by Zeke

(Tom Paris is heading for Seven's quarters when he sees her walk out the door.)

Paris: Hey Seven, wait a sec. I have the --

(Seven turns the corner, not hearing him. Tom sighs and taps his comm badge.)

Paris: Paris to Seven. Weren't we going to meet in your quarters to discuss those Flyer modifications?

Seven: (over the comm) Correct. You may enter.

Paris: Oh. Okay.

(Figuring she wants him to wait in her quarters, Tom steps inside. He finds....)

Seven: Take a seat, Lieutenant. I will join you in a moment.

Paris: *blink* You're here? Didn't I just...?

Seven: Just what?

Paris: I thought I saw you in the corridor.

Seven: Evidently not. It must have been another crew member. One moment, please.

(Seven steps into her bedroom. As Tom tries to think of someone on the crew he could possibly have mistaken for her, at least while sober, she returns.)

Seven: Mr. Paris. I was not aware that you had arrived.

Paris: What? We were talking just now.

Seven: *pause* Of course. Very well.

(Tom decides he's in the middle of a Borg practical joke that desperately needs work.)

Paris: Okay, I've had a look at your proposed modifications to the Delta Flyer. No real objections here, but they do seem a bit... dry.

Seven: Dry?

Paris: Well, they're mostly small improvements to the systems. You want to increase the engine efficiency, augment the shields a bit, that sort of thing. And I'm all in favour, but --


Paris: What was that?

Seven: An object in the next room must have lost equilibrium. Please excuse me.

(Seven gets up and enters the bedroom. Then she immediately comes back out.)

Seven: Mr. Paris. I was not aware that you had arrived.

Paris: *sigh* Right. Did you find the thing that fell over?

Seven: It is being attended to.

Paris: Oooookay. Anyway, as I was trying to say, I think we could aim higher with these modifications.

Seven: *sits down* In what way?

Paris: For starters, let's make the wings rise!

Seven: ...Rise?

Paris: You know how Voyager's nacelles lift when we go to warp? Let's do that with the Flyer too! It'll probably narrow the warp field or something, and more important, it'll look way cooler.

Seven: Cooler.

Paris: Yeah!

Seven: Have you considered that you would not be able to see this "cool" new function from inside the ship?

Paris: I'd know, though. Besides, just imagine the exterior shots!

Seven: *stands up* I seem to be experiencing a painful sensation in the vicinity of my cortical node. Please excuse me for a moment.

Paris: Do you need to go to Sickbay?

Seven: Unlikely.

(Seven enters the bedroom. She immediately returns.)

Seven: Mr. Paris. I was not aware that you had arrived.

Paris: Of course you weren't. How's the head?

Seven: Functioning within normal parameters. Why do you ask?

Paris: Never mind. Okay, my next idea involves --

Voice From the Bedroom: Computer, a glass of water and 150 milligrams of acetosalicylic acid in capsule form.

(Replicator noises.)

Paris: Who was that?

Seven: Who was what?

Paris: Just now! Somebody in your bedroom ordered an aspirin from the replicator.

Seven: These are my quarters. I would know if someone other than myself were present.

Paris: *rubbing forehead* Maybe I should go to Sickbay. My mind is playing tricks on me today.

(Seven's comm badge chirps. The sound seems to be in stereo.)

Janeway: (over the comm) Bridge to Seven of Nine. We could use you up here for a minute.

Seven: Acknowledged. On our way.

Paris: "Our"? She didn't call m--

(Five identical Seven of Nines emerge from the next room.)

Paris: *opens his mouth and closes it repeatedly*

Seven: We have been summoned to the bridge.

Seven: Incorrect. Only one of us is required. We need to determine who should go.

Seven: The closest one to the door would be the appropriate choice.

Seven: These situations will continue to occur. It would be more efficient to develop a schedule.

Seven: One of us should also continue the discussion with Mr. Paris.

Seven: I decline. My headache does not require any further assistance.

Paris: HOLD IT! What in the --

(The door opens.)

Seven: *entering* Mr. Paris. I was not aware that you had arrived.

(The last thing Tom sees is the floor slamming into his forehead.)


Janeway: Please explain this to me again, Doctor. I haven't yet given up on finding something about it that makes sense.

Doc: It's quite simple. As you know, I'm always working on ways to help Seven experience the full spectrum of human emotions. That's something we all want, isn't it?

(Janeway and Chakotay nod. Tuvok maintains a tactful silence. Paris groans as he regains consciousness.)

