Written by  on February 1, 2000 

Homecoming Cover

Stardate 214645.0 (Tue 13 Jan 2376): Voyager finally returns to Earth and must deal with the repercussions of the events of their six-year journey, as well as their long absence. Families are reunited, old wounds reopened, and new bonds forged.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Stardate 214431.1
5 June 2376 1101 hrs

Voyager dropped out of slipstream, coming into an orbital approach of a small, blue-green, Class-M world.


"Starfleet Command," Chakotay said, "this is Voyager." A moment later, the face of a young lieutenant appeared on the viewscreen. He looks like he’s fresh out of the Academy, Chakotay thought.

"Voyager," the lieutenant said, "we received your transmission this morning; we’ve been expecting you. You’re cleared for immediate approach to spacedock." He paused. "Welcome home."

"Thank you, lieutenant," Chakotay said. "We intend to stay, this time."

"I’m sure everyone will be glad to hear that, Voyager," the lieutenant replied. "Your senior staff is scheduled to meet with the President and CINCFLEET for initial debriefing in two hours. Transport coordinates will be transmitted upon docking."

"Understood," Chakotay said. "Voyager out." He keyed the intraship communications system from the control panel at his seat, then said, "All hands, this is the captain. We are now in Earth orbit and are on approach to spacedock. Our long journey is finally coming to an end. Congratulations, everyone." He closed the channel, then ordered, "Docking stations."

Paris, France
Presidential Residence
Transporter Room
Stardate 214431.6
5 June 2376 1558 hrs

The adjutant stood at the transporter unit’s control panel, the chief beside him calmly waiting until he was needed. The adjutant had been told that Voyager had finally made it home today, and that was all he knew, save that the ship’s senior staff was about to beam down and he was to escort them to meet with the President.

"They’re ready to beam down now," the chief said after a message flashed on his control panel.

"Energize," the adjutant said. Seven forms appeared on the pad a moment later — acting-Captain Chakotay, Lieutenant Commander Everett Dyson, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, Lieutenant B’Elanna Torres, Lieutenant jg Harry Kim, Ensign Tom Paris and the ship’s EMH. "Are all of you here?" the adjutant asked, wondering where Captain Janeway was.

"Yes," Chakotay said.

After a moment, when he hadn’t elaborated, the confused adjutant indicated the adjoining hallway, urging the others to follow him. He led them through a maze of hallways, leading to the Presidential Offices, where President Kapron — a Bolian — and three Starfleet admirals waited, only one of whom Chakotay recognized.

"Dad!" Paris said, surprise evident in his voice. "I wasn’t expecting you to be here, too. I guess it makes sense, though, since you’re in charge of Starfleet R&D."

"Gentlebeings, please," Kapron said, "have a seat. You’re obviously already familiar with Admiral Paris. This is Admiral Christopher Allen, the new Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, and this is Admiral Anastasia Burke, commander of Starfleet Tactical. I trust there are no Q involved in your return, this time?"

"No, sir," Chakotay said. "We did it on our own, more or less."

"More or less?" asked Allen.

"We didn’t invent the Quantum Slipstream drive," Chakotay explained, "but the engineering staff managed to integrate it into our systems."

"That brings us to our first point of business," Kapron said. "You’ve made quite a few achievements while in the Delta Quadrant. Just the top of the list is impressive: Quantum Slipstream drive, transwarp drive, you’ve beaten the Borg singlehandedly nearly a half-dozen times…" He paused, looking at the Voyager crew. "Needless to say," he continued, "nearly every expert in the Federation wants to meet you."

"Speaking of the Borg," Admiral Burke added, "I understand you have a drone in your crew."

"If you mean Seven of Nine," Chakotay said, "then yes. Lieutenant Kim knows her better than anyone."

Kim blushed as the President and the admirals all looked at him, both surprised and expectant. "We," Kim began, "we’re, uh, married."

"That’s… interesting," Allen said, eyebrows raised. "However, there’s a more pressing concern: the situation regarding Kathryn Janeway. Would you fill us in on the details, Mr. Tuvok?"

"Lieutenant Torres," Tuvok began, "determined that sabotage had been ongoing aboard Voyager since our second year in the Delta Quadrant, albeit cleverly masked to avoid detection. After informing me of her evidence, I began an investigation, aided in part by a comprehensive list of possible suspects compiled by Seven of Nine."

"Torres," Admiral Paris interrupted, "how did you happen to discover this evidence against Captain Janeway?"

"Completely by accident," Torres replied, annoyed by his pointed omission of her rank. "To be honest, it came to me in a dream. When I woke up, I checked it against the computer, just to be sure. If I hadn’t known what to look for, I’d never have seen it."

"I see," Admiral Paris said, unconvinced. "And Mr. Tuvok, just how ‘complete’ was this list of suspects the Borg woman gave you?"

"Sir," Kim interrupted, "with all due respect, I would appreciate if you don’t refer to Seven like that."

"As you were, lieutenant," Burke snapped.

"No, he’s right," Admiral Allen said. "There have been other drones liberated from the Collective, and they’ve managed to reclaim their lives. Now,about the list, Commander Tuvok?"

"The list encompassed nearly half the crew of Voyager," Tuvok said, "as well as possible motives for sabotage. It would almost be easier to cite examples of crew members not on the list."

"For example?" Allen asked.

"I inquired about some of the names omitted," Tuvok said. "Crewman Harren’s only reason for signing on to Voyager was to gain experience needed for acceptance to the Institute of Cosmology on Orion I, and it remains his goal; thus, he would desire to return home more strongly than not. My report on the investigation includes a copy of the list, as well as an annotation on why certain names were excluded."

"Thank you, commander," Allen said. "If you’d continue explaining the investigation, please?"

"Of course," Tuvok said. "Lieutenant Bowman, late of the Starship Challenger, was apprehended in engineering while attempting to sabotage the EPS system and the warp reaction core. During interrogation, he identified then-Captain Janeway as the head of a ring of saboteurs, although he had no knowledge of the identities of the others involved.

"I compiled my evidence into a preliminary report, which has also been submitted to you. I presented the evidence to Commander Chakotay. Upon his completion of reading the report, we affected the arrest of then-Captain Janeway.

"Shortly thereafter, Ensign Swinn came foreward and arranged a plea bargain, in which she was reduced to crewman in exchange for testimony against Janeway. Chakotay convened a court-martial board consisting of himself, Lieutenant Commander Dyson, and Lieutenant Marcus, the latter both of the late Starship Challenger, according to established Starfleet protocols. During her trial, Captain Janeway clearly admitted her guilt.

"Following the court-martial, acting-Captain Chakotay did not wish to succeed her, but I insisted, as he was first officer, and, therefore, next in the chain of command. Logically, he was the only choice to serve as commanding officer."

"I still can’t believe that," Admiral Paris said. "Kathryn Janeway was one of the best officers who ever served under my command."

"Were I not there," Tuvok admitted, "I would have difficulty believing it as well. However, the facts cannot be disputed. She herself admitted guilt."

"That’s one thing," Admiral Paris conceded, "but to have her Maquis first officer presiding over her trial and succeeding her as her replacement? A little convenient, if you ask me."

