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I am Borg - Part 1 - Chapter 3

 
 
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  I am Borg – Part 1 - Chapter 3

By Kudara

Disclaimer: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended.

Stardate: 52672

Rating: PG-13

Revision Date: 7/3/04; 6/5/07

Summary: Seven’s experiences in the Temple.

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Love, comfort, acceptance... a gentle voice, and the sensation of a hand that brushed her forehead soothingly; she was dimly aware of being comforted as the pain that had wracked her body faded away and she fell into a deep healing sleep.

When she next woke, she was floating freely in some type of warm thick liquid filled tank, a breathing mask covering her nose and mouth. How or why she was floating inside the tank did not concern her as she looked around in mild curiosity at her surroundings. Through the thick fluid, she could see the outlines of a moderately sized room. The walls, ceiling and floor were made of large cream-colored sandstone looking blocks, and intricate designs ran along molding at the top and bottom of the room’s walls. A large, clear door ran from floor to ceiling directly in front of her tank which gave her an excellent view of what she knew were the inner temple grounds.

Dimly she wondered how she knew this, but the thought quickly faded and she simply watched the play of the sunlight through the branches on the grass, feeling peaceful and slightly tired. The deep green of the grass and the golden sunshine made a pleasing contrast and she fell asleep wishing that she could be outside experiencing the sunshine and grass. Never did the words efficient, or irrelevant, run through her mind. She did not wonder who she was, or how she came to be in the tank, completely unaware that she was gently, but firmly, being prevented from thinking about certain things until her mind and body healed from her ordeal.

The next time she awoke, she was no longer in the tank, but lying on a soft bed with a light sheet covering her. She stretched and looked sleepily out the door, but could see little as it was dark outside. She sat up, and looked around the room curiously. A small table was beside the bed, and upon it she saw a glass full of an orange fluid and a bowl that contained different colored fruits.

She picked up the glass and sniffed the liquid, the rich fruity smell filled her senses, making her aware of the fact she was hungry. She took a small sip, it was rich and sweet, with a faint sour aftertaste that faded quickly. She decided she liked it and took a larger sip. Examining the fruit in the bowl, she chose a red-skinned oval fruit that smelled pleasant and began nibbling upon it. After the first few bites she paused, noting curiously the light blue color of the flesh. It made a startling contrast to the redness of the skin, yet it also had a pleasantly creamy texture and a sweet taste, so after a moment’s consideration she continued eating it. Between the juice and fruit her hunger was soon appeased, and with one last look outside at the dark grounds, she snuggled back into her bed, pulled the sheet back up, and fell asleep.

The next day she awoke promptly and looked out the door. The sight of bright sunlight on the green grass evoked a bright, pleased smile from her. It was morning and the sun was shining. A childlike sense of curiosity gripped her; she swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood. She wanted to explore the gardens.

Her reflection in the doorway caught her attention, and she stared at herself curiously. The silver lines that covered her chest and abdomen enthralled her. They were on her arms and hands as well she noticed, and lifted her forearm for closer inspection. The silver lines were about as wide as her smallest finger, a design of gold and deep blue chased along its length. The design seemed familiar, and looking up at the molding in the room, she realized that the designs on her arm, and the designs on the molding, were the same.

She touched her stomach, vaguely recalling that she used to have something like this before, but it hadn’t been as nice as what now adorned that area. She looked at her hand, a silver line ran down the top and bottom of each finger and covered the fingertips. The lines from her fingers met and curled in a simple interlace design on the top of her hand and palm, then continued in a more complex interweave pattern on either side of each arm. The silver lines on the top of her arm crossed over the top of her shoulder and split to run down the front and back of her shoulder, then met again under her arm to continue down the sides of her torso. The lines on the bottom of her arm ended in a triangular pattern that covered the area of her armpit.

