Kudara's Stories

 
Home ]
 

I am Borg - Part 1 - Chapter 4

 
 
Back
Home
Up
Next

 
 

I am Borg – Part 1 - Chapter 4

 

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: 52678

 

Rating:  PG-13

 

Revision Date: 7/3/04; 6/12/07

 

Summary: High Priestess Analea visits Voyager.  Seven’s continues to recover at the Temple.

 

**************************************************************

 

High Priestess Analea stepped off the transporter platform looking curiously at the two people waiting for her.  From the memories Mulara had shared with her from Seven, she knew that the red headed woman who radiated confidence was Captain Kathryn Janeway, and the taller man with a tattooed design around his eye was Commander Chakotay.  Seven had an interesting relationship with the Captain; and Analea briefly wondered if the woman knew just how much Seven looked up to her and tried to emulate her. 

 

Janeway smiled and greeted the High Priestess, “Welcome aboard Voyager High Priestess Analea, I understand you have news for us about Seven’s condition?”

 

Analea nodded, “I do, and some issues that Mulara wants addressed and corrected before Seven is returned to your crew.  Mulara was most unhappy about some of the things she found in Seven’s memories.”  Analea noted how Janeway’s face tightened for a moment in a frown, but then the woman sighed unhappily.

 

Janeway replied, “Certainly, I haven’t been too pleased about some of the things I’ve found out about Seven’s experiences either.  Shall we go to my Ready Room?”

 

Analea agreed, wondering how Janeway would react to some of the criticisms Mulara had about Janeway’s own treatment of Seven.  Squaring her shoulders, she resolved that she would make sure all of Mulara’s concerns were dealt with before Seven stepped foot aboard this ship again.  The young woman she had met this morning was so innocent and unknowingly open.  It was obvious to her that hiding behind the words and mask of Borg indifference was a very sensitive and loving person.

 

Analea moved through the ship with a sense of familiarity from Seven’s memories, though she had no intention of letting the Captain know just how much she knew.  They had reached the Captain’s Ready Room and Janeway politely offered Analea a seat before taking her chair.  Commander Chakotay took another seat and they both looked at Analea expectantly.

 

“First I have a message from Seven for you, she said to tell you that she is feeling well.”  Analea chuckled as she watched the two Starfleet officer’s faces, “I had to explain to her that feelings were not irrelevant when it came to her health.  I’m fairly sure she wanted to convey that she was not in any pain or discomfort.”

 

Janeway asked, “How is she doing medically?  Has she fully recovered from her injuries?”

 

Analea replied, “She is recovering fairly quickly, but she still doesn’t have access to all her memories.  She remembers being fired upon at the space station, but nothing beyond that point.  I believe her mind will be fully healed tomorrow or the day after.  The injuries to her body, though they were extensive, are already healed.  I suspect Mulara is deliberately suppressing the remaining memories until she feels that Seven is capable of handling them.”

 

Janeway frowned, “Mulara is capable of suppressing memories?”

 

Analea said, “Mulara is a goddess; I know you think of her as a higher energy being but really, what difference is there between the two words?  Mulara is a powerful being; suppressing Seven’s memories until she is prepared to face them is a trivial task for her.”

 

Janeway replied, “I didn’t mean to offend you; I just have issues with Seven’s mind being tampered with.”

 

Analea frowned, “You did not offend me,” she corrected the Captain.  “If Mulara is suppressing Seven’s memories then she knows that it would harm Seven if she were to remember them now.  Give Mulara the benefit of a thousand years of experience Captain, she is acting in Seven’s best interest.”

 

Janeway considered Analea’s words and reluctantly nodded, it wasn’t as if she had much of a choice anyway.  There appeared to be no way that Voyager could penetrate the force fields surrounding the temple, they were just too powerful.  Seven would not be returned to them until Mulara decided to let her go, and that meant persuading her High Priestess that Seven should be returned to Voyager.

