By TíPam

Disclaimer: Voyager and all her crew belong to Paramount/Viacom. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit will be made, as this story is just for fun.

Rated PG-15

Part Nine

There were squeals of delight coming from Tomís quarters as Kathryn pressed his door chime.

"Come in," Tom called out and she entered to find him on the floor with one twin sitting on his stomach and the other sitting on his thighs. Isabelle was perched on his shins and all three were giggling in delight.

He grinned ruefully as he looked over to see her in the doorway. "Hi Captain. You caught me nicely. Weíre playing caterpillars."


"Yeah, Iím the caterpillar. Theyíre just along for the ride."

Harry, the twin perched on Tomís stomach, bounced up and down. "Catpillar," he yelled in excitement as Tom groaned.

"Have a heart. The Captainís watching."

"Catpillar, catpillar," the children chanted bouncing up and down.

"Donít let me stop you," Kathryn said with a smile.

"Okay, but this is the last time you kids. You have to go and play by yourselves then." Tom scrunched up and wiggled backwards as the children screeched and hung on for dear life. He wriggled a few more times before stopping. Carefully lifting each child off of him, he slowly stood up.

"Phew!" He wiped his brow and looked over at Kathryn with a grin. "Remind me to start going to some of Tuvokís fitness workouts."

She laughed as Isabelle came over for a hug. "I should have realized that youíd be babysitting when the computer said you were in your quarters." The twins decided to get in on the act as well and she soon found herself surrounded.

Tom sighed heavily and winked. "Itís my turn. Itís a tough job, but somebodyís got to do it."

"The childcare center should be up and running shortly. That should make things a little easier," she said straightening back up again and watching the twins take one of Isabelleís hands in each of their own and lead her over to a corner to play.

"Donít pull every toy out from the toy box," Tom told them with a laugh. He turned back to Kathryn. "Thereís no hurry. I kinda get a kick out of it and I know Chakotay and Seven do too."

She noticed that he did not mention BíElanna, so decided to test the waters. "I would think BíElanna would too."

Tom merely shrugged. "Probably."

"Ensign Newman has requested permission to run it. What do you think?"

"Sal? Sheíll be great. She even has some teaching experience and the kids love her."

Kathryn nodded. "Thatís what I thought. So how is everything, anyway?"

Tom looked at her in surprise. "Okay. Why?"

"I just wondered. Is everything all right between you and Seven?"

Tom actually frowned now. "Why do you ask?"

Kathryn hesitated. Hadnít she interfered enough? "She seemed a little troubled," she finally said.

Tom nodded. "Did she tell you why? Sheís been acting a little strange for a few weeks now. She wonít tell me whatís wrong."

"She didnít exactly tell me either. Maybe you should have a talk to her."

"Iíve tried, believe me."

"Sheís in astrometrics right now if you want to try again. Iíll watch the children."

"Thanks," Tom said distractedly. He squeezed her arm and was on his way.

She turned back to the children. ĎAnd that is the last time you interfere,í she told herself firmly. ĎFrom now on itís up to them.í

Seven watched him as he entered. "You are supposed to be babysitting," she commented.

"I was. The Captain is watching them for a few minutes." He noticed that her face had a closed look about it and he wondered what she was thinking.

"The Captain?"

"Yeah, she came to see me. Sheís worried about you and so am I."

"What did she say?" Sevenís voice was sharp.

"She said I should talk to you."

"The Captain should stop interfering. I will no longer confide in her."

"So there is something wrong. I knew it. What did you tell her?"

"I did not say I told her anything. I merely pointed out that she is no longer a person I would confide in. There is nothing wrong." Seven turned back to her console.

Tom sighed in exasperation. "I know thereís something wrong. Youíve been distant and almost cold to me at times over the past couple of weeks. Have I done something to upset you? Weíve always been completely honest with one another, so why wonít you tell me?"

"There is nothing to tell," Seven replied stubbornly.

Tom gently turned her around to face him. "Seven, please. Iím not going to go away until you talk to me. The way youíve been acting lately, this isnít you."

"On the contrary. It is me. The real me. I am Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of unimatrix zero one. That is who I will always be."

"What are you talking about?" Tom felt confusion overwhelming him. Sevenís eyes were full of tears as she gazed back at him.

"I can no longer be the person you wish me to be. I am what I am."

