A quick thanks and abreaction to my fellow FF weightier the Cheshire Cheese for her much needed and appreciated help. Without whom this fan fiction wouldn't be any good at all.
I don't Own Star trek Voyager and even if I did I wouldn't know what to do with it other than shout at it. I own nothing save my delusions.
If we forget today, will we remember tomorrow?
"The past never lets us go, it is persistent and unalterable. The future however is aloof a Stanger. It stands with its back to us, mute and private. Refusing to commutate what it knows or what it sees..." Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, War Hammer 40000.
Since the first sapient races, now lost to histories forgotten pages, turned their attention towards the infinity of space. To those fledgling species that have only just started to brave the empty blanket of night that cradles their birth planet. Comparisons had being made between the vast expansive and the vast oceans and seas that doted their home worlds.
It was not an unfair comparison as the unknowable void was a kin to an ocean in its depth and mystery.
The star's that had once guided their ancestors on across the seas and oceans of their home planet's and would see them safely back to home. Now became destinations in of themselves and the sun that had warmed their planet since before the dawn of their species would now act as a beacon in the night to guild its children back to safe harbor when they tired of the lengthy journey.
It had being the same for humanity when they braved the stars generations past, so it was the same one day for the Crew of Voyager.
Through their return was proving lengthier than any had foreseen
This very prospect above most others, often weighed heavily on the minds of those that lived aboard the USS Voyager as it sailed though distant and strange oceans of blackness and what drove them ever forwards. Its sleek grey body drove prowled through immeasurable gulfs of space, resembling in abstract the body of some strange cuttlefish that had being rendered in metal.
Its shovel like prow breached though thick bands clouds of cosmic dust. Her shields glowed slightly as larger pieces of debris impacted against the invisible barrier, creating brilliant if brief flashes of light.
Distant light from the solar systems local star reflected of its grey hull as it pushed though the final layers of the drifting cloud, bathing the vessel as it journeyed ever onwards.
Few onboard knew what each of those foreign islands of light had in store for them, so each had to be approached with caucus consideration.
Lest its crew never return home
Though the prospect of returning homes was perhaps the furthest thing in the mind of Voyager's seconded in command, Commander Chakotay as he sat alone in Voyagers empty and darkened mess hall. His dark handsome though age lined face reflected his current ill humour, terse concentration and frustration weighted heavy on his tan and tattooed brow.
His heart longed for an alien woman, he had known and perhaps had against his better judgment, fallen for in only a handful of days.
A woman he had fallen for apparently the second time, through due to a quirk of her species biology. He could not recall their first romance and thanks to that same quirk he wouldn't recall their seconded for much longer. If he was better at controlling his own emotions he might have being able to appreciate the irony that only early today their roles had being reversed.
This time around she had being the one to lose her memories of their time together and the Voyager crew as they had being taken by one of her own kind. Though for whatever reason, despite his pleas, protestations of affection, attempts to remind and rekindle their romance. Kellin had being unmoved by everything he had done and said. She had felt nothing for him or Voyager and without a reason or desire to stay, she had gone willing back to the world she had left behind.
What made this worse at least in his own mind as he sat alone in the empty mess hall was he had to considered the likely possibility would that he was the last people to even so much as recall as a fragment of her existence.
He couldn't recall ever feeling this completely alone, before. His sense of isolation and feelings of frustration one grew as the night stretched on, every moment that past allowed more and more of his thoughts and feeling attained to Kellin to slip away. If it wasn't for the half a dozen pages of text detailing the last few days that lay splayed out in front of him. No record or memory that he had even so much meant a woman named Kellin let alone loved her, would remain.
Tears fell down his tan checks, his dark tattooed brow caressed as he slumped against the hard table as he desperately tried to recall anything else. Any small detail he could think of anything that he might have missed. He searched and searched for anything that might one day spark his memory and feelings once again any small detail he had over looked that hadn't being swept away to be unremembered and unmourned but there was nothing. No it was worse than nothing there was less to recall with each moment that past and soon in an hour maybe two, three at best he wouldn't recall a thing.
All that would remain was his dairy
"Kellin" Chakotay whispered his normally deep voice cracking in quite grief, almost like a pray he would offer to his peoples spirits. He sniffed weakly trying to bring the memory of her to the forefront of his mind. Her face and features, her sent and touch were becoming indistinct.