 

Janeway straightened her shoulders, “I apologize if I sounded like I thought she wasn’t High Priestess Analea.”

 

Analea said, “Apology accepted Captain, now about Mulara’s concerns.  Her primary one is Seven’s living arrangements.  Mulara finds the idea of Seven living in a cargo bay repulsive; it makes Seven sound as if she’s a piece of machinery stored away until needed.  Mulara feels that it contributed to the problems that Seven has with the Voyager crew.”

 

Janeway winced, “I’ve already considered that myself, I should have noticed it months ago and taken steps to change her living arrangements.  When Seven came onboard as the representative of the Borg they set up their alcoves there, and when we severed her from the Collective it just made sense not to move them and let her use the area.  I should have considered that it was not really an acceptable arrangement for her though.  There are empty quarters she can move into; we just need to figure out a way to move an alcove into it.  My Chief Engineer is working on trying to figure out how to modify one of the quarters for Seven already.”

 

Analea was surprised that the Captain had already taken steps to address the issue; perhaps Seven’s admiration of the woman was not misplaced after all.  She replied, “That is excellent news, but you do not have to move an alcove for Seven’s use.  Mulara replaced all of her implants; she does not need to regenerate using Borg technology anymore.  Indeed she cannot use a Borg alcove; the interfaces are just not there anymore.”

 

Janeway was nonplused, “Maybe you should fill us in on these changes.”

 

Chakotay spoke up, “Maybe I should let B’Elanna know that she doesn’t need to continue modifying an alcove.”  Janeway nodded and Chakotay tapped his combadge, “Chakotay to Torres.”

 

A moment later the reply came, “Torres here.”  Chakotay continued, “You can stop working on the modifications of the Borg alcove for Seven’s quarters; we just got news that she no longer needs it to regenerate.”

 

A distinct sigh came over the combadge, “And I just figured out how, at least I won’t have to figure out how to fit the thing in there now.  Thanks for letting me know Commander.”

 

Chakotay grinned as he replied, “Of course B’Elanna.” and tapped his combadge to end the conversation.  Janeway and Chakotay shared an amused look for a moment then turned back to the Mularan High Priestess.

 

Analea said, “Now about the issues between Seven and the crew.”

 

Janeway grimaced to herself, this Mularan High Priestess was entirely too well informed.  Janeway could tell this was going to be a long day.

 

*************************************************************

 

The next morning Seven awoke with a dry mouth; she now remembered waking up in the cell and the guards coming for her.  She also remembered them firing on her when the cell’s force field dropped.  For a moment, she wondered if that had been what killed her, but she didn’t believe that was true.  With a sick sensation in her stomach, she felt sure that what she didn’t yet remember was even more frightening.

 

Seven rose and found a fresh glass of juice and fruit awaiting her.  This morning there was a new fruit available and Seven examined the greenish smooth skin curiously before she gingerly bit into it.  The flesh inside was starchy in texture, and had a sweet, bread like flavor.  Seven decided that she liked the fruit’s taste and picked up another one.

 

Seven had just finished dressing after her bath when she noticed Analea outside the door with her hand poised to knock.  Seven nodded a greeting, and Analea dropped her hand and opened the door instead.

 

Analea smiled at Seven and asked, “How are you doing this morning?”

 

Seven stood stiffly, her hands clasp behind her back, “While I slept I remembered more of the events leading up to my death.  I am experiencing some… distress over what I do not yet remember.  Why I should experience distress over what I cannot remember?”

 

Analea examined how the young woman was standing before replying, “I suspect you are feeling anxiety, it usually manifests itself as elevated blood pressure and heart rate often accompanied by a mild nausea and muscle tension.  Your body is getting ready for a possible threat so it’s dumping endocrines into your system, which cause the physical symptoms.  It’s a typical response humanoids have to situations that they find threatening but the threat isn’t immediately obvious.”

