* * * * *
Annika, or Seven of Nine to most crewmembers on Voyager stepped out of her alcove. "Regeneration cycle complete." The computer's voice rang and then. "Good morning sleepyhead." In Harry's voice. She gave a small warm smile, she had programmed that shortly after they had begun there rather odd relationship. She ran over her plan for the day. Oh! how much it had changed in these past weeks. Now instead of going to the mess hall, consume nutrients, go to Astrometrics and then for some lessons with the Doctor, her schedule now included, Harry, of. "rse, lieutenant Torres, no Bea and of course there always her weekly game of velocity with the Captain. Somehow all these 'irrelevant' things had somehow made her life richer. Today there was one new item on her list, violin lessons. Something the Doctor had recommended and after she had heard various recordings of violin pieces: Vivaldi's Four Season, Giuseppe Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata, who was said to have sold his soul to the devil for is talents. Bach's concertos and Mozart's symphonies. She had begun to wonder what it would be like to be able play this instrument, or perhaps this interest in music was more of Harry's doing then the Doctor's. Many nights she had sat while he made magic on his clarinet. The thought of Harry made her smile, like it almost always did. Well there was time for that later, it was another day and another shift in Astrometrics. Everything in life seemed to be good for the moment.
* * * * *
Harry had entered the bridge, finding the usual staff there: Commander Chakotay manning the captain's chair, Tom at the helm, Tuvok manning tactical and the Captain most likely reading over the latest reports in her ready-room. All in all a normal day on Voyager and the made him feel strange, since when were things normal on Voyager. He mentally kick himself, getting paranoid wouldn't help anyone and went to work on his last scan of the shift. Well nothing new on scanners, that same class three comet, now barely detectable, a brown dwarf twenty light years away and closing fast and the same hydrogen as you would find in any other corner of the universe. Nothing new, well this was looking out to be a good day after all, but then the ship shook and the console started spewing smoke. Chakotay was on his feet barking order in zero seconds flat.
"Mr. Kim, what "
" the hell was that." Completed Captain Janeway as she burst out of her ready-room.
Harry pulled himself up, trying to get a straight reading from the console. A few well placed blows got it running again.
"We seemed to have hit some kind of tachyon/ionstorm, it came upon us real fast, the sensors didn't notice it until it hit. Blew out half our systems." He looked up. "Reports coming in: The warpcore is still on line, same for the holodecks, Astrometrics is off line, the cargo-bays are without power, as well as deck 15 up till deck 8, looks like we are in for some rewiring." He said with a grim look on his.
"Get teams on it and I mean now. Are there gelpacks intact?" The Captain asked. Harry looked at what few readings he was getting.
"Yes, most computer functions run through them, but the wiring in between is all shot to hell." The Captain thought for moment.
"Reroute vital system through the intact parts of the system." Harry worked furiously at the console or what was left function of it.
"Already on it Captain, but it wont hold forever." The Captain nodded.
"Understood Ensign." The Captain was pulled out of her thoughts by another report from Harry.
"Captain I'm getting more reports in from around the ship." The Captain nodded.
"Let's hear the Ensign." Harry cleared his throat.
"Half of the turbolifts are stuck, one seems to have trooped to the bottom, the occupants, Ensign Vorik and Ensign Sue Nicoletti are fine, but we can't get to them for at least two to three hours, one of the mess hall replicators malfunctioned and is spewing out pizza, with pepperoni, mushroom and extra cheese according to a crew member." This brought a chuckle to the bridge, well all except for Tuvok. Harry went on. "There seems to be no hurry in fixing it. The locking mechanism on Holodeck two seems to have short-circuited leaving Ann Seven of Nine, trapped inside with a program running, she has called in and said that there is no need for haste in rescuing her, the Doc is alright, he was in his emitter when the storm hit and the main internal channel is now playing something called: Star Wars: episode VII." This made Tom spin around in his seat.
"What are you waiting for turn it on?" This earned him a look from most of the bridge. He just flashed his trademark grin. "It's a classic, did you know that some said that it would never be made?" An uh-ho from Harry brought the attention back to him.
