Just to prove that I'm not just the Colonel!
Seven of Nine helps form a band and discovers Rock and Roll. Harry Kim thinks he is on a good thing?...
Voyager and characters in this story are copyright of Paramount. No resemblance is intended to any person alive or dead.
The storyline is my own.
Constructive criticism and comments are welcome on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
This story is rated G
I hope you regenerated well, Seven? Captain Janeway greeted her blonde ex-Borg cordially from where she sat behind her desk.
Seven regarded the Captain cautiously. In her experience she was never summoned to the Captains Ready Room just for the Captain to enquire how well she had slept. Her chin was jutting as it did when she was ticking of members of the crew for infractions. There was another motive.
My regeneration completed successfully, Captain. I am operating at 99.78% percent efficiency. The purpose for your summons? Seven challenged, keeping her tone calm but raising the infamous questioning eyebrow at the Captain.
the Captain accepted the answer as being as honest as ever. The beauty of her Borg upbringing, she was incapable of lying. Because there is a Power Relay or two I'd like you to inspect for me.
For once Seven of Nine felt a tinge of nervousness. Their location? She demanded.
I think Deck 11 section 12 for a start, the Captain said quietly. It blew out yesterday, apparently, after you inspected it and claimed it was performing satisfactorily. It injured two crewmen.
Seven of Nine flushed visibly, but said nothing, as she realised she realised the enormity of the error she had made in not carrying out a close inspection.
That relay provides over half of the crew quarters on that deck, the Captain continued remorselessly. Chakotay and Neelix were up over half the night pacifying them while you slept.
The suggestion was clear, the Captain believed it to be Seven of Nines error.
The relay was performing within specification, Seven of Nine rallied. There must have been another factor.
Well you had better find it then?
Seven of Nine turned with a flounce and headed for the door.
And Seven. Be efficient! The Captain called after her.
Seven of Nines heart almost stopped at the dry comment. It was not a phrase or intonation she had heard since she had been abducted by the Borg. It was so out of place here.
Thirty minutes later Seven of Nine examined her tricorder readings after having taken a very close examination of the relay. If it had been overloaded before, there was no sign of it now. Slightly baffled she examined the computer logs from the console in the corridor. The peak she noted had occurred at 23:00 hours, a time when most of the crew were asleep or on duty. Curious she traced the records back a little further. There had been a similar peak the day before, and two days before that. But nothing more for a week. A pattern, she decided.
She took that little bit of information back to Astrometrics with her and spent the afternoon going through power distribution logs. There the pattern was extended, curiously she matched the readings with deck eleven and other decks. A similar pattern came to light on deck ten amongst the crew quarters, but out of phase, peaking when deck eleven was low. It had never been picked up because the deck was supplied by heavier power conduits.
Computer, identify crewmen off-duty with quarters on deck 11 section 12 at 23:00, Seven of Nine demanded.
Crewman Carlile, Crewman Joshann.
She knew Crewman Carlile, human, mop of dark hair and uncouth accent. Joshann she remembered as being thin, tall and wore wire frame glasses. Location of these Crewmen? She demanded.
Both crewmen are in their quarters.
Seven of Nine turned and headed for the door.
Crewman Carlile was sleepy and suspicious when Seven of Nine descended on his quarters, his attitude was not helped by Seven of Nine's inevitable blunt opening.
Explain the purpose for the large power usage in your quarters. I wish to establish their parameters.
He demanded irritably from his doorway.
The loading you place upon the power distribution on this deck is excessive, the load must be reduced, Seven of Nine responded unhelpfully.
Not doing nuffing wrong, he protested.
Your excessive usage of power on this deck caused a catastrophic failure in a power relay on this deck, Seven of Nine pointed out. I have traced the logical cause of the fault to you and/or Crewman Joshann.
No kidding? He demanded in alarm.
I do not kid, Seven of Nine advised calmly. Explain the requirement for power? I have been given the instruction to investigate the power overload. I wish to examine the validity.
Cautiously he allowed her in to his quarters. We've formed a band, he said slowly.
