posted October 2004
Disclaimer: The characters of Star Trek: Voyager are the property of Paramount. No copyright infringements are intended and no profit will be made off this story.
Summary: A sequel to Future's Past. Erin Janeway, now 15 years old, describes her life with her parents and experiences mysterious recurring nightmares of a past that doesn't belong to her.
My name is Erin Hansen Janeway. I was born on April 5 th , 2381 on the planet Earth in the city of San Francisco , CA. My parents are Admiral Kathryn Janeway and Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, human name Annika Hansen, but she prefers to be called Seven. They met on star date 51003 in the Delta Quadrant.
My mom (Kathryn) was the captain of a Federation vessel named Voyager and on star date 48315 she set out to capture a group of rebels called the Maquis. The Maquis ship and Voyager were pulled against their will into the Delta Quadrant by an entity known as the Caretaker. This entity inadvertently stranded them 70,000 light years from Federation space. The Maquis and the Voyager crew worked together and set a course for the Alpha Quadrant under the leadership of my mom. They ran into a lot of hostile species along the way, including the Borg Collective.
The first time they encountered the Borg, there was a war going on between them and a species called 8472. The 8472 species were beating the hell out of the Borg, and my mom stepped in to create an alliance with the Borg. During this alliance, my mom met my mother (Seven) and began working with her on a way to defeat 8472.
At some point my mother was separated from the Collective, and my mom refused to return her to the Borg. My mom ordered the doctor to begin extracting the Borg technology from my mother's body. During this time, my mom started going through the Federation database and found out that my mother was Annika Hansen. The Borg had assimilated her when she was 6 years old, along with her parents, Magnus and Erin Hansen. Hence, I was named after my grandmother. They were unconventional scientists who went into the Delta Quadrant to see if the Borg really existed. Needless to say, they found out the hard way.
Over time, after most of my mother's external implants were removed, she began exploring her individuality. She started interacting with the crew and making friends, most of all with my mom. The bond between them grew closer and closer as time went on. My mother said she enjoyed spending time with my mom and began feeling disappointed when they were apart. She told me that on the days when she didn't see my mom, she would conjure up philosophical questions to ask her, so she had an excuse to go to her quarters late at night to discuss them. She said a few times when she rang for entrance into my mom's quarters, there was no answer, so she overrode the door security commands and let herself in. My mom had fallen asleep on the couch or in her reading chair, and my mother would just stand there and watch her sleep. I know that sounds kind of creepy, but actually my mom did the same thing. She would go into Cargo Bay Two, where my mother regenerated, and just stand there and look at her. My parents weren't freaks; they were just obsessively in love with each other.
This little charade of theirs went on for three years, until finally Voyager made it home. They returned to the Alpha Quadrant using a Borg transwarp hub. They also released some sort of pathogen that annihilated the Borg. This is why the Borg Collective no longer exists. But there is something else about how they got home and how the Collective was destroyed. I looked it up in the Starfleet database, and most of the information is highly classified. When I ask my parents, they are real evasive and end up changing the subject.
Right now I am a senior in high school, and we have to do a report on different species. I chose to do one on the Collective, since I myself am part Borg. I stayed up last night until 0100 researching the Collective and the Borg Queen. During the night, I had a recurring dream that has been haunting me for the last two months.
I dreamt that I was on a shuttle on Voyager. Sitting next to me was my mom, but she was older than she is now. We were getting ready to leave to go somewhere. A younger version of my mom injected the older version of herself with a hypospray. Then my mother approached me with tears in her eyes. I tilted my head to the side and she injected me in the neck with her assimilation tubules. MY MOTHER ASSIMILATED ME! After that, I had these assimilation tubules coming out of my left hand. The younger version of my mom injected me with another hypospray. I hugged both of them as if I would never see them again.
The next thing I remember is flying this shuttle into a large structure filled with Borg. The older version of my mom and I were transported off the shuttle and into a chamber where the Borg Queen herself resided. I injected my tubules into a console in the chamber, and then I heard a scream. I turned around and it was the older version of my mom. The Borg Queen had assimilated her. I ran to help her, but was stopped by one of the queen's drones, who injected me in the neck with his tubules. I fell to the floor and could feel the inside of my body beginning to transform. I looked up and saw that the queen was literally falling apart. Her arms and legs were falling off. The chamber started exploding around us. I saw my mom lying on the floor by the queen. I crawled over to her and said, “Mom”. She took my hand and looked at me and said, “It's almost over, Sweetie”. I remember looking at her face and seeing her skin rip open and implants popping out, and I could feel them doing the same on my own face. Just then, I heard a loud explosion, as if the chamber blew up.