"You may want to but the main internal channel on the main screen, because the turbo lift that leads to the bridge is stuck, between decks. We're not going anywhere soon until power is restored to it." The Captain sat down in her chair.
"Ensign Paris, remain course. Ensign Kim, tell me if there is anything new and put the main internal channel on screen." This made everybody, except for Tuvok grin. "The starfield could use a break."
"Yes ma'am!" Came from Harry.
* * * * *
Sue Nicoletti, paced the small area that the elevator-cart offered, it had only been 15 minutes and she was already hating it, she hated being claustrophobic. 'Then why are you on a spaceship?' Her mind replied. Vorik sat cross-legged looking very calm on the floor of the cart.
"Calm yourself Ensign, we will be rescued when we'll be rescued, pacing wont help anything." She spun and look at him.
"How can you be so calm. We could run out of air, we could fall further down, we could " She was cut of by Vorik standing up dusting himself of.
"We will not run out of air, I've forced the door open so we get fresh air and we can't fall any further because I assure this is the bottom. Now are you satisfied." She looked at him even harder.
"No, why don't you open the door fully so we can get out, or to you like being is such close quarters with me." Vorik face shifted a bit, but quickly returned to it's usual stoic state.
"I assure Ensign, It gives me no pleasure being confined here with you and further more even if I could open the door further you wouldn't get out. Unless you can shift you body mass and make yourself, two and half inches thin." He finished in his stoic Vulcan voice.
She look at him in defeat. "So we're stuck here." Vorik nodded.
"It would appear so." He stated and sat down again, preparing to go into meditation again. It was true though, being in such close confines with Ensign Nicoletti was proofing most discomforting.
Sue leaned against the wall furthest away from Vorik as the small space would allow and let herself slide to the floor, of all the people she had to get stuck with, it had to be the object of some of her most wildest fantasies, she had in fact fantasized this setting many times before and now well as the Doctor would say the hormone level was approaching critical.
* * * * *
Annika stood in the courtyard of a music school in Vienna. She looked around and then down a the violin-case she was carrying. Was this such a good idea, learning to master this instrument took years. An old voice came into her mind. 'We are Borg!' She never thought she would be grateful for having that part of her, but right now, it wasn't so bad. She watched as two holographic students walked past her, the male looked and winked in her directing, earning him a smack from his female companion.
Annika walked up to the old building and swung open it's wooden doors. She walked the hallways looking for her classroom, she knew there was a crisis on the ship, but right now she didn't care, this was her time. She found her room, marked 709, ironic, she opened the doors and stepped in, there was large blackboard, a piano , shelves with books, chest figures of the greats, everything you would expect to find in a room like this.
"Welcome, you must be my new student?" Came a soft voice from the window. The figure turned around, revealing a young Asian woman, not much older then twenty, with long black hair.
"Are you to be my instructor?" Annika asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes." The young woman answered with a smile. "I'm Vanessa." She said and offered her hand. Annika took it.
"Sev Annika." She said as she shook it. The hologram couldn't help but notice the Borg exoskeleton on Annika's arm.
"Well I see you brought you violin." She said and pointed to the case at Annika's feet.
"Yes!" Annika answered a little unsure of what would follow next.
"Since you're a beginner we'll not start with that just yet." She motioned to two chairs.
When they had sat. Vanessa began asking Annika, question like, if she knew the scales and how to read notes. Annika did in fact know the scales, singing with the Doctor, although not the most pleasant experience, had taught her that. Vanessa laughed hard when Annika told her the story of her and the Doctors first duet.
"Primadonna?" She said, Annika couldn't help but to smile.
"You could say that." They both laughed a little more. Then Vanessa stood up.
"Shall we begin?" Annika stood up.
Vanessa started by showing Annika the basic grips, then it was unto Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The sounds were not the music of the heavens, but practice makes perfect and with the holodeck locked, there was nothing better to do. After they had practiced for a while Vanessa called for a break. She suggest they should go into the courtyard and have lunch. From seemingly out of nowhere she produced a picnic-basket.