"I can assure you that we adhered to regulations implicity," Tuvok said. "Chakotay was the only senior officer available, and could not recuse himself from the matter. In addition, Commander Chakotay has long since rescinded his ties to the Maquis, an organization that no longer exists, and its surviving members have been pardoned by presidential order."

"Your logic is irrefutable, of course," Kapron interrupted. "I also happen to agree with you. I want to see some real rapproachment on this Maquis business, and as commander-in-chief of the military, I intend to make all field commissions granted aboard Voyager permanent, if that individual wishes to remain in Starfleet." Admirals Paris and Burke shifted uncomfortably in their seats, while Chakotay, Torres and Paris looked up in surprise. "I certainly hope they do stay, since we’re still struggling to rebuild after the war; Starfleet needs all the talented, experienced people it can get."

"Well," Allen said, "with that out of the way, I think we should take this from the top. Let’s start with the Caretaker…"

Near Monterrey, California
Stardate 214447.4
11 June 2376 0954 hrs

"’You’ll see when we get there,’" John Kim repeated, pacing on a small footpath outside Monterrey, California. "What’s that supposed to mean? And what’s taking them so long?"

"John," Libby Lattimore said, sitting on a carved stone bench nearby with Mary Kim, "pacing like that won’t help. They’ll be beaming down any minute."

John stopped, exasperated, and stared at Libby. "How can you just sit there? Except for that one time last year, Harry’s been stuck on the other side of the galaxy! And he’s been dating a Borg drone! And they will be beaming down!"

"John," Mary hissed, "keep your voice down. People are beginning to stare!" Suddenly, two people appeared nearby — Lieutenant jg Harry Kim and his wife, Seven of Nine. John, Mary, and Libby stared at the now-visibly pregnant body of the former drone for a moment, before Kim broke the silence.

"It’s great to see you guys again," Kim said.

"H-Harry," John managed to say, his eyes darting back to Seven repeatedly, "you’re looking well."

"Everyone," Kim announced, noticing the shock on their faces and the repeated glances at Seven’s midsection, "Seven and I are married."

"And pregnant," Libby breathed, still in shock.

"It took me by surprise when I first found out, too," Kim admitted.

"I believe," Seven added, "your exact words were, ‘What? You’re pregnant now?’" John and Mary exchanged expressions of disbelief, while Libby tried to stifle a laugh.

"Score one for the eidetic memory," Kim muttered.

"Well," Libby said. "Let’s head to the house. So, uh, Seven, is it?"

"Yes," Seven replied.

"So, Seven," Libby continued, "how did the two of you, ah, get together?"

"While we were working on the Astrometrics Lab," Seven began, "shortly after I was separated from the Collective, Harry requested that we meet after hours, ostensibly to continue our work on the project. However, upon my arrival, the room’s lighting was dimmed. Harry attempted to engage in idle conversation that was not work- related and suggested a visit to a holodeck simulation of a Ktarian moonrise."

"Huh," Libby said, looking at Kim playfully, "he pulled the same moves on me."

"Despite his accelerated heartbeat, increased respiration and dilated pupils, Harry denied a romantic interest in me. He also rejected my offer to copulate."

"Direct, aren’t we?" Libby asked, noting with amusement the deep shade of crimson that Kim’s face was turning.

"Deception is inefficient," Seven replied. "I saw no need for it. Over the course of the next year, my humanity began to reemerge, and I came to better understand the emotions I experienced when I was with Harry."

"And then you went on your first date," Libby said.

"Not at first," Seven corrected. "I did not know how to act upon my emotions. It is possible that I would not have approached Harry, had I not spoken with Captain Janeway regarding the matter."

"Wait a second," Kim interrupted, "she put you up to making your first move?"

"Correct," Seven acknowledged. "It was shortly after we discovered the wreckage of the Challenger."

"And then you went on your first date," Libby concluded.

"Correct," Seven said.

"Seven," Mary asked, "how old are you? You said you’d been assimilated when you were six. The first Borg invasion would put you at fifteen, but you look to be about the same age as Harry."

"I was born in 2348," Seven said, "making me one year older than Harry. Twenty-two years ago, my parents followed a Borg cube they were studying into a transwarp conduit and into the Delta Quadrant. We were assimilated not long thereafter. I was placed in a maturation chamber after assimilation, and was separated from the Collective by Voyager after two decades as a drone."

Silence reigned for several moments, until the five finally came upon the Kim family home.

"Well," John said finally, "here we are."

"Looks just like I remember it," Kim said before stepping inside.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Transporter Room
Stardate 214447.4
11 June 2376 1004 hrs

"I don’t think your dad was very impressed with me," B’Elanna Torres said to her lover, Tom Paris, after the pair beamed back aboard Voyager.

"I would’ve been surprised if he was," Paris said. "He’s old-line Starfleet. He remembers being an ensign when the treaty with the Klingons was still on shaky ground."

"You think he’s got a problem with my being Klingon?" Torres asked, surprised at the thought of such racism in a Starfleet admiral.

"No, I don’t think that‘s it," Paris replied.

"It probably didn’t help that I was in the Maquis," Torres said as they stepped into a turbolift, "or that I left the academy without finishing."

"Well," Paris replied, "if I could never please him, I think the cards were stacked that much more against you." He paused, shaking his head. "I’d really thought he’d changed. Guess I was wrong. Again."

San Francisco, California
Starfleet Headquarters
Stardate 214447.4
11 June 2376 1030 hrs

Lieutenant Dan Phillips materialized on the transporter pad in Starfleet Headquarters.

"Lieutenant Phillips," a man in a well-pressed suit said, extending his hand. "I’m Agent Wayne Anderson, Department of Temporal Investigations."

Phillips took the man’s hand as the two stepped into the adjacent corridor. "I was expecting to be met," Phillips began, "by someone from the Starfleet division."

"You’ve missed a lot," Anderson explained. "The Starfleet division was disbanded in 2348. The civilian arm of DTI has kept watch over time travel since then."

"So," Phillips asked, "what’s left for me? Do I resign from Starfleet to stay in DTI, or do I give up DTI to stay in Starfleet?"

"Which do you prefer?" Anderson asked.

"Neither, frankly," Phillips admitted. "I enjoy the work DTI offers, but I also like the opportunities I’ve had with Starfleet."

"Well, you don’t have to decide right away," Anderson said. "You’ve still got to give your AAR to the diretor."

"AAR?" Phillips asked. "As in ‘after-action review,’ or is that something else?" Anderson cocked an eyebrow at him. "I just want to be sure we’re on the same page, here," Phillips explained.

"You’re doing fine for someone who’s lost sixty-five years," Anderson said as they stepped into a waiting hovercar.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Wildman Quarters
Stardate 214447.5
11 June 2376 1111 hrs

"Sam," Lieutenant Commander Everett Dyson said, stepping into Ensign Samantha Wildman’s quarters, "aren’t you going to beam down to the surface? We’ve been here nearly a week!"

