The Blue Flower Of Freedom
A story about Kes
Will she overcome her greatest challenge?
(This is the sequel to the story Gateway to the Garden of Eden)
© Kes Website 2015 (the author is known
to the owner of this website)
This story can be downloaded and read by Kes fans and fans of Star Trek Voyager. But further spreading and selling of this material is prohibited without the permission of the owner of this website.
Star Trek Voyager and its characters are registered trademarks of Paramount Pictures.
The characters of the Lynx-crew were created by the imagination of the author J.R. Olson and have their pre-histories in his tales: Coming home, Strange dreams and Kes vacation.
Kes looked at the small monitor on the left.
It showed the picture taken by the rearward optical instruments of Voyager, a
radiant star, flanked by several small, bright spots. One of them was her old
home world Ocampa.
The farewell had been hard, especially to Veratis, the one year old Ocampan girl, for who she felt as for a younger sister. She would have liked to come along with Kes, was curious and adventurous as she was, when she had left so many years ago with Voyager for the journey of her lifetime.
Kes had decided to return with her friends to her new home on New Carlisle. Her nation she knew safe, guarded by a powerful protector, stronger than the Caretaker had been in his time. Nevertheless, she wished to visit her people again soon, but there was no other ship existing, which could have made it possible. Starfleet probably would not hand over Voyager again for a trip to the Delta-Quadrant. A little hope she had left. Novak was staying with Seven Of Nine and Sonny Saxon at the engineering of Voyager, to observe the Coaxial-Quantum-Slipstream-Drive in action. There was quite a chance that her friends would consider to equip with such a device their own ship, the Lynx.
"Mr. Tuvok, enable the deflector and open a portal!" She heard Captain Chakotay say. A violet beam lit up the space on the large main screen of the Voyager bridge, then in a flash of light opened a translucent, tunnel-like structure, which branched out to all sides. A huge jolt ran through the ship, as it shot into the slipstream. Kes had to cling to her seat and nearly gave a shove to Admiral Janeway, who sat beside her. Tom Paris had a firm grip on the rudder stick, put it to the right, to the left, pushed it to the front and pulled it back towards him, steered to the left, turned left again, then right.
All of a sudden green lightnings flashed on the large monitor. Voyager was shaking even more than she had done it on her wild ride before. Sparks flew from Harry Kim's console. "Something's wrong here!" Paris shouted, "I cannot keep her in the slipstream!" The vibrations suddenly stopped and there was silence. Kim, who had been thrown to the back by the electrical discharge, returned to his place. "Report!" said Chakotay. "Minimal damage throughout the ship, no casualties," Harry reported after a while. "What happened, where are we?" asked Admiral Janeway. On the main screen the star studded black space was seen. "Definitely not where we wanted to go," said Tom. "We still find ourselves in the Delta-Quadrant," Tuvok spoke up, "I am going to ascertain our exact location."
"A ship is approaching, it shows a Borg signature!" Harry Kim reported tensely. "Red alert! maximum shields, vary their frequency for a random pattern," ordered Chakotay. On the monitor a sphere of anthracite color with rough surface structures showed, which grew quickly. "We are being scanned," said Harry, "they're permeating our shields!"
A blinding green light flooded the bridge of Voyager. When it went out after a short time, Kathryn Janeway looked beside her. Kes' place was empty.
"Engineering to bridge!" Sonny Saxons voice rang out excitedly over the loudspeaker, "What the hell was that? Down here almost everything failed, and Novak has disappeared!"
"They are permeating our shields!" Kes had
heard Harry Kim say, then she was wrapped by a blinding green light and it felt
as if a giant hand would grab her and tear her from the bridge of Voyager.
Now she stood in this room, from which she could not tell how big it was. A dim light filled it, the air was hazy and smelled of running machines and hot conduits, similar to the atmosphere in the engineering of Voyager.
In mist the outlines of a female figure emerged, which walked toward her. First, Kes noted that the woman was wearing a kind of skintight, black armor, only head and shoulders were unprotected. Her skin shone oily in greenish light, letting affect the shape of her bald head virtually skull-like. Instead of hair, thick cables grew out from the back of her head. Dark, almost black eyes fixed Kes and gave her a cold shiver running down the spine.