 

After a moment’s consideration, Seven responded, “I am familiar with the physiological responses to stress, but memories cannot threaten me, this response is illogical.”

 

Analea replied, “No, it’s not.  You know that the memories are of the events that lead to your death.  That’s reason enough for you to feel anxiety over remembering them.  What you are feeling is understandable Seven; I would be concerned that something was wong if you didn’t feel anything.”

 

Seven looked puzzled, “Clarify…please.”

 

Analea nodded, “You know that whatever happened you died from it, and you know that it was very traumatic because your Borg implants were damaged to such an extent that Mulara chose to replace them instead of repairing them.  Given both those facts I think it’s reasonable for you to be anxious about remembering it.”  She paused, giving Seven a moment to absorb her statement before continuing, “Now we should go over the healthiest way of dealing with situations in which you are feeling anxiety and there is nothing you can do about the situation that caused it.  In this case there is nothing you can do to either prevent or hasten when you will remember, it will happen when your mind is healed enough.”

 

Seven nodded and said, “What is the proper protocol for dealing with anxiety?”

 

Analea briefly chuckled, then with a more serious demeanor answered the younger woman, “First accept the emotion, that validates your response.  The reason for this is to let your body know that you recognize it believes there is a threat situation.  That recognition allows the mind to calm, understanding you received the body’s message.  The second thing is for you to try and relax.  That lets your body know that it doesn’t need to continue in a hyper-alert state, prepared to instantly respond to a threat.  The second step is very important; you can wear yourself out if you allow your body to stay in a prolonged state of threat preparedness.  In your case your cortical node will process your attempt at relaxation as instructions for it to limit your biological response; your nanoprobes will start to break down the excess hormones in your system.  I know that your Borg systems automatically attempted to limit your biological responses, but your new implants will allow you to control whether or not you wish your responses to be limited.  The only time they will automatically act is when your implants determine that your biological response is damaging your health.”

 

Seven inclined her head briefly in acknowledgement, and then proceeded to comply with Analea’s instructions.  She found it odd at first to ‘accept’ the feeling of anxiety, but after a few moments she realized that strangely enough the act of telling herself that it was ok to experience these feelings, did in fact cause a lessening of the emotion.  Perhaps Analea was right, and her body needed to know that she had received and understood the message that it thought there was a threat.  Seven realized that she had no idea how she should ‘relax’ and asked, “How should I relax?”

 

Analea had been expecting the question, “There are several methods:  meditation, breathing techniques, and exercise are the most common.  Do you know anything about any of those already?”

 

Seven said, “Lt. Commander Tuvok has shown me how to perform Vulcan meditation techniques, but that requires a candle.”

 

Analea replied, “Perhaps I could teach you some breathing techniques which do not require anything; you don’t even need to have privacy which I believe is required for most meditation techniques.”

 

Seven nodded, “Please proceed.”

 

Analea said, “First close your eyes, then take a deep breath and on the exhalation think of breathing out the anxiety, when you inhale concentrate on relaxing your muscles.  It shouldn’t take but a few breaths for your cortical node to activate your nanoprobes to take up the excess endocrine.  Your cortical node won’t do it for long, but it should be long enough for the physical symptoms to ease.  After you master the technique you won’t need to close your eyes, only concentrate on your breathing.”

 

Analea watched as Seven immediately closed her eyes and began breathing deeply, she could see the blond woman’s posture relax after a minute and knew she had been successful.  Analea continued, “Sometimes you won’t have time to fully understand why your body is reacting to something as a perceived threat.  In those instances you might want to use the meditation techniques to help you figure out why you reacted later, when you have some time and privacy.”

 

Analea continued, “Now, I am just the first of your visitors for today, remember I told you that yesterday was your last day of full relaxation?”  Analea said the last with a small grin, and Seven gave her a small smile in reply.  “And I told you that you would learn how to increase your strength as well as learning how to control it?”

