The Queen of The Lost Worlds - Part 7

halfofone's picture
Submitted by halfofone on Tue, 14/07/2009 - 10:25.

Star Trek Voyager



Tue, 14/07/2009 - 10:00

15 or R

TITLE: The Queen of The Lost Worlds AUTHOR: halfofone
FEEDBACK: Constructive feedback welcome.
SUMMARY: Same characters, different universe. Very different. And perhaps the characters are not all that similar either ...
NOTES: A very unexpected encounter throws the crew and passengers of the yuQmey chIl SoS'a' into a strange adventure.
ARCHIVING: If you want ... I would quite like to know where.

TPTB are many. In a perfect world I would be one of them but it's not and I'm not. No infringement of copyright/trade marks or other intellectual property is intended. This story was written for fun and not profit.

Warning: This story includes same sex relationships between women. If you are offended by this or it is illegal where you live or you are underage then please read no further.

Full warnings, credits and disclaimers can be found in the contents page and chapter 1.

Part 7

By chance or by some unacknowledged and mutual psychological force, the main protagonists in Voyager's latest strange adventure, had each seated themselves around the meeting table as far from their dopplegangers as could be achieved in the fairly small room. The exceptions to this were Annika Hansen and Seven of Nine who sat down unselfconsciously next to each other at the head of the table. The consequence of this most un-random seating arrangement was that the Toms and B'Elannas could see the Annikas side by side while avoiding looking at their own counterparts. Janeway, walking up and down while thinking aloud, could see everyone in turn and it was not helping her thought process at all. She found herself constantly trying to compare each of the newly twinned crew and watching their individual reactions; there were strong similarities but also very noticeable differences. The way they were seated made the compare and contrast exercise more difficult and Janeway momentarily toyed with the idea of making each pair sit next to each other so she could continue her study without getting whiplash.

Both B'Elannas started the meeting with their arms tightly folded, leaning back in their chairs with comically similar expressions of suspicion but it wasn't lost on the Captain that guest-B'Elanna was the quicker to relax and begin to take part, introducing herself and her crew and giving a little background information about their journey. There was some excitement when Commander Tuvok entered the room and Captain Torres immediately launched herself to her feet yelling something about Romulan spies before Janeway and Seven of Nine intervened. That the local crew had never heard of Vulcans, reminded everyone of how alien this Universe was and Tuvok himself was plainly disquieted.

Attending the meeting wasn't all plain sailing for Annika. She was very uncomfortable around Commander Chakotay and had to work quite hard to avoid looking at him. He in turn seemed quite fascinated with her now that B'Elanna had let the cat out of the bag and disclosed that Annika had a very close relationship with the Chakotay of this Universe. Her discomfort wasn't eased by Harry Kim (the Voyager science officer) and the EMH who both stared at her and then back at Seven as though they were watching a 'miracle of Kahless'. They were evidently both besotted with Seven of Nine, so Annika supposed that she shouldn't be too surprised by their 'interest' in her.

Annika wondered about any relationships the crew of Voyager had before Seven joined them in the delta quadrant. The captain and most of the senior crew were apparently crushing hard on her and Annika could understand a little now why Voyager-Torres had not been pleased to see another Annika Hansen. An evil little flirting person inside the human couldn't help but be impressed by her own powers until Annika squashed the flirtatious imp with the reminder that awesome powers of seduction weren't much use if the one you wanted wasn't swayed.

The only person who was quite unconcerned by the awkward group dynamics was Seven of Nine. Seven had bigger concerns.

She was expounding her theories on the intersecting Universes and explaining the analysis that she had undertaken with Annika's help. Annika blushed when Seven had attested that without Annika she could not have achieved her present level of understanding. Voyager-B'Elanna had snorted at this and muttered something to Voyager-Tom who looked uncomfortable. Guest-B'Elanna, gifted with Klingon hearing, scowled and said aloud that her crew were not here to be insulted and that Annika was better at math than anyone she knew which of course made Annika blush harder, both at the compliment and at being defended by B'Elanna as a part of her crew. Voyager-B'Elanna muttered something about ingratitude and even the Toms were starting to glare. Janeway told them all to focus on the problem and not on differences, the irony of which command was not lost on the Captain as she yet again scanned each face to assess the varying reaction. To her surprise guest-B'Elanna was definitely approving when Janeway took command and firmly called a halt to the bickering.

