trusted officers, I can't just level accusations without definitive proof" The uneasy edge settled in the pit of her stomach, the hair rose on the back of her neck.

"I assure you Captain I am not mistaken. The Commanders terminal indicated his search was limited specifically to this particular file. It also indicates he attempted to access the file six times before he had success in breaking the code. If I might add Captain, his excuse that he accessed the file by accident during his illness is merely that, an excuse. I need not remind you of the complexity to enter the correct codes in order to open a sealed file. I am sorry Captain" Tuvok noticed the crestfallen look on Kathryns face as the reality of Chakotays actions settled in.

"Very well, that only leaves one question, Why?"

"I am not certain as to why, however I have taken note of his recent behavior towards Seven. It has come to my attention his feelings towards Seven appear to be hostile. However, he has made it a point to conceal them. It is my opinion that you are already aware of that fact."

Kathryn swallowed deeply, her own suspicions confirmed. "I have noticed something, but at first I thought it had something to do with his acceptance of my relationship with Seven. My intentions were to speak with him of it today, but in light of what you have just told me, I think I will hold off on that. It's occurred to me I noticed the change in him after Seven was attacked by the holoprogram?"

"A program that was designed by the Commander. It is logical to assume that he may have had something to do with the attack."

"I think we're reaching a bit too much here. Chakotay lacks the necessary skills to do something like that. It took Seven, B'Elanna and Harry eighteen hours to find the problem. I don't need to remind you Chakotay doesn't hold a candle to either of them when it comes to engineering and programming."

"Perhaps it is possible the commander is not quite himself."

"Explain" Kathryn aware Tuvok was on to something.

"It is possible he has been infected with a virus."

"A virus Tuvok" the doctor would have detected a virus, if you recall I sent Chakotay to sickbay that day"

"I believe the doctor may not have been aware of what to look for. It is possible the Commanders mental faculties have been compromised."

"Are you saying Chakotay is losing his mind? Even I find that hard to believe, his performance would have been affected by now. I would have noticed something like that."

"Perhaps you were not looking hard enough. I have noticed that the commander has had a complete change of personality. He no longer pursues any of his former interest and he has taken to secluding himself to his quarters. He refuses to engage in any recreational activity and has been involved in several-unprovoked outburst. If one adds all of these elements together the conclusion is quite clear."

Kathryn rubbed her forehead roughly, the pain formed behind her eyes, her jaw clenched slightly. "I still find this hard to believe. Chakotay is one of the most well balanced individuals I have ever met. Why didn't you come to me sooner with these suspicions."

"Because I was not certain of all of the facts. It was during your recent absence that I was able to validate my suspicions."

"And what was it that convinced you?"

"I have been monitoring his recent communiqués. I was successful in breaking the encryption this morning. They are addressed to Admiral Picard and Admiral Hayes" Tuvok slid the datapad to Kathryn and allowed her the moment to absorb the information.

"He can't be serious?" Kathryn's face blanched as she read the accusations, to her logical mind they appeared to be the ramblings of a mad man.

"I assure you he is, the Commander is under the belief that Seven is with child. A child she conceived during her encounter with the Alpha-Omega entity. It is his opinion the child will bring about the destruction of the Alpha quadrant."

"Starfleet can't possibly believe these reports. My God, they're the ramblings of a mad man, and I can assure you Seven is not pregnant, without the doctor assisting us it's simply impossible. Furthermore we haven't even discussed starting a family."

"Nonetheless Starfleet has taken an interest in this matter and are anxiously awaiting the results of her next physical."

"Well than that would be perfect, Seven is due to report to the doctor later today. I am sure once the doctor determines she is without child it will put an end to this entire matter. However, that still leaves us with Chakotay and how to deal with him. My God Tuvok, what has happened to us? How could Chakotay have become so lost without me seeing it?"

"Captain it would be inappropriate for you to assume blame for the commanders problems. There was no way you could have determined he would lose control of his mental faculties."

