"Are you sure Tuvok?" Kathryn asked.
"Yes, Captain. Lieutenants Tudor and Torres, Seven, Ensign Vorik, and Crewman Tudor are the only other members of the crew with superior strength, Captain."
"Plus Lieutenant Carey can handle engineering and you've got Harry on the bridge, and Tom."
"Hercules and I can transport everyone back if needed, we just need to buy time for us to get the engines back online."
"All right, but please try and stay alive." They nodded. They suited up and carried two phasers plus a phaser rifle.
"Ready?" Hercules asked. They nodded and transported onto the cube tractor beaming the ship. Xena and Seven quickly went to the consoles attempting to shut down borg shields and the tractor beam. Naturally they adapted, but they compensated long enough for Voyager to be let go, however they were still dead in the water. The borg were now engaging them in a fight.
"You have this?" Xena asked. Seven nodded. Xena and Hercules easily got through the shields with their weapons.
"I've caused the borg cube to self-destruct, we have to get out of here."
"Grab hold of us," Hercules told them. Everyone moved in close to them.
"Head to another cube." Hercules nodded. Unfortunately they went to different cubes, but he and Tuvok joined them immediately.
"We gotta work on our communication skills." He nodded They sabotaged every borg ship until there were no more.
"We have to get out of here before more ships come just on the pretense of salvaging borg parts," Kathryn told them. They nodded. "Where is Xena and Hercules?"
"The continuum Captain, they should be in contact with us shortly," Tuvok told her. She nodded as they all sat around the senior staff room just waiting.
"What did you do to the ship Ares?" Hercules asked.
"Nothing the borg couldn't catch, nice way avoiding the initial attacks by the way, but you're dead in the water now."
"Bastard, why can't you just let it go."
"I am the God of war!" He roared. "No one chooses anyone over me."
"Enough!" Zeus's voice boomed. "I have had enough of this!"
"Undo what you did to that ship Ares, now!" The force of Zeus's voice sent Ares flying through a wall. "Now Xena and Hercules have a mission and I won't have you keeping them from returning to earth." Ares said nothing as he raised his hand. "Xena, Hercules return to your ship."
"Would it have been to much to ask to let us at least have a battle?" Ares asked.
"Thanks Dad," Hercules told him.
"Yes, thank you Zeus."
"You're welcome now go, more borg are coming and salvage some transwarp coils while you're there." They nodded and disappeared.
"Well?" They all asked.
"Everything should..." Everything came back online and they cheered.
"We've been advised to salvage as many transwarp coils as possible before more borg arrive." Kathryn nodded. They worked quickly to salvage anything they could to use transwarp before they were off on warp nine.
"Here I brought you guys all a late night snack," Neelix told them coming into cargo bay two. B'Elanna, Seven, and Xena were all scanning parts and occasionally adding them to a structure.
"Thanks Neelix," Xena told him. They were at it for two days straight before the doctor came in scanning them.
"Seven your neutral patterns are degrading you need to regenerate, and B'Elanna you also would benefit from sleeping." Xena naturally didn't need sleep.
"Go a head get some rest, I'll keep working."
"Just to be safe I would have you asleep as well so as not to tempt the others or yourself just yet."
"Hear you loud and clear doc." He nodded and sent them off to bed.
"So, Lieutenant Tudor, isn't the captain's chair invigorating on the night shift?" Harry asked grinning from ear to ear. Xena returned the grin, but she was a little angry. It had been someone's cruel joke to sign her up for the nightshift after she had laid out all her plans and saved up their holodeck time, which wasn't much when the children wanted to play with flounder all the time.
"Great Harry just great." She sat back a little. "Icheb how are long range scans going in astrometrics?"
"I've located several M-class planets we could rest and work on."
"Good job Icheb, how many light years?"
"Thirty-two, we should reach them by 0600 hours."
"Great a whole hour before we get to see bright skies for a few days and than we'll be home," Harry commented happily. Xena nodded.