Seven was obviously also grateful for the intervention as she was getting to the crux of her proposal.

"We will need to generate the necessary power to replicate the conditions for transition back to our universe. The point of intersection would need to be expanded sufficiently to form a portal allowing the passage of Voyager."

"How much power?" Janeway asked.

"Equivalent to five percent of the power generated by the being who returned us to the Alpha quadrant. Approximately eight trillion…"

"That's just impossible!" Voyager-B'Elanna exclaimed. "If Voyager could generate one tenth of that kind of power we could have used a slipstream drive and got home years ago. If that's the best…we're wasting our time here."

Seven of Nine glared at the engineer. "Power generation of that order is not impossible for short periods; Borg ships are able to develop that degree of output using an amplification technology they acquired from species 7829 and they can then focus the energy, enabling ships to open local time portals."

"Why have you not mentioned this before Seven," Janeway asked unhappily. "We might have been able to use something like that."

"It is of value only if you wish to travel in time or cross to another Universe and were able to find a point of intersection Captain. Neither we or the Borg could use the technology for traversing normal space. I did not think you approved of time travel."

"I still wish you had mentioned it."

"I am aware of 2,853,412 technologies that the Borg have assimilated. Do you wish me to explain them all Captain?"

Anyone else being this insubordinate would have been slapped down but Janeway half-grinned and said "Perhaps some other time Seven." Seven inclined her head while Voyager-B'Elanna scowled at yet more evidence of favouritism by the Captain.

Seven, still intent on delivering her plan, then casually dropped another bombshell.

"But Lieutenant Torres is correct about one matter; Voyager could not perform this task and escape through the portal. It will be necessary to have a second vessel."

The chief engineer threw up her hands. "And where are we going to find a ship that can do any of this in this backwater universe?"

"I believe we have one."

Everyone stared at the former drone. Seven did not blink until Voyager-Torres exploded.

"You are not talking about that broken down rusting death-trap we're towing about. It's less capable than a mark 1 shuttle. Much less capable."

Guest-B'Elanna narrowed her eyes as her beloved ship was disparaged but she did not say anything - she was rather enjoying watching the Seven of Nine show and in fairness, now that she had had a tour of Voyager, she could see how the crew of this wonderful starship might regard the old Queen, so it fell to Seven of Nine to defend the old lady.

"It would be an adequate platform for the device. It is sufficiently large to accommodate the necessary equipment; it has a warp drive and a deflector which can both be enhanced to meet our requirements," she responded confidently. "We would construct a deflector focusing device, with an amplifier that would enable the enhanced warp drive to power the deflector directly. The modified vessel would focus the deflector on the existing singularity at the intersection of our Universe with this one, using a short but massive burst of energy to warp the singularity and open a portal, 150 metres in diameter for 0.65 seconds. Voyager would then fly into the portal. It will require precise navigation and velocity as Voyager must pass through the exact centre at the instant the portal is open and at a sufficient speed to pass the entire length of the ship through the portal before it closes. Since we could not use the warp drive in the vicinity of the portal I have calculated that Voyager must travel at 150% of maximum impulse power. The impulse engines will be modified to make this possible." Seven paused. "And it will be necessary to install better shields and a structural integrity field on the platform ship to enable her crew to survive the resulting energy wave exactly like the one we created on entering this Universe, or to survive a potential collision with Voyager or her remains should we miss the portal opening."

There was absolute silence after Seven finished. Even the guests looked shocked and they understood much less of what was being proposed.

"It's impossible," exclaimed the chief engineer. "Captain, even the simplest part of that plan is impossible and I don't even know that there is a simple part. It is completely unworkable. I don't think the Princess of Borg has thought this one out."

Seven of Nine flushed a little and her voice was tense.