Tom shook his head to clear it. "What do you mean, the person I want you to be? I want you to be yourself."

"No. You and everyone else on this ship want me to be Annika Hansen. I cannot. The person I have been for over the past year does not exist. She is a pretense. I can no longer continue with that pretense. "

Tom swallowed hard. "What are you saying? You havenít been pretending. Youíve been growing, learning."

Seven shook her head vehemently. "It was a pretense. A wish to conform."

Tom watched her as she struggled to make herself understood. He couldnít believe what she was saying. Is this what had been troubling her?

"I see. I donít believe it."

"I am sorry Tom. I did not wish to hurt your feelings or I would have told you sooner."

"What made you suddenly decide this? Something must have happened."

She shook her head. "This is not a sudden realization. I have been struggling for some time to understand my feelings."

Tom frowned and stepped back. "I think youíre just confused. I know the real you."

Seven did not answer him and he ran his hands through his hair in dismay. "I wish youíd tell me what was really going on here."

"I have," she answered. "I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time dealing with it."

"How Iím dealing with it is irrelevant at the moment." Normally they would both have laughed at that. But not now. "I just want you to be yourself. I donít want you to conform or pretend."

"Thank you," she told him. "I appreciate your understanding."

Tomís thoughts were in a whirl, sure there was something more going on but not sure what. He left astrometrics in a daze and made his way back to his quarters. He could hear the children playing happily as he stepped inside. They hadnít even realized heíd been gone. He sank down on the couch and the Captain came and sat next to him.

"Did you manage to sort things out?"

"I found out what was wrong, but Sevenís not making a lot of sense." He shook his head to try and clear it.

"Is there anything I can do?"

"No thanks Captain. I think this is something she needs to work out for herself."

Janeway nodded and patted his arm. "Iíd better get back to the bridge before they finally notice that Iíve been playing hooky."

Tom nodded absently.

Over the next few days he tried to talk to Seven once more, but each time she refused to discuss the matter any further. She was growing more and more distant too. He didnít know how to handle the situation and fell back into his usual pattern of avoidance.

The days turned into weeks and then months and the situation progressively deteriorated. Seven spent all of her free time with Isabelle and avoided him as much as possible. They were slowly becoming nothing more than polite strangers going about their daily routine together. It saddened him whenever he looked back at that first happy year of their marriage.

The third anniversary of Harryís death came and Tom was pleased to find that he could cope. Chakotay had offered to come over that evening, but Tom had told him, no. It was the twinís birthday; he should be with them. Seven spent the evening in astrometrics and he spent the evening with Isabelle. She was going through the Ďterrible twosí and kept him more than occupied.

Their second wedding anniversary went by and although Seven did stay at home that evening, nothing had changed. Their warm, comfortable relationship was over.

As time passed Tom found the only thing that kept him going was Isabelle. He had begun to call the little girl Izzy, the name she had given herself when she was first learning to talk. His life revolved around her. She was his reason for living and he couldnít imagine life without her.

He and Seven were now strangers, living together. Isabelle was their common bond. And now he had forced the issue. Told Seven that they had to talk about what had happened between them.

They had been close once. He wished they could be again. That didnít seem possible under the circumstances.

He watched her as she sat in the chair across from where he lay, unaware that he had awoken.

Seven opened her eyes slowly and looked towards her husband. She enjoyed watching him while he slept. To her surprise he was already awake and staring at her through half closed eyes. "You are awake," she said unnecessarily.

Tom sat up with a sigh. "Yeah. I didnít want to disturb you. You seemed deep in thought."

"I was contemplating your message. The discussion you wish to conduct with me is unnecessary."

"No Seven. Itís very necessary. Weíve put it off far too long as it is. For Izzyís sake we have to try and sort out whatever it is thatís gone wrong with us."

"Your concern is unwarranted. Isabelle wondered why we do not act more like other couples. I explained to her that due to my Borg upbringing, I am incapable of acting in the way she stated. She understood."


"I beg your pardon?"

"That would have to be the biggest load of rubbish Iíve ever heard." Tom climbed out of bed and knelt down in front of her. "There was a time when you were affectionate to me. And youíre just as loving with Izzy as BíElanna is with the twins."

Seven stiffened at the sound of the hated name and Tom couldnít help but notice.

"What is it?"