Anger flared hot and heavy in his chest making his eyes burn and heart thump like a war drum. "It's not fair" he screamed, his rage filling the darkened mess hull
However righteous his rage at the injustice of his current predicament was, like most rage it was ultimately impendent sound and fury signifying nothing. Slowly at first and then with inevitable certainty it ebbed away leaving only exhaustion in its wake.
Chakotay found that he grateful for the isolation the late hour granted him. As he had no wish for the crew to see him like this, he doubted anyone would even understand as more than likely they had all, already forgotten their strange encounter with the Alien women Kellin.
To refocus his mind, he cast his gaze about the mess hall.
Pail sliver light poured though the mess halls large observation window, illumining everything in shades of shark monochrome. All around him chairs were stacked on top of gleaming tables their frames cast long shadows that seemed to creep along the dark blue carpeting as the light sifted.
Now and again the mess hull was illumined buy flashes of brillante light as the smaller fragments of cosmic debris from the cloud of gritty material Voyager had droving through, impacted the shields. Here one moment than gone the next. Chakotay couldn't help but find a kind of morbid similarity between the brief flashes that and his own whirlwind romance. A bright brief beautiful moment, faded into less than background recollection.
'Sprits I starting to sound like the doctor' Chakotay mussed, ideally as he returned his gaze to the rest of the mess hull he had only skimmed so far.
The surfers of the galley and sizable kitchen beyond were all spotless, fridges, cuboids and stove tops all gleamed under the low lighting.
Bowls full of colourful fruits and vegetables injected much needed dashes of colour. Reeds of fragrant herbs hung from hooks over head, filling the chill air with a mixture of scents, some inviting others profoundly unappealing. Though their unique scents couldn't quite, overcome the bitter harsh smell of stagnant coffee which waffled from the half a dozen cups that surrounded him.
Chakotay mewled pitifully as he felt a painful pinch in his stomach as it rolled at being reminded of his folly, his head starting to pound. "I don't know how Kathryn can stand drinking as much of this stuff as she does?" He mumbled darkly as he glared despondently at the collection of cups. Laying his head against the cool table top for a moment or two as he recalled his exact reasons for his intense dislike of the repugnant beverage but not why he had dunk so much when at most he would consume one maybe two cups a day. "What am I even doing down here?" he queried as he stared blankly at the silent cups for a time.
A moment passed and then another as he pondered unable to quite recall, it was like a name being caught on the tip of his tough. He had being weighting...about something important. He had being worried, frustrated annoyed even angry! He still was he had difficulty recalling exactly why as his mind relaxed a faction, the cool touch of the table against his tan skin soothing gaggled nerves.
He bolted upwards his mind, drawing a blink. On an impulse he snatched at the small collection of lose papers that had somehow slipped from his grasp and rested on the other side of the table. They were crumpled and had a few tell tale droplet stains marking them. He unfurled them and quickly searched for the name he couldn't quite recall anymore.
After a panicked moment or two he found what he was looking for, the reason why he was doing all this, why he was down here alone in the dark with a pounding head ach and a gut full of coffee her name was 'Kellin' and he had loved her. He whispered her name over and over to himself in a drone like cant as he tried to picture her in his mind's eye.
Still even with the reminder in hand it was only a stop gap masseur, Kellin and his feeling for her were fading faster and faster. All he could do now was buy a little more time, reparking the dyeing embers of his passion for a moment more but soon even an inferno of recollection wouldn't be enough. For what was an inferno to the inevitability of time? But the pails and weakest flint set out into storm ravaged seas.
Frustration arced up his spine and not for the first time since Kellin had left to return to her home, he couldn't help but wonder why hadn't he thought to make some record of their first romance? Surely that would have helped matters, if he had he would have believed her story sooner they could have found some way to fraught the Tracer that came to retrieve her.
According to her nearly a month ago when she had first encountered the Voyager crew while searching for another member of her people that wished to leave their closed society. They had apparently worked closely together, after she had explained the situation. Thanks to their common interests and personalities they soon fell for each other.
However it was not to last as she was more loyal to her people and goal than she was attached to their fledgling romance and left knowing in a day's time she would be completely forgotten. Though it now seemed that between then and last few days Kellin had decided to risk everything and mark herself a criminal on the off chance that she could repark his feelings for her once fallen for her a seconded time.