The design on her abdomen ran upward along the width of her torso; the lines sweeping in an arching flowing design that almost, but not quite, met the pattern that ran down her sides. The design ended just beneath her breasts, and then met in two silver lines that ran between her breasts, then separated out to either side into smaller silver lines that arched gracefully across her upper chest, and ended just beneath the collarbone near her shoulders on either side.

The twining pattern on her sides continued down the outside of her hips and legs, ending in a delicate spiral around her anklebone. The design on her abdomen ended just above her groin and arched around and down the front of her hips and down the front of her thighs, there it widened and ran down the front of her thigh to the tops of her feet. Turning around, she noticed that the design on her abdomen and front of her legs repeated across her backside.

Looking at her face, she gently touched the silver pattern that ran around her left eye; turning her head, she noticed a smaller silver pattern on her right cheek near her ear. She could barely feel the difference between her skin and the silver, a slight raise between the two and the smooth metallic feel of the narrow silver bands. The lines around her eye were finer than the ones on her torso; they formed a delicate arching pattern around the eye that she found pleasing.

She realized belatedly that she was nude, and looked around the room for clothing. A tall armoire in the corner of the room drew her eye. Opening the two long doors on its front, she found clothing hanging inside the upper part and drawers of underclothes at the bottom. Curiously, she examined the tops and pants and various wrappings that she knew were meant to fit around her wrists and waist. She put on a set of underclothes, and then picked a sapphire blue shirt and black pants to wear.

The blue shirt was flowing and loose in the body and upper sleeves, made of a thick material that felt soft against her skin. The sleeves narrowed at the wrist, and she chose matching blue wrist wraps to wear with it. The wrist wraps were meant to look as if they were made of narrow bands of cloth wound around her lower forearm and wrist, but they were actually all one large piece that wrapped around and adhered to itself. The black waistband was about five inches wide and made to be worn in the same manner. A set of matching black calf length flat-soled boots completed the outfit.

When she was done, she looked at herself in the doorway, admiring the way the wrist and waist wraps caused the shirt to blouse gracefully. The pants were tight fitting, but not skin tight, and narrowed at the calf to meet the boots without any blousing effect. A one-inch banding formed a collar at the neckline of the shirt that ended in a V, which showed the skin of her throat, the hollow of her collarbone, and some of her chest.

Once dressed, she realized that she was hungry again; she went to the table to grab a few fruits from the bowl before opening the doorway and stepping out into the temple gardens. The inner temple gardens were laid out in a cross design, with formal flower gardens at the center and ends of the crosses. In between the flower gardens, stone walkways bordered by green grass and trees completed the design. Her room exited into the garden midway between the middle and one of the branches of the cross.

She spent the day admiring the different flowers in the gardens and resting on the grass in the shade of the trees. Several of the trees were fruit bearing, and she knew which ones were good to eat from her experiences with the fruit in her room. The fruits ranged from sweet to tangy, and some of them were very juicy, requiring her to frequently wash her hands in the fountains that dotted the area. Somehow she knew that the water pouring out of the fountains was safe to drink, and throughout the day she slaked her thirst from them.

When the sun’s position indicated it was mid-afternoon, Seven wandered sleepily back to her room to lay down for a nap, while she slept her new cortical node received information about her exoskeleton and implants. When she awoke in the evening she sat up abruptly, surprised by the new information suddenly available to her.

She re-examined her hands, now understanding that the silver lines were a poly-deutonic alloy matrixed with an organic material that displayed an immune system marker identical to that of her own cells. No longer would she have to worry about her implants being rejected by her immune system, all of her implants were now recognized as part of her own body instead of alien.

She had conscious control over the appearance of her exoskeleton. There were three different possible color combinations, the silver it was now, blue with silver and gold markings, and red with gold and silver. She also had the ability to overlay the top with a thin organic layer that mimicked her skin to hide the exoskeleton. All of these processes took a certain amount of time to finish; she closed her eyes and instructed her exoskeleton to begin the process to change to blue. That done, she knew it would be several minutes before the process was complete, while she waited she began sorting through the remainder of the new information in her cortical node.

