by Delta Story

March 2001


She damn near cost us the ship – and our lives! – with her little infatuation. I know that I want her to explore her humanity as much as she can… but this time she took it a little bit too far.

I give her credit for deleting all of the holodeck programs she designed for this little escapade; but I am now chastising myself for calling up the encodements before they were expunged from the system. After all, they were her private business and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone eavesdropping into my fantasies… or would I? It truly was an accident that I happened across the files; after all, it is part of my duty to review all official records… to determine whether they should be purged or saved for future reference.

"Seven of Nine: Alpha-3" scrolled across my screen. I noted the stardate on the program and thought it might be the realigned gravimetric array conformation that Seven had been working on around that date, and thought that perhaps it had been accidentally deleted. Although we hadn’t been approached any more by the stray warheads, I always like to have contingency plans up my sleeve. I entered the decoding information and waited as the monitor screen resolved itself. No, this wasn’t a technical file after all; it was a holodeck program. Was this what had been consuming all of Seven’s time recently… why she had been negligent of duty and of her own personal maintenance?

The initial darkness on the screen lightened into a shadowy panorama; I suddenly realized that I was looking at someone’s quarters on the ship. Now, I haven’t been privy to each and every residential unit on Voyager, but it was obvious that this unit was that of an officer. It was large and quite tastefully decorated, including a piano to one side of the living area. A slow full circle scan of the room showed that its furnishings included a large plush sofa underneath the outer window, a couple of chairs, and a dining area with a simple but elegant floral arrangement. Through an open door, I could see the sleeping area – a large bed, plump and cozy with pillows, and a circular wall adornment that I remembered seeing once in Chakotay’s quarters… what had he called it? A dreamspinner? No, that wasn’t quite the right word; but it was something like that.

I paused the program, confused and questioning. The program was labeled as Seven’s; why would it have items from Chakotay’s quarters in it? This was getting more mystifying by the minute. Then I saw the coding for the sub-files – recordings of the various sessions when this particular program had been used. This larger one was merely an execution file for running the holodeck program. Buried within its matrix were files of actual times the program had been run – at total of fifty-eight hours and seventeen minutes, the time spread out over the last six days. I shook my head; so she had continued with this diversion, even after our counseling session. According to the long list of sub-files, she had accessed the program thirteen times. Just what was so compelling about this particular holo-routine?

Before I realized it, I opened one of the more recent documentations. The initial sequence showed a very non-Seven version of our adopted Borg; she stood in front of a mirror, her golden hair flowing over bare shoulders, her taunt figure filling out a snug red dress. Suddenly, a voice called out to her from "off screen", and she turned, revealing a flawless, implant-free face, lips full and slightly open, petulant yet inviting. The voice – I didn’t even have to see who it was; I only knew too well. I closed my eyes, squeezing back fast-forming tears, hoping that my supposition was incorrect. But his words came out with such warmth and affection that I had to open them… and watch, to my horror… the beginning of a scene that will haunt me through eternity. It was Chakotay speaking , looking as charming and congenial as I had ever seen him. He was obviously a more-than-welcomed guest here, in what I now realized were her quarters… her dream quarters. She slowly sauntered over to him; he drank in every supple move she made, seeming to memorize every centimeter of her body.

I should have terminated the program then and there; after all, it was only a holodeck whimsy. But some masochistic demon willed me to continue watching the scenes as they played out in front of me… sophomoric, pubescent, naïve though they were. It was as if Seven had conjured up every romantic cliché from the library of holonovels and molded her ‘play’ around them. The earliest psychiatric geniuses would have reveled in her imagery, so blatant and infantile was it: jokes about phasers; long-necked champagne bottles; large carrots; long slow sucks of fingers.

I would have laughed… I should have laughed… but I found I couldn’t. Why… of all people… had she picked Chakotay to be the ‘man of her dreams’? Then I mentally answered my own question. Because he was the only one left for her… the ideal person with whom she could practice her smoldering ‘romantic’ humanity. She had made no secret of the fact that there wasn’t any ‘available’ male aboard Voyager who could come close to her ideas of perfection; nor would any male on Voyager have dared to think of any venture that would include ‘romancing of the Borg’. Even as her imagination played out her story, it was obvious that poor Chakotay didn’t match up to her inhuman ideals! But she had programmed his character well; she built in his strengths of teaching with patience and kindness; indeed, she even called him ‘kind’.

As she continued her teasing ‘seduction’ of him, the program persisted in mesmerizing me, my voyeurism revealing to me characteristics of my first officer that have remained sequestered deep within my subconscious all these long years. My fingertips felt his burnished skin as she traced the smokiness of his tattoo down and around the firmness and hollows of his face. Her lips became mine as they tentatively touched his with their initial kiss, hesitant at first but quickly transforming into growing desire. I sensed my age-wearied, not-so-firm flesh become as hers, young and nubile and hungry as their bodies pressed closer and closer to each other. I could feel the heat radiating from each of them, drawing their bodies to one another in the eternal attraction of aroused sexuality.

In one long fluid step, they danced over to the sofa, its soft surfaces inviting them into its welcoming embrace. My body wept as it lost its hold with her, floating above and around them, daring to glance at them as they became lost in one another. Moans and sighs became flashes and streaks of red and gold and pink and bronze and brown. My flesh cried out to be rejoined, to unite in the celebration; but all I felt was the chill of cold starlight from the window behind them. Soft whimpers led to stillness, as they curled into one another, sleep wrapping its arms around them.

The shrill cry of a summons to Seven from the bridge concluded the loathsome sub-file. It disappeared from the screen, bringing me back to my own reality. My breathing came in rapid shallow gasps, my forehead damp with clammy perspiration and my hands shaking so hard that I could barely grasp the edge of my desk to steady myself. I was certain that the wild thumpings of my heartbeat would be detected by the bridge sensors. I willed myself into a more calmed state, reminding myself that I was the interloper here; I was the one erring this time. And, after all, Chakotay was ‘fair game’; I certainly couldn’t hold any claims on him or whatever he chose to do.

I should speak to her about the program, letting her know that what she did was wrong – against unwritten Starfleet protocol… that we never, but never, write our crewmates as objects of our pleasure in holodeck programs. However, if I do this, she will know that I recovered the program, which she had already deleted from the holodeck files. Additionally, such disciplinary measures really would fall under Chakotay’s jurisdiction and duties – he should be the one to instruct her in the ethical issues regarding holodeck programs. But that would be ludicrous… and potentially dangerous! So… this entire part of Seven’s history will be a fifty-eight hour blank space in the annals of Voyager’s adventures.

I know that none of it was real… that he wasn’t real; but it still hurts. It’s a simple nuisance – a small, insignificant wound that hurts like hell initially, re-opening easily and taking its own sweet time to heal.

~~ finis ~~

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