"I have considered every option Lieutenant and the only workable alternative is to remain here. Based on our current knowledge and levels of technology I am aware of no other possible means to return to our Universe. And we may have limited time even for this as the singularity is likely to drift from its current position and we have no means to follow it and no guarantee that we would ever find it again in our lifetimes."

"How long before that happens?" Janeway asked anxiously, the idea of being unable to return home after coming so close was unbearable.

"Unknowable." Seven said baldly. "We will only know that it has gone when the energy signature changes. It may remain here for weeks or months or just hours."

Voyager-Tom wasn't laughing either but he was still back on the piloting requirements. "So you want me to fly Voyager through a hole with only a couple of metres to spare at 1.5 times maximum impulse speed. And that hole is open only for a few tenths of a second. I know I'm good…"

Chakotay grinned malevolently as he interrupted Tom's rant. "Maybe we'll find out whether all that boasting has some truth Ensign."

Janeway held up her hand to forestall further argument between her senior team.

"Enough." She glanced at Captain Torres who was leaning back and looking quite at ease. "Are you prepared to allow us to use your ship in this way, Captain Torres?"

Captain Torres shrugged. "You saved our lives Captain Janeway. This will go some way to meeting our blood debt and from what I can understand you are going to put a state of the art structural integrity field generator in the old girl that I could never have afforded otherwise."

"I will not hold you to any perceived debt Captain Torres. There is some real risk to your ship. You are quite free to go at any time if you think the risk is too great. We can of course take you somewhere safer before..."

"I will not leave my ship and the risk will go a little further in repaying our debt," Captain Torres said firmly. "It is not our way to disregard blood oaths." She looked pointedly at both Tom and Annika who solemnly nodded their agreement with their captain even though Annika was wide-eyed with apprehension and Tom wasn't much taken with the plan either.

"I see. Thank you," said Janeway stiffly. She was not happy about taking advantage of some strange local Klingon honour code and not sure if the crew of the Queen understood the risks they might face but Voyager needed their help and Janeway had learnt the hard way that she had to put her ship and crew first. Getting them home was her priority and they were not going to fail now. "Seven, you, Harry and B'Elanna will work together and refine the plan; I want engineering feasibility reports on my desk by sixteen hundred today. Chakotay I want that anomaly monitored round the clock. Use whatever resources you require. We will reconvene at Eighteen hundred. Dismissed."


Thirty minutes later Seven, Voyager-B'Elanna, Voyager-Tom, Harry Kim and the crew of the yuQmey chIl SoS'a' were standing on the bridge of the little ship. Voyager's engineering crew had done their usual professional work and the bridge looked like new. There were still repairs ongoing to the old freighter but in this section at least they had finished. B'Elanna felt close to tears as she looked around her - her baby was having the total refit she had always deserved but that had never been possible given the tightly stretched resources of her father's company. The captain of the little ship tried to hide her emotional response but Annika who had developed quite an acute sensitivity to B'Elanna in the few days she had known her, ostentatiously ran her finger along the surface of a console, held it up to show it was completely clean. She grinned cheekily at her captain.

"Do you have a point to make Ani," growled B'Elanna scowling at the implied insult even as she was perversely cheered by the interaction.

"No," said the human grinning harder. "Just admiring our hosts' thoroughness. It's almost like being on a passenger ship."

B'Elanna narrowed her eyes and bit back on the temptation to bounce Annika out the door and into the corridor. She noticed that both Toms were grinning and that bloody chief engineer had a really annoying and superior expression plastered on her stupid face too and what really bit was that it was her own stupid face. She focused on the one person who was not smirking.

"What do you need to do?" she asked Seven bluntly.

Seven proceeded to explain what was required for the modifications. There followed a scene that was not unusual on Voyager where Seven and Chief Engineer Torres wrangled their way to a conclusion. Lieutenant Torres grudgingly accepted Seven's theoretical superiority while insisting on her own understanding of the engineering requirements. Voyager-Tom and Harry Kim largely let them get on with it only making the odd comment or suggestion. Captain Torres was impressed in spite of herself. These people really understood their craft and while Seven of Nine and B'Elanna's ill-tempered twin obviously disliked each other they managed to get results remarkably quickly.