I sit straight up in bed with sweat rolling off me. I look around and realize I am in my room in our house in Bloomington . I can hear pots and pans clanking together in the kitchen downstairs.
“ Erin , time to get up. You're going to be late for school,” my mom yells from the bottom of the stairs.
I clear my throat, “I'm up, Mom! I'll be down in a minute.”
I get out of bed and walk down the hall to the bathroom. I run some cold water in the sink and splash some on my face. I look at myself in the mirror and see that my face is white as a sheet.
“Why do I have that same fucking dream every night?” I mumble to myself.
“ Erin , refrain from using such language!” my mother calls from downstairs.
“Sorry, Mother!” Sometimes I hate having a parent with Borg-enhanced hearing.
I turn on the hydro shower and get the temperature just right before undressing and stepping in. Sometimes, I miss our apartment in San Francisco . We had a sonic shower and replicators there. We moved to Bloomington when I was 10 years old. My Grandma Gretchen had taken ill and could no longer care for herself. My parents decided that we should move in with her to help take care of her and the farm. She passed away six months later, and we ended up making this our permanent home.
Don't get me wrong, I like living in the country. We have over a hundred acres of land and it's pretty peaceful, but since my grandparents were traditionalists, they didn't believe in updating their house with technology. We have no replicators, no sonic showers, and no room designed to play holonovels. Sometimes I'm surprised that we don't have to walk around with candles and lanterns at night and that we have an indoor bathroom.
“ Erin , hurry up! We need to leave in about 10 minutes!” my mom yells up the stairs, snapping me out of my thoughts in the shower.
“I'll be right there!” I finish rinsing off and step out of the shower to dry off and get dressed. I brush my teeth, run a comb through my hair and pull it back in a ponytail before running back to my room to gather my PADDs for school. I go to high school in San Francisco instead of Bloomington . Since I went to school there until I was 10, my parents didn't want me to have to start over at a new school and have to make new friends. The school system in San Francisco usually didn't allow students from other states to attend there, but my mom pulled out her admiral strings and they agreed to let me continue attending until I graduate. Besides, the classes I am in are more advanced than the ones offered in Bloomington . Because I am in the advanced classes, I will graduate a month after my 16 th birthday, while most seniors graduate when they are 18. The principal at my school says I have a high IQ because I am part Borg and I inherited the knowledge of billions of species, but I think it's just because both of my parents are extremely intelligent.
As I descend down the steps, I can hear my parents sitting at the dining room table talking.
“Why does Erin require so much time in the morning?” I hear my mother ask my mom.
“Seven, she's a teenager. They have a tendency to take forever getting ready,” my mom replies.
I walk into the dining room and see my mom sipping on her coffee, looking over a PADD, and my mother getting up to clear the table. My mom notices me standing there.
“It's about time. Are you ready to go?” she asks.
“Kathryn, she hasn't eaten breakfast,” my mother tells her.
“Mother, I'm not hungry right now. Besides, I'll get something from the replicators at school.”
My mother looks at me, and then concern takes over her face.
“Your face appears pale. Are you ill?” she asks.
“No. It's probably from waking up late,” I lie. I don't want to discuss the nightmare I had before waking up.
“If you are ill, perhaps I should have the doctor take a look at you,” my mother states.
“Mother, really, I'm fine,” I smile, trying to convince her to let it go.
“Very well. Since you have missed your breakfast, at least drink some juice,” she says, holding out a glass of orange juice.
I nod to her before taking it and chugging it down.
“ Erin , do not ingest it so quickly. You could choke.”
I slow down drinking the juice and can feel her eyes still looking upon me with concern. My mother, oh boy, she is something else sometimes. It's hard to believe that she spent 18 years of her life as a cold, unfeeling Borg drone. My mom says that's why she is the way she is now—overprotective, overbearing, and a way too over-concerned parent. Every time I sneeze or cough, she's running me to the damn doctor. My mom told me that my mother still doesn't understand that humans can get allergies or respiratory irritants while living on Earth. My mother spent almost all her life in space until 18 years ago. She never got colds or flu in space. So now, whenever my mom or I need to sneeze or cough, we try to run out into the barn to do it, or else we have to endure a doctor's visit.