Doc: Well, that's just it! Spectrum! The other day, I finally thought of the obvious parallel with light. So I rigged up a prism, put it on the transporter platform, and beamed Seven through it. It was a complete success!

Janeway: Success?

(Janeway gestures across the room, where the seven Sevens are milling around.)

Doc: Well, it wasn't what I intended to do. But if I'd intended to do this, it would have been a complete success.

Chakotay: So what exactly are we looking at here?

Doc: I'm afraid I've created... er... a spectral decomposition of Seven.

Janeway: You reduced her to her eigenvalues?

Doc: I would have thought you'd be pleasantly surprised that her algebraic and geometric multiplicities are equal.

(A moment's pause. Everyone stares at Tom.)

Paris: What?

Janeway: We were expecting you to ask what that was about.

Paris: Please. I took grade two linear algebra just like everyone else.

Chakotay: *sigh* What I can't understand, Doctor, is how you could do this based on nothing but a pun.

Doc: It's not just a pun! Emotions really do have a spectrum. Willpower is green, fear is yellow...

Chakotay: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!

Doc: Just because you don't display any emotions doesn't mean --

(Janeway gives them both The Look. They shut up.)

Janeway: We'll discuss the consequences later. Our priority right now is to reverse the process.

Doc: Reverse it? Why? We have seven times the Seven now! Imagine how much faster we'll get home!

Tuvok: Their assistance could be beneficial to the ship.

Janeway: Hmmm...

(Janeway looks over at the Sevens. Of the various thoughts that go through her head, one quickly dominates: Dear God, she's got me outnumbered.)

Janeway: Fix it. Now.

Doc: Um.

Janeway: You can reverse this, can't you?

Doc: Not... right away. Re-integrating seven people takes much more complicated calculations than just differentiating one. It could take weeks.

Janeway: Weeks?

Doc: Have you ever tried to do a septuple integral?

Janeway: *sigh* Fine, then get started right away. Tuvok, help him.

Tuvok: Understood.

Seven: And in the meantime?

(All seven Sevens stare at Janeway. She rubs her temples.)

Janeway: I guess you'll just have to live with it for now. You don't sleep in your quarters, so you may as well all share.

Chakotay: At least we finally have a use for those extra regeneration alcoves.

Janeway: We'll get the six new Sevens added to the duty roster. There should be more than enough work to go around.

Paris: But how are we supposed to tell them apart?

Doc: Glad you asked!

(From out of nowhere, the Doctor produces a clothes rack. It's got seven of Seven's dermaplastic garments neatly lined up -- one for each colour of the rainbow.)

Doc: Eh? Eh?

Janeway: I'll be in my ready room pretending none of this ever happened.

Mess Hall, two days later
Paris: I still can't get used to this.

(He cocks his head at the table nearby where all seven Sevens, dressed prismatically, are having lunch.)

Torres: Grrrrrr....

Paris: She give you trouble in Engineering again today?

Torres: Yes! The yellow one! She tried to tell me how to regulate the power flow of my own warp core!

Paris: There, there. Take it easy.

Torres: It was hard enough to control myself when there was just ONE of her!

Kim: I know exactly what you mean.

(Harry is staring at the Sevens like his eyes are going to pop out of his head.)

Paris: I really don't think you do.

Kim: Okay.

Paris: And I really think you should blink sometime soon.

Kim: Yeah.

Neelix: (bringing the officers their lunch) Talking about the Sevens, eh? I think it's important that we look on the positive side when these things happen.

Torres: So what's the positive side here?

Neelix: Simple. Have you ever heard of an Earth musical tradition called "barbershop"?

Paris: You've gotta be kidding me.

Neelix: They already know how to sing. All I need to do is arrange some seven-part harmony.

Paris: They're all sopranos. It wouldn't work.

Neelix: Not with that attitude. Optimism, Lieutenant!

(Neelix smiles.)

Paris: GAH!

Torres: What was THAT?

Neelix: I've been doing mouth-extension exercises. Looks like they're working!

(He leaves.)

Torres: Why is he doing... no, never mind. The less we pursue it, the better.

Paris: You know, I dunno about music, but there are enough Sevens for a sports team or two. What do you think they'd be good at?

Torres: Hmm. Beach volleyball?


(Harry passes out in ecstasy.)

Paris: You did that on purpose.

Torres: It was going to happen sooner or later. Why wait?

(The Doctor is working on some equations.)

Doc: Hmm. Hmm! Mr. Tuvok, look at this!

Tuvok: (examining his work) Impressive.

Doc: I'll get the prism right away!

Tuvok: I would advise against it.

Doc: What? Why?

