This story is actually a sequel to a story that I have not completed in a usable form yet. So a lot of references are to this previous adventure. The main character here is the daughter of the main character of the previous story. In time I may have a workable story that I can present here if there is enough interest for it. Because of this, I am open to questions and constructive criticisms. If I need to append this work so that it is more understandable, I will do so. There is a new class of ship that I have created in keeping with this story and I will post and appendix with details about it when the time is appropriate. In the meantime, please enjoy this story and I will hopefully be able to post further parts as time goes by.
It has been nineteen months since his death. Nineteen months of rescuing the people freed from the Borg collective. Hundreds of thousands have already found their way home with our help. Yet there are hundreds of thousands more out there still. It was a daunting task and some days it overwhelmed her. How could I hope to rescue a fraction of them, much less all of them, Seven asked herself repeatedly. And every time she did ask, his face would appear in her minds eye and smile at her the way he did when it was just for her. And he would tell her, you have saved so many already, I know you can bring them home. She missed him terribly, so terribly.
What she didn't expect, shortly after his death, that she would be quite busy with another miracle as she saw it. She had been pregnant. When the doctor told her that, she just sat there, stunned. After a long moment, stoically, quietly, she wept, unconsciously holding her abdomen with her hand. That's when the doctor shocked her again. It turned out that the nature of her pregnancy would be different and very dangerous. Whatever Borg heritage she kept was playing a large part of what was happening. An even larger part was due to, not only Hanlen's DNA, but his Borg nanites as well. The tests revealed that she had become something akin to a Borg maturation chamber. The pregnancy would be sped up and development of the child would be concentrated in time. What would naturally have taken nine months, her pregnancy was two.
The doctors were right and it was a difficult time for her and the child. She spent a lot of time in the Starfleet research hospital. The medical community were stunned at the nature of the process and many things they couldn't explain and even her knowledge of Borg technology was inadequate to explanation. However, after two months, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. In that moment she was remembering the things Hanlen showed her through his telepathy and the way only he could see them as a way to get her through the ordeal. In that moment she was seeing a star in nova in all its glory and the beauty of it as seen by him. Then she saw her child and that beauty paled to this wonderful gift. So she named her Nova Hanlen.
But, that wasn't the end. Whatever happened in the combination of her DNA and his, her nanites and his, it was still at work. In a month, the newborn was a toddler, up and walking. The maturation process was still in effect, even though what she, or anyone else, knew it was impossible without outside help. Federation scientists kept a close eye on things and Seven was protective of her child. They wanted to do all kinds of experiments but, she wouldn't have it. She agreed to some tests that were not invasive and the results were stunning. She was perfectly healthy and well on her way to becoming a well developed human.
Seven half expected that Nova would inherit her fathers genetic mutation. Yet, she had the most intense, striking green eyes and jet black hair. Well, once she had hair of course. According to the medical examinations, she was a normal child with no mutations. She could see just as any normal human could. The doctors did discover that her biological make-up was heavily infused with Borg nanites. Yet she appeared normal, no pale skin, no implants, no irritation from said implants. Whenever Seven looked at her in wonder, Nova would look back at her and smile. Seven swore it was a knowing smile too.
Within a few months it became readily apparent that her mental capacity was also sped up along with her physical. It was confirmed that Nova's intelligence was rated very high at all stages of development. It was expected that because of the accelerated development that she would develop psychological problems related to lack of time for that development. Yet, she didn't. She was still a normal child three or four times her actual age. In fact, she was on par with the children who were that age. As time went by though, Seven noticed something about her that was different.
She was out walking with Nova. She appeared to be about five years old (she was actually 10 months) and they walked past Hanlens memorial. It was a bronze statue that was forty metres tall. It featured Hanlen standing atop a model of his Borg cube that he personally commanded during a massive attack on the Federation a few years ago. He had his right fore-arm held out, palm up with a hologram of the seal of the United Federation of Planets floating above it. When Nova first saw that statue, she pointed at it and said "Daddy". Seven had to stop, she hadn't had time to show her what her father looked like yet. There she was, beaming up at the statue and Seven had no idea how Nova knew that was her father.
"Nova," Seven said, with a catch in her throat.
Nova looked back at Seven, "Yes Mommy?"
"How-" damn it, why did her eyes have to burn with these tears she didn't want to shed, "How do you know that was your father?"
She shrugged, "I just do."
Seven stared at her a moment, looked at the statue then back at Nova.
She patted Sevens hand that held hers, "It's okay Mommy, he was a hero."
Seven could only stare for a moment. She blinked, "Yes he was Nova."
That shook her to the core. It appeared that Nova had information that no one had imparted to her yet. At least not that she knew of, yet Seven was always with her so how could she have known? Maybe there was a transfer of information through the nanites. But that would mean she would have to have been connected to the collective to get it. But the collective didn't exist anymore. Could she have gotten the information from Seven somehow? She didn't know. What she knew of the Borg and it's collective memories was imparted to her through her link to that collective. There wasn't a link to her daughter, she didn't hear Nova's voice in her head. Something else must be going on here.
Another indication that there was something more to Nova occurred four months later. At this time she appeared to be eight years old. Seven had been going over her notes of the latest batch of freed Borg when she heard Nova crying. Nothing overly dramatic, just some soft sobbing. She went to find Nova and find what was wrong. She found Nova at her desk in her room. Seven flicked her eyes at the holo-screen that Nova was watching. Surprisingly it had the interview that Richard had shortly after he returned from being tortured and he became a Borg. Nova looked at her mother when she paused at her doorway.
Tears were streaming down her face, "Why did they do that to him Mommy?" she said breathlessly.
Seven immediately went to her and gathered Nova in her arms.
"I don't know honey. They wanted some information from him or they wanted to make him do what they wanted. I don't know."
"Daddy said some terrible things, what they did to him. They.. They- Oh Mommy, it was horrible." she began sobbing again.
Seven looked at the paused recording and looked at his image. He looked terrible, she saw the demons behind his black eyes. The horrible pain that was inflicted on him. That darkness that nearly consumed him stared back at her through that recording. She flicked her eyes to the information stamp in the upper left corner. She had to take her eyes off him, it was too frightening to see at that moment.
That's when she noticed the header: 'Top Secret: eyes only or better. Level fourteen security clearance or better to view this file.'
Seven's eyes widened in fear. They'll know she's accessed this file, they'll be here any minute.
Gently, Seven held Nova out at arms length so she could look at her, "Honey, this file is highly classified. You're not supposed to be looking at it. How did you get access to it?"
Nova sniffed and visibly got herself under control once she realized her mother was afraid, "Oh, don't worry Mommy, I made sure they wouldn't know I saw it."
"But they have all kinds of security on these files. You'd have to be more than a master hacker to get around them."
"I know Mommy." she smiled reassuringly.
She stared at Nova for a moment, glanced at the recording, "But you've barely started school and-"
"It's okay Mommy. I know what I am doing." she turned around and worked the holo-screen and the recording winked out and she shut down the unit.
Nova turned back to her mother and smiled. Seven was struck by how much she looked like her father whenever he smiled at her like that. It was usually his way of telling her to trust him when she wasn't sure what he was doing was going to work at all.
Seven realized she was still bracing herself for the inevitable invasion of security forces into her home. She saw that smile and relaxed despite herself.
"All right honey, just... don't do it again. Please. I don't want you to get into trouble."
"Okay, I'll be good." her smile slowly disappeared as she remembered what she had watched, "It still wasn't right what they did to him Mommy."
"I know sweetie, I know." Seven hugged Nova again.