Last summer, my Aunt Phoebe brought over a huge basket of fresh strawberries. I sat on the back porch and ate one right after another. In fact, I ate so many I felt myself getting sick. I had to throw up, but I didn't want to go into the house because if my mother saw me puking, she'd have me admitted to the hospital in the critical care section. Instead, I ran to the cornfield and made it to the edge and puked up all the red strawberries. Later that afternoon, my mother came into the house and wanted to know who vomited by the cornfield. I blamed our Irish Setter, Maggie. I told her Maggie got into the basket of strawberries that Aunt Phoebe brought over and they made her sick. She believed me and poor Maggie had to endure a visit to the vet's office. I think my mom knew I was lying, but she never said anything.
I finish my orange juice and hand the empty glass back to my mother. She takes it and turns to walk into the kitchen. Just as she does, a loud and unexpected belch comes out of my mouth. My mother turns and looks at me with the ocular implant above her left eye raised.
“ Erin ,” says my mom while furrowing her eyebrows at me.
“Excuse me,” I say to them both.
My mother walks into the kitchen and deposits the glass into the sink with the other breakfast dishes. My mom gathers her PADDs off of the table.
“Seven, we're leaving. Have a good day, Sweetheart!” my mom calls to my mother.
My mother bustles through the kitchen door holding two small coolers.
“Kathryn, I made lunch for each of you.”
She hands me my cooler and gives me a peck on the lips.
“Have a good day, Erin .”
“You too, Mother,” I say as I take my cooler.
She walks up to my mom and hands her the other cooler.
“What's for lunch?” my mom asks.
“Chicken salad sandwich, potato salad and caramel brownies,” my mother replies.
“Mmmm! Sweetheart, you are too good to me sometimes.”
My mother pulls her in and gives her a deep long kiss on the mouth. Then, what's even worse, they start pawing at each other. I'm surprised my mom doesn't drop her PADDs and lunch and just start boning my mother right on the dining room table. By the way, this scenario is nothing new at my house. For as long as I can remember, my parents have always been real touchy-feely with each other. They are always kissing and grabbing each other's ass.
One time, when we lived in the apartment in San Francisco , I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and I heard some noises coming from the living area. I walked to the end of the hall to find out what was going on, because hey, I was only 8 years old and didn't know any better. When I looked into the room, I saw my mother naked on the dining room table, moaning and groaning. At first, I couldn't figure out what she was doing. Then I saw my mom sitting naked in a chair in front of her, with her head between my mother's legs. Needless to say, I was traumatized for weeks by that little scene. I don't think they ever knew that I saw them in such a compromising position, because I quickly went back to my room, got in bed and pulled the covers over my head.
I look over and they are still playing tongue wars. I roll my eyes and walk over to the front door.
“Come on, Mom! We're going to be late!” I call over my shoulder.
My parents break off their intense kiss and look at each other while both are breathing heavily. Next year, I am supposed to enter Starfleet Academy and live on base. I guarantee when I move away, my parents are going to be fucking like rabbits throughout the entire house. That reminds me, I need to get a lock for my bedroom door so they don't contaminate my room with their body fluids. I can hear it now: “Kathryn, Erin will not return for another year, let's fuck on her bed!”
I walk outside before I become nauseated by my parents' arousal for each other. A minute later, my mom walks out. She has composed herself, but her face is slightly flushed. We get into the hovercraft that will take us to the local transporter in downtown Bloomington . This has become our daily routine. Since my mom and I work and go to school in San Francisco , we always leave together in the mornings, and in the afternoons I walk over to Starfleet Headquarters and wait for her so we can go home together. Sometimes she has a late meeting, or there is a conflict going on that requires her to stay late. Then I have to go home by myself, which sucks because I can't operate the hovercraft at the Bloomington station, so I have to walk home.
As the hovercraft lifts off of the ground and starts its journey towards town, my mom and I ride in silence. I look out the window at all the rows of corn waving us on. I hate living in Indiana . None of my friends live here. They are all living in San Francisco near school. Sure I can transport to the Bay in an instant, but my mother never lets me go alone. Sometimes, she acts like I'm a porcelain doll that will break if not watched constantly. Anytime my mom and I discuss me leaving for the academy next year, my mother walks into another room or tries to get us to talk about something else.
“Are you sure you were okay this morning, Erin ? You did look awfully pale,” my mom says, interrupting my thoughts.
