Title: Interlude III Author: Jemima Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Series: VOY Part: 7/19 Rating: PG Codes: crew Summary: This is an interlude in "The Museum", a series of AU stories within one larger story. In this Interlude, curiosity kills the cat, the EMH brings it back, and yet another staff meeting occurs. Disclaimer: I took these characters from an alternate universe without copyright laws. Mwhahahaha! Credits: "The Inner Light" [TNG]
Seven collapsed to the hexagonal floor of the chamber, as the Doctor shouted for an emergency beam-out.
"Curiosity killed the cat," she heard the EMH grumble as she opened her eyes to see the sickbay ceiling some time later.
"I was destroyed when the transwarp drive exploded," Seven said flatly.
"Your cortical array is designed to shut down at the time of death, in order to preserve relevant data in case the drone's body is recovered," the EMH explained. "It required all my vast knowledge of Borg physiology to revive you."
"Seven? How do you feel?"
"I cannot hear the Collective...the voices are gone."
"Seven, you were separated from the Collective four years ago. You are an individual now."
"You refused to return this drone to the Borg," she recalled sadly. "Would you allow me to return now?"
"That decision is not in my hands, Seven." Curiosity couldn't kill the hologram, though, so he asked, "Do you wish to rejoin the Collective?"
She heard the deafening silence of her own small mind as she considered the Doctor's question. "No," she finally replied. "I am an individual now. I am small. I have acquired your flaws, your foibles, your primal instincts - among them the instinct of self-preservation. You have taken my greatness, and I cannot regain it." All gone - the hum, the Queen, the quest.
"You may sedate me now, Doctor," Seven concluded.
The Doctor administered the hypospray.
"Seven's report is promising," the Captain began yet another meeting. "If she had not uploaded the specifications to another drone, we would have transwarp drive right now."
"What other drone?" Tom wondered aloud.
"Discussion of the alternate timelines, or universes, or whatever they may be, is restricted to general information only. We are not here to pry into our counterparts' personal lives."
"The Doctor's observation of Seven confirms the presence of nucleonic particles," Torres reported. "The Enterprise encountered a similar phenomenon on Stardate 45944 - a probe emitting a nucleon beam caused Captain Picard to experience an alien's entire life in the course of twenty minutes. The probe was, in essence, a mental time capsule."
B'Elanna paused to let that sink in, then added, "There were no adverse effects."
Chakotay was the next to address the staff meeting. "Further investigation by the science departments corroborates our assumption that the building serves a purely educational function," he said. "In Terran terms, it could be called a museum, and the Mobius band an interactive exhibit. We have teams on the surface recording data round the clock, but it's a big project. The significance of most of the exhibits is still unclear."
"Keep an eye out for engineering and astrometrical information."
"Of course, Captain."
"I'm pleased to report that the food supply problem has been solved." Neelix was beside himself with Talaxian good cheer. Ensign Farley had discovered the museum's automated cafeteria. "The alien replicator technology is churning out a year's supply of leola root as we speak."
Sighs of relief were understandably muted.
"Neelix, who has the most engineering experience on your list of volunteers to try the Mobius Band?"
"I believe that would be me, Captain," Torres answered for him.
"If you're still up for it, Lieutenant, beam down at your convenience. Take the Doctor or Tom down with you."
The engineer nodded and the meeting broke up.