Author's Note: Seven of Nine is evil. Seven of Nine must die. And if the Great Bird isn't going to answer their prayers, then a group of junior officers will just have to take matters into their own hands... Okay, credits. Most characters are the property of Paramount. I also stole two from Christine (but one of them was mine in the first place *g*). And I borrowed Lori's pool boy, played here by David Boreanaz. As usual, this is a completely separate universe to the rest of my Lower Decks fics. Nevertheless, it would be helpful to read them first.
by Liz Barr
"It's wrong. Just plain wrong." As Earth's sun set outside the bar, Mulcahey slammed his glass down and added, "it's a slap in the face to the officers who've dedicated the last seven years to gossiping about the Captain and Commander."
"I agree," said Mitchell.
"They have no respect for us," added Jenkins, "living their lives without even bothering to foreshadow future developments."
"No respect for the Captain, either," said Tal Celes. "I mean, she spends all this time working to get us home, and then Chakotay drops her for Seven?" She sighed. "It's so sad."
"She'll find someone else," said Nicoletti. "Someone sweet, and loving, who'd never cast her aside for some little blond drone."
"But it won't be the same!" wailed Celes. "She'll spend the rest of her life wondering what might have been, incapable of having a fulfilling relationship. Every time she opens up to someone, the spectre of that big tattooed lug will rise up before her, and she'll run away from her feelings. Forever!"
A dead silence fell over the table. Then Susan Nicoletti burst into tears, jumped up and ran away.
"Goodness," said Jenkins. "She certainly took the end of the captain's existence as a meaningful human being hard."
"At least the Captain will have her career to console her," said Mulcahey.
"What'll that give her?" asked Jenkins. "Nothing but promotions and a spacious apartment and legions of staffers to cater to her every whim!"
"I've gotta say, the Great Bird really let us down here," said Mitchell.
"I know," sighed Jenny. "You'd think there was no logic in the universe."
"It all fell apart when Seven came on board," said Mulcahey.
"Yeah, bringing her tight catsuits and perkier-than-thou implants," added Jenny. "And my God, those lips! You can't tell me they were natural."
"Oh, no doubt she had some help from the Doctor. And that's another thing," Jenkins went on. "She treated him so badly. He was in love with her, and the least she could have done was pretend to reciprocate."
"She could have reprogrammed him to look like Chakotay," said Celes.
"Yeah, think of all the potential for bawdy sex comedy," said Mulcahey, which earned him a glare from Jenny.
"Now he just sits in sickbay, humming 'You Are My Sunshine,'" said Mitchell. "It's so –"
"Sweet?" suggested Celes.
"The point is," said Jenny, "that if we want the Captain to have any happiness, we're going to have to kill Seven. Agreed?"
"Agreed," said everyone.
"So, here's my plan..."
Seven of Nine was dead. Extremely, irreversibly (Kathryn ignored the nanoprobes suggestion in the back of her head) deceased.
"She's dead, Captain," said the Doctor helpfully. Then he burst into tears and threw himself onto the body.
"Is there anything you can do?" asked Chakotay.
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, and even the Doctor stopped overacting long enough to give him a disdainful look. Kathryn had to look away to prevent herself from laughing. Her eyes met those of Liam, the Enterprise's pool boy, currently assigned to Voyager for (heh) personal reasons. Liam's facial expression didn't actually *change* as such, but she saw amusement in his eyes.
"Doctor," Kathryn said, "stop that. You look ridiculous."
Tuvok glanced at her and raised another eyebrow, possibly in response to the fact that she was wearing nothing but a bed-sheet. Well, if they were going to interrupt her in the middle of the night with trifles like dead crewmembers, they could damn well put up with a bit of gratuitous semi-nudity.
That thought drew her back to Liam, cutting a fine figure in his bath towel. The large tattoo on his shoulder blade was visible; she saw Chakotay appraising it.
"And Chakotay," she continued finally, "if you could *try* to show a little emotion..."
"Sorry, Captain." Chakotay obligingly glared jealously at Liam, possibly aware that Liam pulled off the whole tattoo-and-hair-gel combo much better than he did.