"You know I don’t have anyone to go back to," Wildman replied, her voice heavy with recently-renewed sorrow. It had been nearly a year since receiving a letter from the Alpha Quadrant informing her that her husband, Greskrendtregk, had died in the Dominion War.

"That’s not true," Dyson said. "I just spoke with your mother a few minutes ago, and she was very worried that something had happened to you."

"I can’t see them," Wildman said. "I can’t go back to that life."

"Sam," Dyson said, taking a seat beside her on the couch, "you don’t mean that."

"Yes," she replied. "I do."

"At least you have someone to go back to," Dyson said. "Most of my old friends and family are dead. I’ve been trying to track down my kid sister, and she’d be in her nineties."

"How do you deal with it?" Wildman asked.

"I remind myself," Dyson said, "that I’ve got new friends and a new family here, on Voyager." He looked at his hands uncomfortably for a moment, then continued, "I’ve got to get back to the bridge."

"Ev, wait," Wildman said as he began to stand up. "You’re right. I need to go visit my family. Maybe…" She shook her head, trying to reword her thoughts before saying them out loud. "I mean, would you like to go with me? Us. I mean us. Naomi and me. To Earth."

"I’ll have to clear it with Chakotay," Dyson said. "Most of the crew’s already disembarked, and about the only ones left are the Challenger survivors. Tuvok’s about to leave for Vulcan soon, but, yeah, I think I can make it."

Monterrey, California
Residence of John and Mary Kim
Stardate 214447.9
11 June 2376 1423 hrs

"We’ve got to do something about these clothes," Libby said, looking Seven of Nine over. "You could try wearing your hair differently, too."

"To what end?" Seven asked. "This is more efficient."

"Yeah, right," Libby said. "Who the hell gave you that idea? When you first came on the ship, who was responsible for your clothes?"

"The Doctor," Seven answered. "He devised my first suit, which aided my skin regeneration during the initial months following my separation from the Collective."

"But did you need to wear it after your body took over that function?" Libby asked.

"No," Seven replied. "At that point, the Doctor provided me with other attire of similar design."

"Figures," Libby muttered. "Even holographic men don’t change."

"Change into what?" Seven asked.

Libby blinked, confused. She was still unused to Seven’s unique perspective. "Why do you have to take everything I say so literally?" she asked.

"I see no need to do otherwise," Seven replied.

"Don’t give me that," Libby countered. "Harry told me you’ve got a sense of humor. It is acceptable to show it every now and then. You don’t always have to be so damned serious."

"You still have not answered my question," Seven said. "What is wrong with my attire and hairstyle?"

"Well, for one," Libby began, "even if it’s ‘efficient,’ it isn’t always good. First, let’s get you something less… form-fitting. And we’ll let your hair fall naturally around your shoulders." Seven looked at her dubiously. "Trust me," Libby said. "I’ve been dressing myself like a big girl for a long time now." Seven opened her mouth to retort, but Libby stopped her. "I know," she said. "You dress yourself. But consider this: the Doctor would pick out your clothes for you, and neither of you had any real concept of how regular people dress, did you?"

"No," Seven conceded, "we did not."

"Oh, and while we’re rolling," Libby continued, "what’s with this whole ‘Seven of Nine’ thing?"

"My Borg designation was Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct–"

"Yes, I’ve heard that," Libby interrupted. "Didn’t you have a real name before you were assimilated?"

"Annika," Seven said. "Annika Hansen."

"So reclaim your roots," Libby said. "Take back your name."

"It does not apply to me any longer," Seven said.

"Bull," Libby countered. "In a lot of ways, you’re still that little girl. I can see now what Harry does in you, but I also see what he’s blinded to."

"And that is?" Seven asked.

"You’re scared," Libby said.

"Preposterous," Seven said. "I am Borg."

"No, you’re not," Libby said. "Not anymore. How many other Borg are individuals, or are married, or are pregnant? No, you’re human all right, and it’s time you stopped denying it. It’s no sin to admit our imperfections; they’re what make us who we are and, in some cases, they can bring us strength."

"That is a contradiction," Seven declared.

"What about humanity isn’t?" Libby retorted. "Harry’s been more than patient wth you, from what I’ve seen, but if you keep denying who you really are, it’s going to come back to hurt you. And that will hurt Harry. I still care about him — and I always will — and I don’t want to see anything hurt him. Ever." Libby began searhing through the computer’s clothing database, saying, "Now that we have that out of the way, Annika, let’s get back to your much-needed makeover."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Transporter Room
Stardate 214448.1
11 June 2376 1608 hrs

"Hi, Marla," Phillips said after he beamed back aboard Voyager.

"How are you, Dan?" asked Marla Gilmore, a survivor of the late Starship Equinox and Phillips’ girlfriend. "Have you made a decision yet?"

"No," Phillips admitted. "I’m really torn on this one. What do you think I should do?"

"I don’t know," Gilmore said. "I’m not sure I’m the right person to ask." The two stepped into the corridor, and she asked, "Have you found anything on your family?"

"Yeah," Phillips said. "I used my contacts at DTI to get hold of my parents’ records. My dad died about thirty years ago. My mom…" He sighed heavily, closing his eyes for a moment, then continued, "She was killed in an explosion on the Enterprise-B during the Tomed Incident."

"I’m sorry," Gilmore said, putting her arm around his waist.

"My dad remarried before I… got lost," Phillips continued. "I found out I’ve got two half-siblings in their sixties."

"That’s got to be weird," Gilmore commented.

"Tell me about it," Phillips said.

"Are you going to meet them?" Gilmore asked. "They are your family, after all."

"They’ll be here tomorrow," Phillips replied. "So will my stepmother."

"I’d love to meet them," Gilmore said.

Near Auckland, New Zealand
Federation Penal Settlement
Stardate 214448.1
11 June 2376 1621 hrs

Kathryn Janeway stepped out of the shuttlecraft, squinting in the bright New Zealand sunlight.

"Ah, welcome to our new home, Janeway," said former Equinox Captain Rudy Ransom as he stepped out of the shuttle behind her.

"Shut up, Ransom," Janeway snapped. "I don’t want to deal with your crap today." The pair were escorted along with former Equinox first officer Max Burke by security guards to the main grounds of the Federation Penal Settlement on the south Pacific island, where other prisoners were milling about the commons area.

After the guards had left them, a scraggly, balding man approached Janeway. "Hi there," he said. "I’m Berlinghoff Rasmussen."

"Kathryn Janeway," she replied.

"Oh," Rasmussen said in recognition. "I’ve heard of you. Before I got thrown in here, that is."

"What are you here for?" she asked.

"Nothing much," he replied. "I apparently almost sparked an interstellar incident with the Bajorans."

"What?" Janeway asked in disbelief.

"I tell you," Rasmussen continued, "they take their religion more seriously than born-again Christians."

"Who?" Janeway asked, unfamiliar with the reference.

"Oh," Rasmussen said, "I forgot to mention; I’m from the twenty- second century."

"Time travel?" Janeway groaned. "Great."

"It’s actually a pretty funny story, when you look back on it," Rasmussen said. "It all started when an historian from the twenty- sixth century appeared in my time…"

"I think this is going to give me a headache," Janeway muttered.

