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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5. A game

Stardate 54411.2, May 31, 2377, early morning. I could see now. The first thing I had seen was myself in the mirror. I had these creepy grey eyes without any pigment or iris in them. Unfixable, unless I wore lenses.
Then I had discovered Chakotay’s tattoo as he checked on me the morning after the surgery. Next was Neelix at breakfast, he was yellow-brownish with spots and hair on weird places. He was cute. Then there was Icheb and Seven, who were less borg-looking than I had thought. B’Elanna was totally differend, but she struck me as beautiful.

Beside this, I wanted to find a job on the Voyager. I had been hanging around and visited the holodecks a few times, but I wanted to be useful. I found my way to the bridge and asked Tuvok if I could speak the captain.
“Of course, she is in her room.”
He followed my steps to the door and pushed the button for me. He then returned to his station.
The door opened and I entered. Janeway was at her desk and seemed busy working. She looked up in surprise.
“Lin? Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s just that I wanted to talk to you.”
“Please, take a seat. Tea?”
“No, thank you.”
“How are your eyes?”
“Back to normal, but a little sensitive to light.”
I sat down in front of her.
“What’s on your mind, then?”
“I have been here for a few days and noticed I have nothing to keep me busy. It must occur to others that I’m lazy, while they are having thight schedules and regulated working hours.”
“You want a job?”
“Yes, and I would like to continue my education.”
She smiled and reflected for a while.
“I want to earn the luxury you offer me, captain.”
“You can do various tasks once in a while, but they won’t be a full-time job. And your education… we’ll manage something. Maybe you can take courses together with Naomi?”
There was a big question mark in my mind. I hadn’t met her yet.
“I’ll let Chakotay prepare a schedule for you. The activities won’t be an obligation, you can freely choose when you go where,” the captain suggested.
I was happy with this proposal.
“Thank you, captain.”
“But remember that you’ve only been her for four days, Lin. You have suffered severe trauma’s , you should take your time.”
The captain raised from her chair and picked something out of a drawer. Janeway slowly walked back to me, smiling. She bent towards me and stuck a pin on my shirt. It was a communicator.

An hour later I was in the garden. There was not much to be done, since everything was automatically. Harry Kim had only been here for a few minutes to check up on the environment regulators. Our conversation had been short. It went like this:
“Hi.”
“I just finished here, but you can stay if you want, check the plants. Bye.”
“I will, bye.”
He probably still thought I had seen him naked, which I had, but not with operational eyes. He was the only one this ship who tried to avoid me.
After a while in the garden, I had found no diseases or anything unusual, except for the plants themselves… So I checked the tablet for what was next on my schedule. History classes with Naomi in a half an hour. Now, she was on the holodecks for sports. I should look for her there.

The program she played was some sort of game in a forest. I could see her running at a distance, but didn’t catch the rules.
Suddenly, she jumped out of the bushes in front of me. She was young.
“Who are you?”
“Hi, I am Lin. I wanted to meet you.”
Her mouth first made a surprised O and then she smiled at me. We shook hands.
“Hi, Lin. I am Naomi, we are going to be great friends.”
I could be her babysitter. Only now I noticed the horns on her forehead.
Soon, I was dragged into a game I didn’t know, but after a while I understood.
Naomi had been playing alone against the computer. Now I was her opponent. I had to collect targets, hidden on a parkour in the forest. The time was limited and I had to jump, climb and crawl. Naomi won every time.
Abruptly, the program ended and the doors opened.
“Naomi! Have you forgotten about history class?” someone shouted. Naomi and I gave each other a meaningful look. She smiled mischievous.
“No, mom, I was having fun with my new friend, Lin;”
A woman stepped towards us.
“Pleased to meet you, Lin. I am Samantha, Naomi’s mother. The captain informed me about your schedule and I am glad you choose to join Naomi in her classes.”
The three of walked to the Wildman quarters. The tablets were used as school books and I received a brief introduction about how far Naomi had proceeded in her history classes.
“Well, this looks all futuristic to me. When I was at school, history classes were supposed to end with the cold war.”
“The cold war?” Naomi questioned.
“Between Russia and the United States of America.”
“Oh, before the Third Great War began!”
“Third Great War?” it struck me as impossible.
Samantha shook her head.
“Since Lin is from 2017, I will have to adapt our lessons a little bit. Maybe I can already give you some homework, so you can catch up quickly.”
“That would be great, thank you.”
History was a disaster.

Later, I was in the mess reading a book about the founding of the federation. It was as if I were reading a sci-fi book. Naomi was eating her lunch. Crewman Wildman had left us alone, they needed her at the bridge.
“These Vulcans…” I started mumbling, “they’re smart, why didn’t they discover all these new systems on their own?”
“Doesn’t matter anymore. We all work together,” she said in between two bites.
“It does matter,” I pondered and skipped to the next chapter.
“Aren’t you hungry?”
“Not really, thanks.”
“I want to play hide and seek,” she suddenly said, “but Mezoti always cheated and Azan mostly gave up, because Rebi always came up with a more productive game.”
I stopped reading.
“You miss them?”
“A lot…”
“You have mathematics in an hour, we don’t have much time left,” I said.
“’We’? Does that mean you want to play? It’s been so long!”
I laughed as she jumped up.
“But promise me, if I can’t find you, you’ll go to your lessons on time.”
“I will. How much time do I have to hide?”
“100 seconds, go.”
She ran away and I put on a timer on the tablet. As I wanted to read the rest of the page, someone joined me at the table. It was Vorik, the other Vulcan on this ship.
“I heard your interesting conversation,” he said, “are your feelings towards Vulcans negative?”
I looked up and shook my head.
“I don’t know what to think. Can we really judge something we don’t know?”
His eyebrows rose.
“Technically, you can…”
The timer went off.
“Sorry, gotta go.”
“The chance you’ll find Naomi is less than 2%, since she was born on this ship and knows every…”
I had already left the mess and followed Naomi’s energy signature. I had to go all the way down in the ship, climbing stairs, crossings others in very narrow places. Eventually found Naomi hiding in a closet in a workplace.
“Found you!”
“How did you do that?”
“I closed my eyes and followed your footsteps,” I explained, “like a track dog.”
She climbed out and angrily crossed her arms.
“That’s not fair…”
“I didn’t even know it would work this good… Now you have to count,” I dared her.
“Can I use a scanner to find you then? I don’t have high developed nerves.”
I hesitated, finally said: “Sure, but no computer location.”
All of a sudden and alarm went off. I jumped in terror as the sound reached my skin. The warning was launched on the whole ship.
“It’s an intruder alarm,” Naomi said, “we should go back.”
“No, get back in that closet. You’ll be safe here.”
“Then what about you?”

I kneed down and looked her in the eyes: “I’ll be fine, fasers can’t hurt me.”
She seemed reassured by my kind grey eyes and crawled back in the small cabinet. I closed it for her.
Then, I started to climb my way back up, to the intruders.

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