"I must see to Isabelle. She will be awake at any moment."

"Weíll soon hear when Izzy wakes up. Let her sleep in. Thereís no hurry this morning."

Seven merely nodded and Tom stood up with a sigh and went and sat back down on the bed across from her.

"You donít like me mentioning BíElanna, do you?" he said finally.

Seven felt a little flustered. "You may mention whomever you wish."

"Except, whenever I say BíElannaís name, you go stiff as a board."

"You are exaggerating."

"Am I?"

Seven gave him her most baleful glare. "Yes."

"I know you and BíElanna donít get along." She willed herself not to stiffen as he spoke. He was watching her closely, ready to pounce on any reaction she made. "Hell, itís no secret. But most of the hostility used to come from her and now it seems to be you."

"That is - not true." She stood up abruptly. "This conversation is terminated."

Tom grabbed her arm as she attempted to leave the room. "Donít shut me out. Please. We used to be friends. Didnít we?"

Seven didnít answer. "I care a great deal about you," he continued. Seven pulled her arm free and shook her head, a small laugh escaping before she could control it.

"You find that funny? I thought we were friends. That we cared about each other." Tom look bewildered and a little hurt.

Seven shook her head once more. "You are correct. We were friends, but I took advantage of that friendship. I have been punished for that many times over." She felt a sudden inexplicable urge to giggle.

"Whatís that supposed to mean?" Tom demanded.

She clamped down on whatever it was that was happening inside of her. "The night Isabelle was conceived, I took advantage of the situation." The urge to laugh was growing stronger.

"Please Seven, donít start that again. I know youíve told me that before and itís simply not true. I took advantage of you. You would not have even known what you were doing."

"The Captain once told me that it would not have happened if we did not have feelings for each other."

Tom looked thoughtful. "She was probably right."

It was too much for Seven. She could feel the laughter bubbling up inside her, waiting for her to open her mouth, so that it could escape. A small chuckle sounded, and then another. Soon she could hold it back no longer, and great guffaws ensued. Even to her ears, it sounded rather hysterical.

Tears streamed down her face as she held her sides, small hiccoughs coming between breaths.

Tom, with a look of alarm hurried into the bathroom, returning with a damp cloth.

She was sobbing now, scared at her lack of control.

Tom helped her over to the bed and she lay down gratefully. He washed her face with the cloth and then laid it across her forehead, patting her hand gently. Soothing her softly, he told her how sorry he was. He hadnít meant to upset her.

"I apologize," she said softly, when she was finally able to speak.

"What is it?" Tom asked her urgently. "Please Seven. Tell me."

Seven shook her head, determined to regain some control. Her sub-conscious seemed to have a mind of itís own. "You called me BíElanna." She winced as she heard the words coming from her. They were soft; almost a whisper, and Tom had to lean forward to hear her.

"I did?" He sounded surprised. "Are you sure? I think you must have misheard."

Seven took the washcloth from her forehead and sat up slowly. "I let you believe I was BíElanna."

She knew she wasnít making much sense and Tom was looking at her in total confusion. "What are you talking about? When?" he asked her.

"The first time that we made love. When Isabelle was conceived." Finally, sheíd told him. Her secret was now out in the open. Only she didnít feel any better for saying it.

"The first time---." Tomís voice faltered and he dropped her hand.

"Yes," she answered. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up carefully. "You begged me to stay with you. You pleaded with me and said that you loved me. Would always love me. And then you called me BíElanna."

Tom was as pale as a ghost. "I - I donít remember. I donít remember anything about that night. All I have is blurred images." He sat down in the armchair as if his legs would no longer hold him.

"I let you believe that I was BíElanna and we made love. I had been attracted to you for some time. I had even fantasized about what it would be like to be held in your arms. I wanted it to happen. I encouraged you. I did not even think about conceiving and when I found out I was pregnant I was afraid to tell you the truth in case you hated me. My attraction for you had grown stronger. I did not realize it at the time, but I was in love with you."

Tom sat looking at her, his face still pale, unable to say anything.

"I married you knowing that you were still in love with BíElanna, but believing that one day you would fall in love with me," she continued, determined to tell him everything. "When I realized that I loved you, I talked myself into believing that you were falling in love with me. But then I heard you and BíElanna talking one day. I found that you still loved her, even after more than three years, and she pitied me for loving you, as you could not return my feelings."

