I never could identify the precise moment when I first became aware that Kathryn Janeway did not love me.
Human emotions are not often amenable to precise categorization and clear sequential placement in memory. Thus I found it equally difficult to determine when my rage at being torn from the Borg Collective subsided, when I began to see Kathryn Janeway as the caring mother I had lost, and when I developed the first stirrings of youthful passion and began to see her as something more.
Even if she had not been my captain and mentor, her formidable sense of ethics surely would have prevented her from taking advantage of an innocent and socially naïve young girl. Of course, that was not how I saw it at the time. In my hurt and anger at what I perceived as an unfair rejection, I sought to take revenge by seducing her closest friend and first officer, whose ethical standards, I soon discovered, left much more to be desired. Our sudden arrival at Earth was no victory for me, but rather left me feeling cheated and annoyed about the lack of opportunity to gloat over the success of my petty plan.
For the heroic Captain Janeway, who was soon promoted to the rank of admiral, Earth meant a constant round of parades and interviews and public adoration. For me, it meant little but debriefings, medical research laboratories, and hostile (or worse yet, pitying) stares from passers-by. I considered the possibility of settling on a distant colony world, but there was no place so remote that its inhabitants had not heard of the Borg, no place where I would not be regarded as an unfortunate curiosity.
At length I devised a plan. My knowledge of Borg temporal devices was sufficient to allow me to construct a machine capable of transporting me back to the 23rd century. In this time period, I would not be identified as a former drone, and the technology would be adequate (with some modifications) for the maintenance of my cybernetic implants.
I ensured that the machine would self-destruct immediately after completing the transport. The human species, I was certain, had not yet evolved sufficiently to comprehend the implications of temporal technology.
Upon my arrival in 23rd-century San Francisco, I proceeded to construct a new identity for myself as a young woman who had grown up on a space freighter and, after a tragic accident, had received life-saving experimental implants at a Denobulan clinic. It was absurdly easy to alter the records in the relevant primitive databases to corroborate my story.
I longed to travel among the stars again, and after a brief stint as a maintenance worker at the Utopia Planitia space yards, I enlisted in Starfleet. I soon found myself assigned to a security position aboard the Enterprise, which seemed to have an unusually high requirement for redshirts, as such crewmen were affectionately known.
I shared quarters with the captain’s yeoman, Janice Rand. Although she displayed some surprise when she first saw my regeneration alcove, she quickly concluded that my lack of a bed gave her the perfect opportunity to scatter her various feminine paraphernalia throughout the room. She had pink mini-dresses, matching pink lace panties that were on display whenever she bent over, hairspray by the carton, a huge collection of stuffed animals, peach bubble bath, and…
“What are those?”
Janice reached for a small sugary black cat, popped it into her mouth, and chewed for a moment before answering. “A kind of marshmallow candy, called Peeps. They’re most popular at Easter, but during the fall months they come in Halloween shapes. Want one?”
Although I had little interest in whimsical confections, it seemed logical to acquire more information about the cultural nuances of my new time period. I picked up a Peep, which proved to be as sticky as one might expect from its marshmallow composition, and experimentally ingested it.
“Not bad, huh?” Janice licked her sticky fingers. “Want another?”
I was about to decline, having found both the taste and the texture less than impressive, when I became aware of a most peculiar reaction. My Borg nanoprobes were becoming unusually active, my blood flow and respiration rate were increasing, and I suddenly felt a bizarre and uncontrollable compulsion to assist Janice in licking the remaining marshmallow residue from her hands.
She gave a startled squeal when my tongue first touched her fingers, but then she giggled, holding her hands still as my lips moved greedily over them. “The sugar making you hyper?”
I made some sort of incoherent sound in response. Janice’s skin felt so soft under my tongue, which tingled delightfully each time it touched another fragment of marshmallow. Excitement shot all through me. I had never before felt so aroused, so alive, so fully human.
All too soon Janice’s fingers were licked clean and glistening, every molecule of marshmallow gone. I stood stupidly in front of her, knowing on an instinctive level what I wanted, but quite unable to form anything that resembled a lucid thought or action. Fortunately, Janice had no such problem, as she put her still-wet fingers on either side of my face and leaned toward me for a kiss.
Her lips tasted of sugary marshmallow bliss, intoxicating me further. I soon discovered that Janice’s mini-dress and pink lace panties were most efficiently designed for the removal thereof, that one bed was quite sufficient for the two of us, and that (as Janice gleefully demonstrated) the mouth was not the only orifice in which Peeps could be enjoyed.
Over the next several months, Janice and I explored the joys of Christmas Tree Peeps, Valentine Peeps, and of course, the venerable bunny-rabbit and chick Easter Peeps. Janice started carrying a package of Peeps with her wherever she went, and she contrived to surprise me with them in turbolifts, supply closets, and other out-of-the-way places where a momentary indulgence in uncontrollable lust would not attract the notice of our shipmates.
Of course, the nature of service aboard a starship meant that these delightful moments could not occur as often as we would have liked. Both Janice and I were eagerly looking forward to our next shore leave, on a lush tropical planet that had recently established a world government and thereby ended many years of war.
A large group of us beamed down into a warm, sunny meadow, which was full of bright flowers, tiny chirping birdlike creatures, and large flitting insects with pale gauzy wings. Not far away, we could see tall structures of gleaming blue glass. We started walking in that direction. As a security officer, I positioned myself in front of the landing party, watching for any potential threats. It looked like a peaceful, quiet, thoroughly harmless area.
Until I stepped into a small drift of fallen leaves and felt a tripwire give way underneath my foot.
I had approximately two-fifths of a second to register this fact in my consciousness before the landmine exploded, scattering large quantities of my flesh and blood all over the pretty tropical flowers. My nanoprobes immediately began trying to repair the damage, but it was just too extensive. As my heart failed and my breathing stopped, my Borg implants continued to function, but it would be only a matter of minutes before the last remnants of consciousness in my cortical processor flickered out as well.
McCoy waved a medical tricorder mournfully over my crumpled body.
Suddenly Janice darted in front of him, with a purple Peep chick in her outstretched fingers. She placed the Peep in my open, slack mouth. The effects were almost instantaneous. Nanoprobe activity increased exponentially, the huge gashes in my flesh closed within seconds, and my wounds healed completely before the landing party’s astonished eyes.
Blinking in disbelief, McCoy called for an emergency transport to Sickbay. Janice kept a tight hold on my arm to ensure that she would be transported along with me. That made it quite impossible to ignore her alluring body. Back aboard the Enterprise, McCoy scowled as my roaming hands and Janice’s very busy lips kept getting in the way of his tricorder scans.
“The readings show that you’re perfectly healthy, Crewman, although I don’t have the first clue why.” McCoy scowled again as Janice and I, locked in a long, passionate kiss, apparently paid no attention to him whatsoever. “Get a room, you two!”
When the doctor’s words sank into my lust-intoxicated brain, I decided that his suggestion was quite a good idea indeed. I maneuvered Janice into a nearby examining room, closed and locked the door, and lifted Janice up onto the table.
Although this was probably not the action that McCoy had intended, his possible displeasure did not concern me. I was interested only in conducting a very lengthy and thorough examination of Janice’s sexual functioning. Janice helpfully wriggled out of her uniform and provided several more Peeps for me to attach to my examining instruments, which included my tongue, naturally. As Janice shuddered and cried out in rapture, I thought I heard a yell of quite another sort from McCoy, but I really wasn’t listening. The good doctor was just going to have to wait until we were finished with the room before he could have it back.