 

Seven nodded, and Analea continued, “Think of your muscular system as having safeties like your nanoprobes, by default you will be limited to normal human strength and reactions.  Automatically, during times of stress, you will be 20% stronger and faster than a normal human, but not so strong that you to have to worry about accidentally harming someone.  Your enhanced strength will only be available when you concentrate in a particular way.  This information should already be in your cortical node.”  Analea looked inquiringly at Seven not entirely sure how this was supposed to work but she had been assured by Mulara that Seven would understand what to do once she accessed her cortical node.

 

Seven accessed her cortical node as instructed, and information flooded her mind.  The muscular and nerve fibers that enhanced her strength and reflexes were normally inactive; and would become active only when instructed by her cortical node.  Seven wasn’t sure how strong or fast she would be when they were activated, but the information in her cortical node indicated it would be significantly more than her ‘normal’ state.  When she had finished she informed the priestess, “I have successfully accessed the information; I understand how to initiate the fibers in my muscles and nerves for enhanced strength.”

 

Analea nodded, pleased.  She pulled out a data pad, “Here are some exercises for you.  I believe you already know how to perform all the exercises listed?” 

 

Seven scanned through the list rapidly, glancing back up at Analea only a few seconds later, “I am familiar with these exercises.  Why must I exercise though, in the past my nanoprobes ensured that I remained in good physical condition?”

 

Analea answered, “And they will continue to make sure that you remain in good physical condition, but you need to exercise to train your nervous and muscular fibers how to function in your enhanced strength state.  The amount of fibers in your body is directly proportional to how much you use your muscles and reflexes.  The more you exercise, the more fibers will be created until you reach the maximum level.   Before you ask I don’t know what the level is, I only know that there are only so many of the fibers that can be integrated into your muscles and nerves without harming you.  Also, you don’t have to access your enhanced state to exercise; only about one out of every five exercise sessions should utilize it, the remainder should all be done at your normal strength.”

 

Seven inclined her head, indicating her understanding, “When should I begin this exercise protocol?”

 

Analea smiled, “No time like the present, remember to monitor your hydration levels and drink when you need to.  Oh, and make sure you exercise today in normal state, tomorrow you will want to exercise in enhanced state.”  With that Analea waved goodbye to Seven, turned and walked away.

 

Seven looked back at the data pad, scrolling through it once again and memorizing the data contained on it.  When she finished she began the exercises subtitled Warm Up which appeared to be the initial sub-routine of her exercise protocol.  Two hours later Seven completed the exercise protocol.  It had been informative, giving her a chance to experience how her exoskeleton moderated her body temperature, and how her new nanoprobes reacted to physical exertion.

 

Back in her room, she found a glass of juice along with a fresh supply of fruits, the sight of which caused her stomach to growl.  She had used up most of her energy reserves in the past two hours, Seven realized, and she was now hungry and tired.  Frowning, Seven hoped that she would soon regain her previous levels of Borg endurance, before the accident the previous two hours of activity would not have tired her to this extent.  For now though, she had no choice but to give into her body’s needs.  Choosing one of the green-skinned fruits she ate, and afterwards lay down on the bed for an afternoon nap.

 

*****************************************

 

Seven’s sleep was restless.  Information equal to one year’s worth of training in unarmed martial arts, as well as training in several different melee weapons and ranged weapons, was added to the wealth of knowledge already in her cortical node, preparing her for the next stage of her physical training.  As the information was processed, Seven absorbed the knowledge as if she had spent the time actually practicing each skill.

 

When she awoke, Seven sat up immediately, reviewing the information that she had just acquired.  It seemed that every time she slept she either remembered something, or received new information, it was unsettling.  Seven reviewed the information available to her, and decided that Mulara was making new information available when Seven needed it.  Which logically meant that… 

 

Seven’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock.  A Mularan woman stood at the door, she was not dressed in the traditional robes of a Mularan High Priestess, but in clothes that were similar to the ones Seven had been given to wear. 

