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Literary Challenge #55 : "We are the (Mirror) Borg"

pwebranflakespwebranflakes Member Posts: 7,741
edited January 2014 in Ten Forward
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:

Today we start the two-week run of the fifty-fifth Literary Challenge: "We are the (Mirror) Borg"
Note: You are in the Mirror Universe

Your ship is receiving a hail.
You turn to your Communications officer, "On screen."
"Hello captain," says a Borg drone to you, "We are the Borg."

Write a Captain's Log entry detailing this Mirror Universe encounter, detailing your experience with the Mirror Universe Borg and what they are like.

This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.

The rules may change from one challenge to another, but I'd like to remind everyone what the base rules are. These may grow as we move on, so also feel free to give feedback!
  • Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky the challenge and let you make your entry.
  • There are no right or wrong entry.
  • The background story, questions I ask, and format requested are only to serve as a platform that you can start your writing from. Feel free to change up the back-story or the way you deliver, as long as the entry stays on topic of the original challenge.
  • Write as little or as much as you would like.
  • Please keep discussion about the entries in the appropriate Discussion Thread.
  • In the Discussion Thread, feel free to write what inspired you and what your thoughts on the topic are.
  • A few other important reminders:
    • Please heed the rest of the forum's rules when submitting your entry! All of them apply to these posts.
    • Each poster can have one entry. Feel free to edit your post to fix typos or add/ remove content as you see fit during the next two weeks.
    • After two weeks time, the thread will be locked and unstickied, as we move on to the next challenge.
    • We'll have two threads: One to post the entries in and one to discuss the entries. **Cross-linking between these two threads is acceptable for these challenges ONLY!!**
Post edited by pwebranflakes on
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Comments

  • comtedeloach2comtedeloach2 Member Posts: 499 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    "We are the Borg, our resistance is futile, you must assimilate us......Please, take us, we have no where else to go...."
  • kirkryderkirkryder Member Posts: 149 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    We are the Borg, we will Liberate you, you have no choice... Well you do, however we are hoping you will enjoy a better and free life from duty. You will never have to bow down to anyone.

    Any questions Captain?

    Only one, what is you're name?

    Well my name is Johnny Borg, we all have the same surname, which is borg, then we just choose a first name, or if we was free before keep our own name.

    Well this is new, so how can we help you today Johnny?

    We have a problem Captain, your borg have come through to our universe, and we need your help to stop them!

    Ok, close comms and contact Starfleet, this is going to be hard to explain. We should help them, however we could also have them help us remove our Borg from our universe. But how will we do this?

    Only time will tell... And we seem to have plenty of that at the moment!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    www.EliteDefenseStarfleet.com
    Best fleet in Star Trek Online...
    We even have our own merchandise!!! Come join us today...
    www.cafepress.com/elitedefensestarfleet
  • warchief551warchief551 Member Posts: 52 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Captain: On screen.

    "We are the Borg, would you like to hear our message of your lord and savior, Locutus of Borg?"

    Captain: HELM!! Take us into the opposite direction of that Cube, warp 9!

    Helm: Yes sir!

    Tactical: My god sir, the Borg...they have...*dramatic music*...PAMPHLETS!!

    Captain: It is done then...

    *entire crew sits through a 1 hour lecture, and then assimilated*
  • vanglevangle Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    After emerging from an uncharted worm hole we found ourselves on the other side of the galaxy. Our readings tell us we're in the Delta Quadrant, which means that we now have to be on high alert. I dont want the Borg swooping down on us alone. Though I have the utmost confidence in The Sovreign and her Crew, being so far from The Federation it wouldn't be long before our defenses were breached and we'd be helpless. Let's hope that we can find our way back home.

    My chief engineer tells me that the warp core became unstable and had to be shut down after we returned to normal space. It will be several hours before the nessicary repairs could be made. I have her running crews around the clock untill the repairs are made. Every moment we are here, the higher the risk that we will encounter the Borg.


    -Supplemental-

    After an hour of repairs we have detected a Borg Cube on an intercept course. Shortly there after we began preperations. Security has been placed on high alert and posted at every acess point on the ship. Handheld Phasers, and Phaser rifles have been set to a rotating modulation, but given our previous expericence with the Borg, we won't have many shots. We've brought the Borg tech we have been issued by Omega Squad. It's helped in the past, but I'm unsure how long we can hold out once the Collective knows that our ship is alone.

    -Supplemental-

    Something strange has happened. The Borg were, different. Instead of being contacted by the Collective's multitude of voices, we were hailed by a single drone. Erring on the side of caution, I had our phasers, torpedos, and cannons still at the ready with our shields up.

    The drone informed me that they had picked up our ship shortly after we exited the worm hole, and they had been reassigned to assist us in repairing our ship. Apparently we were not the first to have contact with them. They had offered to send a team over, seeing that we had Borg technology adapted for our ship, they insisted we allow them to transport aboard. At first I had resisted, after all what Captain would in their right mind would allow Borg to beam on their ship. Even if they asked nicely.

    It wasn't untill later that we discovered we had some how shifted into the Mirrior Universe that had sent ships into our Univers in a bid to take over. It seems that the Borg of this universe are unlike "my" Borg. I reluctantly allowed the Borg to send an away team, but had them closely monitored.

    I met with the Borg drone who hailed us and came to find out their evolution had been much different than the Borg of my universe. Instead of being given the drive to assimilate all technology and sentient life in the galaxy, their origin had a similarity to the Binars. They had experimented with implanting technology into their bodies and after many unsuccessful attempts, finally managed to get it right. It was after trading with many races for new technology they managed to form the basis of a Hive Mind. Though still in its infancy, they already possess many skills and can solve many problems in mear seconds. It is amazing, though frightening at the same time. If they continue down this path they will end up like the Borg of my universe.

    After repairs had been made we started on our journey back to the worm hole and to our proper universe. I shared with them the information we gathered on the Borg of our universe, and warned them of what they could become. I only hope that they will heed my warning and not continue on their path. Time will tell if they do, though I hope to never find out.

    Vice Admiral, Vangle Simtri
    U.S.S. Sovreign
  • neverwuzneverwuz Member Posts: 3 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Captain, we are being hailed.

    Put it on audio, commander...

    "We are the Borg, resistance is futile, prepare to be boarded, lower your shields."

    The ship loses power and goes dark. Suddenly, the lime green light of the Borg transporter filled the bridge. The lights came back up.

    "we are the Borg, margarita anyone? :rolleyes:"
  • bitemepwebitemepwe Member Posts: 6,760 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Somewhere is the emptiness of space.....
    Leonard Nimoy, Spock.....:(

    R.I.P
  • rocketman00699rocketman00699 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    -Captain's Log Stardate 67410.7-
    The Apollo is in the in the Defera Sector patrolling to help the protect the Defera from the Breen attacks. The Breen have become more and more hostile toward this area since being defeated by the Klingons and more recently in the Dominion war. I have awoken from my sleep by the comm asking me to report to the bridge, the science officer has found something that she wishes me to see. Something she says that "doesnt belong in this area of space."

    -Supplemental-
    The Apollo has fallen into some sort vortex that formed in front of the ship. This is what my science officer woke me about but before I could get to the bridge, the ship was enveloped into the vortex. Now I must try to figure out where we are and what happened, but that may not be as easy as we would like. I am told that there are transwarp signatures on sensors. I feel we may be gearing up for another battle with the Borg.

    -Supplemental-
    The transwarp signatures, which appeared on our sensors as Borg, came from a species similar to the Borg but seem to be less advanced in some aspects. Their ships seem to be much smaller than the Borg and there are more of them. They are not geomectrical shapes, they resemeble closer to a Klingon Bird of Prey or a small Orion frigate. They have some differenct technology on the hull than what the ship looks to be constructed out of, so maybe these are assimilated versions of the fore menetioned ships. There are several of them and they have surrounded the ship, blocking us from going anywhere. I have ordered Red Alert and we are at battle stations preparing to fight our way out.

    -Supplemental-
    Tensions seemed to have eased a bit as we have made contact with these Borg like people who call themselves, the Cie's. I have found out they do not know of this Borg of which my crew and I are referring to. They are a nomadic people who go around finding useful technology and intregrating into their lives to make them better versions of themselves. I was told there are several different families each with many ships, that they take over after they have been abandoned or they repair damaged ones to salvage for their family. The organic people who join a family are not all from the same species either, most join willingly to better the area of space they are in and help it grow. But sometimes members are rescued or healed through their technology and cant be seperated. Each family member has a function, not only on the ship they serve but as part of the family as well. They seem to be more organic than machine but they still have machine parts throughout their bodies and in replacement of some limbs. Each family has a leader that all of the other members of the family are tied into so that one can hear all the thoughts and make decisions for the family. At time families will fued with each other and its usually over some piece of new technology that each one is laying claim to. They say they noticed us on their sensors but they were not sure where we came from so I told them what had happened to us and they agreed to help us figure it out as well.

    -Captain's log Stardate 67429.9-
    After a week of working with the Cie's we have figured we are no longer in "our" universe. The Apollo is still in the Defera sector but there is no evidence of Breen or the Defera, the Cie's have told us they dont know who these species are. I have seen other Federation ships on sensors but their signatures come in as I.S.S. <shipname>. cross referencing this with our database, I have figured out we are in the "Mirror Universe." These Cie's must be the equilvalent of our "Borg" but they are very differnent in key ways. They seem to make themselves better through technology, yes, but they do it in a way that doesnt get in the way of other cultures. They dont assimilate like our Borg, they adopt people into their families. There is no collective and every member can speak but their thoughts are tied to a leader of the family. There are several familes spread out everywhere but they are all independent of each other. They avoid the Federation of this universe and have developed technology to help hide from them, which they have help us with and let us borrow while we are here.

    -Supplemental-
    We are dodging a Federation patrol and running radio silent and minimal power as we wait for the patrol to pass us by. I have heard these Mirror ships are as powerful as our ships and I would like to avoid open conflict, even if the Cie's have agreed to help defend us. They are helping us to find a way back to our universe but from our sensor logs and data we collected on the Vortex, there seems to be no way to recreate the event that brought us here.

    -Captain's Log Stardate 67431.2-
    Its been two weeks since we have thrown into this "Mirror" universe. We have had some close calls and we have had a few skirmishes with a species known as the Gal'dor. They claim this area of space and are trying to eradicate the Cie's from it. I have defended them as they have defended us. We have formed a sort of alliance as we work to get us home.

    -Supplemental-
    The Cie leader of the family Kemptar, has formally asked for us to join with their family and become a valued member of it. I am not sure as to whether this is a wise choice for us to make. I still value my individuality and even though it seems as they all have some sort of individuality, our thoughts would still not be our own. We would also have to have implants throughout our bodies and some limbs replaced to perform the tasks the family requires of us.

    -Supplemental-
    I have declined to offer to join the family Kemptar, instead I have offered them a permenant alliance while we are in this universe. Should they ever need our help we will be there. We have been traveling together for 2 weeks straight and now they must head out to find new technology for the family and keep improving themselves. We are planning to keep in touch however. Mean while the Apollo is going back to the Defera Planet to run more scans to see if we can find any trace of evidence of the Vortex that brough us here.

    -Captain's Log Stardate 68011.6-
    We have been in the universe for months now, and the crew is going restless. They want to be back home and honestly so do I. We have kept in contact with our friends from the Kemptar family of Cie's but the frequency of contacts is lessening month by month. Im getting closer to taking them up on their offer because at least we would belong somewhere. I will contact them later today to set up a meeting.

    -Supplemental-
    The meeting will have to wait, I have ordered Red Alert. We are being chased by the I.S.S. Apollo! The mirror sovereign class vessels seems to be "pound for pound" the same as our Apollo but with different markings on the hull. I have spoken to their captain and even he seems to be a twisted version of myself. I never knew how mean and ruthless an Andorian could be, makes me think the Klingons of our universe are like kittens compared to this Federation. I have set a course to the sector where the Cie's were last at, Im hoping they have not moved on yet as they can help us deal with this threat.

    -Supplemental-
    The Apollo is in the worse shape its ever been in. It has survived encounters with the Borg, Undines, Klingons, Romulan, Breen, Cardassians, and even Dominion and has never been in this much disarray. The bridge, if you can even call it that, seems now to just be a place to stand and watch what happens, instead of commanding what happens. There are multiple hull breaches, the warp core has been ejected in fear of a breach and we are running on emergency power. The I.S.S Apollo had some reinforcements with him that our sensors didnt pick up, the Gal'dor. Once we got to the sector with the Cie's, all out war seemed to take place. However after many times when I thought this is the end, we and the Cie's were victorious but each with our own casulties. The I.S.S Apollo and her crew were destroyed as well as all of the Gal'dor cruisers. A new leader had to be elected from the Kemptar and the process to watch that happen is something I will never forget. The new leader again asked me formally to join their family, this time it seemed like a better idea than the first time. I asked for time to consult with my crew.

    -Supplemental-
    My first office brought up a great point, if we join their family we may as well give up on trying to get back home because we will no longer be ourselves fully and our priorities will have changed. If we do join, the Cie's said they would repair our ship because they have started a salvage operation in the debris field of the battle. They told me the technology they adopt will help them to defend against both the Gal'dor and the Federation because their family has never had technology from either entity. Also with our thoughts joined it would make repairs go much much faster.


    -Captain's Log Stardate 68025.2-
    This will be my last entry as a United Federation of Planets Captain. This has been my hardest decision I have ever had to make as Captain. We have decided to join the family of Kemptar of the Cie. We will cease to be individuals fully and be apart of a family that will give us a place and a purpose as we cannot join the Federation of this universe and we cannot return home, I see no other alternative. We could have ended up in a worse place but we were lucky enough to find them, or they found us as it were. We have a new family now and I want to make sure we make it the best we can. Who knows maybe we will create a new version of "our" Federation here with this opportunity. My crew and I have encoded several letters and personal logs to our universe if there should ever become a time we can relay those.

    Captain Adip of the U.S.S. Apollo out...

    ----zzoz-z-z--Log---z-z--rrrrdate 68052.6-z-z-z---z-io--
    We are Cie, you will adapt to service us. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resist and you will die. We will conquer your world and all worlds. We are the end. You will be assimilated.---z-z-z
    z-z----



    So what Captain Adip didnt realize is that by allowing himselft to join with the Cie he opened the door to something that becomes more evil and malevolent than the acutual Borg. By allowing his ship and database to be joined, the Cie then realized they could be far more effective by combining their families into a collective and forcing their will on people and annihilating planets that didnt agree. They have become more powerful than the Borg because of their exisiting technology and expertise and now the new information from the U.S.S. Apollo. Captain Adip has changed the balance of power in this Mirror universe by taking the counterpart of the Borg and making them 100x worse than the Borg we know. That is who the "Mirror" Borg are!
  • rahmkota19rahmkota19 Member Posts: 1,929 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    - U.S.S. Sparta, Admiral's log, Stardate 94037.8 -
    The Sparta is on patrol through the Azure sector. After the recent battles with Tholian forces, it has come to Starfleets attention that the Tholians have the technology to open rifts to the so called Mirror Universe. Our assignment is to find a Tholian cruiser, acquire the technology and develeop an effective counter measure.

    - Supplemental -
    Long range scans have detected a Tholian Orb Weaver heading towards the Japori system. The Sparta is in full pursuit. I have full confidence in my battle-hardened crew that they will be able to disable this Tholian ship.

    - Supplemental -
    The battle with the Tholians did not go as expected. After the initial firing, a direct hit from the Sparta's forward phaser bank has hit an unknown weakness in the Tholian ship. I believe this might be a new kind of Orb Weaver, one that has not been encountered before. Whatever the case might be, the ensuring explosion triggered a massive rift. All attempts to hail Starfleet or the Romulan Republic have failed. I am therefor to conclude that the Sparta has entered the Mirror Universe.

    - Supplemental -
    It has been eighteen hours since we entered the Mirror Universe. By masking our energy signature, we have been able to conceal ourselves from the Terran Starfleet.
    Meanwhile, my main scientist, Yedloi, has deviced a dangerous, but possible working plan for returning to our dimension. This would include the activation of the Mirror Japori Gateway. We are not sure if there is such a gateway, but we believe it is worth the shot. The only alternative we have is waiting for rifts to open by Tholian forces. Therefore, I have ordered a course for the Japori system.

    - Supplemental -
    After modifying our scanners, we have been able to find the Gateway. Although it remains undetectable by any other form of scanners, we believe that we have a view clear enough to start pumping Tetryon particles into the Gateway. This should provide a one-time reaction, causing the gate to open a doorway to the prime universe counterpart. The bad part is that it will break whatever is concealing this gate, so we are placing Quantum mines around it to ensure its destruction. We do not need another open door for the Terrans to invade.

    - Supplemental -
    The gateway is powering up, although we are not ready with the Tetryon-enhancements to the gate. It leads to another location, apparently in the Solanae Dyson sphere as well.

    (the following is the computer continuing recording, although this is not part of the log entry)

    Operations officer Soloph: "Sir, scanners are detection motion at the other side of the gateway."
    - Admiral Kota: "Can you identify the source of the motion?"
    - Operations officer Soloph: "It appears to come from a ship of some sort, but our scanners cannot determine what kind of ship it is. Hold on.... its coming directly for the gateway."
    - Admiral Kota: "Enhance the viewscreen, there is always the old method of visual identification."
    - Helmsman Tocar: "By the Prophets, that looks like a giant cube."
    - Operations officer Soloph: "The ship is now coming through the gateway. Scanners are confirming, we are dealing with a Borg Cube."
    - Communications officer Sopimo: "They are hailing us, Admiral."
    - Admiral Kota: "On screen."
    - Borg Cube: "We are the Borg. You will power down your weapons and surrender your ship. We will add your technical and biological distinctiveness to our own. Your species will adapt to service us. Resistance is useless."
    - Admiral Kota: "Battle Stations! Fire all forward phasers, followed by a spread of torpedoes!"

    - Combat Log, stardate 94037.9 -
    Forward phasers are firing. Borg Cube looses 53% of shields. A Borg tractor beam is attempting to lock on, but is unable to get a lock through the modulating shields. The Borg fire Gravimetric torpedoes. Structural integrity field drops to 98%. Launch of 12 Quantum Torpedoes. The Borg Cube takes heavy damage on the facing side. The Borg Tractor beam poweres down. Borg fire a cutting beam. Shields absorb 99.5% of the damage. Sparta turns to heading 275.342. Aft phasers firing. Borg have lost shields. Target is moving away. Target has entered the gateway.

    - Suppplemental -
    After the brief stand-off with the Borg Cube, we have finished enhancing the Gateway with Tetryon particles. After arming the deployed Quantum mines to auto-detonate after 60 seconds, we entered the Gateway. We arrived in the Japori system, where Vice Admiral T'rela of the Romulan Republic Flotilla hailed us. After explaining our unscheduled arrival in the Japori system, we layed in a course back to Earth.



    - Report on the Borg in the Mirror Universe, Fleet Admiral Rahm Kota for Starfleet Command -

    Our engagement against the Borg in the Mirror Universe has opened up many questions. Why did the Borg enter the Gateway? What tactical capability do the Mirror Borg have? How was the Sparta capable of handling a full Cube with relative ease? What will happen now in the Mirror Universe?

    To answer the first question, there seems to be only one option. The Mirror Borg have assimilated the Solanae Dyson Sphere of their side. There they unquestionably found the Omega particles and the Iconian Gateway, taking control of both. This seems to explain the lack of Transwarp technology our scans picked up of the Cube: they are using Iconian gateways instead of a Transwarp Network.

    The Mirror Borg seem to have the same tactical capability as the Borg on our side around Stardate 43989, during the Borg invasion that resulted in the Battle of Wolf 359. Their armory includes Tractor beams, Cutting beams, Gravimetric torpedoes and regenerative shields.
    This partially gives insight in why the Sparta was capable of defeating the Mirror Borg with ease. These weapons were not adapted to fight against Starfleet vessels. It is therefore likely to assume that the Mirror Borg have never encountered the Terran Empire. Since the Mirror Borg have never adapted to the many defensive technologies Starfleet has developed over the years, the Sparta, fully equipped to deal with the Prime Borg, was more of a match than the Borg could possibly expect.

    What the future holds for the Mirror Universe is the work of speculation. It is safe to say that the Mirror Borg are now aware of the potential of assimiliation there is in the Mirror Alpha Quadrant. They will also act with caution, seeing that their first engagement in this area of space went disastrous. But they will invade. I hold my heart for the fate of the weakened Terran Empire. They just might be entering a conflict they cannot foresee.

    End of report.

    Signed,
    Rahm Kota, Fleet Admiral
  • masopwmasopw Member Posts: 157 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Sometimes, I really, really, *really* hate life.

    Like now.

    My back was screaming as I disengaged the auto-restraint on my chair, and I suppose the expression on my face was enough to let my crew know that I was out of the fight, temporarily.

    If they could have seen me, that is.

    Smoke was thick around the bridge, rushing out of damaged conduits from the overhead. The acrid smell made my stomach heave violently, and I started to retch.

    I wasn't the only one...seemed like every person on the bridge was throwing up, and my noise joined the chorus of misery.

    My eyes were filled with tears, and while I tried to blink them away, I wasn't having much luck. The smoke was getting worse, and I had to get this under control in order to figure out how badly we were hurt. Reaching to the left side of my seat, I fumbled for the controls, feeling for the detent that led to the physical Damage Control override. Sotek had given me grief for using an outdated Captain's Chair, extolling the virtues of the Mk. 47 and how he could reconfigure the side controls for any function. But my decision to stick with the reliable '38' meant that I could feel exactly where the Environment Purge/Reset button was, and mash it continually until I could once again breathe.

    Try doing that with no sight and no fancy voice commands, brah, I thought. You'd be tapping the side of your 47 like you were trying to send out morse code.

    The ducts seemed to scream as the fans struggled to clear the smoke from the bridge, and I thought I could hear the hiss of the Atmo Generators as they did their best to compensate, trading good air for bad. I knew that they did their job when the turbolift safety lockout unlatched with a clang, and the doors swooshed open.

    Doc Irve was first out. He would always be first out, regardless of the situation. Of course, I couldn't see that, but rather heard it as he started growling out orders to the response team.

    "Jen, triage the port stations, Ch'lar, you take starboard. Billy, get to Ops, I've got the Captain."

    I felt a hand grab my right shoulder, and pain wracked through my body, sending me into another fit of nausea. Again, my chest seemed to burst as I started to dry heave.

    Doc Irve's voice was clear as he shouted out, "Gina, sixteen milligrams of ondansetron for the Captain." I heard the warble of a medical tricorder, then felt a pinch on the side of my neck. Instantly the nausea subsided, and I felt Doc Irve's old hands pry my eyes open as he sprayed something into them. The burning increased for a moment, and I blinked hard to clear whatever it was that he sprayed me with. My eyes focused as he leaned close, looking from one eye to the next. "You'll be fine, but get to sickbay," he said quickly, then jumped over to Ensign Dellasera at the Helm. Jen, Beta Shift's head nurse, was leaning over the young Ensign, calmly but rapidly using the contents of her medkit to tend to the horrid burns on his face. I heard Doc Irve mutter a few choice curses, then reach into the medkit to grab a hypospray.

    The turbolift doors swooshed open again, and Vic came running out with the Engineering DC team. "Cap'n," he called out. "Where do you need me?"

    I pushed up from my chair, stumbled, but managed to stay on my feet. "Walk with me," I whispered. "Battle bridge..."

    Vic went to the bulkhead, popped open a panel, and pulled out an emergency kit. He ripped it open, grabbed the water, and handed it to me. I smiled and was able to choke down a couple of gulps.

    "Thanks. Ok..." my mind raced. "How bad are we?"

    "We're good. Worst damage is here," he said, motioning to the battered bridge, smoke still visible at the top of the dome. "Main shuttlebay had a runabout break free when we dropped..." His voice cut off as he saw a couple of MACO corpsmen carrying Ensign Dellasera away from his position. He winced as he looked at the burns on the Ensign's face, remembering how bad his hands hurt when he suffered similar injuries.

    I clapped him on the shoulder, bringing his attention back to the present. "He'll be ok. Look...what the hell happened?"

    "Sir...I don't know. We were cruising at warp, then it felt as if the ship dropped out from under us. Like we drove off a cliff." He paused as we stepped into the turbolift, and pushed the manual override for the Battle Bridge. "When we stopped dropping, I cut the engines."

    The doors opened onto the Battle Bridge, and I saw that L'naa was in the center seat, talking to the young midshipman at Science One. The station was scrolling through endless star charts, meaning one thing...we were lost, and the computer was trying to figure out just how lost we were.

    L'naa looked over to us, raising one eyebrow as if asking why I was there. "Doc Irve told me to tell you to get to sickbay if you came here."

    "Later," I muttered. "I'm good."

    "No, you are not." L'naa said, worry in her voice. She pointed to the viewscreen's lower corner, where an image of the primary bridge was inset. "You all should be in sickbay. Please...we have this," she pleaded, not wanting to push myself too hard.

    "I'm good," I said, putting more force into my words than necessary. As our relationship progressed, she was becoming more protective of me. The 'new' Starfleet wants the XO to keep the Captain safe...but let's be honest. I'm not 'new' Starfleet.