Her exoskeleton was part of a complex supportive structure under her skin. Her bone structure was now entirely supported by more of the metallic-organic matrix, poly-deutonic and tritanium alloy support rods ran around the bones in her limbs to her exoskeleton to ensure that her muscles could not be crushed between the exoskeleton and reinforced bone. Fine metallic-organic filaments ran through every inch of her skin, muscles, and organs, which supported, reinforced, and improved their function.

A different metallic-organic fiber worked in conjunction with her nervous system, increasing the speed of her reflexes, and her sensory capabilities. These fibers interacted with her exoskeleton, allowing it to be an extension of her skin. In fact her exoskeleton was dense with sensory fibers, allowing her to process information about her environment that she would be otherwise unable to sense. These fibers also ran through her brain, interacting with her cortical node, and increasing her brains synaptic speed as well as allowing her to process information more quickly.

As before…she paused and wondered what she had been before but there was no memory of what she had been before now. She could now remember her name, or names, she knew she was Annika Hansen and also Seven of Nine. Though she could not remember why she had two names. She was troubled by the lack of memory for a moment, but that emotion quickly faded, and she continued with her self-examination. She had bio-organic chips, embedded within her major muscle groups, which in turn interacted with the metallic-organic fibers to both feed the muscles with energy and cleanse waste products away. Behind her left eye was her primary cortical node that stored information for retrieval, and controlled her exoskeleton and nanoprobes.

That implant was redundantly backed-up by other implants in her chest and legs. If for some reason the primary cortical node malfunctioned it would shut down and the other implants would take over its functions. Implants scattered throughout her abdomen interacted with specialized organic fibers in her mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines allowed her to efficiently process several different types of organic and inorganic matter as food. Any organic substance that wasn’t highly caustic or poisonous could be used to fuel her body.

Formerly her nanoprobes had controlled her body temperature, now her cortical node controlled her body temperature by using her exoskeleton to either cool or heat her body. This usually occurred without her conscious input, but she if she choose she could consciously control her body temperature.

Seven glanced at her hands; enough time had passed for her exoskeleton to modify its color. She smiled and stripped off her clothing, admiring the blue metallic bands that now adorned her body. After examining her exoskeleton for a few minutes, Seven realized that she was feeling fatigued and hungry. She noticed earlier that the fruit on the table had been replaced, and there was a new glass of juice. Now she sat on the edge of the bed, drank the juice, ate two pieces of fruit, then decided to rest.

Seven slept, her eyes fluttering as she began remembering her past. She relived her childhood remembering her parents and her life aboard the Raven. She remembered when the Borg had come upon the disabled Raven, how she and her parents had been assimilated. She remembered being Borg and the united mind of the Collective, then being severed from the Collective by Voyager’s captain Kathryn Janeway. She recalled her experiences on Voyager up to the point where the Mularan guard had fired upon her.

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Seven awoke with a start, now aware that the recent changes in her physiology were due to some unknown trauma that had occurred after the Mularan guard’s attack. Looking down at herself, she absorbed once again the information about her new exoskeleton and implants. She brought her hands up for examination, realizing that she no longer had a Borg arm. She briefly missed the functionality of the limb, but then she realized the banding on her hands would provide much of the same functionality.

Abruptly she comprehended the reality that she now had two organic arms. Wonderingly, she stared at her left hand, running her thumb over her fingers and comparing the sensation to the same action with her right hand. They were identical, the feel of human skin and warm smooth flexible metal. Concentrating intently, she identified the each separate sensation and piece of information felt or obtained by her exoskeleton, the identification of oils and slight perspiration, and a measurement of heat.