"What are short range sensors telling you?"
"Nothing all is clear." An alarm went off. "A ship just appeared off our stern. I don't see any weapons."
"Hail them," Xena ordered the night pilot.
"They're already hailing us," Harry told her. She sat up straight.
"Captain?" There was a little girl on the view screen of Norcadian species. My have you changed."
"I'm not the Captain I'm Lieutenant Tudor Mezoti, and what do you think you're doing flying a ship on your own with no supervision."
"Oh Lieutenant Tudor!" Mezoti exclaimed. A smile broke out onto her face as Azan and Rebi appeared in the view screen.
"Mezoti, Azan, and Rebi you have a lot of explaining to do, prepare for transport immediately," Xena told them.
"Yes ma'am." They looked down.
"Harry transporter room 1 and tracker beam their ship. Erect a biocontainment field to be safe."
"Yes Lieutenant." She hit her commbadge.
"Captain, Commander, and Annika please report to transporter room 1 immediately." She got into the turbo lift. "Deck four." She arrived in the transporter room first and immediately looked them over for any outward infections or such. "Are you three sick?"
"Is there anything I should know?"
"We just wanted to come back is all, we missed you and your stories, and Seven as our mother and teacher. And Icheb," Mezoti told her. Xena smoothed her hair.
"So you stole a ship to get back to us?" They nodded.
"They'll be looking for you no doubt." They shook their heads again.
"We made them thing the borg had us, pretty clever using their own holographic material against them," Rebi told her proudly. Xena shook her head at them.
"It didn't feel like home, Voyager is our home."
"I'm afraid its not me who you need to plead your case too, but the Captain." At that moment the doors opened and Xena took a step back.
"Seven!" They exclaimed and tried to go to her but the biofield was in the way.
"A necessary precaution, however, the bigger problem is that the children had second thoughts about staying with the Wystani people. It seems that they want Seven as their mother and teacher again, and for Voyager to be their home."
"Please Captain we miss it here, and we're sorry for coming like this, but the adults wouldn't let us. So we faked our second assimilation." Seven was silent as her heart rejoiced, if she thought she had missed them when they left, she was more than happy they wanted to return.
"Captain perhaps in light of the situation you will consider letting them stay on with us." Kathryn was silent.
"Yes, I quite agree captain."
"Azan, Rebi, and Mezoti all three of you will send a letter of apology back to the Wystani people immediately, however, if Lieutenant Tudor and Seven I mean Annika will see to your upbringing you may stay." The biofield was lifted and they ran to Xena and Seven already thanking them. "I'll take over the bridge Lieutenant Tudor." Xena nodded.
"Icheb found several M-class planets we could settle on until we're done." Kathryn nodded.
"I'll join you on the bridge," Chakotay told Kathryn. She nodded and they all left.
"What's changed?" Mezoti asked.
"Everything is now child proof," Seven answered. "You all must need to rejuvenate I will take you to the cargo bay. But soon you will be given quarters to share. The cargo bay isn't a place for children to sleep."
"But won't you be lonely seven?" Mezoti asked.
"There have been a lot of changes in the pass few years guys, please let's get to the cargo bay before we explain." They nodded. Once inside the cargo bay they noticed that her alcove wasn't as active." Because she didn't regenerate as often it was not on all the time using energy.
"You haven't been regenerating often?" Azan asked.
"Children sit, I have a story to tell you." They surrounded Xena immediately like chickens to their feed. She informed them of the changes in herself and seven, but most importantly was all the additions to the crew.
"Curious so many children," Rebi commented as they entered the Mess hall. They were all greeted warmly. Naomi insisted they all get together for a game of kadis-kot and introduced them to her brother Evan.
"This is Leonardo and Eleanor, and my husband Hercules." They were in awe of Hercules, he had only been a human myth before, but now he was in the flesh in front of them.
