Deadlier than a Scorpion's Sting – Chapter 12
Disclaimer: Star Trek Voyager and crew belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trademarks is intended. The only thing I lay claim to is the solar system I created for Pegasi 51, the background and culture of the Pegasian's, and the original character Alexa Nikoleon.
Note: This story diverges from the canon storyline during the events of Scorpion II, and thus is essentially, an AU story.
Feedback: Always welcome, feedback is what encourages me to keep writing. Please let me know what you like and what you dislike about the story.
Revision History: 06/07/07
Summary: A meeting in Sickbay and Seven's first night without Borg exoplating.
Stardate 51029.5 (Fri, 11 Jan 2374 18:00 GMT)
"Doctor to Lt. Nikoleon," Alexa's combadge announced.
Warily, sensing a setback to the evening's plans, she answered, "Yes, Doctor."
He promptly responded, "Seven needs to come to Sickbay as soon as she finishes her regeneration cycle. Just a few scans to make sure everything's ok," he finished cheerfully.
With an internal howl of protest, she reluctantly replied, "I understand Doctor." Seven was not going to be pleased, she thought while closing the communications channel.
Thirty minutes later.
"Regeneration cycle complete," the computer announced.
Seven stepped out of the alcove; she didn't immediately glance at Alexa, but instead stared fixedly at the wall. The Borg took in a deep breath, her nostrils flaring.
Alexa understood, for she shared the same feelings of frustration, "There's nothing I can do, I just wish I had realized earlier that he would want to check you over."
Seven closed her eyes with a deep sigh, "I understand." The Borg looked up; her blue eyes met Alexa's, and softened. "We should go now," she stated resignedly. On their way to the door, she paused for a moment and looked curiously at the small figurines placed on a shelf near Alexa's bed.
"I've picked them up from some of the planets where we've stopped, it's a good way to remember the places and people we've met out here," Alexa explained, after noticing what had attracted Seven's attention. "I'll tell you the history of each of them sometime." Seven nodded, taking one last look before proceeding toward the door once again.
They saw only a few people on their way to the turbolift, all of whom nodded or greeted them, and stared at them in open curiosity. The Borg found their behavior reassuring; curiosity was preferable to the fear the crew had displayed before the removal of her armor. Once at the turbolift they had to wait a moment for a lift to arrive at their deck. When the turbolift doors opened, Alexa was surprised to see Lt. Torres, Lt. Paris and Ensign Kim within the lift until she realized it was Alpha shift's dinnertime, and people were headed to and from the Messhall on the second deck.
"Lieutenants, Ensign," Alexa greeted them as she and Seven stepped into the lift, amused at their assorted reactions to the blonde's appearance. Paris and Kim were openly staring at the Borg woman in unmistakable appreciation, while Lt. Torres gave both the blonde and the two men a narrow-eyed annoyed stare. "Seven, this is Lt. B'Elanna Torres, Lt. Tom Paris, and Ensign Harry Kim," she quickly made the introductions even though she knew Seven had already recognized them.
The three officers barely had time to respond, "Hello," before the lift stopped and the doors opened once again.
As she and Seven stepped out, Lt. Paris called after them brightly, "Have fun in Sickbay," most likely figuring out their destination from the fact they were getting off on Deck 6.
Seven stopped and turned, raising her brow. "Doubtful," she returned, employing the same dry tone as the doors closed.
Alexa chuckled, amused at the blonde's response, and pleased that the Borg understood that Lt. Paris was being sarcastic.
'I do not believe I would have without the neural link, our discussions about human behavior have been very informative. I also sensed your response to his comment, which served to verify my interpretation of it,' Seven responded to the Pegasian's thought.
Alexa nodded thoughtfully as they made their way to Sickbay, reminded of how Seven had initially learned to recognize the emotions she was experiencing by Alexa identifying them for her. As they walked through the Sickbay doors, the Pegasian was surprised to see the Doctor and Captain Janeway in the Doctor's office huddled together over a padd. Alerted by the sound of the door, or perhaps just the motion of them entering, the Captain looked up. Alexa noticed that her eyes flitted between Seven, the padd, and back once again to Seven. Immediately the Pegasian wondered if the Doctor's search for Seven's identity had finally been successful.
'My identity,' Seven echoed uncertainly through the link. She knew that the Doctor had been trying to match her DNA with those on file in the Federation database, but her analysis had indicated that he would fail. Voyager's database held only a relatively small number of DNA identification references, the majority of which were Starfleet members. Thus, she had calculated only a 1.5 percent chance that the Doctor would succeed in finding a familial DNA match.