Maybe Kellin had told him not to? Perhaps he had and she'd destroyed the evidence as she hadn't wanted to betray her people's secrecy, maybe he just hadn't thought about it but he supposed the why, didn't matter. He sighed forlornly "How long do I have left?" Chakotay wondered as he folded the papers into as neat a square as he could mange and put them in his breast pocket so he didn't risk losing them.
He rubbed his for head gingerly; the half a dozen cups of coffee he had drunk were really starting to get to him. His hands shock as the overdose of caffeine burned through him making his heart pound and stomach feel heavy and unpleasant. Exhaustion wearing his last nevus thin "Why am doing this?" Chakotay wondered briefly, a dark thunderous expression pulling at his brow. "Wouldn't it be better to not remember that remembering having my heart torn again?"
Chakotay balled his fists as he couldn't help but think about how often he had gone though this song and dance before "And everyone make fun of Harry for his failures with women..." He laughed bitterly as he thought on everything from his teenage crushes, his more serious relationships in years gone past to the women whom had affected him for better and for worse in recent years Seska, Riley, Kathryn and now...
"Kel-in" he murmured brokenly as his had to resist the impulse the open up his breast pocket, retrieve his diary. 'What would even be the point, I would just forget again in a few minutes' Chakotay thought nihilistically, his mood souring.
It was then as he let out a defeated, exasperated sigh as he slumped against the hard metal table. He realised the true horror of what was happing to his memories. He wasn't losing them in the traditional sense where he might be tormented by some vague recollection in years to come. It was more sinister than that, come morning he wouldn't even know she had ever existed. There would be no lose or grief, no gaping hole to explore no clue to a great love earned and lost, nothing to make the last few days in anyway memorable.
'If it wasn't for these sheets, there would be no record.' He thought idly patting his breast pocket without even realising he was doing it he reached into his pocket and retrieved his impromptu dairy and held it by the corners "I could just rip them up...save myself the pain...it'd be like it never happened."
Resentment hung off his words like treating thunder clouds. "I need to get my mind off these things" Chakotay murmured as he shoved the pagers back into his pocket.
He gathered up the half dozen stainless steel mugs, the stink their former contents hitting him in the face like a wet towel making his stomach roll. He swore he would to never drink this much coffee ever again or let the half drunk contents stagnate linger like he had. He quickly filled up one of the Galleys skinks with hot soapy water and rinsed out the cups contacts.
"Spirits I'm getting old" Chakotay couldn't stop a tried, slightly bitter, self deprecating laugh from slipping from him. How many times had he criticized this very mindset in his younger years? How many times did he give his parents and everyone else in his community grief about their backwards way of life?
To many times, Chakotay thought a mirthless and melancholy smile pulled at his lips as he drained the sink whipping down the mugs and his hands on a tea towel.
The torment and frustration that pulled at his mind abated slightly as he put away the last of the metal mugs, the impromptu chore soothing his aggravated mind preventing him from doing anything unwise. Choosing that moment to cast his forlorn gaze across the mess hull, his breath caught in his throat as he watched the pail light of the solar systems distant star reflected of the metallic material that made up the bands of cosmic grit, offering him a spectacularly view as the cloud shimmered like pure spring water.
He couldn't help but wonder what Kellin might have looked like bathed the soft slivery light that emanated from this systems sun but when he tried to imagine her haloed by the cosmic beauty that lay before him. He realised much to his horror he couldn't quite recall what she really looked like any more. Nothing beyond her most key features and even those were little more than verge recollections, his head ach returned as he strained his mind to conjure up more.
Needing a remedy to ease his frayed nerves, he walked over to the closet of the three large replicators which took up the southernmost wall.. "Computer hot chocolate, dark with a pitch of cinnamon" Chakotay ordered surprised by how horse he sounded.
"Alert your remaining replicator credit ration is insufficient to fulfil this request, processing will deplete your remaining credit and will affect the amount you will receive upon your next credit ration. Do wish you to proceed or cancel your order?" The computers monotone feminine voice inquired.
Chakotay rolled his eyes in aggregation, an action he soon regrated forgetting how raw they were "Yes precede!" he curtly ordered.