"Things are very busy around here, so Icheb will be taking over your lessons for awhile, we're close to figuring out a way home," Seven told them. They nodded. You will take your lessons in the holodeck today, Naomi and Evan Wildman will be joining you on holodeck one."
"What about the babies?" Mezoti asked dying to go touch one.
"The babies will be occupied on holodeck two, Mezoti, now please off you go." They nodded and left. Soon all the babies were on holodeck two.
"Take her down Tom." They had picked a suitable planet with lots of coverage and no species."
"Neelix where are you taking the children?" Kathryn asked. She was supervising groups.
"The children and I are going to go start a garden, we're going to be here for awhile and Seven thought it would do them some good to learn a thing or two about gardening. And we'll have more fresh vegetables and fruits, and we also need to gather edible things perhaps we could duplicate.
"Neelix come and have a look I found some fruit."
"Gotta go Captain." He hurried off.
"You approved of gardening?"
"It'll keep them out of my hair," Seven told her walking by with Icheb. Xena directed her group of crewman engineers around.
"How's the transwarp coming?"
"I've agreed that I will make test runs with Tom and Hercules, but just around the planet. Transwarp is meant for long distance travel however test runs are better made using short distances, we should basically be there and back in a blink of an eye if all goes well. Once that's done, we're hoping to get a transwarp drive up and running on voyager. A short distance for Voyager would be three thousand light years. I've already got Icheb set for scanning for another M-class planet assuming we get that far, but something goes wrong."
"Ah Lieutenant there you are, you haven't looked at my plans." Xena tried to leave but he had already caught up and it was no use.
"What's all this about doctor?"
"Well since we were setting down and making improvements considering the additions to our ship, and our need to get back home. I came up with improvements for sickbay using some left over borg technology."
"Doctor I am an engineer not an interior designer," Xena sighed.
"Yes, well B'Elanna won't do it and you're the only other person besides Seven and she has her hands full."
"And I don't?"
"I trust you." Xena sighed and snatched the pad before scanning through it. "Well what do you think?"
"Its doable once we've got everything else set up and working. You'll have to wait though Doctor I'm quite busy." He sighed.
"All right very well than. If its okay with you captain when the Lieutenant can I'd like these changes to happen immediately." Kathryn looked at the plans.
"Go right ahead doctor. Its nice to see a little more change around here."
"Icheb is efficiently working with the others on the drives," Seven told B'Elanna and Xena as they spread out the blue prints.
"Come here." Xena said outloud. Seven moved closer to her and she touched her forehead. Seven heard B'Elanna speaking with her. "Nice trick huh, and your thoughts are you own as long as you don't direct them at us and its temporary." Seven nodded.
Could you do one on Icheb this way we can efficiently keep an eye on things.
Sure. B'Elanna will catch you up.
"You want to dismantle the ship?" Kathryn asked in the briefing room.
"Well not dismantle not completely," B'Elanna said.
"Let's not use the word dismantle it's not a fun word, let's just say we want to take it apart just like a child might take apart their flying car," Xena said. "Okay bad example, but still."
"The thing is Captain its getting quite crowded around here. And I don't think a cargo bay is hardly fitting for children." Kathryn nodded.
"They have a point sometimes I don't even see them," Chakotay put in.
"Captain I've been working with them in my spare time, and it is do able."
"What exactly is the plan Mr. Kim?" Tuvok asked.
"If you all turn your eyes to the center of the table," Seven said putting down a round piece of technology, B'Elanna's recent invention. B'Elanna pressed some buttons. And a model appeared. Voyager looked the same, but with more room and more weapons.
"There's not much change except durable haul, more weapons at our disposal, a few more cargo bays, larger mess hall, and more quarters for the crew. Right now we have lower crewman sharing quarters even if they are married and children doubling up in beds. Its over crowded. Not as great if you married a senior officer you know." Kathryn nodded.