 

Seven opened the door and the two of them stared at each other for a moment before the Mularan woman said, “Greetings, I am High Priestess Kayaln.  I am your unarmed and weapons trainer.”

 

Seven studied the other woman intently for a moment then replied, “What is the purpose of this training?”

 

Kayaln smiled grimly, “To train you to use your muscles and reflexes, nothing like the possibility of being hurt to inspire a person to move as quickly as possible.”

 

Seven arched her new cortical node pattern around her left eye in response to the comment, but merely replied, “Indeed.”  It was a useful response when one did not agree with a statement but did not feel inclined to argue that she had picked up from Lt. Commander Tuvok.

 

Kayaln snorted, “You need to do something that will require strength, agility and quickness.  Unarmed and weapons training is the best way to incorporate all of that into an activity that can be useful and, dare I say it… you might even find it fun…  I do.  I understand you play Velocity with your Captain correct?”

 

Seven wondered where the Mularan had learned this fact but she nodded in agreement.  Kayaln said, “That’s weapons training even if it doesn’t appear to be, it combines accuracy, agility, quickness and strategy, and I suspect you find it a pleasurable activity.  This will be more of the same.”

 

Seven considered Kayaln’s words and had to agree with them, Velocity was a very demanding sport and she enjoyed her matches with Kathryn even if the older woman won more often than not to Seven’s disgruntlement.  She nodded cautiously, “Mulara provided training in unarmed martial arts, and basic instruction in the use of the sword, staff, axe, and bat’leth.”

 

The Mularan priestess replied, “I know that you absorbed the equivalent of a year’s training in unarmed martial arts, and the basic knowledge of how to handle various weapons.  I will be training you further in unarmed martial arts and a weapon skill, but I need to know which weapon would you like to concentrate upon sword, staff, axe, or Klingon bat’leth?  I can teach the sword, staff and axe, the bat’leth I can give you some instruction on how to use it, but Mulara will have to provide a teacher if you choose that weapon since no one on Mularan knows how to use it expertly.”

 

Seven glanced at Kayaln, wondering what she meant by the statement that Mulara would have to provide her with a teacher and out of curiosity she requested, “Teach me how to use the bat’leth… please.”

 

Kayaln laughed, “Somehow I knew that was the weapon you would select when Mulara let me know which weapons you had to choose from.  Let’s start with the training I can teach you by myself.  We will start the bat’leth training tomorrow.  If you will follow me, I will show you where the training area is located.”

 

Seven frowned, “I have noticed no training area, nor any other doors besides the one leading to this room.  Where is this training area?”  Seven asked as she followed Kayaln out into the garden.  

 

Kayaln replied, “This is a new area, it’s past the path that you take to go to the bathing pool.”

 

They walked past the path leading to the bathing pool, and Seven looked in surprise at a path that had not been there earlier this morning.  They walked up the new path and came to a pavilion like structure.  In the middle of it was a large square covered with matting.  To the side of it was a low table with a candle that reminded Seven of the table in Tuvok’s quarters.  This was obviously the training area.  Seven asked, “This structure was not present before my arrival in the inner temple garden?”

 

Kayaln shook her head, “No.  There is an indoor training area in another part of the temple, but this one is entirely new.”

 

Seven asked, “How did you know it was here?  How does Mulara ‘speak’ to you?”

 

Kayaln smiled at Seven, “Oh not in words, I’m sorry if we have been implying that we are actually spoken to, she talks to us in dreams.  I learned about this,” she indicated the new structure, “when I was dreaming about teaching you; we walked from your room and up the new path and this was here.  In the dream I mean, that’s how I knew it would be here now.”

 

Seven frowned slightly and said, “When I regenerated I never dreamed.  Since I have been sleeping I have experienced these types of dreams each time, will all my dreams now come from Mulara?”

 

Kayaln chuckled kindly, “No some of them will just be dreams, and you will know the difference.  Mulara’s dreams feel different, maybe it’s because you remember them perfectly when you wake up.  Normal dreams usually are harder to remember once you wake.”