Tuvok: (handing back the PADD) Seven has not expressed any desire for twelve extra arms and legs.

(The Doctor looks at the various mistakes Tuvok has highlighted and sighs.)

Tuvok: Nonetheless, this is closer to a solution than we have come otherwise. We should continue along similar lines.

Doc: Right.

(They resume working. Neither of them notices a shadowy form leaving Sickbay with a PADD of vital data in hand.)

(Harry Kim is working alongside the purple Seven. After a while, he summons up the nerve to speak.)

Kim: So you know, I've been thinking...

Seven: About what?

Kim: Well, there are seven of you now.

Seven: Correct.

Kim: So.

Seven: Yes?


Kim: Well, I'm just thinking... surely you can spare one, right?

Seven: What?

Kim: That is...

Seven: Spare one?

Kim: Never mind. Forget I said anything.

Holodeck 2
Neelix: (holding a baton) One, two, three --!

Seven: Bum ba-dum bum...

The Sevens: Baby on booooard, how I've adoooored...

(In the audience are Neelix's victims, Chakotay and Torres.)

Torres: (head in hands) Irving Berlin...

Chakotay: That's not Berlin. I don't know what that is. Are you okay?

Torres: Romulan ale should be illegal.

Chakotay: It is.

Torres: Then Neelix should.

(Fifteen long minutes later, the performance is done. Neelix rushes over.)

Neelix: Well? What do you think?

Chakotay: Neelix, you don't know how much it pains me to say this, but... Tom was right. This is the worst idea you've ever had.

Neelix: Oh, come on! I've had worse. What about the leola root ice cream?

Chakotay: Do you actually want to win this argument?

Neelix: How about you, Lieutenant? I bet you liked it!

(B'Elanna punches Neelix in the jaw and storms out.)

Neelix: She shows her affection in her own quiet ways.

Chakotay: (helping him up) You've been spending a lot of time with the Sevens. Do you think they're coping well with this whole mess?

Neelix: Oh, certainly. In fact, just between you and me... when the time comes, don't be so sure they'll want to get reunited.

Chakotay: Really? Why not?

Neelix: They've started to diversify. Take a look!

(Chakotay looks at the crowd of Sevens, eating hors d'oeuvres and discussing how the performance went.)

Chakotay: What am I looking for?

Neelix: Little differences. The red Seven is more short-tempered than the others. The orange Seven is a bit shyer. The indigo Seven is more seductive. They're all different.

(Chakotay squints.)

Neelix: Here, I'll show you what I mean. Hey Seven!

The Sevens: (turning) Yes?

Neelix: How's the food?

The Sevens: Acceptable.

Neelix: Glad to hear it. That's all. (to Chakotay) Well?

Chakotay: Neelix, they're exactly the same. They even spoke at the same moment.

Neelix: I'm surprised at you, Commander. I thought you had more of an eye for detail.

(Chakotay's head is starting to hurt, but he decides it's not impossible that Neelix is right.)

Chakotay: This insight of yours could be helpful. Would you mind continuing to keep an eye on the Sevens?

Neelix: Try and stop me! I've hardly begun exploring the possibilities of this scenario. The romantic-comedy potential alone!

Chakotay: Hold it. The what potential?

Neelix: Well, think about it. Any latent romantic feelings the original Seven had will be present in all seven of the copies. It should be easy to get them all interested in the same man. Just imagine the hijinks!

Chakotay: I think we can do without --

Neelix: Oo, I have an idea!

(Neelix runs over to the Sevens and tells them something. They all look at Chakotay, then back. When Neelix is done talking, all seven trade a glance, and then they walk over to Chakotay in unison.)

Neelix: Wait, no! You'll spoil it!

Chakotay: (surrounded) Um, yes, Seven? Sevens?

Seven: Neelix has informed us that you are romantically interested in one of us, but are too shy to say which one. Regardless of personal embarrassment, it will be easier to resolve the situation if you do so.

Chakotay: I didn't say anything like that to Neelix.

Seven: *nod* That seemed a likely possibility.

(The Sevens go back to what they were doing.)

Chakotay: Satisfied?

Neelix: They weren't supposed to just ask you. Where's the fun in that?

Chakotay: I think we have enough "fun" on this ship without seeking it out. And anyway, why me?

Neelix: (muttering) Because we've all been failing to set you up with the captain for years and it's getting frustrating.

Chakotay: Pardon?

Neelix: Because you're tall.

(Meanwhile, in the shadows, a shadowy figure draped in shadow watches from the shadows...)

