Chakotay and Seven of Nine: An Unbreakable Link

In commemoration with Valentine's Day, I decided to write an article on my favorite "Star Trek" pairing: Chakotay and Seven of Nine. Through social media, I have seen this fictional couple bear the brunt of despise, hatred and retaliation. On the other hand, I have always seen a unique relationship of two individuals in the future. From the moment they appeared on screen together I thought they had instant chemistry. The two characters showed that love is unconditional and just because a first meeting is not pleasant, love can bloom in the most unbeknownst manner. I hope this following article can shed light on their relationship and why they matter. 

With patience and time, a spiritual person like Chakotay and a logical scientist like Seven formed a tender bond and left an impact as a tasteful and wholesome romance. Chakotay was able to understand a facet of Seven that no other crewman could. In return, she honored and respected him. Starting from season 4 through season 7, their relationship grew from enemy to colleague to friend to spouse.

Two characters, one destiny


Beginning in the episode "Scorpion: Part I", the relationship between Chakotay and Seven of Nine did not start out in a cordial manner. In the previous season finale, the USS Voyager stumbled upon a intergalactic war between the Borg Collective and Species 8472. To receive safe passage through the unsafe territory, Captain Janeway formed an alliance with the formidable Borg. In lieu of receiving safe passage, Voyager would assist the Collective with technology to fight Species 8472. While aboard a Borg Cube, Captain Janeway demanded a representative who could speak as one mind for the Collective. In return, the Collective granted her wish through the drone "Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One". When a Species 8472 bioship crashed into the Borg Cube, Seven of Nine beamed the residents of her Borg Cube into Voyager's Cargo Bay 2. With Captain Janeway injured, Commander Chakotay immediately took over the situation and opened the door of the Cargo Bay fully armed. It would be in this vicinity when she would meet the man who would change her existence. 

Upon coming face-to-face, Seven of Nine advised the Commander to lower his weapon, stating that she was there because of the Borg's alliance with Captain Janeway. Within time, Chakotay would call the "female drone" to the ready room and discuss his plans of parting ways with the Borg alliance. While speaking with Chakotay, Seven would call humanity "You are erratic, conflicted, disorganized. Every decision is debated, every action questioned. Every individual entitled to their own small opinion." She would follow with a cold glare in stating "You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness. It will be your undoing." In response, Chakotay asked that Seven be escorted back to the Cargo Bay. Upon breaking the alliance, Chakotay attempted to suck all the remaining Borg drones off Voyager. Little to his knowledge, Seven of Nine hung on, and found her way back in Cargo Bay 2. Via comm signal, Seven ordered Chakotay to the Cargo Bay, stating that Voyager was now in fluidic space, the home of Species 8472. With the alliance back on, Chakotay went to the recovering Captain Janeway and both came to a conclusion. As Janeway took command of Voyager once more, she ordered that the deal between her and the Borg was finished. In retaliation, Seven of Nine would attempt to take over Voyager, but was soon stopped by a familiar voice. Upon Janeway voicing the orders "bridge to Chakotay...Scorpion", Seven of Nine would find herself mentally linked to the Commander. Due to Chakotay's former experience with Borg mind-linking, he found a way to use a neural transceiver to disconnect the female drone. 

The following dialogue would set the stage for this pair: 

Chakotay: Seven of Nine, stop what you're doing. You're human. A human individual. Our minds are linked. We are one. I can hear your thoughts...I can see your memories. You remember being human.

Seven of Nine: We are Borg.

Chakotay: I see a young girl. A family.

Seven of Nine: Irrelevant. Your appeal to my humanity is pointless.

Chakotay: Listen to your human side. To yourself, the little girl. Seven of Nine. Annika!

      The old link is severed,  while a new one is forged.

With the link severed with a painful spark, both would collapse with a future ahead of them. As the episodes progressed, we would see Chakotay and Seven grow, separately - and together. In due time, both characters would grow to be working colleagues. As seen in the episode "Day of Honor", Seven of Nine would approach Chakotay in asking for more duty shifts and leniency on Voyager. By the end of the season, the two would be paired on their first away mission together in "Demon". It would be by the advisement of B'elanna Torres to Chakotay where she insisted that he "take" Seven with him. This away mission would show Seven a new world and the meaning of humanity as Voyager would be cloned by a demon-class planet with inhabitants called the "silver blood". By the end of the 4th season, Seven of Nine would find herself in a moral dilemma highlighted in the episode "The Omega Directive". While in Cargo Bay 2, Seven would confide in Chakotay as she had come upon an entity which had been the closest thing to a spiritual being in her life. Knowing Chakotay was a man of faith, the two would talk on an intimate level about the Borg's opinion on an afterlife, but how she felt connected to the "Omega Molecule". As Seven would explain it's significance with "infinite parts functioning as one", Chakotay would stop her and say "like the Borg"; thus, understanding her psyche like no other crewmen. 

