by E. L. Zimmerman
Though they tried, the Lemm couldn’t remember the last time they had witness this kind of action and drama on the gloomy planet Besaria … and they weren’t about to miss out on the entertainment. Rashly abandoning their science ports in favor of witnessing the spectacle that was the ensuing brawl between the two female Voyager-Lemm, the Gallenians cautiously circled Seven and B’Elanna, giving the mortal combatants a wide berth.
Wiping blood from the corner of her mouth, Seven nodded once at her crewmate.
“Your right hook is highly efficient.”
Panting, sweat dripping down her ridged forehead, B’Elanna found the energy for a smirk. “That’s … that’s what Tom tells me, too.”
“Understood,” Seven replied, carefully sauntering around her opponent very, very slowly. “From what I’ve read of Klingon mating rituals, such behavior would be … predictable.”
Smiling, the half-Klingon tried, “You know what they say. You only hurt the ones you love.”
Again, B’Elanna lunged.
Ducking, avoiding another blinding right hook, Seven instinctively parried with an uppercut of her own, this one catching B’Elanna square in her lower ribs. The half-Klingon twitched, spitting blood, her body raised slightly into the air from the force of the Seven’s blow. Gasping, the lieutenant closed her eyes, shifting her weight so that she would tumble forward …
… pouring all of her weight directly into an unsuspecting Seven of Nine.
Intertwined, the two of them fell atop one another on the cold stone floor, and a raucous cheer erupted from their Lemm audience.
Reacting, B’Elanna tore her arms free of the grapple and pushed herself up off her crewmate, somersaulting head-over-heels across the hard stone floor. Exhausted, she landed on her back and lay perfectly still for several seconds.
“Nice … hook … yourself,” she spat, trying to catch her breath.
Suddenly, the two of them heard the shuffling of angry footsteps, and they raised their heads to see the drones appeared from every possible direction. The sentries pushed their way through the gathered Lemm, and the workers scattered about the chamber but didn’t return to their workstations. Instead, they stood watching as the Borg shoved their way toward the front of the spectacle. The small army marched over to the fallen duo, taking up positions around the two Voyager-Lemm.
Then, each drone raised a prosthetic, and the blades whirred to life, whining in the silence from the pause in the battle.
“This behavior will cease at once!” Krynn demanded, taking his place at the front of the drones. His face was still dripping with blood from the open wounds inflicted upon his by B’Elanna.
‘He’ll be recovering from a few of those for quite some time,’ she mused, smiling to herself.
“What’s the matter with you, Krynn?” B’Elanna barked, forcing herself up on one elbow, facing the drone.
“You are to be exterminated,” he explained.
“Krynn,” the lieutenant tried, tasting the flesh blood on her lips, “you’re not man enough … to come in here and stop me yourself?”
“Voyager-Lemm B’Elanna Torres and Seven of Nine,” Krynn stated, stepping forward, stopping near their fallen duo. “As I have stated, your lifesigns are to be terminated immediately.”
Everyone turned to the wall of monitors.
Faithfully, a single Gallenian-Lemm had stayed at his post. Half-standing, half-sitting, he perched in front of an active viewscreen. B’Elanna squinted, but she couldn’t make out what he was watching. The Gallenian pressed an earpiece to his triangular head, obviously monitoring some communication.
“The Voyager has been invaded by the Borg!” he shouted.
“What?” Krynn asked.
“The One is under attack!” the Lemm continued, his expression clearly one of pure ecstasy.
Impulsively, Seven rocketed to her feet.
Reaching down, she pulled B’Elanna up, as well … so hard, in fact, B’Elanna felt her shoulder dislocate. She winced at the red-hot pain, and, screaming, she rolled her shoulder and heard the ‘pop’ of the joint snapping back into its rightful place.
Together, Seven and B’Elanna considered the wall of Borg – perhaps thirty drones – before them.
Suddenly, B’Elanna Torres did the one thing she had personally vowed to never do in her life.
She took charge.
“Let’s get ’em!” she screamed.
Much to her surprise, Seven and the Gallenian-Lemms joined in the charge at the unsuspecting Borg.
Fully materialized, the Borg marched efficiently and with clear purpose around Voyager’s Bridge. Not yet approached, Janeway watched as they concentrated their efforts primarily on re-assimilating their former drones.
“Everyone!” she called out cautiously, holding up her hands. “Do not interfere! I repeat: do not interfere with them! As they’ve stated, they may only be interested in recovering their lost shipmates!”
Stammering, the One insisted, “Absolutely not! I will not tolerate this! That Borg Army is mine, and I will not stand for their re-assimilation into the Collective! It will not serve the Foundation!”