The demand came like a whip crack.
There are four of us, Me, Joshann, Cole and Fitz on the Charly' shift, he admitted. We hear Ensign Kim playing and the Doctor sometimes. It gave us the idea to make a band. We thought we would like to try. But there is nowhere aboard the ship that we can learn. We tried the shuttle bay, but were chased out. Getting the Holodecks is almost impossible, so we only have our quarters, when there is nobody else about.
Define the nature of the music? Seven continued to challenge.
Dunno, it depends upon how we feel at the time, he excused himself quickly. We don't play music like Ensign Kim. And we ain't very good. But we are learning!
Perhaps you could seek instruction? Seven suggested a modicum of interest stirred. I can assist in arranging structured lessons on the holodeck?
Carliles eyes opened in alarm at the thought of having Seven as an instructor.
Didn't know you knew how to play, or even liked music? He challenged.
There is an agreeable level of mathematical precision in accurately played musical instruments, Seven of Nine declared. Your attempt to achieve perfection in the matter should be encouraged.
Dunno bout perfection, Miss. But we like the noise, Carlile admitted uncertainly.
You will demonstrate on Holodeck 2 at 21:00, Seven demanded, ignoring the crewmans sudden nervousness. I will assess the level of instruction required.
She turned haughtily and left the now terrified crewman staring after her.
The truth, Seven of Nine realised as she marched back to Cargo Bay 2 for regeneration, was that she did like music, but did not know a lot about it. She wondered if her command of the crewman was as well founded as it could have been. She would, she thought, have to find somebody to assist her.
There was also the problem of finding them somewhere to practise regularly. Carlile had been correct about the general availability of the holodecks to ordinary crewmen. An inkling of an idea came to her. It prompted her to modify her course for the Mess. This was a human problem, she would need to seek advice.
Carlile acted in panic as soon as Seven of Nine disappeared from his sight calling the three other members of the band.
Seven of Nine came and complained about our power usage, he gabbled. She has demanded a demonstration on the holodecks tonight!
Hey! No worries, Man! Crewman Cole, the bands fledgling drummer, breezed. She don't know nuffin about music. We can put a few tunes together to impress her.
Ain't you heard her with the Doctor? Carlile pointed out. She can sing, man. But all she's heard is that classical trash. That's what she thinks music is. It is what she's expecting, man! We don't play nuffin like that! We're dead!
We have to go, Joshann pointed out. As the bands keyboard player he was the intellectual of the quartet. Perhaps she'll give us marks for effort? If we don't we'll be stopped for sure.
He sat and thought silently for a while scratching his head behind the habitual pony tail, then smiled. Here's what we will do! he declared.
Seven of Nine entered the Mess and scanned the heads that were alternately bobbing and masticating at what Neelix referred to as food, but to which the crew gave many names, few of them she knew were complimentary. From her vantage point, it looked as though today's menu consisted of string. There were times it was good to be a Borg, it meant she could savour Neelix's cuisine at secondhand from others.
Her hawkish eye alighted on a solitary dinner sat by the view port. Ensign Kim was dining alone and knew at least a little about music. An acceptable target, she decided and made her way towards him, numerous heads observing her sway through the erratically arranged tables and chairs.
Kim looked up and she noted the familiar widening of eyes, then their descent as his mind and reason caught up with them. Although she had not known it at the time, telling the Ensign to strip for her had been a definite passion killer for Kim. It had been a line that had been repeated by several other female crewmen since, with similar results.
Ensign Kim, she announced coming to a halt infront of his table and looking down upon him.
Seven, Hi. What can I do for you? Kim asked hopefully. Seven of Nine may be the archetypal Ice Maiden', but Kim was the archetypal Hopeless Optimist'. He had not given up the thought that he might one day get close to Seven of Nine.
I wish your assistance on Holodeck 2 at 21:00. You will comply? Subtlety was not a Seven of Nine strong point, even after more than a year aboard Voyager.
I might, Kim agreed carefully. I'll have to check my diary.
You have no duties at that time and your Date' with Ensign Megan Delaney was cancelled. I believe she referred to you as..