Tom started to say something, but she shook her head. "Please let me finish telling you this first. It is difficult, and I need to say it now, while I am still able."

Tom nodded, so she continued. "I did not understand until I heard you talking to her that day, the true depth of your feelings for BíElanna. You have no control over it. I understand that now and have suffered greatly because of it. I found I was angry and embarrassed whenever I was near BíElanna. I realized that you had never lied to me; I had merely chosen not to see the truth. I could not bear the thought of being without you, so I told myself that I would continue on as if nothing had happened. However, I found that it became more and more difficult to pretend. Being near you was so painful that I put a barrier between us. I did not want to be hurt again."

Tom had tears in his eyes as he looked at her. "Oh Seven. How I must have hurt you."

She closed her eyes briefly. "Do not pity me. I am suffering because of my own deception. If I had not let you believe that I was BíElanna that night, I would not be suffering now. I do not deserve your sympathy."

Tom stood up and went over to her. "Donít torture yourself like this. I truly donít remember what happened that night, but thereís one thing for certain. I must have known you werenít BíElanna. You are nothing alike. I must have known it was you. I must have wanted it to happen too. And I have never regretted it. It brought us Izzy and I canít imagine my life without her."

"Nor can I, but that does not make what I did right."

"Seven, I donít believe you did anything wrong. You gave in to your feelings and that just proves how human you are. I, on the other hand, have done something terrible - unforgivable. You should hate me. I used you. Just because I wasnít aware of my actions at the time, is no excuse. I couldnít have BíElanna so I used you instead. And then I had the audacity to marry you, telling you that I would never feel for anyone the way I had for BíElanna. I never even gave myself a chance to. I kept myself wallowing in the past. I canít believe how selfish I was."

Seven watched the emotions playing across his face, the deep shame that was in his eyes, and nodded sadly. "We have both been selfish. You are being too hard on yourself, however. I will never believe that you used me."

Tom took her hand in his. "Iím sorry for all the pain I must have put you through," he said softly.

"I have caused you pain also," she replied. "I know my withdrawal from you has hurt and saddened you terribly."

Tom nodded. "We really made a mess of things, didnít we? The question is; what do we do about it?"

"I am not sure," she answered. "Things will be even more awkward between us, now that you know of my true feelings. I could not bear your pity."

"I wonít pity you. Iím honored that you feel that way and deeply grateful. I wish I could return those feelings to you. You deserve to be loved in the same way. I do love you though, Seven. Never doubt that. Can it be enough? I would give anything to have that first year of our marriage back."

Seven gently stroked his face. She knew that it would have to be enough, as she could never leave him. She stepped into his arms and sighed deeply as he held her close. It felt right and it felt so good.

Their kisses started out gentle and sweet but soon turned hungry and demanding. Almost in a fever of passion she felt Tom lower her onto the bed and lay on top of her. The kiss deepened.

A noise, that she couldnít quite understand, slowly drifted into her consciousness. It was clapping, and she stiffened, tearing her lips from Tomís and quickly gazing over at the doorway. Tom froze as well and followed her gaze.

Isabelle stood in the doorway, beaming in delight and clapping her hands madly. "Now I know what privaty is. I knew you were just like other Mummy and Daddies, I just knew it."

She trotted over and climbed up onto the bed next to them. "You donít hafta stop. Iíll just watch."

Tom let out a hoarse laugh and buried his face in Sevenís neck. "Thatís your daughter," he managed to say between chuckles.

"On the contrary," she retorted. "That is definitely your daughter."

Tom then turned to Isabelle. "Izzy, maybe you should go and get dressed."

"Okay," the little girl smiled. She climbed down from the bed. "You hafta come and help me."

"Um - not right now. I think Iíll just stay here for a while. Mummy will help you, wonít you Mummy?"

Seven laughed the bright tinkly laugh she had not uttered for so long. "She did ask you."

"There is no way Iím standing up at this particular moment. I canít even imagine the Ďconsersationí that would start."

Seven laughed even harder as she climbed off the bed as well. Tom lay on his stomach smiling at her as she laughed once again at his Ďpredicamentí. "We shall continue our discussion once Isabelle has gone to childcare," she said, taking Isabelleís hand and leading her out of the room.

