A BORG DAY'S NIGHT

By Joseph Anderson
jander5988@aol.com

Star Trek: Voyager and its characters belong to Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended with this fan fiction, which may not be sold, may be copied for personal use only, and must include all notices of copyright.

This story contains some violence and implied sexual activity.

This story is a sequel to One of the Collective and Drinking Game.


Part 1

Harry Kim looked distressed. His friend Tom Paris looked at him, trying to think what it could be. He had sensed something on the bridge though it hadn't affected his performance at all, of course. Now they were in Tom's quarters eating the food they had picked up in the mess hall. How could the captain let Neelix be the cook. Tom couldn't understand it. He'd yet to eat anything prepared by Neelix he would designate as other than glop or swill.

"Okay Harry, what's on your mind? You wanna talk?" Tom said.

The look of relief was almost comical on Harry's face. "God Tom! Remember last week in Sandrine's when B'Elanna and Seven of Nine got in that stupid contest?"

Tom grinned. "I sure do. I wish I had a holo recording of it. That was fantastic. Those two tough women going at it---wonderful! What about it, Harry?"

"Tom, I haven't been able to think of anything else. And especially Seven of Nine. She was just so...so..." he gave up in distress.

Part of Tom saw the humor of this, but he was acutely aware of Harry's feelings. He was the most sensitive person he'd ever known. And Tom CERTAINLY understood Harry's infatuation. "Harry, I know. It was exciting in a lot of ways, in a lot of ways we aren't supposed to like.." Harry groaned. "But Harry, it's perfectly normal. If you're attracted to Seven of Nine there's nothing wrong with that." He wryly said, "I wouldn't get my hopes up, mind you, but the feeling is normal. She's smart and tough, she saved all our lives from the V'dians that time, and she was taken by the Borg anyway--she didn't choose it. So liking her is perfectly okay, Harry."

"I was afraid you'd laugh at me, Tom." Harry Kim said, shyly.

Tom Paris shook his head. "Harry, there's nothing wrong with liking someone."

"Okay, Tom."

Paris couldn't advise him beyond that. He had no idea how the Borg's mind worked. She had seemed surprisingly human when she and B'Elanna were playing mindgames in Sandrine's, but her destruction of the V'dians had a ruthless efficiency to it that was far more machinelike than human. The humanity she had seemed to exhibit with B'Elanna could have been feigned, learned from records as she strove to adapt to her new surroundings. Something else occurred to Tom Paris, too. If Seven of Nine really was like she had seemed in Sandrine's, she was too much for Harry Kim to handle. The Borg had practically taken B'Elanna's lunch money. Tom had been thinking of her himself.

"I know that look, Tom. You like her, too."

Taken by surprise, Tom Paris started to deny it but then just grinned. "That black rubber suit fits her awfully well, I must admit."

***********************************************************************************************************

Seven of Nine was in her quarters evaluating her day's performance in Engineering. B'Elanna Torres, the chief engineer, treated her strangely now, as if she was hesitant to speak to her. That was unacceptable if Seven of Nine were to function efficiently; she would attempt to remedy the situation. She considered Harry Kim. He too was acting strangely but in a different way. She could tell he watched her when it was unnecessary for his ship functioning as she understood his duties, and he also appeared to even be following her at times. There were several possible explanations for his behavior, she deduced from her study. Perhaps watching her was a function assigned to him--that would be understandable as the Borg were enemies of the Federation. He may be planning to murder her or rob her; both frequently accompanied by watching and following she had also learned. Or he may wish to copulate with her since he was male and she was female. She would need to learn which of these courses Harry Kim was following and then act accordingly.

B'Elanna had just emerged from showering when she heard her door chime. "Who is it?" she asked as she wrapped a towel around herself.

"Seven of Nine."

"Come in." The door slid open and the Borg walked in and looked at her. B'Elanna was learning to read her a little better, she thought, and the slight movement around her organic eye was how Seven of Nine showed surprise.

"You are no longer in your shell."