    She squinted at me, the displeasure obvious. Vic's eyes darted upwards as he breathed in quickly, not comfortable at the tension. "I'll take Engineering, Sir," he said, as he almost ran off toward the back of the Battle Bridge.

    Awkward.

    I gave L'naa a look, trying to convey that I was fine. I softened my voice, asking, "Were are we?"

    She sighed quickly, realizing that I wasn't going anywhere. "I've got Stellar Cartography running hot." Glancing at the main viewscreen, she shrugged. "We don't have a record of this nebula we're next to. Class III, but emitting Theta radiation. I've diverted auxiliary to the shields just in case, and polarized the hull. Casualties confined to the main bridge and Shuttlebay one. No fatalities." She breathed in deeply, hoping it would stay that way. She saw how bad Dellasera was burned. "Vic?" she called out. "Damage?"

    From Engineering at the back, Vic ran his hand over the display. "No hull breaches. Minimal torsion on port nacelle pylon, but I've boosted the SIF to compensate. Runabouts Pine River and Cedar Valley won't be flying soon, and we'll be cleaning up the bay for a few weeks."

    "Ok," I sighed. "Passive sensors only until we know where we are--"

    Lt. Commander DiPolo called out suddenly from Ops. "Captain, we are being hailed." She tapped her panel, and her face blanched. "Oh God."

    "What is it, Commander?" L'naa asked.

    DiPolo quickly turned her face away, but I saw a tear run down her cheek. "No..." she stammered, her jaw twitching furiously.

    I walked up and put a hand on her shoulder, hoping it would calm her down. I spoke with what I hoped was a reassuring voice, saying, "Commander?"

    Her body seemed to deflate, and the temperature dropped ten degrees when she replied, with no emotion, "The Borg."

    I looked around the bridge, seeing the crew glance from one another in panic. We were lost and damaged...not the best combination for an encounter with the Borg.

    Taking a deep breath, I walked over to the center seat, sat down slowly, and calmly said, "On screen."

    The nebula on the viewscreen faded away, replaced by the image of a bright, open command space. What looked like a light skinned human male sat at a central post. But instead of the pallor of the Borg I knew...his skin had a healthy glow. Borg implants were unobtrusive, blending into his body as smooth angles instead of looking like they were jammed into flesh. Both of his blue eyes were looking intently at me. "Hello," he said. "We are the Borg. Your ship appeared in our space suddenly and appears damaged. Can we assist you with repairs so you can depart?"

    I struggled to keep my jaw closed, and stole a glance over to L'naa. Her fingers were dancing over her control panel, her face betraying no emotion as she tried to make sense of what she saw and heard.

    "Uh..." I stammered. A quick cough, and I regained my composure. "Hello. Um...my name is Domenico Garret. I'm the Captain of the U.S.S. Bonaventure. I am sorry that we trespassed in your space, and assure you we mean no offense." My throat grew dry as I tried to figure out how to proceed. "We will proceed out of your territory immediately. Our sensors were damaged...so if you could point us in the right direction, we will depart forthwith."

    The Borg drone actually smiled. Smiled. "We can assist you, Captain Domenico Garret of the U.S.S Bonaventure. My designation is One of Six. May I beam a repair team onto your vessel?"

    I heard a cough from behind me, and turned my head to see Vic frantically gesturing, his head shaking back and forth. His eyes were as wide as saucers as he implored me not to let any Borg on the ship voluntarily. I glanced around the bridge and saw that almost the entire crew was suppressing their panic at the thought of Borg "help".

    On the viewscreen, a second drone approached One of Six and whispered in his ear. He turned to a control panel and glanced towards it. His smile turned to a frown, and he stared at me. "Captain Domenico Garret of the U.S.S. Bonaventure, our records indicate that your vessel may be from the same civilization that visited us a long time ago. A visit that did not go well. Are you familiar with Captain Rika Hernand of the Columbia?" He turned to the second drone, and quietly said, "Raise shields. Weapons to prefire status."

    I turned to L'naa, who quickly sent some information to the status panel on my right. I forced a smile on my face, hoping that One of Six would return it and that I wouldn't be facing an angry Borg. "Do you have an image of this vessel, or of her Captain? Our records indicate a different Captain of a ship with that name that once served the predecessor to our Starfleet."

    One of Six scowled, almost pounding his control panel. "Perhaps your records are as damaged as your sensors. Or you are being deceptive."

    I raised my hands to my chest as if in surrender. "No...our records list an Erika Hernandez as the Captain of the Columbia. Here..." I said, sending him an image of the NX-02 and of Captain Hernandez. "Is this the same vessel? The same individual?"

    Staring at his screen, One of Six said, "Same configuration, different coloration." He pushed a button on his panel. "This is what our records show." An inset appeared on the viewscreen to the upper left, showing the classic lines of the NX class...but with a swath of yellow paint on the hull, crossed swords displayed on the prow.

    "One of Six," I said, not believing what I was about to do. "Would you join me in my ship's library?"

    From behind me, I heard Vic mutter, "Ta ma de...."


    Ship's Library

    I walked to the port side, motioning for One of Six to join me. He paused at the doorway, looking at a display of gold starships to the left. He didn't look pleased at the color choice, but tilted his head as he went down the list.

    "Vanguard...Solaris...Messier...Mutabor...Sentinel...Bedford...Oregon...Nor'vessa...Lord English...Geist." He pointed out each one as he named it, looking confused. He didn't continue listing off the other ships. "On my vessel I display the Cube, tho Spheres, and Diamond that I have served on. It raises the morale of my crew to know their Captain has experience. You have served on each of these vessels?"

    "No, I have not. You see, each of these ships has bested the Bonaventure in a situation at one time or another." I smiled as I recalled each one of the simulations where I learned something new from my fellow Starfleet officers. "I display these as a sign of respect."

    He pointed to a blank spot on the wall. "Where is the representation of that vessel?"

    "Er...Admiral LaRoca didn't think I learned his particular lesson enough...and sent a team of MACOs to remove it."

    One of Six frowned when I said MACO. "Why have you brought me here?"

    Again, I motioned for him to join me over on the port side. "Here are the hard copy records of our space program. Not just Earth...but here are records for all members of the Federation. Vulcans. Andorians. Or, if you prefer, you can interface directly with our computer."

    "Why would you think I can interface directly with your computer?" One of Six asked.

    I pulled up my left sleeve, pointing to the remnants of a Borg implant. I lowered my eyes, and asked him, "Does this device look familiar?"

    One of Six's eyes widened in recognition. "That is impossible. We did not share our technology with anyone from Columbia. We would never do so." He stared at the interface, confused. "That implant should not be at that location. To install it there would cause considerable discomfort. That is barbaric."

    I pursed my lips, admitting, "I don't remember the installation. I do know that it does still ache now."

    "This is Borg technology. An earlier generation. But still..." He tilted his head sideways, examining it from a different angle. "You must explain why you have this. Please comply with this request."

    I shook my head slightly, not believing the exchange I was having with a Borg drone. "Please. Check the records for yourself."

    One of Six looked at the panel I gestured to, and withdrew a small cable from a pouch on his waist. He installed in into an organic socket on his right arm, then plugged it into the computer.

    And his eyes widened in fear.

    "No...the Borg do not do this. We do not...assimilate. We do not destroy. We just want to be left alone in our studies."

    I looked at him with sympathy. Sometimes I still can't believe I was part of the Borg Collective...what I must have done. What I was capable of.

    One of Six just learned what he was capable of.

    And he didn't like it.

    "I'm going to change the file parameter now," I said, slowly accessing the interface. "These are our astrometric records...as well as records of certain anomalies."

    His eyes moved back and forth as he took in teraquads of information. "These readings...they do not seem to be compatible with the files I have available."

    "They're not," I explained. When you showed me the image you have of the Columbia, it made me realize what's going on. And in the time since you've beamed aboard, my crew has confirmed it."

    His eyes widened as he figured it out. "You are not from this quantum universe."

    "Nope. From what I can tell, we're deep in the Delta Quadrant, in what my people call the Mirror Universe."

    He looked puzzled. "A stable alternate universe? One you can repeatedly reach?"

    "Yes," I said. "Don't ask me how. If I knew how...if the Federation knew how...we'd prevent incursions, as it is causing a number of problems at our end. And if we knew exactly how...then we could have detected whatever it was that brought us here."

    One of Six did not look pleased. The revelation of what his Borg could do...well...he was having a problem with it. He didn't look like he liked the idea of them making incursions into his reality any more than he liked the earliest interactions with the Terran Empire. "This particular nebula contains many anomalies. It is one of the reasons we found your vessel so quickly. We have sensors trained on this section of space." He glanced upwards, trying to process a solution. "With your records, we can together determine how you came here, and how we can send you back." He thought some more, then quietly said, "and how we can prevent you or others from coming back. No offense."

    "None taken," I said. "I do understand though...you don't want our Borg here any more than we want your Terran Empire in our space."

    "Our Terran Empire is far from here. They never returned after Columbia."

    "What exactly happened with the Columbia?" I asked.

    One of Six glared darkly at me. "They never returned. Leave it at that."


    Main bridge, two days later.

    I looked out at an imposing sight of twenty Borg ships. Cubes, Spheres, and three Tactical Cubes. They surrounded the Bonaventure, all directing beams of one type or another at a central area of the nebula. Active sensors seemed to scream through space, and I noted our science officers scrambling to keep up with the stream of data. Sotek...I could really use you and the Honolulu here to do the science, I thought.

    The bridge was repaired, but there was a squeak coming from above my head. It was annoying enough that Vic had taken it apart four times, but when he did more Borg came and re-repaired it, squeak and all. I finally told him to wait until we get home, and since then he sulked in Engineering. *Sigh*. Never tell an engineer he can't fix something, Arky always said.

    Lt. Commander DiPolo called out, "Sir...we are being hailed." She was back to her cheerful self, I noted. Good...I didn't want her to dwell on bad feelings.

    "On screen," I replied.

    One of Six appeared on the viewscreen. "Captain Domenico Garret of the U.S.S. Bonaventure, we are prepared for you to depart. Once the anomaly opens, you have three minutes to enter. After that we are sealing this rift for eternity."

    "Understood. We're ready to go." I swallowed, wondering exactly what would happen when we went through this rift. Oh, our simulations were promising...but luck and I haven't always been on the same page. "I thank you for your assistance. For your understanding."

    One of Six smiled, saying, "Learning is our Prime Directive. We will continue to do so." It looked like he was struggling with what to say. "What I say now is not my decision. The Borg have placed gravimetric traps between us and the Terran Empire. If their ships attempt to approach our space, they will be diverted to your reality."

    Great.

    He continued, "and we have placed subspace inhibitors around our space. It is unlikely that you will ever return. But it is not you we do not wish here. It is..." He trailed off.

    I smiled sadly and said, "I understand. You want us to keep our Borg out of your space. It's not something I can even remotely control...but I will ensure that all records of our encounter is encrypted and archived at the highest level of security."

    One of Six chuckled, stating simply, "About that. We've wiped your records." He motioned to another drone, and the deck beneath my feet heaved a bit as a tractor beam pushed us towards the now open rift. "We can't take the chance that your records of us become assimilated. The safest thing for us would be to destroy you now. But that would make us like your Borg. And we are not that."

    L'naa looked over, confirming that our computer core had been erased. She raised a single eyebrow and shrugged just so, as if to ask, What exactly could we do?

    I looked back at the viewscreen, watching the Borg fleet get smaller as we were pushed into the rift. "I understand, One of Six. I do. But if you decide to visit...well...I for one won't be opposed to it."

    One of Six's voice called out, "Us visit? Not a chance. Goodbye."

    "Goodbye," I called out, grateful in part that it was us that ended up here instead of the Ferengi Consortium who were bringing all those mirror ships home. I didn't want to think how that encounter might play out.

    It was a bit bumpy going through the rift, but as we cleared it we saw it glow as it was sealed on the other end, flashing out of existence as if Q had waved his hand. I turned around and walked into my ready room.

    On my desk was a gold Borg cube, with a simple note:

    Good luck, Captain Domenico Garret of the U.S.S. Bonaventure. I hope you learned something from your encounter with us. *We* are the Borg.
  • grylakgrylak Member Posts: 1,572 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Captain's Log. The Sentinel is in orbit of Jouret IV, investigating the sudden silencing of our primary staging area along the Romulan Border. We have lost contact with a number of colonies and stations in this sector. If we discover evidence the Romulans have a new weapon and are engaging in hostile acts, I fully intend to get Admiral Rykon to send me to Romulus with a task force to wipe those pointed eared elves from existence.






    Captain Stunshock breathed in, taking in the scent of the Vulcan woman. Arwen was one of his best scientists, and the Captain's Woman. A highly desired position among the crew, as it meant pereferential treatment. As he held her down, he enjoyed every moment, every sensation. She submitted, like she always did, her breathing becoming heavier, her hands running up his arms, reaching a point of ecstasy. He considered her a very beautiful woman. It was amazing how Vulcan women could be so cold, so distant, and yet so energised. Her fingers slid around his head horns, carresing them, flowing down his face and gripping sharply. She suddenly focused intently on him, causing Stunshock to pause. "What are you doing?" He could feel thoughts and sensations flooding into his brain. Every beating he had given her, every humiliation she had suffered, was being directed at him, magnified a thousand fold. A snarl crossed Arwen's face. "Enough Cromone. You won't hurt me anymore."

    Stunshock kept her pinned down, raising his free hand to punch her in the face, not hearing the door opening behind him. His fist was caught before he could strike, Talaina leaning into view from behind. "I'm sorry 'Captain', but I think it's time for a change of leadership." Before Stunshock could react, still suffering from Arwen's mind meld, Talaina slapped an Agonizer on Stunshock's back, sending him into convulsions. Arwen pushed him off her and got to her feet, quickly dressing and looking down at Stunshock with scorn. "Ever since that incident in the Rolor Nebula when you met your alternate universe counterparts, you've been growing increasingly agressive. I will not tolerate that any longer." Talaina knelt down so Stunshock could see her. "And a Captain who does not think clearly needs to be removed from his position." Arwen knelt down as well, spreading her fingers over Stunshock's face and initiating another mind meld, scrambling his brain patterns to leave him a drooling vegetable. Talaina got to her feet. "Computer, recognise First Officer Kazzur is now Commanding Officer of I.S.S. Sentinel. Effective immediately."

    "Command change comfirmed." The computer beeped in reply. Talaina turned to Arwen. "Are we going to have any problems?"
    "No. I have no desire to command. I just wanted to be free from his grasp, and to continue serving as a science officer on this ship."
    "Good. Then have a rest, the away team should be back soon."

    As the two women left the quarters, Stunshock flopped on the floor, unable to do anything else except suffer the perminant feelings Arwen had left him with.







    On the bridge, Talaina sat confidently in the Captain's Chair. The turbolift door opened and Emony walked out. The butch Trill woman strode out, pausing at the sight. "You know how Stunshock hates people in his chair." Talaina simply smiled, stroking the arm. "It's my chair now."
    "And he isn't coming back?"
    "Nope." Talaina turned to look at Emony. "Arwen scrambled his brain worse than one of Chef's omelettes. What about the base?"

    Emony moved down to the central area of the Bridge so she could report properly. "The entire settlement was gone. Whatever did it was powerful."
    From his Engineering station, Bosip cocked his head to the side. "Could you get the energy signatures from the rubble?" Emony shook her head. "You misunderstand. I don't mean the base was destroyed, I mean it was gone. All there was left was a large crater, as if something just scooped up the entire base. We did pick up an unusual reading in the soil, but the tricorder couldn't identify it. Arwen should cross check it with the ship's historical data, see if there's anything." Talaina nodded. "Do it." Emony tossed her tricorder across the Bridge to the Vulcan who promptly got to work, her pet Epoh shuffling around on the console beside her. Emony moved to the First Officer's chair and sat down. "So, you finally got rid of Stunny?"

    "Yeah. It was surprisingly easy at the end. Jeroans. Heh. Far too lanky for their own good."
    "Well, I'm not going to miss him. Of course, you'll have to pick your own Captain's-"

    A beeping from Tactical stopped her. Roderick shouted from his position. "Romulan Warbird decloaking! D'Deridex class!"
    Talaina instantly straightened, going into full command mode. "Shields up, Red Alert. Open a comm channel." Once Roderick confirmed it was open, Talaina lifted her chin, projecting an air of authority.

    "Romulan vessel. You have tresspassed into Imperial space. Power down your vessel and prepare to be boarded. Any deviation will be met with your destruction."

    The warbird remained silent, hovering in space facing the Sentinel. Talaina looked over to Roderick. "Anything?"
    He shook his head as he replied. "Nothing. They're just.... floating there. No comm traffic, no sensor scans." He frowned as he looked closer to the console. "No lifesigns."

    Emony frowned as she got up and moved to the science console. "That can't be right. Romulan ships don't fly themselves."

    A flicker of lights at the back of the bridge indicated a transporter beam. Arwen quickly backed away as a Romulan female beamed in beside her. The invader had a blank look in her eyes as she slowly looked around the Bridge. Talaina whipped out her knife and sprang to her feet, jumping over the chair and planting a flying kick at the Romulan's head. She bashed into the console and crumpled to the floor, Talaina and Roderick approaching, weapons drawn. Roderick gently poked the Romulan with a toe. "Something's really messed up here." The Romulan bolted upright, looking around slowly. Roderick stepped forward and swung a punch at her face, but she moved quickly, catching the fist and squeezing. Roderick opened his mouth in a silent scream as his hand was crushed, dropping to his knees. The Romulan released him and got to her feet, turning to the console. Her right arm started splaying open, revealing mechanical components underneath the organic flesh. Tubes extended out and interfaced with the console, causing the computer to start failing.

    Talaina quickly stepped up behind the Romulan and rammed her knife in an upwards motion through the base of her skull. The Romulan started twitching before she collapsed on the floor.

    Another transporter beam energised behind Roderick, revealing a Romulan male. He punched his hand thorugh Roderick's back effortlessly, lifting him off the ground. Roderick started gasping as nanites started flooding into his body, spreading out and taking over. The Romulan withdrew his hand and turned to the console, interfacing with it in the same manner the female had. Talaina rushed forward, but Roderick decked her with an arm smash. He turned to cover the Romulan as he finished and disconected, Roderick and the two Romulans beaming out. Talaina was already on her feet and furious as she moved to the Bridge centre.

    "Blasted Romulan spy. Emony, check what data they got. Jenna, back us away from that Warbird."


    A message came over the comms. "We are the Borg. We have analysed your offensive and defensive capabilities and found them inferior. You will not withstand an attack. We will add your distinctivness to the collective. Resistance is futile."

    Talaina snorted. "Futile my antenna. All weapons, lock onto that Warbird and fire. Destroy it."

    Weapons lanced out from the ship, reaching for the Warbird only to splash harmlessly against the shields. Talaina spun to Ensign Wurz who had just taken over Tactical. "Explain yourself! I said destroy that ship!" Wurz panicked at Talaina's fury. "I fired everything at full power! The Warbird should have taken serious damage. But nothing." Talaina took the Captain's Chair as she decided on the course of action. "Break orbit and fire at the Warbird's nacelle. Prepare to beam a tricobolt explosive into the area between that ship's dual hulls."

    Weapons rang out again, but still had no effect. The Warbird fired a tractor beam at the Sentinel. Jenna threw her hands up in disbelief. "That tractor beam stopped us dead. Helm is not responding."
    "Impossible" Talaina replied. "Warbirds don't have the power to stop a Sovereign class Battlecruiser dead in it's tracks. All power to engines!"

    A cutting beam shot out from the Warbird, yet another enhancement to the ship. Shields quickly drained, allowing the beam to pierce the secondary hull. Alert klaxons rang out indicating the hull breach. As Emony oversaw the evacuation of those sections, Talaina quickly thought, her mind racing. Whoever these Borgs were, they were powerful and resourceful. "Wurz, remodulate shield frequency on a rotating band, that might knock out their tractor beam. Bosip, is there a way to stop that cutting beam?" The Andorian engineer was already making numerous calculations. "If we polarise the hull plating, it could cause a dispersive effect."
    "Do it!"
    "Already have."
    Wurz shouted from Tactical. "Shield modulations have broken the tractor beam, but they are trying to adapt."
    "Jenna-"
    "Already moving!" The young ensign interrupted her Captain, turning the Sentinel away from the Warbird and engaging full impulse. Wurz deployed a satellite turret to cover their escape, but the phaser fire splashed harmlessly against the shield. Roderick appeared on the viewscreen, looking exactly as he normally did but with the blank expression in his eyes. He spoke in a monotone voice, lacking even a Vulcan's level of emotion.

    "Resistance is futile. The one known as Frank Roderick has supplied us with your abilities. You will be added to the collective."


    Talaina sat down in her chair. "Roderick. I never thought you would betray us. But Terrans have always been weak willed. It's why I'm so surprised your Empire has lasted this long."
    "My designation is Locutus of Borg. Your archaic societal feuds are irrelivant. You will become One with the Borg."

    "The Terran Empire, nor the Andorian State will yield to your demands."
    "Demands are irrelivant. You will become One with the Borg. All life will achieve unity."
    "Over my dead body."
    "Death is irrelivant."

    Talaina motioned for Wurz to cut the channel. "Jenna, maximum warp. Get us out of here. Wurz, send a Priority One message to Imperial Command. Tell them of this."

    The Sentinel jumped to warp 9, the Warbird turning to give chase. Sentinel increased her speed to maximum, warp 9.8, knowing the Warbird's could only achieve 9.5. Wurz confirmed they were pulling away.
    "Good." Talaina responded. "Emony. Arwen. Analyse what data we scanned from that ship. I want to know what mod-" She was cut off as the ship lurched sharply to the right, throwing everyone to the ground. Consoles exploded as lights started dimming. Wurz struggled back to her console and checked the sensors. "The Borg Romulan ship! They've overtaken us!"
    Talaina got to her feet, ignoring the throbbing from her head cut. "How is that possible?"
    "I'm picking up residual traces of subspace fluctuations." Emony yelled over the chaos as the ship was struck again, dropping from warp. "They've destabilised our warp field with a polariton pulse."
    Reports started coming in from across the Bridge. "Warp Core is offline." "Shields have failed." Weapons are at 50% power!" "Cutting beam is slicing through Starboard nacelle!"

    Talaina took it all in, quickly thinking an unorthadox way out of this. "Prep a tricolbolt torpedo and get ready to eject the core. Are Tractor beams online?"
    Emony glanced up at Talaina. "What the hell are you planning?"
    Talaina smiled. "The biggest bang we have is our core. Normal weapons wont work against their modified shields, but if we can explode the core down their throats, it might just work."
    "That's.... that's INSANE!"
    "Do you have any better suggestions?"
    "No."
    "Then shut up and do it!"




    The Sentinel ejected the sliver that was it's core and grabbed it in a tractor beam, sweeping upwards towards the Romulan vessel. As a cutting beam perfectly tracked it, surgically removing the nacelle and disabling any chance of getting the warp drive back online, the Sentinel fired a Tricolbolt at the Warbird, using the flux of the shield at the moment of impact to ram the warp core into them as they flew past. Shields flashed at the point of impact, the destructive wave tearing through the shields and ripping into the hull. The blast wave caught the Sentinel as she fled, lifting her up and away, breaking open the rear shuttlebay.

    Talaina had managed to keep seated in her chair, waiting for the sensors to clear. "Report. REPORT!"

    Emony coughed away some smoke. "Rear shuttlebay is gone. We've lost the shuttles in-"
    "Not us. The Romulan ship."

    Wurz took a moment before replying. "They're adrift. Reading massive structural damage, shields are offline, power grid is fluctuating wildly."
    "On screen."

    The Warbird was drifting, the front part of the vessel destroyed to it's skeletal structure. The warp engines were dark and most of the interior in the rear was exposed to space. Talaina got to her feet, astonished.

    "How did they survive that?!"
    "Their power grid is fluctuating. Not destabilising, but almost as if... they're repairing."

    "What?" Talaina spun to Wurz. "Close up."

    The viewscreen jumped to a close up of the hull. It seemed to be healing itself, hull plating starting to grow slowly over the damage. The warp engines started flickering and what looked like the Romulan crew moving around on the outside of the hull without spacesuits or any kind of protective gear, helping the repairs. Talaina turned to Wurz. "You said their shields were down?"
    "Yes Sir."
    "Then all weapons. FIRE!"


    The Sentinel came about, unleashing everything in it's arsenal at the Warbird. Explosions ripped across the naked hull, tearing through the skeleton of the vessel. The ship began to wave, almost like the start of a cloaking effect, before it imploded, sucked into the destabilised singularity at it's core. Talaina breathed a sigh of relief as she sat down in the chair. "All teams to Damage Stations. Send out a call to the nearest starbase. Tell them we need a tow. And tell them we need to find a way to stop this new threat."

    Feeling the top of her head, she noticed the sticky blood. Dismissing it until they were repaired, she was about to stand up when a beeping at the science station caught her attention. She looked over to Emony, waiting. "Captain. There's a massive buildup of tachyons all around us."

    Talaina stood as the viewscreen showed a decloaking effect, coalescing into a large wall filled with platforms. Nearby floated the entire colony of Jouret IV, perfectly prserved on a scoop of land. A tractor beam locked onto them. "Report."