 

Seven continued to look puzzled, but nodded to Kayaln.

 

Kayaln continued, “Ok I want to see your katas, run through them please.”

 

Seven bowed politely to her teacher before taking the mat and flawlessly running through the katas that she had learned while she slept.

 

It took some time to complete all of the katas, when she finished Kayaln said, “Nicely done, each move looked very powerful.  Remember though that the katas are about more than power and force, they are also about grace and beauty.  Your actions should flow from your soul to your body, from your body into the world.  Ideally, the way you perform your katas should be a reflection of your soul.  And I know you have a beautiful soul Seven, Mulara would not have made you one of the reborn otherwise.”

 

The blonde responded to these comments with a dubious look, but did not verbally disagree.  Kayaln shook her head at Seven’s stubbornness, “What are some of the things you think are perfect, and what are some of the things you think are beautiful?” she asked, trying another way to show the ex-drone what she had already seen for herself.

 

Seven looked at Kayaln curiously, not really understanding why she had asked the question, but willing to answer, “When I saw the Omega Particle I saw perfection, I also saw beauty.  I think my exoskeleton is beautiful.  I think many of the flowers in this garden are beautiful.”  The blonde paused and continued thinking, “I think that the Lt. B’Elanna Torres is beautiful, and Captain Kathryn Janeway is beautiful.”

 

Kayaln fought to keep a smile from her face, “What is it about the things and people that you have mentioned that elevates them into beautiful, instead of merely being pretty?”

 

Seven was confused, her face stiffened into a protective Borg mask of unemotional indifference.  Standing stiffly upright, she put her hands behind her back and questioned, “Clarify.”

 

Kayaln examined the woman in front of her, and gave a silent sigh.  It was not the best time to turn this into a conversation about body language, but this made it painfully obvious that it needed to be done.  Kayaln replied, “In a moment, right now we need to address something else.  The way you are standing now, do you mean to imply that there is something about my question that offends you?”

 

Seven’s Borg mask fell, she glanced at Kayaln in pure confusion, “I am standing in a manner most comfortable for me.  How can my way of standing say anything?”

 

Kayaln tilted her head to the side, “Your abdominal implant and banding… that was the most comfortable way to stand with it?”

 

The blonde replied, “Yes.”

 

Kayaln nodded, “But you don’t have an abdominal implant now,” the Mularan woman reminded the ex-drone.  Then in an apparent change of topic she asked, “Have you ever researched human body language Seven?” 

 

Seven frowned uncertainly, “No I have not.”

 

“I suspected as much,” Kayaln commented.  “The way you position your body when you interact with people is a nonverbal part of the conversation.  The stance you are in now is usually interpreted as prideful and arrogant.  The only time it would not be interpreted that way is if you were officially standing at ease, and even then I don’t think that’s Starfleet’s at ease stance.”

 

Confused, Seven dropped her hands from behind her back, but she was now entirely unsure what to do with them, finally placing them awkwardly by her side. 

 

Kayaln’s heart went out to the woman and she said, “Seven, look at me.”  She waited until the blonde’s uncertain blue eyes met hers, “I’m not telling you this to make you feel uncomfortable.  I’m supposed to teach you, and that includes teaching you about how to interact with others.  I gather that no one has told you about body language, and it’s put you at a disadvantage when dealing with others.  Body language is a supplement to your verbal communication, it can support your verbal communication, be neutral to it, or it can negate it.  I suspect you have often unsuspectingly negated or altered the meaning of your verbal communications.”

 

Seven was bewildered by this new information, and still uncertain as to how it applied to the physical placement of her body.

 

Kayaln said, “Here watch me when I ask you to explain something.  Hopefully my thinking about this won’t mess me up; it’s not something I think about consciously.”