The engineer smiled slightly and said "My clothes? I had to remove them in order to clean both them and my body. What do you want, Seven of Nine?" The Borg seemed really taken aback by the idea of her removing her shell. The half-Klingon remembered that the Borg's shell was self cleaning and removed perspiration and any other waste products. Probably the only time a Borg was out of it's shell was when the shell was damaged. Something occurred to her: for the shell to operate correctly it might need to be on a Borg vessel. No Borg was ever intended to be alone amid non-Borg.

"B'Elanna Torres, you are not communicating with me as you should when I am on duty. This is unacceptable if I am to serve this collective."

The engineer was embarrassed. Seven of Nine had her again; she knew she was right. What? she wasn't going to do her job because Seven of Nine had successfully stood up to her? "You're right, Seven of Nine. I've been self-conscious because of what happened on the holodeck. I will amend my communications with you."

"That is sufficient," the Borg answered.

B'Elanna said, "Will your shell be able to function indefinitely on this vessel?"

"No. It already is less than optimum."

"Can you modify it to function better on Voyager. I will help you with the modifications if you wish."

Seven of Nine answered, "I would need to remove portions of it but I cannot without assistance. I accept your offer." With her prosthetic limb she touched her shell under her chin, and B'Elanna saw an electric current begin burning through the material quickly.

"Now?!" the engineer said. Obviously it was too late to stop now. She was like a ship with a hull breach.

Seven of Nine paused, "Wasn't that what you suggested?"

B'Elanna said, "Well, not exactly, but why not? no time like the present." The Borg continued burning down the front of her shell to the V between her legs.

She took the detachable handpiece off and handed it to B'Elanna. "Press this to activate the current. Continue from where I ended; I cannot reach it, and continue up the back of my shell." This was a lot more personal than B'Elanna had anticipated. Seven of Nine meanwhile was peeling her shell off the front of her torso. B'Elanna gave up trying to keep the towel on and let it drop. She got under Seven of Nine who had spread her legs and was cutting through between them as if she were using an old-fashioned aceytlene torch. She was about halfway up the cleft between Seven of Nine's buttocks and the Borg's upper body in front was naked, when B'Elanna's door chimed and just opened and Harry excitedly walked in followed by Tom who grabbed his arm.

"B'Elanna, I need to..." Harry started to say, as Tom was saying, "Harry, you can't just walk into B'Elanna's....uh excuse us, ladies."

Harry's mouth was hanging open. B'Elanna was naked and squatting under the Borg whose legs were wide apart, with her hands and face in her buttocks. Seven of Nine was half naked with her rubberlike suit open and revealing her from her white breasts down to her hairless pubic region.

"Harry Kim, do your duties now include watching me? Have you been following me with the intention of robbing or murdering me, or is it that you wish to copulate with me?"

"Get the hell out of here!" B'Elanna yelled at them, with the towel awkwardly held in front of her. Tom pulled Harry out the door and it closed.

Seven of Nine looked at her. "You did not allow Harry Kim to answer my questions."

B'Elanna was shaking she was so mad at her friends; Tom more than Harry even though he had been trying to stop Harry. Paris had just so obviously enjoyed the scene he'd walked in on. Harry looked like he might have a heart attack or something. She looked up at Seven of Nine. She had to finish this. She dropped her towel and started burning between her cheeks again. She said, "Harry doesn't want to murder you. He has a crush on you. It's been really obvious."

"A crush?"

"He wants to copulate with you, though with Harry Kim that wouldn't come up for a long time. He'd want to bring you flowers and everything, for months probably."

"I do not understand. Why would I want flora?"

"Study earth courtship rituals. That is, if you're interested. If you want me to tell him you're not interested I will. Though how I'm going to look at him after this I don't know."

Seven of Nine asked, "What has occurred that would impair your vision of Harry Kim."