Accessing her cortical node she went over the specifics of her exoskeleton again, this time admiring the efficient design of it. Her torso was not supported from her spinal column anymore, but rather by a complex array of rods that supported and protected her internal organs. Her spinal column was reinforced throughout its length, and covered with a flexible poly-deutonic-organic coating that was perforated to allow nerve bundles to pass through. It would take a significant amount of pressure to collapse her new poly-deutonic and tritanium alloy support structure.

A small smile graced her features, “Efficient,” she commented approvingly. Seven turned her attention to her new nanoprobes and realized they were no longer Borg; they were vastly improved and had several safety measures to ensure that they could not be removed from her and used for other purposes. If she did not administer them through her exoskeleton, or specifically program them to remain active outside her body, they would automatically become inactive and break down within 30 seconds of being removed. Several new programming options were available to her from her cortical node that had previously only been possible using external methods.

Seven pondered all the physical changes, wondering exactly how they had come about. She remembered looking out from the regenerative tank and guessed that she had been damaged by the Mularan guard somehow, but why she had ended up in the main temple of Mulara instead of the Sickbay on Voyager she had no idea. Seven remembered the previous day, looked outside, and found herself once again admiring the garden. It was not a sensation she was entirely comfortable with, obviously she had been malfunctioning yesterday, yet the memory of it remained and with it the emotions that she had experienced.

Seven stood and stared down at her exoskeleton, she remembered that she had thought it beautiful; today she thought it aesthetically pleasing. Considering her response she glanced down and agreed with yesterday’s assessment, her exoskeleton was beautiful. It combined form and functionality in a manner that appealed to her sense of perfection.

Seven looked out the door and knew that if she went the opposite way from the direction she had taken the previous day she would find a bathing pool. She grabbed up a few fruit to eat for her morning meal then paused as she fully realized something, she would never need to regenerate again as her new implants and exoskeleton did not require it. Once again a small smile graced her features, and grabbing a robe from the dresser to slip around herself she walked with light steps out into the garden.

Following a small path through broad-leaved plants, she found the hidden bathing pool. Soap, shampoo and towels were laid out next to it, and Seven realized that her needs had been anticipated, though she had seen no other person in the garden besides herself. Settling herself into the warm water, she looked around at the profusion of growing plants and the small stream that meandered away from a tall waterfall that was only a few meters away. She guessed that the water from the waterfall would be the perfect place to rinse after she was done with her bath. Seven lay back in the soothing water and relaxed, realizing as she did so that until yesterday it had been an unfamiliar sensation. She found herself distracted by thoughts that this was an inefficient waste of time, but something in her recognized that perhaps a bit of inefficiency could be tolerated now and then.

Letting the thoughts of her current inefficient use of time drift away, she consoled herself by thinking that she had nothing better to do anyway besides looking around the garden again. Eventually she sat up and began washing, then she exited the pool and walked over to rinse herself under the waterfall that was obviously designed for this purpose. The water was cool, but not unpleasantly so, and she stood under it for a while, appreciating the feel of it after the warmth of the bathing pool.

Once done with her rinsing, she dried herself with the towel, put back on her robe, and walked back to her room. Walking over to the dresser, she opened the doors and immediately noticed a comb and several hair clasps lying inside that had not been there before. Seven glanced around the room, wondering if someone had come in, but she saw nothing else that appeared to have been touched.

Now that she remembered what the Borg knew of the energy being called Mulara, Seven knew that it was entirely possible that things were being transported directly to various locations in anticipation of her needs, though why Mulara would take such an interest in her Seven did not know. She was aware that very few people were allowed into the area where she now found herself; the high priestess of the Mularan religion and those who were called the ‘reborn’.

Uneasily Seven realized that since she did not belong in the first group that meant that she must logically belong to the second, the reborn, those who had died violently and unjustly and had been brought back from the dead by Mulara. She knew that several days were missing from her memory, and even though she wanted to know what had happened during that time, her mind shied away from contemplating what could have happened to her for her to have qualified to become one of the reborn.