"Seven of Nine," the man in a Starfleet security uniform said, "you will tell us everything you know about the Borg."

"Where am I?" Seven asked. "Why have you brought me here?"

"That’s not important, Borg," the man snapped. "Now start talking."

"I am no longer Borg," Seven replied. "I am Annika Kim, human!"

"You have tactical information on the Borg," the security officer said. "You will tell us what we want to know."

Monterrey, California
Residence of John and Mary Kim
Stardate 214452.5
13 June 2376 0708 hrs

Kim awoke to find that Seven was no longer in their bed. He rose, dressed, and went downstairs to the kitchen, where his mother and Libby were sitting, eating breakfast.

"Have you seen Seven this morning?" Kim asked

"Nope," Libby replied. "Last time I saw Annika, you two were going to bed."

"Why do you keep calling her that?" Kim asked.

"It is her name," Libby said.

"The two of you," Mary said, "were still asleep when I came downstairs. She hasn’t come down."

"And she’s not upstairs, either," Kim said. He tapped his communicator. "Kim to Voyager. Has Seven beamed up this morning?"

"Voyager, Paris here," the helmsman’s voice said over Kim’s communicator. "No she hasn’t, Harry." He paused, and Kim could hear the beeping of a console in the background. "Damn," Paris breathed. "I think I know where she is. We just got a message from Starfleet Tactical: ‘Request all data on the Borg. Your drone isn’t cooperating.’" There was silence on both ends as they took in the full import of the news. "I’m sorry, Harry."

"Burke," Kim said, cutting the transmission, his eyes pained. He looked to his mother and Libby in determination. "I’m going to Paris," he said. "Somehow, I don’t think Federation Council knows about this."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Transporter Room
Stardate 214453.4
13 June 2376 1458 hrs

Neelix and Chakotay, discussing Seven of Nine’s abduction, walked into the transporter room, where B’Elanna Torres was waiting for a group to beam aboard. The pad began to glow, and Lieutenant Commander Data of the Enterprise, Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, formerly of the Pathfinder Project, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, the creator of the EMH, and Captain Bruce Maddox, a board member of the Daystrom Institute, appeared.

"Well," Neelix continued to Chakotay, "I hope everything goes well with getting Seven of Nine back. Really, beaming her out of bed in the middle of the night!"

"Excuse me," Data interrupted, "has something happened to the woman you removed from the Borg Collective?"

"I should most certainly say so," Neelix said. "Someone from Starfleet Tactical took her in the middle of the night, and now they won’t let her go!"

"Curious," Data remarked. "Is she not a Federation citizen?"

"Yes," Chakotay said, "but they won’t acknowledge the fact that she’s no longer a drone, despite the evidence to the contrary. Tell me, commander, would anyone else who’s been assimilated and then rescued be treated like that?"

"I know several officers aboard the Enterprise," Data said, "myself included, who were assimilated during the last Borg invasion. We were subsequently debriefed on the experience, but none of us were treated in this manner. How are you dealing with the situation?"

"Well, her husband," Chakotay began, then noticed Data’s look of surprise, "Yes, she’s married. And pregnant. Lieutenant Kim is speaking to Earth’s representatives on the Federation Council, hoping they can force her release."

"I will contact Captain Picard," Data said. "Perhaps he can speak on her behalf as well."

"Thank you, commander," Chakotay said. Data nodded and followed he rest of his group into the corridor, led by Torres.

"Well," Neelix said, "there’s a part of me that considers this ship to be home, but another part that’s telling me I need to move on."

"I know how you feel," Chakotay said.

"Still," Neelix said, "I know more about the Delta Quadrant than just about anyone else in the Federation. Definitely more than anyone else in the Federation outside of Voyager. That’s why I’ve decided to go."

"It won’t be the same without you, Neelix," Chakotay said. "At least the Federation Astrophysical Survey will have more than just our sensor logs and database to work from."

"Exactly," Neelix said, stepping onto the transporter pad. "Well, goodbye, Chakotay." Neelix looked over to the transporter chief. "Energize," he said.

"So," Dr. Lewis Zimmerman said to the Doctor after the group had entered Voyager‘s sickbay, "you’re self-aware?"

"I have expanded far beyond your original programming for me," the Doctor said proudly.

"Indeed," Data said. "Your development would seem to exceed even my own."

"Does that make you jealous, Mr. Data?" the Doctor asked.

"It does not," Data said, "as I have deactivated my emotion chip."

San Francisco, California
Federation Council Hall
Transporter Room
Stardate 214496.8
29 June 2376 1056 hrs

"Lieutenant," Captain Jean-Luc Picard said to Kim as the commanding officer of Starfleet’s flagship appeared on the transporter pad. "Commander Data brought me up to date on the situation regarding your wife during my flight here."

"Thank you for coming, sir," Kim said, escorting Picard into the corridor.

"I’ve become of late," Picard began, "something of an… advocate for those liberated from the Collective. I have one question, however."

"Sir?" Kim asked.

"Why does your wife still use her Borg designation?" Picard asked. "Does she still consider herself to be a part of the Collective?"

"No, sir," Kim replied. "If anything, she despises the Collective. The last time we saw the Borg Queen, the drone that was her father was killed during her escape."

"You’ve encountered the Queen?" Picard asked, both disturbed by his memories of her and impressed that Voyager survived the encounter.

"Yes, sir," Kim replied. "She abducted Seven and tried to coerce her into rejoining the Collective. But back to your original question, she doesn’t feel like Annika Hansen is an accurate description of who she is now."

"The Council won’t respond well," Picard said, "to an appeal on behalf of ‘Seven of Nine,’ however."

"Yes, sir," Kim agreed glumly. Then his eyes lit up, and he said, "Captain, maybe they’d respond better to Annika Kim."

"The chair recognizes Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise," said an auburn-furred Caitian seated behind the podium in the committee hall of the Federation capitol building in Paris, France.

Picard leaned forward in his seat beside Kim. "Thank you, Chairman K’Sarr," the captain said, "for agreeing to hear myself and Lieutenant Kim today. As you are no doubt aware, the crew of the Starship Voyager liberated a Borg drone, designated Seven of Nine, from captivity in the Collective three years ago. We appear before you today because of her unprecedented and patently illegal abduction by officers in Starfleet’s tactical division."

"Admiral Nechayev," a council member, whose name plate identified her as one of the representatives of Alpha Centauri, asked, "do these allegations have any basis in fact?"

"Councilor," began Admiral Alynna Nechayev — one of the most rabidly outspoken Borg-haters in Starfleet, who also happened to be among the foremost experts on the cybernetically-enhanced race, "I do not deny that we have detained a Borg drone; I don’t believe it’s wise to allow a member of a race that is obviously hostile to the Federation to have free reign within our borders."

"She’s not a drone!" Kim shouted, jumping to his feet.

"Order," K’Sarr said, tapping his gavel. "Lieutenant Kim, if you cannot restrain yourself, I will have you removed from this chamber. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir," Kim said, chastened. "I apologize for my outburst. If you would allow me to make my statement on behalf of the woman the admiral seems to believe is nothing more than a drone…?"