The naked half-Klingon shook her head smiling wryly. "Harry and Tom saw both of us without our shells. In human culture being seen without covering is often a prelude to copulation. This was an accident but it still has sexual resonance because of human males' intense reaction to visual stimuli. That carries over into other areas. Since they have seen something they shouldn't have, it means they've got something on us now. Me anyway. It only works if you let it. I'm guessing nudity doesn't mean anything to you. Your shell is like your skin so Borg are naked all the time anyway. But, in human culture, and Klingon now that I think of it, female nakedness is a commodity. It's like they own us a little now. And the way WE looked; Oh, God!"

"I do not understand," Seven of Nine said.

"Human males often fantasize about more than one female together. It is a sexual icon. And we just gave it to them."

"You enjoyed it even though it angered you," Seven of Nine said, just as B'Elanna finally reached the base of her neck.

"How can you be so smart one minute and so naive the next?" She handed Seven of Nine's hand piece back to her, and after reattaching it the Borg began burning down her right leg.

"I do not know," the Borg answered.

"Fair enough," B'Elanna replied.

Seven of Nine said, "When I modify my shell I wish to make it simpler to take on and off."

*************************************************************************************************************

"Captain, something has happened with Mr. Kim and Mr. Paris, though I am at a loss to explain it. They are acting most peculiarly," Tuvok was speaking to the captain who had just gotten a meal tray from Neelix. The Vulcan also took a tray. Captain Janeway looked at the slimy pile of whatever it was. How could she let Neelix cook? she thought. Oh well. He was so excitable that if she reassigned him he'd probably make the ship miserable for months with his hurt feelings. What he prepared was healthy, she knew. She just would characterize it as glop or swill.

"Well, Mr. Tuvok, I noticed that, too. But as long as they perform their duties it isn't any of our business. They are young human males and that is an emotionally intense time. Any number of things could be happening. Unless it impairs their performance on Voyager, don't worry about it."

The Vulcan looked at her. "You feel I have been inappropriate in my concern, Captain?"

Janeway smiled at him. "No, Mr. Tuvok. But I do not feel you should question them or pursue this further unless it affects their jobs."

"Captain..."

"You didn't, did you?"

"I spoke to them both and demanded to know what was at issue with them."

"And?" Captain Janeway imagined how she would feel if, when she was their age, Tuvok just demanded personal information that was none of his business.

"Well, Mr. Kim seemed extremely agitated while Mr. Paris appeared angry. He wished to strike me, I believe, Captain. Mr. Kim did not respond and Mr. Paris said I should consult with you, as I just did."

"Oh, Tuvok..." the captain said resignedly.

"Yes?"

"Nothing."

**********************************************************************************************************************

Tom Paris knew Tuvok could clean his clock if it ever came to that--Vulcans were much stronger than humans and Tuvok was a trained Starfleet officer. Paris sure felt like trying it though. The captain would set him straight, he knew. Being criticized by her would be worse for the Vulcan than any beating could ever be, anyway. Harry was who he was worried about. Instead of just being angry he was all upset about not answering a superior officer's questions. He was afraid he'd be thrown in the brig. Tom seethed. He'd sure like to pop Tuvok one. His door chimed.

"Enter," Tom said and stood up as Tuvok entered. Tom's fists clenched.

"Mr. Paris, I followed your suggestion and consulted with Captain Janeway. I wish to apologize to you. Since I am supervising humans I should better understand their psychology."

Tom Paris looked at him. Adestbing a failure like that was probably close to living hell for a Vulcan. "It's all right, sir. I understand you were doing what you saw as your duty." This was great! "Perhaps I can advise you so you may be more efficient in the performance of your duties." The Vulcans eyes flickered. Tom decided to twist the knife. "Perhaps you would like me to make up a list of your shortcomings and I could attempt to help you correct them." Tuvok's hands clenched into fists.

"That will not be necessary, Mr. Paris. Thank you for the offer. I need to speak to Mr. Kim now." He turned and left. Tom grinned.

Harry was relieved though still upset. Tuvok had just come and actually apologized to him. The Vulcan had seemed stiffer than usual. Harry was just glad he wasn't going to the brig. He could swear there was gratitude in the senior officer's eyes that Harry simply accepted his apology. The young man didn't understand it.