“Yeah, Mom. I just had a bad dream before I woke up,” I say to her, keeping my eyes out the window.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“No, not really.”
“Don't tell Mother that I had a bad dream. She'll make me go see a counselor.”
My mom laughs and reaches over to pat my knee.
I continue staring out the hovercraft window. I have an urge to tell my mom about my dream, but I decide not to. My mom in some ways is similar to my mother, and in a lot of ways, very different. I know I could talk to her about many things, if I wanted to. She is a very strong and secure person. She is protective of me, but still allows me to have my freedom. But there are restrictions on how much freedom she will give me, because if my mother catches her, I am not the only one who will get into trouble.
We finally reach the downtown Bloomington transporter station. My mom parks her hovercraft in a reserved spot marked Admiral Kathryn Janeway . We walk up to the station, where a line of people is standing waiting to be transported. Instead of going to the back of the line, we make our way to the front. The old man that runs the transporter is waving to us. His name is Bailey, and he looks like he was born in a covered wagon.
“Admiral! Erin ! I didn't think you were going to make it this morning!” Bailey says to us.
“We had a bit of a late start,” my mom says, smiling at him.
“Step right in,” Bailey says, gesturing towards the transporter.
My mom and I step onto the transporter pad. Now you might ask why we wouldn't wait in line, like everyone else. Well, my mom is a Starfleet admiral, is why. No other Starfleet admirals would be stupid enough to live in Indiana and transport every day to San Francisco . Not that my mom is stupid, but I think her attachment to Indiana and that house is unnatural. We also get special treatment because Bloomington doesn't have a lot of well-known people, so they tend to make a fuss over a Starfleet admiral who captained a ship through the Delta Quadrant and destroyed the Borg.
One thing that I don't understand is that there are quite a few people in Bloomington who hated the Borg because they lost friends and family members in a Borg attack at Wolf 359, but they love my mother and me. I think they are so fond of my mother because she has shown that after 18 years of being in the Collective, she has regained her humanity and shown remorse for her actions, which were uncontrolled during her time as a drone. As for me, I think they like me either because I am Admiral Kathryn Janeway's daughter or because I am Seven of Nine's daughter.
As soon as we materialize at the San Francisco transport station, my mom and I step off the pad. A man in his 50's, who runs the transporter station, greets us. His name is Gus.
“Good morning, Admiral!”
“Good morning, Gus.”
“Looks like it's going to be another beautiful day,” Gus states with a stupid grin on his face.
“Yes, it does,” my mom replies back.
“You look wonderful today, Admiral. In fact, you're absolutely beautiful.”
My mom's face turns slightly red from embarrassment as she looks around to see if anyone else can hear Gus's words of flirtation.
“Thank you, Gus. We must be going now. I can't have Erin late for school.”
“Admiral, would you care to join me for lunch this afternoon? There is this little cafe that just opened...”
“No, thank you,” she holds up her cooler. “My wife made me a lunch for today.”
“Oh. Well, I will see you this afternoon, Admiral.”
My mom and I start walking up the sidewalk. I look over and see my mom with a disgusted look on her face, shaking her head slightly. Now, let me tell you about Gus. He is another routine we have to deal with every day. He is absolutely crazy about my mom. Every day he asks her to meet him for lunch, dinner or cocktails. Every day, she politely turns him down by mentioning my mother and me. This guy wants nothing more in life than to get into my mom's pants. He never says a word to me. In fact, he completely ignores me, even when I have to transport home by myself. The only days he doesn't try to hit my mom up for a date is when my mother comes to San Francisco with us to go shopping at the market when we are at work and school. For some reason, he gets a look of terror on his face when he sees that my mother has transported in with us.
“Mom, why don't you tell that guy to fuck off?”
“Erin!” my mom snaps her head at me and pinches the back of my arm.
“Owww!” I yelp, laughing.
“Your mother would wash your mouth out if she heard you talk like that.”
“Well, you need to come up with a better line than, ‘my wife made me a lunch for today'.”
“I am a Starfleet admiral. I can't go around telling transporter operators to ‘fuck off'. Besides, he might take that as a yes to his date requests.”
My mom and I look at each other and we both start laughing. We continue walking up the steep San Francisco sidewalk until we reach the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters. We are swamped by a group of cadets coming in the opposite direction. They all give formal greeting to my mom, and a few of them nod to me. I recognize one of the cadets, a beautiful Trill woman named Jadin. She smiles when we start to approach her. As we walk by, she greets us.