She heard Tom say, "in the meantime, I think Iíll have a shower. A cold shower."

She couldnít help another chuckle and looked down to see Isabelle watching her strangely. "I didnít know you could laugh, Mummy."

"I forgot how to," she told the little girl. "Now - I remember."

Chakotay watched BíElanna as she quietly put the twins toys away. They were tucked in bed and sound asleep after a long tiring day. Their birthday party had been noisy and crowded and he had been surprised to see so many people there. After all, there were only four other children on Voyager and one of them was still a baby.

Everyone, it seemed, had called by. The biggest surprise had been Tom and Seven. Not that he hadnít expected them, of course, but they had been together and holding hands. Knowing that today was also the anniversary of Harryís death, he had been pleased to see Tom looking so good.

He smiled at the memory. They had seemed happy and completely involved with one another. He wondered what had happened. He had known that Tom wanted to talk things over with Seven. The pilot had come to him a few days ago and asked for some time off. It seemed that they had worked their problems out. He was glad and he knew the Captain would be too.

He found he was also wondering about his wifeís silence. He had been hardly able to get two words out of her.

"BíElanna," he called, as he saw her put the last of the toys away. "Come and sit down. You deserve a rest."

She came over and sat down next to him, snuggling up and sighing heavily. "Youíre awfully quiet," he finally said, when her silence continued.

"Iím sorry. I guess Iíve just been thinking."

"About Tom?"

She looked up at him in surprise. "Tom? No. What made you think that?"

"He and Seven seemed so happy today. I thought it might have disturbed you."

"Disturbed me? I truly want Tom and Seven to work things out. I want to see him happy and I think Seven may be the key, if heíd just let it happen."

"Oh, Iím glad that youíre not upset."

"Chakotay, I wish youíd stop trying to read things into everything all the time. Canít you accept that I love you, not Tom?"

"I do. I know you love me."

"Tom is no longer in love with me either, if it comes to that."

"What makes you say that? Because they looked so good together today?"

"No. I just know it. Iíve known it for a while actually."

"I see. Is that why you seem so sad when you look at him?"

"Chakotay, youíre doing it again," she said in exasperation. "I miss him. I miss our friendship. His jokes and teasing and all the fun we had together. I wish it could be like that between us again. I hate it that everythingís so awkward and formal between us. But itís you that I love. You that I want to spend the rest of my life with. It will only ever be you. I wish you would believe that."

Chakotay pulled her into his arms. "Iím sorry for doubting you. I know what you mean about Tomís friendship. I now think of him as one of my best friends and I would certainly miss that if we could no longer be friends. I think I finally understand, and Iím so sorry for not understanding sooner. I love you so much. Iíve been an insecure fool."

"I wonít argue with you," she teased, kissing him gently. "But I think Iíll be able to forgive you." She kissed him once more and growled in his ear.

Chakotay laughed. "Before I forget. What were you thinking about then, if it wasnít Tom?"

She growled once more and straddled his lap. "I was thinking it might be time to give the boys a little brother or sister. What do you think?"

"I think thatís a great idea. How about we start right now?"

Kathryn watched her two protégés over the next few weeks with a mixture of happiness and concern. That their relationship had changed was obvious to everyone. They were demonstrative and affectionate towards each other and Seven was not so Ďborgyí, as Naomi put it. She smiled and laughed quite often and Tom was the perfect husband. He showered her with love and attention and would do anything for her.

Isabelle had stayed with her the night of Tom and Sevenís third wedding anniversary. They had had big plans for the evening and she had been more than happy to have the little girl. They had been eating dinner, Isabelle chattering away happily and she listening fondly, when she had almost choked on a mouth full of food when the little girl had announced, "Mummy and Daddy do fings in privaty and Iím not aspost to watch."

She had taken a large sip of water before answering. "Really?" She had hesitated. "You donít watch, do you?" Isabelle had shaken her head until her curls bobbed around. "Thatís privaty and privaty means when no one else is there. I hafta knock if the door is shut."

"Well thatís a very good idea," she had said faintly, wondering if Seven and Tom knew what their small daughter was revealing to others.

"Iím just so happy," the little girl had continued. "Mummy and Daddy are just like other Mummy and Daddies. Kolo and Harry said that they werenít. I was gonna punch both their noses, but Naomi said Iíd get in trouble."