****************************************************************************************************************

B'Elanna was sitting alone at a table eating Neelix's swill of the day when she saw Tom and Harry come in. She looked down as they came over.

"Can we sit down, B'Elanna?" Harry said. She looked at him. He looked like a puppy that had been beaten or something. Tom on the other hand seemed perfectly normal.

"Sure, go ahead," she said curtly.

Harry blurted out, "I'm sorry! I just wanted to talk to you and, I don't know, I wasn't thinking! I'm sorry!"

B'Elanna set her fork down. "It's okay, Harry. Just don't ever do that again." She looked at Tom. "Well?"

Tom raised his eyebrows. "I'm sorry I embarrassed you. It was an accident though."

She didn't know what she expected. He had just been trying to keep Harry from bursting in on her. He was the one who bothered her though. Harry was more like a pet or little brother or something. It was a little embarrassing but so what if he saw her naked? Tom Paris was another story. What could she do? "Yeah=meskay. In case you two are interested, I'm helping Seven of Nine modify her shell. She needs to do that since she's not on a Borg vessel."

"She's lucky to have gal pal like you, B'Elanna," Tom said with a smile.

"Don't push it, Paris. Anyway, what was so important you wanted to talk to me about, Harry?" she said. His face got red. "Well?"

"I was going to ask you if you thought Seven of Nine liked me?" He couldn't look at her.

She couldn't help smiling. Tom was sitting back, trying to keep his face as blank as possible. Smart of him. "Well, Harry. After what happened we talked a little. She hasn't thought of you that way. I mean, she's a Borg, Harry. But she didn't definitely say she was against the idea either, and I asked her. She's still just learning to deal with us."

Tom spoke up. "So she seems like she really is human? She thinks like we do?"

She'd looked at him, ready to shoot him down if he made wisecrack, but that was a good question. "She seems to. If she was feigning she could just parrot how humans talk. You know, plug a stock response in. But she seems to be trying to understand how to get by as good as she can." She paused. "I think she misses being linked to the collective. It's a loneliness we probably can't even fathom." Tom nodded.

"So what should I do, B'Elanna?" Harry said pathetically.

"Give her flowers, Harry. I told her to study human courtship rituals. Aside from that, I don't know. You have to understand, Harry. She knew you were watching her but didn't understand why. Now that she knows you don't want to kill her you've already taken the first step. You both could do a lot worse."

"Thanks, B'Elanna!" Harry said, got up and left. Tom remained.

"Yes?" the half-Klingon said.

"She'll eat Harry for breakfast."

She sighed. "Sometimes opposites attract, you know that. With those two, it would just be the reverse of the old human stereotypes. You like her yourself, don't you."

"Not as much as I like you."

"You're thinkingat€ut Seven of Nine, me and you together right now, aren't you?"

"B'Elanna how can you ask that? Of course not. But...um..what do you think of that? because, well..."

"Tom, shut up."

*********************************************************************************************************

The door to her quarters chimed. Seven of Nine had been standing in front of a wall since she had gotten off duty. She approached the doorway and said, "Enter."

Harry Kim came in. He could see her shell looked slightly different, though he wasn't sure exactly how. He was holding a bouquet of flowers. "Seven of Nine, I'm sorry about the other day when I walked in on you and B'Elanna. I brought you these."

"Your face is red. Are suffering a medical illness of some sort, Harry Kim."

"What? Oh no, no. I'm just...embarrassed, I guess." He set the flowers down on her table and was going to leave when she spoke.

"Wait, Harry Kim." She walked over to the bouquet and picked it up with her organic hand. She brought them to her face and smelled them and suddenly sneezed. "I am malfunctioning, Harry Kim."

"You just sneezed is all. Maybe your allergic to one of the flowers or something."

She paused, "Allergies. I see. Sneezing is not a sign of imminent system failure."

Harry smiled, "Not usually, Seven of Nine."

"Thank you for the courtship token, Harry Kim," the Borg said calmly.