“Good morning, Admiral.”
“Good morning, Cadet.”
“Good morning, Erin ,” Jadin states in a very sultry voice.
“Good morning, Jadin,” I reply back, turning around to watch her as she walks by.
“ Erin , behave,” my mom says as she grabs my arm to turn me around to continue walking forward.
“Aye, Admiral,” I say with a sigh.
We continue walking until we reach the sidewalk that will take me to my school. We both stop, and my mom squeezes my arm lightly.
“I'll see you at 1600. Have a good day, Erin .”
“You too, Mom.”
We begin walking in our opposite directions. As I walk along the sidewalk and see the group of cadets, I am thankful that my mom is not huggy and kissy with me in public, especially when she has her uniform on. Once we are in San Francisco , she is all admiral with no emotion. I appreciate that because my mother is the opposite. She doesn't care where we are or who we are around, she always embarrasses me by making me give her a hug and kiss goodbye, like I was 5 years old.
One time when I was in the eighth grade, my school had a science fair. The kid at the booth next to me had built an active volcano. When he activated it, some of the soot got on my cheek. My mother came over and actually licked her thumb and then rubbed the soot off my face with her saliva. Talk about being humiliated! Whenever things like that happen, my mom tells me to just go along with it and not to get upset. She says my mother acts like that because I am their only child, and she is trying to give me everything she didn't have growing up among the Borg Collective. I can appreciate that, but sometimes it's hard not to get upset with her.
I have to keep reminding myself that my mother really doesn't know any better. She never had the experiences of growing up like my mom and I do. She never had go to school and have homework, she never had to deal with embarrassing parents, and she never had friends. But apparently, my mother had a boyfriend named Axum. He was a drone aboard a Borg vessel in the Beta Quadrant. She knew him in a place called Unimatrix Zero. It was an illusional place that she and several other drones went to when they regenerated, while in the Collective. I read about it during my research on the Borg. Unimatrix Zero ended up being destroyed, but the affected drones that had the ability to go there were severed from the Collective.
I wonder whatever happened to Axum. Did he get re-assimilated and then destroyed when Voyager delivered the deadly pathogen, or did he remain severed from the Collective? What if he shows up on Earth one day, looking for my mother? Would she leave my mom and I to be with him? I know my parents love each other immensely, but I still ask myself questions like this. I guess it's because some of my friends' parents have split up after years of marriage. I couldn't even imagine what life would be like if my parents got divorced. Would it be up to me to choose who to live with? Which one would I choose? I don't think I could.
“Hey, Janeway!” I hear someone yell behind me as I approach the school.
I turn around and see a friend I've known since the first grade, Brian Addison. He's human with dark hair and blue eyes. Just over the last year, he finally caught up with me in height, which was difficult for him since I am almost six feet tall.
Brian's father was killed in a deep space assignment when Brian was 7 years old. His mom remarried about three years ago, to a Ferengi. Usually, I don't care too much for Ferengi, but Brian's stepfather is all right.
A couple years ago, when I was a sophomore, my mother had to come to my school for a conference with one of my teachers. Brian's hormones kicked in when he saw her, and he told me he wanted to bend her. I ‘lightly' smacked him in the stomach, and he doubled over from the pain. I try to be gentle when I smack my friends around, because I have Borg-enhanced strength and I know I can hurt them. If Brian hadn't said what he did, I would have felt bad for hurting him, but I didn't because he deserved it. I told him not to say any thing about my mother, and I won't make fun of his stepfather. He agreed and hasn't said anything else. Last April, though, my parents threw me a birthday party at our farm to celebrate my 15 th birthday. Brian and my other friends from school attended. At one point, my mother was bending over him while serving cake. I could have sworn I saw Brian trying to hide an erection. I guess hitting puberty does that to guys. Brian has known my parents since we were six years old, and he never gave my mother a second look until we started high school. If he still does want to ‘bend her', he knows better than to say anything.
“Addison,” I say as I slow down so he can catch up to me.
He jogs up and starts walking with me.
“Did you start on your report yet?” he asks.
“Yes, I did. I was up until 0100 looking stuff up. Did you figure out what you're going to do yet?”
“Yeah, I think I've got something, but I may need your help getting the information I need.”
“My help? I'm not writing another report for you again, Brian. Both of us almost got kicked out of school the last time.”