"Now, Tuvok. Put those eyebrows down and listen to me."
Without raising an eyebrow, Tuvok said, "Aye Captain."
"I want you to investigate this murder. I'm going to let you work without supervision, because frankly, watching you is boring."
"I'm going back to bed. Liam, you're with
me. The rest of you are dismissed."
Tuvok's investigations involved a detailed forensic assessment, judicious questioning of suspects and a helpful anonymous tip off containing the names of the perpetrators and footage of the murder (poisoning by leola root).
"How could you?" the Captain asked the assembled murderers. "Do you know how tedious Chakotay is?"
"We thought – we thought you'd be happy with him," said Mulcahey.
"Happy? Seven *liked* tedious! She found it predictable. She liked his godawful legends and poorly constructed allegories. I don't."
"And the Doctor! He's been unbearable. B'Elanna suggested rewriting his romance subroutines to help get over the grief, and he accused her of infringing on his rights as a photonic individual. And when he's not ranting about that, he's singing opera!"
"Um. Sorry?" offered Celes.
"I'm afraid that's not good enough. I've spoken with Starfleet." She frowned slightly. "Commander Gilchrist ordered me to choose my own course of action."
The crewmen gulped. That didn't sound good.
"So, I've decided that you will all be working for the Doctor for the next few months."
"But, Captain," said Mitchell, "none of us have any medical expertise."
The Captain smiled, and her officers shivered. If there was one thing scarier than the captain's death glare, it was her maternal smile.
"Oh," she said, "that won't be necessary..."
The Doctor frowned. "Pause music," he said.
"We'll take it from the top. *Without* the amusing new lyrics, thankyou, Ensign Jenkins. Now, as one..."
As a group, they took a breath. "You are
my sunshine, my only sunshine..."
The problem with working for an evil covert organisation, Liam thought as he entered Section 31 HQ (cunningly disguised as a business: Flowers By Irene), was that, for all that they made him look dangerous and sexy, leather uniforms were awfully uncomfortable. In fact, he wasn't even sure if they were real leather. With all the downsizing lately, he wouldn't have been surprised if they'd been (ugh) vinyl.
"I'm here to see Director Barlow," he told the girl on the desk. Her nametag read, "Edith".
"She's expecting you."
Barlow, Liam noticed, was wearing a black t-shirt with 'If the Apocalypse comes ... hail me' written on it.
"Still promoting casual Friday?" he asked.
"Yeah. It's not really catching on. I'd send a memo around, but it's really hard choosing a letterhead for an organisation that technically doesn't exist."
"Tried invisible ink?"
"Ooh, nice thinking! How'd the Voyager assignment go?"
"It went pretty well. The Captain thought it was strange that Starfleet didn't seem to care about Seven, but she was pretty distracted by then." He would have grinned, but he didn't want to strain the facial muscles. "It was the tattoo. Gets 'em every time."
"Thanks. But I need to ask—"
"Why'd you do it? I mean, a few months ago, you had Seven put on the protected list. Now you've just pulled strings to have her killed."
"Are you calling me a hypocrite?"
"No! I was just—"
"Because I'd really hate people to think I was a hypocrite."
"I mean, that's a really horrible thing to say about someone, you know?"
Her lower lip began to quiver. "I can't believe you're accusing me of this!"
"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to say anything."
"Oh." She smiled suddenly. "Good."
"So, why'd you do it?"
"Kill Seven? It was a slow afternoon. I was bored."
"That's a pretty stupid reason to kill someone. Good thing this is only fanfic."
Liam began to walk out the door. The Director called after him, "Oh, Liam, one more thing."
He turned. "Yeah?"
"I'm going to have to kill you now. Section 31 discourages self-awareness in it's characters."
Barlow pulled out her phaser and shot him.
"Pity," she said. "He was a much better character than I am. I'm only a Mary-Sue, after all." She frowned. "Oh. Bugger."
She turned the phaser on herself and pulled the trigger.
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Copyright © 2001 Elizabeth M. Barr
Star Trek ® is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Star Trek: Voyager is a trademark of Paramount Pictures.
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