"You're welcome. I was afraid you wouldn't like them, or like me giving them to you."

The Borg looked at him and stepped closer to him. "You may kiss me, if you wish." Harry looked stunned. Then he smiled and lightly kissed her cheek. She looked again at him, reached her organic hand out and drew his head back in, their lips meeting. Harry felt her tongue go into his mouth. His heart was beating quickly. He reached his arms around her. They ended their kiss. He smiled at her emotionless face and kissed her again, this time with his tongue probing. When this kiss ended Seven of Nine stepped back from him, and spoke. "Thank you for the flowers, Harry Kim. Tomorrow you may bring me a small piece of jewelry and we will proceed to second base." She opened her quarters doorway again and gave him a slight push out into the corridor. The door closed in his face.

**********************************************************************************************************

"Are you okay, Harry? You look exhausted," B'Elanna said to him as she joined him at his table.

"Oh. Hi, B'Elanna."

"I haven't seen much of you lately. You just holing up in your quarters or something?"

"Uh, yeah, kind of." There were circles under his eyes. Maybe he had insomnia. There were things for that, but lots of people including herself never used them unless some doctor forced them on them.

"So, did you ever give Seven of Nine flowers, Harry?" She said as she began eating Neelix's food. Today was glop not swill.

"Um, yeah, I did. Thanks for the advice. She liked them."

B'Elanna set her fork down and smiled. "That's where you've been, with Seven of Nine." She thought Harry would blush but he just nodded tiredly. He was probably sleepless worrying about what was going to happen. "Have you worked up to holding her hand yet?" she said. Like she'd told Seven of Nine, Harry would be slow about progressing to the next step.

He smiled wanly at her. "Actually holding hands is something I've never done with her. That's a good idea, though. I'll run it by her."

B'Elanna looked up and saw Tom and Seven of Nine come in the mess room. They came over to them. The Borg looked at B'Elanna. "Thank you for the advice you gave Harry Kim and I. It was most useful."

"You're welcome, Seven of Nine."

The Borg spoke to Harry. "Your friend, Tom Paris, has recommended an Arturian manual since we have exhausted the Kama Sutra. I have been studying it and if I make some further modifications to my shell, I should have the necessary inputs in 2 earth days."

"That's great, Seven of Nine. Tom's a pal," Harry said. Now B'Elanna's mouth was hanging open. "I've gotta get some sleep before that though. We discussed that before, Seven of Nine."

"Of course, Harry Kim. Without Borg enhancements you do not have the stamina of a Borg male. However, you are sweet and that makes up for it." She stood, "Remember to procure a nice piece of jewelry for me before we copulate again." She left.

B'Elanna was looking at Harry. She wanted him to be embarrassed but he wasn't. He just looked tired and he seemed to have a jaded quality she would never have thought him capable of. "Harry, is this what you want?"

He smiled at her. "Yes it is, B'Elanna. It's not something I looked for but now that I've got it, I couldn't do without it." He stood up. "I'll see you later. I've gotta get some sleep." He left. The engineer glared at Tom Paris. He at least looked uncomfortable.

"Is this your doing?"

"Hey," he answered, "you're the one who told him to give her flowers. Seven of Nine took it from there. She came to me for reading recommendations is all."

"Harry looks awful," B'Elanna said accusingly.

Tom said, "Nah, he's just tired. You ever gotten to the last chapter of the Kama Sutra? Well, me neither but Harry has now. He's making up for lost time. He's done things I've never come close to."

"And you think that's good?"

"Sure, why not? Anyway, you were the matchmaker not me."

"Tom, you're not doing stuff with them are you?"

"God, B'Elanna, of course not. Harry's a man!"

"Not like me and Seven of Nine, right?"

"That's right."

"You're a pig, Tom."

******************************************************************************************************************

Part 2

"Talk to me, Commander," Captain Janeway said as she came on the bridge and Chakotay relinquished the command chair.

"We received distress calls on a primitive radio bandwidth similar to used on 20th century Earth. It wasn't far off of our course so I investigated without a sheing you. This is what we found." They were looking at a planet that closely resembled Earth in the water and land mass ratio.

