Waking up

Imagine being on the Voyager after escaping the aliens who abducted you. You set course to earth together with Captain Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok, Harry and Seven. Icheb gets a crush on you. Neelix teaches you how to cook. The doctor sees you as his personal psychologist. Tom and B’Ellanna are having a furious marriage.
But your abductors come back to claim you as their property.
(_Stardate 54400 – 54470; Season 7, episode 10 – 13)

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3. Malfunctioning

Stardate 54403.9, May 28, 2377, late morning. I started a personal logbook as a replacement for my dairy at home. I was stuck on, and saved by, this ship, in the 24th century. It seemed appropriate to adapt my habits and to be a part of this crew. I decided I had to try.

So, the next day, after the weirdest shower in my life, Chakotay picked me up for breakfast. He had promised to give me a tour around the ship, and he would.
“But first, les us have breakfast. How are you feeling today?”
“Better, thank you.”
I smiled for his kindness.

When we went on our way, I kept bumping into others. Clumsy, I excused myself, saying I had forgotten my glasses somewhere in the room. Okay, I had lost them. How was someone supposed to find his glasses, when he needs those glasses to find the glasses?
After the third time, Chakotay offered me his arm. Shyly, I accepted.
“Since you are, theoretically speaking, blind, I suggest that you don’t roam alone on this ship, Lin. Whenever the red alarm sounds, you take this way and join the others in the mess.”
We arrived and the door slid open. A delicious smell of pancakes greeted me. There were a few crewmen. And there was Neelix. Full enthusiasm, he served me breakfast, telling me that he would help me to feel at home.

An hour later, Chakotay and I walked in the machine room. The moment we stepped in, I was blinded by the cylinder in the middle of the room. Quickly, I pinched my eyes and tried to shield myself for the avalanche coming towards me. Goose bumps appeared on my skin and my heart accelerated.
“You better keep your eyes closed,” Chakotay said as he took my hand and pulled me further in, “don’t worry, I only want to show you something.”
When I carefully opened my eyes again, the light was still blinding, but I had my back turned to it and was facing the commander.
“Behind you is our warp kern…”
Someone jumped into the conversation. B’Elanna took over the explanation, which took about two or three minutes. She was very busy, bouncing around and supervising everybody.
Next, was the Jeffrey’s tube, then my quarters to pick up my glasses. They were in the bathroom. I was given a tour in the transporters room and the holodecks.
“No, no, I’m not going in there! I have the feeling not even my glasses will protect me against the radiation.”
Chakotay smiled: “Then, close your eyes.”
So I did and again, he took my hand.
“Are your eyes closed?”
“Yes.”
“We’re going in.”
This place was amazing. I could tell every detail around me. It was a village.
“This is Fair Heaven. We come to relax here.”
My skin was my eyes. Chakotay was all blurry, but the town’s people were very sharp. They were like real people, just like the doctor, who I also could see clearer than something organic.
I let go of Chakotay’s hand and walked around, amazed.
“You can see?”
“Not with my eyes, commander. They are still closed.”
The tour finished in the astronomical lab. Chakotay left me in the good hands of Seven.
She gave me a very dry and complicated lesson about the scanners and the maps. I tried to follow, but she used to many difficult words.
“… You don’t understand, do you?”
“No, I’m sorry. I only have, had five hours of mathematics a week, in the 21st century.”
She nodded once and continued working.
“You can observe me for 10 more minutes. Then, I have to take you to the doctor for a check-up.”
I did observe her, but her implants interested me more. I could see them, non-organic and metal.
After a few minutes of silence, I asked: “Why are those particles floating in your blood?”
She was surprised and stopped typing.
“How…? I see…”
She explained me what ‘being borg’ meant. It still influenced her life today.
“I have a feeling we have a lot in common,” she said, “I was only a child when I was assimilated. You are 16 and they have been experimenting with your DNA. The doctor can’t fix it without damaging other vital systems.”
“My nerve system, to be exact,” I corrected.
She took a scanner and moved it in front of my face.
“I may be able to help you, but first I need to finish this.”
She drawled her attention back to the consoles. I took a step closer and slowly laid my hand on the computer. I closed my eyes and could see the numbers she was processing. She was fast and calculating a detour around a meteor field didn’t take long.
“Follow me,” she ordered.
Seven was not like Chakotay. She had a quick pace, didn’t offer a hand or an arm. But I had my glasses now and could keep up with her. She didn’t chat either. I liked her, no awkward silences. Just silences.
We entered some sort of cargo room. At the right wall there were some weird machines. Two of them send out a lot of energy. One was occupied, there was someone attached to the machine.
Worried, I got closer. It was the young man/ boy I had collided with. He seemed to be in some sort of sleep. His nanoprobes were active. Seven stood next to me in the same position as always.
“Icheb is regenerating. This process is necessary for us to continue functioning.”
She turned away again, to the console.
“It would be more logical to recalibrate the processing speed of your eyes. You won’t need to wear glasses anymore.”
She continued, something about nanoprobes and the permission of the doctor.
I watched her, how she never looked in your eyes, unless it was necessary for the conversation. It was more efficient to look at the numbers on the screen.
Suddenly, an alarm sounded behind us. It was the machine in which Icheb was regenerating.
Seven never seemed to have many emotions, but now she looked afraid.
“What’s wrong?”
“The alcove is malfunctioning!”
She stepped towards the boy, pushed some buttons. Frustrated, she dropped her arms again.
“He is going to be damaged if we don’t get him out on time, but the access is denied!”
I approached, saw the streams flowing through the machine. There was a flaw right behind Icheb’s right shoulder.
“Maybe I can help?”
“I don’t see how. I’ll try with my nanoprobes.”
She faced the machine, held up her fist. Metal injectors shot out of her hand and pierced in the console. But an electric rebuff pushed Seven of Nine two meters away. She let out a scream and fell on the ground.
I rushed to her and helped her up.
“Are you alright?”
“Icheb! We need to shut down the main power!”
She pushed her communicator.
“Captain, we need to initiate a black-out and turn off the power on the ship. Icheb’s alcove is malfunctioning. He's getting damaged.”
The alarm of the alcove was scaring me. The longer it sounded, the more urgent the situation was.
I jumped up the steps, examining what I could do to help. His eyes were closed and he seemed so calm, in peace.
Behind me, captain Janeway responded: “Seven, we can’t just shut down the warp kern!”
“I can help!”
Without waiting for Seven to react, I reached behind Icheb’s shoulder. The energy and I connected. I had to go a little further, so I leaned against the agile body and pressed my nails into the surface of the metal.
First, I stopped the process and disconnected Icheb from the machine. Then, I unplugged the whole thing, just for sure.
Icheb opened his eyes. The alarm stopped.
“Seven? What is going on?  Why is this girl hugging me?”
He was confused. I stumbled backwards, blushing. Our eyes fixed, he was blushing too.
“She wasn’t hugging you, Icheb. This girl, Lin, has just saved your life.”
“Thank you.”
“Uh,” I blushed even more, “you’re welcome.”

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