She stares back at me, eyeless, unflinching, surrounded and consumed, yet unmoving, in the terror of a thousand souls torn from their shells, forever trapped in between ascension and being. Screams, desperate screams, the sounds of a fetus ripped prematurely from its mother's womb, echo relentlessly in her mind but go unheard, concealed by the thousand voices of her fellow drones.

She mimics me as I move.

Her fingers close around the blade, and she lifts it to her breast, but she does not bleed.

Not as I do.

The blood gushes, trailing down my abdomen, matting the curls that cover my mons.

She watches me, curiously, still moving as I do, pressing it deeper into herself but never flinching.

The carpet beneath my feet is soaked, my toes red with the scarlet gush. I am surprised at its volume, for just one cut, and it feels odd against my fingers, slick but sticky and thick. I slide my fingers into it, as Chakotay slid his into me, and for a moment I imagine, as I did then, that it is Kathryn.

Pain is simply an unpleasant sensory experience –irrelevant.

She removes the fingers from the bloodless wound, and brings the blade down her center, and as I cut, I bleed, and she still does not. I have to stop at the implant just above my mound, and I start again, deeper. It gushes far more, hurts far more…I dimly wonder if I will see her inside.

This part of my body feels different than my breast. Instead of fatty tissue and muscle, it is slick hot organs of an endless length, coiled in a beautiful pattern that leaves her transfixed as she stares at me. They threaten to spill out of the incision, to burst forth from the parted fat and flesh and muscle, and I have to hold them in.

I feel so light yet so heavy, so hot and so cold.

She has opened herself too, but there's nothing there, and I do not see her inside of me.

But she is there, cold and unbroken.

And they are there, tortured and screaming.

They are me, I am them.

I am not Seven of Nine, not Annika Hansen.

I am drifting, ascending, screaming.

I am falling, my knees hitting the floor, my intestines spilling out before me.

Darkness swarms, the comforting regression.