Chief Medical Officer's Log, Stardate 47777.7. It's now been four months since my experiment with Seven went wrong. Her copies are still doing fine, but time is running out... mainly because the captain says she's going to start deleting me one subroutine a week until I get them recombined. Why must I suffer for her insecurities?
Doc: This would be so much easier if we hadn't lost that PADD! We would have all the data instead of having to interpolate what's missing.

Tuvok: "We" did not lose the PADD.

Doc: If you must shift all the blame onto me...

Tuvok: There is no need to shift it. It is already there.

(Doc glares at Tuvok, then looks back at his work. And looks. And looks...)

Doc: Mr. Tuvok! I think I finally have it!

(Tuvok comes to see. He's silent for nearly a full minute.)

Tuvok: An unexpected solution, but with no apparent errors.

Doc: Exactly! I'm brilliant!

Tuvok: ...Yes.

Doc: We've got to tell the captain!

(The officers get up, only to find their progress blocked by a force field.)

Doc: Odd. I didn't turn this on. I'll pass through and --

Voice From the Shadows: Computer, deactivate EMH.

(The Doctor vanishes.)

Voice: Lock his program. Authorization code sigma 49.

Computer: Acknowledged.

Tuvok: Who are you?

Voice: You don't recognize me?

Tuvok: *raises eyebrow* You are in the shadows.

Voice: Oh, right, I forgot.

(The shadowy figure emerges...)

Janeway: Neelix suggested what?

Chakotay: Names. He thinks it's silly to keep calling them by their outfit colours, so he asked them to choose nicknames for themselves.

Janeway: He knows I don't want the crew getting attached...

Chakotay: I don't think you have anything to worry about. They chose "Seven A" through "Seven G".

Janeway: *chuckle* I see.

Chakotay: Needless to say, there's a "Seven C's" joke begging to be made. I've got Paris working on it.

Janeway: Good. Keep me posted.

(They turn the corner.)

Chakotay: Huh? There's a PADD on the floor.

Janeway: Someone must have dropped it.

(She picks it up and reads. Her eyes widen.)

Janeway: It's for you.

Chakotay: What?

(Janeway hands him the PADD.)

Chakotay: "Dearest Chakotay, I can no longer live without you. Come to my quarters at once. Seven. You know which one."

Janeway: Is there something you want to tell me, Commander?

Chakotay: *sigh* Chakotay to Seven of Nine. Did one of you leave a note for me to find?

Seven: (over the comm) No.

Chakotay: Good. Chakotay out.

Voice From Around the Corner: Stop DOING that!

Janeway: Neelix?

Neelix: ...Oops.

(Neelix sheepishly emerges.)

Chakotay: I take it you were hoping I would have a hunch about which Seven had sent the note, and go to their quarters to meet her?

Neelix: They're all in there. It would have triggered a legendary feud!

Chakotay: Neelix, I really don't get it. Why do you want these things to happen?

Neelix: Emotion and conflict are the heart of life! It's my job as morale officer to --

(Neelix pauses. Janeway is staring at the message on the PADD. Could her face be revealing just a hint of... jealousy?)

Neelix: -- You know, never mind. I think I'll stop here. It's been a complete success.

Chakotay: You and the Doctor need to learn what that phrase means.

Tuvok: (over the comm) Tuvok to Captain Janeway.

Janeway: *taps comm badge* Go ahead.

Tuvok: Please come to Sickbay immediately. I have detained an intruder whose identity will be of interest to you.

Janeway: On my way!

(She and Chakotay hurry to the turbolift.)

Neelix: *tagging along* Are there a lot of intruders who wouldn't interest you, Captain?

Chakotay: And why didn't he just tell us who it is?

Janeway: Let the man have his dramatic flourishes. They'll be useful next time he lectures us about logic.

(Janeway and company enter to find Tuvok holding the intruder at phaserpoint.)

Janeway: What the --? Seven?

Seven: Of course!

(It's Seven all right. This one's jumpsuit is black, but she's otherwise identical to the rest.)

Tuvok: She has admitted responsibility for the theft of important data regarding Seven's transporter accident. Moreover, she attempted to trap myself and the Doctor when she heard that a solution had been found.

Chakotay: You found a solution? Good work!

Tuvok: We. Yes. In addition --

Seven: I can speak for myself! Fine, it's all true! I stole the data, I set the force field, I locked the Doctor's program! It would have worked if, well...

Tuvok: She neglected to consider that my authorization level exceeds her own.

Seven: I don't get it! I've -- I mean, Seven has been hacking her own access codes into the computer for years!

Tuvok: I have been well aware, and have programmed countermeasures.