"There had to have been some indication, something I missed, I can't accept Chakotay would suddenly go over the deep end like this. We may have had our disagreements in the past, but Chakotay has been a fine first officer. He's proven himself to me on more than one occasion, he's more than just a senior officer he's my friend."

"There is no question as to his abilities as a first officer, Kathryn, however we can not overlook the fact that he is not the same person. I would like to remind you that his psychosis poses a threat to both Seven and Voyager. You have no other choice but to relieve the commander from duty."

Kathryn exhaled deeply and with a pained resignation conceded to Tuvok. "As always Tuvok you're correct, where is the commander now?"

"He is currently in engineering."

"Very well, I'll notify the doctor to examine Chakotay. Based on his recommendations I'll make my decision then as to whether he should be removed from duty or not"

"Aye Captain, if I may make another suggestion?" Tuvok uncomfortable with broaching the next topic

Kathryn looked up from her terminal the tension creased her classic features, the weight of guilt evident in her eyes "By all means."

"It would be inappropriate to house the Commander in his quarters, I recommend that he be confined to the brig. The Commanders quarters are located directly next to yours, I am concerned for both your safety and Sevens."

"That is not acceptable, I won't have him jailed like a common criminal. Chakotay may be mentally unfit but he has not posed a threat to anyone. I won't do it Tuvok don't ask me too" Kathryns eyes turned a steel gray, her anger flaring lightly.

"Then if I can recommend that he be confined to sickbay. I can have a security team posted at all times."

Kathryn rubbed her temple with her right hand; the ache throbbed violently and blinded her "I'll make sure to inform the doctor. However, I want to make myself perfectly clear in this matter. Chakotay is not to be treated like a criminal, he's ill and he needs our help I won't turn my back on him now."

"Understood Captain" Tuvok bowed his head gracefully.

"Dismissed" Kathryn snapped a little harsher than she intended, Tuvok turned and left the room the doors hissed closed behind him.

Kathryn remained seated her head pounded and threatened to explode. The task before her left a bitter taste in her mouth. Her heart heavy and her mind laden with the guilt. Chakotay was a close and trusted friend to see him go through this tore at her. She inwardly berated herself for not taking notice of it sooner. Going over in her mind the subtle nuances she disregarded as jealousy, when all along their true nature was an indication of the troubles he was suffering.

The fact that she passed the last week in total bliss while Chakotay silently suffered made the situation worst. Her mind quickly processed the damage she caused, for not addressing the situation sooner. If she would have addressed the issue immediately, she may have detected his anger stemmed from something deeper than her relationship with Seven. She chastised herself for her own arrogance and vanity in assuming Chakotays actions were a result of his jealousy towards Seven.

Turning the conn over to Tuvok she exited her ready room and headed towards sickbay. She wanted to speak with the doctor discretely regarding Chakotays illness. She exited the turbolift and headed down the corridor to sickbay, her mind spinning with the task on hand. Upon entering sickbay, she found Seven sitting on the biobed; the doctor attempted to calm her down. Seven was distraught as tears stained her delicate features.

In a choked voice Kathryn overheard Seven speak "There must be some mistake this is not possible" her voice laced with anger as she began to sob softly.

Concerned Kathryn immediately crossed into the room her eyes a dark gray "Seven, Doctor is something wrong?" Kathryn moved closer to Seven and held her hand. The young women lowered her face, her eyes unable to meet Kathryns.

"Captain, I was just going to summon you. There is a delicate matter we need to discuss" the doctor engaged a privacy shield around the biobed.

Kathryn swallowed deeply her evident concern reflected in her eyes "What is it?"

"Well I.." the doctor unsure of how to continue paused "I've just finished my weekly examination and it appears.. Well it appears."

Kathryn lost her patience and took immediate control "It appears what Doctor?" her voice low.

"It appears that Seven is with child" the doctor flinched as he saw the hint of anger flash through Janeways eyes.

She passed her hand across her mouth; her jaw flexed as she ground her teeth. She took a long moment to breathe in deeply, then slowly expelled her breath, her eyes closed as she regained control.