The reborn in Mularan mythology always ended up playing an important role in Mularan history as peacemakers. Seven wondered apprehensively if she would be required to do the same, and how Captain Janeway would react to what she would probably see as a violation of Starfleet’s Prime Directive.

Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she chose a cream-colored shirt and dark red pants along with dark red boots to wear. Seven considered the different wristbands and waistbands and chose cream wristbands and a dark red waistband. Closing her eyes for a second she concentrated on initiating the change in the color of her exoskeleton from blue to red.

Glancing at the door of the dresser, she realized it was mirrored on the inside and she looked at her reflection. She grabbed up the comb and combed her hair, and then she chose one of the hair clasps that looked as if it were made from a dark red wood that matched her pants and bound her hair back at the nape of her neck with it. She looked at her image in the mirror and was vaguely dissatisfied with it; she unbound her hair then tried combing back only the hair above her ears and fastening that. Now the hair clasp rested midway down the back of her skull and held tightly the hair from the top of her head and above her ears. The lower half of her hair was left free, examining herself in the mirror Seven decided she liked the look and nodded in satisfaction.

She heard the sound of a polite knock on the door and turned to see a Mularan woman standing outside her door awaiting her acknowledgement before entering. Seven opened the door and looked curiously at the Mularan woman, recognizing the high collared heavily embroidered robe the woman wore as the formal robes of a Mularan high priestess.

The woman smiled at her, “I am High Priestess Analea, I have been sent to answer some of your questions and to see how you are recuperating.”

Seven responded, “I am Seven of Nine.” Taking the woman up on her offer to answer her questions, she immediately asked, “What am I doing here, and why have my Borg implants been replaced?”

Analea replied, “Perhaps we can walk in the garden and I will answer your questions?”

Seven nodded stiffly, “That is acceptable.”

Analea’s mouth twitched and she turned and walked toward the garden area asking, “What is the last thing you remember Seven of Nine?”

Seven followed her, walking swiftly to catch up to where she could walk beside the woman, “I remember being hailed by a Mularan guard, when I turned he had his weapon drawn and he fired at me. I assume that he succeeded.”

Analea nodded, “The rest of your memory will return to you in time when you are healed enough to remember it. Suffice to say, events happened that caused your death, Mulara intervened, transferred you to the inner temple, and brought you back to life. All of the reborn are gifted in different ways; your gifts are your new implants and exoskeleton. Your Borg cortical node and abdominal implant were badly damaged and needed to be replaced as it was, so Mulara decided to replace everything while you were healing. Do you like them? I thought they were beautiful when they appeared on your skin.”

Seven asked, “You were there when I was healing?”

Analea nodded, “Yes I was there when the guardian brought in your body and placed it in the healing tank. Then the guardian placed its hand on your face and you glowed for several minutes. When the guardian removed its hand from your face, you were breathing again and all your Borg implants had disappeared. Your new exoskeleton showed up a few hours later.”

Seven thought about this then asked, “Am I being held here? Why was I not transported back to Voyager?”

Analea paused, and looked at Seven, “Mulara has put up a force field around this entire area. So I guess the answer for now is yes you are being held here, but it’s just until you are completely adapted to your new implants. I’ve seen the schedule of the High Priestesses that are supposed to meet with you, and it only continues for a week. I guess that you will be completely healed by that time and free to leave. Think of this as an enforced convalescence, not a prison Seven, you were injured so badly that you died just three days ago.” The last was said softly and earnestly to Seven.

Seven sighed, “I will comply. May I contact Voyager while I am… convalescing?”

Analea replied confused, “I don’t know how, there isn’t any communications equipment in the inner temple, and Mulara has already made it clear that only High Priestesses will be allowed to enter and exit the inner temple while you are healing.” Analea tapped her chin for a few seconds then said, “I can give them a message for you; I will be visiting Voyager later today to give them an update on your condition.”

Seven inquired, “What will you tell them?”