Harry Kim, blushing hard, stopped her quickly. I'll come! He declared hurriedly, subconsciously ducking from the quizzical gaze and eyebrow he was receiving. Sarcasm and circumspection were not high in Seven of Nines list of human properties either.
It was a misunderstanding, he added quickly seeing numerous amused faces turning towards them and fearing Seven dropping more of her unwittingly pointed and accurate observations.
Seven of Nine turned and left, leaving Harry Kim subsiding in embarrassment from the grins that were focussed entirely upon him.
Seven of Nine, herself, returned to Astrometrics and spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening reviewing the computer archives, giving herself a rapid appraisal of earth music.
Perhaps his luck was changing, Harry Kim thought, as he prepared himself in his quarters for his appointment with Seven of Nine. If there was justice in the Universe, Seven of Nine would appear in that grey silk dress the Doctor had replicated and he would be able to provide a romantic setting from one of Tom's holo-programs. Then he would proceed to entertain her all evening, she might even smile, not that imperious one she had developed for when somebody had been particularly Inefficient', but a real smile, aimed at him. He would give a months rations to achieve that.
She was not all ice, he convinced himself. After all she had come directly to him as if she had been actively seeking him out. All he had to do was to avoid getting into a dance with her and he might even survive the evening.
With a slap of eau-de-cologne he ran for the Holodecks.
Seven of Nine had not changed, Kim noted when he arrived. She was not a vision of loveliness in grey silk and flowing gold hair as he had hoped. Not that that really mattered, he consoled himself. She remained the most beautiful woman on the ship in that eye poppingly tight, figure hugging blue body suit. Her hair in its buffon simply accentuated her slender almost perfect figure.
You are 6.75 minutes late, Seven of Nine chided as she unceremoniously bundled him through the holodeck entrance.
Kim grimaced. He mumbled apologetically as he looked around.
He would not, he decided, require a romantic program. The setting Seven of Nine had selected was almost perfect for a romantic rendezvous. A dozen small tables, each with two chairs, were scattered around three sides of what looked like a softly lit restaurant. In one corner was a bar, complete with requisite barman and waiter. In another was a small stage, complete with a thick blue velour curtain. In the centre, Kim noted ominously, was a dance floor.
Further musings were interrupted by the waiter. Good evening, Sir, Madam. Your table awaits, he oiled. May I provide you with drinks before the entertainment?
Seven of Nine eyed the holographic waiter with barely disguised distaste. Liquid sustenance is not required.
The hologram managed to look hurt as it guided them to a dark table near the back of the room.
I wish a table where I may observe the band, Seven of Nine argued.
Kim winced, even when trying to be romantic Seven was proving to be difficult.
This one will be acceptable, Seven announced, taking a seat three tables closer than the waiter had obviously intended.
Stoutly he bowed an acceptance of her decision and left them together. Kim taking his seat nervously watching the dispassionate blonde as she surveyed the surrounds.
This is an excellent program to choose, he suggested trying to start conversation. Nice and quiet.
Seven of Nine looked at him hard. Lesson 38. Social Conversation, she diagnosed. The setting is adequate.
And you look really good tonight, Kim offered.
This stumped Seven of Nine for a moment, causing her to cock her head as she thought about the meaning. she demanded at last.
I meant you look beautiful! Kim stammered. A vision of perfection!
Again he felt her blue eyes boring through him trying to identify his meaning. Beauty is irrelevant. Nor is my visual appearance perfect, there are six hairs that have escaped their designated location.
Have you been here often? Kim tried, desperate now to achieve any form of recognition of his attempt at engaging Seven of Nine in some kind of conversation.
The look she gave him was now almost beyond contempt. The program is not mine, therefore it is illogical to assume that I have attended this venue.
I'm just trying to start a friendly conversation! Kim was pleading now.
We have been engaged in friendly conversation for 8.625 minutes, Seven informed him coldly. You will now desist and listen. The band is starting to play.