 

With that Kayaln assumed a neutral stance, arms down loosely by her sides, shoulders square towards Seven but not rigidly so, posture upright but not stiff.  “Seven, could you explain why the Omega Particle represented perfection to you?”

 

The ex-Borg observed Kayaln’s posture closely, mimicking it before replying, “I experienced a…moment of clarity when I watched the Omega molecule stabilize, and it seemed to be watching me.  It was… perfection.”

 

“Ah,” the Mularan woman responded, “such moments of perfection are difficult to describe.  It was more than how the molecule looked; it was how you felt about the experience.  I was shown this Omega particle, at first it looked simplistic, yet the more I examined it the more I realized that behind the surface it was very complex.  The harmony of the whole molecule, how one part flowed into the next, made the complex appear simple.  That is what I saw in the Omega particle.”

 

Seven considered her words, “You are correct, it is a very complex molecule, yet in its stable state it forms a harmonious whole that is beautiful.”

 

Kayaln held up a finger, “Remember what we just discussed about the Omega particle, after I finish going over some more information about body language we will go back to it and I will explain what it has to do with your katas.  Now the stance you are currently in is a neutral stance.  Let’s go over why: Your arms at your side indicate that you are not defensive.  Crossed arms are usually a sign of defensiveness, especially when they are crossed over the chest area.  A straight, but neither too relaxed or tense, posture indicates that you are attentive but not expecting an attack.  Your shoulders are square and facing me, which indicates that you are paying attention to what I am saying.”

 

Seven stared at Kayaln, incredulous, “You are interpreting this all from how I am standing?”

 

Kayaln nodded, “Yes I am.  I’m convinced that in both our species, social body posturing predated the development of speech.  With the development of speech our posture’s influence relative to spoken language decreased.  However, we still instinctively use it to communicate certain things like how we are reacting to what the other person is saying, what we perceive our social position is relative to the person we are speaking to, and the level of threat we think the other person represents.  So crossed arms are usually defensive, they indicate that the person feels the need to protect the torso, while dropped arms indicate that you aren’t feeling threatened, and arms behind the back indicate that you either think the person is no threat to you, or in the case of a military stance, that you will initiate no threatening actions.”  She hesitated for a moment thoughtfully before adding, “However, I have noticed that for some people crossed arms represent a fairly relaxed stance, so it differs from person to person.”  Kayaln crossed her arms in a relaxed pose to demonstrate what she meant for Seven.

 

Seven crossed her arms under her breasts, trying to mimic Kayaln’s new pose, instead she succeeding in supporting and uplifting her chest and framing it perfectly.  Kayaln’s eyebrows rose, she knew that the body language Seven was projecting was innocently done, but it could so easily be misinterpreted.

 

Seven’s face went from thoughtful to uncertain; Kayaln’s reaction was not what she was expecting.  The Mularan woman had a decidedly odd look on her face as if she were deciding how to react.

 

Kayaln took a breath, “Seven, with your build you need to cross your arms higher up on your chest, you should never cross your arm’s underneath your breasts like that unless you are intending on making what would be considered to be a sexual display in any culture where women had secondary sexual development such as Mularans and Humans.  In our culture the level of vulgarity would depend on the place and person.  A spouse or lover, depending on the circumstances, would probably consider it amusing and most likely an invitation.”

 

Seven’s eyes widened, and she flushed slightly as she hurriedly crossed her arms again, this time higher up on her chest. 

 

Kayaln examined her critically, “You’re tensed up so I would interpret that as slightly defensive.”  Seven took a few breaths and relaxed her stance.  Kayaln scrutinized the blonde’s posture and made another suggestion, “If you are going for a relaxed look try arranging your hands so that your fingers rest on the outside of the arm and your thumbs are tucked under your arms to hold your hands there.  One hand out, one hand tucked under looks more defensive than both hands outward.  Both hands tucked under looks very defensive if you were wondering.”

 

Seven made the suggested change, and looked down at herself commenting, “Captain Janeway often uses this form of body language.  This would be interpreted as defensive but not threatened?”