The two women watched as the Captain stood up, and came toward them bearing the padd and followed closely by the Doctor. "Seven, Lt. Nikoleon," Janeway greeted them, but Alexa noticed the Captain's eyes were almost solely focused upon Seven. "Seven, we've found a genetic match to your DNA," she handed the padd to the Borg.
Alexa watched with equal parts concern and curiosity as Seven scanned quickly through the padd, the Borg's thoughts and feelings a confused tangle through their link. There was a flare of angry emotion, and then the blonde abruptly handed the padd to her. Alexa reflexively glanced down at it, and the image of a smiling blonde haired girl immediately captured her attention.
Annika Hansen, she read, born Stardate 25479 on Tendara colony, parents Erin and Magnus Hansen. Alexa continued, the Hansen's had been highly respected exobiologists, and recipients of a Federation research grant to study the Borg. Obviously, they had decided to take their four-year-old daughter along with them.
Alexa glanced up in wonder, considering the woman beside her anew now that she knew more of her past, Annika Hansen, it sounded Nordic perhaps, she thought. It would definitely fit if it were; the tall blue-eyed blonde would certainly blend in with the population of any of the Nordic homelands of Earth.
'Nordic?' queried Seven.
'Very northern region of Europe on Earth, comprising of the old Earth nations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, with a distinctive ethnic appearance,' answered Alexa, picturing in her mind the Earth landmasses she was naming. Alexa waited, certain that Seven had more questions, but the Captain spoke before the Borg could form them.
"I'm sorry we don't have more information about your parents," Janeway apologized, "that's everything we had in our database about them."
Seven answered frankly, "I had not expected that you would be able to find a DNA match."
"It did take an extensive search, but I finally found it in the Federation Missing Personnel DNA database," the Doctor commented, puffing out his chest in self-congratulation.
The Captain shot him a quelling look before continuing, "Your parents' research of the Borg was funded by a grant from the Federation Council on Exobiology. They were required to undergo a through medical examination before being authorized use of the USS Raven. Its standard procedure for Federation funded civilian research projects, and the reason the Federation had access to their medical information to put their DNA profile into the Missing Personnel database when they were lost after deviating from their flight plan and crossing over into the Romulan Neutral Zone."
"They were seeking the Borg, they found them," Seven stated tensely.
Alexa winced in sympathy, nothing in the information on the padd or the memories Seven had shared of her parents, gave the Pegasian an insight into their reasoning, but she could guess. Erin and Magnus Hansen had been raised on Earth, and had most likely never been in a moment's danger their entire lives prior to searching for the Borg. Alexa had run into that mindset before. Never having known danger, the person blithely assumed that safe state would somehow continue, that no matter what situation they found themselves in, they would magically be allowed to evade it unscathed. It was an odd type of hubris, and each time it never failed to amaze her, since the people in question were usually intelligent in every other way.
Seven turned to her abruptly, staring, 'Illogical,' she protested.
Out of the corner of her eye, Alexa noticed the Captain's eyes narrowing, "I know its illogical Seven," she said aloud. Over the link she explained, 'We really shouldn't be talking over our link when someone else is with us, it's not polite. Or at least if we find it necessary, then we shouldn't be obvious about it, especially around Captain Janeway.' "But there are a lot of Federation civilians who think that nothing bad can possibly happen to them, so they go into situations without considering the risks," she continued. Meeting Seven's gaze she reminded her, "I've experienced your memories of your parents, they loved you, and they would not have knowingly put you in any danger," she finished softly, but with conviction. Seven turned away abruptly, and Alexa knew the Borg was recalling the few memories she possessed of her parents.
The Pegasian sighed lightly, remembering the moment when she realized her own parents were just as human and fallible as she was. She had just turned twenty-six and realized that her mother had been pregnant with her at this age. She had wondered how in the world her mother had felt capable of bringing a child into the world. Alexa certainly knew she didn't feel adequate to handle everything the universe could throw at her, much less protect and guide a child through it. However, by that point in her life she had realized that she would never achieve the confidence and strength she had thought her parent's possessed when she was a child and teenager, because it had always been inaccurate. Now that she was an adult herself, she realized that they had just been adept at hiding their moments of doubt and insecurity from her.
Drawn out of her thoughts by the weight of it, Alexa looked up and met the Captains thoughtful grey-eyed gaze. Uncertainly she returned it, confused as to why her commanding officer was staring at her in such a manner. There was no anger in it, no displeasure, merely a steady disconcerting contemplation. Abruptly, the Captain looked away, turned toward Seven, "The Federation knew almost nothing about the Borg when your parent's received their research grant. They had no way of knowing how dangerous the Collective was when they went searching for them," she stated, "and neither the Federation Science Council or Starfleet was aware they had taken you with them until several months after contact was lost. Even with the lack of knowledge about the Borg, Starfleet would have never agreed to the study had they known they were planning on taking you with them, but you were so young that you weren't enrolled in any school and the Hansen's didn't let anyone know ahead of time." The Captain paused a moment then corrected herself, "At least not anyone who was aware there was the slightest danger, and could have informed them of the risks."
