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Seven walked down the corridor in her usual confident stride, acknowledging various crewmembers as she passed. Icheb was waiting for her in the Cargo Bay and she was slightly late. He had been quite focused on his studies since he had informed her of his desires to join Starfleet. It was a quality she admired in him. As she suspected, he was studying quietly when she arrived at the Cargo Bay. "You're late," he said without glancing up from his data padd.

"I know. I was held up in Engineering."

"Quiz me on this," he said handing her his data padd. "I think I've absorbed the material." They spent the next several hours reviewing for his entrance exams. After about three hours Seven became acutely aware that it was time to eat. She put the padd down. "It is time to eat, she announced.

"In a minute," Icheb said.

"No, you must eat." She stood and stared at him until he reluctantly joined her.

The messhall was not quite as crowded as it usually was. It was the middle of the gamma shift and most of the crew was either asleep or on duty. Neelix, of course, was there. "What can I get the two of you?"

"Whatever was on the menu tonight would be acceptable," Seven replied.

"Two Leola Root casseroles coming up."

Seven turned her attention back to Icheb, "you are doing quite well absorbing the material for the exam. I have no doubt you will excel."

"Thank you, Seven."

"Here's your dinner," Neelix said placing two plates in front of them. Seven glanced at the meal and felt an unfamiliar churn in her stomach. "Is everything ok, Seven?" Neelix asked.

"Yes," she said slowly picking up a fork. As she brought the food closer to her mouth, her stomach turned again. Icheb and Neelix stared at her uncertainly. She tried to take a deep breath, but the sensation overwhelmed her and she fled to the galley. Neelix found her bent over the sink, retching. He went to her and put a comforting hand on her back, waiting for her to lift her head. "Let me take you to sickbay," he said.

"No," she began, "I'm merely tired. I think I will go regenerate."

"Are you sure?" he asked concerned.

"Yes, please see that Icheb eats before he returns to the Cargo Bay."

"Of course," he replied and she walked slowly from the mess hall.

Two weeks later:

"When you're finished calibrating the sensors, can you run a level two diagnosis on the warp core, Seven?" Belanna asked.

"I'm almost finished. I will begin the diagnosis shortly," she responded. She gathered her tools and carried them to the second level of engineering. As she bent to lift one of the access panels she felt the familiar wave of nausea hit her. She grabbed onto a nearby railing trying desperately to center herself. Her head was spinning and she felt dizzy. She didn't even remember hitting the floor.

Belanna saw her from the first level of engineering and flew up the steps, not even bothering to take the lift. "Seven, can you hear me?" She touched Seven's face and noticed immediately that it was clammy. "Emergency transport. Two to beam directly to sickbay."

The Doctor's program had been automatically activated when Belanna called for the emergency transport. He went to the bio-bed immediately with his tricorder. "What happened?"

"I'm not sure, she was running a diagnosis on the warp core and the next thing I saw she had fainted." Belanna watched as the Doctor continued his scans. As he passed his tricorder over her he glanced up at Belanna with a look of shock. "What is it?" she asked. He didn't respond, instead he grabbed another tricorder from his medical tray and scanned her again.

"Doctor, what did you find?"

He looked up at her, the disbelief evident on her face. "I'm sorry Belanna, but I have to ask you to leave sickbay." She nodded slightly and then turned to leave. When she was gone the Doctor grabbed a hypospray and woke Seven up. Her eyes fluttered and she pulled herself into a sitting position.

"What am I doing in sickbay," she asked frowning.

"You fainted in engineering. Belanna brought you in."

Seven looked around uncertainly, "what is my diagnosis?"

The Doctor cleared his throat, not quite sure what to say. "Seven, have you been feeling under the weather lately?"

"Under the weather?"

He smiled at her, "it means not quite yourself. Have you felt faint before today?"

"No."

"Any nausea or trouble regenerating?" She didn't respond. "Seven?"

She sighed reluctantly, "yes, I have experienced some nausea as of late. Have I contracted a viral infection?"

"No, Seven, you're pregnant."

She stared at him in shock, searching his eyes, looking for any sign that he was joking. "That is not possible."

"I'm sorry, Seven." He said his voice laced with sadness, "but the reading are quite clear." He handed her the tricorder so she could see for herself. She couldn't quite believe what she was seeing. "This cannot be."

"Had you informed me you were seeing someone, I could have given you the preventative injections. Many of the crew take them, it's nothing to be ashamed of."

Seven looked at him directly. "Doctor, I have not been engaging in sexual activities."

The Doctor's face was grim. "It is nothing to be ashamed of Seven. I just wish you had enough confidence in our friendship to inform me that you were involved with someone."

She got up from the bio-bed, "this is not possible. There must be a mistake."

"I scanned you twice, Seven. There's no mistake." He watched her pace around sickbay with growing concern. "Seven, who is the father? He should be here with you."

She turned to him and shouted, "there is no father. I have not. I've never." she was having trouble breathing.

"Calm down, Seven. Sit and I'll get you some water." He handed her the glass and let her take a few sips before continuing. Seven would have no reason to lie to him, perhaps she was telling the truth. "You've never, um. I mean are you telling me that you haven't had sexual." the Doctor was finding it impossible to finish the sentence.

"I can assure you that I have not," she finished for him.

"Then how."

"I do not know."

They stared at each other silently. "I think we better inform the Captain."

The Captain listened as the Doctor informed her of Seven's seemingly miraculous pregnancy. She watched Seven's face, but it was blank. "How far along is she?"

"Approximately 13 weeks."

"Have you run DNA scans to determine who the father is?"

"Yes, Captain, but the scans have proven inconclusive. Seven's rather unique physiology is preventing me from taking an accurate DNA scan. We may be able to determine more about the child's genetic make-up the farther Seven progresses, but there's no guarantee."