"I'd like a moment alone with Seven if you don't mind doctor" her voice bland and flat.

The doctor lowered his eyes and responded quickly. "Perhaps you would prefer to discuss this in my office Captain. There is more privacy there and you can summon me when you're finished."

"Thank you Doctor that's very kind of you" Kathryn face was blank and unreadable "Seven" she gestured with her hand for the young woman to follow. Seven rose and wiped her tear stained face; she breathed in deeply and tried to compose herself.

Chakotays message to Starfleet reverberated through Kathryn's mind as she walked towards the doctor's office. Her inner thoughts tortured her relentlessly "How that hell can she be with child," the thought of betrayal flashed quickly before she discarded it completely.

The events of the past week quickly processed through her mind as she attempted to determine an explanation. Her fear rose to a higher level as she suddenly realized the imminent danger Seven was now in. "If Starfleet becomes aware of this, there is no telling what they might do" her inner voice warned her.

There was little doubt in Kathryns mind of Sevens fidelity, if she was with child there was a perfect scientific explanation for it. One that she was determined to discover and put an end to Chakotays anxieties. In the process it may serve to alleviate, Starfleets concerns as well.

Somewhat it may be a blessing after all; it would prevent Starfleet from attempting to harm Seven. Once it was known she was with child, Starfleet would have to reevaluate their plans for Seven. As she quickly assessed the situation in her sharp mind, a new plan formed one that could be quite feasible.

As they entered the office Kathryn turned, her heart broke as she took notice of Sevens distraught features. Her delicate smooth face contorted with grief, her ice blue eyes conveyed the pain in her heart. She quickly crossed the room and enfolded her in her arms. Her hands ran smooth strokes along the length of her back. Sevens shoulders convulsed violently as the agony of the pain consumed her.

"Shhh, my love, you have to have faith in me, everything will be all right I promise" Kathryns voice soft and soothing, she pulled slightly away from Seven and cradled her chin delicately in her hand, locking onto Sevens eyes. Reassuring her with their warmth.

Sevens lower lip quivered. The tears ran their course down her cheeks, as she read and took comfort in the vibrant blue eyes staring back at her. "You are not displeased with me?" her voice timid and faltering.

"Is there any reason I should be?" Kathryn caressed her face and wiped the tear stained cheeks.

"I have not betrayed you Kathryn, I could never" her voice taking strength from Kathryns love.

"I never implied that you did, I know you could never betray me, have you so little faith in me?" Kathryn searched Sevens eyes for her answer.

"It's not that I do not have faith in you" her voice began to break "It is... what the..." a soft sob escaped "It is what the situation implies."

Kathryn nodded her head in acknowledgement the implications easily misconstrued.

"It's simply a matter of perception Seven. Granted a more jaded individual can easily misconstrue what has occurred. Then I'm not easily jaded when it comes to you. I have faith in you, faith in what we have. I know you could never deceive me and I'm sure there's a perfect explanation for all of this."

"But I can not explain how this has occurred, I do not know how or who has fathered this child."

"It doesn't matter, not to me anyway and it isn't just this child. It is our child one that will be a part of our lives. I have to tell you Annika for some reason I suspect it is my child. I cannot explain how or why I know this, I just do. In retrospect I suspect it may have something to do with our encounter with Michael, it is quite possible he has a hand in this somehow. I never told you this before, but just before you were injured, Michael showed me the same vision you had. The one were you were holding a child in your arms. At the time, I was unable to comprehend the true nature of the vision. My own arrogance clouded my judgement and I perceived the child to be yours and Tom's, which is why I kept pushing you away. At the time I believed your destiny was with Tom and not me, if it wasn't for Tuvok I never would have realized my grave mistake. I have no doubt in my mind that the child you are bearing is mine. What I don't know is why or how. Perhaps we should focus less as to how it happened and accept it for what it is."

Sevens features relaxed as Kathryns words settled into her heart and warmed her soul. Swept away by the tender soul of the person she has come to love more than life itself.