Friendly' was hardly the term Kim would have applied to the one sided question and answer session that had occurred. It had felt like an interrogation and he was the victim. Seven of Nine had more than deftly sidestepped all of his thin repertoire of Chat up' lines. She had crushed them and him. Dejectedly he listened to the music as Seven had demanded.
There was something familiar about the tunes, he realised after a while. It took him several more minutes to realise what they were, they were the ones that Tom Paris liked from the fifties and early sixties. He racked his brain trying to remember what it was called.
Rock and Roll', it came to him with a bang. More surprisingly he noted that Seven of Nines hand was starting to tap with the beat of the music. It was impossible, but she seemed to like it!
I didn't know you liked this kind of Music, Seven? He shouted over the incessant beat.
It has complex mathematical progressions, Seven of Nine responded automatically. It is pleasing.
Clutching at the last straw like a drowning man, Kim rallied for an instant. You know they used to dance to this?
She looked at him. For once the innate air of superiority she had worn since they had arrived was replaced, if only with puzzlement. But it was a start, he thought.
she asked cautiously.
Oh, Yes! Kim enthused. Tom showed me how and we practised a little. I can teach you, if you like? He knew he should not have offered even as he said it.
He could see her working the proposition over in her mind, working on the probability of him making a fool of himself again, no doubt.
You will instruct me, she agreed, standing up.
Warily Kim stood, offering his hand to her as he did so. The band obligingly changed tunes to Rock Around the Clock'.
You may proceed, Seven of Nine decreed, after she had all but frogmarched him to the centre of the dance floor.
Harry Kim swallowed nervously. It was going to hurt, he knew that. We can start with holding left hands, he said. And doing small kick steps, that bring us close together then away again.
Carefully he demonstrated, locking the fingers in his left hand with hers and doing a little jig. He came close enough to almost kiss her, then jigged back until he was at arms length.
Equally carefully, she copied his movements, picking up time with the beat of the music. There is more? she demanded.
Well yes, Kim admitted, getting carried away with his seeming success in getting this close to Seven and ignoring the warning bells that were sounding. There are a lot of moves. Twirls, where your skirts would fly up as I support you.
I am not wearing skirts, Seven pointed out pragmatically.
There was the throw? Kim suggested. I am supposed to throw you in the air in a spin?
Seven of Nine looked him hard in the eyes.
Perhaps not, Kim agreed hurriedly under no delusions as to his ability to catch her again. There was the splits where I should slide you between my legs, then back upright?
For a moment Kim was non-plussed by the sudden demand. Again he rallied manfully. We join hands at the wrists, he suggested.
Dutifully Seven of Nine complied as she jaunted, her whole body bouncing in compliance to the jaunty kick step.
I support you slightly and you slide between my legs with a bit of a jump, he panted, the dance was energetic. As you pass through I stop you and pull. Aarghh!
His running commentary was brought up short as Seven of Nine complied to his description, and found her self sliding gracefully to a halt on her back as Kim performed a swift somersault and landed on the deck with a crunch.
The band stopped playing.
Seven of Nine rolled over and checked her erstwhile dancing partner as he screamed in pain.
She tapped her communicator. Seven of Nine to Sick Bay. One to Sick Bay, medical emergency, she sighed in disappointment.
She glared at the band as Kim dematerialised and they fidgeted in shock at the events that their music had set in process. Your attempt to mime to the recording was imperfect, she scolded.
Sorry, M'm, Carlile muttered, answering for all four of them whilst gazing at his feet.
You will need instruction. You will report to Science Lab 4 Deck 8 tomorrow 21:00, she demanded, then turned sharply on her heel and left.
They stared after her in a mixture of terror and alarm.
You know what she is intending to do don't yah! Carlile pointed out, as they gathered their instruments together.
Crewman Cole agreed. She's gonna try and teach us!
Harry! Harry! What have you done? Tom Paris sighed as Ensign Kim materialised upon the bio bed in Sick Bay.
Quickly he applied restraints and pain killing hyposprays, before turning to a medical tricorder.
I had a date! Kim admitted.
With King Kong? Paris suggested brightly.
Kim winced. Seven of Nine!