"I have some more questions for the admiral, first," K’Sarr said. "Admiral, what is the designation of this drone that you have detained?"

"Our records indicate," Nechayev began, "that the Collective gave her the designation Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero- One."

The blood drained from Picard’s face. He looked to Kim and whispered, "You didn’t tell me she was linked to Unimatrix Zero-One."

"What is this… Unimatrix Zero-One?" K’Sarr asked.

"According to the testimony of Starfleet officers who were assimilated and subsequently separated from the Collective," Nechayev began, "as well as data obtained by the crew of Voyager, Unimatrix Zero-One refers to a massive artificial structure at the heart of Borg territory that is the primary staging ground of the Borg Queen, who is apparently the figurehead of the Collective consciousness."

"Based on the data at hand," K’Sarr began, "what would the designation of the drone in question," Kim shifted in his seat as Picard put a warning hand on the younger man’s shoulder, "reveal about its position within the Collective, admiral?"

"This drone," Nechayev said, "was third-in-line to become the next incarnation of the Borg Queen." The audience began to stir and murmur to one another.

"Order," K’Sarr said, tapping his gavel once more. The crowd fell silent. "Thank you, admiral. Mr. Kim, now you may speak."

"Thank you, sir," Kim said. "To understand who and what Seven is–"

"Excuse me," the tripodal, orange-skinned Edoan delegate interrupted. "Seven?" she asked.

"She still refers to herself as Seven of Nine," Kim replied. "Most of us on Voyager just call her ‘Seven.’ And no, ma’am, she doesn’t think of herself as a drone anymore. As I was saying, to understand her, you need to know how she got to where she is now.

"She was born Annika Hansen, and her parents, Magnus and Erin, accidentally followed a Borg cube into a transwarp conduit more than twenty years ago in the Omega sector. They found themselves stranded in the Delta Quadrant, with no way of getting back, and they continued studying the Borg, trying to learn as much about them as possible. Before long, however, they were noticed by the cube and assimilated. She was six years old.

"She was placed into a maturation chamber for two years, and when she came out, her body was fully grown. Most of her time with the Collective is still largely unknown, partly because she’s ashamed at what the Collective made her do and she doesn’t like to discuss it, but she eventually was designated Seven of Nine. Three years ago, Voyager entered Borg space, and she became the Collective’s mouthpiece on Voyager."

"How was it that the ship wasn’t overtaken by the Borg?" the Betazoid delegate asked. "Why was she allowed on the ship at all?"

"That’s classified, sir," Kim replied. "I can’t divulge that information in open session."

"I see," the Betazoid said, arching an eyebrow and leaning back in his chair. "Please, continue."

"We were… propelled well out of Borg territory," Kim continued, "by a member of the crew native to the quadrant who possessed psychokinetic abilities. Seven was still aboard, and the Doctor removed the implants that connected her to the Collective. He eventually removed the majority of her implants, but some she had grown so dependent upon that they couldn’t be removed."

"What would those be?" the Edoan delegate asked.

"I’m not at liberty to say, ma’am," Kim replied, then continued, "The Borg tried to ressimilate her last year, and she resisted."

"You seem to be very close to this woman," the Alpha Centaurian representative observed.

"Yes, ma’am," Kim replied. "She’s my wife." The crowd began to murmur once more, softer this time.

"How long have you known her?" the Alpha Centaurian asked.

"Since she came aboard Voyager," Kim said. "We’ve been married for about a month, now, and she’s pregnant with our first child." The murmuring of the crowd suddenly increased in volume.

"Order," K’Sarr intoned, striking his gavel. "Captain Picard, what is your perspective on this situation?"

"Councilor," Picard began, "it is common knowledge that I, myself, was once assimilated into the Collective. I have only an inkling of what this woman, Annika Kim, has endured. I and the others from my crew that have been assimilated and later separated from the Borg were, at most, only drones for a few days. This woman was a drone for twenty years. But as we have seen, she has rejoined humanity. She deserves our compassion, not our fear."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Stardate 214499.4
30 June 2376 0947 hrs

Phillips and Gilmore stood in Voyager‘s shuttlebay as a small vessel of Vulcan design, ferrying Phillips’ family, landed. Soon thereafter, the ramp on the vessel extended and the hatch opened.

T’Maril, Phillips’ stepmother, stepped out of the small vessel, followed by two other Vulcans, one a dark-haired man and the other a blonde woman. Both bore more than a passing similarity to Phillips himself. He extended his hand in the traditional Vulcan salute.

"Peace and long life, T’Maril," he said.

She walked up to Phillips and suddenly embraced him, smiling broadly, startling both him and Gilmore. "I never thought I’d see you again, Dan," she said.

"I take it they’re my siblings," Phillips said after she let go, indicating the other former occupants of the now-dormant vessel.

"Yes," T’Maril said. "T’Jenna, Solvek, come here. I’d like you to meet your… older brother, Lieutenant Daniel Phillips."

"Your similarity to our father is uncanny," T’Jenna said.

"So’s yours," Phillips said, taking her hand. "Not too many blonde Vulcans, last time I checked."

"This is," Solvek began, searching for the right word, "unusual. You are objectively older than us, yet your temporal displacement results in your subjective age being half that of ours."

"Dan," T’Maril interrupted, indicating Gilmore. "Aren’t you going to introduce us?"

"Oh, of course," Phillips said. "Everyone, this is my girlfriend, Crewman Marla Gilmore."

"Hi," Gilmore said.

San Francisco, California
Headquarters, Starfleet Tactical
Stardate 214501.9
1 July 2376 0800 hrs

"Seven!" Kim exclaimed, wrapping his arms protectively around his wife. "Thank god you’re back."

"I am… undamaged," Seven said softly, staring into her husband’s eyes, their faces mere millimeters apart.

"Annika," Libby said, "I’m glad you’re back."

"How’s the baby?" Kim asked. "If they did anything–"

"Our child is undamaged, as well," Seven said reassuringly.

"Well," John Kim said, "there is an upside to all of this. You’re now recognized — legally — as Annika Kim, Federation citizen, and not just as Seven of Nine, former Borg drone. They can’t take you, or the baby, without facing serious consequences ever again. It also sets a precedent for any future liberated drones that they want to try and pull that on."

"I am relieved," Seven said. "I would not wish to endure that again."

"Well," Kim said, leaning into his wife, "despite what the council calls you, you’ll always be Seven to me." He brushed his lips against hers, and they kissed tenderly.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Transporter Room
Stardate 214502.8
1 July 2376 1532 hrs

"Harry! Seven!" Tom Paris exclaimed, greeting the Kims as they beamed back aboard Voyager. "Wow, you guys look great."

"Tom," Kim said, greeting his friend. "How’s everything holding together?"

"Not too bad," Paris said. "There’s a team in sickbay going over the Doc with a fine-toothed comb. We’ve got Starfleet R&D, the Daystrom Institute, the Federation Science Council, the Federation Astrophysical Survey, and the Federation Xenobiological Survey all knocking down our doors. The only one missing is the Department of Temporal Investigations, and that’s only because Dan’s reports were so thorough that they practically left before they got here." He looked over at his friends. "How about you, Seven? You look a little… different than the last time I saw you."