Later they sat under one of the trees in the courtyard. Vanessa handed Annika red can. Annika looked at the hologram and raised an eyebrow. "Relax it is only Coke." She said and opened the can, Annika did the same and sipped this mysterious drink. Finding it quite pleasing, she opted to pass on analyzing it. Vanessa leaned back under the shade of the tree.
"So tell me a little bit about yourself Nika?" Vanessa asked.
"Why?" Asked Annika back.
"Because, you're my student, I want to learn a little about you. Is that to much to ask?"
"No it isn't." Annika answered. She then went into telling her story, from the time she arrived on Voyager, leaving out the Borg part, the hologram wouldn't understand. She told her about her friends, Bea and the Doctor and of course there was Harry.
"Do you love him?" Vanessa asked out of the blue.
"It's a relatively simple question do you love
him?" She repeated, emphasizing the last words.
Annika smiled. "I believe so, yes. It took me along time to realize it, but yes I love him." She lowered her voice.
"You know you are only the second person who I tell this." Vanessa smiled.
"I'm flattered, who is the other one?"
"Bea!" Vanessa smiled.
"The engineer with the temper." Annika smiled and nodded.
"Is there any other?" Both woman laughed slightly.
Vanessa stood up and dusted herself of.
"Well breaks over." This earned her and uncustomary sigh from Annika.
* * * * *
Sue was going nuts after only a half an hour. How could he
stay so calm? 'That's an easy one. He's Vulcan!" Her mind replied. She stood up and
moved over to where Vorik sat.
"Vorik." She said in a soft voice. "You awake?" Vorik's right eye cracked open.
"Yes Ensign I'm awake. What to you want?"
Sue sat down next to him.
Vorik raised the traditional Vulcan eyebrow.
"Talk!" Repeated Sue. "You go first, where were you born, how was your life before Voyager, what women do you have an eye for? That sort of thing." She finished with grin, this was fun, torturing a Vulcan.
Vorik drew a deep breath.
"Alright. I was born on Vulcan, where I spent my first twenty years learning to control my feelings, my teachers said I lacked control, then I went to the Academy where I graduated a year ahead of my class, then I came here. No I don't have an 'eye' out for any particular woman on board and I hope we'll get home before I go into Pon Farr again. There happy?" He finished in a tone that could only be described as not Vulcan.
"Wow! And you got all that out with out even breathing in between." Sue replied. Vorik bowed his head.
"I apologize Ensign, my emotions have a way of slipping from my grasp." He said as he looked around.
"Especially is such close quarters."
"I can see that! Must be lonely though, being the only one of two Vulcans on board?" She asked in a soft voice.
"No, not always, Ensign Paris and I have become quite good friends." She placed a hand on his.
"But that isn't enough, is it?" She asked.
"No. Ensign you know you really should'vot;Ien a counselor." He said. Sue smiled.
"Don't tell me, but you're changing the subject." Vorik looked down at their hands.
"Ensign." Sue placed a finger at his lips. "Sue." She said. Vorik began again.
"Sue, I must ask you to remove your hand." Sue looked up into his eyes.
"Why?" She asked in a innocent voice.
"Because Vulcans are, as you must know, touch telepaths and as you have seen I'm not in full control of my faculties " He gasped and closet his eyes. " right now." He finished
"What are you afraid of?" She asked as she began absent mindedly to rub the back of his hand, her mind was screaming out. 'Bad idea, real bad idea.'
"You don't want to see that side of me." He stated his voice showing sign of strain.
"Why wouldn't I want to see it Vorik?" She asked. 'Playing with fire here girl.' Her mind warned.
"Just because, because " His voice breaking.
"Because what, Vorik?" She asked, her curiosity mixed with raw desire. She never saw it coming. Before she knew it she lying on her back, hand splayed across her face.
"My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts." He said in a harsh voice, his eyes aflame.
Sue's mind was flooded with images, sounds, smells, his fantasies, his dreams, his memories, everything right down to the darkest most primitive part of his mind. In a strange way it excited her, all that rawy cesion, waiting to be released.