 

Kayaln smiled, “Very good, that would be how I would interpret that stance.”  She continued, “I think that’s probably enough social lessons for now, let’s go back to discussing what the Omega molecule has to do with katas.  You said that the Omega molecule’s harmony makes it beautiful, I said that I thought that its harmony made it appear simple; we both agreed that it was actually very complex.  Now to how this applies to your katas, your soul recognizes harmony of form as beautiful.  Do you agree, or am I incorrect?”

 

Seven considered the statement carefully before replying, “Harmony of form can be interpreted to be beautiful.  It is what I find to be beautiful about these gardens.  Harmony of form with function is what I find beautiful about my exoskeleton.”

 

Kayaln nodded, making sure she had the ex-drone’s complete attention she stated, “Then let your katas show harmony of form with function.  Concentrate on making every move harmonious with its form and with its function.  You know that the kata’s are made up of attacks and defensive reactions, make sure that each move reflects its purpose.  In that way they will show harmony with their function.  They should also reflect harmony of form, move precisely and with intent, and make sure you flow from one move to another.  Your soul has a desire for perfection, bring it forth to your mind, then show it in your body as you perform your katas.”

 

Seven stared at the Mularan woman, uncertain as to how to go about accomplishing what suddenly appeared to be an insurmountable task.

 

Kayaln was easily able to correctly interpret the blonde’s expression, “Start with a meditation of the Omega particle.  Then strive to bring your passion for perfection into your performance of the kata.  Remember that perfection is a goal; it is not going to be reached in one session.  Strive to do your best every time you practice is all that I ask.  Now meditate, and when you are ready, start your katas again.”  She added before Seven could move toward the pavilion, “And do not forget that the Omega molecule is the most powerful known in the universe.”

 

With Kayaln’s instructions fresh in her mind, Seven went over to the side of the pavilion where she could see a convenient low table with a candle and lighter set on top of it.  Once there she knelt, lit the candle with the lighter, and stared into the flame.  She strove to clear her mind as Tuvok had taught her, and then she accessed her memory, watching again as the Omega molecule stabilized and she saw perfection. 

 

She held the memory in her mind, and examined the molecule closely.  Kayaln was correct she realized, the molecule’s harmony made appear simple, yet it was an incredibly complex structure.  Seven strove to understand how this might apply to her katas.  She would have to be very precise and detailed, yet harmonious in how she performed each move, she finally decided.  If she succeeded, the kata should look simple on the surface, yet a more detailed examination would reveal the complexity of each move. 

 

However, she was still uncertain how to accomplish the task.  Seven felt lost and overwhelmed until she recalled that Kayaln said that each move should reflect its purpose and that she should move precisely and with intent while flowing from one move to another.  Perhaps if she concentrated on accomplishing that first, she would understand how to accomplish the other.  With this in mind, she mentally reviewed each kata, focusing first on the purpose of each move of the kata.  Each movement had a specific task to accomplish, either as an attack, a block, or a mixture of both. 

 

When she had performed the katas before, each move had been very distinct, now she understood that she needed to move continuously from one form to the next.  When she thought she was prepared to try again, she blew out the candle and went over to where Kayaln standing saying, “I believe I am ready to try again.”

 

Kayaln nodded, saying nothing. 

 

Seven walked onto the mat and began her katas again from the beginning.  When she was done Seven looked over to Kayaln and was pleased to see her teacher looking back at her with a smile.

 

Kayaln said, “Much better, each move showed that you understood its purpose.  You did not pause between the forms, but kept your flow from one to the next, that is how it is supposed to look.  Now let us spar for awhile, and I will see if you can put that knowledge into practice.”

 

They sparred until Kayaln called a halt for a break for water and food, then Kayaln started explaining to Seven how to react to armed opponents.  Another hour passed by before Kayaln finally called it a night.
 

 
 

Back ] Next ]