The replicator hummed for a moment as it spun matter out of energy in a blur of simmering light. A steaming glass full of hot chocolate soon mutualised, his nostrils' faired as the smell of the thick dark liquid filled hit him reminding him vaguely of home. When he was a child and well into his misspent teenage years, his mother would often make him this very same treat when he was feeling down or ill. A tradition no doubt handed down though the generations since his people invented the beverage millennia ago. He returned to the seat he had vacated and relaxed as much as he was able in the hard mess hall chairs, just enjoying the smell of the dark chocolate savouring its rich sent.
He took a short sip. The warm slightly bitter texture of the steaming liquid worked its way down his dry throat doing an admiral job of settling his nerves and stomach as he knew only it could. True the replicator's recreation didn't hold a candle to any variation of the same product created with real ingredients and skill rather than what a machine like the replicator could manage but Voyager was tragically low on coco trees.
It was the best he could hope for and it was at least palatable unlike some of the substations and experiments Neelix had tried valiantly to create or find a delta quadrant equivalent.
"Ahh that hits the spot" Chakotay mumbled contently as he let out a long tired sigh. He meant to pace himself but soon found he couldn't help himself. Before he knew it the whole glass was drained. Warmth coursed through his tight mussels easing them. Likewise his head ache eased as a pleasant drowsiness fell upon him, exhaustion finally getting the better of him as his eyes closed.
Chakotay stirred suddenly as he heard to all too familiar harsh, hiss of automatic doors opening and closing, alerting him to the fact he was no longer alone. He could only just recall fragments of the reason why he lingered in the cold abandoned mess hull, just enough for his desire to mix with the half formed dreams that played in fount of his mind's eye.
Dreamily with eyes have lidded with disturbed sleep he turned to regard the intruder. The figure was tall clearly feminine, shapely, processed blonde hair and wore primary red clothing.
In a moment a weakness something gave!
Perhaps he had pushed his mind to hard. Sprits knew after everything he had being though in the last few years something was had to give sooner or later.
Perhaps his mind simply played a trick on him. Overlaying the images of a woman whose memory was as faint to him a distant mirage in a heat backed wasteland on top of any figure that shared similar characteristics.
Perhaps it was simply hope that somehow some way she could have found her way back to him, that somehow against reason and logic she had regained all that she had lost and returned.
Whatever the reason be it exhortation, lunacy or mistaken identify, for a moment he saw his lover stand before him, as real and solid as the table he rested his head mere hear beats ago.
"Kellin" Chakotay cried, elation overcoming any rational thoughts, springing from his chair like a jack in the box. In faction of a heartbeat he wrapped her in a tight embrace. Not noticing the women, recoiling from the sudden and intense physical contact like he was a burning brand taken to her flesh. "Kellin...how are you here? Did you escape from that tracer...How did you get your memory back?"
"Commander?" Seven of Nine grasped, shocked by the sudden contract. If Commander Chakotay had heard her through his incoherent babbling he made no sign other than to squeeze her tighter. "Realise me" She requested softly unsure as to how to proceed given the commanders obvious emotional distress. Perhaps some affirmation of affection, empathy or understanding would restore the commander's mental equilibrium? Seven drew upon her recollections of witnessing various crew mates offer comfit to each other.
Ensign Wildman whom she was closer to than most of the rank and file of the general ship's population outside of the senior staff and those that worked with her in Astrometrics. Often comforted her precious's offspring when the child, Namoi when she frequently damaged herself by petting the child on the head and offering platitudes of comfit while the child was being repaired. She doubted that method would work considering that Commander Chakotay was not a small child nor seemed show any sign of physical injury. There was also the last time she stated she would add in repairing an injured crew mate, one Ensign Blain had reacted poorly to her offer of assistance. Her lack of bed side manner and the fact that the general population of the crew were still afraid of her lead him to the conclusion she intended to assimilate him, she had no wish to repeat that misunderstanding.
She briefly considered emulating Lieutenant's Torres and Paris as they were often publicly affectionate towards each other but desired against such a course of action as those very affections were usually a preamble to the couple's copulation.
She quickly suppressed a flutter of embarrassment that flushed across her pale face as she recalled her misunderstanding with Ensign Kim. Which lead her to the conclusion that she had lacked the requisite knowledge or understanding of human norms to possibly act upon such biological imperatives, especial given the contradictions present with in humanoids view and approach that the subject of copulation.