“No, no. I'm not asking you to write my report. I was thinking of doing it on the Vidians”
“The Vidians? They're a pretty nasty species.”
“Can't be any nastier than the Borg.”
I glare at him. He just smiles at me.
“So why do you need my help? All the information on them should be in the Starfleet library.”
“The Starfleet library is so vague when it comes to the Delta Quadrant species. I thought maybe you could ask your mom for more information.”
“Why don't you ask her yourself?”
I try to hold in a laugh. For some reason, my mom intimidates the hell out of Brian. Every time he is around her, he gets nervous. He acts like she's going to put him in front of a firing squad.
“I can ask her for you,” I finally give in.
“Thanks,” he says with a sigh of relief.
“You know, another good person to ask is my doctor,” I tell him.
“The EMH from Voyager?”
“Yeah. He treated a Vidian woman. I think he even went on a date with her.”
“Really? Now how can a hologram get some, and I can't?”
“You're pathetic, Brian.”
We both laugh and bump each other with our shoulders. We walk into the school, which is filled with kids talking and laughing. Brian and I make our way through the crowd until we get to a clearing in the hall where we can walk side by side and not single file. Brian looks down at the cooler I am carrying.
“Did Mama make you lunch today?” he teases.
I glare at him. Up until two years ago, I called my mother ‘Mama'. I stopped when Brian and some of my other friends heard me call her that and started making fun of me. My mother didn't care for the change of name, but she adapted.
“Yes, my mother made my lunch for me. Do you have a problem with that?”
“No. It's just that you're a senior, Erin.”
“No other seniors still bring their lunch to school.”
“Brian, you know how she is.”
He gives me a sympathetic pat on the back.
“I know, Erin.”
We continue walking and suddenly I get a thought in my head and start laughing.
“What's so funny?” Brian asks.
“Oh, just a thought I had,” I tell him, toning down my laughter.
“What was it?”
“Next year I'm supposed to go into the academy, and I know there is a semester when we will have to do space walks. I can just picture being on the space walk...suddenly here comes my mother in an environmental suit, bringing me my lunch.”
Brian throws his head back and starts laughing. He finally controls himself and looks at me.
“You'd better laugh about it now, because when it really does happen, it won't be funny,” he tells me, smiling.
I roll my eyes and shake my head with a smile. My mother - someone's got to love her.
We reach the room where Brian has his first class. He starts walking in and turns to wave at me as I continue on.
“See you in I.S.”
I.S. is actually Interstellar Species class. It's the only class I have with Brian because it's the only one I'm taking that allows all the different grades in the school to take it together. Brian and most of my other friends are sophomores right now. I am the only one in our group of friends who was accelerated two grades. Some days it doesn't bother me, but other days, like today, it does. I feel so isolated when I am sitting in a class with the other seniors. Most of them are 17 and 18 years old, and here I am only 15. I shouldn't have to worry about taking a quantum physics class for another two years, but apparently my brain is wired to understand it now. In fact sometimes I find the class a little boring, because I already know most of it.
When the school first approached my parents about advancing me two grades, they had a huge debate about it. My mother was all for it, whereas my mom thought I was too young to be advanced this far ahead. She told my mother that I needed to be with kids my own age in high school and in Starfleet. My mother said that was irrelevant, and that I would adapt to taking classes with older kids. My mom was right, but unfortunately my mother won out.
My mom understands most of the things I have to go through. That is probably because she remembers when she a teenager and had to deal with similar stuff. My mother, on the other hand, has no concept of what it's like. She was put in a Borg maturation chamber and emerged three months later as an adult. Maybe that's why she wants to treat me like a child one minute and throw me into the adult world the next. She doesn't realize that there are stages in life we must go through and mistakes we must make to learn from. I know that and my mom knows that, but my mother deems it all ...irrelevant.
The hours pass on as I go from class to class. I am counting down the minutes until lunch. Not eating breakfast this morning has caused my stomach to cramp up from hunger. Hopefully, my mother wasn't stingy with the potato salad she put in my lunch. I know she only put one caramel brownie in my cooler, and my mom's, because if we had it our way, the whole cooler would be filled with brownies and we wouldn't eat anything else. In fact, when she puts one in my lunch, it's the first thing I eat. I know my mom does the same thing.