"Sincerely welcome," said the woman. Never before, Kes had heard these friendly words pronounced with an accent so profoundly malicious. "You little, pesky, unworthy beast," the Borg continued, "ally of our most detestable foe! In everything you did or were hoping for, you now utterly have failed, because you, yourself it will be, to lead your own people into the collective. We will add your abilities to ours and shape them according to our needs, so that they serve a higher goal. Ocampa your imperfect, stupid little creatures who know nothing but to live from what drops from others tables, or what the dust under your feet offers you as food, neglecting your mental powers until they waste away or turn against yourselves. To us they will serve to perfection. Once we have assimilated them, nothing will stop us. Our mind will be filling the galaxy and then the entire universe, all times and all spaces. The chaos will come to an end. A single will shall be, and trillions will let one voice to be heard. We are Borg! We shall recreate the world from the beginning.
"Never!" Kes said in a loud, firm voice. In her simple gray dress she stood ramrod straight, facing the Borg Queen, without showing the slightest sign of fear. "I will never serve you and your goals! Rather, I'm going to die!" "Dying? No," said the Queen. While she drew these words in length with relish, she showed the hint of a smile on her otherwise rigid face. "You will not die, not in a way you imagine. When the ashes of your puny body will long have been gone with the wind, your mind still will be serving us. But he will die, and the longer you're going to defend yourself against us, the longer and more painful his agony will be." Her right hand was pointing upwards. Kes followed with her eyes the outstretched arm of the Borg and saw a cage which was lowered slowly at several chains. She immediately recognized the man in it, who clung with both hands on the bars. "Novak!" Kes cried in horror. "Kes! Take no heed to me!" Novak shouted, "do not surrender to this cursed witch!" Two burly drones grabbed Kes and dragged her away. "Resistance is futile," she heard the Borg Queen say yet, then she was taken to a dark place.
Darkness and silence. Only from afar the sound of any operating units could be heard. Kes looked around, but could see nothing.
The dull sound of the machines seemed to go away even further, when she thought she heard sudden voices from the darkness. Kes listened intently. There were two, talking quietly and gently to her, voices she had not heard for such a long time, but were deeply familiar to her. "Kes," they both said at the same time, "Kes, do not be afraid, do not defend yourself, let it happen. Annethkestrin fulfill your destiny!" "Father? Mother?" Kes whispered. But there was silence.
Kes felt two painful punctures at her throat and moaned briefly. She could feel the nano-probes shooting into her blood. In her head a whisper of thousands of voices began to spread, which swelled to a mighty noise. She became quiet calm. Then she also whispered. A single, small word came from her lips: "freedom." The word was taken from the noise and disappeared inside. Then it came back to her, thousands of voices saying it very clearly: "freedom." Kes caught the word again and now she cried it out of her lungs into the darkness: "FREEDOM!"
A blue, nearly blinding light flashed in the dark and began to envelop her. Kes felt as if she was dissolving therein, almost like then in the shuttle of Voyager, when she was going to turn into a being of pure energy. But now the light transformed. Kes could see shapes forming in it. She saw flowers, blue roses, thousands of them, they stood close together, like the ears of a cornfield, reaching up to the height of her hips. Kes was in the middle between them. The picture became clearer, a landscape of rolling hills. The field of roses extended itself over them to the horizon, above all a blue sky with delicate white clouds widened. Kes felt gentle, pleasant warmth on her skin. She turned around, and looked in a low evening sun. Kes breathed in the scent of the flowers, with her hands she softly stroke them, they felt like fine silk.
A whimper reached Kes' ears. She turned around. It came out of her shadow. Amid the roses she saw a woman's body in front of her, lying on its side. The woman raised her head and turned her face to Kes. Her skin was of speckled gray. Blinded by the bright light, she kept her eyes almost closed as she looked at Kes. "What have you done," the fallen Queen moaned, "where are the others? I cannot hear them. I'm alone." "No, I am with you," said Kes quietly, knelt beside her and propped the woman's head with her hand. "You defeated me," the Borg wailed, "you, the small Ocampa, you have destroyed everything it's all gone." "It is not my desire to destroy, I only want to be free," said Kes, "come on, get up!" Getting up, Kes grabbed the woman's hand, pulled her up and put her on her feet, saying: "I want that you are free, as I am, and all the others also should be free." Now the Borg opened her eyes. In the evening sun's light they appeared amber. Her eyes met Kes' blue eyes. For a moment of silence, both stood facing each other. Kes released her hand. A bright light shone around the Queen, disappeared the thick cables at the back of her head, Kes thought for a brief moment to recognize long, shiny black hair. Then the light wrapped her counterpart, quite slowly dissolved into a pillar growing from the ground towards the sky and, like a shooting star, disappeared into its blue. At the same instant, around Kes, out of the vastness of the wide field of roses, millions of the same phenomena ascended. For a moment they offered the sight of a gigantic, silent fireworks, then also vanished in the blue of the sky. Kes was left in amazement.