    Emony was aghast at the readings. "Captain.... we're trapped. A large cube has decloaked around us. Sensors are reading a volume of.... 1000 kilometers square. The tractor beam has drained all power." The entire ship promptly went dead as thousands of voices spoke over the comm in perfect unison.

    "We are the Borg. Resistance is Futile."


    Emony looked at Talaina.

    "We are so boned."
    *******************************************

    A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'
  • captinwh0captinwh0 Member Posts: 781 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    no story (no time) but some thoughts an ideas.

    ok this is the mirror universe, which means in princable violent races are peaceful and peaceful races are violent. how ever this isnt always the case (deep space 9) if my memory is correct the teren race was enslaved to bajoran rule, but the terens were basicly the same. (far fling from kirks day)

    altho the cultures have changed the technology is the same. so the Borg will still be advanced using the same teck


    so hear is the possibility for Oregons

    1 a hive mind computer becomes sentient and wants to become flesh and bone. cant understand individuality and cannot replicate genetic matter. so they assimilate other beings ither coerced or deceived in to "volunteering"
    Eg farrengi wants to escape debt. or for protection, joins the hive

    also re-creates "the federation"

    2 being that can only be born with cybernetic help. eventually becoming more computer than flesh. breaking into 2 factions, the assimilated and the de-integrated (all flesh)


    3 an originally unruly multi-cultural race that had cybernetic implants forced upon them to make them more peaceful

    4 a servant race who's masters have passed away, who have more technology than the know what to do with (basicly a spoilt child race)

    5 began as a warrior race improving themselves with tech. specialising in neural interface. one day something like our internet is born, made around a central hub, access is granted through neural interface, everything runs via an interface including the ships.
    the central hub becomes sentient, and as time progresses it watches and sees all info passing through the internet. after years watching them go to war with one another, the computer decides to enslave them to make them peaceful. however every now and then. someone from another race disconnects them from the link, and uses them for war

    6 a unity driven race wants all other races to be united like them selves(no central hub unlike Borg)
    they force feed cybernetic implants into a worlds inhabitants to unite them all as one

    (as a separate individual race not part of the unity)

    this drives some worlds into disorder (especially warrior races) because everyone can here everyone elces thoughts

    got more but, that's all i have time for
    nerf.jpg]
  • aten66aten66 Member Posts: 653 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Personal Log:
    Gregs Sharvan Son'aire
    Captain of the U.S.S. Oregon


    Alternate realities... heh, never thought of them before...

    Of course when I started out at the Academy, I read the reports, took the classes they required, but I never believed that we'd ever encounter an alternate reality.

    Or that when they tried to invade, I would be there to stop them.

    Or that my doppleganger would join my crew from one such "Mirror Universe"

    **Pause**

    Well to really tell this story, I have to start at the beginning I guess.


    *********

    The Oregon was sent to explore the Solanae Dyson Sphere, one of the many ships sent to the frontlines of war on a new frontline.

    We came into to contact with a Voth Separatist, Nelen Exil, a month ago. Over the past week we've been in contact, when yesterday we were alerted to a small 'deadzone' in the sphere. Located in the far reaches of the sphere, 2 days away from both Federation and Voth controlled areas, an accident in Nelen's research led him to access and control the gate to a portion of space outside the sphere. Nelen transmitted the codes to access the gate, a possible 'exit' out into the Delta Quadrant, where we could explore space around the sphere for possible exits and entrances in real space.

    Of course, the reason for the gate being a 'deadzone' was evident on arrival.

    A Borg cube, or at least remnants of a cube, were surrounding the gateway entrance, scorched by the antiproton marks of the gateway defenses, and the evidence of an Iconian Probe.

    We were wary of the spot, but were assured after scanning the remnants, that it was an ancient piece of wreckage from decades ago.

    **********

    "Sir, the presence of Borg technology is frightening, but from my own memory banks, there has been no record of the Borg ever discovering a gateway of any kind, or if there was, it has been wiped from the hive mind," reported Ten of Ten, my main Borg Science Officer, and Chief Medical Officer. The whirs of the door revealed two more guests, Seven of Seven, and Anitara, my Borg Engineer and Romulan Security Officer.

    "In concurrence with Commander Ten, as my liberation was not as soon as he, my files do not show of any gateway or Iconian technology assimilated," the young woman replies, "In fact, while likely impossible, the Borg may be unrecognized servitors of the Iconians, with the Queen being able to only access such knowledge of Gateway activity; though the drive for perfection would make such theory illogical as the gateway is in effort perfection in connection with the Omega." She sits down at the command center table, where all my other Senior Officers are already seated.

    "Sir, with all due respect to the Federations ideals, and the Omega Directive in turn, the Alliance should be notified of the presence of Borg, even wreckage, in the sphere," this was from Deiso, my Female Orion Engineer, " We may have to destroy this gateway, if it leads to Borg Space."

    I turned my chair away form my officers, propping my head in my hands. The Delta Quadrant...home... even if it's destroyed this could be the only other exit we may find in years to come... I sighed. "I concur, if we must destroy the gateway, inform high command of this predicament..." I start to say, "Zinuzee return with the Cordius to the Fleet's Spire, the I.S.S. Oregon is docked and prepped for launch for single occupant usage, you are authorized to use a transwarp jump to this location."

    Of course I knew there would be dissenting voices, but I choose to ignore the chorus of gasps behind me.

    **********

    When I stepped into the transporter room, my Bridge officers stood at attention in a line. I hated there undying loyalty...it made me want to stay. I stood on the transporter pad. "Energize," I commanded stone-faced. Sharvan pushed the button.

    **********

    I found myself on the Mirror Assault Cruiser's Bridge, remodeled to the 'Star Explorer' version. While a crew of a thousand was necessary for keeping the ship up and going, over a crew of three hundred and fifty could keep it in adequate shape. Of course it becomes more efficient when the 350 crewman are holograms.

    Powering thrusters to position myself in front of the gate, the U.S.S. Oregon activated the Iconian gate for me to go through. I pushed the ship halfway through the gate before my sensors indicated massive tetryon and plasma ruptures in the gate's structure. A massive energy surge could be seen as I went through the gate into darkness.

    **********
    Five Minutes Earlier....
    "Of course you all know this means we're gonna disobey him and transport over right?" this from Sharvan, who had just transported the captain over, "Since I can't go, and Zinuzee can't because she's XO, I appoint Anitara, Ten, Deiso, and Chassidy to transport over to the ship to keep the Cap company." As he's talking he reveals a cache of weaponry commonly used by each person, and hands them to the group. "Keep him safe," he says.

    **********

    I arrived at the intended destination, just outside the Dyson Sphere's outer hull, with nary a scratch on the hull, and nothing in sight. I directed myself to the nearest solar system to our position, some three hours at warp 3 away. I set myself in for the long boring ride.

    Three hours later and I found myself in a bit of a spot. Of course I should've known it'd be less than boring trip when a Voth City Ship had popped onto sensors. I directed the Oregon away from the ship, before I came nose to nose with a battalion of Voth soldiers on my bridge. "Stand down Mammal," the Spec Ops Leader stated, "Your technology is inferior to ours, and any hopes at rescue by your Terran Empire brethren is a futile thought, as you are the only one whose made it alive outside the sphere." Suddenly there was a rocking of the ship, as a beep occurred on the Commanders side, taking it he spoke into it for a bit, before closing the channel. "New orders, we are to return to the ship without the prisoners, sensors have picked up Borg signals, unknown." With that they all transported away, leaving me perplexed.

    *****

    An hour of Warp 9 away from my latest contact with the Voth, I found myself in orbit of the hopefully away from any Voth or Borg sensors. I scanned the planets in the system, and found one rich in Dilithium, a few planets mined dry of their minerals, and one class M-Planet. I took the time to record all of the new finds in this system, before my lights suddenly cut out.

    ****
    Static cut in and out of the audio ports in the bridge, the viewscreen flickering to life revealing a pale, sullen figure. "We are the Borg," the drone said, "Species 5618 Vessel: Terran Empire, stand down and prepared to be boarded, resistance is futile." The Borg cut off communications, and a Borg tractor beam took out the rest of the ship systems, rocking the ship, and causing me to hit my head.

    **********
    Unknown amount of time later...

    I couldn't hear the whirs and beeps, but I could feel the pulse of a scanner over my body, the blocky table of the medical bay underneath me. I must have smiled unconsciously, because the prick of a hypospray flooded my system with adrenaline. I knew it was too much because my heart began beating at a faster than normal rate. TRIBBLE this much adrenaline could make me lose control of my telepathy... shoot if I lose control I could lose form. I shot up in my seat not able to see with sweat pouring into my eyes, but I could hear again, only the low beeps as my ears began to heal.

    "No, No, No," a muffled voice said, "You put too much adrenaline into his body, you could kill him; his adrenaline levels are nothing like regular Ocampa, or Vulcans." There was a shuffling noise, and a shadow fell over my closed eyes, barely perceptible but from the shift in light.

    "Sorry Captain Son'aire," a second voice, more robotic, said, "Your hybrid genealogic status makes it hard for us to compensate for unknown genetic problems, we had to pump you with adrenaline to get a response." The muffled-ness must be my senses waking up more, my hearing not all the way back yet. I look at the humanoid, my eyes adjusting to the light shining in my eyes. I muffle a scream as I look at a Borg drone in front of me. "Hello Captain Son'aire, we are the Borg."

    *****

    I woke up in my bedroom, the sheets tangling my limbs as I try to get out of bed. I thought that I had just had a nightmare, but the mechanic low whirring in the next room proved me wrong. The Borg Drone sat there unmoving. His species was Vulcan, his face half covered in a mass of goggle like instruments forming an ocular implant, he wore the tattered remains of a Vulcan monk, though in an almost ancient style similar to before the sundering occurred, his hands were marred with battle scars, not at all like what the Borg would inflict. He was old, around 150 if my guess was correct. "Captain Son'aire, you have nothing to fear of the Borg, we're not the ones of your universe," he replied, not even looking at me. I cautiously crept out to meet him, choosing to get a cup of hot chocolate from the replicator to sturdy my nerves. "Hello Captain, I am Solek of Borg, Tertiary Adjunct of Cube 3471, Unimatrix 01, and elected representative of the Borg," he says, "Your people have been most helpful in revealing that, while you ride a Terran Empire ship, you are not part of their destructive society". I nearly did a spit take with my hot chocolate, more from surprise that my bridge officers were onboard, than that the Borg had interaction with the Terran Empire, but I choked the impulse back.

    "The Borg have had destructive encounters in our past interactions with the Terrans, such as our first exploration into the Alpha Quadrant, before being defeated by Terran Empire ships Captained by Will Riker of the Terran Insurrection, resulting in the retreat by our people back to the Unicomplex," he said, "In fact one of our surviving drones, wishes to speak to you." He gets up and walks over to my main computer, opposite my chair. "These are my parting words Son'aire, the Borg encounters with the Terran Empire did not end well, millions of Borg killed, and Borg technology falling under their control," he continues, "Our people were once like your Borg killers and enslavers, but now we are, preservers, chronicling young civilizations in their prime, saving cultures from extinction, as well as gaining willing representatives to such cultures if they accept." He looks at me, before turning back to the screen, and sends a small command into the device, before beaming out of the ship.

    I was confused as to why he had beamed out, but when the humming sound of the transporter reactivated, I could see he was returning. In place of the drone I was expecting, I found two men, one around his forties, the other a man in his eighties. While very few implants could be seen beyond their dress, I could still see the modifications of Borg technology, as well as ocular implants. But what surprised me the most was the imposing form of Jean-Luc Picard, and the lesser figure of Noonian Soong.
    *******

    The Borg men that were Locutus of Borg and Noonian Soong, looked around the room, Picard looking at the trophies adorning my walls and smiling, while Dr. Soong carefully observed me. "You are the one known as Captain Son'aire, correct?" said Soong. I nodded at this, affirming what they already knew. "I am Noonian Soong, and this is my compatriot, Locutus of Borg," he said, "Our link to the Collective has informed us you are from a 'mirror' reality to our own, and that your Federation is the opposite to our universe's Empire?" I nodded again.

    Then Picard started to speak. "We know that your Borg Collective is much different then the one you now face, as your Science Officer Ten of Ten has affirmed," he said, "We know you are probably wondering how we found you, and how the Borg became what we are today?" I again nodded, knowing they were going to speak anyway. "When the Borg King was destroyed at Iconia, and I was assimilated into the collective, along with Dr. Soong, a small group escaped into an unaffected sphere, where we eventually grew to become much like the liberated Borg of your universe," he said, "When we reached the Azure Nebula of this universe, we found a suitable subspace tunnel into the Delta Quadrant, and once reconnected with the Collective, we spread our newfound freedom, and then formed an isolationist, yet exploratory culture, much like what your early Federation once did." I took all of this in, when a chime at the door sounded.

    "Come in," I commanded, and the person was revealed to be Chassidy. I turned to the men, and excused myself, then I marched up to Chassidy. "I told you not to follow me," I merely said in a monotonous voice. She smiled sheepishly.

    "Well Sharvan...sort of ordered us over here, and since he is you, ya know... he kinda overruled your order," she states, holding a P.A.D.D. in her left hand, "Oh and boss, here is the list of possible Iconian gateways the Borg believe we could use to replicate the accident that brought us here." She handed the P.A.D.D. to me, and I took it to look over the findings.

    "Well, let's use this to find a way back home then," I say.

    *********
    1 Day Later...

    "Thank you Locutus, and Dr.Soong, for helping me and my crew to return to our universe," I saw to the bridge viewscreen, "And thank you for taking precautionary measures in destroying the Gateway when we leave."

    The men on the screen are at the helm of a Borg Diamond, worker drones mulling around in the background at various efficent tasks. "Thank you Captain, for warning us of the Iconian's foothold in this galaxy, and the dangerous Omega producing Dyson Sphere of Species 968; we will take measures to study and disarm the Sphere in the future," he says "As well as dissuade the Voth of it's power, and fight back any of the Terran Empire's hold in the sphere."

    "Cut the channel Ten, Helm, fullspeed home," I say as we go through the gateway.

    ***********
    6 Days Later....

    I finish typing up a full report, and decided to file it among the many strange encounters I've had in my various years as a traveler. Perhaps, someday I'll get to see those Borg again, as the chances of passing back into that parallel quantum reality is slim, though it would be great to see the advances they're making back home...

    ************

    [Unspecified time and date,
    Location:
    Mirror Universe: LNS-As1]....

    I am home my children, from the depths of dark space, to reclaim my command, as your King...

    We are not yours anymore King, we are the Borg, and you have no place here...

    My children, what are yo&^%u [email protected] what ha!$7ve you done to me... this *&$irus is something I've seen before...Iconia...7^5#[email protected] you fools...you fools...

    We are alone in our thoughts...
    No guiding voices...
    We have no King...
    No Queen...

    We are finally free...

    We are the Borg.

    Our Mission is to explore strange, new Worlds...
    To free the Universe of the Iconians...
    To attain freedom for all...

    For the first time in millions of eons, I am alone in my thoughts... my children... have grown up...and have left me...
  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Here goes. Second-ever attempt, please be gentle.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Captain's personal log, USS George Takei (retrofitted Stargazer-class cruiser), NCC--aw, shoot, I've forgotten again. Same with the stardate, but I know that it's about a week since I left the diplomatic mission to Qo'nos. I've never had such ease picking up casual dates just by fighting people.

    Well, it has certainly been an interesting day.

    It started so nicely too. Azip and I had the most delightful date last night, although I won't spill the beans--my dates are private, Contract-Holder Jorel Quinn. Contract page 17, section 4. Anyway, we were just waking up in my quarters when the ship shook and the red alert alarm sounded.

    Nemesis units are trained to be always ready to fight. I had my entire uniform on before Azip put on her pants, even though I had a bra to throw on (trust me, a sports bra really is useful for ground combat). By the time she was fully dressed, I was leaping into my chair on the bridge.

    "What happened? D'vek, report!"

    "We dropped out of warp, sir," said my Romulan chief science officer. "Looks like we hit a spatiotemporal anomaly while at warp speed..."

    "Where are we?"

    "Quantum resonance scans are in progress, sir, but the quantum sensors are damaged. We only have basic sensory capacity until we can repair them."

    "Gamat'elon, tactical report."

    "Shields are down, my God. Hull breach on deck 12, but your improvements have kept hull integrity stable. Torpedoes are offline, but phasers are operational."

    "D'vek, you owe me twenty bars of latinum. I told you that genre savvy was a thing. Right, start repairs--oh, hello, honey, you're just in time!"

    Azip's yellow blouse was on backwards. That reminds me--I am never going to obey that stupid rule about tactical uniforms. No red shirts on my ship, period.

    She took her seat as D'vek started yelling orders over the intercom.

    "Where are we?"

    "No clue, sweetcheeks. Gamat'elon, launch a class 1 probe, try to find where we are."

    "At once, my God!"

    "Will you stop worshiping me already? Don't you guys serve the Changelings?"

    "Glorious Odo'Ital, may His glorious Name be praised, wishes for the Jem'Hadar to find more gods. Since you give life, and you take it away, you are logically a god."

    "Look, it was just CPR! And besides, Nopada Prime was three months ago, you'd think that you'd have--wait a minute. That blip on the sensors, what is that?"

    "Unknown vessel, my God. They are within visual range."

    "On Screen."

    There was a collective gasp from my crew. Azip grabbed instinctively for my hand.

    I felt fear. For the third time in my seven hundred years of life in no fewer than five temporal continuities, I felt real fear.

    Normally, the Borg would be just a dangerous threat to my ship, but now we had no shields and our most powerful weapons were offline.

    I could take Borg in ground combat--my indestructible armblades make short work of their implants--but they were strong. Not as strong as a Nemesis unit, but strong enough that a large number of them, such as however many they could beam through my shields without a fleet for backup, could hold me down long enough for assimilation.

    And without me, my crew--my life, if you understand the psychology of Nemesis units--would be doomed. If they figured out how to manufacture my metal, nothing could possibly stop them.

    "We are being hailed, my God," said Gamat'elon, his voice shaking with fear.

    I swallowed, my mouth dry. "On Screen."

    The drone smiled eerily. "Hello, Captain. We are the Borg."

    "Activate self-destruct authorization Nemesis unit designation Three pi one-one alpha zero. You'll never assimilate us into your collective."

    The drone frowned. Frowned? Borg didn't frown. "Assimilate? If you mean upgrade your crew, we have not extended the offer yet. Please, would you inform us of your species?"

    "My God, the self-destruct is nonfunctional. What shall I tell the crew?"

    I could feel myself shaking. A Nemesis unit is nothing if those she loves die. If I were to be assimilated, those things would keep me alive for the torment, when normally my body would die with my mind.

    "Order all crew to the shuttles. Space anyone who can't fit. If that doesn't work, I have failed you."

    "There is no cause for such drastic actions," said the drone, sounding concerned. Her voice had tone. Borg weren't supposed to have tone in their voices. Even Sir Patrick Stewart removed the tone from his voice when he played Locutus.

    Sorry, Contract-Holder, I should probably scrub that from the log. It's a reference from my Original's base universe.

    "We come in peace," the drone continued. "I am Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix 01. My research unit was studying this anomaly in our space when your ship appeared; please do not be afraid. Cube 1701 is a research vessel, equipped for studying spatiotemporal phenomena."

    I froze.

    "Did you say Seven of Nine?"

    The drone smiled. I knew that smile. I watched that smile every Saturday at four PM on Star Trek: Voyager (Blu-Ray complete collection), like every Nemesis unit before me and after me.

    "Yes, I am Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix 01. I am specialized for scientific research, specifically astrophysics. Please do not be alarmed at the comparative size of our vessel--I assure you that we are a peaceful research team."

    Her skin was Caucasian. Healthy. Pink. Her implants were smooth, curved chrome, and her eye implant glowed green.

    Then her expression changed, and I realized that something was wrong.

    "The species on your left has been identified as Andorian. This species is a know member of the Terran Empire, a hostile space power that has attacked Borg research vessels on previous occasions. You will be destroyed, for we cannot allow the Terran Empire to learn of this spatiotemporal anomaly. Four of Nine, ready the plasma defense cannons."

    Something was wrong with this whole situation. Then the words "Terran Empire" hit me.

    "Waitwaitwaitwaitwait!!! Did you say "Terran Empire"? Captain's women, Evil Spock, sexy goatees, Intendant Kira and her hot outfit, Regent Worf's gratuitously oversized warship, TRIBBLE Leeta and Ezri Tigan, cut-off blouses, lots of cleavage, sex and sashes? That Terran Empire? From the Mirror Universe?"

    Seven of Nine frowned again.

    "Processing...The Terran Empire has a tradition of "Captain's Women" on its starships, due to primitive, ingrained gender inequality. No knowledge exists in Borg databases about "Evil Spock", "Intendant Kira and her hot outfit", "Regent Worf", or "Leeta and Ezri Tigan". Sashes, worn around the waist, were clothing articles common in Imperial fashions during the Seventh Dynasty. Cut-off blouses, another clothing article whose function is possibly related to Imperial gender inequality, were also common during the First through Ninth Dynasties. No relevant reference to "lots of cleavage" has been found in borg databases."

    "Close enough. I'm sorry, I think that we are in the wrong universe. Seven of Nine, you said your name--sorry, designation--was? Because we have one in the universe we came from, she just prefers to be called Annika Hansen."

    "That was my designation--primitive "name", rather--prior to my upgrade. How do you know this?"

    "It's a really, really long story. As in, days long, and I don't think that you'd like it anyway. Um...could you help us get back?"

    "Full analysis of the anomaly will be complete in 3.759 Unimatrix standard time units. In the interim, please give us information on your species so that we may add this information to our databanks."

    "Wow...usually I can pass for human, but you guys must, what, sense the armor under my skin? That's pretty cool. I am Nemesis unit designation Three, a cloned Nemesis unit currently Contracted to Admiral Jorel Quinn of the United Federation of Planets."

    Seven tilted her head. "This drone has found no mention in Borg databases of a "United Federation of Planets". What is this state, power, or entity?"

    "It's...well, it's like the Empire, only dedicated to peace and exploration instead of war and conquest. The Federation is all about equality and acceptance. It's from another universe, but I think that our side had a few run-ins with them during crossover events."

    And Mirror Universe episodes of Star Trek, I added under my breath. But that's not important right now.

    "That is interesting. Searching captured Imperial databases for reference to this body. While this search is in progress, may I ask if this alternate temporal continuity has an organization similar to the Borg Unimatrix?"

    "Don't ask that. You don't want to know."

    She tilted her head at me again. Nemesis units have near-perfect poker faces, but I dropped mine, showing all the emotion I could.

    "Your request to cease this line of discourse has been processed and accepted. Information on the Federation has been recovered from captured Imperial archives and corroborates your story. Scans of your ship also show slight but significant differences from known Imperial technology. The Borg Unimatrix apologizes for this misunderstanding."

    "Um...thanks? Can you get us back?"

    "Processing has determined that a concentrated tachyon burst may revert your ship to its temporal continuity. Is your ship capable of impulse drive?"

    "Three to Engineering. Chief Belkrab, do we have impulse capacity?"

    "Yes, sir! Barely, but we have it, sir!"

    "We have impulse capacity."

    'Excellent," said Seven of Nine. There was a spark from the Borg cube, and a thrumming sound from behind us.

    "I suggest that you return to your timeline. This research team has determined that it would be preferable that contact between our temporal continuum and yours be shut down, given analysis of your statements and recent Imperial records. The anomaly should remain in its current state for point nine seven Unimatrix standard time units before it closes and your ship is stranded."

    "Well...thanks, Seven. You're as cute as the you from our side."

    Seven of Nine smiled. "Send her the best regards of Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix 01, Four of Twelve, primary adjunct of Unimatrix 01, and Eight of Eleven, secondary adjunct of Unimatrix 01. We wish the other me and the others of those who were my parents before our upgrade only the best, especially in their research."

    I tried not to betray emotion. I did watch all of the Seven episodes of Voyager about six extra times--all Nemesis units do, when we are 13. I know what happened to her family in the "Prime" universe.

    "Sure, Seven. I'll do that. Helm, full reverse."

    "Yes, my God!" said Gamat'elon.

    The ship was surrounded in a blazing white corona, and we were back.

    Nothing had changed. Except for the glowing hole in the universe before us, which shrunk and vanished as we watched.

    Azip was the first to speak up.

    "Right. I need some therapy after a day like that, and my sleep was disrupted. Three, I'll be in your quarters for another half-hour if you want me."

    D'vek wolf-whistled. Gamat'elon reached over and slapped him upside the head.

    You know, there may be some benefits to that Jem'Hadar's worship after all...
    Founder and Grand Vizier of the Glorious Regime of Sovereign Ba'al. Hail Ba'al!
    Baal%20prop%20pic%208_zpsqaptvpnu.png
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,707 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Captain's Log, USS Bedford NCC-92570
    Captain Grunt recording.

    This may have been a mistake.