Frustration and annoyance arched though her like a bolts of electivity as she was unable to think of any efficiency method to show compassion toward Commander Chakotay and have him release her at the same time. The painful increase in pressure brought on by the commander's desperation didn't help matters. "Realise me at once!" Seven snapped before she could suppress the flare of annoyance that burnt in her chest.
Seven's direct blunt command was like a bucket of ice water dunked on top of his head, he stumbled backwards, his delusion smashed. Chakotay more sensed than saw her reach forward to steady him but he shooed away her hand and found his way back to his chair. He Buried his face in his hands "I'm sorry...so...so sorry..." Chakotay sobbed as reality came crashing down around him.
"Commander, are you well?" Seven blurted out automatically, she cringed at stupidity of her remark. It was obvious even to one as lacking in emotional maturity as she was, that Commander Chakotay was most defiantly not well, she had no idea as to how alleviate whatever afflicted him. She approached him warily, prepared for another outburst. She had only seen commander Chakotay suffering from such obvious mental strain once before after he had being taken captive and brainwashed by the Vori several months ago. "Do you wish me to contact the Doctor?" Seven asked at a lost as to what to do."No!" Chakotay exclaimed a little too quickly making Seven take a step back. Not long ago he would have welcomed to prospect of keeping the former drone at arm's length but learned what ever her faults may have being, she meant well. He knew Seven's concern was genuine even if she wasn't the best at showing it. He felt guilt prickle up his spine at the harshness of his reply. He swallowed a lump before meeting Seven's reserved gaze, inwardly glade that when he did so he only saw the former drones features staring back him rather than the face of his barley recalled lover. "I didn't mean to snap Seven...it's just..." he trailed of his horse voice becoming a whisper. "Ah spirits I don't have any excuse...I'm just sorry" Chakotay exclaimed letting out a slow agonized breath holding his head in his hands like it was made of glash and he was adirad it might shatter at any moment "Truth is I'm not fine...but this isn't something the Doctor can help with" "Your physical appearance would suggest otherwise" Seven stated dryly her usually aloof tempo reasserting itself as she observed his dishevelled state. The commander's tall broad and impressive physic was bent double, his short thick black hair was plastered to his scalp with sweat and his normally dark skin was far paler than she had ever seen it before. He was as far from the imposing figure, she'd normalcy assonated his commanding presence with. He couldn't help but chuckle at Seven's dry analytical statement "Yeah I look like hell" he agreed self deprecatingly. "Sitting in the dark slowly forgetting someone that I loved ever existed will do that..." he responded with a bitter haunted laugh devoid of humour. "Not that you look like you haven't being though the wars" he pointed out curtly. Noticing for the first time Seven looked far from pristine herself. Her sky blue eyes were strained, a good deal of her surprisingly long and wavy blonde hair had escaped her usually hairdo and framed her face. Her fair features were pinched and drawn. "Wars, Commander?" Seven queered her human eyebrow quirking upward "Is this a metaphor for stain?" Another slightly hallow chuckle escaped him as he nodded "You could say that" Chakotay murmured quietly, as he felt his grip on reality slowly returning. "Perhaps in this instance the metaphor has some merit" Seven agreed curtly wondering if she truly understood the commanders meaning, understand metaphors was not her forte. "I have being attempting to halt and reverse the virus introduced into Voyagers systems for several hours since your partner, Kellin's departure..." Seven explained ruefully after a moment's hesitation she continued, ignoring the commander's hopeful gaze. "The virus was far more pervasive than I first thought every system on Voyager, even none net worked backups have being corrupted. Any information pertaining to your partner entered into Voyagers system has being erased" Seven stated in the same manner as she would offer one of her daily reports, cringing slightly as she did so. She had intended to be professional in her report but it felt wrong considering the commanders clear emotional distress which she did not know how to elevate. "Any attempts to purge the malware has being unsuccessful, attempts to re-enter the lost data has also proved futile." She admitted hesitantly "My eidetic memory has proving increasingly unreliable... I... I am sorry commander I have failed" He shook his head trying to dissuade, her of her guilt. He knew the former drone well enough by now that she didn't take well to failure, which wasn't surprising given the perfectionism drilled into her much like the metal implants drilled into her soft flesh. "Her people have dedicated considerable resources and countless generations to maintaining their secrecy..." an exhausted sigh escaped him. "It was the longest of long odds Seven" Chakotay admitted unable to keep the disappointments he felt welling his chest from