"I love you Kathryn" the only words she could come up with in response, her mind unable to form the appropriate words to express the depth of her love for the incredible being in front of her.

Kathryn's face softened, able to detect the deeper emotions building in Seven. Adoring her more as she noted the inability the young woman suffered, in finding the right words to express her feelings. She reached out to her, held her in her arms, for once grateful she became stranded in the Delta quadrant, and found her true existence.

"And I love you, now I want you to compose yourself we need to speak to the doctor. I need you to be strong and accept what I am going to ask of him, without passing any judgement. Do you think you can do that for me?"

Seven nodded her head "Yes Kathryn, I will comply" Kathryn smiled and gently touched her lips to Seven a chaste kiss to reassure the beautiful creature.

"Good" Kathryn waited as Seven gathered herself and attempted to be more presentable. Upon composing herself Kathryn summoned the EMH, who was standing outside of the office."

"Doctor, if you can join us."

"Certainly Captain" the doctor's mood lightened as he detected the peaceful resolution between the two women.

"I want you to run further test on Seven, I think you're going to find the child is mine. I want a full genetic testing on the fetus, please ensure you include testing for any presence of the Omega signature. Doctor I need you to keep this off the record and quite for the time being, particularly in your report to Starfleet."

"I understand Captain, Is there any reason why you wish to test for the Omega signature?"

"I don't know how to explain this doctor, call it intuition, but somehow I believe Michael had something to do with this. I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with the child."

"Yes well given the powers he demonstrated it is quite possible. I will make sure to run a thorough testing. Captain should the test prove the child bares the Omega signature. May I ask what Seven and you intend to do?"

"Love it of course, after all it will be our child" Seven blinked her eyes, her love for Kathryn growing in leaps and bounds.

"I see Captain. Captain if I may speak frankly" the doctors admiration evident in his response

"Go right ahead Doctor."

"Well, I cannot tell you what an honor and pleasure it's been to serve with you" Kathryn blushed slightly, the doctors response catching her off guard.

"Why thank you Doctor, it's been and honor and pleasure serving with you. I never once regretted allowing you to expand your program. You've been a great doctor and a good friend to all of us."

The doctor swallowed deeply, his eyes stinging slightly "Thank you Captain, your words mean a lot to me. Well if that will be all I can begin my testing right away."

"Doctor, there is one other thing it pertains to Commander Chakotay" Kathryn sighed deeply. Sevens raised her eyebrow quizzically.

"The commander? Is there something wrong Captain?"

"Yes, I believe there is."

Kathryn proceeded to explain the commander's behavior along with his recent communications to Starfleet. The doctor and Seven became visibly concerned over the recent turn of events. The doctor agreed to examine the commander and run extensive neurological and physiological procedures. Then meet with the Captain and after discussing, the findings reach an accord as to how to proceed with the commander.

Kathryn ensured that Chakotay would be treated with the up most respect, in the event anything was found. Her implied threat, letting the doctor know he was not to cross the line with Chakotay. After reassuring herself that Seven agreed, she exited sickbay. The doctor agreed to notify her the moment he concluded his examination of Seven.

Kathryn would then order Chakotay to report to sickbay for a full physical. The doctor after concluding his test would meet with her and Tuvok to discuss the result and agree as to the next course of action.

After he completed the test on Seven the doctor-contacted Janeway, the three agreed to discuss the test results. Seven returned to duty as Kathryn summoned Chakotay and ordered him to report to sickbay.

The doctor spent over four hours examining Chakotay, the last two hours spent on reviewing the test results from his cat scans. Chakotay grew weary of the long examination, his temper flying on more than one occasion. The doctor was forced to tranquilize him, as he conducted more elaborate test on Chakotays brainwave patterns. He pursed his lips in distaste and contacted the captain immediately.

Kathryn sat in her ready room she completed the approval of the doctors physical on Seven, his report omitted Sevens pregnancy. Janeway sealed the file with her approval and forwarded it to Starfleet. Secretly pleased that there was hope for her plan after all.