"And?" the Captain said.

"It is a class-M planet with extensive cities, agricultural and industrial development, and once held a population of several billion humanoids. However, it is now lifeless."

"Do we know how that happened, Commander?" She was keeping her voice level.

"Yes, Captain. We have discovered trace signatures throughout the planet's atmosphere of weapons similar to our photon torpedoes and Romulan disrupters." Chakotay was trying to keep his face calm and professional the same as the captain. This was the worst thing either of them had ever seen.

"Were they destroyed from orbit?"

Tuvok answered, "Not entirely, Captain. I have been able to access information services throughout the planet. I can show you examples if you desire. There is no apparent danger to the ship at present."

"All right, Mr. Tuvok. We will adjourn to the Ready Room. Mr. Paris, you have the bridge."

"Aye, Captain."

They were watching news reports from around the planet. They couldn't understand the language but it spoke for itself. They watched the small attack vessels strafing the city streets, followed by the ground troops of the spiderlike creatures. They frequently ate their smaller prey alive, biting the heads off of the children. The attackers were also partial to nailing them to walls.

"Captain," Tuvok said. "They were well capable of destroying the planet without ever landing. This would appear to have been more entertainment for them." His voice was calm as they watched two of the aliens each grab a woman by a leg and tear her in half, as her children tried to run but suddenly burst into flames as another of the large aliens lowered a weapon.

"Are we absolutely sure there are no survivors? Nowhere on the planet, Tuvok?"

"No, Captain. Doubtless there were survivors from the attacks, but the invaders also blanketed the planet in neurotoxins which have not yet dissipated and will not for several more months."

"After they had their fun!" Chakotay said, angrily.

"Could they have been defending themselves in some way, Tuvok? or thought they were?"

"This planet had not yet developed primitive space flight. From our perspective it would be hard to see how they could have posed a threat. Species almost always see themselves as justified, of course."

"Of course, Tuvok. Thank you. Well, we should get back to the bridge. If the ship is in no danger and there are no survivors, we will resume our course."

*******************************************************************************************************************

"Captain, approaching vessels at warp 9," Paris said.

"Shields up."

Tuvok spoke. "Captain. They are the same vessels which destroyed the planet we saw four days ago."

"Red alert," she said. There was something in her voice which made everyone on the bridge look at her. "Have Seven of Nine report to the bridge."

"She doesn't respond," Chakotay said.

Harry Kim spoke up, "She may be in my quarters. Her com badge sometimes doesn't work. Her own technology interferes with it."

They all looked at him and Chakotay said a moment later, "She is on her way." Moments later Seven of Nine came onto the bridge, her skintight black shell contrasting with her pale face.

"Take the helm, Seven of Nine, and link to the ship the way you did when the V'dians attacked the vessel; however, do not take full control until I tell you."

Tom Paris surrendered his chair to the Borg. He had a small smile on his face. He had seen those newscasts from the planet surface. The approaching vessels, six large ships of unknown design, had stopped.

"Open a channel," the captain said. "This is the Federation Starship Voyager. State your business with this vessel."

After a moment a spider seemed to appear on the screen. It took a moment for the translator to decipher its language. "More animals for our pleasure."

Captain Janeway said coldly, "Leave the path of this vessel or we shall defend ourselves."

"They are powering up weapons, Captain," Tuvok said.

"You have the ship, Seven of Nine." Janeway said.

The Borg opened a channel. "Prepare to die. Resistance is futile."

The alien reappeared on the screen, looking panicked they thought, "What is a Borg...." but before it could finish it seemed to start shaking and its head cracked open as something like electricity played over its body. Janeway and Chakotay looked at Tuvok who was studying his console. "Very resourceful," he said. Voyager went into a spinning maneuver and came up under the opposing ships firing photon torpedoes into four of them simultaneously, then veering off into another spin, but hitting the ships with phasers at the same time. Paris looked at Chakotay. It was incredible.