"I am well," Annnika said. "I became acquainted with Harry’s former girlfriend, Libby, while on the surface. She gave me a ‘makeover.’ Also, following my experiences of the past several days, I have decided that, officially, my name is to be Annika Kim. However, you may continue to call me Seven, if you wish."

"A nickname, huh?" Paris asked. "What made you decide on the change?"

"Libby," Kim said. "She refused to call her anything but ‘Annika.’"

"She contended," Annika said, "that if I insisted upon denying my human heritage, it would hurt me and, in turn, Harry. Neither of us desire for that to occur."

San Francisco, California
Starfleet Academy
Parade Grounds
Stardate 214510.7
4 July 2376 1313 hrs

"Lieutenant Commander Dyson," Chakotay called. The entire crew of Voyager and their families — with the exception of Tuvok, who had already left for Vulcan — were present on the parade grounds of Starfleet Academy. Dyson rose from his seat with the Wildmans, stepping on-stage with Chakotay.

Voyager‘s new commanding officer reached over and replaced the rank pin on his collar with that of a full commander. "You are hereby promoted to the rank of commander and, at my request, are to serve as my first officer."

"I won’t let you down, sir," Dyson said, shaking Chakotay’s hand.

"I’m sure you won’t," Chakotay said. Dyson turned, then made his way back to his seat as the audience thundered applause. "Ensign Paris," Chakotay said.

Paris rose from his seat between his father and Torres, making his way to take Dyson’s place on the stage. Chakotay reached to the table next to him, which was laden with rank insignia of various grades and several medals and other awards.

"Thomas Paris," Chakotay began, replacing the rank insignia on his shoulder, "you are hereby reinstated to lieutenant junior grade by order of Starfleet Command." The audience erupted once more into applause, and Paris made a move to leave. "Additionally," Chakotay said, causing Paris to stop, "you have been awarded the Cochrane Award for your contributions in warp theory with your work on the transwarp drive system." The audience thundered applause once more as Chakotay took Paris’ hand and shook it vigorously. Chakotay nodded to Paris, who left the podium.

"Samantha Wildman," Chakotay announced, reaching for another rank insignia. Wildman took to the stage, Naomi cheering wildly. "Samanatha Wildman," Chakotay continued, "you are hereby promoted to lieutenant junior grade."

Kim’s mind began to wander as he sat between his wife and his parents. He reminisced on the past six years, remembering more close calls with more species than he could count, more near-death experiences than he cared to recall, and the incredible twists of fate that led him to the current state of his life. He had friends he couldn’t imagine living without, the most remarkable woman he’d ever met for a wife, and a child on the way.

"Harry Kim," Chakotay’s voice rang out, jolting him back to reality. After a moment’s hesitation, he rose and made his way to the podium.

Chakotay reached over and replaced the insignia on his shoulder. "Your promotion to lieutenant junior grade is hereby retroactive to Stardate 211320," Chakotay said. "You are also hereby promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Additionally," he added before Kim could leave the stage, "you are awarded with the following citations: the Cochrane Award for your role in transwarp research and the adaptation of the Quantum Slipstream drive, the Chrisopher Pike Medal of Valor for exceptional heroism in the performance of your duties, and the Star Cross with silver clusters for service above and beyond the call of duty on countless occasions. Congratulations, lieutenant."

As Kim moved off the stage to retake his seat beside his wife and family, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Briefing Room
Stardate 214511.2
4 July 2376 1800 hrs

Chakotay and Dyson sat at the head of the table in the briefing room as the former crew of the late Starship Equinox entered. Chakotay stood, a serious look on his face and a PADD in his hand.

He looked at the crewmen standing before him, then said, "Crewmen Marla Gilmore, James Morrow, Brian Sofin, Angelo Tassoni, and Noah Lessing, Starfleet Command has reviewed Captain Janeway’s disciplinary action against you and has determined that, given your performance over the past six months, you are to be reinstated to ensign and the records regarding the Equinox sealed. At my request," he continued, his voice taking a less official tone, "you’ll remain aboard Voyager under my command. Congratulations, ensigns."

The Equinox Five, as they had come to be known, looked up in surprise as Chakotay finished and Dyson revealed a set of ensigns’ rank insignia. After having been overlooked at the awards ceremony earlier that day, they had been expecting further reprisal from Starfleet, given discreetly by their commanding officer.

Noticing their surprise, Chakotay said, "I felt it would be inappropriate to bring your case out before the entire crew once again. This is, in my opinion, more dignified for everyone concerned."

"Thank you, sir," Gilmore said.

"Marla,"Phillips exclaimed as he beamed back aboard Voyager, "my problem is solved!"

"Back up," Gilmore said. "I missed something here."

"I just got out of a meeting with Director Harrington from DTI," Phillips explained. "He’s agreed to give me reserve status, so I can stay here with you and still be able to work as an agent."

"Wow," Gilmore said. "Are you still going to be working in the Astrometrics Lab?"

"I don’t know," Phillips said. "That’s up to the captain. I need to inform him of my new status, first." He noticed Gilmore’s new insignia, then asked, "Marla, why are you in an officer’s uniform?"

"I just left the briefing room," Gilmore explained. "Starfleet decided to give those of us from the Equinox our old ranks back."

Now it was Phillips’ turn to be surprised. "Wow," he said.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Stardate 214532.3
12 July 2376 1008 hrs

Kim pushed his way through Voyager‘s overcrowded corridors on his way to the turbolift. Representatives of nearly every cultural and scientific body in the Federation — as well as several dozen reporters — were aboard the ship, trying to wring out every possible byte of detail they could about the Delta Quadrant.

"Lieutenant!" a reporter cried upon spotting him, her videocam aimed in his direction. "Lieutenant Kim! Could I speak with you about–"

"Not right now, please," Kim pleaded. "I’m a little busy at the moment." Mercifully, the turbolift doors opened at that moment. But the car was filled to capacity. He elbowed his way in nonetheless, the doors hissing shut behind him.

"Warning," the computer’s synthesized voice said suddenly. "Current occupational mass of this turbolift exceeds operational safety protocols."

"By how much?" Kim asked.

"Five point zero-six grams," the computer replied evenly.

Kim tried not to laugh. "Computer, override," he said, amused. "Authorization Kim-Omega-Seven-Nine. Reset on egress."

"Authorization accepted," the computer replied.

"Astrometrics," Kim said, and the turbolift began to move.

"Was that wise?" one of the passengers, a balding man who looked to be in his seventies, asked.

"The turbolift safety protocols are pretty conservative," Kim replied. "The lifts can actually take several kilos more than they say, so five grams isn’t going to do any harm. The computer will reset to the default safety margins once I get off."

"Oh," the man said. Within moments, the lift opened. Kim scanned the deck labeling to make sure he was in the right spot, then stepped out of the lift. He made his way through another crowded corridor to the Astrometrics Lab, where he found his wife and nearly a dozen representatives of both the Federation Astrophysical Survey and the Starfleet Corps of Engineers’ Research and Development division.