I think I'm starting to get to her, he added hopefully.
I think you could be right, Harry, Paris agreed gently, reaching for regenerators. Most of her dates simply receive dislocated shoulders. You've achieved two broken arms and a cracked skull. The question is who will get who first. My money is on Seven.
You didn't try to dance with her did you? Paris asked.
There was a flash of a smile from Kim. I showed her those Jive steps we practised. She liked them and the music! He sighed as he succumbed to the pain killing anaesthetics.
Captain Janeway sighed over the injuries report the following morning, before reaching for her communicator. Seven of Nine to the Ready Room.
Ten minutes later Seven of Nine marched in, keeping her head high as she took up that so familiar confrontational stance infront of the Captains desk. You wished to see me? She demanded.
The Captain pursed her lips, considering her words in light of the details on the PADD. Kim had claimed it was largely his fault. Tom had added the word Stupidity'.
she said quietly. When you engage in a romantic evening with somebody, the two parties are supposed to finish in the same number of pieces as they start in. You are supposed to kiss your guest Good Night' at the door of your quarters. If things go really well, you can perhaps invite him in for a coffee and see what develops. If it goes badly, you could try walking out. In any event you are not supposed to break both of his arms! She looked up challenging a response.
She got one as Seven of Nine stiffened.
I was not involved in a Romantic Evening! Seven protested.
Ensigns Kim and Paris think it was, a dumbfounded Captain declared. From the description on the PADD I'm inclined to agree with them. Soft lights, secluded tables, sounds damned romantic to me!
They are in error! Seven of Nine snapped. It was an investigation into the nature of the power overload on deck 11. I have isolated the cause and am attempting corrective measures.
Then how did Kim break his arms? The Captain asked incredulously.
He wished to instruct me to Seven admitted. His understanding of the movements was imperfect.
The Captain sat stunned, gawping at her blonde ex-Borg in disbelief, her mouth opening and closing like a goldfish as her mind grappled for meanings. Seven of Nine observed her in detached fascination, in a galaxy of small battles of wits with the Captain, this was looking like another she was going to gain the upperhand in.
Finally the Captain regained control of her faculties. You had better explain the nature of this investigation, she suggested in resignation.
"The idea is a good one. I'll give you that," the Captain agreed reluctantly, after Seven had finished her explanation. "But you should have made it clear to Harry before hand. He thought he was on a hot date!"
She thought for another few moments, before asking. "Do you think that you can teach them to play these instruments? It isn't as simple as pressing buttons on a computer."
"They will become proficient," Seven declared stoutly.
A slow smile formed across Captain Janeways face. "I'll give you three weeks to make something of them," she challenged. "If they are good enough I will lay on a concert for them."
"This is a form of a 'Bet'?" Seven enquired, the left eyebrow lifting questioningly.
"I didn't know you knew about such things," the Captain grinned. "But I suppose you can think of it like that, if you wish. I'll think of a suitable forfeit for when you fail?"
"I have examined the subject of betting," Seven admitted. "It was necessary to understand the nature of certain lists Neelix keeps. Some of which refer to myself. However you will not need to consider a forfeit. I will not fail."
She turned sharply on her heel and marched out, leaving the Captain musing.
Seven of Nine's fledgling band was less certain of their abilities than their instructor when she had explained the Captains challenge to them. They were also less than certain over the abilities of their instructor to teach them to play. A subject taken up by Crewman Cole. "You've got to 'feel' the music, Man!"
Seven of Nine glared at him, forcing him to silence. "Your 'Feel' for the music will be enhanced by increased knowledge of the mathematical precision required to play your instruments and when attempting to play together."
"We will begin with percussion," she announced, "You will demonstrate the range of sounds that are available from your instrument."
"I simply hit them," Cole explained doubtfully.
"Insufficient," Seven scolded. "The three drums are capable of producing nine distinct notes at an infinitely variable pitch and beat. You will commence to learn these notes and their relationship. Accuracy in your actions will assist the remainder to play at the correct tempo."