Kes heard a rattling noise from afar. She
tried to find out where it came from. Carefully she made her way through the
closely standing roses. After a few meters only, she stepped out of the field
and found herself on a wide road, which led straight to the horizon. Thereupon
something approached, she first thought it was a large animal with curved-back
horns and a single big eye in the middle below. On the back of this "beast" the
figure of a man was sitting astride, who had apparently grabbed it by the horns.
Then Kes realized what was coming towards her. A picture of something like that
she had seen on Voyager, when Tom Paris held a lecture on, what was its title
again? Ah! "Petrol-powered vehicles of the twentieth century on Earth." The
two-wheeled vehicle was quickly approaching, and the rattle became so loud that
Kes had to protect her sensitive ears with both hands. The man on the motorbike
waved at her. He was wearing a worn leather jacket, blue jeans and cowboy boots.
He brought his bike to a stop just in front of Kes and the loud rattle ceased.
"Hi Kessie baby!" he said loudly, as if he still would have to drown out the
engine noise. Kes recognized the face under the with stars and stripes painted
helmet. "Q2!" she exclaimed in astonishment and gave the old acquaintance a
brilliant smile. "Man, Kessie, but that was really tough. My ol' man's
absolutely right when he says that you're something special, the first alien
entity accomplishing on its own getting to our continuum. But needed it
absolutely luggin' along roughly a grillion of Borg drones?" Q asked. "Oh, I'm
sorry," said Kes, "it just happened." "Good answer," said Q laughing, "suits
you." "Do you know where my friends are?" asked Kes. At the moment she cared
about most. "Aunt Kathy and her cheeky rascals are all right, so far as I know,"
replied Q. "And Novak?" Kes inquired, looking worried. "He," said Q, "comes
right behind me."
And really, in the distance appeared the silhouette of a man on an identical device as Q had and again loud rattle could be heard. Less than a minute later Novak parked his bike next to that of Q, brought the motor to remain silent and jumped off the vehicle. Three little hops and Kes was with him, leaped at him and hugged him.
"Well, lovebirds," Q said grinning, "now you've but only one wish left." "Oh yes, please!" Kes cheered, "we would like to go home!" "But ride there on your own," said Q and started the engine of his machine. "It's not far, just up ahead around the corner!" he yelled and turned his chopper in a wide circle around Kes and Novak. "So then, take good care of yourselves, kiddies, stay clean, and have fun, see ye later!" he called in looking back, then rattled off and disappeared into the distance.
For a moment Kes and Novak silently stood together in the evening light. Then Novak turned to his machine. "C'm on, get thee up!" he shouted to Kes and jumped on the vehicle. Somewhat hesitant Kes sat behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Then it got loud again.
The ride started with quite a pretty jolt, and Kes clung tightly to Novak. Over his shoulder she blinked into the setting sun. She could feel the wind in her hair and at the tips of her ears. It felt pleasant.
After a short, straight line the road made a slight curve and fell gently. A brightly lit tunnel lay ahead of them. They roared into it. The inside of the tunnel seemed familiar to Kes somehow. Novak yanked around the bike, and with screeching tires, brought it to stand in a sloping position across the travel direction, shortly before crashing into the rear wall of Voyager's shuttle bay.
It did not take long and the door to the bay opened. Admiral Janeway entered, followed by Tom Paris and the Doctor. "Kes! Mr. Novak! are you all right, what happened?" asked Janeway. "We are fine," said Kes. "It's a short but totally crazy story," added Novak. "Novak, boy! where does the Easy-Rider come from?" Tom asked, looking at the chrome gleaming machine with almost even brighter eyes. "Hey! this is The Original Harley Davidson Captain America!" he added enthusiastically. "It's Q's," Novak replied. Of course Tom could not leave it without saddling up the bike, starting the motor and at idle playing with the throttle for a few times. "Mr. Paris!" the doctor shouted in shock, and made a grim face. He already held a tricorder in his hand, to investigate Kes and Novak as a precaution. "I have to urge strongly! nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and a hundred-twenty decibels! Such levels can damage human hearing permanently!" "Mr. Paris, Mr. Novak!" Janeway said loud and sternly, "I suggest, you take your toy to a cargo bay and put it within a containment field of class seven!" Tom stopped the engine and got off the vehicle. "Oh," said Kes, "let me take care of it." With her right arm she took a widely spreading gesture, snapping her fingers. A hissing noise sounded and the motorcycle vanished in a blazing flash of light. "Please, Kes, no!" Paris and Novak shouted in unison. For this purpose, both made a face like two little boys, whose favorite toy had been taken away. Novak was first to recover from the shock. "Wow! Kes," he said, "why couldn't you also bring us straight home?" "Of that I would strictly advise against," said a solemn voice from the doorway. Tuvok had entered the room a short time before. "I propose," he continued, "that we rely for our further journey home on our technical device and Mr. Paris' skills as a helmsman." Kathryn Janeway tapped her com-badge, "Janeway to bridge. Captain Chakotay, here, except for a bit of thick air, everything is fine. We meet in five minutes at the briefing room." "Chakotay here, confirmed, Admiral." "Janeway, out!"
