Alathea soared through the air, smacked into her last opponent, and stuck the landing with ninja-like precision.
“Wow, that was amazing!” Chakotay exclaimed.
She spun around to face him. “I didn’t even hear you enter.”
“You were kind of in the zone. So, I’ve got a mission for you. Tuvok mentioned you’re trained to be like a human computer or something, right?”
“That’s right, Menthat training. I got that training in one of my last lives,” Alathea replied. She walked over to Chakotay, letting her muscles unwind. She loved these holodeck workouts; they pushed her to the limit with no actual risk.
Chakotay passed her a tablet. “Here’s the sensor data from both Voyager and Neelix’s ship. Could you give it a once-over and see if anything stands out?”
Alathea nodded. “Absolutely.”
“Also, see if you can pull data from Voyager’s logs,” Chakotay added.
Alathea raised an eyebrow. “Anything in particular I should be on the lookout for?”
Chakotay gave a solemn nod. “I need to figure out what the Captain’s plan is with that catapult.”
Alathea’s eyes widened. “Got it.”
Chakotay gave a nod and exited the holodeck, leaving Alathea to her work. It was definitely the first time someone from the Voyager crew had asked her for such help. She sat down on the floor, legs crossed, and dived into the data. Her Menthat skills came in handy, and it didn’t take her too long to absorb the information.
It had taken Alathea the entire day to soak in all the Voyager log data, and she didn’t mind giving herself a well-deserved break before diving into the analysis. She took a sip of the Sapho juice she had replicated from the small sample she had on her tiny ship. Soon, she’d need to enter a trance for deeper analysis.
A soft chime at the door interrupted her. “Yes?” she called out.
The door swung open, revealing the Captain. “Good morning, Alathea. I have a task for you,” she greeted.
“Sure, Captain. What do you need?” Alathea replied.
Captain tossed a pad onto her table. “You mentioned your training from the Empire enables you to function like a human computer. I have some data here that I’d like you to analyze.”
Suppressing a giggle, Alathea took the pad. It was the same data Chakotay had given her yesterday. “Just this data, or is there more to come?” she inquired.
“The Voyager logs and commanding officers official logs. Pay attention to any malignant intentions.”
“Any particular person I should consider?”
Captain paused for a moment. “No specific individuals, please. I want an unbiased analysis, so don’t let any names sway your judgment.”
Alathea nodded in understanding. “I’ll get to work, and you can expect my findings in about three hours.”
Captain nodded and hurried out of Alathea’s quarters, leaving her with an intriguing puzzle. It was curious that both of them had requested the same task. Alathea walked over to her computer, delving into the officers’ logs, and then retraced the steps of both the Captain and Chakotay a few hours before they asked her for the analysis. What caught her eye was that both of them had recently interacted with Seven.
A quick search revealed that Seven had made some unusual modifications to her alcove, granting her access to an excessive amount of data during her sleep cycle.
Alathea blinked, took a deep breath, and prepared to enter a Menthat trance.
Sitting cross-legged on the cargo room floor, Alathea patiently awaited the arrival of both the Captain and Chakotay. The door slid open, and one by one, they entered.
“Hello,” she greeted them. “If you’re wondering why you’re both here, it’s because you both asked me to analyze the same data but with a focus on discovering malignant intentions from one another. Let me start by saying that neither of you conspired against the other. After reviewing the data you provided, the sequence of events doesn’t indicate any connection to the current catapult or anything else. However, there is a link to what Seven has been up to.”
Captain and Chakotay exchanged glances, “This is interesting. What about Seven?”
Alathea rose from her seated position. “During my menthat training, they used to terrify us with horror stories of people who attempted massive data analysis and failed. It’s a common human tendency to see connections where there aren’t any, and that’s one of the big challenges we menthats face when performing such tasks. The other hurdle is the tremendous energy requirement for the brain.” She picked up a bottle of the ruby-red liquid. “But Sapho juice takes care of that. However, the bulk of menthat training revolves around teaching us how to handle vast volumes of data and, most importantly, how to avoid falling into the trap of spotting connections that aren’t real.”
Alathea took a sip of Sapho juice. “Seven didn’t receive any training like ours before immersing herself in that sea of data. What she shared with you is likely the delusions of a failed menthat. Let me reiterate, none of you have any secret schemes.”
Captain and Chakotay both shook their heads, relief spreading across their faces.
“Can you assist Seven?” Captain inquired.
Alathea nodded. “In theory, yes. She’d need to shut down her wild data machine for a while and undergo basic menthat training to get her on the right track.”
Alathea nodded at Captain and Doctor as she left the medbay and turned her attention to the Borg. Seven glanced at her, appearing curious.
“The Captain told me that you can teach me how to manage increased data flow,” Seven stated.
“Yes,” Alathea replied. “I’ve undergone similar training in one of my past lives, and I can help you with it.”
Seven nodded and cast her eyes downward. Alathea couldn’t help but feel a lump in her throat. Seven appeared so human in that moment, her body language betraying the telltale signs of a defeated human, surrendering to the inevitable.
Alathea couldn’t help but reflect on how, in the Empire, nobody seemed to truly understand the people captured by the Borg for what they were—victims. Instead, they viewed the Borg as mere machines, a curse to be eradicated. But to Alathea, at this moment, Seven was undeniably human, and she couldn’t ignore that fact.
“Seven, you and I have something in common. We were both taken from the only place and society we knew and thrust into Voyager without any preparation. We should support each other, learn, and grow together in this new world,” Alathea suggested.
Seven raised her head and locked eyes with Alathea. “Yes, we need to be valuable members of this crew. I’m more than willing to learn your techniques.”
Alathea smiled. “And I’m sure there are things you can teach me in return.”