"The improvement to all crew quarters including our own shows multiple rooms. Now everyone has their own room, I don't recommend anymore than one more child per couple even the ones like me that have twins. We also have planned for an actual airponics bay better than the one we have. The science lab is directly next to sick bay for the doctor's easy use. However he's also asked for some changes to be made in sickbay. He hopes to create more up to date equipment so to speak. And after further reviewing we can do so with the leftover borg technology.
"We could be unprotected if the borg attack."
"We have also noted that. We have created a field that will mask our technology, borg do not assimilate any civilization they feel to be primitive. They will pass right over us."
"How do we know that Ares isn't still pulling any strings behind the scenes now."
"We don't, however once we have all of our Delta Flyers up and running you'll fine Tuvok that their tactical situation could destroy more than a dozen borg cubes keeping us safe. And actually with all this borg technology we're putting on the ship they may even just mistake us for one of them.
"Really?" Chakotay asked. Xena shook her head.
"No, not really," Xena said truthfully. "However these are the improvements to the sickbay. Every biobed is a surgical table and will be controlled by a central console and a back up console in his office. However instead of six biobeds with the extra room there's twelve. And we're keeping the central surgical bed however it is great superior to all the others which could handle minor surgery."
"The doctor also asked for an upgrade to our tricorders. Xena has a prototype."
"Doctor have you tested it?" Kathryn asked.
"Yes, Captain, and I must say they work very well, even more detailed readings."
"With your permission Captain we'd like to make a slightly more permanent looking structures, we don't recommend anyone on the ship unless they are managing the scanners, weapons, or holodecks."
"All right, let's do it." They nodded pleased. "But first I want to make sure we're all well protected.
"Ready?" Xena asked Seven, B'Elanna, and Tuvok through the comm system.
"Yes," They chorused. Xena and Tom were up in the Delta Flyer.
"All right Tom launch the Pod." He launched a silver ball. It gave the appearance of protecting a primitive people as if some outside source had protected them. It connected with three pieces of technology on the ground. Once it was up and running they prepared to do a test run of the Delta Flyer. Things went smoothly. They traveled to one end to another and than they were authorized a few days later along with other flyers to go out of orbit of the planet.
"Wow away missions won't take so long now." Xena nodded as she grinned. "This was worth the slight chance we might warp into reptiles."
"No kidding, would you like the honor of driving back."
"Do you even have to ask?" This particular Delta Flyer had controls belonging to a twenty-first century jet airplane, personally it was for her. In her time she had been a pilot among other things. Tom moved and they coordinated the test flight back.
"How did it go?" Kathryn asked. Xena noted she looked a little sick.
"Great, Captain, I'd say that the Delta Flyers are more than ready for action."
"Good, now let's see to it that Voyager is ready." They nodded. Tom left Kathryn's home.
"You can stop being formal." Xena relaxed her stance.
"Kathryn, have you been to see the doctor today at all."
"Too afraid." Xena was slightly surprised she wasn't avoiding her probing question.
"Afraid?" Xena asked. "Now why would you be afraid?"
"If you must pry, I'm afraid that he'll say I'm just sick."
"Ah I see."
"Do you know some ancient home remedy?"
"Um...the only one I can think of that is even remotely successful would be peeing on wheat and barley over the course of several days."
"And how does that give me results?" Kathryn asked seriously considering it.
"Well, the idea is if either grows your pregnant. If the wheat grows you're having a girl and if the barley grows your having a boy."
"And how accurate is the gender identifying of this test?"
"Not very, but the real point is to let you know if you're pregnant. But the best method without going to the doctor is to watch for signs of pregnancy. How long have you been feeling sick?"
"Since we got here."
"No, and he doesn't need too we're not together, the sperm is from a secret donor." Xena's jaw dropped.
"Where the hell have I been that I missed this. I bet people have been gossiping about it right under my nose. All the things I've missed man..."
"No one knows, we're keeping up appearances." Xena brought her attention back to her Captain.
"Right of course." Xena looked down and rocked back and forth.