The pavilion would have been much too small
to harbor all the people who came together in Kes' garden at this pleasantly
warm early summer evening on New Carlisle. Novak, Sonny and Mike therefore had
requisitioned and brought in a number of tables and seats. Most of the "crazy
bunch of volunteers," as Admiral Paris had called the troops, which brought Kes
to Ocampa and back, was present. Kathryn Janeway, Chakotay, the Doctor and Tom
Paris, who had come with B'Elanna Torres and daughter Miral, sat at one of Kes'
stylishly laid tables, while Seven and Tuvok still stood together, engaged in a
discussion. Other guests, including Sonny Saxon and his Amy, Mike Cortez and
Linda, were just about to pounce on Kes' delicious food.
Novak, in company of Harry Kim, joined Sonny and Amy. "Just talked to Mike," Novak began, "he is thinking that our Ferengi friend at extremely favorable terms, as he says, again can get sufficient equipment, so that we could upgrade our Lynx with a Quantum-Slipstream-Drive. What do you think, Sonny boy, you're going to manage it?" "Guess so, but can take a while, perhaps may get some help from Torres. Our piece of junk is in need of a general overhaul anyway." "Did you hear that, Kes?" Novak exclaimed aloud, casually leaning back in his chair, "we just decided making our bird fit for slipstream, maybe set up a shuttle service between New Carlisle and Ocampa!" Kes came running. "Honestly?" she asked and made wide, questioning eyes, "that would be wonderful!" "Wonderful," scoffed Sonny, "but here as there the same, harvesting beet, harvesting potato, harvesting beet, in between there's lemonade for a change." "Oh," said Kes, "how about once having a look at what our friends the Famsters do? and then we even could visit Neelix." "What! the Talaxian cockroach," Sonny said angrily, "putting myself straight on a diet would be the same." "Not a bad idea," chimed the doctor, who had also been listening from the other side of the table. "Some of Mr. Neelix's dishes are quite suitable as dietary menus, others have proven to be excellent appetite suppressants." "Please, Kes, bring me a big hotdog and a pint," moaned Sonny, "so I can recover from the mere thought of the Talaxian cookery!" "Well," said the doctor, smiling mockingly, "I thought you wanted to start dieting." "This is my diet, man!" Sonny answered with angry voice. Kes stood up in front of Sonny, swung her right arm in a widely spreading gesture, flicking away her fingers on his plate. Sonny jumped up in a fright and took two steps backward, where he nearly tripped over his chair. However it was nothing, his plate was still empty. Kes tried to pretend as if she were disappointed about herself, showing her acting talent looking at Sonny with big, sad eyes. Then she looked down at the plate and began to giggle. Harry Kim had used the favor of the second to instantly grasp a cucumber sandwich from the platter and push it, unnoticed by both, on Sonny's plate. Now all bursted out laughing. "You miserable bandits!" growled Sonny Saxon and banged his fist on the table, so that the cups, plates and glasses made a little hop. Then himself roared with laughter.
The party lasted until late into the night. Each and every one of the Voyager crew had to tell his or her own version of their adventures, and it took some discussions to synchronize them all. It was well after midnight when it gradually became more silent. "Really fascinating," Chakotay thoughtfully said , "what we have witnessed together in all these years." "Actually, someone should write a book about us," said Kathryn Janeway. "Oh yes!" Tom Paris agreed, "so in the style of science fiction stories, written by the writers of the twentieth- and twenty-first century on Earth." "Yeah exactly!" Novak shouted. "And the title could then read," Sonny intruded in sonorous and meaningful tone, "Captain Saxon, the savior of the galaxy, or..." "Or: Super Sonny, the terror of the universe," Novak cut him off, and patted his buddy on the shoulder. "How about," said Kes with gentle voice, glancing out at the starry night, "simply Star Trek Voyager."