Moving dangerously close to him, she warned, “Let it go, Your Highness.”
“Those drones are mine!” he screamed, angrily waving his arms. “I tell you, THEY’RE MINE!”
Disgusted, she reached out and took the One by an arm, whirling him around to face her.
“Don’t you get it?” she asked, pressing her face close to his chest, baring her teeth at him. “This isn’t about you! Your control over these drones is finished!”
“I’LL NOT ALLOW IT!”
“Your Highness,” she tried, “right now I’m trying to save the rest of our lives!” Lowering her voice but maintaining her command edge, she added, “Now, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stand there and shut up before you get us all assimilated!”
Aghast, the One glared at her.
“You dare to speak to me in that tone?!”
Reaching out with his human hand, he clamped her neck.
Trying to defend herself, Janeway reached out and wrapped her hand around his arm and tried to force it away, but she couldn’t. He was too strong.
“Captain!” she heard Harry’s cry from Ops.
Gradually, the One’s arm morphed, tissues rolling, stretching, extending slightly, completely encompassing her frail neck, and he lifted her body high into the air until she felt the bridge’s ceiling with her flailing Borg prosthetic.
Gritting his teeth at her, he growled, tightening his grip on her neck.
“YOU WILL DIE FOR YOUR INSOLENCE!”
She couldn’t breath.
Fighting, she gripped his arm tighter with her free hand, digging her nails deep into his flesh … but his tissues simply melted around her fingers. Desperate, she needed to find some means to loosen his grasp and allow for even the slightest breath, but it was to no avail. He had her, and he wasn’t about to let go.
Her body starting to tremble from the lack of oxygen, she quickly tried to suck the much-needed air into her lungs, but she found her efforts useless. Darkness flashed at the corners of her eyes, and she felt her strength leaving her, her body going limp.
Letting go of his arm, Janeway pounded on his arm, which she gradually felt growing more and more solid.
Her vision blurred, and the Bridge started to spin.
At this rate, she knew that she had a few more seconds before she’d lose total consciousness.
A melancholy voice filled her ears.
“I saved you and your ship from the vacuum of space,” the One lamented, and she saw that he glared menacingly at her.
She tried to speak, to reply, to plead, but no words came out.
“I saved your pitiful lives,” she heard, her vision now swimming with blackness. “In my Foundation, you had endless opportunities, but you were only content to defy me. Now, you will learn that the all do serve the One … in life … and, when necessary, in death!”
She closed her eyes.
The Borg didn’t stand a chance.
Lacking even short-range tactical weapons … void of phaser-producing prosthetics … without individual defensive screens … all of which the One had banned for use on the planet’s surface … they didn’t stand a chance against the mob that B’Elanna and Seven had incited.
The Lemm swarmed their armored overlords … thumping, slapping, clawing, kicking, jabbing, tearing, punching, biting.
The battle was fast and furious, but …
… in the end, every last Borg lay on its back, circuitry crackling, wires trembling, bodies still.
Just as rashly, the freed Lemm cheered their triumph over the Borg Army. They chanted and rejoiced, racing out of the Sciences Complex and continuing their rampage through Besaria City, striking out and taking down every drone they encountered en masse.
Queasy from too many well-placed blows, B’Elanna stumbled, overcome with exhaustive vertigo, nearly plummeting to the stone floor, when a firm hand caught her.
“You require assistance, lieutenant,” Seven stated.
It hurt to laugh, but B’Elanna enjoyed the pain.
‘Must be the Klingon in me,’ she mused.
“I … require more than just assistance, Seven.” Pleased with their efforts, she glanced sleepily across the battlefield at their fallen enemies. “I hope … those Lemm don’t pummel the sense out of anyone who might have the ability to heal … these injuries.”
“I will accompany you to the Medical Complex,” Seven replied coolly.
Careful, the former drone draped her arm under B’Elanna’s. Easily, she hoisted the half-Klingon into her arms and started for the exit.
“Seven,” B’Elanna tried to speak, “are … you hurt?”
“I require minor medical attention.”
Drained, the Voyager’s engineer sighed, and even that effort sent lightning pangs through her entire body. Dizziness overcame her, and she started to drift into a deep sleep.
“I think,” she began, “isn’t this … attacking those drones … isn’t this the first time that you and I actually … agreed on anything?”
Seven nodded. She stepped over several fallen enemy and, with a swift kick, knocked one of the Sciences Complex doors off its hinges. The door spun round and round, eventually clattering loudly to the stone floor.
“It has been a pleasure agreeing with you … B’Elanna.”
Finally, the Voyager chief of engineering succumbed to the darkness and fell limp in Seven’s arms.