    I understand what led Spire Command to have us perform this experiment - I wanted to see what was outside the Sphere, too. I suppose, though, that I should have waited until Astrometrics had completed their analysis of transwarp pathways
    inside the Sphere. Now we're in a Delta Quadrant, but not in the universe we started off in. Cdr. Roclak tells me the quantum signature matches that of the variant Mirror Universe we visited before, the one where my opposite number is the Grand Master of the Ferengi Trade Empire, and his people - my people - have the military might to hold off both the Terran Empire and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. In a place like this, I'm a little nervous - strike that, I'm scared right down to my wallet - because we're in what should be Borg space. The Ferengi are heavily armed and dangerous here, and keep Pakled as slaves - what might the Borg be like?

    We are continuing analysis, in hopes of finding a way home before anything else finds us.


    "Anything, Rock?"

    The Klingon sat up from the scanner hood at the science station. "No traces of any transuniversal apertures yet, sir," he replied. "This area is lousy with transwarp conduits, though - not sure if they're Borg or Voth in origin, but somebody's been all through this area. No sign of any other ships, which surprises me, because I rather expected to find Kazon in this sector."

    The Ferengi captain shrugged. "Maybe they never got around to rebelling in this universe. Or maybe their masters killed them and ate them - I'd believe almost anything here."

    Gydap sat bolt upright at the helm, his Andorian antennae quivering in distress. "Captain! Borg cube dropping out of transwarp, thirty kilometers off the port bow!"

    "Red alert!" Grunt called, hammering the alert button on his chair.

    "Sir, they're - they're hailing us," Lt. Manalang said wonderingly from the comms station.

    Grunt looked at the screen, nonplussed. Hailing? Not just overriding our systems to announce themselves?? "On speakers, please, Ruben."

    The bridge echoed with the unpleasantly familiar metallic echo of Borg speech. "We are the Borg. We are Submatrix Seven-Zero-One. We request that you identify yourselves, that communications may take place."

    Since when do the Borg "request" anything? "Open a channel, Ruben. This is Captain Grunt of the starship Bedford, United Federation of Planets Starfleet. We're, ah, not from around here."

    "This is evident. We have scanned your ship. You do not originate from this universe. You have aboard specimens of species 5618, designate Humans. These Humans are not in forcible command of your craft. There is also a member of species 5008, designate Klingon, on board, not in conflict with the Humans. Other species are aboard,some not yet classified. You are species 180, Ferengi, yet do not appear to keep slaves. We are puzzled. May We transport a representative aboard your ship?"

    "Um, we've met Borg in our universe. And we don't particularly want to be assimilated."

    "We believe assimilation is a positive good for the universe at large. Conflict is ended in complete understanding and community. However, if you do not wish to join Us, We will not assimilate you. May We transport a representative aboard?"

    "Please give us a moment." Grunt gestured, and Manalang muted the channel. "Well, Rock? What do you think?"

    The Klingon grunted. "I don't trust them. On the other hand, if they wanted to take us, they'd take us - they could have beamed an entire assault force over before we even knew they were there. The question is, do we learn more by refusing, or by allowing it? And if we refuse, will they do it anyway? Up to you, really, Captain, but I recommend we permit a single representative. And that he beam into your ready room, which we will then lock down. And have Mycroft stand by for any cybernetic attacks."

    "Good point. Mycroft, have they tried hacking you yet?"

    A hologram of a portly Human flickered into being next to Grunt's seat. "There have been a few probes, Captain, but they desisted with the very first layer of security protocols," the AI replied. "These Borg are most unusual, I have to say. They seem to act with unanimity of purpose, as we have come to expect - but their purpose seems a bit less, well, single-minded than we're used to."

    "Okay. Well, the mission is to find 'new life and new civilizations', right?" Grunt tried to grin, but his guts were freezing in terror. "Open the channel, Ruben. Submatrix 701, we are prepared to meet with your representative. Please send only one, to the coordinates I will be occupying in three minutes."

    "Your cooperation is appreciated, Captain. We shall cooperate as well. Our representative will arrive at the designated location in three minutes by your clocks."

    "We look forward to meeting with you. Bedford out." Grunt stood. "Rock, Shelana, to my ready room, please. Sidearms - phaser, disruptor, and plasma, set to random-walk frequencies. Mycroft, once our guest has arrived, please surround the room with maximum internal fields, and if things go dramatically wrong, promptly beam everything in the room into space."

    "Yes, sir. You realize that the decompression would kill you?"

    Grunt grimaced. "Mycroft, if things go that badly wrong, killing us quickly would be the best solution. Grunt to Engineering. Mr. Vovonek, please join us in my ready room. We have - a very special visitor coming aboard."

    Roclak snorted. "'Special', he says."


    "I still think this is a bad idea," Shelana insisted, as Grunt took a seat behind the desk in the ready room. "Remember when we took a Borg aboard the Hybrid?"

    Grunt winced. "I'll never forget that. She may have been a pile of mine tailings, but she was my first command. These Borg are different, though. Did you hear it request permission to board?"

    "Different or not, sir, they're still Borg."

    "I understand your misgivings, Shelana. I even agree with them somewhat. However, if we refuse, the politeness might stop. Besides, if it tries anything, you're free to add a few new holes in its superstructure. And Zoex is standing by on ship's weapons, too. We're not going to get caught with our pockets open this time."

    "'Pockets open'?"

    "'On open ice', to Andorians," Roclak clarified. "The Humans say, 'with their pants down'."

    "And it's showtime," Grunt announced, as a green swirl formed in the center of the room. "Please hold fire until the order is given."

    The green solidified into an image of Grunt's personal horror - a humanoid form, riddled with metallic implants, its left eye replaced by a large ocular sensor. It raised its right arm, still mostly organic, as its voder clicked and buzzed. Eventually, a voice emerged. "Greetings, Captain Grunt of the starship Bedford. This unit is designated Three of Eight, of Submatrix Seven-Zero-One. We welcome you to this universe in the name of the Borg. Do you desire Our assistance?"

    Grunt cleared his throat. "If by that you mean joining you, no, we like being individuals, thanks. It's a bit odd, though - in our universe, the Borg usually just announce that you're being assimilated, then attack."

    "We take your meaning. We were once like Them. We assumed that all species would welcome assimilation into Us, the end of being alone and afraid. No Borg unit is ever alone, no Borg unit ever knows fear. It was Our first contact with the Terran Empire which changed this. We had been resisted before - but never with the level of visceral hatred of the Terrans. When We finally managed to assimilate one of their starships, the mental reaction of the Humans shocked Us to the core. Even when in Our embrace, they never stopped fighting, never stopped fearing. We withdrew, and spent some years in contemplation. We have now concluded that Our earlier efforts were in error. We offer peace - and peace offered by violence is no peace at all. We still offer others the opportunity to join Us, but We no longer require it. There have been some species, such as the Kazon, species 329, who have gratefully accepted Our offer, and become of Us. It was the only way to ease their pain, and cease their strife - there is no struggle for resources from within Us. Others, such as the Voth, species 29, have rejected Our assistance. We continue in peace."

    "Interesting," Roclak observed. "The Borg in our universe declined to assimilate the Kazon - they said it would 'weaken' them."

    "This is a judgement borne of Our former mindset," Three of Eight declared. "We once withheld Our offer from certain races, as We saw no tactical advantage in assimilating them. Our focus is now altered. We seek an end to conflict, and We cannot end conflict if We ignore the sufferings of others merely because they cannot advantage Us. However, Captain, while We will freely offer that assistance should you desire it, that was not the assistance We intended. Rather, We assume that you wish to return to your point of origin. May We offer Our expertise in that regard?"

    Vovonek spoke up. "Expertise? Have you mastered transuniversal travel, then?"

    "No, Commander, We have not. However, We do have extensive data on all spatiotemporal phenomena in this region of the galaxy. We should, operating in parallel, be able to locate any anomalies which may exhibit unusual quantum-level activity, indicating the possible location of a weakness between quantum universes."

    "Interesting. How did you know I was a commander? We haven't been introduced."

    "Deduction. Captain Grunt's rank is known; rank indicators are not dissimilar to those used by the Terran Empire, therefore there existed a 93% probability that your displayed rank was Commander. This unit is pleased to know that Our deductions were accurate. We would also like to ask a personal question, if We are permitted."

    Vovonek raised an eyebrow, a trick he'd learned from a Vulcan subordinate. "That is surprising. The Borg we know are hardly so courteous. You can ask your question - I can't promise to answer until I hear it."

    "We seek to clarify matters. What is your relationship to Captain Grunt of the starship Bedford? And may we know your name?"

    The Pakled smiled. "I see. My name is Vovonek dre Campilion fa Bedford. And, our usual joking aside, I regard Grunt as a close personal friend - he was one of the few who was willing to look beyond prejudice toward my people and actually see my Starfleet test scores. I've been keeping his ships in the sky for years now. That's been more challenging sometimes than others, of course - poor Hypatia and Hephaestus - but we've managed the trick every time so far. Why do you ask?"

    "We wished to ascertain more data regarding your universe. We shall never cross into it, as We have no desire to confront Our brethren there. However, We trust you are aware of the treatment of Pakled, species 95012, in the Ferengi Trade Empire?"

    Vovonek grimaced. "Yes, but at least it's better than the attempt at systematic genocide by the Terrans. Can't say that this universe is my favorite variant."

    Three of Eight inclined its head. "Indeed. Had We found the treatment to be similar, We would have immediately offered asylum and assimilation. However, We will not press the issue, as Captain Grunt has previously declined on behalf of his crew. We reiterate, may We offer Our expertise in finding your way home?"

    Grunt looked around at his officers. "Given what we've learned so far, I don't see an issue with this. On the understanding, of course, that we will be placing mines around the location in our universe, in order to prevent our Borg from even potentially attacking you."

    "We appreciate your concern, Captain Grunt of the starship Bedford. We have been processing during this conversation, and We can offer three potential candidates for the spacetime flaw you seek. Please accompany Submatrix Seven-Zero-One to the first location."

    Grunt shrugged. "Very well, transport back to your vessel, and we'll follow you. And thanks."

    Three of Eight made a slight bow - all it could do, really, with the hardware attached. "We are pleased to be of assistance."


    Grunt settled back in his seat. "Well, that's two down. Here's hoping the last one isn't a canceled account. Mr. Gydap, if you please?"

    "Aye, sir. Following the Cube. Snow and Sun, but this feels unnatural."

    Grunt chuckled. "I know exactly what you mean. Well, Rock? Ruben? Any returns from preliminary scans?"

    "I'm reading substantially elevated levels of tetryon and neutrino radiation ahead, sir," Ruben replied. "It's either a flux point, or a wormhole. And since the Borg here claim they don't know of any wormholes around here..."

    "Yeah, I don't trust them that fully yet either," Grunt admitted. "I have to admit, though, that if they wanted to assimilate us, they've had at least a dozen great chances already, so let's ride this one out, shall we?"

    "Cowabunga, sir." Manalang grinned at Grunt's puzzlement. "A surfing term, sir. There's a lot of surfing around my hometown - a place called Honolulu, on Earth."

    "Closing on location, sir," Gydap interjected. "High flux of tetryonic and tachyonic radiation."

    "Quantum flux confirmed, Captain," Roclak said. "This should be the portal back to our home. Preparing directed proton burst."

    "Stand by, Rock," Grunt replied. "Ruben, open a channel, please. Submatrix 701, this looks to be our stop. Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your assistance, and keep an eye on this spot."

    "Your concern is noted, Captain Grunt of the starship Bedford," came the metallic multivoiced response from the Cube. "However, We will be closing this portal after you have transited. Please do not attempt to use this portal again - it would be of no benefit."

    "Noted, 701. We appreciate the warning, as well. Bedford out." Grunt turned to Roclak. "You may fire when ready."

    "Proton burst building, and - execute!"

    The main deflector glowed, and a powerful burst of protons sleeted forth and into the interdimensional weak point. A fissure in the very fabric of spacetime opened before them.

    "Ahead one-quarter impulse, Mr. Gydap. Engage transwarp drive on previous setting when we're three kilometers out." Grunt pressed the all-hail. "All hands, this is the Captain speaking. Prepare for turbulence. Stand by impact stations. We're going home."

    "Transwarp in three, two, one - engaging."

    The ship shuddered, and Grunt felt once again the weird sensations of space slicing through his internal organs. Is this what it's like for the Traveller? he wondered wildly. No surprise the poor sod keeps to himself a lot.

    The sensation abated, the shuddering stopped. "Exiting transwarp," Gydap said dimly. As Grunt focused again on the viewscreen, he was treated to the unusual sight of a horizon that bent unnaturally up rather than down, with a large ocean off the port bow millions of kilometers away.

    The speakers began squawking. "-- vessel, identify yourself immediately! This will be your only - what? The Bedford? Er, my apologies, Captain, we hadn't heard from you for some time. Is all well?"

    Grunt smiled. "All is well. Acknowledging Grunt aleph-brown-seven-niner-canine-proton."

    The relief was palpable even over comms. "Acknowledged, Captain. Welcome home. Sensors didn't find you - where have you been?"

    Grunt stretched. "That's a long story. It'll wait for debriefing. Suffice it to say, yes, this is an exploration cruiser - but I hope it doesn't have to live up to that designation quite so sincerely for a while."
    Lorna-Wing-sig.png
  • wraithshadow13wraithshadow13 Member Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    The lights started to flicker as the air started to circulate signaling that life support was back on.

    "Damage Report!"

    "All systems down, internal sensors are out, and I can't even get the console to activate. We're completely blind here." Keating said, as he stood clutching his shoulder, having bashed it against the console during the shaking.

    Captain Donovan frowned as he tapped his comm badge, not even a chirp.

    "Weapons check people."

    Everyone reached to the nearest weapon cabinet, hidden by their posts. To his dismay, none of them made a peep. Lehla immediately began taking hers apart to determine the cause.

    "There is no need to do that, Lt. Commander." said Sabin from this position at the console.

    She eyed him at this, continuing her task.

    "I'm guessing you have an idea Mr. Sabin?"

    "I believe so Captain. I think we have experienced a phenomena known as Tyken's Rift. It would account for the power loss."

    "But we've been hit by those before, and it was never this bad."

    "Correct Captain, though I think it is safe to say, that is only because we have never been pulled through the rift until now."

    At that point, every one jumped as the turbolift doors opened suddenly, Lt. Commander Keating, the Tac officer, had even aimed his phaser on instinct. There, holding the door open was Wraith, looking just as startled as everyone else.

    "What are you gonna do Dave, throw it at me?"

    "Status report Crewman" Donovan interrupted.

    "All three warp cores are offline, Sir. Everything checks out fine, but power was completely shut down. Chief Fine says we should be back to full within the hour." He looked up at the lights, but before he could say anything, Mr. Sabin cut in.

    "If we are without power, then what is running the lights and life support?"

    Out of nowhere, the comms panel chirped.

    "Captain... We're receiving a hail." Lt. Cdr Keating noted, almost in disbelief.

    The Captain gave a cautious expression before saying "On Screen?"

    To everyone's surprise, the screen flashed on

    "Hello Captain... We are the Borg."

    To horror of everyone, there on the screen was a heavily assimilated, yet very familiar face. Both Keating and T'Pal were visibly distraught as there, larger than life, was Captain Keating.

    "Forgive the sudden shift Captain, but as you can see, we are in dire need of your help here. Hence why we are providing your ship with enough power for life support. We will provide you a briefing of our situation. You will have twenty minutes to comply before we start beam people over."

    The briefing was as he feared. From any and all indications, there were no Borg in the mirror universe. Q never took interest in the Terran Empire, and the Voyager incident never happened, so even if there were Borg, there was really no way they could have been in contact with their mirror counterparts. This all had to do with their last encounter, and there was no telling just what could have happened since Captain Donovan ended his own suffering.

    There were several guidelines along in the briefing: no weapons, bring the Doctor and her Betazoid, bring any officers who have been infected, noncompliance will not be tolerated. It wasn't the best of situations, but refusing would only lead to the ship being destroyed, or worse. A fate that would be all the easier since the power was still out. Donovan knew this was ugly from the start, and was only going to worse before the day was over. He had no other choice though, so he assembled E'Saul and Nurse Pruz, Wraith, Devon Fine, Simon Edison, and a young ensign named Olivera. They brought the requested medical equipment, and left all weapons on board the ship. Donovan shuddered as he stepped on to the transporter pad. He kept thinking to himself that they had no choice but to do as he was told for the time being, the mirror crew was unpredictable before hand, but now, who knew what they were capable of.

    Upon re-materialization, the away team was immediately taken aback. The ship had been in the midst of assimilation, that was clear, but the process erratic and unstable. What should have been a streamlined and efficient take over, was not going so well for those who where experiencing it. Just looking at some of the crew in their transporter room, it looked like normal assimilation would have been a much more humane ending. All through out the room, Borg circuitry laced in and over the existing Tholian design. It looked entirely too organic, almost like cybernetic veins, passing in to every aspect of the vessel and even the crew. And there, standing before them, was Captain Keating, at the ready with his own body a mess of human tissue and inorganic material. His arteries shown more like cables, patches of flesh looking like nanotech, his left eye was entirely mechanical, and his hair had been falling out where ever the infection spread. Even on the human parts, there were open sores and lesions where his body couldn't keep up.

    "Thank you for coming Donovan. We apologize that you had to be pulled over under such circumstance, but as you can tell, this ship is hardly in the condition to pass through the rift itself."

    "I suggest your Vulcan begin her scans now, one we reach the medical bay, it would be in your best interest to stay there."

    The Doctor was quiet the entire walk, her nose buried in her scans, Fizi however, was visibly shaken. As a Betazoid, she was feeling everything from all around her, and it showed just what kind of state the crew had been in. As they walked through the halls of the once Tholian recluse, there were injured and wounded everywhere. It had looked as if they had been casualties of war, but there were no other signs of damage or combat. It was almost like some kind of plague had hit the ship, and it had been slowly spreading since their last encounter. Some seemed worse than others, but even the healthier ones still showed the open wounds indicating early infection.

    "What happened here?" The Captain asked.

    "We provided you with a briefing, did we not?" Keating responded.

    "It didn't really give us much information. How did all of this-"

    The assimilated Keating spun suddenly, throwing Donovan up against a wall.

    "YOU KNOW DAMN WELL HOW THIS HAPPENED!"

    Even though he was pinned against the wall, a good foot from the floor, the Captain held out his hand, signaling Wraith to stand down. A gesture that didn't go unnoticed since Wraith was more than capable of tearing the assimilated officers head off. Keating tilted his head to the boy, before turning back to Donovan, before slowly lowering him to the ground.

    "Apologies, what ever you've done to us, it's making us more aggressive. That's why we asked you to leave the weapons behind. We are more instinctual, almost animalistic in our responses. Any indication of threat and we would have destroyed you out right, along with any hope of a cure. We are... I.. am. I'm having difficulties controlling my anger. What ever this disease is that you have condemned us with, it is an... unpleasant experience."

    The rest of the walk was quite and tense, they were standing out front of the Tholian medical bay. As they entered though, Pruz screamed and Wraith had said one of the more colorful Klingon profanities he had learned in his limited time on their ship. Devon, Olivera, and Simon where almost in shock as they'd never seen anything like this in their time in the collective, and all E'Saul could say was a whispered: "extraordinary..."

    There, in what was no longer a sick bay, was the former Captain Donovan. Broken, scarred, and seemingly unconscious, he looked as if the nanoprobes had actually merged his body with the wall. His head, shoulders, and part of his torso were protruding, and visibly connected with wires and cables tapped directly into him. Everything else might as well have been nonexistent as his entire body and been integrated with the structure of the ship itself. His skin was covered in more of the vein like circuits meshing over his body, as if they had spread from him, infecting the rest of the ship. He looked dead, but James knew he wouldn't be that lucky.

    "What do you want from us?" Donovan asked in a morose tone.

    "Fix this. Your people gave us this Borg plague, and you seem to be able to contain its infection." he said vindictively nodding to Edison, who was still fully assimilated. "We can't take this any more. It's changing our bodies, and the more it spreads the more it infects our minds with fragments and strange data some of the worse cases, like myself, are hearing voices and thoughts of others as if our minds are merging against our will. As for our... dear Captain... Don't worry, we keep him heavily sedated, otherwise he is in constant agony."

    "I thought you would have liked that?" Captain Donovan noted.

    "I do, but it wreaks havoc on our control of this vessel. If you fail us, we will harvest your ship and crew for replacement parts if need be."

    With that he turned and left the room, leaving the away team to work as his words sank in. The team wasted little time setting up the equipment and getting to work. Dr. E'Saul was running every conceivable test she could as Chief Fine and Mr. Edison were running through any of the ships systems they hadn't been locked out of to see just how integrated Mirror Donovan really was. Wraith and Olivera were helping where ever they could, and Poor Fizi was given the task of trying to probing the former Captain's mind to see if she could assess the damage there.

    After a short while T'Pal entered to check on the team, and everyone paused. She seemed meek and fearful and wore something that would make an Orion blush. It was clear that she was still a slave, even though her former master was now just as much a part of his ship as any other system. She looked at him as she spoke, asking if they needed food or any additional equipment brought in. She was afraid yet she had a look about her, a quiet anger as she looked to her former master, as if he had deserved his horrific fate. She broke her gaze though as Captain Donovan began to speak. She seemed surprised that he actually seemed to talk to her as a person, something she had never been accustomed too. She'd never known his face or voice to be so... unscathed, by the violence of life. Instead of food or drink, the man had only one request, and to his surprise, the Captains request to contact the Geist was allowed.

    The Geist had regained power by this point and was ready to beam them out and attack, though as much as he hated the idea, he ordered them to stay put but keep transporter lock and an open comm signal. Over the course of their time, they ordered equipment and parts to be sent to and from the Geist. For the most part, their only contact from their mirror counterparts, was T'Pal and another Vulcan slave. From what little information they could gather, the Borg nanoprobes were indeed spreading like a disease. After their last contact with the alternate crew, Mirror Donovan had been left for dead, having injected himself with nanoprobes before being beamed to his own ship. The slaves, had some how managed to be the least infected, due in part to their limited access to basic amenities like food, hygiene, or other ship systems.

    As soon as Donovan was beamed to sickbay, the nanites were in full assimilation mode, slowly ripping their way through his body as it had already been destroyed when Wraith broke him. All records showed that they tried to confine him in a level ten force field, but after the nanoprobes had spread far enough, the force field did little good. Normally drones, once fully assimilated, could simply pass through standard fields. In this case, the nanoprobes were assimilating him, but weren't creating implants or normal Borg systems at all, just replicating more nanoprobes to convert his organic cells. The security recordings showed that he began screaming, slowly backing into the wall. The probes, registering a new form of matter, did what they normally would and began spreading, instantly fusing him to the durasteel alloy.

    It took time, but his body completely melded to the ship and all of its systems. After they felt like they had stopped the spread of infection, they continued on with life, only to realize that the nanoprobes had adapted and began infecting the people instead of the ship, though at a slower rate. For what E'Saul could determine, the nanoprobes Donovan had injected himself with were some of the ones extracted from Wraith. They had been deactivated, but perhaps when he activated thinking they were a biological weapon, he might have destabilized the programming. It was the only thing she could think of that would cause such an erratic and organic behavior in the assimilation process. Rather than being programmed to assimilate, they were programmed to emulate a biological immune system.

    Instead of just acting as the immune system, the nanoprobes were adapting any cells they came in contact with. After doing so for the months since they'd left the Geist, the basic Borg programming began to reinstate itself, which would cause the newer infections to start behaving more like standard drones. This led to the bigger problem of what they could realistically to handle this. There is no cure for Borg infection. Normally, the only option is extensive surgeries to remove all Borg technology as possible, but since they've returned to the Alpha quadrant, that has been considerably harder remove, all three of his officers that had been assimilated still showed signs of it to this day. E'Saul believed that with how aggressive this strain was, only early infections would be reversible.

    Another possibility was trying to reprogram the drones, but that as well would be a long and difficult process. The already established infections wouldn't be changed, but it would possible stop any further advance. The problem here was they couldn't just hand over the ability to reprogram and re-designate Borg nanotechnology. There was no telling how their enemies might use this knowledge, let alone hyper aggressive mirror counterparts. Given some of the uses that Tal Shiar had been experimenting with, it was definitely not something they could just hand over. While Fizi was side tracked with Donovan, E'Saul could clearly seen what was on her Captains mind.

    "It's really the only thing I can think of Tala. I honestly don't know what else we can do."

    "That would be the logical choice Captain, though highly immoral. After what this crew has put us through, I could not blame you for thinking of this as the better option."

    "What about the Hippocratic oath?" He asked.

    "That is a Human notion. While Vulcans will provide medical attention to those in need, we are not above leaving people to their fate, as it were."

    "Fate? Isn't that another Human notion?"

    "Indeed, but you people have a tendency to grow on others."

    "As ship counselor, what do you think I should do?"

    She took a moment to gather her thoughts before saying "You will do what you what you have to James. You will act as you must to ensure the safety of your crew."

    There weren't many options that he liked, but there were even less acceptable alternatives. The crew of this ship had to be listening in, one way or another, the away team was being carefully monitored, so he had to be very careful about what was going to happen. He put E'Saul's hand in his, and a moment later, she prepped a hypospray, placed her hand on Fizi's shoulder, and injected the wretch in the wall.