Seven turned around at the Captain's words, facing them once again. The blonde took in a deep breath, "I will consider this further at a later time. The Doctor requested my presence here for a medical scan." The tone of her voice made it clear that she did not wish to continue discussing her parent's or her newly found identity any longer.
The Doctor glanced at the Captain for permission, and upon receiving a sharp nod, he picked up his medical tricorder and beginning his scans beginning with Seven's cortical implant. "The alterations to your cortical node are complete and appear to be stable; you should have complete control over nanoprobes and most of your optical implant functions."
Seven tilted her head slightly, a faraway look in her eyes as she tested the new functionality. "The alterations are performing as expected," she confirmed, "I now have voluntary control of their functionality, and they should no longer respond to any Borg transmission." She turned toward the Pegasian, her brow furrowed with concern and asked, "Are your modifications complete?"
"No not quite," Alexa responded before the Doctor could, "Since I can't regenerate it's taking my nanoprobes a bit longer to complete the changes to my cortical node. But it should only be a few more days."
"What's this?" the Captain broke in, addressing the Doctor sharply, "I thought they could no longer be contacted by the Borg."
Seven responded first, "We cannot unless we come within 3 meters of a Borg vinculum, however without these changes the Collective could send commands to our nanoprobes to cause them to begin multiplying. That could potentially lead to the formation of new implants, and perhaps even a replacement neural interlink." Her metallic brow rose slightly as she finished, "We felt it prudent to minimize that possibility."
Janeway raised her eyebrows slightly, then after a few seconds her lips quirked in a smile, "Good to see you're covering all the bases."
Seven frowned in confusion as she struggled to make sense of Janeway's words.
Before the Captain could explain the phrase's meaning, Alexa said, "Think about the idiom in relation to the recent subject matter that will give you some clues as to how to interpret unfamiliar sayings." Then across their link, 'and if it still doesn't make sense I'll just let her tell you what she meant, or tell you myself."
The Borg stared at Alexa, aggravated that she wouldn't just inform her of the expression's meaning.
"I won't be around all the time for you, I need to give you the tools to figure things out for yourself," the Pegasian informed her softly.
Seven's gaze eased, "I will comply," she agreed. A few seconds later, she hesitantly offered, "Does the idiom refer to reinforcing the defensive fortifications of a starbase?"
"It could," Captain Janeway responded immediately. Alexa remained silent, recognizing from the Captain's assertive posture and tone that she was taking control of the conversation. "It refers to considering and all aspects of a situation and anticipating all the potential issues, which you two seem to be doing in regards to your particular situation and the Borg."
Seven promptly corrected her, "The Collective. I am still Borg, but I am not part of the Collective, nor do I wish to be part of the Collective." She paused briefly then continued mindful of her and Alexa's conversation two days earlier, "And I no longer believe assimilation will result in the Collective's attainment of perfection."
Janeway looked slightly startled by this pronouncement, but before she could say anything the Doctor, quipped, "I'm sure the crew will be glad to hear that." Immediately following his comment, the hologram finished his medical scan with a small flourish and announced, "All your implants are stable and appear to be in perfect working order."
Seven straightened at his words, "Thank you," she replied crisply, her eagerness to leave obvious. Turning to the Captain she questioned, "Is there anything else you require?"
Alexa was torn between absolute mortification and laughter. It wasn't as if she didn't share Seven's impatience to return to their quarters…but this was the Captain, one simply didn't treat her as an inconvenient obstacle.
Janeway's eyebrows raised high, whether in annoyance or amazement, Alexa couldn't even begin to guess, asked evenly, "You have plans for this evening?"
"Correct," Seven answered promptly, "Alexa and I have plans for this evening."
Janeway stared at the blonde for a moment then the eyebrows lowered, and she smiled. Alexa breathed out a silent sigh of relief. "Chocolate ice cream?" the Captain asked amused.
Alexa's eyes widened at the words, and a tingle of arousal shot through her at the images they raised in her mind. Casually she crossed her arms over her chest, she was moderately certain that her bra, undershirt, and uniform were thick enough to hide her reaction, but better to be safe than sorry.