Analea said, “I don’t know yet, we haven’t talked about how you are doing after all. Do you have any more questions for me? If not I want to find out how you are doing.”

Seven asked, “As I am now one of the reborn will Mulara expect me to act in some way to change Mulara? Captain Janeway will not be pleased if I am required to do so as it breaks several Federation laws and directives.”

Analea replied, “No you will not be expected to do something for us, some task may yet be expected of you but it will not be for my people.”

Seven nodded and then stated, “I am functioning within acceptable parameters High Priestess Analea.”

Analea chuckled and said, “Mulara said that you would say so, I’m pleased to see that she was right. I’m more interested in what you think of your new implants and exoskeleton. I see that you have figured out the process to make it change in coloration.” Analea pointed at Seven’s hand where the exoskeleton had completed it’s change from blue to red.

Seven looked at her hand and noted that the color and nodded, “I have tried all the modifications except for the modification that covers them with a layer of skin. I shall try that next, but I believe I have mastered this skill.”

Analea nodded, “How do you feel Seven, are you in any pain at all, any signs of a headache or any aches?”

Seven shook her head and said, “There are no signs that my body is rejecting the implants, the organic matrix is functioning as expected. My implants are all functioning normally.”

Analea nodded and asked, “And how are you feeling, Seven? What’s your emotional state?”

Seven said, “Feelings are irrelevant.”

Analea shook her head, “No they are not; feelings tell us a lot about our state of being. Feelings can indicate whether you are stressed, or feeling threatened by something, they can even indicate illness. Now, how are you feeling?”

Seven sighed, “I am feeling well, it is peaceful here. I am starting to feel bored though; perhaps there is something I could study?”

Analea smiled, “Your boredom will soon be over, today is your last day of complete freedom, and starting tomorrow you will have a succession of teachers. You need to learn how to increase your strength; right now you are not much stronger than a normal human. But that can be changed, and tomorrow you will start learning how, as well as learning how to properly gauge and control your strength.”

The two women walked through the garden silently for another two minutes. Finally Analea stopped and faced Seven, “If you have no more questions for me right now I think it’s time for me to be going today, Mulara made it very clear she wants you to rest for most of the day.”

Seven frowned, about to object, but before she could say anything Analea offered, “Why don’t you experiment with your exoskeleton more. Have you tried solar and thermal energy gathering?”

Seven tilted her head over to the side briefly, and then shook it saying, “I have not attempted that.”

The Mularan woman smiled, “I suggest combining it with sunbathing, you could use some color to your skin. I’m sure there are some towels…” A folded towel suddenly appeared in her hands in a shimmer of golden light and she laughed, “Such as this one right here, that you can spread out and use.” With that, Analea handed the towel to Seven who bemusedly accepted it.

Seven said, “I do not have specified attire for sunbathing,” as she unfolded the towel.

Analea shook her head, “Once I leave there will be no one else in the garden, take the opportunity to sunbathe nude. I do occasionally when I have the chance.” With those parting words she turned to leave.

Seven called, “My message for Voyager.” Analea paused and looked back inquiringly. Seven paused for a moment, “Tell them I am feeling well.” Analea’s mouth twitched, she nodded to Seven, and then continued along the path.

Seven watched her leave then shook out the towel and accessed her cortical node seeking information on how she was to absorb solar and thermal energy. As she processed the information, she absently began undressing, folding her clothes and neatly laying them on the grass by the towel.

Seven lay down on the towel and to her surprise found herself enjoying the feel of the sun on her back and the sensation of the occasional breeze blowing across her skin. Luckily a sound woke her before she experienced the condition known as sunburn first hand, and she rolled over onto her back. An hour later she sat up, gathered the towel around her, picked up her clothing and walked the short distance to the waterfall. There she cooled off under the stream of water, satisfied that she now thoroughly understood the thermal and solar energy conversion process of her new exoskeleton.
 
 
 

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