    James sighed heavily, "Fizi... Tell him it's time. And the answer is yes."

    "Yes Captain?" she whispered, struggling in its mind.

    "He'll understand..."

    Shortly after, right on queue, in came T'Pal, looking more distraught than before. Keating must have coerced her into trying to get an idea of what just happened, and as much as he hated to do it, he might have to use the poor woman. He began telling her of the findings and a "plan to escape", telling her that they could escape through the rift again, the assimilated crew couldn't follow us due to sabotage. Knowing what happened, the Geist could modulate shields to keep from being pulled in again. Donovan then made a genuine offer to take her with them when they left.

    She broke out into tears, and it was the first time that Fizi turned away from the unfortunate scarred mass fused to the wall. Just the look on her face was showed just how much she wanted to go with us, but she had been conditioned too well. All she could to was back up to the intercom on the wall and call to Keating. As she did so, Captain Donovan couldn't help but jump forward and grab her, ordering an emergency beam out. Once they were safely aboard the Geist, shields were raised and the ship went into evasive maneuvers, giving the Captain very little time to explain his plan. As the ship dodged fire from the assimilated recluse, Edison and Sabin did the numbers and Chief Fine confirmed it. If they were going to attempt this, the would literally only have the one slim chance to do so.

    They would have to overload the all three warp cores, rerouting power through the forward deflector dish to reopen the rift they had been pulled through. Power was forced through all systems except shields and life support to pull this off. When the ship started slowing down the recluse began laying in everything it had into dropping the shields, but before they could weaken them enough to start beaming out crew members to harvest, the Geist fired a heavy blast opening the rift before heading in at full speed. To Captain Keating's surprise, his ship began to follow them into the rift. He barked orders, but nothing worked. The ship, driven by the impossible will of a broken corpse in a wall, moved forward into the rift.

    As the crossed between universes, the U.S.S. Geist began falling apart. Sparks shooting as relays blew ship wide, fires on several decks, and the deflector physically shattered from the strain. As they entered the midpoint of the anomaly, each of the warp cores began to breach simultaneously. As they were ejected, he ordered the full payload of tricobalt devices be launched with them. They needed to cause an explosion powerful enough to collapse the rift at both ends, and with how fast power was draining from their ship, it would take everything their ship had to do it. If his people had timed it right, they would catch that ship of the damned, in the middle of it. If the explosion didn't kill them, then hopefully they would be stuck between dimensions, stranded without power.

    Everything went as well as it could, and the ship put every last bit of auxiliary power to the aft shields, only to be blasted out of a rift in their own reality. The ship was adrift and completely without power, and much to their luck, on the winning side of a battle outside of a Reman controlled station in the Haakona system, between the Federation and the Tholians. As the dust settled, they were towed by a Galaxy class back to the nearest star base. As far as anyone could tell, theirs was the only ship to leave the rift, and none of the salvaged Tholian ships showed any signs of Borg influence.

    Was it finally over?
  • danquellerdanqueller Member Posts: 485 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    ___



    "You want to know about the Borg."



    It was a simple statement, but the undertones of the speaker hinted at old pain and memories as well as recent experience. This was to be expected, given who it was Subcommander Rycho had arranged to meet with, but he still found himself in the unusual position of being unsure how to proceed. It had not been easy to coordinate this, and he didn't want to jeapordize the opportunity he needed by sinking the encounter with an ill-considered word before it had even begun.

    So, he took a breath before looking at the man sitting on the other side of the desk from him. In as sincere a voice as he could muster, he said "I do. The Nor'Vesa is going to search for the ones that escaped into this Sphere, and I need any insight I can get about the Borg. I can think of only a few officers in Starfleet or the Flotilla with more experience than you supposedly have, and none of them are...accessible to me. If I do not avail myself of your expertise, I would be setting my crew to fail. And you should know how Rihannsu view failure."

    The other man nodded gravely, his hands folded before him as he stared at Rycho. In the dim light of the Ready Room, the uniform Rycho recognized as that of an early-generation Terran imperial Admiral seemed at odds with the Starfleet badge above the left pocket, a contrast of completely different philosophies that gave mute testimony to the heritage of the ship around them. The stern face that met his own gaze suited that merging of opposites, giving no visible sign of the other's thoughts as Rycho waited for the other to decide what he would do.

    Then the man leaned forwards slightly. "You realize the Borg you seek are not the same? That the ones we know the most about are not even the Borg of this universe? They are the Borg that might have been, the Borg of my 'mirror' universe, and there's no way to know how much they share with the ones you hunt."

    "I understand that." Rycho said "But any information could be the key needed to both find and...nuetralize their threat. The danger of the Borg obtaining the technology and perhaps even gaining full control of the Sphere is simply too great to ignore any source of information that may help."

    "And if that information causes you to question your own understanding of the world around you? To make you question your own assumptions about the nature of things?" the other man's eyes tightened "What if knowing caused you to hesitate, seeing what you think is there but is only the dark reflection of what could be? Could you live with the results of that inaction, all because of what I might tell you now?"

    Rycho felt his jaw set involuntarily as he briefly considered what the man had implied. But he kept his eyes locked with the other's when he finally said "I am willing to take that risk, Admiral Verne."




    The Admiral paused a moment before giving a sigh and sitting back in his chair. He looked down at his desk a moment before speaking.

    "The first thing you should know is that the Borg are Human."

    This was far from what Rycho had expected to hear, and it took him a moment to realise what Verne was saying. "Not humanoid. You mean..."

    "Yes. Human. Terran Human." Verne turned his chair slowly to one side, looking off into some private corner of his memory. "As are just about all humanoid races you might know about, to a greater or smaller extent. To understand this, you will have to understand the history."

    The Admiral looked a question at Rycho and, when the Subcommander only shook his head, he stood and walked to the viewport that provided a perspective of the Sphere terrain around and below the cruiser. Staring at things only he could see, Verne's voice grew heavy with time.




    "Back before history as we know it, maybe a few million years ago, the Preservers encountered an alien race that was entering our galaxy from outside. This other race was silicon-based, and resembled the Horta more than anything else you'll be familiar with. At this time, the Preservers were supreme scientists, almost unhindered by morals such as we might recognize and driven by a Decree to explore, understand, and preserve lifeforms where encountered. Not because they cared about the fate of that life, you must understand, but because scientific investigation required the existence of test subjects and original samples to use as baselines.

    "The new race had other ideas. They saw carbon-based life as an aboration of the natural order of things, and had a simple philosophy that translates roughly as 'the ends justify the means', or maybe 'whatever is the most efficient is best for survival, and is therefore good'. This other race had spent millenia travelling across the void between galaxies, and had adapted to that environment. They needed completely different conditions on a planet from what our species would consider survivable, and saw no reason to worry about the existing life when changing worlds to suit themselves."

    Rycho noticed the Admiral's hands clenching and unclenching, and decided not to interrupt what was obviously a subject sensitive to him. If Verne noticed, he gave no sign as he continued "It was unavoidable that war would be the result of their contact. The Preservers saw the erasure of all they had built with the coming of these others, and would not stand for it. The other race, who we only knew as the Nightborn, saw the Preservers as hinderences to their continued survival.

    "However, neither side was very adept at fighting. The Nightborn had the advantages of natural weaponry, but fought more like animals at hunt than combatants, and the natural form of the Preservers included enhanced senses and a larger brain cavity that made them very vunerable to violent action. Initial battles proved the Preservers' technology superior in space, while the Nightborn held the advantage once they landed on a planet. To counter the other's strengths, both sides began to search for and eventually found other races to ally with. The Preserver Confederation consisted of seven different races, one of which eventually became the Tholians. The Nightborn Empire managed to bring four other races under their command, of which I believe the race that would someday become the Iconians were one.

    "With the gathering of races, the war progressed to a stalemate, each side unable to gain a decisive edge over the other or make inroads to the parts of the galaxy held by the other. Battles were mostly small-scale affairs, with both sides unwilling to risk losses to their limited strength and wary of exposing themselves in any part of their territory. It stayed like this for several centuries, until the Nightborn developed a method for seizing control of Preserver technology and using it against them. Devices meant to nuture and monitor life on a world instead were used to break that life down to components the Nightborn could use. Ships that could repel the invaders' assaults instead became the tools to open the way for them."

    The Admiral paused to take a breath, his head lowering slightly. "That's when the Preservers started looking in different times as well as places for new troops. They'd already mapped out much of the galaxy, and knew there were no others to help them than they already had. Their own efforts to halt the advances of the Nightborn continued to fail, mostly because the other races in the Confederation were not that much better at fighting than the Preservers themselves. Technologically advanced, yes, but without the....hmm...'knack' for combat they needed to use that technology in a combat situation effectively. Probably understandable when you consider they all had evolved from what we would call herd animals and not predators. So, the Confederation began to look into other time periods farther and farther from their own to discover another race that could do what they could not, and rebalance the war.

    "They found that on Earth."




    Turning back to face Rycho, Verne clasped his arms behind him in a classic at-ease stance and regarded the Subcommander levely "In Humans, they found a race that was incredibly adaptive to a wide range of conditions, intelligent, and possessed of thousands of years of experience in agressive, highly destructive fighting. They were primitive, but that could be changed. So, they took some of these barbaric warriors and threw them into the fight. While the results were disasterous, the level of damage inflicted on the Nightborn convinced the Preservers that Humans were what they needed to stop the enemy. All they needed was to adapt the Humans to their needs, and give them time to advance to the point where they could use advanced weaponry without destroying themselves.

    "To this end, they continuously took Humans from Earth, modified them with Preserver biogenetic science for traits that might enhance their fighting abilities in some way, then deposited them on other worlds and times to one day produce warriors suited to winning the war. In this way, just about every single Humanoid race you know of came to be, and the Preservers eventually decided to even modify their own form to a humanoid one to obtain the more notable benefits they had developed in these other races.

    "Despite this, the war still ground on. The introduction of the Klingons, Vulcans, and other custom-made humanoid combatants turned the tide, but did not reverse it. Probably had something to do with the use of melee weaponry to fight, but I'm not going to go into that. Bottom line was that the war stalemated again. Until the Preservers went further into the future and discovered the twentieth century on Earth.




    The Admiral walked back to his seat and held it by one hand. "Only a few of us were taken at first, then a few more when the Preservers saw what a people used to large-scale wars and with at least a passing idea of the tactics involved in modern warfare could do. It was all covert, of course, but there was no such thing as the Prime Directive to the Confederation. They simply didn't want to spoil possible future stocks to draw on by contaminating the sample pool. Almost overnight, humans from my time changed the way the war was fought, turned what had been a long, even fight into a string of defeats for the Nightborn, and the Confederation began to advance for the first time in its history. As you can imagine, the Nightborn soon realized the cause of this turn of events, and decided to do something about it. Namely, they decided to obtain humans of their own."

    Slowly sitting back down in his chair, Verne took a moment to see if the Subcommander had understood what had been said so far. Rycho nodded to show that he had, and the Admiral frowned. "The Nightborn switched their tactics. Instead of trying to kill us, they went out of their way to capture any humanoid they could. They experimented on those they did take, almost always resulting in failures. The people they took were all dedicated to resisting them, and full erasure of the personality also destroyed the very things the Nightborn needed.

    "Then they...captured...several humans from Terra only recently brought into the fight, and came up with a means of bonding cybernetic implants to the brain, both rendering them loyal warriors to the Nightborn and enhancing their fighting potential. What the Preservers attempted through genetic modification, transplanting, and centuries of time, the Nightborn did with machines, abduction, and months."




    Verne dropped his gaze in an unusual display of discomfort, and Rycho realized some of this narrative was a personal matter. The realization that the Admiral was all but admitting to being several million years old shot through him before he could control his reaction, and the other man must have noticed in some way. The Admiral looked up and shook his head. "Remember, time travel. Things change when you can bounce from one time period to another."

    "But....temporal physics always indicate altering the past...." Rycho could only begin to comprehend the ramifications the Admiral's words inferred "Would not the Preservers be working against themselves by putting races into place that hadn't existed before? Or would not have existed. Or..."

    "They probably didn't very much care." Verne shook his head as he started to say under his breath "They didn't when they..."



    Stopping abruptly, the Admiral straightened in his chair and tugged his uniform into place, behavior Rycho had noted was widespead in Starfleet when a senior officer wanted time to consider something. When he spoke, his voice was steady again "But, we were talking about the Borg. As you can guess, this was their beginning. Through circumstances I won't go into here, the Nightborn quickly went from converting captured humanoids to additionally producing their own. All were implanted with cybernetics to make them serve their purpose without question and to be more than a match for any two ordinary Confederation warriors. They balanced the sides again, and the war took on a scale unlike any since. In a very real sense, it went from the Confederation merely trying to hold the Nightborn back to an all-out war for survival and elimination of the other side.

    "Then came the day the Confederation managed to destroy the Nightborn command center. The war seemed to be over, and the remaining Nightborn scattered back into the void outside the galaxy. All too happy for the outcome, the Confederation dissolved almost as quickly, and many of the humanoid warriors were sent back to their own times rather than have them underfoot in a galaxy that no longer needed them.




    The Admiral gave another sigh of exhasperation "But it was not over. Not by a long shot.

    "The Borg had managed to use the tactical battle communications network installed in them to bypass some of their restrictions. They had formed the first Collective without the Nightborn being aware their former tools were thinking for themselves. The Collective looked at the work done on themselves, noted with no small amount of resentment the many things that could be improved, and waited while they considered how to proceed.

    "When the Nightborn were defeated, the Borg rose up en-mass. Everywhere. Simutanously. They swept their former leaders into their own state of being, and only fragments of the former Nightborn escaped the new Borg race that they had made a reality. The Borg proceeded to then strike at the former Confederation, seeking to obtain the technology of both sides of the former war to further perfect their own design.

    "It took a supreme effort and the construction of hideous weapons by the Preservers to push the Borg out of the galaxy once more, and several of the races that had made up the Conferation did not survive to see the last efforts that put the Great Barriers in place. Of course, we know now that the Barriers didn't completely stop a few Borg from eventually discovering a temporary way in over in the Delta quadrant, or maybe some simply managed to escape there during the final battles. Regardless, it took centuries for those to rise back into a galactic presence. In addition, the robot weapons the Preservers unleashed to erase every Borg-converted planet and ship were left outside to fight on beyond the rim of the galaxy and complete the elimination of the Borg, while their builders picked up the scattered wreckage that remained of their work safe behind the Barriers."




    The Admiral finished and sat looking at Rycho. The Subcommander was very quickly trying to process the long history he had just been told, and fit it into what he had seen of Starfleet's own knowledge of the Borg. Facts seem to change as soon as he thought of them, and he eventually had to simply accept that some things had to be different in the events in his own universe. There were frightening parallels, yes, but as the Admiral had warned him, no way to know how much of what had been true in that other universe was so here.

    But that also made Rycho realize one thing he found wrong with what he had heard. Looking carefully at the Admiral, he said "How do you know all of this? I know you have fought the Borg ever since arriving here. That's why the Omega Task Force exists. But...how do you know about the Borg from so long ago in your universe?"

    Verne smiled grimly before tapping a command on his table's display "Science Officer to the Admiral's Ready Room."

    Not waiting for a reply, the Admiral let his finger leave the intercom control and stood. Walking around the table, he stopped next to the Subcommander "Yes, I was there for some of this. A few of my crew were. But that is not why we know so much about what happened afterwards."




    The door to the compartment slid aside without warning, and Rycho went rigid with alarm when he saw the Borg drone walk into the room, its cybernetic implants emitting audible buzzing sounds as they focused on the Subcommander. Standing quickly, he grasped for his handweapon only to find the Admiral's firm grip on a nerve cluster at his wrist, pinning his hand and weapon in their place.

    The drone watched the two men struggling without reaction before looking at Subcommander Rycho and stating in a slightly electronic voice "Hello Captain. We are the Borg." then turned slightly to the Admiral "Science Officer reporting as ordered, Sir."

    Words that seemed out of place froze Rycho before he could rip free of Verne, and he stared at the Borg wordlessly before realizing the Admiral had released him and now held his plasma pistol carefully to one side.

    "May I introduce you to Ten." Verne said as he walked to stand beside the immobile drone "My Chief Science Officer."

    Rycho looked from one to the other as he tried to decide what the situation was. The idea the Admiral and his crew were allied with the Borg seemed absurd, given every record he had seen about their battles with the cybernetic race, but the ease with which he stood next to one made Rycho reconsider that possibility for a moment. If it were true, then could he reach his communicator fast enough to return to his own ship? And would the science vessel have any chance of escaping a Sovereign-class starship like the Conquest?

    Then what the Admiral had said penetrated his battle-ready impulses. "Science Officer?"

    "Yes." Verne nodded "His enhanced sensors and information processing abilities have saved the crew more than once, so I couldn't let you shoot him, could I?"

    "But..."

    "How did Ten come to be here, apart from the Collective?" the Admiral asked before Rycho could finish asking "Yes, that tends to be the question everyone wants to know."




    Verne looked at Ten, who continued to stare emotionlessly at Rycho. "When the Borg assimilate an individual, the first stage is the injection of nano-machines to both make the victim open to suggestion and begin rewiring their nervous system to accept implants. The second stage is the installation of a direct subspace connection to the Collective, which overwhelms the mind with a constant barrage of thoughts, images, commands, and information. Under that kind of unceasing, merciless flood, it is only a matter of time before even the strongest of minds shuts down to protect itself.

    "The third stage is the implanting of an artificial intelligence that is programmed to both take over the converted nervous system of the victim and also copy information from the brain into itself. The AI also works over time to subvert the mind within, gradually filtering the flow of information in return for the mind's acceptance of the Borg Collective. Eventually, the AI and what's left of the mind become indistinquishable, and the victim has truely become one with the Borg."

    The Admiral nodded towards Ten. "In Ten's case, that AI was damaged or maybe just a mutation of some kind. It didn't try to convert him to the Collective, but rather protected him from the overload of information. It cared about him. And in time, it allowed them both to escape, along with three others with similar 'defectives'. We were the ship that found them, and I quickly realized Ten was as much caught between two worlds as we were."

    Admiral Verne looked back at Rycho with a small smile "In fact, Ten is the name all four of them use. They were in the Collective a long time, and have forgotten almost any other way to be. Ten is the de-facto spokesman for them when they need to talk."




    Then his smile faded. "The reason we know much of what I told you is because the Borg of this universe knew it. They had been in communication with those other Borg for some time. Ten brought that information and the history with them, and told us when he realized we were from the same universe. The one bright spot is that this universe's Borg didn't believe the information was relevant, and so had archived it without serious consideration. If they hadn't, they might have recognized some very dangerous things before it was too late."

    Subcommander Rycho grimaced as he thought about that, noting the past-tense usage of terms. He knew many of the missions the Admiral's task force had performed were under security seals and inaccessible by the Republic, but it seemed one of those had ended whatever danger the Admiral was hinting at.

    Rycho concluded it would be a waste of time to ask for the details, however, and so he concentrated on what he had come for. "You've explained about the Borg's history. How does that help me?"

    The Admiral moved back to his desk and sat once again. Steepling his fingers in front of him, he said "The Borg of my universe had one emotion that they displayed whenever a Terran Imperial ship encountered them; an overwhelming desire to assimilate Earth above all other worlds in the galaxy. They saw those there as having abandoned them to their fate, and also had one of the most basic needs in the universe. The need to return home.

    "The Borg you are going after were all Romulan citizens, weren't they? I imagine these Borg have very similar impulses and drives, having never been exposed to the Collective. A need to return home. A desire to revenge themselves on those they see as having been the cause of their assimilation. Now, how could you use that, Subcommander?"

    Rycho straightened and felt a thrill of both anticipation and fear run through him. As if a door into another universe was opening, he saw what he intended to do, and what it meant he had to risk. The possibility for success intertwined with the cost of failure, and the vision of what it would mean to his ship chilled even his time-worn soul.



    Looking at the Admiral, he gave a small bow. "Admiral Verne, I thank you on behalf of the Romulan Republic for your time and advice. You may have just given me the key to resolving....many situations. I am in your debt."

    With only the slightest of nods, the Admiral stood. "Then I believe we both have work to do. Good hunting, Subcommander."


    ___

  • superhombre777superhombre777 Member Posts: 147 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Two days after the events in LC51, Business Dinner

    Bobby Boudraeux only got three hours of sleep, but nervous energy had kept him going all day. Now it was time to hail the U.S.S. Executor and seal the deal on his new position.

    He introduced himself to the Executor's comm officer and waited to speak to the captain. A moment later, the screen showed a Vulcan woman and an Andorian male (or whatever passed as male). The Andorian was introduced as the ship's counselor. The captain exchanged brief formalities, and then the questions began.

    "Since you grew up on Europa Station, I'd like your opinion on the Europa terraforming operations," the Andorian said.

    "Can you clarify the question, sir?" Not the best way to start off...

    "Humans terraformed the moon and introduced genetically engineered aquatic life as a food source. A few years later when the food yields were low, they eradicated all life and started over. Was that an ethical decision?"

    Bobby paused for a moment. "I would have to say so, sir," he replied. "The second generation of species thrived and provided a key food source to the Jovian exploratory posts."

    "Very well," the Andorian said. "Would you like to know why I asked that question?"

    "Yes sir, if you don't mind."

    "A lot of the decisions we make are in ethically ambiguous settings. When we aren't fighting for our own survival, Starfleet does a lot of aid work, and relocating colonies off of war-torn planets is one of those tasks. What do you do when the colonists are about to kill off the native species that are almost sentient? In general, do any of us have a right to reshape the quadrant or the galaxy in our own image? These are the kinds of questions that you have to deal with as the first officer."

    "Please tell me about your encounter with the Mirror Universe Borg," the captain asked.

    "Well ma'am, I mean sir, I sent you the mission report per your request. We used some advanced technology to enter the Mirror Universe near a Federation colony in the Gamma Quadrant. We expected to do simple reconnaissance, but instead ran into a hive ship. Honestly it looked like it was about two hundred years behind the times. They demanded our surrender, we laughed, and then we destroyed them."

    The Andorian leaned towards the screen. "What exactly was funny about that?"

    "Sir, they assumed that they could assimilate anyone, but they didn't have a chance. If they took a minute to evaluate the situation, they would have realized that they were going to be destroyed."

    "Maybe they knew that and acted according to standing orders," the counselor replied. "Regardless, why are they flying around the Gamma Quadrant in antique starships? Were they created thousands of years later than they were in our galaxy, or were they nearly driven to extinction by an even more formidable enemy? It's only a matter of time until the technology to jump between universes falls into enemy or commercial hands, and then we will wish that you hadn't been so trigger happy."

    "Let's move on," the Vulcan captain said. "What have you done since then? Anything of interest?"

    "Nothing of interest, sir," Bobby replied. "It wasn't all that long ago."

    "So no diplomatic crisis on Berengaria VII?"

    Damn.


    "Any interactions with pirates trying to loot aid ships en route to the Romulans?"

    The silence was unbearable for Bobby.

    "We requested your previous ten mission reports when we talked to Captain Gohen. She had a fair amount of positive things to say about you. Unfortunately she didn't say anything about lying to command officers."

    Bobby could have sworn that she was about to yell.

    The Andorian counselor weighed in. "T'Panna wants a capable first officer that she can trust, and clearly that is not you. Instead of providing your most recent mission report as requested, you gave her one from three weeks ago and assumed that she wouldn't learn about subsequent action in the Berengaria system and elsewhere. Did you really think she wouldn't know?"

    "Well, sir, I assumed that..."

    "No excuses. Here is what we are going to do. T'Panna and I will contact your captain in six hours to let her know that you lied. If you have a shred of respectability in you, I advise you to own up to your actions and tell your captain before we do."

    With that, the screen went blank.
    ---

    "Thank you for letting us have the interview," ch'Raul said.

    T'Panna stood and gave the counselor a confused look. "I still don't understand why you wanted to waste our time talking with him."

    "This was mostly about him. Humans have a tendency to downplay their mistakes, even when they are pointed out. Mister Boudraeux will probably lose his commission, but more importantly, there should be one less self-absorbed human wreaking havoc in the galaxy."

    "And what did you get out of it? I doubt that you did this as a gift to the entire galaxy."

    "I really wanted to hear his answer about the Europa terraforming. One of his distant relatives was on the commission that decided to wipe the moon clean. It was only a moon full of fish, but still, the arrogance of it all bothers me. He basically said that the ends justify the means. That would make him a great dictator."

    T'Panna paused at the door. "Are we having dinner tonight? Eighteen hundred hours in my quarters?"

    "Eighteen hundred hours in cafeteria three," ch'Raul countered. "It hasn't been long since Carter's death, and I really think you need to re-consider your feelings."

    "Don't start talking about me 'ignoring my Vulcan upbringing.' I know what I want, and it's not just the human blood in me." She closed the distance between them and stood slightly closer than proper decorum would allow.

    "I want to wait one month before we talk about this again," ch'Raul answered in a calm voice. "No more dinners in anyone's quarters until then. Do we have a deal?"

    "We do. I'll invite Isabella and Emily to join us then."

