There's something about Michael

Seven of Nine sealed the doors to cargo bay 2 with several Borg encryption codes and her comm badge with a level five privacy seal for good measure. What she was about to do was top secret, illegal under Federation law and a breach of protocol so severe that were it ever discovered, it was entirely likely that Seven would spend the remainder of the journey to the alpha quadrant cleaning the waste reclamation system with her sonic toothbrush.

If the Captain didn't blast her out of an airlock instead.

So, it was best that her little act of covert surveillance went undiscovered. Ever since the incident with the bioplasmic organism, Seven had made a point of performing a thorough investigation whenever Janeway seemed to be acting illogically.

And Seven certainly thought that Janeways recent behaviour was illogical. Re-programming the Michael Sullivan hologram was one thing, Seven had no problem with that at all. In fact Seven thought that should she ever require a sex toy, she would ensure that it match her specifications and personal preferences as well.

But to fall in love with what was in effect a highly sophisticated vibrator ?

No, that was simply ridiculous.

Seven had weighed up the possibilities of an alien influence being exercised over the Captain and had run a few subtle scans of the surrounding area, and found nothing. A night time trawl through the holodeck buffers revealed no evidence of any sentient photonic beings from another dimension and surreptitious sneaking around the medical database offered no insights. Adjustment of her optical implant to cater for phase or temporal variances provided her with no more than slight nausea.

So, when all else fails - go to the source.

Seven strode over to the other side of the cargo bay, removed a panel and made a slight modification to the configuration of the isolinear chips.

"Computer, access Captain Janeways personal logs from star date 53471 to present and download them to the secure partition in the cargo bay 2 station, authorisation Seven of Nine Epsilon Blue Six."

"Download completed"

A quick dance of fingers over keypad and a reversal of the isolinear chip changes was all that it took to delete any traces of her perfidy.

Even though she knew that she was alone, Seven could not help but glance around to make sure before marching over to her workstation. If anyone had been watching, they might have remarked that it was the first time they had seen Seven moving at a pace akin to a run.

Steeling herself, Seven called up the first of her purloined recordings. Captain Janeways frozen image appeared on the small view screen, the stardate handily displayed in the bottom right-hand corner. Clearly the log had been made after a duty shift, since Seven could see enough of the room to determine that it was the Captains own cabin. Janeway was dressed in uniform, but had dispensed with the tunic.

Seven thought that her Captain looked quite fetching in the starfleet issued undershirt, though she was aware that for some reason part of her wished that Janeway had been wearing the singlet variant instead of the long sleeved T-shirt style.

She dismissed that thought before it got too distracting, after all there were several logs to be viewed. It was quite possible her preference would be accommodated later. Seven pressed the play key.

"Personal log, Janeway recording.

I had a rather startling realisation today, I realised that it's 1,985 days since I last had sex, and I can't even remember whether I came.

Nearly two thousand days, that's a damned long time. Too long.

More than a dry spell, it's a drought.

So today, I decided to take matters into my own hands, or rather, out of them.

Masturbation is all well and good, and frankly at times it's the only thing that's kept me going, but damn it - just for once I want to not know what's coming next.

So I got me a holographic lover. Fully functional and looks just like the real thing. Acts like the real thing too, so I had to make a few modifications and now he, errm, it is just about the perfect man-shaped construct for me.

I'm going to give it a test drive later.

I can barely wait.

End log."

Seven pressed the pause key, took a deep breath and wondered if she was contracting an illness. She felt damp around the hairline, her ears warm and her mouth was a little dry. Perhaps she was in need of liquid refreshment.

Whilst she went about the business of acquiring a container of water from a nearby replicator, Seven considered what she had seen. Certainly the Captain seemed to be approaching the use of a holographic construct to relieve sexual frustration in a suitably business-like and logical manner. At least to start off with.

Obviously something had changed the Captains attitude sometime after the holograms first deployment. Seven could only hope that the later logs provided some clues.

Seven took a few sips of water, returned to the workstation and called up the next log entry. The Captain was no longer dressed in her uniform, but in a rather fetching blue gown that seemed to shimmer where the light caught it, and was reclining on her couch.

Seven had never seen her Captain looking so relaxed, her hair was delightfully rumpled and there was a soft expression on her face that Seven vaguely recognised.

She pressed play.

"Personal log, Janeway recording.

Operation Orgasm went pretty damned well. A bit awkward, but then I expected that. I have to admit that the chance that the hologrid could go down ..."

Seven was startled when Janeway abruptly burst into laughter, clutching her arms to her stomach and throwing her head back. The outburst lasted for roughly thirty seconds, and at no time did Seven realise that a slight smile painted her own lips and that she had reached out with her human hand and briefly touched the view screen over the part of the image that depicted the Captains hair.

"... I should probably <chuckle> rephrase that. Because, certainly, at least part of the hologrid did go down <snort>, more than once ..."

Seven considered that a clue of sorts, if portions of the hologrid had de-stabilised there might be some residual traces to be found, clearly her delve into the hologrid buffers had not been deep enough.