Captain Torres had her own views and she knew her ship inside out, so despite struggling to understand some of what was being proposed she did add a number of suggestions and managed not to lose her temper when the chief engineer sneered a little too obviously. The contrast between Voyager-B'Elanna's attitude and Seven of Nine who treated each of B'Elanna's suggestions with respect even when she discounted them, made a deep impression on the young Klingon captain.

"Okay," Voyager-B'Elanna said finally. " We have a plan of sorts but we still won't be able to make the amplification unit. We can't construct the resonance component without using an alloy of gorillium and that requires gorillium. The only alternative is replication and it would take an experienced replicator engineer weeks to program the buffer patterns to create the alloy from scratch."

"Perhaps we can find it round here," said Voyager-Tom.

"Yeah that's likely," scoffed Voyager-B'Elanna. "Did I say gorillium was non-naturally occurring - it really has to be synthesised, plus we also need a bunch of other raw materials - common enough but do we have time to mine and refine them? Anyway why don't all of you, apart from Harry, go away and try to work those problems out while I get this scow spaceworthy."

"I would rather stay with my ship, engineer," growled B'Elanna.

"If you want," Voyager-B'Elanna replied sourly because she couldn't think of any reason to keep her counterpart off her own vessel. "But I don't want a lot of other people in my way."

"Well I need to program the holodeck to simulate flying Voyager through the eye of a needle, a needle which exists for one tenth of the time it takes the Captain to say 'do it'," said Voyager-Tom.

"And I shall go to Astrometrics and attempt to scan for sources of materials to create the necessary compounds," announced Seven of Nine.

Annika and Tom looked at each other feeling distinctly useless. Seven noticed. "You may accompany me to Astrometrics if you wish Annika Hansen. Your knowledge of the sector may be useful."

Voyager-Tom also took pity on his own counterpart. "I could use an extra pair of pilot hands," he lied.

Annika and Tom both realised that their hosts were being polite but on the other hand…

"I would certainly like to help if I can," Annika replied first. "As B'Elanna said we owe you a lot, and I would really appreciate another visit to your beautiful Astrometrics lab."

"Yeah and count me in on the simulator - I'll show you what an old-fashioned pilot can do," Tom said pluckily.

"Just go," snorted Voyager-B'Elanna irritably. Seven and Voyager-Tom followed her order, calling for transport. Moments later Voyager's transporters whisked both Annikas and both Toms away from the bridge of the Queen and deposited them on the Voyager transport platform.


"Thank God," muttered Voyager-B'Elanna. "I don't think I could have taken much more of Seven of Nine."

"Why?" asked B'Elanna bluntly. "You appear to work well together."

"She's an arrogant know-it-all."

"Well she certainly knows a lot," B'Elanna noted evenly.

"Too much for her good or ours. Anyway I can't stand here gossiping. I have to fix your ship for you."

"No," B'Elanna corrected firmly. "You have to fix my ship because those are your orders. And remember this is my ship and I expect all crew working on my ship, whether permanent or seconded, to act professionally."

Voyager-B'Elanna scowled furiously at her and Harry Kim took a nervous step back.

"So where do we begin Chief Engineer?" B'Elanna asked, determined not to lose the upper hand.

"Well Captain Torres," Voyager-B'Elanna said, still scowling and exaggerating the word 'captain', "We need to reinforce her feeble hull first."

"Good. Let's get to it."


In the number one holodeck, Voyager-Tom was standing at a console, still programming parameters for his simulation. Tom Paris was sat on a chair (that to his loud amazement the holodeck created on command) watching his double curiously.

"You know this is weird?"

"You don't have to tell me that," Voyager-Tom replied. He glanced up and smiled. "I have been in weirder situations but not many."

"So B'Elanna…she's your wife…and you have a kid with the same name as mine. That's…very…well I can't think of anything else to say…weird!"