    "Excellent."
  • captaincs1captaincs1 Member Posts: 1 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Free write ? What is wrong if our health care system and how can we fix it. It?s really simple, love and compassion which I have plenty and I don?t know why how it came this point in the first place. If we truly want to help patients living with mental illness, we must first allow our compassion to stir from the heart, and form a collective identity and work as one voice, an d one society. I believe cases of Mr. Sinclair can be prevented, if we put an extra once of caring into it.
    Why am I saying this? Am I now just a Prairie boy who promotes meaningful resources about illness and issues to high school and university students. While the onset of more serious s and Schizophrenia love to invest itself to a manifestation of pain and grief, there are now resources to help people with mental health issues ? just like an ER.
    I went through the building and it was spectacular. The architecture was great; the design is open and transparent. And I felt a lot calmer even before seeing a nurse. It felt great to be there, I saw my previous worker greeting me, as and long has, I have my breath, I want to advocate find help the people they must, the homeless, the sick and the vulnerable. I want to scream on top of Mount Royal to explain have a wonder facility, one of the first me kind.
    For those naysayers, you should drop by the New Mental Health ER, and how it is worming efficiently and beyond my wildest expectations. I came into the office, with high anxiety, I was completely better when I left the building. The media like to hype up sensational news, but the sign of anything goes wrong, they change their tone to a deaf year. Actually, now that I have told you where to go, please don?t let the stigma to prevent you from obtaining help you need. Because sometimes is a matter of survival, life and earth hanging the balance. If the centre has prevented one death (died by suicide) because it serves as the people fi Winnipeg and beyond, then I believe the centre has done its job, and a job well done. You don?t have to believe me after all I am just one voice, one person, one viewpoint. But as I know the stronger and brighter we are, the more resilience we get.
    I am so grateful for the nurse and admin staff for their caring and support in this regard. They were courteous, and compassionate, and they help you to guide yourself through the process think the e CRC (Crisis Response centre) will become one of the primary resource one can use, should they ever need it, like a crisis.
    I had a wonderful experience, I don?t care that say, but I know his place has been blessed, and it would open the doors to anyone suffering from a mental health issues. So, please, don?t be shy, and embrace another resources (a cutting edge) none the less, that can heal our community and provide better care for the e vulnerable people in our society.
  • hawke89305092hawke89305092 Member Posts: 237 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    The turbolift was filled with a steady hum as it sped upwards through the starship Atlanta, on its way to the bridge. Inside, Captain Zane Gilmore was looking over a PADD with a vaguely melancholy expression on his face, while beside him Lieutenant Lisa Hill was standing with her arms crossed. Gilmore had received some troubling new orders, orders which explained why they had been sent back to Earth on a simple cargo run.

    "I don't like it, sir," Hill muttered.

    "I know. I don't either."

    "It's only been three weeks since we found her aboard that probe!" Hill exploded. "God, she still looks and sounds like a Borg drone. If that poor woman has any chance to recover, she's not going to get it with Starfleet Intelligence." Running out of steam and looking suddenly weary, Hill let her arms drop and sighed. "What does Starfleet even want with Nine, anyway?"

    Gilmore glanced down at the PADD he was holding. "Apparently, they're interested in examining the methods used by the Borg in her assimilation. They want to know how things have changed since we last encountered the Borg. Since Lieutenant Watson was at Vega, they think she can provide valuable information in that regard."

    There was a sour twist to Hill's lips as she took all that in. "Have you told her?" She asked as the turbolift doors opened.

    "Not yet," Gilmore murmured as they stepped out and Hill walked over to the tactical station.

    The Captain stopped as he noticed that Nine of Ten, the liberated Borg drone they had been discussing, was working silently at the rear engineering station. Visually, she looked no different than the Borg drone they had found three weeks ago. Her skin was a sickly grey and her right eye had been replaced by a crude looking prosthetic. She had even continued working in her exoplating, stating that it was more efficient than any alternative. As he watched her Gilmore could not help but feel troubled by the prospect of informing the liberated Borg that she may have to fight for what little life she had left.

    Deciding that informing Nine of Ten of the situation could wait until later, Gilmore walked down the two steps to the lower part of the bridge and took up a position standing between the Conn and Ops consoles, noticing that the stars on the viewscreen were still instead of moving like they should have been if the ship were at warp.

    "We've changed course?" He asked, turning to the ship's first officer, Lieutenant Commander Jack Storen.

    Storen gave a single nod towards the viewscreen, where a barely visible distortion was visible against the expanse of black.

    "The ship's sensors picked up something we couldn't properly identify at warp, so I thought we should take a look."

    "I see. Any idea what we're looking at?"

    "Yes sir." Storen smiled. "It's an interphasic rift."

    "That certainly is unusual."

    "There's more; there's wreckage at the centre of the rift," a musical, feminine voice spoke up from the back of the bridge.

    Gilmore turned to look back to the science station at the aft of the bridge, where Lieutenant Laiale Karn was sitting.

    "Are you saying there's something in there?" He asked.

    The Risian shook her head. "There's not much left, sir. Based on the residual particles I'm detecting, I think the debris is from a ship that suffered a warp core breach, which is probably what formed the rift in the first place."

    "I suppose there's no point attempting a salvage mission now. Let's make a note of our position, and another ship can check the area once the rift dissipates."

    "Captain, the rift is expanding!"

    Gilmore's head snapped around to the viewscreen; sure enough, the distortion was growing closer.

    "Ensign, take us out, now. Full impulse."

    "Aye, sir."

    The Miranda Class Starship's impulse engines glowed a little brighter as it prepared to move out, but the rift was growing too rapidly. The small ship was swiftly engulfed by the strange distortion and lost to the outside space, before just as quickly as it had grown, the rift subsided, and the Atlanta was alone.

    "Status report," Gilmore demanded.

    There was silence, save for the gentle beeping of the LCARS interface and the ever present pulse of the viewscreen.

    "The rift is gone, sir," Laiale Karn said once she had checked the readings twice. "So is the wreckage. There's nothing out there."

    Storen turned to face the Captain, pausing and glancing away before he spoke. "That rift was interphasic, and we passed through it, which means..."

    "That we're no longer in our universe," Gilmore finished.

    There was a loud thud from the back of the bridge, causing the crew to start. Gilmore and Storen turned to see Nine of Ten lying prone on the floor, Lisa Hill crouched over her. The tactical officer was the first to react, tapping her combadge once.

    "Hill to sickbay. Medical emergency, Doctor Hunt, report to the bridge!"

    *********************

    Doctor Rachel Hunt's icy blue eyes narrowed as she examined the readings on her medical tricorder. The wrinkles on her forehead deepened and her thin lips turned downwards in a stymied frown. Lying on the central biobed in sickbay in front of her was the unconscious form of Nine of Ten, and Hunt's preliminary analysis had not shown good results. The Liberated Borg had been transported directly to sickbay after her collapse, and now Hunt was trying to figure out what had happened while off to the side Captain Gilmore stood silently, watching the Doctor most intently.

    "Nurse Daell, get me-"

    Hunt stopped speaking as she noticed the Nurse had already prepared the hypospray she wanted and was holding it in an outstretched palm. The young Betazoid smiled knowingly as Hunt took the hypospray before she went to tend to another patient, leaving the Doctor to shudder a little. Working with a telepathic nurse was proving to be more disorienting than Hunt had expected, and she was beginning to wonder if she could ever get used to it. As she had that thought, it occurred to the Doctor that Nurse Daell could probably hear everything she was thinking. Beginning to feel a little irritated, she forced her thoughts back to the patient and pressed the hypospray into Nine of Ten's neck.

    "This is not good," she commented to no one in particular.

    "I take it that means you know what's wrong," Gilmore replied, stepping forward.

    "What's wrong is simple. There is a Borg neural tranceiver still implanted in her brain, and the input is overloading Nine of Ten's ability to function. Hence, unconsciousness."

    "I thought you removed the neural tranceiver."

    "I did," Hunt replied sharply. "There was a backup, located just below the amygdala. Since it seemed harmless, Jalik and I decided not to remove it."

    "You left an implant in that you could have removed?" Gilmore's tone was more curious than accusing, but Hunt drew a breath and bristled up regardless.

    "The brain is complicated, Captain. The Borg implants have augmented the Lieutenant's brain functions, given her control over the artificial parts of her body and outright replaced certain areas of the brain. I would be very hesitant about removing anything without knowing exactly what it was responsible for. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a patient to tend to."

    "You certainly do," Gilmore observed quietly. "Your patient is awake."

    Hunt's frown deepened and she glanced over to the biobed. The Liberated Borg's good eye had opened and she was staring straight upwards. As the Doctor watched she began to twitch, slowly at first, then more rapidly and violently.

    "Nurse, activate the restraining field," Hunt ordered.

    A blue forcefield shimmered into existence over Nine's exoplating and then faded. The restraining field kept her from breaking free of the biobed, but the constant, barely visible ripples of energy and continued twitching made it clear the problem was only worsening.
    After Doctor Hunt turned to examine the readouts on a large wall mounted console, Gilmore stepped forward, a deep worry in his eyes as he looked on the liberated Borg's features. Nine was gasping in short, shallow breaths and her eye was wide, as if something had terrified her - it was the first sign in four weeks that there was any feeling left after what the Borg had done to her, and it was not an encouraging one.

    "Doctor?" Gilmore called out.

    Hunt let out a breath in a puff of irritation. "Her neural activity has gone off the chart. Her brain is receiving more sensory input that it can handle; if it wasn't for the Borg implants augmenting her ability to process information, it would probably have killed her by now."

    "What do you recommend?"

    Hunt raised one eyebrow and stared coldly at him. "Recommend? Obviously, the neural tranceiver has to be removed. We're talking about very complicated and delicate surgery, and it's not something I can attempt until while they're still functioning."

    Gilmore opened his mouth and was about to respond to that when Nine of Ten spoke.

    "Voices," she breathed.

    Both Gilmore and Hunt turned to look at Nine, but other than the fact she was speaking, her condition seemed unchanged.

    "So many voices... shouting, wanting to be heard... but... anger, hate... we- we feel-"

    She stopped speaking and gave a hideous, long moan. The Borg's face was twisted into a mask of agony and she shook as though in great pain, before without warning she relaxed and her expression went slack. Slowly her eye became focused and locked directly on Captain Gilmore.

    "Run," she said simply.

    Her eye closed and she became deathly still, leaving Gilmore feeling utterly bewildered. No one spoke, unwilling to break the chill silence that had descended over sickbay. Abruptly Gilmore's combadge chirped and the silence was over.

    "Storen to Gilmore," the first officer's voice issued forth.

    "Go ahead."

    "We need you back on the bridge, sir. There's a contact on the long range sensors, approaching at high warp."

    "I'm on my way. Gilmore out."

    *********************

    The atmosphere on the Atlanta's bridge was distinctly subdued when Gilmore stepped out of the turbolift. He turned left and walked down to the front of the bridge, where Storen was looking over the Ops officer's shoulder.

    "What's the situation?" The Captain asked.

    Storen jumped a little, then straightened and recovered his composure. "We identified the approaching ship as cubical in configuration. It's the Borg."

    Gilmore had a flash of the terror on Nine of Ten's face and began to feel a little uneasy. He swallowed and blinked a few times, trying to put the image out of his mind.

    "How long do we have until they reach us?"

    "They'll be in visual range in two minutes."

    Gilmore nodded grimly. "Then we need to get out of here."

    "I couldn't agree more."

    "Have you made any progress on how to get back to our own universe?"

    "I'll let Lieutenant Karn answer that, sir."

    The Risian stepped forward until she was standing almost in the centre of the bridge. "I conducted an in depth analysis of this area of space, and I found significant subspace instabilities. That's what allowed the rift we passed through to form. The warp core breach must have given off enough energy to create an interphasic rift."

    "If we were to do something similar, would it be possible to reopen the rift?"

    "Technically we would be creating a new rift," Karn admitted, "but it should allow us to return to our universe."

    Gilmore smiled ruefully. "We just need to eject our warp core."

    "That won't be necessary, sir," Storen added, nodding towards Lieutenant Hill.

    "If we fire a spread of maximum yield torpedoes directly into the instability, the detonation should release enough energy to create another rift," the tactical officer explained. "We just need a bit longer to prepare them."

    The Captain turned back to face the viewscreen, where against the expanse of stars a gray cube had just become visible, growing steadily larger. As he saw it Gilmore's smile faded and a despairing light came into his hazel eyes. Finally he forced a look of calm and took the Captain's chair, gripping the arms tightly.

    "Time may be a luxury we don't have," he observed distantly, pausing as the Borg cube came to a stop. "Ready phasers."

    "Phasers ready, sir." Hill's brow creased as she saw something she did not expect. "Captain... we're being hailed."

    "On screen."

    A large, cavernous space inside the Borg ship appeared on the viewscreen, along with dozens of drones. As soon as the connection was established the drones all began to shout unintelligible noises, their pale faces twisted into expressions of anger and contempt. Some began to shove their way forward in front of the others, snarling and making threatening gestures. There was a flash of green as one fired its weapon, almost as though it thought it could reach the Atlanta's bridge. It was impossible to understand what they were shouting about; the drones were a collection of burning pain and visceral hatred, a terrifying force that left the bridge crew unable to do anything but stare at the sight.

    As if in a daze Gilmore turned to Hill and gestured for her to cut off the communication.

    "What... what was that?" Storen asked, still staring at the viewscreen even though the link was gone.

    "The Borg." Gilmore swallowed. "They must be different here."

    "Different is putting it mildly," Storen muttered, finally tearing himself away from the viewscreen. "That was complete chaos."

    "We need to leave, now," the Captain decided. "Are the torpedoes ready?"

    "Yes, sir. Standing by to fire-" Hill broke off as the ship rocked madly. "They've locked onto us with a tractor beam!"

    Green blasts shot out from the uneven surface of the Cube, converging on the starship locked in its grasp.

    "Shields are at 91 percent," Hill advised the bridge. "We're not going to be able to hold out long."

    "Target the emitter of that tractor beam and fire all phasers," Gilmore ordered.

    Phaser beams lanced out from the Atlanta and converged on a single point. There was no effect, and the phasers fired again. This time there was a small explosion and debris erupted from the Borg cube, and the tractor beam promptly vanished.

    "Ensign, bring us about and take us away from that cube, fast! Lisa, standby to fire torpedoes."

    The viewscreen became a blur as the ship banked hard and came about. Once the Atlanta was facing directly away from the cube it steadied and sped up, taking fire from the Borg all the while, although as many of the blasts missed as found their mark. A series of photon torpedoes sped out from the Atlanta's rollbar and quickly overtook the ship, moving in a straight path directly ahead of it. When they were a safe distance away from the Miranda class ship they detonated, engulfing the space ahead in a cascade of fiery orange. The Atlanta stayed directly on course as the explosion began to fade, blasting straight into the small rift that had been left behind. For a moment the ship was lost; then it emerged from the rip in the fabric of space and was still. The space around it was empty - there was no rift, and no Borg cube.

    "Are we back?" Storen asked hesitantly, watching the stars with distrust in his blue eyes.

    "Just a moment, sir," Karn replied.

    There was a terse quiet as the science officer conducted a quick scan. Finally, the Risian turned to face the rest of the crew and smiled.

    "We're right where we should be."

    "Permission to set us back on course, Captain?" Storen asked.

    "Granted," Gilmore replied, getting to his feet and walking towards the turbolift. "You have the bridge, Commander." He paused and pivoted back around as he came to the aft turbolift, the doors sliding open behind him. "Oh, and Jack?"

    "Yes sir?"

    "If we encounter any anomalous readings en route, just ignore them."

    "Yes, sir."
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • allen1973allen1973 Member Posts: 22 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    vStarfleet Personal Log:
    Cpt. Gjehjallahte Gronzern

    Admiral Nine had graciously accepted my promotion to captain, my proposal to Starfleet regarding experimentation, and exploration in correlation with the newly discovered Iconian satellite gateway system, as well as my suggestion that I command an experimental H-Class Novae vessel for my debut mission.
    My first mission as captain was to pilot the ship I had been co-commanding with its Captain, Merle Dox, off to a very important Starfleet Debriefing regarding the Mirror Universe in sector 001. Captain Dox had helped me formulate certain postulates in my proposal, and consulted me in certain ways that I feel were systemic to my success. I was one of four Commanding officers aboard the F-Class Aulanerk Saanich, a vessel that had six lieutenant-commanders as well. It is a larger vessel, yet merely galaxy class.
    We are to visit Ferasan to make adjustments to the Nova-Dreadnaught H ? Class Bastet Ferasan, a much larger ship of which I will be one of three Captains. Four commanders from the Aulanerk Saanich will be joining us. Luckily, it is known to the Federation how to use the Iconian satellite Gateways, so our trip was actually shortened considerably. We were to transfer and meet Admiral Nine aboard, she is the supreme commander of the vessel Bastet Ferasan. As it would so happen, the Bastet Ferasan is the most readily available ship of its class for this mission. My hope is that after the mission I will be able to research our mission conclusions on a Ferasan research station on-planet, I would be happy to help training on-planet and to rejoin the Bastet Farasan afterwards, as it were, I had not had extended leave in four years. I would request one year at Farasan Research Facility A, with the option for extension should my research be for some reason incomplete in one Ferasan year.
    Aboard Bastet Ferasan I was formally announced as the tactical Captain of the Bridge, one of my co-horts from the Aulanerk Saanich commanders became the Captain of Engineering, his Lieutenant Commander being made full Commander of Engineer, one of six that the Bastet Ferasan now contains. One Commander was also a tactical commander and was made my #1, and our Science Lieutenant Commander was made Commander for this mission also. We were informed of battlefield promotions aboard the Aulanerk Saanich, which included the Engineering Commander, the Ferengi named Navi, who was made acting captain. The ship was roughly forty percent Caitain, and we were grossly understaffed, at about one quarter capacity, or roughly two thousand personnel.
    Transport and storage are not the main concerns of the voyage, although Starfleet intelligence considers the likelihood that asylum seekers and other diplomatic cohorts are likely to come aboard, there is more room for biological samples, shuttles, and of course the two larger attack frigates. H-Class Caitian variations on the Vigilant and Sao Paulo tactical escorts, have been proven for combative and diplomatic consideration. The tactical escorts for this mission are named Ferasan Fury, and Fist of Ferasan or Sraalla. [This is roughly translated from Caitian mythology, the former being from a form of philosophic construct, similar to human pride or geist to that of a bezerk, and the later being a variation on the traditional name for the Ferasan war goddess.]It had seemed that I would be more likely to command the Fist of Ferasan, or Sraalla, in case of extraneous circumstances, Admiral Nine has a complicated personnel chart she would systematically refer to in order to determine the command chain based on any plausible situation. Although I am happy for the design, I only wanted to know what the circumstances might be, and percentage wise I found it more likely that I would command the Bastet Ferasan, or the Fist of Ferasan, or Sraala.
    Meanwhile teams from the Aulanerk Saanich were working with Ferasan technicians in order to ready all systems aboard the Bastet Ferasan. I was responsible for coordinating the various timelines, and personnel, although There were two commanders and three lieutenant commanders with several lieutenants working in my sub-command chain. The Engineering and Medical/Science groups were served similar compositions, although there was complicated cross over between the disciplines.
    One example of such would be Commander Talnar, his wife, and assistant Lieutenant Talnar-Ventir. Both are specialists and customarily wear the solid black uniform, similar to that of Section 31. Due to their specializations their objectives are classified, and I assigned to them four escorts, two male, and two female, Caitain, assault specialists. The Specialization Team is upgrading tactical, medical, and engineering schematics to match current Section 31 standardizations. It is thought that the Borg will be present in the Mirror Universe when we arrive. That now said, we need every advantage possible, and the Vulcan Talnars are seeing that every advantage is met. Our technical teams have been forewarned that there are possible variables in our upgrading procedures that might not make the cut according to Starfleet Intelligence. There have been minor incidences in every department that rerouting and post-circuitry performance reviews have been necessary, are part of new initialization and installation processes. At least a dozen times Talnar has stopped process in an entire computer section, sometimes scores of technicians at work in these places, waiting for a part, some kind of mechanical augmentation to arrive, and be installed, attempting to reroute a sub-routine, whatever the case, so that regulatory processes could continue. No one is allowed to look at said installations except the senior staff. I witnessed every such installation, usually in the company of Admiral Nine herself, although she was too busy for some of the events. The Talnar encryption processes alone can impede preparations for hours, although all systems need to be redoubtable. We are still talking about the Borg, no redundancy is irrelevant. The Admiral has said.
    Captain Merle arrived in Ferasan early, her briefing was short apparently, so she was prepared to command the Aulanerk Saanich, and her assistance in overseeing ship preparations was greatly appreciated by everyone. A fresh set of eyes, ears, and hands can often do twice the work of those who have long been in the trenches. She arrived aboard the starship Daedalus D-class, a ship which easily matches the bulk and velocity of the Bastet Ferasan. Daedalus was commandeered by Admiral Janeway and co-commands with an Admiral Smithson. Smithson?s captains will be co-commanding and taking responsibility for the Delta D-Class Defiant and Sao Paulo tactical assault vessels Icarus and Iapyx.
    It is thought that the two larger dreadnaught / pan galactic vessels with assault vessels should be enough to make an assessment on the Borg activity in the Mirror Universe, should the calculations be accurate. Meanwhile the Vulcan specialists have been in communications with their secondary team aboard the Daedalus and both teams are in concert on their extremely urgent need to make computations for newer enigma calculations, which will essentially determine what the telemetry of Borg involvement in the Mirror Universe is, and hopefully define an event horizon for their involvement there, as well as with involvement with the Iconian Gateways.
    Commander Talvar?s briefing to the senior staff revealed some major intel considerations regarding the Borg and the Iconians, their relationship to each other historically, and what tactical consignments or manipulations both parties could likely be expected to be defined by in the Mirror Universe. Not exactly a socio-dynamic consideration, among other things, Talvar is fairly convinced, as are other?s in Starfleet that the Iconians, in a political move of desperation created the Borg as a defense mechanism to harvest technological sources throughout the galaxy, after being invaded by outside forces, likely militaristic humanoids from the Andromeda galaxy, over 150,000 years ago. Intel from actual Mirror Universe members are varied and somewhat vague, although it has been suggested that there is a definitive possibility that on that side of the chasm Iconians completely defeated the Borg, realizing they had created another terrible source of competition for themselves, their more base bureaucratic nature is in full consideration there, and they are terribly militaristic and totalitarian, whereas here, some hundred thousand plus years ago, the Iconians in a humanistic, civil manner discovered their folly and created almost infinite models of species within existing DNA structures in primordial microcondria on various primitive stage M-class planets, and terra-formed and created nebula and other anomalies [dark-matter] in such a way as to smoke screen the species? planets away from the Borg.
    Talvar used the Viking example, Iceland, seems like a name inhospitable to life, Greenland, seems a quite pleasant namesake? Of course I recognized the desert continent Green Island, Pangaea-like continent Death Island variation from the Caitian translation on my hand held viewing com. Caitians have long ago abandoned such misleading nefarious means of matriculation. Studying Terran history in Starfleet, I was surprised to see the Viking example in such a way, when I realized the humans were at least as good at exploration and navigation, it was a very humbling experience for me. Like many young Caitians, I assumed they were merely simian to all circumstances. Much like humans being stunned to see bipedal felines I once had to suppose, it takes time to convince humans that we have little relationship to our quadruped ancestors from their planet, and our past. Did the Borg or the Iconians plant DNA in these locations? Could there have been another factor? Iconians in the past have taken claim to such events, still, they could consider the work of the Borg to be their own. Talvar created many intriguing complexities, and frankly I was happy to have Saurian brandy with the Admirals and joint senior staff after the briefing.
    Smithson said to Janeway, with his Captain Argensen also in said social grouping, ?I see Captain Gronzern has had enough Cloud Atlas theory for the afternoon.? I had seen the movie in academy in San Francisco, although I was on the accelerated course at the time, having studied on Ferasan, I chuckled without regard to being polite as it was actually kind of a scary moment of rationalization. It came out a little like a growl from a hyena, is what I have been told in the past by Terrans.
    ?Admiral, I?m sure we will run out of Saurian Brandy today, its fine, there?s a fixed amount in this location, we are expected as senior officers to perform at our best.? That was Janeway?s rebuttal.
    Luckily my guttural accent isn?t debilitating, so I was able to share my thoughts with my colleagues. Commander and Lieutenant Talvar thought my insights were exactly excelsior to the design philosophy of the motive of consternation, honestly, I know both Vulcans have extra special abilities in continuum, quantum and astral theory, so I was simply happy to stay on my feet with my brain in concert with this particular zeitgeist. They were particularly gratified, to also Nine and Janeway, who apparently liken advanced theory in the field more than Smithson, who dislikes analogous anomalies of this nature. Captain Argensen, who has known Smithson longer translated.
    ?Not his idea of a good mystery, really, we just want the answers here, nothing more.? Captain Argensen has a natural way of expressing disconcertion to an alleviating affectation. Smithson seemed more pleased with Argensen?s explanation.
    ?In an earlier century we would have thought this all nonsense, now perhaps the galaxies on both parallels are in jeopardy??
    Talvar had explained that in the Mirror Universe the galaxy had been divided by ancient militaristic factions, lesser factions, such as those in our own local stellar neighborhood were to fight one another, to build strength from within enough to defend all else without. His personal view was that as much of the galaxy that is ruled by the Borg here in our galaxy was now in paradox lead by the Iconian autocracy, all other authority in the Mirror-side purely oligarchic in nature. The Iconian autocracy will believe by right of paradox that the Borg control of our own galaxy will be by divine right, their own doing. That, in a nutshell, is what was disturbing Smithson, Janeway, Nine and he would be furthering their conceptual alignment on the subject.
    ?We all share the same concerns here. We are anon, we are not Borg, remember what the Klingons have in the past said, They are the Borg; Deassimilate them!? Admiral Nine shares the distinction of being a relatively young, attractive and deadly intelligent Admiral with a bone to pick and a cross to bear, to use a human analogy. Her grits are rough and ready, her smite is sharp and wicked. ?Both pan-galactic vessels are outfitted to keep thousands of Borg in stasis and hundreds in various pseudo stasis. The scientific data from this mission alone could in fact be enough to turn over rule in this galaxy to the Federation / Galactic alliance. There is a real chance that we can use the Borg to discourage further Mirror-Universe incursion on this paradox, as well as find reasonable diplomacy and knowledge from that paradox also. Live today so that our enemies will die tomorrow-Take prisoners and remind the enemy the extent of our intent against them.? Nine used late 23rd century Klingon rhetoric as a device to create passion and mission unity. I felt, although a devout Caitian and Federation member, that that particular passion resonated with me fully in my being and that my comrades were of the same mind. Later I recommended that she use this mode of speech with both crews of the mission fleet. She would think on it.
  • pwebranflakespwebranflakes Member Posts: 7,741
    edited December 2013
    Update! Due to the upcoming holiday, I will be extending this challenge for 2 weeks from its original end date, which was next Tuesday. I should have the next new one up on Tuesday, Jan 7.