Finally, the school's computer alerts us that class is over and it's lunchtime. I gather up my PADDs and my cooler and start making my way to the door. There is a picnic area for us to eat lunch at in front of the school. I always try to beat the other kids out there so I can get the best table under a big oak tree. I make my way out there and see that no one else got the table. I walk over to it and set my stuff down. I sit down, open my cooler and start devouring my lunch—caramel brownie first, of course.
I turn around to see my friend Arat Talis approaching the table, along with Brian and my other friends, Kelis and Samuel. Talis is Bajoran, Kelis is Ktarian, and Samuel is human. I have known Talis since the third grade. Kelis I met in the eighth grade after her family moved here. Samuel I just met this year. I consider him more of an acquaintance, rather than a friend. I don't know much about him, so I am more reserved with him.
They all sit down with the lunches they obtained from the school's replicator. Their lunches consist of cookies, candy and ice cream. I guess that's why my mother packs my lunch for me, because I wouldn't make the healthiest selections if I ate from the replicator. Maybe she does understand teenagers, after all.
“I see your mother made caramel brownies again,” Talis says, looking at the food in front of me.
“Yep,” I say with my mouth full.
Kelis sits down next to me and smiles.
“I was walking behind you and your mom this morning,” she says.
I swallow and wipe my mouth.
“Why didn't you catch up and walk with us?”
“I was enjoying the view from behind,” Kelis says, wiggling her eyebrows.
I roll my eyes as I take a swig from the milk container my mother packed with my lunch. Kelis has a fixation with butts. She told me once that my mom and I have the two sweetest asses on the planet. Kelis usually goes out with guys, but she says she never passes up a chance to look at a nice ass on any gender. She also told me that she thinks my mom is sexy in her Starfleet uniform. I know both of my parents are attractive, but I can't picture either one being “sexy”.
We all sit there eating our lunches and talking about various things. Suddenly, I see Brian rise up slightly to look at something over my head. He looks back down at me with his eyebrows raised.
“Erin, I think someone is here to see you,” he says.
I turn around and follow his gaze to see my mother making her way up to the school, weaving her way through the crowds of talking and laughing students.
“What the hell is she doing here?” I ask, more to myself.
“What did you do now, Erin?” Talis asks.
“I guess I'd better find out,” I say while gathering my PADDs and lunch cooler.
Samuel follows the gaze of the others and sees who the subject of our conversation is. He gets a look of surprise on his face.
“Is that your girlfriend, Erin?” he asks.
“No, that's my mother!” I say as I start walking away.
“That's your mother ! Holy crap!” I hear him exclaim as I approach the sidewalk where I can intercept my mother.
I ignore him and keep walking. My mother sees me and walks to meet me.
“Mother, what are you doing here?” I ask, trying not to sound horrified.
My mother stops and clasps her hands behind her back.
“I received a message from your principal this morning. Apparently, he wishes to put you on report for insubordination because you informed your philosophy instructor that his ideas were...'targ shit' last week.”
I can feel the terror rip across my face. I can't believe that asshole turned me in to the principal for that. I apologized to him in front of the whole class. He said everything was fine and laughed it off. What a two-faced bastard!
“Did you make such a statement to your instructor, Erin?”
I can feel my face getting red, and I avert my eyes before meeting hers.
“Yes, Mother. I did.”
“I have repeatedly told you to think before you speak. This is the fifth time I have come here within the last two months, due to your lack of judgment.”
“I know, Mother. I'm sorry,” I say, with my head hung down.
My mother takes a deep breath and looks at me. I know she's pissed.
“You will accompany me to his office,” she states as she starts walking toward the front doors of the school.
I follow her towards the school and give a quick glance to my friends who are watching me with concern. I look forward and continue following my mother into the school. That's the sad part! My mother has been here so many times because of my behavior problems that she knows the way to the principal's office.
We walk into the principal's office, and the secretary looks up from her desk.
“Mrs. Janeway, Mr. Harmon has been expecting you. Go right on in.”
Now, the faculty at my school insists on calling my mother Mrs. Janeway. She never legally changed her name to Janeway, because she preferred to keep her Borg designation. They know this, but still act like she did change her name. My mother never corrects them, because I think she enjoys being referred to as Mrs. Janeway.
We walk in to to meet the principal. As soon as he sees us, he stands up from his seat behind his desk.
“Mrs. Janeway, please have a seat.”
“I prefer to stand,” my mother states, linking her hands behind her back.