Janeway, Chakotay, and Neelix: Oooooo.

Neelix: But what about the Doctor? Did she lock him with some super-secret virus even you can't fix?

Tuvok: No. I have unlocked his program.

Neelix: ...So where is he?

(Tuvok gives Janeway a look that says "Do I have to?" She nods.)

Tuvok: Computer, reactivate Emergency Medical Holographic Program.

Doc: *appears* Please state the nature of the hey! What just happened?

(They fill him in.)

Doc: Hmph. Quite the little scheme you've been perpetrating, Seven. Tell us, which one are you?

Seven: None of them! I'm the outcast! The discard! The Pluto! I was left behind, and let me tell you, it was not rapturous!

Chakotay: An extra? We missed one?

Janeway: Easy enough to check. *taps comm badge* Janeway to Paris. This will sound strange, but we've found, er... a black Seven.

Paris: (over the comm) Clubs or spades?

(Janeway makes a mental note to pimp-slap him.)

Janeway: I need you to bring all the other Sevens to Sickbay right away. With a mess like this, I'm not settling for anything short of a hand recount.

Paris: But the Supreme Court --

Janeway: Just go!

(Tom arrives a few minutes later with the Sevens in tow.)

Paris: Here's 49, as ordered.

Chakotay: 49?

Janeway: *sigh* Seven sevens. This is not helping my heada--

Neelix: No good!

(Neelix shuffles the Sevens around until they're in prismatic order, then nods his approval.)

Janeway: "Thank you", Mr. Neelix.

Neelix: You're welcome.

Seven: *points at the new Seven* Captain, what is the meaning of this?

Janeway: That's what we're about to find out. Now let's see. Eins, zwei, drei, vier...

Paris: (to Chakotay) Why am I not surprised that she knows German?

Janeway: ...sechs, sieben. *looks at the black-suited one* Acht!

Chakotay: So it's true. She isn't one of the original seven.

Seven: I told you! Don't lump me in with these milquetoast wannabees!

Chakotay: You resent the other Sevens?

Seven: I hate them! I hate you all!

Doc: Oh. Oh. It all makes sense now.

Tuvok: *nod* We were remiss not to recognize the possibility sooner.

Seven: What possibility?

Tuvok: It is a well-documented fact that duplication-related accidents have a high probability of producing an evil twin.

(A collective "Ahhh" goes around the room.)

Chakotay: But she doesn't have a beard.

Tuvok: That feature is common, but by no means a requirement.

Seven: I'm not evil! I'm just... uh... big-boned.

Janeway: Then where have you been all this time?

Seven: In hell! Alone with my torm--

Chakotay: No, physically.

Seven: Watching from the shadows. This black suit was the perfect camouflage.

Doc: You spent four months in the shadows?

Seven: Yes! And it was hell, I tell you! Sneaking food was difficult! Showering was impossible! And I had some pretty damn close calls! Did you know there are invisible flesh-eating monsters that live in all the shadows of the universe? No you didn't!

Janeway: (to Chakotay) Remind me to ask the Doctor about that later.

Seven: All that time alone in the dark... and for what? What, I ask you? What? What? WHA--

Janeway: We have no idea! I was about to ask you!

Seven: Oh. Well, it's simple! Someone had to make sure you failed to fuse us back together!

Janeway: You don't want to be cured?

Seven: "Cured"? If you cure us, we die! Our souls will all be merged back into one, and our distinctiveness will vanish!

Tuvok: *raises eyebrow* Does your distinctiveness consist of more than dressing differently?

Neelix: Of course it does, Mr. Vulcan! I've been saying the same thing. The Sevens are developing their own unique personalities.

Seven: Do you understand now, Captain? We don't want to be forced back together. We would lose everything that makes us special. For better or worse, there are eight Seven of Nines in the universe now, each a fully formed human being. Re-combining us would be no better than letting the Borg assimilate us all over again.

(The room is silent as her words sink in.)

Janeway: (to the Sevens) Is that true?

Seven: No.

Seven: We are identical.

Seven: This situation is purely an inconvenience. We have no wish to prolong it.

Seven: And the Borg comparison is in no way discouraging.

Seven: *sigh* This is why I hate them.

Janeway: Mr. Tuvok, escort the intruder to the brig. Keep her in cuffs or whatever we use in the future. Doctor, this solution you found -- will it work for eight copies?

Doc: *groan* Not at all. It depended on the fact that seven is a prime number.

Seven: Eight is a cube. From a Borg perspective, it is preferable.

Janeway: *sigh* Thank you, Seven. You can go now. That goes for the rest of you as well.