"Naomi was right." She had found she had had to have another sip of water. "Violence is never a good idea."

Isabelle had sighed. "Daddy said that they would probly punchedted me back and that woulda hurt."

She had taken another sip of water. "Very true."

"He said that they didnít unerstand about Mummy."

"Your Daddy was right."

Isabelle had nodded. "Itís cause she was Borg, and she forgot how to laugh. But now sheís remembered and Iím so glad."

Kathryn had smiled at the earnest little face looking at her. "Iím glad too."

She was still worried however. There was something not quite right in the relationship. To an outsider they appeared to be completely happy, but she could sense that although they were definitely happier than they used to be, there was still something wrong. There seemed to be a depth of pain in Sevenís eyes at times, and Tom also seemed to be trying to hide something. He looked almost guilty sometimes and would try to cover this by lavishing even more attention on Seven.

Kathryn wished she could speak to the both of them, but as neither of them had come to talk to her, she had promised herself she would not interfere. That did not stop her from worrying about the two of them, however.

Her concern increased a few weeks later when BíElanna announced to everyone that she and Chakotay were expecting again. She was four weeks pregnant and it was a little girl.

They were in the briefing room, having just finished their normal staff meeting and her gaze had flown immediately to Tom. She had noticed that Seven was also watching him.

He seemed unaware of their scrutiny, his face registering surprise as he looked at both Chakotay and BíElanna. He had then got up from his seat and gone around to shake Chakotayís hand, talking to him quietly.

Whatever he said, she did not hear, but it made the Commander laugh and give him a little push.

Tom then went to BíElanna, who had just extricated herself from one of Neelixís enthusiastic hugs.

"Congratulations," he said to her, holding out his hand.

BíElanna had looked at him hesitantly for an instant, and then taken his hand. "Thank you," she said softly. "That means a lot to me."

Tom nodded and stepped back out of the way as everyone crowded around her.

Kathryn watched as Seven offered the couple her congratulations and went over to stand next to Tom. He took her hand in his and squeezed it gently. They then left.

Tom was very quiet as they made their way through the ship, she to astrometrics and he to the holodeck. He was running flight simulations for the rest of the pilots. Although none of them would ever have his feel for the controls, some of the other pilots were very good. Tom seemed to spend a lot of time away from the conn these days, so it was a relief that there were others who could be counted on in a crisis.

Seven watched him as they entered the turbolift. "Deck ten," she instructed.

"Holodeck two," Tom mumbled, his mind far away.

"You are upset," Seven accused.

Tom looked up from his study of the floor. "Iím sorry, what did you say?"

"I commented that you seemed upset."

"I do? No, Iím not upset." He didnít pretend not to know what she meant. "I feel the exact opposite, actually. Iím happy for them. I was just thinking about the fact that IĎm not upset and was trying to work out what that meant."

"You are no longer in love with BíElanna?"

Tom shook his head. "I donít think Iíve been in love with her for a long time, I was just too pigheaded to realize it."

Seven took his hand once more. "Iím glad," she said simply.

Tom smiled, but then frowned. "I donít want to mislead you Seven. I love you, but----."

"You are not in love with me," she interrupted. "I know. It does not matter. This is enough."

"Are you sure? Sometimes I feel so bad about all this. You deserve so much more."

The turbolift stopped at her deck and she leant over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, before stepping out. "I am very sure."

Making her way down the hall to astrometrics, the smile left her face immediately. She found herself wishing that Tom were not quite so brutally honest with her. It hurt to love him the way she did, and for him not to feel the same way about her. She sighed as she realized that she did not want him to lie to her either. She knew that he felt guilty for not being able to return her feelings and did everything he could to try to make it up to her. That, somehow, hurt even more.

She didnít really know what she could do about the situation either. They were stuck in a viscous circle. He saw the pain in her eyes and was immediately racked with guilt, which caused her more pain. She could not bear the thought of life without him and so was determined to make the most of the good times they shared. And they were good. She no longer had to worry about hiding her emotions and life was so much better than it had been before.

Seven entered astrometrics and quickly set to work. She had picked up an area of space on their long-range sensors, the day before, that she could not interpret. They were still more than five days away from the area but she didnít want any sudden surprises. Working as efficiently as she could, she attempted to learn a little more about the mysterious space ahead.

End Part Nine