"Why? Is that so surprising?"

"It's not really…I guess I mean…clearly they're not quite the same. Your B'Elanna and my B'Elanna."

"How is that?"

Tom Paris suddenly felt a little cautious after all he was talking about the guy's wife and his own best friend; he didn't want to be rude or disloyal. "Nothing really. Your B'Elanna just seems a little more stressed."

Voyager-Tom shrugged. "That's the Seven of Nine effect. She really grates on B'Elanna. So you and Captain Torres have nothing going on."

Tom grinned. "I value my life. B'Elanna would impale me on her Batleth first. Anyway I'm married to her sister Jeri, and she would impale me on her Batleth too. Very keen on Batleths, the Torres girls." Tom explained a little of his history and how he met the Torres family and when he got to his estrangement from his own father, Voyager-Tom exclaimed.

"Ha! We share the good opinion of our fathers then. Mine hates me too."

"Hate's a strong word, mine just can't stand being in the same room."

"I disgraced the name of Paris."

"Hey me too," said Tom grinning broadly. The two Toms bonded at that moment.

"I think we're ready to go," said Voyager-Tom. "Wanna come crash a starship and then do it again and again and again?"

"Can think of nothing better," responded Tom Paris enthusiastically.


Back on the Queen, B'Elanna was with her counterpart in the crew quarters where work was needed on a relay that passed behind the family room.

"Would you like a Klingon coffee," she asked the Chief Engineer as the latter tutted over the burnt out device and made notes on a padd.

Voyager-B'Elanna looked surprised and not aggressive for once.

"Actually I wouldn't mind. Haven't had that in years…"

"It's very strong," warned B'Elanna "and may be different from your Universe."

"I'll risk it."

"Okay. Back in a few minutes."

B'Elanna left her guest and disappeared off to the galley. When she returned with the coffee, she found Voyager-B'Elanna looking at the family pictures on the wall.

"Ugly lot," B'Elanna joked. Those are my brothers and that's my sister Jeri with Tom and their kid, Miral."

"That's my daughter's name," Voyager-B'Elanna said with some surprise, "but I don't have any brothers or sisters."

"I often wish I didn't. A bloody nuisance all of them."

"That's your Mom and Dad," Voyager-B'Elanna stated pointing at the picture of the happy couple after their wedding. "My Mom had one just like it - I only saw it once when she was throwing out some old junk. I mean the clothes were different but they looked just the same."

"You mean Dad looking shifty and Mom glaring at him," laughed B'Elanna. "Why didn't yours have more kids?"

"I don't even remember him," Voyager-B'Elanna replied quietly. "He left when I was a baby."

B'Elanna stared at her wide-eyed. "I can't believe that Dad would ever leave Mom, murder her maybe but…"

"Well I guess they are different even if they look the same. He was a drunken loser and Mom threw him out." Voyager-B'Elanna sniffed and then tasted the coffee, her mouth twisting at the bitterness. "This is good coffee just like I remember - some things are the same here."

For a few seconds both women sipped at the scalding coffee.

"So you and Tom have a daughter."

For the first time Voyager-B'Elanna didn't look annoyed or impatient. "Yes she's one year old, she's talking a little and trying to walk. How about you?"

"No marriage or kids for me. I like variety - a girl in every port."

Voyager-B'Elanna's head jerked up and any friendliness had disappeared from her dark eyes quicker than a pirate fleeing a Bird of Prey. She was angry again. Angry and something else that B'Elanna could not understand until her counterpart said harshly "You should keep quiet about that sort of relationship on this ship. It's disgusting and I'm not the only one who thinks so." She glared furiously at B'Elanna who glared equally furiously back.

"Fucking Kahless, you sound like my grandmother. What the hell does my private life have to do with you or any of your fucking crew?"

"Nothing. And I don't want to know anymore about it or about you." Voyager-B'Elanna slapped her communicator badge. "Vorik, get up here now. I don't care what you are doing. I don't want to have to repeat myself."

B'Elanna just stared at her. "What by Kahless' thirteen toes do you think I am going to do? Are you afraid of me?"