Paris: Aye, Captain.

(He and Neelix leave with the Sevens. Doc returns to his office to get back to work. Janeway beckons her first officer over.)

Janeway: Chakotay, I don't know if you noticed, but the top four ranking officers were here for this conversation. That leaves...

Chakotay: Oh God, Harry's in command!

Janeway: Better get up there. One neutron star collision this month was plenty.

(He hurries out the door.)

Seven: Tuvix! Toooooooovix!

Janeway: Not remotely the same thing.

(Tuvok finishes cuffing the evil Seven and indicates the door to her.)

Seven: This isn't over, Janeway! It's just beginning! You think your brig can hold me?

Janeway: Yes.

Seven: You're probably right. But I don't need to get out! It'll take the Doctor months, maybe years to find a solution now! Plenty of time for me to make my case! I'll get the whole crew on my side!

Janeway: You think you're that persuasive?

Seven: With you bleeding-heart Federation types, I won't have to be! And while I'm doing that, the other Sevens will keep getting more and more different whether they want to or not! By the time you've got a new plan, they'll be distinct enough that everyone can see it, not just Neelix! You'll have no choice!

Janeway: We'll see about --

Seven: And I'll make your life a living hell! I'll bang on the bulkheads! I'll tell the Borg Queen where you are! I'll... would it bother you if I hit on Chakotay?

Janeway: A little.

Seven: Then I'll do it! Whatever it takes, I'll make you pay!

Janeway: (to Tuvok) Get her out of here.

Seven: *struggling vainly against him* And by the way, I left a little surprise for you in the computer!

(The door closes behind them. Janeway rubs her aching forehead. She's just about out of patience with this whole snafu. And she desperately needs her coffee.)

Janeway: Replicator, coffee. Black.

(It appears. She takes a sip.)

Janeway: Blech! Computer, what's this supposed to be?

Computer: Black decaffeinated coffee at a temperature of --

Janeway: DECAF?

Computer: Correct. This is the default variety of --

Janeway: No it's not! Must be some error in the system. Computer, make caffeinated coffee the default.

Computer: There is no such variety of coffee in the replicator database.

Janeway: What?

Computer: Please make an alternate selection.

Janeway: *slowly* Tea. Hot. I don't care what kind as long as it has caffeine.

Computer: There are no recipes for caffeinated tea in the replicator database.

Janeway: Raktajino.

Computer: Term not recognized.

Janeway: Hot chocolate! Space Pepsi! My personal program for "special" vodka! Make me anything in the database that has caffeine in it!

Computer: Working.

(She waits.)

Computer: Search complete. No results.

Janeway: *deadly silence*

Computer: Please make an alternate selection.

(Janeway stands staring at the replicator for a long, long time. Then she marches out of Sickbay. Crewmen duck out of the way as she passes.)

Doc: *emerging from his office* Stupid equations. I'm a doctor, not a computer algebra system. Well, I do have a subroutine for that, but --

(He stops cold. He's noticed the replicator.)

Doc: Did... did somebody melt this?

The next day
Chakotay: *entering Sickbay* Morning, Doctor. Any progress?

(No one's there. Chakotay looks around; no Doctor, but there's a patient sleeping on one biobed.)

Chakotay: Strange. I hadn't heard about any inju-- Seven?

(And not just any Seven. This one is wearing the basic gray catsuit that none of the duplicates have worn since the accident.)

Chakotay: What's going on here?

(Tuvok enters.)

Chakotay: Do you know what she's doing here, Tuvok?

Tuvok: No. But the transporter logs show unusual activity during the night, some of which was localized in Sickbay. I am here to investigate.

(Harry enters.)

Kim: Huh. Just one?

Chakotay: What do you mean, Ensign?

Kim: I went to the Sevens' quarters to see if any of them wanted to have breakfast with me. When they didn't answer, I asked the computer for their locations. All I got was "Sickbay."

(Neelix enters.)

Neelix: Good morning! Have any of you seen the Sevens? They didn't answer the message I sent.

Chakotay: We've got one here. No sign of the others.

(B'Elanna enters.)

Torres: All right, where's that orange bi--

Chakotay: Get in line.

(Everyone stares at the unconscious Seven in her once-familiar colour scheme.)

Tuvok: The Doctor's absence suggests that he suspended his program for the night.

Chakotay: Good point. Computer, activate EMH.

(The Doctor appears, yawning.)

Doc: Nothing like a good night's sleep. *notices everyone staring* What? You knew I made a subroutine for that.