"The doctor to Captain Janeway."

"Janeway here Doctor, go ahead."

"Captain, I've completed the exams on Commander Chakotay you may want to come down here."

"On my way Doctor" Kathryn stood and entered the bridge, her features focused and determined. Her steps cut and precise as she crossed the span of the bridge, she snapped crisply "Tuvok you're with me, Mr. Paris you have the conn. We'll be in sickbay if you need us."

"Aye Captain" Tom snapped back.

They entered the turbolift; Kathryn waited for the doors to close before proceeding. "The Doctor has examined Chakotay, I believe he found something"

"I see."

"There's something else Tuvok, it's about Seven, it appears the Commander is not as insane as we may have thought" Kathryn hesitated slightly. Tuvok interjected in an effort to relieve her burden.

"Am I correct in assuming Seven of Nine is with child?"

Kathryn nodded her head her eyes a dark blue, the flicker of gray more apparent "It appears that she is"

"Have you discovered who has fathered the child" Tuvoks question not meant to insult and demean Kathryn.

"Yes we have, it appears I'm the father" she raised her hand, before he could continue the doors to the turbolift opened. "We'll continue this conversation later. I'll know more when Seven and I can speak with the doctor in-depth."

"I see, as you wish Captain" Tuvoks logical mind digested the information Janeway provided. He quickly arrived to a conclusion of his own and pondered what kind of effect; it would have on two women, so soon in their relationship.


They both entered sickbay and noticed the prone figure of Chakotay on the biobed. The soft hums and beep of the computer tracking his life signs.

"Captain, Tuvok" the doctor acknowledged them both "As you can see I had to sedate him. I'm afraid he became rather violent and I had no choice in the matter."

'That's quite all right doctor, I understand, so tell me what is his status?" Janeway immediately cut to the chase.

'Well, it appears that Tuvoks suspicions were correct. The commander is simply not himself, I ran several diagnostic exams against his brainwave patterns" the doctor tapped a key into a terminal the top half of the screen displayed a red wave.

"This is the brainwave pattern of the commanders last test. As you can see, there is only one pattern present. This was taken a year ago during his last physical. I conducted the same test again today."

The doctor tapped several more commands into his terminal before continuing. A second set of patterns appeared on the lower part of the screen. Tuvok flexed his eyebrow, while Janeway stared at the terminal screen intensely, her brow creasing.

The doctor continued as he pointed to the various patterns in the split screen.

"As you can both see, there are multiple brainwave patterns along with the commanders. I performed the test several times and each time a new pattern appeared. From my last count he has over twelve distinct patterns, this lower one here is the real commanders pattern."

"What does this all mean?" Kathryn unable to remove her eyes from the terminal

"What it means, is that there are twelve other life forms present, in the Commander neurological synapses."

"Are the life forms viral in nature, doctor?" Tuvoks stated flatly.

"No, believe me, I've run every test possible, the life forms are not organic"

"Can they be random burst of energy?" Kathryn turned to look at the doctor her arms folded in front of her.

"Well that is a more correct statement, as you well know, the human brain functions with electrical pulses. Though these patterns are electrical energy in composition, they are far from being random. If you will notice, I have run several hours of test, though new patterns appeared, their waveforms remained consistent. In other words, new personalities emerged, while the old ones remained. Each one has it's own distinct pattern"

"How is this possible and where does the Commander fit in all of this?"

"That's a good question Captain, as far as I can tell, the commanders own brain wave has sustained some damage. It appears his personality is struggling to gain control. However, each time he attempts too, the other wave patterns seem to converge and suppress his personality. By rearranging the electrical pulses to his neurological network, they in effect gain control. As to how it happened or who these life forms are I still don't have those answers."

"Intriguing, doctor, perhaps if I form a mind link with the commander, we may be able to determine who these other life forms are"

"I don't recommend that, the commander may not be able to survive a link. It's quite possible, it may cause irreversible brain damage to the commander instead, not to mention what it may do to you."