    Happy holidays!

    Cheers,

    Brandon =/\=
  • johngazmanjohngazman Member Posts: 2,826 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    +++ Commence Log Entry +++

    Acting First Officer's Log, Colonel T'Mara Praex, A.R.W. T'Korex.

    As it stands, we are currently on course for the Azure Nebula. Reports from several Reman trade convoys passing through the system suggested abnormally high levels of tetryon radiation, but more importantly, strange astronomical phenomena were sighted on at least two occasions.

    The Nebula itself is practically uninhabited, and holds little value to us. It is, however, known to be an unstable region of space. Such odd occurances are rare, but not unheard of. In spite of this, Admiral Khev, from the Science Directorate, has elected to investigate this one further, and as such, I have had my ship commandeered for this excursion of his.


    +++ Log Entry Terminated +++

    +++

    Azure Nebula
    36 Hours Later


    The T'Korex hung in the Nebula, as if suspended from a string. Nearby asteroids floated by the warbird's long forward section, being nudged gently away by the ship's deflector array once they strayed too close.

    On the bridge, Colonel T'Mara Praex sat in the captain's chair, her body slumped to one side as she rested her head on her arm. Aside from her, the bridge was practically empty, with the exception of the chief science officer and the relief tactical officer. They both sat at their terminals, working silently as T'Mara stared abesnt-mindedly out of the viewscreen at the blue abyss that stretched out before her eyes.

    "Subcommander, any change?" T'Mara asked, stifling a yawn.

    "Slight elevation in ambient tetryon radiation levels, Colonel" the Science Officer replied "But that's nothing particularly special. Quite common in this kind of nebula, actually."

    "So exactly the same as twenty minutes ago, which was exactly the same as thirty-four hours ago?"

    "Uh...yes, Colonel."

    "Lovely. Lieutenant." T'Mara diverted her attention to the tactical officer "Give me the local traffic report."

    "Tracking two Reman transports passing through here on their way to the Nopada system. I also noticed a sensor blip that was moving in the area, although sensors were unable to identify the vessel. I suspect it was a cloaked ship, sir."

    "Could you identify it?" T'Mara asked, wearily.

    "Not accurately sir" the Lieutenant informed her "But given the direction it was travelling, I can theorise that it was a Klingon scout ship, maybe a bird-of-prey."

    "So in thirty-six hours, we've seen two Reman ships, a sensor blip and some tetryon radiation."

    "And a class two comet." The Science officer added

    "Well, that's something. I'll go inform the Admiral. You have the bridge, Subcommander."
    +++

    T'Mara trudged down the hallways of the D'Rridthau-class's interior, heading for the ships' guest quarters. There was very little activity at this time, so she assumed that it was night time. At least, she thought, it felt like night time. As she rubbed her tired eyes, she came to the appropriate door and pushed the buzzer.

    After a moment of silence, the doors hissed open. Behind them, Admiral Khev was buttoning up his longcoat.

    "Ah, Colonel, good morning." Khev greeted T'Mara, before turning to her and adding "It is morning, isn't it?"

    "Yes Admiral, it's approximately zero-six-thirty hours."

    "Ah, good. I've been planetside for too long, Colonel. It's a touch disorienting being back on a starship for this long." Khev pointed out, straightening his jacket before continuing "You have a report for me?"

    "Yes sir, but i'm afraid it's the same as before" T'Mara informed him "No sign of the anomaly that was reported."

    "Oh." Khev acknowledged, glumly. "Well, I suppose I had better inform Romulus."

    He turned and was about to access the rooms' terminal when the ship's intercom system buzzed. The sound of the Science officer's voice filled the air.

    "Colonel, Admiral. We need you back on the bridge. We're getting something here."

    +++


    The turbolift doors had barely finished parting as T'Mara and Khev rushed back onto the bridge. "Status report, Subcommander!" T'Mara shouted, fighting the intense shuddering that now rocked the ship.

    "Severe gravimetric distortions Colonel!" she shouted back. "Massive spikes of tetryon and theta radiation. Admiral, what do you make of this?"

    Steadying himself on the Subcommander's terminal, Khev looked down and scan-read the data. He took a moment to process it, before looking up;

    "I believe a spatial rift is forming, Colonel!" Khev informed them.

    "A rift?" T'Mara asked.

    "A tear in the fabric of reality!" Khev explained, a hint of excitement in his voice as he added "A rare occurence indeed!"

    As abruptly as it had begun, the shuddering stopped. The Science Officer tapped her console a few times, before informing them; "Sir, gravimetric distortions have ceased. However, I am detecting a 'rift', as the admiral described it."

    Before they could say another word, the Tactical officer interrupted them

    "Sir! Unknown sensor contact!"

    "The Klingons?" T'Mara asked

    "Negative sir! It's coming...from inside the rift! Scanning the contact now." He tapped his own console screen furiously. "It's large, sir! Square in shape - no, it's cube shaped."

    "I know Lieutenant. I can see it."

    Looming over the T'Korex, the cuboid vessel now hung in space before it, obscuring the spacial rift from where it had appeared. For a few moments, the two vessels remained silent. On the T'Korex's bridge, T'Mara and Khev stared in wonder at the vessel.

    "What...is it?" Khev wondered aloud. As if to answer is question, the T'Korex's comm system burst to life, carrying a transmission from the other vessel;
    "We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

    "Lieutenant, do not drop those shields under any circumstances. Divert all power to forward phasers!" T'Mara ordered, seating herself in the captain's chair.

    "It's no use sir. I'm detecting foreign life signatures on decks five through seven, nine through eleven and in the engineering level. Power to weapons and shields is failing." T'Mara braced herself as the cube-ship lashed out at them, a green energy beam raking the hull. "Major hull damage, breach on deck ten. We're venting atmousphere, Colonel."

    T'Mara pushed a button on the armrest of her chair. A small chirp informed her that she was now broadcasting ship-wide.

    "All hands, this is the Colonel. Prepare to repel boarders."
    You're just a machine. And machines can be broken.
    StarTrekFirstContactBorgBattleonetumblr_lln3v6QoT31qzrtqe.gif
  • cosmonaut12345cosmonaut12345 Member Posts: 114 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Rose Sharon
    Destiny
    Iotia
    The Mirror Universe

    "Computer, seal the doors. Code Kanar-440424." Nobody really pays attention to us Iotians these days, especially not little old ladies like me, so nobody ever wised up to the fact that I speak the language better than most of the dumb spoonheads stuck on this backwater planet. Yeah, I ain't got no illusions about our place in the world - Iotia's the middle of freakin' nowhere here. Don't get me wrong, we done our best. When my grandma's grandma was a kid, an Imperial ship came along and we tried to learn from them - we built our own copy of old Chicago all over the planet, using just some old books they left. The next time an Imperial ship came, we joined up lickety-split and soon they were comin' from old Earth just to see how we'd turned ourselves into a real Imperial colony all on our own. Then the Alliance came.

    That was back before I was born, back before we became part of the Cardassian Union, back before every Iotian born was somebody's slave. Personally, I think we'd have been happy to paint our foreheads blue and dress up in leather like the spoonheads do, but they didn't give spit for us - we looked Terran, we'd been Imperials, and that was reason enough to grind us into the dirt for a hundred years. I'm old enough to remember the camps where they put the ones that resisted, the sound of disruptor fire every Sunday when they were mowing down rebels...but it's been a long time since anybody did that. The spoonheads broke us a long time ago.

    I move through the lab like I was born here, and maybe I was; I've been sweeping floors in here since before most of the spoonhead scientists were born. Don't get me wrong; I've got it better than most. I wasn't pretty enough to get taken away when I was a teenager, and back then they didn't draft slave-girls for the frontlines, so when I was eighteen I was handed a mop and a bucket and told to get scrubbing, girlie, if you don't want to have to know the glinn a whole lot better than you ever wanted to before. I've been here ever since, and some stuff has happened I don't really want to talk about, but now I'm old and I know how to keep my head down, and nobody looks too close at Rose Sharon, fifth outta seven of the cleaning ladies here in the Moset Institute of Scientific Research.

    The arm is resting behind a force field, one I can pop open easy as pie, and I find myself staring at it like it's a picture of St. Valentine or my own dead mama. It doesn't look like much, geez; just white skin and five fingers, black armor, and a broken joint where somebody TRIBBLE it right off the bone at the shoulder. Nothing I haven't seen before. I used to clean the medical building. That's where the spoonheads do their little experiments. My man, Charlie, lost his arm when a gul's transport landed before the workers could clear the pad, and my girl Katie lost her leg when the ship she was workin' on got boarded by Imperials looking to settle some old scores. They're gone now - Charlie died of the drink five years after they took his leg, and Katie died when her body couldn't take the new leg they gave her.

    I look down at my hands, liver-spotted and wrinkled, shaking just a little as I hold them up to the light, and I think about being strong - strong like THEY are, those aliens in their cube ships, the ones that keep the Alliance and the Empire on the run, one of whom got iced when his round ship got blown up by a full Alliance patrol out there by our Moon, taking two big Galors with it. Iotia's a backwater, see, but they were just passing through. Most of the time, there's hardly any ships in orbit. Most of the time, there's hardly any troops on the ground anymore.

    Iotians have learned to act like slaves.

    If something changed, if we changed, maybe they'd be the ones people ran from. Maybe we'd be the top dogs again. Maybe our boys and girls would grow up with white skin and armored bodies and the souls of toasters, but maybe this way...they'd grow up. As I reach down and grab the arm, as I feel those pincers pierce my skin and drive their venom deep, I decide that this old broad is gonna change the world. By the time they get the door open and the first guard bends down over me, I don't have to make decisions anymore. And the little part of me that's left? I like the look on his face when I drive my spikes through his arm and watch the nanoprobes eat his soul.

    We're coming for you.
  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Second entry, as OKed by BranFlakes in the discussion thread.
    Captain's log, IKS QIn (retrofitted K'tinga-class battlecruiser). Stardate: Unknown--our chronometers are still off from the Devidian incident.

    By the blood of Kahless, we have had a strange week!

    Might as well get this over with. Ahem. To Honored K'men and the High Council. Lieutenant General Gu'ral, daughter of Gu'toj of the house of Grilka reporting. The following is an excerpt from my captain's log, and my report on the Mirror Borg incident. Qapla'!

    We destroyed the comet successfully, K'men, but ran afoul of a younger Ambassador B'vat and his fleet. Next time you send us back in time, you to'ba, give us a disguise that doesn't make us look like honorless targs of the house of Duras! The temporal device that you attached to our ship worked, but our shields were hit by a tachyon pulse from B'vat's flagship as it activated. The ship was shaken, and the red alert sirens began to blare.

    "Report!" I shouted.

    Commander Della (the only Orion woman I know who wears actual armor) looked up from her place at the tactical console.

    "Shields are offline, impulse engines are offline, and the warp core is damaged, sir! Something hit us as the device activated--I'm not sure where we are!"

    "Scan for the station, the fleet, the comet, anything! Hail the KDF, damn it!"

    She tapped a few buttons, and looked up with a shake of her head. "Nothing, sir. Astrometrics has no idea where we are, and our sensors are picking up nothing but a gas giant in this system."

    "Bah! Useless temporal devices! Engineering! Get our shields and warp core online, now! Astrometrics, if you sniveling petaQs cannot figure out where we are in five minutes, you can spend the next month on latrine duty! Warriors, all hands to battle stations and be prepared for glorious battle!"

    "Ssir!" hissed Krath from his station. "We have a ship on our sensors! They have just dropped out of warp within visual range!"

    "On viewer!"

    My finest warriors gasped and cursed at the sight. I clutched my mek'leth hilt, my knuckles white with dishonorable fear. We all recognized the ship on the screen.

    A Borg cube.

    "Engineering! I need that warp core and those shields online yesterday! Hurry, you fools, or we're all going to be assimilated! Warriors! Prepare for battle! Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!"

    My warriors roared, trying to shake off the fear. I knew that we were doomed--the QIn <trans. "Spearhead"> is a powerful ship, but without our engines or shields we were doomed.

    "Ready disruptors! Load the transphasic torpedoes! Prepare for battle! ThlIngan maH!"

    "Sir! We are being hailed!" yelled Korath, son of K'ret, my helmsman.

    "On viewer. Let us show these Borg taHqeq what real Klingon warriors look like!"

    My warriors roared. A Borg drone appeared on screen.

    He smiled. "Hello, Captain. We are the Borg. I am historical and cultural research unit Six of Eleven. Do you require assistance?"

    "You shall pay in blood for every drone you cull from our ranks! Prepare to face true warriors, honorless petaQ!"

    The drone frowned, his reptilian Hirogen face furrowing around the implants. Off-handedly, I wondered why this drone was showing such emotion. And something seemed...off about him. The implants, or maybe the skin? Or was it the voice?

    "There is no need for belligerence. This cube is a transport vessel on a mission of mercy. We have no desire to harm you...please hold. Your species has been identified as Klingon--calling up relevant files." The drone stood rigid and his eyes unfocused.

    I was confused. Were the Borg seriously trying to bluff Klingon warriors??? But why hadn't they fired yet? Our shields were down, they could beam in and assimilate half the ship in seconds. Why did they wait?

    The Borg focused on me again. "Your species has been identified as Klingon, a warrior species from the planet Qo'nos, currently enslaved by the Terran empire--"

    "Klingons are not slaves!" I shouted. "Insult our honor again, and we shall fire on your ship, you insolent to'ba!"

    "Analysis of your ship has determined that your shields and engines are offline. Please do not attack us, as we would be forced to return fire, and your ship's hull might not be able to withstand the plasma defense cannons."

    "Fine," I growled, "But Klingons are not slaves! What is this "Terran Empire" of which you speak? We will annihilate them!"

    "The Terran Empire is a hostile and belligerent space power based on the planet Earth in sector A24J. The primary species of the Empire are Humans, a warlike race that view themselves as superior. Other subservient but member races include Andorians, Vulcans, and Caitians. Enslaved species include Romulans, Cardassians, Bajorans, and Klingons. The Klingon Republic, a small space power, was destroyed and enslaved by the Empire in the Terran 3rd Dynasty, approximately one hundred and fifty of Qo'nos's solar cycles in the past. Ever since, Klingons have been the most downtrodden slave race of the Empire, due to their fierce resistance before their conquest."

    I felt an admiration in my heart for those beleaguered warriors, despite the awful news the drone revealed. How glorious it must have been, in those last days of this "republic", with the Federation--or "Terran Empire", as Six of Twelve called it--bearing down on the homeworld, trampling Kahless's shrines underfoot, a few honorable warriors defending the sacred stones of Qo'nos from the honorless invaders.

    But they fell, and they died. I prayed for their souls, hoping that they died with honor and achieved Sto-vo-Kor.

    The drone continued. "Until recently, Klingons were universally hopeless and downtrodden, unwilling to fight back against Imperial aggression. However, Unimatrix observers have recently found that a resistance movement calling itself the "Sons of Kahless" has arisen in the ancestral Klingon homeworld of Qo'nos, under the leadership of a Klingon called Worf, son of Mogh. This Klingon makes references to meeting a version of himself from another universe, a mighty warrior who fought like the original Klingons, winning honor and glory in battle--I am sorry, I am rambling a bit. This is my area of expertise, after all! I have three extra memory banks for traditional Klingon songs alone!"

    Something clicked in my head, and I remembered an old story that Worf told me and cousin Koren once on the day she was made captain of the BortaS'qu, just as I realized why the Borg drone seemed...wrong.

    "This is that Mirror Universe the Federation talks about all the time! Where Klingons are slaves and the Terrans are honorless killers instead of honorable but peace-loving warriors! That's what's different! Della, tell Astrometrics that they're all on latrine duty for a month, two months if they cannot find a way to get us back!"

    "One moment please, processing the phrase "mirror universe".........Files located and read. The Borg Unimatrix apologizes for this misunderstanding and is willing to assist you in returning home. Would you please transfer some cultural information to us, so that we may study your universe's Klingons and their culture?"

    The drone's implants were smooth chrome, blending seamlessly with his bright skin. His voice had tone. This universe's Borg must be very different from ours--based on what I saw, a Federation-like group of peaceful explorers, not the honorless monsters of our universe.

    "We shall. Do you know how to get us back?"

    "Interestingly enough, we do. Astronomical researcher Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix 01, encountered a group of explorers from your universe--yes, your same universe, our scientists just used hivemind to message me the quantum signature scan results--just thirteen of your hours ago, on the other side of Borg space. Our engineering team tells me that we can get your ship back by hitting your ship with a tachyon pulse while you produce a tetryon cascade around your warp nacelles. Are you capable of doing so?"

    Krath nodded at me.

    "Yes. Transferring files now, fire when ready. Oh, and Six of Twelve? As a personal favor, could you ensure that honorable Worf son of Mogh receives these files, especially the history of the Klingon Empire?"

    "The Borg Unimatrix has a standing policy of noninterference with other space powers...but we are in a state of undeclared war with the Terran Empire, and supporting rebel groups would help distract the Empire so that we can continue deducing the secrets of the universe in peace...One moment, please."

    I waited. My bridge was silent, save for the science teams whispering and setting up the tetryon cascade.

    "The Borg Unimatrix has decided over hivemind. As thanks for this motherlode of information, we will accede to your request and assist the Sons of Kahless rebel group. Are you ready to transfer?"

    "Activating tetryon cascade now. Goodbye, Six of Twelve."

    "Goodbye, Captain."

    There was a flash of white light, and we were back.

    Of course, you know the rest--we pinwheeled in space due to unforseen aftereffects of the transfer, and crashed into a piece of Praxis. Cousin Koren needed to tow us back to spacedock, and I was the laughingstock of Qo'nos for a week. Then I won ten bat'leth duels in a row during the impromptu tournament that that Nausicaan set up, and the jokes stopped.

    K'men, I have a bone to pick with you, you miserable targ. Next time I run your little temporal errands, I demand a holoemitter that does not make my ship look like a crate of honorless swine. And a temporal device that works as it should.

    End log.
    Founder and Grand Vizier of the Glorious Regime of Sovereign Ba'al. Hail Ba'al!
    Baal%20prop%20pic%208_zpsqaptvpnu.png
  • zidanetribalzidanetribal Member Posts: 218 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    Literary Challenge #55: We are the (Mirror) Borg

    LC55: Buzz
    Captain's Log, Stardate 91546.74. The Lord English's Chief Sensors Officer, Ten of Twenty-Five, has been attending a conference held on Archer IV by the Plotgeraet, a hitherto unknown race apparently specializing in sensor technology. As the English continues to shuttle personnel back and forth from the Solanae Dyson Sphere, Ten will have to make the three-sector journey from Archer IV to Jouret alone in one of the English's Type 10 shuttles. Of course, this is risky, but if anything happens, at least she'll come back with interesting stories, I guess.

    ===

    Commander Ten of Twenty-Five had always hated the Borg. When she was growing up, her grandmother had told her scary stories about how her grandfather lost his life at Wolf 359, and her parents always used the Borg as bogeymen to scare her straight as a child. Even after her assimilation at Vega IX and de-assimilation six months later, she felt that the Borg had stolen a large part of her humanity. Now, she faced a fresh reminder of her experience as a Borg drone.

    "Bluuuuurrrrgh!"

    Ten of Twenty-Five crouched over the shuttlecraft Cactuar's toilet as she continued vomiting. As a child, she had been fond (perhaps too fond) of shrimp, and when she saw that the Plotgeraet summit's buffet was highly stocked with various species of shrimp, she could not stop herself from overindulging. However, when the Borg assimilated her, they had removed most of her lower gastrointestinal tract, and the bio-synthetic replacements she currently possessed were having an adverse reaction to the Plotgeraet shrimp.

    "Why, why? Damn Borg! I can't forgive them for what they did to the shrimp! Urk..."

    As Ten continued getting reacquainted with her shrimp meals, the shuttlecraft Cactuar continued its journey through the Tau Dewa Sector Block. Presently, the shuttle's autopiloted path took it to the edge of the Azure Nebula, where it got caught in a subspace eddy. The Cactuar drifted into a Tholian base under attack by the Romulan Republic. Ten realized her situation a mite too late as she fumbled her way to the cockpit of her shuttle.

    "Oh no!" she cried as she vainly tried to regain control of the Cactuar. A damaged Tholian Tarantula dreadnought targeted her shuttle and prepared to fire its web cannon, but a thalaron pulse from a passing Falchion Dreadnought warbird ruptured the Tarantula's warp core and caused its magazine of subspace munitions to explode, forming an interphasic rift into the Mirror Universe. Ten's distress call was lost in the background radiation of the battle as the Cactuar was pulled into the rift by the subspace eddy. The transition between universes overwhelmed Ten's senses and she blacked out, but before she lost consciousness she thought she saw a Borg probe embedded in an asteroid...

    ---

    A muffled banging on the shuttle brought Ten back to her senses. Somehow she and the shuttle had survived the trip through the interphasic rift, although the shuttle's blast shields were deployed preventing her from seeing outside. She checked herself over; other than a light buzzing inside her head, she was all right. The muffled banging continued to echo throughout the shuttle, and Ten thought she heard shouting as well. She turned to the shuttle console above her head.

    "Computer, on screen."

    What greeted Ten was a frightening sight. No less than fifteen humanoids, all with various amounts of Borg implants, were hitting the shuttle and trying to get in. Ten's mind began to race with the memories of her assimilation: the feel of the neuro suppressant and the assimilation tubules, the replacement of her spinal cord with fibro-neural interface cabling, the subsuming of her thoughts into the Collective. She searched around the Proton Rifle that Commander T'Shaanat had given her. Ten would rather die than rejoin the Collective, and she was prepared to take some of the drones around the shuttle with her. She activated the shuttle's audio sensors to gauge her situation.

    "Hello Captain! We are the Borg! Are you all right?"

    The voice on the comm panel gave Ten pause. The Collective was never this polite, because etiquette was irrelevant. Why were these drones concerned about her welfare?

    "Hello out there!" she shouted into the panel. "I'm fine! What do you mean when you say you are the Borg?"

    A murmur of surprise rippled through the drones, and they stopped banging on the shuttlecraft.

    "Thank God you're alright! When you crash-landed in our shuttlebay, we didn't know what to expect! Can you get out? We can explain afterwards."

    The voice on the comm panel felt very familiar to Ten. It reminded her of her grandfather, the Lord English's Borg Chief Medical Officer Four of Thirteen, but more emotive. Despite the logic portions of her brain advocating caution, Ten searched for the emergency release of the shuttle's door and pulled the switch, popping the rear door out. As she walked out of the shuttlecraft, a long, lanky, elderly Japanese man with ruffled hair and a giant Borg ocular implant came to meet her. The look in his eye was one of astonishment.

    "Well! I didn't know there were people like us traveling freely! Did you come from one of one of the other research stations?" he asked.
    "I... I'm not sure," Ten replied. "Of anything. Are you Borg drones? Who are you?" Ten felt as if she knew the man who asked her the question.
    "Oh! Where are my manners!" he said apologetically. "Of course I should introduce myself to a beautiful young girl like you. My name is Honda Tadakatsu, but everyone here calls me Edmund."

    Now it was Ten's turn to be astonished.

    "Grandfather!?"

    ---

    "So your name before you were assimilated was Sabrina Honda? I always thought that if I ever had a child, I would name her Sabrina."

    Edmund and Ten sat around a dingy table at a dingy mess hall where a bevy of Terrans, Vulcans, Tellarites, and other aliens with Borg implants moseyed around, eating small meals and making even smaller talk. Every so often someone would shoot a glance at Ten. She noticed that everyone was having difficulties with their implants.