  
     Various scenes with Chakotay and Seven. From left to right: "Scorpion", "Day of Honor", "The Killing Game", "The Omega Directive", "Demon", "Night", "Bride of Chaotica", "Bliss", "Survival Instinct", "One Small Step", "The Voyager Conspiracy", "Unimatrix Zero", "Human Error" (Chakotay in holographic form), "Natural Law" and "Endgame". 

 
In season 5, Chakotay and Seven would again find themselves growing closer to themselves - and as individuals. During the opener ("Night") Chakotay would find himself in command of Voyager, while Captain Janeway remained in emotional solidarity in her quarters. While on duty, Seven would walk up to him in a close proximity, thus proving her comfortable nature in his presence. These "close standings" would later appear in this season, specifically in Voyager's "Bride of Chaotica" whereupon we see Seven and Chakotay standing in such close proximity and sharing flirtatious glances in the Ready Room. Furthermore, Chakotay would grow into a comfortable state, as he would lay his hand over Seven in the episode "Bliss" with the latter not appearing to mind. 

By the end of season 5, the audience would see Seven of Nine grow into a sound individual. Because of Captain Janeway and The Doctor, Seven was able to know social manners and conversation with her fellow crewmen, specifically Chakotay. This facet would be depicted in the season six episode "Survival Instinct". When three former Borg drones came aboard Voyager, Seven was met with consequences of her past with the Collective. In a crisis of faith, she turned to the only person who could understand her dilemma: Chakotay. In a very poignant scene, the two would discuss surviving versus living. As Seven blamed herself for actions she committed as a drone, he would remind her of the "scared little girl" who had been assimilated by the Borg with no control of her emotions. Within a few episodes later, the pair would accompany Tom Paris on a mission to retrieve an historic NASA module in "One Small Step". While examining old remnants of asteroid matter, Chakotay would spend time with Seven explaining the importance of history. While talking, Chakotay would reminisce on his childhood aspiration to be a paleontologist. When Seven asked why he never went through with his desire, Chakotay responded that his "sense of responsibility" got in the way. Upon answering her question, Chakotay would ask Seven her childhood aspiration. After some urging, Seven responded that she wanted to be a "ballerina" in which Chakotay tenderly smiled. To not let Seven lose hope in her life dreams, Chakotay told her juvenile fantasies "are the ones that stick with you."

                                    Chakotay and Seven discuss their childhood ambitions

In their final season, the path between Chakotay and Seven would finally meet. Following the events of "Unimatrix Zero" in, Seven would long for something that was missing in her life: companionship. After experiencing a past love in a dream state, she decided to do something which would change her world forever. In response to her loneliness, Seven created a holodeck fantasy in the episode "Human Error". Out of all the crewmen on Voyager and the Starfleet database, Seven would choose Commander Chakotay as her holographic love interest. While on the holodeck with holo-Chakotay, Seven threw herself completely into a relationship as she and him passionately kissed and embraced eachother. I felt this episode captured the beauty of Seven, not only outwardly, but on the inside and she let her walls down and felt a pleasure that she had never known before. Additionally in this episode, a pivotal scene in overcoming fear was shown as the holodeck Chakotay told piano playing Seven to let go of the metronome and play the piano freely without "order" like that of the Borg Collective. 

                                      Seven of Nine with holo-Chakotay in "Human Error"

Sadly as Seven's continual stays in the holodeck were revealed by Captain Janeway, Seven went to delete the program. Unfortunately, as she did that, her heart broke for the first time and her cortical node shut down. Because she almost died, she gave up and even refused a surgery from The Doctor (who found out everything) that could stop that from happening. In her mind, Seven wanted to punish herself for her actions. In the final scene as she would be walking down the corridor, the real Chakotay would catch up to her and ask that she accompany him on a date. Giving the events which transpired, Seven would decline leaving Chakotay to say "you know, you should try socializing with the crew a little more. It might do you some good." As they pair would depart, he would look at her and she at him - giving hope that one day they end up together. 

Throughout the rest of the season, Chakotay and Seven would remain at distance, yet slowly mold back together. In "Natural Law", the pair would be seen on an away mission together on the planet "Ledos". As the bickering team are stuck on the planet with no communication with Voyager, both officers bonded with the Ventu aliens who inhabited the planet. Though these aliens did not speak vocally, they communicated via hand gestures of which Chakotay and Seven learned. Because of Chakotay learning some of the sign language, he flirtatiously showed her "thank-you" and "goodbye". When Voyager was able to communicate with the pair, Seven would bid farewell to a Ventu girl she bonded with on the planet. Taking from what Chakotay taught her, Seven would gesture "thank-you" and "goodbye" as the alien youth gave her a native blanket. At the end of the episode, Chakotay came to Seven and spoke with her about their ordeals on Ledos. Both knew that through the mission, the two became closer than colleagues as they worried for the safety of each other and the Ventu. After an unneeded apology "for causing (Seven) to miss the conference", Chakotay gave her a blanket that the young Ventu girl wanted Seven to have after they parted ways. 