"'Very well doctor, what do you recommend?" Kathryn allowed the concern etched in her face.

"As for a cure, for the moment, I am at a lost. However, it does appear he sustains less damage, when he is sedated. We may be able to prevent the commander from sustaining more damage, if we induce him into a catatonic state. It will give me the time that I need to look for a way around this."

Kathryn felt the immediate ache form between her shoulder blades, the stress building in rapid proportions. "Is there no other way?" Kathryn was already aware of the answer, but in respect to her friend, she asked nonetheless.

"At this time I see no other solution, I'm sorry Captain."

Kathryn breathed in deeply "Very well then, do what you must, but I want everything you can possibly do to find a solution to this doctor. I want this to be your top priority."

"Understood Captain, and Captain?"

"Yes Doctor?"

"I'm Sorry" Kathryn closed her eyes and nodded, then abruptly turned and exited sickbay Tuvok followed closely, as the two walked side by side down the corridor.

"It appears that your suspicions were correct, Tuvok" Kathryn spoke in a low voice, the knot in the back of her shoulder throbbing with intensity.

"It does not comfort me in knowing that, Captain. I have come to respect the commander."

"Somehow I can't help feeling this is all connected in some way. Chakotay knew of Seven, before any of us did, I really hate not knowing what's going on. I can't help but feel that we're nothing but pawns in game we have no control over."

"The night of our wedding after." Kathryn paused, her cheeks blushing slightly "After we were intimate" she proceeded hesitantly "I couldn't help but notice a purple nebula passing by. The entire room was washed in its glow, I know that somehow that had something to do with all of this, if you recall, the Alpha-Omega being appeared in a nebula"

"Are you suspecting that the Alpha-Omega being is involved in this?"

"Either him or his angels yes. The question is how does Chakotay tie into all of this?" Kathryn reached behind her back and rubbed the knot, she rolled her shoulders in an attempt to remove its presence.

"It is a possibility, that the commander has not entered this on his own fruition" Tuvok pondered her words, the thought intriguing to say the least.

"Are you saying that Michael dragged him into this against his will?"

"Not Michael Captain, Lucifer, you can not ignore the fact that he was also present"

Kathryn stopped walking and looked up at Tuvok, the Vulcan took a step backward to stand in front of her.

"Now why didn't I think of that?" her features smoothed as she quickly processed Tuvoks statement.

"Perhaps because you are too emotionally involved. I believe your focus on Seven being in danger has prevented you, from seeing the entire picture. If you will recall, the Alpha-Omega being warned you, Lucifer was aware of Sevens existence. It is logical to assume he is involved in this somehow. What I can not understand, is the relevance of Seven and you."

Kathryn's features glowed, the sudden realization striking her full force "It's not about Seven or me, it's about our child."

"Captain?" Tuvoks raised his eyebrow in a quizzical response

"It's our child, Tuvok, that's what the Alpha-Omega was speaking of. He told me I held the key to save thousands of civilizations, that I had to help Seven solve the mystery. At first, I thought it had something to do with a scientific discovery on Sevens part. However, I am wrong, it is not science. Our child is the key. That's why Lucifer has infected Chakotay. He wants Chakotay to kill our child. Now that we know who the enemy is how do we fight him?"

Tuvok absorbed Kathryn's words carefully and concluded there was certain, validity, to her logic. He Flexed his eyebrow upward and responded with the only thought that came to his mind. "Perhaps you should pray."

Kathryn looked at him disdainfully, at a loss to his Vulcan humor, for lack of a better description. She laughed heartily and grasped his forearm, as she ushered him towards the turbolift. "They say there's strength in numbers, perhaps you wouldn't mind joining me."

Tuvok looked at her quizzically "Indeed, perhaps I will Captain" the turbolift door opened and closed behind them as they headed to the bridge. Kathryn felt more at ease, as the dull ache of tension slowly ebbed from her body.

(Continued on part X)

Continue to Part 10