What followed was a long session with each member in turn as they tried to demonstrate their mastery of their chosen instruments. It left them exhausted and Seven of Nine regretting her confident assertion to the Captain, that she could make them into musicians,
Finally she called time with the phrase. "You will require much additional instruction. We will recommence tomorrow at 20:00. You will leave your instruments here."
The alarmed band left hurriedly, muttering between themselves.
Satisfied that they had left her on her own, Seven of Nine quietly picked up a discarded guitar, examined it briefly, then gripped it as the manual she had read had recommended. She lay the strap around her neck, adjusting it slightly for comfort, then gave a string an experimental pluck.
Not quite the response she was after, Seven decided. Or the response predicted from the manual that she had firmly fixed in her minds eye.
She sdjusted her grip slightly and tried again.
This time it went "Twank!".
Slightly better, she conceded, then proceeded to try adjusting the tension of the string before trying again.
"Twang!" At last a clear note.
Buoyed by the seeming success Seven tried the other strings in turn. Satisfied that they were tuned, she rippled through a complete a complete scale, choosing the strings and fingering carefully, the manual still firmly in mind.
She was prevented from experimenting further by the shape of Tom Paris appearing in the door. "What ever are you upto, Seven?" He asked in amusement.
"The instrument was incorrectly tuned," Seven of Nine declared, putting the guitar aside. "Crewman Carlile was unable to produce correct sounds. I have corrected the defect."
"And not because you wanted to try and learn without anybody knowing about it?" Tom teased, watching closely for any sign of embarrassment, but finding none.
Seven gave him her standard superior almost condescending look. "I do not wish to learn the guitar."
She stepped haughtily past him and made her way for the turbo lift, leaving Tom Paris watching her retreating back, smiling knowingly. It would be an interesting topic for B'Elanna and the Mess tomorrow.
The news that Seven of Nine had started a band went around the ship like wildfire. It enabled Neelix to open several of his 'lists'. The subject of the first was whether the band would survive the three weeks under Seven's dispassionate instruction, until the Captains inspection. The sole winner on the morning of the inspection was Tuvok, who came away with an extra 100 replicator rations, for backing the outright outsider of success.
The new one, that was forming the topic of conversation today, was if the Captain would approve of the results.
"What are the odds on Seven today, Neelix?" B'Elanna asked as she queued for her daily glob of breakfast.
"Not good," Neelix admitted. "Ensign Ayala heard then just the other day. She thought they were still pretty bad!"
"Put me down with the fails," B'Elanna declared happily. "I still can't see Seven successfully teaching anybody music!"
"I'll cover that bet," Tom Paris declared cheerfully over her shoulder. "What's more I'll bet a jive against enough rations for a replicator meal that I can get Seven to play!"
Both B'Elanna and Neelix looked at him sharply, trying to decide if he knew something they didn't, before breaking into grins.
"You're on!" B'Elanna agreed with a laugh. "It's going to cost you! I can taste it now!
Seven of Nine gazed steadily at her small group, challenging any voice of descent as they prepared themselves.
We ain't ready for the Captain! Cole protested nervously. We only know three tunes and they ain't the ones the Captain likes. We don't know anything by that Russian geezer.
This declaration stumped Seven of Nine for a moment. She demanded.
You know the one she danced to some years ago, Cole tried to explain. I think she was drunk or summat. She fell down at the end.
This was a new revelation to Seven of Nine. She did not have a clue what the crewman was on about. You will perform as you have been instructed, she instructed. Your performance will be adequate. A bite of her lower lip was the only sign of her own uncertainty over the results.
The quartet gathered in its music room in preparation for the forthcoming visitation from the Captain would have been surprised to learn that the Captain was almost as nervous as they were. Although she officially disapproved of such things, she knew that there was a book running upon the probable results and thanks to judicious questioning of Tuvok, Chakotay and Neelix she also knew the general opinion of the result. What was also inescapable was that she knew nothing about the music that the small band was intending to try to impress her with. She had gathered it was a form of early Sixties Rock and Roll, at least at the beginning. But the reports that she had received suggested that since Seven had started to terrorise them it had developed.