"Go ahead," Kathryn sighed. Xena grinned.
"Right now back to you come lay down over here let me have a look at you." Kathryn complied knowing Xena's mother was a midwife and she had been taught the craft. She took off her jacket and Xena felt her stomach after pulling up her shirt. Xena asked her about other symptoms that might have come about.
"What's your prognosis?" Kathryn asked.
"Crackers in the morning and rise slowly, that way you won't get terrible nausea and vomiting, if your lucky in two months you'll be rid of the worst part of the morning sickness, though it'll still be around. Still I really think you need to head to the doctor and be sure about it. Though your body does show signs of change." Kathryn nodded.
"Can you at least let me get to the doctor and back before you go blabbing."
"You're got thirty seconds, and I started counting when you finished talking." Kathryn sighed and hurried to the doctor.
"What are you just bursting to tell?" Hercules asked Xena when she walked over.
"Is it that obvious?"
"Yeah, when someone gives you permission to tell something, but you know they don't really want it out there. You try and hold it in."
"Interesting to know about myself."
"I hate to tell you this, but you my dear are a complete gossip nowadays."
"I know and its terrible."
"Yeah, but the important thing is you don't tell anything super important if they tell you in confidence."
"Maybe, so are you ready for tomorrow?"
"What's tomorrow?" Hercules asked.
"Well since the Delta Flyers are running everyone's been promised a week of complete and total rest before we start on Voyager they're even taking turns on the holodeck and some are going down to the coast for a swim and camp out at the beach."
"So are we taking the kids to the beach?"
"Just the first day, because it's a first, but that night we're going away."
"Going away where?" Hercules asked. "There's no where to go." Xena sighed and rolled her eyes.
"I'm going to let you think on it." Xena got close to him on purpose and touched his face as she walked off.
"You're a terrible tease you know that?"
"Always," Xena called back
"Mommy!" Eleanor squealed in delight as the water touched her feet as Xena dipped her feet. Xena chuckled.
"Ready to go back in." Eleanor nodded her head vigorously as she looked down and Xena lowered her as the tide came back. She squealed in delight again and Xena let her wiggle her toes in the sand as she watched a smile appear on Leonardo's face and heard Miral's own squeal of delight. Xena lifted Eleanor up again.
"Are you ready to go a little farther in the water?" Eleanor nodded her head eager to swim like the older children.
"Ah lovely day isn't it?" The Doctor asked. Everyone nodded. Xena walked in slowly letting the water rise. No matter how Eleanor began to protest and finally she was holding her so Eleanor was up to her waist in water. Xena taught her how to hold her breath and hold onto her as she swam a little farther out. Leonardo absolutely shrieked and didn't want Hercules to take him in.
"Hercules just bring him in, he'll get use to it," Xena told him as Hercules stepped into the water again this time ignoring his cries and finally when they reached Xena he calmed down clinging to her hoping she would take him back to shore, but she didn't.
"Its okay Leo you're going to be perfectly fine." That night they waited until after the camp fire and for the children to fall asleep before they stuck off.
"Have fun," B'Elanna giggled.
"Shut up," Xena told her before she disappeared and Hercules followed shaking his head at a chuckling Tom and B'Elanna.
"What's this place?" Hercules asked.
"The Continuum, Aphrodite made it, isn't it nice?"
"Here we can be as loud as we need too." Hercules grinned.
"None, we won't be alerted about in time. Aphrodite is keeping a good eye on things." She grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him to her. They kissed. The fire that ignited on their lips and than spread like wild fire made them radiate heat. Hercules pulled back.
"Let's never not have sex again."
"Agreed," Xena whispered. Her lips were already swollen from their kiss. She reluctantly pulled away. "You stay here while I get into something much more comfortable."
"Sounds like a great idea, I'll get naked." Xena chuckled and hurried out of the room. She opened a door to find Aphrodite and Cupid inside.