“Very well,” he says, taking his seat again. “I'm sorry I had to call you down here again.” He looks over at me with a hint of a glare. “As I stated in my message to you this morning, I received a complaint from Erin's philosophy teacher that she was insubordinate with him last week. She disagreed with some of the ideas that he was teaching and told him they were targ...”
“I am aware of what Erin said from your message,” my mother interrupts with annoyance.
My mother hates hearing cuss words used in everyday language. Both my mom and I get yelled at for even saying the word ‘Damn'. My mother normally doesn't cuss in conversations, but I know she does when my parents are having sex. I've heard a distinct ‘Fuck me, Kathryn' come from their bedroom a few times. She isn't the only one with Borg-enhanced hearing.
“As you well know,” he continues, “this is Erin's fifth offense since the school year has started. I gave her verbal warnings until now, because I know she can't have any marks on her record if she wants to get into Starfleet next year. But to be honest, I don't know whether a verbal warning will suffice any more. Apparently, she is not taking my warnings seriously. Maybe there is some other way you can coerce her into behaving herself.”
“Erin will be punished appropriately for her actions. I do not enjoy coming here any more than you enjoy contacting me about situations such as this. If you can refrain from recording this incident in her file, I will guarantee it will not happen again.”
Mr. Harmon leans back in his chair and looks at my mother while he thinks. He sighs, which usually means he's caving in.
“I'll tell you what, Mrs. Janeway, I won't place this in Erin's file under one condition: she sees a counselor. There is obviously some underlying reason as to why Erin can't control herself, and I would like to help get to the bottom of it.”
My mother sighs and looks at him.
“Agreed,” she states.
What??? She's agreeing with him! I don't need a counselor. Damn!
“Consider this your last verbal warning, Erin. One more incident, and I will put it in your permanent record...understood?” he states, looking at me sternly.
“I understand, Sir,” I reply.
My mother and I begin to walk out.
We both turn around and look at him.
“Just to let you know, if Erin should get into trouble again, I'm going to have to call your wife instead of you,” he tells my mother with a look that almost says, ‘I'm sorry'.
My mother nods at him, turns and walks out of the office. I walk behind her not saying a word. Mr. Harmon pulled out the big guns this time by threatening to call my mom. He knows that is a no-no when it comes to my behavior problems. My mother made it clear to him a long time ago that she is the only parent to be contacted when I get into trouble.
I think Mr. Harmon figured out that we don't let my mom know about what happens at school. I continue following my mother down the hallway and to the front of the school. Lunch is almost over and many of the kids are returning to their classes. My mother stops on the sidewalk and keeps her eyes forward, as if she can't look at me.
“Erin, I am uncertain what action to take in punishing you.”
“I'm sorry, Mother,” I say softly. It was the only thing I could think of to say to her.
“'I'm sorry' is a phrase you use far too often. Perhaps the only course of action is to tell Kathryn about these incidents.”
Oh God, no!
“Please don't tell her, Mother. Just give me one more chance,” I plead pathetically.
My mother sighs and thinks about it.
“Very well. I will not inform her of your behavior. But understand that if there is another occurrence and Mr. Harmon changes his mind and calls me, I will call Kathryn and she will have to come here to talk with him.”
“Very well. I must return home. You will return to class with your classmates before you are late.”
She turns to face me.
“I will see you later this afternoon.”
I nod to her. She begins walking down the sidewalk. I watch her until she passes Starfleet Headquarters, just to make sure she doesn't take a detour and decide to tell my mom about today. As I watch her, a sick feeling comes over me. I hate upsetting my mother like this, and I know she is extremely upset, because she didn't give me a hug or kiss goodbye.
I continue watching her until she disappears from view. I turn and start walking back into the school to go to my next class. I keep seeing my mother's face when she was standing on the sidewalk before she left. Why do I keep getting into trouble? My Aunt Phoebe says I don't have a filter between my brain and my mouth. My mom says that sometimes I act like my mother when she was first severed from the Collective. I just blurt out whatever is on my mind.
The thing is, I can control myself around certain people, like my parents. I used to say all kinds of things to them until they put their foot down with me. Now, I always try to speak to them respectfully. Sometimes, I can cut up with my mom, like this morning. But even she has her limits on what I can say to her. I have to try harder to do as Mother says—think before I speak. I don't mean to hurt anyone, but unfortunately I did, and it wasn't my philosophy instructor, it was my mother. I remember when I was two years old, I told my mother that I hated the Borg for hurting her. At the rate I'm going, I won't be any better than they were.