Voyager-B'Elanna avoided her eyes and sneered "Hardly. I just don't like your sort." Any further argument was halted when Vorik trotted into the room. B'Elanna glared at him fiercely - another Romulan-look-alike, Voyager-B'Elanna glared at B'Elanna and Vorik wished that he could summon up the wherewithal to glare at anything.


A 3D representation of a stable gorillium molecule spun in one corner of the enormous view-screen while the long-range sensors stretched and strained to find evidence of that molecule in an area of space equivalent to a thousand light years in every direction, though as Seven herself admitted, identification of sources beyond a hundred light years was largely irrelevant as it would take months to reach and return.

Annika tried to focus on the readings she had been given to analyse but her attention kept returning to the spinning molecule.

"I just think I have seen something like this before," she said again.

"Unlikely," Seven responded with a touch of impatience. "It is an advanced compound molecule that requires complex synthesis. Our contact with your technology indicates nothing that would suggest that capacity."

Annika continued to stare at it. And then her eyes widened.

"Seven can you focus the sensors close range?"

"Of course."

"Can you focus on the Queen?"

"For what purpose?"

"Just humour me." Seven looked at her and Annika definitely could see the ex-Borg's good opinion fading. "It would only take a moment. I have just remembered where I have seen this image."

"There are no such compounds…"

"Please Seven just humour me."

Seven quickly entered some commands into the computer. "Computer analyse findings."

A few seconds passed.


Seven's head jerked up, her blue eyes wide with disbelief, she bent to check the readings and her eyepiece shot up. "That is a location on your ship."

"Thank Kahless," Annika said with some relief as she really hadn't wanted to look a fool in front of Seven.

"It is an insignificant quantity and the purity appears to be compromised…"

"It's my lipstick," Annika exclaimed excitedly. She smiled triumphantly at Seven and launched into a rapid explanation. "Some years ago a military research chemist discovered a whole new class of molecules pretty much by accident but there was no military use for it so the Empire halted the research - pure science is not that popular with the Empire - but a human scientist got a hold of the findings and discovered that compounds of the molecule could be added to lipstick and that basically it meant the lipstick just stays perfect until it's removed with a simple wipe. And that was just the start. It's added to many other cosmetics too although it is incredibly expensive. Point your scanners at this location." Annika pointed at a section of the star-charts some three light years distant.

Seven did so this time without hesitation. And the analysis immediately began to run off the scale.

Annika smirked at Seven's expression. "It's made on a planet in that sector and exported to the rest of the empire."

Seven continued to stare at the readings. "This is…extremely fortuitous. Are you certain that you are not a member of the Q-continuum?" she asked Annika quite seriously now. "The probability of accidentally synthesising such a molecule is low - finding it so easily would support Captain Janeway's original hypothesis that we are in a simulation or game."

"Unless the Q-whatever is a sorority, I'm certain. I just love cosmetics and a couple of years ago that was the big new thing. I remember that Dad was totally outraged at such a frivolous use for 'a whole new chemistry' as he called it; he even raised a petition amongst the leading human scientists protesting the closure of the original research, which was of course totally ignored by the powers that be. Anyway the fashion magazines went berserk and there were pictures of the molecule on the front covers for months."

"Magazines," Seven echoed without comprehension.

"I guess you don't read them, though you're beautiful enough to be in one." Annika noted immodestly. "I'll lend you some."

"I—Thank you." Seven said awkwardly, remembering her manners although she did not really understand why humans thank each other for receiving things they do not require.

"You know what," Annika said quietly, staring at the spinning simulation of the molecule. "We can just buy it at wholesale auction. It's that easy. B'Elanna's a trader and she has access to the trading rooms. All we have to do is fly 'The Queen' to the nearest trade centre."


After a two hours of hard work, the Toms had completed their first set of simulations and Voyager-Tom decided they needed a break. Since they were in the holodeck it was a matter of moments to start the Sandrine's holo-program and order a coffee. Tom was astonished, especially by the human simulations, and it took him some time to settle. He kept trying to touch the waiters to test their reactions. Voyager-Tom had to ask the computer to intervene to stop the holo-waiters from throwing Tom out of the bar.