"Give in, these feelings are *gasp* perfectly normal." She whispered into his mind, she then felt a hesitate soft kiss, that quickly turned deeper as Vorik gave into his emotions. Acting like sponge, Sue took them in, every thought and every bottled up emotion. Taking it all, in and in return he took the loneliness away, two lonely souls coming together.
* * * * *
Harry leaned over his now almost useless console trying to get a better view of the main screen. Tom had gotten permission, to use the replicator in the ready-room to replicate popcorn and sodas. He wished he had a holo-cam with him, this was a moment you had to have a picture of to prove ever happened. Even Tuvok, had reluctantly excepted a bowl of popcorn. The console pleeped, damn and the movie was just getting exciting.
"Captain." He announced. "I've a update report from B'Elanna." The Captain looked away from the screen.
"Lets hear Mr. Kim."
"Repairs are going a little slower then planned. She says she'll be able to get us out in about an hour or so and the all turbolifts should become operational with in two. The Holodeck two is being unlocked as we speak. The replicator in the mess hall is still spewing out pizza, the Doctor reports the several severe cases of upset stomachs have come by sickbay and then there is the down turbolift time on that one is unknown." The Captain nodded.
"Very well Mr. Kim, so we have an hour to kill, how much time left on that movie Mr. Paris." Tom tapped his console.
"One hour and ten minuets Captain." The Captain turn her attention back to the screen.
"Alright then. How are you liking the movie Tuvok?" She called over her shoulder.
"Most interesting, the ways of the Force seem to have some similarities to that of Vulcan philosophies." He stated in a flat Vulcan voice. The Captain smiled.
* * * * *
Back on Holodeck two, Annika was finishing up her violin lesson for the day.
"So I'll see again next Wednesday?" Vanessa asked. Annika nodded.
"Yes." Vanessa gave a small smile.
"Good, now remember practice for at least an hour a
day." Annika nodded again.
"I will comply." At that the door to the holodeck opened, revealing a very pleased looked B'Elanna Torres.
"Nika, you alright?" She called out.
"I'm fine Bea, thank you." Annika replied. She looked back at Vanessa. "Well that's my cue!" Damn that Paris.
"I'll be right here." The hologram answered with a grin. Annika looked up and called out.
"Computer save and end program!" The classroom disappeared and along with it her teachers.
B'Elanna looked at her now friend.
"Violin lessons?" She asked in a voice the carried just a little too much humor.
"Yes. The Doctor felt it would be good for my lessons and I also found in quite enjoyable." B'Elanna looked at her friend again.
"Fine by me, but I know I'm staying far from Cargo Bay Two, or Harry's quarters for that reason."
That earned her one of Annika's looks, followed by laughter from both women. 'Poor Harry!' B'Elanna thought. She padded Annika on the shoulder.
"Come on! I could use your help, there is turbolift that fell and we are having a problem getting the occupants out. The transporters are still off line and I know what it's like being stuck in a Turbolift."
* * * * *
In the downed turbolift the two occupants where doing there best to keep busy. Vorik hand was still splayed over Sue's face, the other one gone of exploring, still kissing her and getting kissed back. Fiercely.
Sue's hands had come free and were now busy roaming under the back of Vorik's tunic.
Meanwhile in the teleported room, Annika was helping B'Elanna ripping out isoliener chips and rearranging them. All time keeping up irrelevant conversation with B'Elanna.
"So think you can beat Harry and Tom at the finals?" She asked.
"Hell yeah!" B'Elanna stated. "Well if I can get Vorik out alive." She then added.
"He's perfectly alright Bea, according to the scans there is plenty of oxygen in the cart, although it has degreased in the past hour." She looked up from the pile of chips, as did B'Elanna.
"You don't think?" She asked.
"There is only one way to find out." Answered Annika. "Computer which crewmember is trapped with Ensign Vorik in the downed turbolift?"
"Ensign Sue Nicoletti." Answered the computer. Both women couldn't help but to smile.
Meanwhile in the downed turbolift, Vorik roaming hand had found the string of Sue's uniform pants, when they both felt the tingle of a teleported surround them. They then found themselves lying on a biobed in a rather awkward position, in a thankfully empty sickbay. Quickly realizing the Doctor's presence they broke a part. The Doctor approached them with a knowing smile.