The term Terrorise' also worried her as she marched down the corridor. She had long since become immune to Seven of Nines direct and often confrontational approach to problems, in fact she quite liked it. This was the first time she had allowed Seven to take real control of crew that did not know her well. She suspected there had been a lot of learning done in numerous quarters.
Finally the Captain turned the final corner and entered the music room, to be faced by the haughty Seven of Nine and a visibly quaking band arranged behind her.
Sorry I'm a little late, she apologised quickly, realising that the look she was getting from Seven was more because she had missed her appointment by a full five minutes.
Your apology is acceptable, Seven of Nine declared before turning back to the fledgling band.
You may begin playing.
It was with some care and interest that Seven of Nine watched the Captains reactions as the music played. It started with some disbelief at the sounds she was hearing, then her face cracked into a small smile as her fingers, confined by her folded arms, started to tap inline with the music.
Finally as the bands third learned' tune died the Captain turned to Seven. I approve! She declared happily. I'd like to see them playing properly in lets say a week on Holodeck 1.
Without looking back she disappeared again.
Seven of Nine looked at her band. You were efficient, she declared, as if it was the highest praise in the galaxy. We will learn more tunes starting this evening. I have duties to perform.
With that she also left them.
We did IT! Joshann declared jubilantly. We're official!
Yeah! It was worth the battle with Miss Ice. I thought I would strangle her at points, Carlile admitted.
But she ain't arf going to make us work for more tunes, Cole commented.
Seven of Nine made her way back to Astrometrics. Getting the band to perform had taken more time than she had anticipated, the result was that she was behind in her duties. She needed to correct her omission quickly, ideally before anybody discovered her inefficiency.
This hope looked as if it could be a folorn one as Tom Paris entered the lab within seconds of her resuming her long range scans and started to prowl around the displays.
"Ensign Paris, you are interfering in my functions. State your intentions?" Seven of Nine demanded, ceasing her work to watch the ensign in his wanderings.
"Calm down, Seven!" Paris smirked. "I came to congratulate you. I hear you got the Captain to agree to your band."
"The band played adequately," Seven agreed carefully. "There is another reason for your presence?" She knew Tom Paris well enough to know that he was aiming for something from her.
"Well, B'Elanna reckons their success had nothing to do with you," he suggested conspiratorially. "Of course I said you had worked hard with them. But she still thinks that you don't know how to play to be able to teach anybody?"
Seven of Nine regarded him with upraised eyebrow and bemused look. "You wish me to prove that my knowledge of music is adequate?" She suggested.
"The bands concert should be adequate for the purpose," she answered her own question and turned to resume her work.
"But it won't prove anything," Paris sidled. "It is just the band."
Seven of Nine again turned from the console. "Your meaning?"
Tom Paris sighed theatrically. "Meaning that if they taught themselves, then they could still be playing," he suggested.
"Of course," he suggested slyly. "If you were up there playing with them?"
He left the suggestion open as he turned for the door. A quick glance back that prevented the door closing as quickly as normal, suggested that the suggestion had not gone unmissed. The large screen in Astrometrics started to flash rapidly, only it was not showing star charts.
"In the field of learning we often ignore the things we take for granted," Captain Janeway declared bombastically. "In this case we have a band that has learnt to play music from the 1960's, under the guidance of Seven of Nine. I proudly present the 'Seven of Nines'," She finished.
There was a smattering of applause from the thirty attendees. Though the audience seemed to comprise mainly of her senior officers and friends of the band members, with a smattering of crew that had run out of the monthly replicator rations or where waiting for things to go drastically wrong. The Captain could almost sense the rotten fruit.
She had decided it was her duty to introduce Seven of Nines band. After all it had been her decision to let them loose on the crew, and she wanted to lend some gravitas and support for and to it. She only wished Seven of Nine had explained what was to happen, infact she had been extremely coy about explaining what she and her ensemble were going to perform. All she knew was that all five had gathered behind the curtain Neelix had arranged around the small stage.
The Captain stepped down from the stage that she had been speaking from to join Chakotay, then turned as the curtain was whisked away dramatically.