his voice. "Don't beat yourself, up about it!" He told her firmly "I'm honestly surprised than anyone else still remembers her at all" he admitted grimly "...I thought I was the last one felt, not that I'll be able to say that for much longer...I can feel her slipping away from me..." "It is a troubling prospect" Seven agreed coolly. He regarded her cautiously "I didn't realise you were close to ...to" Chakotay tailed off the name of the women he pined for slipping from his straining mind. "Her" Seven grimaced slightly as she annualized the commander's sentence and his sentiment, desperation oozed from him like vapour form a poorly repaired plasma conduit. "Close?" she echoed after a moment of tense silence. "I do not think that would be an appropriate description of any relationship I had with Kellin during our latest encounter." Seven informed him wishing to dissuade him of any false notion he may have being labouring under while trying to soften her typical curt response. She did not wish to inflict any more suffering on to the commander if she could avoid it. "We spent very little time together over the last few days" she admitted truthfully. "However Kellin did inform me that during her first stay upon Voyager that we had become friends and she expressed a desire to be so again." "I see" he mumbled any hopes he may have had that Seven's steel trap mind might be able to hold on to something he couldn't were still born. "You, didn't believe her?" Chakotay asked as detecting a hint of doubt and hesitation in Seven's voice something he would have never attributed to the former drone. "She seemed genuine" Seven stated at length. "I am disconcerted by the prospect that my memories could disappear so completely... it is distressing" She admitted, having unconsciously bringing up her hands in fount of her chest as if to hold or comfits herself, only for the metal laced fingers of her Borg hand to grip into the wrist of its unscarred twin, squizzing hard enough to make her skin go white as a virgin snow. "Seven... let go you'll going to hurt yourself" Chakotay told her as he sprang from his chair and gently rested his hands on hers. He had seen her worked up before but nothing like this, though Kathryn had let slip how self destructive Seven had being during those first hard days when she had first had to come to grips with her newly found and at the time unwanted individuality. She jolted at his feather light touch and quickly brought her hands back down to rest behind the small of her back; her expression became the very embodiment of placid indifference. He put his hand up in mocked surrender hoping to ease the troubled women back out of her harden shell. "Distressing is putting it mildly" He agreed weakly. "The prospect of losing memories is one of the most terrifying things we can face." Chakotay stated as he took a step back to give her room. "There is no shame in being scared of that...if you need to talk Seven?" Seven couldn't hope to hide the surprise she felt, that he could see through her facade so easily. Though logically she knew she shouldn't be surprised. The commander was an astute judge of character and able to pick up on others feelings and identify them with admiral efficiency. "...I only came to inform you of my failure..." She explained hesitantly though she knew that wasn't totally the truth as she could have contacted him over the comm. Systems. "I will leave you to complete...whatever it was you were doing." Chakotay shock his head "You're being too hard on yourself, Seven... as for what I'm doing here I've done all I can do" He stated as he pulled out the wad of crumpled paper from his breast pocket. "I suppose I was just hold in to hope..." Her human eyebrow arched upward "You detailed what you recalled about Kellin in a physical way to circumvent both the money loss and the computer virus? That is quite ingénues Commander" Seven told him impressed by the commanders unorthodox thinking. He snorted dismissively "You make it sound like if discovered the answer to life the universe and everything, it isn't forty two is it?" Chakotay asked, only to chuckle slightly as he saw mild bewilderment flicker across Seven's face. "It's a joke form a old science fiction book series from Earths twenty century call hitch hikers guide to the galaxy" "I am unfamiliar with this fiction" Seven stated somewhat stiffly "I was under the impression that you didn't find much of value in the preserved media of that era of Earth's history?" He chuckled briefly "What can I say it's being a long four years" Chakotay admitted at length "I've had to give a few things a chance I wouldn't have a few years back. But I'm not going to join Tom's twenty centre fan club anytime soon in case you were worried" Seven let out a small breath she hadn't realised she had being holding "That is certainly reassuring; Lieutenant Paris interests in that era have often being..." "A bit much" Chakotay offered smiling. He was always keen to have a good natured joke on Voyagers resident fly boy expanse, even if said fly boy was no ware insight. He couldn't help but notice the more he talked to Seven, the less his mind focused on his loss. Not that he had forgotten what he was doing but the pain and heart ache seemed to ease. She nodded the movement making the long strands of hair