"A Ensigns, good to see you were able to keep yourselves occupied." Vorik stood up straight and this remark.
"Doctor you realize that you are bound by doctor/patient confidentiality."
"I am fully aware of it Ensign and what I've seen here will not leave my matrix." He gave the Vulcan a hard look. "There happy?"
Vorik nodded. "Yes may we leave now?" He asked his voice back to its normal calm self.
"Yes, by all means." The Doctor answered.
Vorik offered Sue his hand.
"Shall we go?
She excepted it and stood up.
"By all means."
When they were clear of the sickbay, both tried to speak at once.
"You first." He offered. Sue nodded.
"What happened today was probably the effect of lack of oxygen." She said a little to fast. Vorik nodded and added.
"That combined with your claustrophobia." Sue only nodded.
"I just hope that we can still, you know be friends." Vorik nodded.
"Surdenly." They came up on a intersection.
"Well here I break off." She said in a tone with a hint of sadness.
"Good night Ensign!" He said and Sue felt like something just died as she watched him leave.
"Good night Vorik." She whispered after him.
* * * * * *
Vorik stood before the Captain, wielding the so called, lightsaber, it's yellow blade glowing against her red.
"Kathryn, are you sure this is such a good idea?" He asked. She struck.
"Sure it is Tuvok, if we are going to run the Star Wars program I want to know how to handle this weapon correctly. Now fend yourself." She said as he poised for the strike, the beam of light collided and the battle was on.
* * * * *
Annika and Harry sat on the couch in Harry's quarters. Annika resting comfortable in his arms.
"So how was your day?" She asked.
"Well he began. I spent it stuck on the bridge, watching old earth movies and eating popcorn. How about you?" She smiled,
"Well I finished my shift in Astrometrics and then went for my first violin lesson on the Holodeck, my instructor although holographic is very talented, you would like here. Then when the holodeck was finally opened again I helped Bea beam Ensign Vorik and Nioccoleti out of a downed turbolift, turns out the oxygen simply was running out a little too fast." Harry's well versed in Annika's way of saying things immediately picked up on the joke and began laughing.
"So how did they take it when you 'rescued' them?" He asked laughing.
"I don't know, we beamed them to sickbay, so only the Doctor knows and he's not telling." She said with a smile.
"Well we could hack into his matrix." Harry suggested.
"It's a thought." Annika answered. "but right now." She reached up and whispered something into Harry's ear that made him smile wider and wider.
"I love you and your mind you know that don't you?" He said. She stood up.
"I know, now lets but that finely toned body of yours to some 'good' use." She said with a grin. Harry stood up and followed her to the bedroom, with a brief stop at the replicator.
* * * * *
Vorik sat alone in the darkness of his quarters, finding no peace in his mediation. He stood up and blew out his lamp, leaving his quarters to wander the ship. He soon found himself standing outside Sue's, no Ensign Niccoleti's quarters.
Sue couldn't sleep, she just tossed and turned, Her mind not letting her be, telling her that she was a coward. She stood up put her robe on and headed for the door.
When Vorik was about to ring the door it opened before him, both startled.
Sue looked at the Vulcan.
"How long have you been standing outside my door?" She asked.
"Fourteen minutes and twenty five seconds!" He replied without thinking.
She was about to say something when he raised his hand.
"Sue I am Vulcan, which means I'm not effect by the lack of oxygen like humans." Sue was going to say something, but was stopped again.
"Further more: I checked the sensor readings there was nothing wrong with the level of oxygen in the cart."
She stepped back.
"Come in Vorik, I think we need to talk." She stated.
"Indeed." He said in very Vulcan tone of voice.
Once inside he felt fingers on his face.
"Sue what are you " He was cut by the feel of her mind.
"Shhh!" She said. "This is the only way to explain it to you." She began the mantra of melding their minds.
"My mind to your mind "
"My thoughts to your thoughts." Vorik completed.
They repeated it together and soon, their minds had merged as one, eliminating the need for words.
Next: Annika IV: Next Steps
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