"Chocolate ice cream," Seven agreed glancing over at the Pegasian, her gaze sharpening with interest as she felt the other woman's reaction to the words through their link. She finished with the merest hint of a smile, "and other human experiences."
Janeway replied indulgently, "Well then enjoy yourselves."
"I will comply," the Borg replied, the smile on her full lips becoming more pronounced.
A strangled sound drew everyone's attention to Alexa, who coughed into her hand, "Sorry," the Pegasian apologized when she finished, her cheeks slightly flushed.
"You will want to be careful exploring new tastes," the Doctor cautioned, "Your stomach isn't used to food, so keep the amounts very small. No more than thirty grams or so every six hours to begin with, and you will want to make sure the food is fairly bland." He smirked, "You might want to avoid Mr. Neelix's culinary creations for awhile."
Seven raised her brow at this piece of advice, "I will do so," she agreed.
Janeway stared at the two women bemused as they left Sickbay. Her instincts were prodding at her, telling her there was something going on that she wasn't seeing, but at the moment she had no idea what that might be.
"Who knew," the Doctor commented to the Captain as the doors closed, distracting her from her thoughts, "that chocolate ice cream was such an incentive for individuality."
'Darn it Seven,' Alexa fussed, worried and amused, 'someday she's going to catch on and I don't know how she's going to react. Janeway's a stickler for the rules, she might find it amusing in private, but still reprimand us for inappropriate behavior.'
'How should I have replied?' Seven asked as they stepped into the turbolift and the doors closed.
'Well,' Alexa paused, the turbolift door opened and they stepped out onto their deck. She was momentarily at a loss, and distracted by thoughts of what would happen when they reached their quarters. 'You could have at least not mentioned the other human experiences,' she finished weakly as they stopped at the door to their quarters, no longer particularly interested in the conversation.
'Very well,' Seven replied, taking a step nearer that almost brought them in contact with one another, 'I will refrain from doing so in the future.' The two women stared at one another intently. The moment had finally arrived, they had no duties to perform, and no one was expecting them anywhere else. It would just be the two of them for the remainder of the night.
Seven was suddenly exquisitely aware of the fact that only a few thin layers of clothing separated her now from the rest of the universe, clothing that would be no lasting barrier to Alexa's touch. She reached around the other woman and rapidly entered the access code into the control panel. As soon as the door opened, she grasped the Pegasian by the shoulders and guided her backward through the doorway. Once inside they took an abrupt turn and in the next moment Alexa's shoulders met the wall as Seven pressed against her and the blonde's lips met hers.
The Borg moaned against the Pegasian's mouth, as she had noticed two days ago, in the few seconds before Ensign Hickman had interrupted them, she could feel so much more with her body armor removed. Right now all she could think of was how Alexa's warm, lean, muscular body felt against her own, and was how much more intense the sensations would be when the clothing that currently separated them was removed.
Alexa pushed lightly against her shoulders, and Seven pulled away long enough for the Pegasian to gasp out, "bed," and through their link images came of how the two single beds could be moved to form a double. There was no difference between a double bed and two singles beside their placement; a double bed was simply two singles placed side by side. The pedestals were secured to the decking underneath them with magnetic clamps, those could be demagnetized and the entire bed moved to wherever was desired.
Seven felt her entire body tense for a moment in anticipation of what would occur once the beds were moved. "Agreed," she finally managed to reply, forcing herself to release Alexa. As highly motivated as both women were, it did not take them long to move both beds together, reposition the mattresses, and replicate wider sheets to cover it.
"Slowly," Alexa instructed Seven huskily, guiding her to sit down on the now double bed. The Pegasian buried her face in the wheat blonde hair, her hands coming up to remove the pins that held it. She ran her hands through the newly released pale locks, "So beautiful," she whispered, "I want to enjoy all of you, touch all of you," she paused, inhaled a deep breath, "taste all of you." Seven shuddered at the words, aroused no less by them than by the images currently flowing through Alexa's mind.
The Pegasian pulled away far enough to look down into the Borg's face. Raptly Alexa began tracing Seven's features with her hands, exploring with her fingertips skin that had been hidden until now by implants. The blonde tilted her face upwards and closed her eyes, focusing on the fingers upon her face. The warm, light touch traced gently around the star shaped implant near her ear, and then around the external portion of her optical implant. The fingers stilled against her jaw, and she drew in a sharp breath when she felt warm lips retracing the same path. The sensitivity of her remaining external facial implants was unexpected. She had expected to feel warmth and pressure, but she could also feel the soft texture of Alexa's lips along with the sensation of air passing over the surface of the implant from the Pegasian's breath.