that had escaped her helmet like hair due, bob about. She let out a frustrated breath as tried to return her way word locks to their proper place but no matter what she did they would slip out. "Perplexing" Seven added "You can say that again" He said warmly as he ran a tried hand through his thick hair "I'm kind of surprised you didn't think of weighting down whatever you remembered by hand." He stifled a yawn as he indicated his collection of papers he had half pulled out of his breast pocket. Exhaustion was really starting to get the better of him, a pleasant fog seem to start to settle in around his thoughts. Everything that had being bothering him seemed far away, not that it didn't hurt, he could still feel the pang of lose in his hear but it all seemed very distant now. "Even if I had thought of this solution I would not be able to act upon it" Seven admitted somewhat reluctantly as she stiffened her own yawn. "I cannot write in that manner" She pointed to his discarded graphite penicil which had being left on the table the commander had sat behind when she arrived. His eyes all but bludged out of his sockets as he stared dumbly at her for a moment "You can't be serious..." he trailed of as Seven looked away, indignation filling her face. "You are aren't you? How is that possible?" "The Collective did not consider physical weighting a relevant skill and neither did the Hansen's...my parents" she pursed irritated at her slip. It was still difficult for her to think of them as her parents at times. "From what I recall of my parents attempts to educate me, they focused was on computer literacy, reading and maths all of which can be performed on any number of machines rather than insuring I gained a skill that I believe is largely regarded as obsolete." Chakotay leaned back in his chair whistling tunelessly to himself, Seven regarding him with mild interest "That's not an uncommon view these days" he mused as he glanced toward his discarded penicil that still lay on the table he sat behind throughout the night. He could remember spending hours practices his hand weighting under the watchful gaze of his school teachers and their rulers. Rubbing his knuckles absently as he recalled how much he hated those classes when he was a kid, yet without his people's adherence to tradition. He would have being in the same boat as Seven was now, unable to record anything at all. "Is that what's bothering you? Not being able to record anything without it disappearing?" Chakotay asked leaning forward. He considered offering to teach her how to write but just as he was about to open his mouth and make the suggestion he closed it again, perhaps another time. Seven rubbed absently at her forehead. "Perhaps..." "I'm sensing a, but here" Chakotay promoted gently. "It is irrelevant" Seven stated sharply. She turned away from the commander and started to make her way towards the closest of the mess hall doors. She took one maybe two steps before she was halted in her tacks. The commander interposed himself between her and the door returning his concerned gaze with one filled with stubborn defiance. "It is irrelevant" she repeated. "No it isn't" Chakotay told firmly, able to see a glint of the human vulnerability under the layers of Borg shielding she always put up around herself. "Please Seven tell me what's got you spooked?" Seven sighed in irritation "I am experiencing conflicting emotions" she stated earnestly hoping that might state his curiosity. He remained rooted to the spot as unmoveable at as a wall. She let out a breath and gathered her thoughts "I have often being disconcerted by the contrast between my emotions towards, my parents and the collective brought on by my recovered memories." "That's only natural Seven" Chakotay told her sagely. "You do not understand Commander!" She barked a little more sharply than she intended. "I am sorry..." Seven let out a quite breath "It is difficult for me to convey." Chakotay took a step back allowing the former drone space "Take your time Seven" he told her gently. She pinching the bridge of her nose she took a breath and regarded the commander with cool indifference. "If you were assimilated Commander your skills and experiences would carry over and play some part in deciding what kind of Drone you would become. However all the reasons, the emotions and memories related to what made you chose to explore the skills you have gained throughout your life would become unimportant..." "I'm with you so far Seven, go on" Chakotay hoped that she didn't pick up on his discomfit. Her human eyebrow rose doubtfully "If you were then freed from the Collective. You would still retain the things that drove you before, the memories as to why you have chosen the life and skill set you have would be important once agian. Your skills would remain and even be improved upon." Seven explained clinically "However Annika Hansen... I was assimilated as a child, had few skills or knowledge to call upon." Seven shuddered a chill creeping up her spine as she recanted the cold methodical mindset of the collective. "All of my knowledge and abilities that I use to aid Voyager come from the collective Commander. If these experiences were to disappear in a similar manor as my regulations of the women Kel-in then I would not be of use." She stated