Old Wounds - Star Trek: Victorious (A Star Trek Online Fanfic)
Old wounds never heal. On the surface, the scars may have long vanished, but deep inside... the pain lingers. A cold, malevolent pain - a reminder, whispering; "we're still here". It is not a question of healing the pain, nor should it be. It's a question of living with it. To all things, there is a bane. We should not let ourselves fall to it. - Capt. Jean Luc Picard (ret.), Federation Ambassador to Vulcan (ret.).
Within the Collective, there is chaos. The consensus has been broken. Where there were many, now there are none. Species 5618 have introduced a disease into the Collective - a drone severed from the whole. Many of the Borg have now fallen to the chaos. The whole is fractured. Special measures must now be taken.
Consensus has been reached. Order must be restored. Assessing options. Options assessed. Consensus reached. Initiating selection process. Consensus reached. Drone 25948-Gamma. Drone is entering Regeneration alcove. Encoding genetic and memory data to Central Nexus. Cube 11968 relocating to Unimatrix 01. Initialising primary connection to 25948-Gamma. Connection established. The Collective must survive. We will adapt.
All drones have established primary connection to 25948-Gamma. Establishing processing matrix. Drone 25948-Gamma, new designation; Central Processing Nexus 001.
I am the Borg. The Collective must grow.
Chapter One: Battle of Archanis IV.
40 years later...
Three bright yellow pulses of light streak forth across the viewscreen of the U.S.S. Victorious, guiding themselves across the hull of a Negh'var-Class Battleship, going dim for a single, fleeting moment, before brilliant explosions burst from within the Klingon warship. Suddenly, a chiming alert sounds out through the bridge.
"That got their attention!" Lieutenant Tala calls out from her tactical station, "the Klingons are ignoring the Lexington and locking weapons on us!"
Ryan sits down in his command chair, bracing himself. "All hands, brace for impact! Helm, evasive pattern Ro-Four! Lieutenant Tr'zarac, fire at will! All phasers!"
The Ambassador-Class cruiser rolls 45-degrees on her starboard side and 'pitches up', evading a Vorcha-Class Attack Cruiser's main disruptor beam before raking her with vicious streaks of orange phaser blasts from the aft phaser banks, followed by the main phasers igniting against a pair of K'vort-Class Birds-of-Prey as they bombard the Victorious with disruptor pulses.
The bridge shakes with each weapon impact, before shuddering violently. "One K'vort destroyed! The other is breaking off! They're cloaking!"
Ryan keeps his eyes focused on the viewscreen. "Fire torpedoes!"
The red photon torpedoes make short work out of the shieldless vessel as it ignites into a bright orange fireball.
"Captain, the remaining Klingon forces are breaking off." Alpha is typing away at his console as a transmission comes through. "Report from Admiral Yanishev, sir. The Klingon fleet is leaving the system at warp 8."
"Stand down from General Quarters. All decks, yellow alert." Ryan stands from the central command chair, looking around as the bridge is filled by the main lighting and as the tubed alert lighting shifts from the harsh blood-red to a more subtle mustard yellow. "How's the Lexington?"
"She has sustained heavy damage to her warp drive. Captain Jade is reporting that she believes they will be able to effect repairs in approximately 6 hours. The U.S.S. Montgomery Scott is en route to assist."
"Alright. Damage report."
Commander Michael Carter looks at the console to his right as he reads off the damage report. "Minor. Plasma leak on Deck 8. Power conduits have blown on Decks 10-through-12. Repair crews are en route."
"12 injured, 3 major. No fatalities. The Klingons were focused on the Lexington until the last minute."
Ryan sighs as the Lexington lingers on the viewscreen, smiling a little as the 4th Fleet drops to impulse ahead; a dozen Excelsior-Class starships with 3 Akiras and the Galaxy-Class U.S.S. Henderson Field. The longer the Klingons keep trying to break through Federation defences in this system, the greater the chance they will succeed. Starfleet has been spread too thin due to the Borg invasion of the Cestus Sector coupled with repeated Romulan sabre rattling and an attempt to attack Vulcan itself. Sooner or later, the 4th Fleet is going to run out of ships to mount a defence and the Klingons know it.
The new Klingon offensive started around the same time as intercepted communications suggesting that the Empire was facing repeated incursions into its own space from Sector 295, on the far side of Klingon Space. Ryan can't help but feel that the two are clearly connected, but why would the Klingons react to a threat from the opposite side of the Empire by launching a new offensive against the Federation during a ceasefire? What could have them so desperate to gain ground?
Ryan's thought process is soon disrupted by the chiming from Ops indicating an incoming hail. Alpha turns slightly to face him. "Incoming signal from the U.S.S. Mauritania, Captain. Priority One distress signal."
"That's a disaster call!" Carter stands from his chair and strolls to Ryan's side.
"I cannot get a lock on the transmission. There is a high degree of interference."
Ryan looks at the viewscreen, morbidly. "On speakers."
There is a sharp crackle over the speakers, accompanied by a digital whine, shifting from high to low pitch before the panicked voice comes across the bridge, "This is the... Maurit... reque... istance... heavy atta... 256 by 39... Being boar... mayday! Mayday!... May... ayday!" The transmission is badly garbled, the voice of the sender interrupted repeatedly by static. In the background, the Victorious bridge crew can hear the crackle of flames and what sounds like phaser fire.
Ryan takes a deep breath before leaning on Alpha's console. "Where is she?"
Alpha taps his console repeatedly for a few moments. "The Mauritania is currently located in the Azure Nebula. Her current assignment is a standard sector patrol in case of Klingon attack."
"We are the only combat-ready starship in range, sir."
"Typical." Ryan starts to walk back towards his seat. "Red Alert! Helm, set course to rendezvous with the Mauritania!"
The Alert klaxon sounds as the lighting dims once again. The bridge crew frantically make moves to bring the ship back to combat stations. The helmsman calls out across the bridge, "Course laid in!"
"Warp Nine! Engage!"
Meanwhile, at the edge of the system, cloaked, the I.K.S. Kahless, commanded by Lieutenant General Torpal, Son of Megh'bar, watches the events transpiring. On the dark, humid bridge of the Negh'var-Class warship, Torpal watches the U.S.S. Victorious go to warp on the viewscreen. A technician turns from his station. "General, we are intercepting a Federation distress call coming from the Azure Nebula! The transmission is badly garbled. The Federation Heavy Cruiser is on an intercept course!"
Torpal leans back in his command chair, the eyepatch over his left eye shimmering red very slightly in the light. After a few moments, he finally speaks. "Set a course. Follow them. Stay at the edge of sensor range."
"Cha'vai!" The helmsman starts tapping on his controls. "Ready to engage!"
Torpal gestures forward with his right hand. "Mak'cha."
OOC: Yes, I'm going to try to finish it this time! :P
So, leave feedback down below, and I'll hopefully get Chapter 2 up tomorrow. Questions too.