There was a collective gasp and a stunned silence measured in seconds. At the front of the group, an acoustic guitar slung around her slim neck stood Seven of Nine. She scanned the gathering until she picked up on B'Elanna Paris and fixed her with a hard stare as she played the first chord.
That was quickly followed by more as she settled into her rhythm, than she began to sing in a sultry voice the refrain from Freight Train', the band behind her playing softly as backing.
I told you she would! Tom Paris laughed at the mesmerised B'Elanna. You owe me a dance!
It wasn't Rock and Roll, B'Elanna protested as the song came to an end.
Okay! Seven taught them to play, B'Elanna gave in with limited good grace. The question is, who prompted her to learn? She looked challengingly at her boyfriend before turning smartly and walking towards the stage, as Seven of Nine removed the guitar from her neck and stepped from stage to allow the group to continue.
Well done, Seven! The Captain congratulated the ex-Borg enthusiastically, moving to greet her. I never knew you could do anything like that! Where did you find it?
It is the simple application of the mind. The song came from Ensign Paris's records, I believe the original singer was an artiste by the name of Ruby Murray. It was pleasing, Seven advised off-handedly, her eyes still fixed on B'Elanna.
Ensign Paris claimed that you had declared I was incapable of instructing others. You are satisfied that I am capable in this role? Seven demanded.
I never said you couldn't! B'Elanna laughed. I said you wouldn't perform voluntarily. Either way you've proved me wrong. Now, as he set us up, how can I break Tom's arm and make it look like an accident when I dance with him?
Seven of Nine looked at her quizzically. Dancing to this music is dangerous, she opined. Escaping severe injury is problematic.
B'Elanna giggled at the suggestion and turned back to her beau. You hear that? She declared. Seven thinks it will be quite acceptable to break at least one arm. Are you sure you want me to pay up?
Tom Paris grinned. I've learnt the moves and you're paying.
He escorted B'Elanna to the centre of the room where a dance floor had been prepared. The others turned to watch in fascination as they jived.
I'd like to try again, Seven? Kim asked nervously.
Seven of Nine observed him shrewdly. You are not proficient in these moves, she observed. Injury may occur.
I'm a quick learner, Kim declared hopefully.
Seven took a look at the Captain, who nodded encouragingly, caught up in the display from Tom and B'Elanna.
Your proposal is acceptable, Seven agreed, with some reservations.
Kim led her onto the floor as the band swapped seamlessly into Rock Around the Clock'. They joined hands by interlinking fingers as was being ably demonstrated by Tom and a laughing B'Elanna and started to jig.
Careful Harry, Tom puffed. You're going to get hurt!
Not this time! Kim declared happily. I know what I did wrong!
They danced on, Kim and Seven carefully keeping track of Tom and B'Elanna's efforts, until Tom suddenly rolled B'Elanna over his back, catching her easily in his spare arm.
Kim tried to follow the trick. Except he didn't catch Seven as she sailed over. She landed with a thump on the floor and looked up accusingly at her partner as the music trailed to a halt.
Kim was gripping his right shoulder, in pain again, the move had dislocated his shoulder.
Not again! Tom Paris sighed moving to inspect the offending limb. Harry, Harry. When will you ever learn?
I think, Seven, the Captain laughed, coming up to help her to her feet. That until you learn not to rip people apart when you dance, you ought not to get involved?
Seven of Nine considered the suggestion. Your recommendation is valid, Captain. I shall comply, She agreed a little sadly.
Perhaps you could instruct me how to dance? Seven suggested hopefully.
I don't dance! The Captain protested.
Crewman Cole claimed he watched you dance once, Captain, Seven added carefully. He thought you were intoxicated as you fell down at the end?
The Captain looked at her in surprise until the numbers rattled to a halt, then smiled. It was my party piece as a kid, she confided. The dying of the swan princess, from Swan Lake. I was supposed to fall down.
I'll try, she agreed after a moments reflection. I'll give you a call tomorrow.
Seven of Nine agreed, then headed for the door.