"If Seven was impregnated without her knowledge, we need to know that information soon. Keep working on it, Doctor." The Captain looked at him pointedly, "dismissed." Both Seven and the Doctor turned to leave, but the Captain called after her. "Seven, you stay, I want to talk to you." She motioned towards the couch in her office and Seven sat. "Seven, I'm only going to ask you this once, are you sure you don't know who the father is?"

Seven gritted her teeth, "I am sure."

"I'm sorry, Seven, but I had to ask." The Captain sighed. "I can't even begin to understand how you're feeling. But, I want you to know that I'll support whatever decision you make."

"Captain?"

"You have options, Seven. The pregnancy can be terminated." Seven remained quiet. She didn't know why, but the option had not occurred to her before now. She was uncertain how she felt about it. "This is something, you'll have to think about, Seven. Take your time and if you need someone to talk to, I'm here."

"Thank you, Captain."

In sickbay, the Doctor sat quietly at his desk replaying the last hours in his mind. When he had scanned Seven, he felt physically nauseous. He knew it wasn't possible, but there was no other way to describe the sensation. He couldn't believe his own eyes. In a word, he had felt betrayed. It was an irrational thought. She wasn't his; there was no reason to feel that way. She was a grown woman able to pursue any relationship she wanted. And then when it became apparent that she had not participated in her impregnation, he had felt infuriated. How dare someone take advantage of Seven? His Seven. No, she wasn't his. They were merely friends, but still he felt responsible for her. He was her best friend, practically her only friend. If he ever found out who had done this to her. He couldn't even finish the thought. Right now she would need him, he only hoped he could be there for her in the way she needed. When he heard the swish of the sickbay doors he looked up to see Seven walking toward him.

"Seven," he began, "you're back soon."

Seven wasted no time in getting to the reason she had come. "I wish to know how this happened."

The Doctor nodded understandingly, "I wish I could tell you for sure, but there are too many variables." He noted her face and took her gently by the arm. "Come into my office, we'll talk." She nodded and allowed him to lead her into the room. He offered her his chair and he leaned against his desk facing her. "I've been going over the ships sensors to try and determine where you were approximately three months ago. I've been able to determine that during that time period you had not left the ship. I can only conclude that the person who impregnated you is one of the crew."

She nodded slowly, "then he is still on the ship."

"Yes, I promise I'm doing everything I can to determine who it is, but it may not be possible until the baby is farther along."

"How did he?"

"Well, there is any number of ways to do it. The person may have injected you with their DNA while you were regenerating or you may have been." he trailed off unable to finish the sentence. "It is possible that they may have erased your short term memory of the event." The Doctor saw the anxious look on her face and felt helpless. He couldn't imagine how frightened and vulnerable she must be feeling now.

"The Captain informed me that I have the option of terminating the pregnancy." Seven stated matter-of-factly.

"Yes," the Doctor began slowly. "Seven, humans gave up the practice of terminating pregnancy centuries ago. The long-term psychological effects are great on the female. Most times the experience proved very traumatic. Of course, exceptions were made in cases of rape, and in this situation it would be your choice. Nothing needs to be decided today. You've received quite a shock, perhaps you should take some time to think about it."

She stood, "you are right Doctor, thank you."

He followed her as she walked to the door, "Seven." She turned to him and he wrapped his arms around her in a gentle hug. For a few seconds she held him tightly, but too soon she released him and left sickbay.

Seven didn't return to sickbay immediately. In fact it was almost three days before the Doctor saw her again. He had relieved her of all her duties until she felt ready to return to work. She had secluded herself in the Cargo Bay and the only person she would allow near her was Icheb. The Cargo Bay doors remained locked at all times and the Captain had given unofficial orders to the staff to give her space. She had, of course, been discreet. About a hundred times the Doctor started to leave sickbay, but stopped himself, realizing she needed to work this out for herself. Eventually she did come to sickbay, but it was only for a minute. She walked in, announced to the Doctor that she had decided to keep the baby and then she left.

The Doctor caught up with her later in the Cargo Bay. Icheb answered the door, "She does not wish to speak with anyone."

"I know Icheb, but I'd like to try." Icheb seemed reluctant, but he let him in. "Would you give us a minute?" the Doctor asked.

Icheb nodded and called to Seven, "I will return shortly."

The Doctor approached her slowly, "Seven, I thought you might like to talk to someone, but I'll leave if you're not ready."

She hesitated before speaking, "no, you're company is welcome." She opened her mouth to speak, but wasn't sure where to start. The Doctor remained silent, waiting for her to find the right words. "I could not accept the fact that one of the crew may have been responsible for my condition," she began. "I felt that there had to be another answer. It was a gut feeling," she finished using one of the Captain's phrases. "Icheb and I have determined that I was impregnated by the Borg."

"The Borg? How is that possible?" The Doctor asked in shock.

"It was during the time I returned to the collective briefly. They used a type of time-delayed device. Icheb and I have done some very specific scans on the baby, he is part Borg. We are not sure yet how dependent he will be on the implants. We will probably be able to remove the majority of them, but like Icheb and myself some control his major body functions, those will have to remain."

"Have you informed the Captain yet?"

"No, you are the first."

"Do you have any idea why the Borg would do this? The child may be dangerous."

"There is no way of knowing why the Borg chose to do this, there are many unknown factors, but I believe this child should be given the same chances Icheb and I have had. I can assure you I will take every precaution."

"I know you will, Seven. I only wish there was more I could do."

"Undoubtedly, this child will receive the same reaction from the crew that I received, probably more so. It is enough that you will accept him."

"You keep saying him," the Doctor smiled.

She returned his smile, "yes, it is a boy."