In their final episode ("Endgame"), Seven and Chakotay were seen on their third date. On a simple picnic blanket, Seven smiled as she waited for Chakotay as he entered and sat beside her. When asking if she had gone too far in the arrangement, Chakotay replied "this is...perfection." Not soon after, the two would later been seen standing close to each other in a ship briefing, avoiding the tension of their courtship. As the episode continued, Chakotay entered Astrometrics and ask Seven on another date in a cute clip of dialogue, the pair would agree to skip their "fourth" date, so they may have a dinner in his quarters. We would later see Chakotay lighting a candle in his quarters with Seven transporting in. Her excuse was to avoid being seen "entering the First Officer's quarters." As the two stood in close proximity, she handed him a bouquet of flowers, affirming her research on dating and the symbolism of courtship. When Chakotay would go to put the flowers in water, Seven grabbed him and they shared a passionate kiss. Following this moment of love, the two would share a conversion before passionately continuing in their state of pleasure. 

The pair....at last

As the two shared their second kiss, a voice on the comm system would disrupt their moment. In due time, it would be revealed that Chakotay and Seven of Nine are revealed to be in a romantic union. After Admiral Janeway travels back in time to the USS Voyager, the true reason of her mission is stated: to change history. She tells her younger self that in three years, Seven of Nine will be injured on an away mission and she will die in the arms of her husband, Chakotay. Following his wife's death, Chakotay will never recover from the trauma and die of a broken heart. Both Janeway's agree something should be done to prevent this and they come to a conclusion. As the episode ends, Admiral Janeway infects the Borg Queen with a pathogen which distracted the Collective as Voyager used a transwarp conduit to return back to earth. During this time, Chakotay and Seven would share their final one-on-one scene in Astrometrics. In a prior scene, Admiral Janeway had told Seven of her future fate, including Chakotay's demise. This left Seven in a cold state, with thoughts of losing everything she had in front of her. As Chakotay approached her, Seven remained cool in tone, thus making Chakotay realize something was wrong. This final dialogue cemented their relationship forever. 

Seven: We both have dangerous occupations. It's possible one of us could be seriously injured, or worse. I believe it's best to avoid emotional attachments.
Chakotay: Maybe you can just flip some Borg switch and shut down your emotions, but I can't.
Seven: I suggest you try. It will make things less difficult for you if any harm should come to me.
Chakotay: Why are you suddenly so concerned about that? Is there something I should know?
Seven: The admiral suggested that your feelings for me will cause you pain in the future. I can't allow that to happen.
Chakotay: Seven, any relationship involves risk. And nobody can guarantee what's going to happen tomorrow. not even an admiral from the future. The only certainty is how we feel about each other here and now. If you think I'm going to let you end this because of what might happen, then you need to get to know me a little better.

Chakotay and Seven in their final moment together on screen in "Endgame".


Out of all the relationships in the Star Trek franchise, Chakotay and Seven were my favorite. Episodes highlighted previously in these remembrance display events that made "C7" whole. Throughout watching the series, the pairing of these two characters made an impact on me and showed an affectionate, positive portrayal of love. Like that of a flower, the relationship between Chakotay and Seven needed time to grow and eventually flourish. He was her spiritual stability and she was his logical partner. In addition to such differences, Chakotay and Seven were also one of the only interracial couples between a Native American and Caucasian on television during Voyager's run. Such a feat should be celebrated as their depiction of attraction and love was heartening representation. The tattoo of Chakotay's Native tribe above his left eye was his human heritage while the metal implant above Seven's left eye was her mechanical heritage. Eventually, their connection would intertwine like the stars Voyager traveled. From the moment Chakotay broke Seven from the Borg, they were connected and their final arc was linking together.

  A Chakotay and Seven of Nine fanart describing the bond they shared throughout Voyager. 


A thank-you to those who take the time to read this article, be you a Star Trek fan or not. 


All Star Trek pictures belong to Paramount/CBS studios. No copyright intended. 




Comments

  1. Hi Kate. Thank you for this wonderful resume and interpretation of the storyline of C7. I agree with you, they were good together and they both deserved it, For the record; I am a "J/C-er" but not because I disslike or want to dismiss the C/7 relationship. I actually liked that there was a solution for both Seven, Chakotay and Janeway. In their storyline on Voyager there was obviously no room for the JC relationship. Chakotay and Seven had build a respectfull relationship over the seasons, especially in season 6 that could easily grow into a love relationship. They talked with eachother, theu listened to eachother and they lerned from eachother, they grew together and individualy, as you say, throughout the episodes. What I remember spesifically is how the impact they had on eachother came to good use in other settings, like when Chakotay refers to Sevens words "You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness. It will be your undoing" in an argument with the Captain in «Scorpion», and when Seven has her little speech at the burial of Lt. Kelly after understanding the value of history from Chakotay in «One Small Step» I think they had a real connection, and I liked it. Thank you again.

    Sorry for my ranting and for my bad language. I just wanted to let you know,

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    Replies
    1. Thank-you very much for your reply! I definitely agree about the understanding C7 had for eachother. Definitely season 6 was the turning point for them. Appreciate the time you took in reading!

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