"Seven," Kim said, getting his wife’s attention. Annika turned, noticing her husband for the first time.

"Harry," she asked, "is something wrong?"

"No, nothing’s wrong," he said. "I wanted to talk to you privately, though. Could we have a moment?"

"Of course," Annika replied. She nodded to the scientists around her, then said, "If you will excuse me for a moment." They nodded, and she walked to a relatively secluded corner of the room with her husband.

"Seven," Kim said, "I’ve been offered a transfer, but I don’t know if I should take it."

"What does this transfer entail?" Annika asked.

"Tom, B’Elanna and I have been offered research positions at Starfleet R&D," Kim explained. "Considering all the advances we made together, the higher-ups want to pick our brains. Figuratively."

"I see," Annika said. "And what effect would this have on our affiliation?"

"What we have together is more important than Starfleet," he replied. "You’ll always come first. Never forget that. The reason I came to see you is I don’t know if I should accept the transfer. It would mean both of us leaving the ship and all of our friends behind."

"That would be disadvantageous," Annika said. "What are the advantages of accepting this transfer?"

"Well," Kim began, "we’d be living and working in San Francisco. It wouldn’t involve a lot of traveling around, so it would be good for our family. We would be very close to my parents’ house, too. Also, it’s a very good career move for me."

"You have listed three advantages to one disadvantage," Annika said. "Why are you still uncertain as to your acceptance of the transfer?"

"I wanted to know how you feel about it," Kim said. "This ship has been our home, this crew our family, for years now. We can’t just abandon them without considering that first.."

"You said that Lieutenants Paris and Torres had also been offered this transfer," Annika said. "Would that not mean they would also be living near us? We would not be completely abandoning our Voyager ‘family.’"

"True," Kim acknowledged, "but I still don’t know if they’re even going to accept. They’ve got a pretty good thing going for them here."

"Their acceptance or denial of the transfer is ultimately irrelevant to your decision," Annika said. "You must choose for yourself. I will support whatever decision you make."

"Thanks, Seven," Kim said. "That’s what I needed to hear."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Stardate 214532.4
12 July 2376 1117 hrs

"I’ve decided on a name," the Doctor said to the group that had been studying him.

"Indeed," Data said. "What have you selected?"

"Three years ago," the Doctor began, "I programmed a family for myself, to better understand the interaction they provide for humans. My wife, Charlene, called me Kenneth. Also, as my ‘father,’ more or less, is Dr. Zimmerman here, I have decided that I shall be Dr. Kenneth Zimmerman."

"What happened to your family?" Barclay asked.

The EMH-cum-Kenneth Zimmerman’s face fell. "I haven’t returned to the program in three years," he said.

"How long was it active?" Barclay asked. "Why did you stop using it?"

"My family was active for two weeks," Kenneth Zimmerman said. "A week-and-a-half after I initialized the program, Lieutenant Torres made some modifications to make it more… real. My son began associating with Klingons, my wife was overburdened with work and my daughter…" He trailed off, painful memories long buried now returning to the surface. "My daughter died in a Parisses Squares accident. After that, I couldn’t deal with the pain of losing her. I shut down the program and buried myself in my work."

"You didn’t learn a damned thing from the experience," Maddox declared.

"I’ve been considering reinstating the program," the former EMH said. "Maybe reprogramming it from the ground up. So many of the crew are returning to their families; maybe I should, too."

"I’ll help you," Barclay volunteered.

"You’ll leave the family just as they are," Lewis Zimmerman said. "If you want this to be like real life, you don’t get the option of reprogramming them."

Kenneth Zimmerman shimmered into existence on the holodeck, joining Data, Barclay, Maddox and Lewis Zimmerman. Barclay was already at work manipulating the control circuits of the holodeck’s command input panels.

"There’s been some degradation," Barclay said. "There’s been so much information packed into Voyager‘s computer in the last few years, the unused holoprograms were starting to be sacrificed.

"Can you repair their program?" the former EMH asked, worried.

"I think so," Barclay said, his fingers dancing over the controls. The holodeck shimmered, and the plain walls were replaced with the exterior of the holographic Zimmerman’s family home. Moments later, Charlene and Jeffrey materialized — immobile, as their program was paused while Barclay worked. The panel began beeping, a rapid, high- pitched sequence filling the air.

"Uh-oh," Barclay said, stepping away from the control panel.

"What happened?" Lewis Zimmerman asked.

"I-I-I-I’m not sure," Barclay stammered. "The size of their programs just increased… dramatically!"

"What did you do?" Kenneth Zimmerman asked.

"I was replacing," Barclay began, "damaged sectors in their cognitive algorithms by copying them… from your program."

"What is it?" Maddox asked.

"I recognize this pattern arrangement," Barclay said meekly. "I saw it once on the Enterprise."

Data stepped beside Barclay. "Intriguing," the android said. "This pattern is similar to that of the self-aware Moriarty hologram Geordi and I inadvertently created."

"That hologram tried to take over the ship twice," Maddox noted. "Should we deactivate this program?"

"No!" Kenneth Zimmerman exclaimed.

"I do not believe these two will be a threat," Data said. "Moriarty attempted to gain control of the Enterprise because the root porgramming upon which he was conceived was that of a fictional Sherlock Holmes villain. This pair’s psychology is quite different."

"Well," Barclay said, "if we’re going to activate them, we can do it now."

"Do it," the former EMH said. Barclay looked to Maddox and the human Zimmerman, who nodded their assent. Barclay pressed a button, and Charlene and Jeffrey — quite literally — came to life.

"Kenneth?" Charlene asked, looking around in confusion. "Who are your friends?"

"Charlene," he replied, "this is Captain Maddox, Lieutenant Commander Data, Lieutenant Barclay, and my… father, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman."

"How do you feel?" Maddox asked Charlene.

"I-I don’t know," she replied. "Different, somehow." She paused thoughtfully, then looked to her husband. "Why didn’t you tell us we were holograms?" she demanded.

"You weren’t self-aware then," he said. "At that point, only I was."

"Bring her back," Charlene demanded suddenly. "Bring back Belle!"

"I can’t do that," Kenneth Zimmerman replied. "She’s dead."

"We’re holograms," Charlene cried. "Reinstate her program!"

"Th-that’s not possible," Barclay interrupted. "Your programs were degraded, so I repaired them, accidentally making you self-aware. Hers was completely lost. There’s nothing I can do."

"Then I’ll reprogram her," Charlene shot back, tears welling in her eyes.

"It won’t be her," Kenneth Zimmerman said.

"You heartless bastard," Charlene breathed. "She’s our daughter!"

"And we can’t bring her back from the dead," he said, "as much as I wish we could. We have to accept that."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Main Engineering
Stardate 214532.4
12 July 2376 1134 hrs

"B’Elanna," Kim said, pushing his way through Main Engineering.

"Hey, Starfleet," Torres said. "What brings you down here?"

"I wanted to talk to you for a minute," Kim said.

"This sounds serious," Torres quipped.