Voyager-Tom was reviewing the output of his tests.

"So the good news is that it is possible to fly Voyager through a 150 metre portal in a fraction of a second but the bad news is that I failed in 75% of attempts. We arrived too fast, too slow or off centre and then usually Voyager collided with the Queen that is if it hadn't been destroyed first. Based on the calculations that Seven provided, the speed at which the portal opens is too variable."

"Sums it up," said Tom. "One chance out of four is not good odds."

Voyager-Tom's communicator beeped.

"Mr Paris," said the communicator tinnily. "I require your presence in Astrometrics."

"Funny you should say that Seven as I require your presence in the holodeck."

There was a moments silence.

"I will see you in 3.24 minutes. Is Captain Torres with you?"


"She is also required. Summon her."

The communicator cut off.

"Wow," commented Tom. "She knows her mind."

"Welcome to the ship with two captains," Voyager-Tom griped. He slapped his communicator. "Hey Lanna, is Captain B with you?"

"No. Try Vorik." In only three words Voyager-Tom understood enough to know that his wife and Captain Torres had not got on together. He did not ask anything further instead he contacted Vorik who agreed to escort Captain Torres to the holodeck.


B'Elanna thought about the plan. She sipped her cold beer. She took a long drag from the tall glass. It didn't help. There was one glaring hole that she could see.

"How would we pay for all that gorillium? You need to buy three tons of it. That's more than I'd make in ten years. The auction house would call in ITEC the moment I started to bid."

"So how much is that? I mean what do you make in ten years?" Annika blushed as she realised how rude that sounded. "Sorry I mean how much would three tons of gorillium cost?"

B'Elanna swallowed her ire and pride. "Two to three million credits depending on the market."

Annika brightened. "I could find that amount - you could bid and say that we are in business together." B'Elanna's mouth dropped open. She knew that Annika was wealthy but to offer three million credits…Tom just whistled. Voyager-Tom, Seven of Nine and Harry Kim were not obviously impressed but then cash had no real meaning for the Voyager crew.

"You could get all that without alerting anyone?"

Annika wasn't sure of that at all. "My dad's financial manager might tell my parents and it might take a few weeks to clear," she admitted crestfallen. "But I could pretend it's mine when you pay for it. Then they wouldn't involve ITEC."

"But I don't have that kind of money Ani so I couldn't pay even if we could justify it."

"What would you require for a trade of equivalent value?" Seven asked. "Perhaps Voyager could replicate something which you could trade."

"Apart from illegal goods and weapons…?" B'Elanna tugged at her earlobe. "The Queen can carry 5000 cubic metres of cargo but most of my cargo is ruined and wouldn't be worth a thousandth of what you need in any case. Also I couldn't suddenly arrive with hundreds of tons of high value cargo - someone would notice - too much of any one thing would be noticed too and might cause the price to drop. And can you replicate those kind of volumes anyway?"

"It would take time," Seven admitted. "And we could only create items already held in the pattern buffers or with minor variations. Completely new items would require extensive programming time."

"Cosmetics, medicines and jewellery," Annika declared suddenly. "Not shoes though. I have been browsing your database, trying stuff out. You have lots of really good cosmetics not that anyone seems to use them round here of course. Trading cosmetics fits with wanting to buy gorillium and going into business with me. I like some of the jewellery too - really different styles - and I'm guessing that the medicines you could supply would be amazing. I'm sure I could find private buyers easily who would trade gorillium directly to us and Chakotay has loads of contacts too. All off the official trade record…" Annika trailed off as she realised everyone was staring at her.

B'Elanna scowled. "No wonder humans are so wealthy. It's another damn world."

Voyager-Tom was shaking his head. "The captain wouldn't let us sell superior technology…"

"…But if the technology is not superior just differently applied." Seven countered.

"Then I guess that would be okay."