emphatically. "Yet Without my human memories and emotions, it is likely I would still be held within the brig." His brow creased as what she said sunk in. "Seven your worth more than what the Borg put into your head" Chakotay told her firmly tapping his own head for emphases. "You don't need what they gave you and even if you did!" he scoffed bitterly. Even as he was saddened by how little Seven seemed to think of herself. "It's not worth the price and besides you've picked up skills on Voyager, going toe to toe with Janeway in Villosity!" He reminded her "I believe the current score is twelve to nine your favour and don't forget when you were that singer in the world war two hologram we were all stuck in a few months ago. I bet neither of those are skills the Collective implanted in you" he said smiling broadly when he thought for a moment he saw a slight bashful flush of pink colour her pail features. "And you got to get closer to Omega than any Borg before you..." He trailed off awkward as it dawned on him that he had accidentally called her a drone but if Seven had noticed his slip she made no mention of it. "Perhaps some skills I have gained on Voyager" Seven admitted quietly "In regards to Omega, it is beyond my reach and perhaps that is for the best" she conceded. "However the skills and achievements you've pointed out are also enhanced and some are only possible thanks to the modifications the Borg subjected my body too..." Seven said deflecting the commanders complements. "I concede you may have a point that I am not as reliant on the Collective as I once was however I still find the prospect of losing either my human or Borg past..." "Disturbing..." Chakotay finishing her thought solemnly as he ran a tired head through his thick black hair "...terrifying..." He leaned against a nearby desk and turned his gaze toward the ocean of stars beyond. "Memories and experiences are vital...I've seen firsthand what can happen if they slip away..." He trailed of as recalled his grandfather in his final years, how sick the family curse had made him towards the end. "Is that why you have recorded your interaction with..." Seven tailed off founding it difficult to recall the person they were discussing before she and the commander had become distracted with their tangents "Her?" "That's part of it yes, even if the past hurts sometime..." He explained robbing his tired eyes though his eye lids "We can learn from that and move forward...I have to remind myself of something else when I read this again..." Chakotay patted his breast pocket for emphasis. "I need to know that she was real... what we had, was real! But there is more something else I got to remember when all this is done" "What other reminder beyond this women's existence do you require?" Seven prompted gently her own mind straining to hold on to the root of the conversation. Chakotay turned to met Seven's sky blue eyes, seeming a compassion, curiosity and genuine empathy he never thought he would see from her. "That I don't have to be alone...even if I can't love her or even know her...I know now that I can find someone...one day!" XXXX
please review AN: I did original wanted to add a 2ed section to this story set at the end of Voyagers run when Seven and Chakotay had gotten together and Chakotay shared the contents of his little dairy with Seven. Then I thought that was perhaps a little more self indulgent than was really called for this story so I decided to leave it out. If this chapter gets a lot of reviews i might do a 2ed chapter detailing that but I somehow doubt that will come to be. Once again I must thank the Cheshire Cheese for her assistance in giving the nudge I needed to see this story through to completion. I personally recommend all her star trek story but these are among my faves The sliver bird, if you like a good old fashioned holodreck malfunction plot with a twist and love the film noir from the 1930 and 40ts this will be just the ticket. Deal with the devil, we all know by now the falling out between Janeway and Chakotay played out in the scorpion two parter. Have you ever wondered how some of the recurring minor characters felt about the alliance between Voyager and the Borg. If you have this might be right up your ally a tense and emotional read. Other recommendations The Lady mage recently updated her multipart story 'what we need' I'm sure a lot of us were disappointed by the lack of development given to the Borg children Seven took under her when in the latter half of session six. This fan fiction, dose a grand job of developing not only the Borglings but a subtle romance Between Seven and Chakotay which is handled a hundred times better then what the show precented. If super heroes are more your thing perhaps you'd like to check out my friend Romanov 16 she makes some truly great super hero content. I highly recommend her series 'falling star' and Xmen iilad the Bronze Age. I recently discovered a fantastic X men story called X men: new class by Ambaryerno. A take on the new X men/ Childhoods end era of X men comics set in X men movies universe as of the end of days of future past. I know that sounds insane and like it would never work but trust me it's some of the best weighting I've ever seen in fan fiction, please read, review and request updates Alaster Needs his fixx.