"Have you and Tom decided on the transfer offer yet?" Kim asked.

"Actually," Torres said, "we were waiting to see how you and Seven decided."

"Oh," Kim said. "I spoke with Seven, and I’ve decided to accept."

"I wasn’t sure if you’d take it or not," Torres said, surprised.

"Well," Kim began, "Seven and I are starting a family, and I felt a planetside assignment near my parents would be more stable for us."

"I’ll have to let Tom know what you’ve decided," Torres said. "The two of us can go from there."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Mess Hall
Stardate 214535.7
13 July 2376 1609 hrs

"The past few weeks seem to be wrought with goodbyes," Chakotay said, holding out his glass to make a toast. "We wish you the best as you move forward with your lives."

The others assembled in the mess hall — all close friends of Tom Paris, B’Elanna Torres and Harry and Annika Kim — raised their glasses, saying, "The best!"

"This ship isn’t going to be the same without you," Gilmore said.

"Seven," Naomi said, walking up to Annika, "when the baby’s born, send me some pictures."

"I will comply," Annika said, a small smile on her face.

"Doctor," Kim said, approaching the former EMH, "I understand you’ve reopened your family program. How’s that working out?"

"It’s been difficult," Zimmerman said. "Did you also hear they’re self-aware now?"

"That’s what I heard," Kim replied. "Is Charlene handling things better now?"

"You seem to know a lot about my family, Mr. Kim," Zimmerman said.

"I spoke with Lieutenant Barclay," Kim explained.

"Ah, I see," Zimmerman said. "It took some time, but Charlene and Jeffrey are adapting to their existence as sentient holograms rather well. Naomi has already made sure that Jeffrey has no problem integrating with the crew. She took him on a tour of the ship with my mobile emitter." He paused, shaking his head, then continued incredulously, "It would have been nice if they’d asked first. I had to meet with everyone who needed to see me in either sickbay or the holodeck because I couldn’t simply walk out the door."

San Francisco
Residence of Harry and Annika Kim
Stardate 214535.8
13 July 2376 1710 hrs

"Home, sweet home," said Kim as he and Annika stepped into their new apartment in San Fransisco.

"It is considerably larger than our quarters aboard Voyager," Annika remarked.

"Of course it is, Seven," Kim said. "We’re on Earth, not a starship." He proceeded to show Annika around the apartment, pointing out their bedroom, the baby’s room, the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom and the balcony patio.

"I know you want to keep busy," Kim said, "so until the baby’s born at least, I’ve convinced admiral Quinteros to let you work with us as a civilian contractor."

"How did you accomplish this?" Annika asked.

"I mentioned the fact," Kim said, "that you’ve helped rebuild the Astrometrics lab, design the Delta Flyer series, integrate the Quantum Slipstream drive and a whole host of other advancements. Plus, you’ve got the collected knowledge of the Borg Collective, and they’ve run into quite a few species and technologies we haven’t even seen yet."

"And that was sufficient to convince the admiral?" Annika asked.

"The collected knowledge of the Borg part got his attention," Kim said, leaning in close to kiss his wife.

"What do you think, B’Elanna?" Paris asked as he and Torres stepped into their new apartment, just down the street from the Kims.

"Not bad, flyboy," Torres replied. "Not even a bat’leth in sight."

"Try out the sofa," Paris suggested, reaching into his pocket. "Tell me what you think." As she sat, he pulled a small box from his pocket.

"Not bad," Torres said, then noticed Paris down on one knee in front of her.

"B’Elanna," he said, "I’ve been trying to get myself to say this for months. Will you marry me?" He opened the box, revealing a silver ring with a fine-cut diamond stone.

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Holodeck Three
Stardate 214535.9
13 July 2376 1749 hrs

"Hello, Mr. Data," Jeffrey Zimmerman said as the android entered the holodeck. "Thanks for stopping by."

"I will be remaining aboard," Data said, "as Captain Chakotay has offered to rendezvous with the Enterprise en route to Voyager‘s next assignment."

"That’ll give us some time to talk, then," Jeffrey said. "I was hoping to get your perspective on life as an artificial life form, and…"

"Yes?" Data prompted.

"I wanted to ask if you could help me build an android body for myself," Jeffrey said.

"You do not wish to remain a holographic life form?" Data asked.

"Are you kidding?" Jeffrey replied. "I can’t go anywhere! The only times I’ve been able to get out of the holodeck were when I transferred my program to Sickbay and when I borrowed my dad’s mobile emitter. And what if the ship’s power goes down for some reason?" He shook his head, then continued, "I don’t know how my dad was able to handle being trapped like that for three years before he got his emitter, but I don’t think I could take it."

"You are certain," Data asked, "this is the course of action you wish to pursue?"

"Yes," Jeffrey said.

"I will consider your request," Data said.

"I could have just tried to do it on my own, you know," Jeffrey said. "I asked you because you’re the foremost expert on Soong-type androids following Dr. Soong’s death."

"I have not rejected your request," Data replied. "I said that I would consider it."

"Look," Jeffrey said, "I read about your daughter, so I know it must be a tough subject for you, but I think we can avoid the problems she encountered by using a bio-neural network instead of a positronic system. Besides, my program already exists."

"I do not wish to be responsible," Data said, "for any harm that may come to your program as a result of actions in which I was involved."

"Mr. Data," Jeffrey said, "I want this."

U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
Docked at Earth Spacedock
Ready Room
Stardate 214537.8
14 July 2376 1030 hrs

Lieutenants Joe Carey, Dan Phillips, Megan Delaney and Pablo Baytart, as well as Ensign Marla Gilmore, entered Chakotay’s ready room.

"Good," Chakotay said as they stepped through the doors, Commander Dyson at his side by the foreward-facing windows. "I’d like all of you to remain aboard Voyager as my senior staff. Joe," he looked to the engineer, "B’Elanna wanted you to be the next chief engineer.

"Dan, Seven had high praise for your scientific prowess, and I’d like you to be my new science officer.

"Megan, both Harry and Seven felt that you’d do well in charge of Astrometrics.

"Pablo, not too long ago Tom said you were the second-best pilot on Voyager. I guess that makes you the best, now.

"And finally, Marla. Harry said you’re better-suited to the Ops position than he was when he took the job." Chakotay looked at all of the officers gathered before him. "I agree with all of their recommendations. The jobs are yours if you want them. Congratulations. Now get back to work; we’ve been assigned to join the ongoing study of a Dyson Sphere the original Enterprise discovered as soon as all the scientific teams are off the ship."


Category : K/7Version 2.0Voyager


One Response

  1. Administrator says:

    Previous feedback received:

    Jarhead (01 Feb 2000)
    "Homecoming" was definitely a worthy succesor to "Prodigal Daughter," and was your usual enjoying read. Thanks for posting.

    Summer (01 Feb 2000)
    Wow! Homecoming is terrific! Everyone…from Harry and Seven was in character…and I loved the ending.

    Thomas Lee (05 Feb 2000)
    "Homecoming" was a good read, and, barring a major shake-up of TPTB, probably a much better story than how TPTB will handle the return of Voyager. Read full review

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