"I thought I heard a pair of wings moving."
"Cupid," Aphrodite scolded.
"Out," Xena said. "If there's one thing that lessens the experience of sex is knowing some one is deliberately listening to you."
"Yes, but you two are such virgins when it comes to God sex, what if something goes wrong," Aphrodite pouted.
"Like what, he's got the stamina of Zeus. We'll be fine just go." Xena turned to head back to Hercules.
"True, true, but what if he puts it in the wrong hole?" Xena stopped abruptly almost tripping herself before she turned back around with a slightly scared but puzzled look on her face.
"Um...I have to ask and I'm sure I might regret it, but what do you mean wrong hole?"
"I'm just saying its very easy for a God especially a new god to get carried away and get you in the ear, and because he's a God it'll work out for him." Xena's eyes went wide as she held her ears. "Or if he just can't find a hole like almost immediately he can make a new one appear and he'd never know the difference." Xena made a frightened noise that sounded faintly like what but neither Aphrodite, nor Cupid could tell. The look on her face was priceless as he mouth hung open.
"She's just lying to you Xena, she just wants to stay," Xena told herself until she had buried the shock.
"I'm not lying..."
"Yes, you are, so bye both of you." Cupid started laughing.
"Didn't really want to listen anyway," Cupid chuckled. He left and it took her a little longer to get Aphrodite out and seal the temple. She went back to their room and was naked by the time she came through the door. She looked around when he wasn't in bed and bumped right into him when she turned to look behind her. The feeling of bare skin against bare skin was enough to bring anyone to climax. He took out her hair clip and she shook out her hair. They kissed gently and Xena immediately forgot about what Aphrodite had said, the idea that would happen was ridiculous until she felt something going for her hair.
"What the fuck!" Xena yelled. The fire suddenly lit lighting the room up so they could see each other.
"What?" Hercules asked.
"Did you just try and fuck my ear?" Xena asked in disbelief holding her ear. Hercules made a face.
"No, I couldn't get it in if I did."
"Than what was trying to get in my ear, it didn't feel like a finger. Though why you would try and give me a wet willy if that was a finger is mind boggling because its not sexy."
"Relax, I don't know what it was, you probably just imagined it. Its been awhile we're both about to be shy about this."
"Nothing to do with shyness." She calmed down and they got back to making out with the fire going to make sure everything was visible and she meant everything. They were able to make love without anymore incidents.
"You're so beautiful," Hercules whispered into her ear as he breathed on her ear and down her neck before kissing her. "I love you."
"I love you too."
"So you'd like me better as a Klingon?" Xena asked as she left bite marks on him. Their thoughts were flowing freely between them, but they took extra care that children could not see through their eyes or their thoughts. "Well show me that you like what I'm doing to you just like a klingon." Hercules got a little more aggressive as did she drawing blood on his cheek.
"Lieutenant I simply can't understand how you got splinters under all of your fingernails," The doctor told her the next morning. "Its like you were scratching a tree."
"More like a table," Xena whispered.
"What was that?" the Doctor asked.
"Nothing doctor, nothing at all." He removed them all without any problems.
"Marble Lieutenant really?" the Doctor asked.
"I don't know it was so weird, I just woke up and you know marble under nails and I just couldn't get it out."
"Really you'll need to try and get control of your powers what if they become a danger?"
"Oh I'll definitely get control soon doctor, I promise."
"Lieutenant you have metal under your nails!"
"I know, I know. I'm getting better honest no need to tell anyone."
"All right, but I'd like to see some improvement."
"All right Lieutenant now this has gone far enough if you were human, you would be dead. Plasma under the nails." Hercules snickered and the doctor turned on him. "And I don't know what you're snickering about as if you've been any better. Frankly I must report this to the Captain."
"No, no wait I promise, this won't happen again truly, I promise."
"If you come in here one more time either of you I'll be forced to tell."
"Yes, Doctor." They left out giggling to begin their first day back to work.