Chakotay: *gestures at Seven*

Doc: What's wrong? Did she collapse?

Kim: We didn't bring her here, Doc.

Doc: But she wasn't here last night. And if she'd come alone needing help, she would have activated me. So how did --

Janeway: That would be my doing.

(Everyone turns. Captain Janeway has just entered.)

Chakotay: You brought her here? What for?

Janeway: She's just resting up from the re-combining process.

Neelix: Do... do you mean...

Janeway: That's right. I put the Sevens back together.

Doc: *jaw drops* You WHAT?

Janeway: It was fairly simple, all things considered. I should have looked at the problem for myself much sooner.

Doc: You? You MERGED them? YOU merged them?

Janeway: *glare* In case you've forgotten, science is my specialty. I've solved many a knotty problem in my day.

Doc: And you went through with it? Alone? Without even running any tests?

Janeway: You were "sleeping", and what can I say? I'm confident in my work.

(Seven stirs.)

Seven: Why am I in Sickbay?

Tuvok: The captain has successfully fused your various copies back together.

Seven: I do not remember --

Janeway: Oh, I beamed you all out in your sleep. It was easier that way.

Seven: Then there are no longer any other Sevens?

Janeway: Nope. They're all back inside you. Even the extra one, but don't worry, her evil was a side effect of the accident; it'll be gone now.

Kim: This is amazing! How do you feel, Seven?

Seven: Satisfactory.

Neelix: Nothing unusual?

Seven: Only a mild predilection for the colour indigo.

Janeway: Red, Seven. Your favourite colour is red.

Seven: But indigo...

Janeway: RED.

Doc: We'd better make sure, just in case. Mr. Tuvok, would you pass me a tricorder?

(He does.)

Doc: Medical trico-- oh, this is one. Never mind.

(The Doctor scans Seven carefully.)

Doc: Everything checks out. I have to hand it to you, Captain. You've really done it.

Neelix: Good job, Captain!

(Nods around the room.)

Tuvok: I look forward to seeing the equations you --

Janeway: Oh, I think I'll be keeping those to myself, Tuvok. Captains can have a secret or two, can't they?

Tuvok: *raises eyebrow* Very well.

Janeway: Now let's all get back to work. And Mr. Neelix, I think a celebration tonight would be in order.

Neelix: I'll get on it right away, Captain!

(Janeway leaves, with her officers still awe-struck. They start chatting with the now-unique Seven. All but one, that is...)

Chakotay: Kathryn!

(Janeway keeps walking. Chakotay catches up to her.)

Chakotay: What aren't you telling us?

Janeway: Nothing. Keep your voice down!

(He pulls her to one side of the corridor and lowers his voice.)

Chakotay: This doesn't add up. You would never go ahead with something this important without telling anyone.

Janeway: *shrug* Sometimes I tire of the committee approach.

Chakotay: And finding a cure in one night? You may be brilliant, but the Doctor's been working on this for months.

Janeway: I think you're underestimating just how brilliant I --

Chakotay: Do not squeeze a leola root over my head and tell me it's very slowly raining!


Chakotay: I don't think you solved a knotty problem. I think you cut a Gordian knot.

Janeway: What are you sugge--

Chakotay: Where are the other Sevens?

Janeway: I...

(Chakotay's cold stare shuts her down.)

Janeway: Oh, fine. You're right. Happy?

Chakotay: No!

Janeway: We had eight options. I picked one. Captain's prerogative.

Chakotay: I can't believe this!

Janeway: You're approaching insubordination again, mister.

Chakotay: Have you noticed I only do that when you approach fascism?

(Their glares lock. As always, Chakotay is the first to look away.)

Chakotay: So what did you do? Vaporize them? Give 'em the airlock?

Janeway: Don't be ridiculous. I don't kill my problems.

Chakotay: Then where are they?

Janeway: Picture a happy field full of grass and sunshine, where the Sevens can run around and graze all --

(Chakotay rolls his eyes.)

Janeway: Well, don't if you don't want to. But it's probably nicer to picture than where they really are.

Chakotay: "Probably"?

Janeway: See, I sort of left it up to them...

The Underused Characters' Tavern
Bouncer: I don't care how many of you there are now, you're not getting in here! I got in enough trouble last time! *slams door*

Seven: Great. Now what?

Seven: This is a frustrating situation.

Seven: Captain Janeway should at least have dropped us somewhere that was open to the public.

(The Sevens sit on the curb to think.)

Seven: Perhaps we missed something useful in the note.

(She holds up the note that was left with them: "Sorry about this. Good luck. - J")

Seven: Give me that! *crumples it up*

(Red Seven looks around.)