"We could install a replicator on your vessel and I could manufacture the products for which you have identified a purchaser." Seven added unexpectedly. Voyager-Tom stared at her now. The Hansen women were on form today and the combination was impressive.

"I didn't know you understood about trading Seven."

"It appears to be a simple transactional arrangement based on inequities of availability and usage of materials. There does not appear to be much to understand. We are able to exploit our superior technology to supply items that are required."

Annika gazed adoringly at Seven of Nine. (Not adoring in a creepy stalker way she reassured herself. Creepy stalker adoration was reserved for B'Elanna.) She just felt so damn proud of Seven, like having an all-knowing older sister who can do everything.

B'Elanna too was admiring. She had also realised that Seven of Nine would be spending more time with her if they followed this plan and that would not be at all unwelcome.


Eight hours later the Queen of the Lost Worlds set sail amongst the stars again. B'Elanna could hardly believe the transformation of her old girl. The Queen bore no marks of the storm and in the engine room a brand new structural integrity generator murmured gently as it wove a net of protective force-fields into the structure of the hull. Never again would she have to fear careless dockside equipment handlers clumsily punching holes in the Queen's hull. The warp generator was now ten percent more efficient, top speed had increased to warp 6.8 and on the cargo deck Seven was finishing installing a high capacity replicator although Janeway had made it clear that replicator technology was not going to be given to them permanently.

B'Elanna smiled as she watched Annika set their course. The human was concentrating, lightly chewing her lower lip but B'Elanna had already checked the calculation and though she had not told Annika, it was a 3 percent faster plot than she could have managed herself even with their new top speed. The freighter captain was concerned that they might have difficulty explaining Seven of Nine's presence if they were inspected but Ani's story of going off the normal route to collect her twin sister from a mining ship might be good enough and would explain their lost time and who would believe the truth?

B'Elanna had already contacted her father and given a version of that story, with the mythical mining ship standing in for Voyager as their port in the storm. Her Dad had been very relieved to hear from her; there had been reports of severe storms in the area. He was very intrigued to hear about her new business partner too. B'Elanna lost her smile as she remembered the none too subtle questions about their non-business relationship. From her Dad's smirk she knew that he did not believe the business only angle.

Tom was helping Seven of Nine in the cargo bay, fetching and carrying. He was cheerful but seemed almost disappointed that they were going to Risa after all. B'Elanna had decided that it was still the best trading port for their plan despite the continuing rumours about the planet; she still had a permit and she didn't want to arouse suspicion by going elsewhere. Seven was replicating B'Elanna's original cargo as nearly as possible so that she could land with the same manifest. The new 'cargo' would be replicated after they had docked and unloaded the official cargo and then sold privately or exchanged for gorillium. Ani had been communicating (on the completely overhauled sub-space system with enhanced security and range) with what seemed like dozens of people in the sector and already had three major buyers lined up for their array of goods, with more promising to look at the samples.

B'Elanna had found herself taking an unexpected interest in Annika's long conversation with Chakotay. And she found that she did not like him and specifically the manner in which he addressed Annika. Too damned proprietorial and condescending. No Klingon male would ever speak to a female like that - he wouldn't dare - and that was another thing. What the hell was Ani doing letting him get away with it? She glared at Annika and hardly spoke to her for the rest of the day.

All in all it seemed their plan to obtain the gorillium would succeed. They would dock in Risa in twenty two hours, but first came dinner with their guest. B'Elanna was surprised by the tension she felt at the idea. A pleasant excitement she had not experienced for many years.


( categories: Torres/Seven )
Submitted by twk4258 on Mon, 10/08/2009 - 19:50.

Thanks halfofone. I've actually been in here a few times to reread Part 7. I've been racking my brain trying to think of something intelligent to say about what I think about the story but the only things I can come up with so far are;

Don't like Voyager: B'Elanna at this point. (That's probably your intent at this point of the story) and

** happy, happy dance **

Thank you!!


halfofone's picture
Submitted by halfofone on Tue, 11/08/2009 - 11:53.

Thanks for comment - Voy B is a bit of a cow at this point I have to say but things change...