VOY: Companions – Part 1

This story is in progress.

“Seven of Nine to the Captain.”

Kathryn groaned and palmed the comm-badge at her bedside. Impulsively, she answered, “Captain Janeway can’t come to the comm right now. Please leave a message after she’s had an hour more sleep and a mug of hot black coffee.”

“Understood, Captain,” Seven said.

Kathryn set the comm-badge down and snuggled under the covers, idly wondering why Seven had contacted her. For a moment, she was tempted to comm her back and ask. Then she surrendered to the blissful embrace of sleep.

“Seven of Nine to the Captain.” For Kathryn, it seemed like only five minutes had passed. She turned over onto her side and ignored the comm badge.

The door chime jolted her awake, though. She slipped out of bed and wrapped a dressing gown about her before venturing out of the bedroom to answer the summons.

She knew to expect Seven, though her sleep-deprived mind could offer up no explanation for the visit. What she didn’t expect, as the doors slid open, was that Seven would be holding a mug in her hand.

The top was of course capped with a protective lid, but the liquid contained within was undoubtedly coffee. That’s what the captain ordered, she mused with a smile.

“Here is your early morning coffee, Captain.” Seven offered the mug to her with both hands.

“Seven. You didn’t have to go to any trouble on my behalf. But, thank you.” Kathryn took the sorely-needed coffee from Seven and popped the lid, smelling the contents as she retreated to the sofa.

Seven followed her in, standing there patiently while Kathryn sipped her coffee.

“Well? Aren’t you going to tell me why you wanted to talk to me?”

“The matter I wish to discuss with you requires a wakeful state of mind, Captain.”

Kathryn drained some more of the coffee from the mug. “I’m awake now Seven, so, whatever it is, you have my undivided attention.”

“Very well. Perhaps you recall the stellar nursery that I have been cataloguing.” Seven paused, and held out a PADD. “Today Voyager will make its closest approach to the nursery, and these readings indicate that we will witness the beginning of a new primary fusion reaction.”

Kathryn took the device and held it in her free hand. She didn’t need to look at the readings to understand the importance of what Seven was telling her, but she did anyway. A smile crept onto her face. “The birthing of a new star,” she added, gazing up at Seven.

“That is correct.”

“It’s going to need a name.”

Seven arched a brow. She was not by any means well-versed in social interaction, but she had spent enough time in the captain’s company to discern her intent. “You wish me to choose a designation for this new stellar body?”

“It’s an old custom, and one which seems appropriate.  Why don’t you head back to Astrometrics and have a think about it?”

“Very well, Captain.”

“I’ll be there shortly,” Kathryn added, as Seven showed herself out.

The captain arrived at the astrometrics lab, freshened up and in uniform. Seven was running a sensor diagnostic.

“Is there a problem?” she asked.

“No.  The diagnostic is merely a precaution.”

“Right.  Wouldn’t want to miss the spectacle,” Kathryn said with a smile.  “Have you come up with a name yet?”

“I have.”

“Let’s hear it, then.”

“There are six other stars in the vicinity with a similar composition, indicating that they formed from this nebula.” Seven paused for a moment. “Since they are about to be joined by a seventh sibling, I searched the ship’s database for related references, and settled on the name Merope. Is this satisfactory?”

“More than satisfactory, Seven.  May I inquire why you chose that one in particular?”

“She was lost from the sight of humanity.  As the tale suggests, she turned away from them.  Just as I was turned from humanity by the Borg.” Seven glanced at Kathryn, her eyes betraying the feelings that dwelled within.

“Seven…” Kathryn began, but Seven had more to say.

“If there is something I have learned from our interactions, Captain, it is that something that has been lost can be found again.  Or, as in the case of Merope, reborn in a new place.”