"... The chance that the hologrid could ... malfunction ... and that I might be discovered with my clothes scattered around me and clearly in the middle of being taken from behind by an invisible lover ..."

Sevens throat suddenly felt a little tight.

"... added a certain frisson of danger, that I found quite stimulating.

Bits of me are actually rather too stimulated, what's that old expression ? 'like riding a bike, you never forget'. Well, I might not have forgotten how to ride, but I didn't remember that you can still get saddle-sore.

Michael is still not quite right, so I made a couple of minor tweaks. I don't really want Tom to know that I'm tinkering with his holoprogram, particularly not why ! So I've programmed the computer to apply my modifications to the characters appearance when I am alone with it on the holodeck.

Anyone entering the holodeck, or my departure, triggers the reinstatement of the Michael Sullivan character as originally programmed.

I think it's safer that way, I'm certain it would pique the interest of the crew if their Irish bartender suddenly became blonde.

Oh goodness, I better have a bath or I definitely won't be able to walk tomorrow.

End log."

Seven was quite sure now that she was unwell, her knees felt a little weak, and initiated a bio-hazard scan of the cargo bay. She frowned when the results came back negative and went to rummage around in a far corner of the room, returning with a tall stool.

Although the former Borg did not usually sit, she had no intention of falling down if her knees ceased proper function completely.

Once she was settled, she re-activated the playback.

The next few logs revealed not much in the way of further information, other than that Janeway had continued to make 'minor changes' to her hologram - the demeanour a little cooler, the eyes a little bluer, removal of the facial hair. So far Seven had received no definite clues that would explain Janeways later illogical actions.

She was, however, quite gratified to view the log Janeway made after one of the Velocity matches that they had shared. The Captain had thrown off her tunic to reveal a nicely sweaty, well-muscled form that Seven found quite appealing. Though she wondered whether the knowledge that her opponent wore only an elasticated half singlet underneath her outfit would affect her concentration the next time they played.

Janeways stated enjoyment of the time spent with an ex-drone, and her joy at how Seven was continuing to develop, elicited a sensation in her which Seven was quite sure could be described as pleasure.

The log entry that recorded Michaels gender reassignment came as somewhat of a surprise.

Seven wondered whether it was possible that her body mass had suddenly altered, since for some reason her outfit felt a bit tight. Particularly in the region of her mammary glands. She was also experiencing an unusual rolling feeling in her stomach. Possibly she was hungry, but she didn't feel well enough to walk over to the replicator to acquire a nutritional supplement.

There were only a few more logs left, Seven decided to view the remainder and if her symptoms were still evident after that she would request the Doctors presence.

The Captains appearance in the next log bothered Seven. Her Captain looked dispirited, a little drawn, but there was an expression in her eyes that made Seven shiver.

"Personal log, Janeway recording.

I told the Doctor of my affiliation with my holographic lover. He was remarkably understanding and ... kind. But then, I hardly gave him the full story. I suspect his reaction might have been quite different if I had.

I told him that I had made a few modifications to the character. I think I made some vague comment about snoring.

I didn't tell him about all the other subtle changes.

And the none too subtle ones.

Damn. I can barely believe what I've done.

I have modified my lover into a representation of Seven of Nine ..."

The ex-Borg was not aware that she had fainted, until she awoke to find herself slumped over her workstation with a bruise purpling nicely on her temple. Fortunately, she had not spilled her water and she took a moment to swallow some down to assist in her revival.

The log playback was continuing, and Seven noted from the elapsed timer that she had been unconscious for about two minutes. The final log was currently playing.

"... and so I have instructed the computer to disallow me any further access to the makeup of the Michael Sullivan holographic character, and I have deleted my fully modified version.

I don't know if I will continue to seek sexual relief in the holodeck, but I do know that it will not be with a holographic Seven of Nine ..."

It was illogical, but Seven felt vaguely disappointed.

" ... being held in that embrace made me realise a few things. Not least that I am sexually attracted to my Astrometrics officer.

Actually, I think I always knew that.

More terrifying is that I'm pretty sure that I'm in love with her ..."

A small tear splashed wetly on the console.

"... I'm going to have to consider what to do about this. If anything.

I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to look Seven in the eye again. Or avoid grabbing her and kissing her until we both expire from joy.

It's a good thing that I managed to stop this before the line between fantasy and reality became irrevocably blurred.

Oh, Seven. What am I to do ?"

The word 'Kathryn' whispered softly through the darkness of the cargo bay.

As the image on the view screen winked out, Seven heard herself ask the computer, in a voice that was not quite hers, for the location of Captain Janeway.

"Captain Janeway is in her quarters."

Seven knew that somehow she had to approach her Captain, without giving away what she had discovered. Or how. Seven recognised that she could hardly be described as subtle, yet clearly that was what was called for in this situation.

Perhaps the direct route was the best way, after all. Though maybe from a slight angle.

Seven glanced at her chronometer, and discovered that the time was approaching twenty three hundred hours. Definitely not too late for a philosophical discussion.

And she had decided that the topic that would bring her to the Captains quarters this evening was 'Desire' and 'Love'.

And how one could tell the difference.

The End