She opened her eyes as Alexa offered, "Maybe because they were covered before, maybe they just have more sensors than the protective plate that enclosed them, whatever the reason I'm glad this feels good to you."
Before Seven could reply, the olive skinned woman covered the Borg's full lips with her own. Lips parted, and tongues swirled gently against one another, creating a delicious friction. Wrapped within her rising desire, Seven didn't notice Alexa unzipping the back of both the jumpsuit and biosuit until she felt the fastenings of the supportive brace loosening, and then the warmth of the Pegasian's hands for the first time upon the skin of her back. Fingertips stroked slowly along her spine, and Alexa's lips left hers and began exploring the skin of her jaw and neck. The blonde moaned, and leaned her head to the side; offering up her neck unhesitatingly to the Pegasian's wandering lips.
When they were stranded upon the H Class moon, Seven had been aroused by touching Alexa, but it had been nothing like this. That had built almost without her conscious recognition, this however…this was entirely conscious, and as for recognition, she was achingly aware of every caressing touch, each brush of Alexa's lips against her skin, each gentle nip and rake of the Pegasian's teeth.
Alexa pushed down the material of the blonde's clothing, baring the pale, smooth skin of her shoulders. Lips soon followed, skimming along the top of the newly exposed shoulder, then following the elegant line of the Borg's collarbone. The olive skinned woman pulled away, and only then did Seven realize how awkwardly Alexa had been hunched over her. Hazel eyes met blue, and the Borg couldn't help but notice how dilated they were in a clear visual display of Alexa's arousal, and she did not doubt that her own eyes were just as dilated.
Caught by the surge of heated anticipation along their link, Seven focused upon Alexa's thoughts as the Pegasian knelt between the Borg's open knees, her gaze never leaving the blondes. Seven was surprised at her own passivity; unlike either time before, she did not feel like taking control. The only thing she currently wanted was to concentrate on each stroke of Alexa's fingertips, each brush of the Pegasians lips, each graze of the olive skinned woman's teeth upon her newly bared skin, and to fully experience the reactions and emotions they were causing within her.
Seven wrapped her arms around the Pegasian, pulling her closer and silently urging her to rest more fully upon her. Hesitantly, Alexa complied, gradually resting more and more upon the Borg until she was certain that her full weight was not too much for the blonde to bear. Seven breathed out a quiet sigh of satisfaction, absorbing the sensation of Alexa's body against hers, the weight of it pressing her down into the surface of the bed underneath her.
"You are so beautiful," Alexa murmured against the blonde's lips, she pulled back further and looked down into Seven's face. "So very beautiful," she whispered.
Seven stared back at her, through their link she could sense the sudden shift in Alexa's emotions, and was uncertain how to respond to both the words and the emotions behind them. The heated arousal that had been present before had been easy to understand, but now the Pegasian's emotions were a confusing mix of arousal, caring and reverence. It was the last emotion that puzzled the Borg the most.
"Thank you for allowing me to be your first," Alexa said earnestly.
The Borg was confused, and the Pegasian's thoughts gave her no further insight. How could this be her first sexual act when there had clearly been two previous times upon the moon's surface?
Alexa smiled at her understandingly, "This is the first time I've been able to touch all of you," her fingers stroked the sensitive bare skin of the blonde's sides, emphasizing the point. "To make love to you," she clarified.
"You are correct," Seven noted. The two women stared at each other, the blonde's blue eyes searching curiously; Alexa's filled with warmth and tenderness. "Please continue," whispered Seven finally in a husky tone.
Alexa's smile widened into a grin, and now there was a touch of mischief in it as the Pegasian's mood lightened, "I will comply," she responded.
"How are you doing?" Alexa inquired softly against the skin of her cheek.
Seven considered the question, how was she doing? The adjectives pleased, sated, and contented seemed to accurately describe her current state. The press of Alexa's body above her, the gentle brushing of the Pegasian's lips upon her face, and the light caress of Alexa's hands along her sides only added to and intensified these feelings. Recalling their second time upon the moon's surface and Alexa's description of how she felt, Seven replied, "I believe I may be experiencing a moment of perfection," consciously using the same words Alexa had used.
There was a bright flare of pleased emotion from Alexa before the Pegasian replied, "I'm glad."
Seven felt her lips curving into a responding smile. She didn't fight it but instead allowed herself the luxury of simply enjoying the moment, feeling her body slowly calm. That was when she became aware of the fact that Alexa's body above hers held a certain tension. The Borg stretched slowly, smirking at the low moan her movement elicited from the woman lying on top of her. With a smooth, easy move she rolled them both over. "I believe it is time to experience chocolate ice cream," Seven informed Alexa who was now underneath her.