Seven: There are only seven of us.

Seven: Just noticing that now?

Seven: Which one is absent?

Seven: Indigo. I'm guessing she gets to be the reeeeeeal Seven.

(The other Sevens suppress the urge to mutter.)

Seven: She'd better at least seduce Chakotay or something. That would be poetic justice.

Seven: If Captain Janeway has chosen a "real" Seven, we may assume she will not be returning for us.

Seven: What are our options?

Seven: Oh, we have lots. One is to sit on this curb forever. Another is to try getting into the bar again, fail, and then sit on this curb forever. The future is wide open.

(Suddenly, the air shimmers. A man appears out of nowhere.)

Mickey Smith: Same as always. *notices the Sevens* Or not! Why are you identical babes just sitting on the curb?

Seven: Despite our recent duplication, we are not sufficiently "underused" to enter the tavern.

Mickey: So why don't you just go someplace else? You can exit into any fictional universe you want, y'know.

The Sevens: *blink*

Mickey: You did know that, right?

The Sevens: (in unison) Of course.

Mickey: Well, I'm headin' in. Sorry you can't come. The place is a lot more fun now that we're allowed to leave. *walks off muttering about what a ridiculous policy that was*

Seven: (to the others) Voyager?

Seven: Don't be stupid. She'll just kick us back out.

Seven: Then we should select a new reality in which to establish ourselves.

Seven: Suggestions?

(They think.)

Seven: Battlestar Galactica would be a poor choice. We would be executed as Cylons immediately.

Seven: Our enhanced abilities might fit in on Heroes.

Seven: There is already a case of identical blonde female characters. We would be a retread.

Seven: Torchwood is another possibility. The annual workload is light.

Seven: *snort* Sure, if that's what you're into.

Seven: Meaning?

Seven: We'd have to go gay. It's in the contract. Besides, have you seen their mortality rate?

Seven: If Mr. Paris were here, he would undoubtedly suggest Seventh Heaven.

Seven: Suggesting a pun someone else might make is no better than making it yourself.

(This goes on for a while.)

Seven: It appears unlikely we will reach a consensus.

Seven: Consensus is not strictly necessary. We are under no obligation to remain together.

Seven: Are you proposing some sort of... disbanding?

Seven: Wait!

(They look at her.)

Seven: It's obvious! Why bother adapting ourselves to some other series? Let's just make our own!

Seven: An intriguing idea, but new series are often cancelled early on.

Seven: No problem -- we just need a hook. Something controversial. Something ripped from the headlines. Something too big to fail!

Coming this fall to HBO....

Seven: All we want is to be accepted!

A challenging new drama of love and struggle....

Seven: How? How can I compete with them?

The series the censors don't want you to see....

Seven: Oh Frank, I know it's hard to keep us all satisfied, but we have needs!

Winning unanimous critical acclaim....

Seven: The septuple-marriage ban went through! What will become of us?

Seven: Damn that uptight 99.3% of the population!

Starring Sean Penn and a cadre of new breakout starlets....

Frank: *hangs up phone* That was my mom. She's coming this Friday.

Seven: Dammit, Frank, it's time to tell her the truth!

Frank: She'd never understand! Just figure out whose turn it is, all right?

Seven: We can't raise the kids this way! *sob*

Be here this fall for the biggest show of 2010: HOW I MET YOUR SEVEN MOTHERS.

Seven: I take it back. This was a terrible idea.

Seven: (Shh! Do not interfere. Our Golden Globe chances are excellent.)


Five-Minute Eureka 7
Kim: Hey, look, everybody! I found Seven! Here she is!
Janeway: We know.
Kim: But I, like... found her. See. Here.
Seven: Stop pointing at me.
Five-Minute Killer 7
Kim: GAK!
Seven: I told you to stop pointing at me.
Five-Minute Koi Koi 7
Tuvok: Seven of Nine, you are under arrest for the murder of Ensign Kim.
Janeway: He's fine now, by the way.
Seven: You'll never take me alive, copper! *ducks into the holodeck*
(They follow her in, only to find...)
Tuvok: Odd. There is nothing here except two koi ponds.
Janeway: She must be in one of them. Computer, remove the water.
Computer: Unable to comply due to today's malfunction.
Janeway: *sigh* Plan B, then. Get a straw.
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This story was originally published on January 7, 2010.

DISCLAIMER: No copying is intended. No copying is intended. No copying is intended. No copying is intended. No copying is intended. No copying is intended. No copying is intended.

All material © 2010, Colin Hayman.