The ship was rocked by hits, followed a moment later by Seven of Nine hitting the three attacking vessels in their weapons ports with phaser blasts. The ports exploded a moment later and the bridge crew could see the spiderlike bodies sucked out into space. Four of the ships seemed to have lost their shields and two of them their navigation. Seven of Nine sent photon torpedoes into all four crippled vessels and they went dark with many more spiders sucked into space. Chakotay looked at the captain whose face was cold. The two remaining, vessels, heavily damaged, went into warp to escape and the Voyager followed them. They received another hail from a spiderlike creature which seemed to be missing several limbs, but before it could speak it shook and cracked open as the earlier alien had. The ship slowed down, involuntarily they all suspected, and the Voyager passed it closely, tearing the vessel apart in its wake. There seemed to be thousands of the spider bodies floating in space now. There was only the one vessel now, trying to escape Seven of Nine.

Tuvok made a surprised sound as he stared at his console. "Captaiher s regards ruthlessness..."

Janeway spoke, "I take full responsibility for Seven of Nine's actions."

"But Captain..." Tuvok started to say.

"Was there something unclear about what the captain said, Mr. Tuvok?" Chakotay said.

"No, Commander."

They watched what looked like a probe launch and strike the fleeing vessel, though there was no obvious effect. Then Voyager dropped out of warp, made a looping curve to reverse direction and went back into warp. Captain Janeway was curious, but since she and Chakotay had just torn Tuvok a new one for questioning Seven of Nine, she was not going to say anything. They dropped out of warp again and saw the wreckage of the four vessels. There were many small shuttle craft and what she assumed were life pods, most of them clustered in one area. The Voyager headed that direction.

"Captain, I must..." Tuvok said.

"You are relieved, Mr. Tuvok. Take his post, Mr. Paris."

"Aye, Captain." A muscle fluttered in the Vulcan's cheek as he stepped back and Tom Paris replaced him at his console.

They all watched the screens as the cluster of small vessels got closer and closer then were no longer visible as the starship bodily ran them down. Seven of Nine was aware of the distress calls and cries for mercy coming in but she had muted it for the rest of the bridge. Voyager made another looping curve and the entire crew watched as small vessel after small vessel disappeared in the Voyager's phaser fire.

"What was in the probe?" Captain Janeway finally said. If they ever made it home she would be court martialed for this, most likely. She'd do it again.

"May I speak, Captain?" Tuvok said.

"All right. You may resume your post, Mr. Tuvok; as may you, Mr. Paris." The Borg stood up and the captain said, "You have served your collective well, Seven of Nine. I am proud to have you in my crew." The Borg nodded at her and went to the turbolift without a word. "Why don't you go with her, Mr. Kim. Commander Chakotay, get Ensign Rodriguez up here to take his post. You can watch it in the meantime."

"Thank you, Captain." Harry followed her to the turbolift which she was holding open. They all saw how they took each other's hand.

"Now, Mr. Tuvok. Tell me about that probe." She turned to look at him.

The Vulcan, who had never been so humiliated in his long life, spoke. "While she was conducting the battle Seven of Nine was simultaneously analyzing all of the information from the planet which was destroyed. You remember the neurotoxins I said the planet had been covered in?"

"Yes."

"Well, with information she gained about their physiology during their transmissions, Seven of Nine was able to formulate a variant of the neurotoxin which will be specific to our opponents. That was what was in the probe she launched."

"So she poisoned the ship. Why not just destroy it?" Chakotay said.

"No, Commander. It will not release until the ship docks. And there is enough for a medium size planet. Seven of Nine included several different timed explosive devices to make containment of the neurotoxin difficult. That was what I was trying to tell you about, Captain."

Chakotay looked at Captain Janeway. This was a war crime. Her face was cold, however. "Thank you for your explanation, Mr. Tuvok. And, Mr. Tuvok."

"Yes, Captain?"

"Don't ever question my orders like that again or you will be permanently relieved of duty. Is that clear?"

"Yes, Captain."

The End

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