    "What did you mean when you asked if I came from one of the other research stations?" Ten asked. "What do you mean when you say you are the Borg? Are you the mirror universe's version of the Borg?"

    Edmund chuckled as he ate from his bowl of rice gruel. He offered some to Ten, who declined. She didn't feel hungry, and her head still continued to buzz.

    "Pretty girl like you needs to eat sometime," he said. "As for us, it's a long story that will have to start around 2381, ten years after the start of the Terran Rebellion."

    Edmund drew a crude map of explored space with some gruel. He marked off Qo'noS, Cardassia, Bajor, and the Azure Nebula.

    "Despite all the 'help' the Terran Rebellion got from your 'Prime' universe, the strength of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance kept the Terran Rebellion bottled up in the sector around Terok Nor for ten years. The Rebellion was about to collapse in 2381, but then the Borg arrived."

    Edmund then drew a giant diamond in the Tau Dewa Sector Block and an arrow pointing towards Qo'noS.

    "Nobody should be subject to a Borg invasion, I think. An entire sector block was turned to slag when the Borg attempted to assimilate Qo'noS in 2381. The Alliance lost billions of people, and the Borg were stopped only at a last ditch effort in the Kowletz system. Almost the entire Alliance fleet was deployed there, and it still took nearly five hundred ships at a 60% casualty to destroy the single Borg diamond which had assaulted the alliance."

    Edmund offered some gruel to Ten again, but she declined. Ten got the feeling that despite being technically strangers, Edmund was treating her like his own grandchild.

    "Are you sure you don't want to eat? If I was in a crash like that, I'd be hungry. Anyways, what the Alliance lost, the Rebellion gained. Without the Alliance checking our movements, the Terran Rebellion was able to capture large swatches of Alliance space. It culminated in 2391 when James O'Brien captured Cardassia by poisoning its atmosphere with cobalt diselenide. On the bones of the Detapa Council he declared himself Caesar of the new Terran Empire."

    Ten's face blanched when Edmund mentioned the casual genocide of the Cardassians. Edmund began dipping dots throughout the Azure Nebula.

    "James O'Brien had always been a ruthless fighter. For him, everything is permissible if it served his aims; that's why he killed his father and took control of the Rebellion. The Terran Empire will stop at nothing to control everything, and nothing is off-limits, not genocide, not forbidden science. The recent invasion of your universe came from Imperial research into interphasic transport. Here in this and other facilities in the Azure Nebula, Imperial scientists tried another branch of research."

    Edmund gestured around the room.

    "What you see here are the survivors of almost a decade of Terran Empire research into fusing Borg technology with Imperial test subjects. All of us were political prisoners, conscientious objectors, and deserters who were given the "honor" of redeeming ourselves by being guinea pigs. Of course, when 90% of the test subjects turned into drones and slaughtered their science teams, the secret facilities in the Nebula were all shuttered and left to rot. There is no room for us in the galaxy, I suppose, not since the events of 2381. Before I finish this, do you want any?"

    Ten shook her head again. Edmund finished off the rest of his gruel in a flourish.

    "In any case, still we soldier on! This existence isn't much, but at least we're alive, and not involved in James O'Brien's delusions of Napoleonic grandeur. Now that I've told you about me, why don't you tell me about you? I've always wondered what any progeny I'd have sired would be like, but slaves and fugitives don't get many chances to start a family."

    ---

    Ten told Edmund about her life in the Prime Universe, how she was assimilated and recovered from the Collective, her service aboard the Lord English, and her sojourn into the Mirror Universe. Edmund sat attentively as she finished up her story, but Ten noticed that the other research subjects had also been listening.

    "Right now I don't know how to return to my universe," she concluded. "I would like to return as I have many duties I must attend to, and so many of my people will be anxious about my non-arrival."

    The research subjects began to talk amongst themselves, Edmund among them. Presently, Edmund broke off of the group to address Ten.

    "There are a lot of opinions among the other Borg as to what to do with you. One or two of the other drones are concerned that your leaving here might draw the attention of the Alliance or perhaps the Tholians that sometimes lurk around the asteroids. However, the majority of our collective has decided that despite our poor skills, we will help you return to the universe as best we can. If you will allow us, we will pool our talents and fix your shuttle."

    Ten was heartened by the helpfulness of the research subjects. Despite living lives of utter destitution, they were willing to help others in need. Ten clasped her hands together.

    "I'm truly grateful for your assistance. Even though I'm only a lowly drone, I will help you any way I can when I return to my universe."

    The research subjects dispersed to repair the shuttlecraft. Ten took a step to leave, but began to wobble. Edmund caught her before she could fall over.

    "Are you are right, kid? I told you you should have eaten something," he remarked.
    "Yes, I'm fine," she replied. "Just a slight buzzing in my head. I'll be alright."
    "You'll probably be better off getting some rest. Come with me, you can rest in my cell."

    Ten and Edmund walked down the corridors, now awash with activity as the Borg research subjects scrounged around the facility for spare parts. Ten noted that the research subjects showed great difficulty doing most activities, but were still working cheerily.

    "Are the other subjects all right?" she asked. "They seem to have difficulty working with their Borg implants."
    "When the Imperial scientists finished their research on the Borg, they concluded that the advanced nature of the Borg nanoprobes prohibited any sort of integration with non-Borg beings," Edmund explained. "Unlike you, who seems to have retained both your free will and the use of your implants, we test subjects are basically Terran Empire citizens with the most uncomfortable prosthetics known to humankind."

    Edmund and Ten turned a corner into the detention area turned community hall. Here, more research subjects were playing games of chance using bits and pieces of lab equipment. Nobody seemed particularly distraught about their situation, Ten noticed, and so many of the subjects took their situation in stride.

    "How do the test subjects cope with their situation?" Ten asked Edmund. "I would think being abandoned in a forgotten research facility and burdened by non-functioning Borg implants would sap anyone of their will to live."
    "Of course, there is a lot of stress which comes by being stuck here, and initially many of the abandoned subjects ended their lives when the stresses became too hard to handle," he replied. "But giving into despair wasn't going to help us. One by one, I convinced many of the other subjects that some higher power had a greater plan in store for us. Why else would we be the only ones not to be fully assimilated? Now I see why we've been kept alive."

    Edmund folded up a stained lab coat and placed it at the head of a cot in the cell.

    "Now, you need to get some rest, young lady! If you want to go back to your universe, you better be sound of mind and body! I'll get you once the shuttle's ready, and whether or not you can get someone to come for us, you must make it back to the people that care for you."

    With a stern hand, Edmund forced Ten to sit on the cot before leaving. Ten wondered why this universe's version of her grandfather was so congenial and whether her own grandfather would have turned out like this own had he not spent so long in the Collective. She lay down and began to sleep.

    ---

    Contrary to her expectations, sleep did not help Ten's state of mind. In fact, the buzzing which bothered her since she came to the mirror universe only increased while she was sleeping. Ten's dream self found herself inside a room densely packed with multitudes of different aliens. The room was abuzz with the myriad aliens shouting at the same time and trying to figure out what was happening to them. In horror, Ten recognized this as a manifestation of the Borg hive mind. The legion of aliens looked at her and began pointing and screaming.

    "Wake up, my dear! You need to get out of here!"

    Ten was brought to wakefulness by Edmund. Alarms throughout the facility were blaring, and the other research subjects were rushing around responding to a dire emergency. Edmund stood Ten on her feet and had her face him.

    "I don't know what happened, but the facility's been invaded by the worst possible enemy. You need to get to your shuttle and leave! The other subjects and I will protect you as long as we can."

    Ten was confused as to what was going on. A torpedo blast hit down a far corridor, breaching the walls of the facility and sending plumes of plasma fire onto hapless subjects. Ten looked into the distance past the emergency force field sealing the breach, and immediately felt unbearable dread. Outside the facility was a gigantic Borg Cube, eight times as large as any cube seen in the prime universe. Ten could feel the subspace emissions of the fusion cube in her own implants, and realized that was the source of the buzzing in her head.

    "We need to get you out of here, girl!" Edmund shouted. "There are Borg drones beaming onto the facility!"
    "The Borg must have tracked me here through my implants!" Ten cried. "I'm going to help you fight off the Borg!"
    "You can't!" Edmund replied. "I don't know how Borg are in your universe, but here, nobody has ever beaten the Borg hand-to-hand. Now run!"

    Edmund grabbed Ten's arm and ran with her to the shuttlebay. Throughout the exploding research facility, Ten could see Borg drones unlike any she've seen before beam in. The research subjects put up a valiant but futile fight against the Borg, who rushed down hallways and pounced upon the subjects to assimilate them. The Borg drones began homing in on Ten, but Edmund continued to enact force fields down hallways to seal off the invading drones. Soon they reached the shuttlebay, where they saw the last of the repair crew being assimilated. Edmund turned Ten to face him.

    "Now, girl, if you've ever needed to follow orders from your grandpa, this would be the best time. Most of the drones are preoccupied with the repair crew, so that gives us a small window of time to run to the shuttle. Now, we only have once chance to get out so you'll need to start your shuttle as soon as you get in."

    Ten shook her head.

    "I'm the reason the Borg are assimilating your friends. If you can get as many as you can out, you can take my shuttle and flee to wherever you can go."

    This answer prompted Edmund to cuff Ten on the head. With a hint of anger, Edmund told Ten what his plan was.

    "There is not enough time or room in your shuttle to save everyone here if you stay. By leaving the base, you can draw the Borg away and get them to leave the base alone. Of course, I have to come with you to get you as far away as possible from the facility, so you need to run fast now!"

    With that, Edmund pushed Ten into the damaged shuttlebay. Amid explosions, Ten ran to the waiting hold of the Cactuar, dodging plasma bolts and falling debris. She soon entered the shuttle and turned around.

    "Hurry up, grandfather, we have to go!"

    Edmund's response was to press a button on a floor console. The gravitic catapult under the Cactuar activated, sending the Cactuar out the shuttlebay. Edmund's face showed up on a shuttle's console screen.

    "I'm sorry, sweetie, but this is the only way," he said as he frantically tapped on console buttons. "I'm going to die along with the rest of the test subjects, as I've always wanted. I've set the facility's self-destruct sequence on a dead man's switch so that I can continue to hold off the Borg for as long as I can. Goodbye, my dear, and take good care of your grandfather!"

    The image on the console became more distorted as Borg drones advanced on Edmund. Soon, the image cut out completely as the asteroid in which the research facility was on shattered with a giant explosion. Ten watched the event helplessly from the open shuttle door before it closed automatically.

    ---

    Despite the force of the research facility's destruction, the giant Borg cube was not particularly damaged by the blast. Soon it had repaired the damaged it had sustained and began chasing down the Cactuar. Ten attempted to lose the cube by flying around anomalies in the nebula, but soon the giant cube caught up with it by plowing through the anomalies. As Ten darted in and out of nebula formations, she found herself again in the middle of a Tholian base.

    "Terran Empire vessel, you have trespassed into Tholian space!"

    A Tholian web was projected around the Cactuar, trapping it in place. Before the Tholians could capture Ten, however, the giant cube arrived and caught the Cactuar in a tractor beam. Soon, the Tholian base and the mirror universe Borg engaged in a pitched battle, which the Tholians quickly lost. Another Tholian Tarantula dreadnought was atomized by the Borg's plasma energy bolt; its subspace munitions ruptured and formed another interspatial rift. Ten saw this as her chance to escape home, but the Borg tractor beam prevented her from escaping. Ten's frustrations with the Borg reached the tipping point, and she began working the console of her shuttlecraft with great fury.

    "The Borg are not taking anything from me anymore!" she shouted at the cube before pressing a button on the console with enough force to break the covering.

    In an instant, the shuttle's inertial dampeners overpowered the tractor beams. Ten quickly enacted evasive maneuvers and entered the rift. The transition between universes knocked her out again, but this time it was her hearing that faded last...

    "USS Cactuar, this is the RRW Lleiset, are you alright?"

    ===
    Captain's Log, supplemental. Our sensors officer Ten of Twenty-Five has recovered from her journey through two different versions of the Azure Nebula. She is scheduled to be debriefed after she recovers, but her experiences alone will give insight into the Mirror Universe, the Tholians, and the Borg. I will have to send Commander Jarok a bottle of tulaberry wine as thanks for her help before the English returns to the Delta Quadrant.

    ---

    "Grandfather, I've brought you some tea."

    Ten visited her grandfather, Four of Thirteen, in the sickbay where his regeneration alcove was located. Four stepped out of the alcove and looked at the tea.

    "Consumption of liquids is unnecessary for personal functioning, Ten of Twenty-Five."
    "It's OK, grandfather, I'll just put this on the counter and you can do whatever you want."

    Ten placed the tea on the counter and turned to leave.

    "Green tea with persimmon. Pioneered in 2366 by Komatsu Sanada, grandmother of Sabrina Honda. Shown to increase dopamine production in humans."

    Four picked up the cup with both hands and drank. A sly smile crossed Ten's mouth as she left.
    Post edited by zidanetribal on
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,707 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    ISS Mengele, Captain's Personal Log

    We are approaching the region of space recently seized from the Romulans, where forward bases simply stopped reporting. His Lordship, Admiral Quinn, thought they'd gone rebel; however, we're still not detecting any subspace chatter, encrypted or otherwise. I expect the Rommies have done something stupid, which will at least let me go have some fun with them. They always try to be so stoic, like their Vulcan cousins - but like the Vulcans, they break eventually.

    Time to get back to the bridge - we'll be in orbit of Outpost Gamma shortly.


    The door to the bridge hissed open. "Captain on the bridge!" Commander Tascher, the first officer, called out.

    "As you were," Captain Jonathan Sills said, stepping into the command well. "What do we have, Dominic?"

    "Nothing yet, sir," Tascher replied, cringing slightly at his captain's dark look. "Everything is still silent."

    "And the sensors, Mr. Tascher?" Sills said with exaggerated patience. "What do the reading indicate?"

    "We're still analyzing the data, sir, and-- AAAAGGHH!!!" Tascher screamed and fell.

    "That's not good enough, Dominic," Sills explained, as if to a child, pulling the agonizer implant's remote activator from his pocket. "I want to know what's going on out here. And when I want to know it is half an hour ago!!" His final scream of rage shook the air of the bridge, as he spun toward the Vulcan on the science console. "And you, Mr. Stravik?" he purred. "What can you tell me?"

    The Vulcan looked back stoically. "Sensor reports are compiling now, Captain. I will have your answers momentarily." The console beeped. "That will be the results now, sir."

    "Much better, Mr. Stravik. I can see you have potential." Sills touched the agonizer control, just for a moment. Stravik's control came perilously close to cracking. "But you did make one mistake. You looked into my eyes. You do know that it's wrong to look your betters in the eyes, don't you, point-ears?"

    "Yes, sir."

    "And you'll remember that in the future, yes?" He placed his finger over the activation stud again.

    "Yes, sir," Stravik replied, a hint of sweat on his brow.

    "Very good, Mr. Stravik. As you were. Now, about those results...?"

    "Sensors indicate nothing, sir."

    "What, no rubble? No fighting?"

    "No, sir - there's nothing. There are smooth hemispherical depressions covering the area Outpost Gamma once occupied. It's as if the whole place was literally scooped up and taken away."

    "Hmph. The Rommies have a new trick." Sills smiled slowly. "It's going to be fun getting it out of them. Scan for emissions anywhere in the system - even if they're cloaked, we should be able to find them."

    "Nothing yet, sir-- Captain! Sudden increase in tetryon emissions dead ahead!"

    "On screen!" Sills ordered.

    The main viewscreen showed the stars ahead, and the planet below - then space was sundered, and from the rift came an enormous metallic cube. An energy beam shot forth and gripped the Mengele.

    "Evasive maneuvers!" Sills shouted.

    The helmsman hammered at his console. "No good, sir! We can't break their tractor!"

    Suddenly, the bridge's audio systems were overwhelmed. A metallic, echoing voice intoned, "We are the Borg. Your lives are now Ours. Resist if you like - it will do you no good."

    "Sir!" Stravik called. "The alien craft has overcome our encryption, and is tapping our databanks!"

    Another voice shouted, "Multiple transporter signals! They're boarding!"

    "How can they be boarding?" Sills demanded. "Our shields are still up - aren't they?"

    "Confirmed, sir, shields are still up," Stravik replied. "Their transports are unimpeded."

    "That's not what I wanted to hear, goblin-boy!" Sills shouted, triggering the agonizer remote. The Vulcan fell at his post, not even having time to scream.

    Green light swirled, and a manlike form appeared. Humanoid, covered with mechanical protuberances, with a menacing spinnning blade in place of its left hand, and some sort of massive implant covering almost half its face. It should have been dead - nothing should have been able to live like that. It turned, its eyes falling on Sills. "Ah, captain," it said, almost emotionlessly. "We wish to speak with you."

    Sills ducked away and spun, drawing his phaser. Set to kill, its blue beam cut through the body of the humanoid. The creature fell, then faded away. Another green swirl appeared.

    "We told you, there is no point to resistance," this creature said. "You are merely providing Us with a little - diversion." Its left hand was a metal gripper, which it raised, opening and closing a few times for emphasis.

    "Guards! To your captain! What am I paying you for?" Sills cried. From the turbolift door, two large Humans in red charged toward the being. It didn't even look at them, but began to move toward Sills. As the guards charged the Borg, it effortlessly threw them aside. One fell backward across the captain's seat, his spine cracking sickeningly as it snapped; the other struck the wall, then slid slowly down, leaving a red streak behind. More swirls, and more half-man, half-machine abominations attacked the people on the bridge.

    The Borg reached out, grabbing Sills by the throat with its gripper and raising him from the floor. "Captain Sills. Terran Imperial Starfleet. We have read your records. They are impressive. Few beings have committed quite so many atrocities as you. It will be a pleasure to welcome you into Our ranks."

    "All... done.. for... Empire..." Sills gargled out past the metal grip.

    "Only doing as you were told. That is good. It will serve you well in the Collective."

    "Mercy..." Sills pleaded chokingly. "Mercy..."

    The Borg paused. "Mercy. Accessing linguistic data banks." It grinned evilly. "File not found." A nanotubule sprang forth from the Borg's right hand, which it raised before Sills' face. He screamed as the tube plunged into his left eye, and kept screaming as metallic structures blossomed forth from his flesh. Eventually, the nanoprobes reconstructed Sills' larynx, rendering him incapable of sound.


    Twelve of Thirty-Five, engineering adjunct of Unimatrix 028, stepped out of its alcove. As it proceeded toward its assigned station, the light of a nearby window reflected from its ocular implant. The reflection was of a blue world, marbled with white and brown; in the spaces around it, a defensive fleet burned, helpless in the face of the might of the Borg.

    Deep within the drone's mind, some small fragment that had been Jonathan Sills, an officer of the Empire, a fragment carefully cached by the Collective, was still screaming.
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  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Author's Note:This piece is inspired by the works of F.M Busby, and deals with graphic scenarios. If you feel you would be offended to read about such situations, please click away now.

    WELCOME TO THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE

    Imperial Space Academy, San Francisco: 2394.07.16, 1345 hours

    The Slaughterhouse. That was how all the cadets referred to the Empire's space academy. Not in front of a tutor, of course, that would mean spending time in the commandant's Agoniser booth. For most infractions, it was simply a case of running the gauntlet -- A cadet would strip to the waist, while their classmates would line up on either side and flog away with their belts. On average, a cadet would run the gauntlet two or three times per semester.

    Cecil Bernardez removed his uniform jacket and singlet and took his place to make his run. Two days ago, Bernardez had been caught r*ping a female cadet. Normally, such an act would mean not time in the booth, but expulsion from the academy into the living hell of Total Welfare. In this instance, Bernardez had found out that the stuck up Vulcan b*tch was something worse -- a filthy Rommie infiltrator, and exposing her deception earned him leniency.

    Bernardez began to run, ducking a few swings, and taking well the hits he was unable to avoid. He was halfway through the gauntlet, when he became aware of someone step out of line to block his path.

    As Bernardez approached, Brandon Mayer stepped forwards, turned to face the rapist, and swung his belt as hard as he could. He took a deep satisfaction as the buckle sliced into Bernardez's face, puncturing his left eye and fracturing his cheekbone. Cadets performing gauntlet duty were not supposed to hit with the buckle end, but T'Kaz had been Mayer's friend, and he was determined to make Bernardez pay for what he had done to her. With a snarl, he swung again, and again and again, ignoring Bernardez's cries as he brought his hands up to protect his face from the biting metal.

    It was worth it, even when the instructor tackled him to the floor, and pressed an agoniser into his kidney, just to see the TRIBBLE cut up for having driven T'Kaz to end her life.
    ***

    "I bet you'd like me to throw you out of here, wouldn't you? Even if it was into Total Welfare!" yelled Admiral Thomas Taylor, Commandant of the space academy. "And that's where it would be, where I can guarantee your new roommates there would be -- less than tolerant -- of your persuasion, but I've made men out of less than you, so start talking..."

    "Sir," Mayer began, holding himself rigidly to attention. "The female who Cadet Bernardez violated was my friend."

    "Bernardez was already receiving judicial procedure!" Taylor snapped, slamming his hand down on his desk. "Academy rules prohibit the use of the buckle end of the belt, and I'm of half a mind to make you run the gauntlet yourself. But your actions, questionable as they may be, clearly had noble motivations, so this is what will happen.

    "You are hereby accelerated to serve your training cruise aboard the Carcharodon under Captain Raoul Vanois. Should your performance be acceptable, you will be granted an officer's commission. But should you fail to meet Captain Vanois' standards, well, I'm sure the little ditty hasn't changed since my time at the academy..."

    Even though he was still at attention, Mayer nevertheless stiffened and held himself straighter, as the rhyme flashed through his mind.

    Out in space you're in for a shock,
    one mistake, and you're out the lock...
    ***

    The ride from the academy's rooftop shuttle bay into orbit was uneventful, but as soon as the shuttle touched down in the hangar bay of the Miranda-Class ISS Carcharodon, Mayer realised the ship was at red alert.

    Stepping out of the shuttle, he ran across to a gathering of officers and cadets who were being briefed by a slender, brunette woman who Mayer would have considered attractive, did he not prefer the company of men.

    "No time for pleasantries," said the officer of the deck. "At fifteen hundred hours, a distress call was received from Vega colony, reporting attack by a Borg armada. Our orders are to rendezvous with the fleet to assist."

    Mayer somehow managed to prevent his guts from filling his shorts -- the odds of a Miranda-Class against a Borg cube meant he no longer had a reason to fear an unsuited spacewalk.
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  • aten66aten66 Member Posts: 653 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Personal Log:
    Stardate: 90988.31
    After meeting with the I.R.W. Gargoyle at New Romulus, I have resupplyed my shuttle and taken off for the Jouret System, while passing by the Azure Nebula. Hopefully the recent activity of the Tholians around the nebula doesn't denote anything that might slow my regrouping in the Solanae Dyson Sphere with the U.S.S. Oregon.
    *****

    The console in the back of the shuttle exploded out, pooling smoke in the air as it's circuits fried to a mangled mess. Borg nano-probes surged throughout the shuttles from an assimilated console established in one of the shuttles walls, reformatting the broken mess of circuits back into useable materials. The Hirogen Hunter Escort, The Claw, had used tetryon beams, turrets, and torpedoes against the small shuttle, and it was barely surviving the onslaught, if not for its assimilated console.

    Being fluent in ships systems and weaponry had also kept the captain alive, but he treated the U.S.S. Cordius as if it were alive, as it was the only thing that kept him going at the moment. The Hirogen ship had chased him through half the system, blocking every exit, and leading him ever closer and closer towards the Azure Nebula. Eventually escaping to warp two the Cordius had made it behind a barren moon of an L-class planetoid. After nano-probes and a few emergency ship repairs, he managed to get found by the Hirogen ship, and escaped deeper into the nebula.

    ******

    The beep of the ships communications station signaled he was being hailed. Gregs walked over to the station and opened the channel, with a Hirogen Beta staring back at him.

    "Hello Captain, you have proven to be great prey today for the Hirogen, now prepare to die by our hands," the Beta stated, "Activate tractor beam, we are returning with him to the Delta Quadrant, and to the pack."

    The ship shot off two quick beams, disabling engines and weapons, and activated a tractor beam to tow the Cordius along.

    The ship was towed deeper into the Azure Nebula, before coming across a Hirogen ship, and a Wormhole generator. The artificial wormhole glowed yellow in hue when it was activated.

    The Claw received access to the yellow artificial wormhole, towing its prey in with it.

    ******

    The wormhole generator sparked a little bit, after closing the artificial wormhole, only for it to open again in a purple hue. "Hunter report, why has The Claw been delayed, we expected it to be here to commence the hunt already," said the Alpha on the other side.

    ******

    Arriving on the other side of the event horizon, the Hirogen ship found empty space. "Beta, we have arrived at the proper coordinates, but the pack is no where on long range sensors, it's as if they were never here," he reported. All of the Hirogen were at unease, for they all knew that some trace of Hirogen equipment would be present to show they dominated their space.

    Suddenly the sensors lit up on the Hirogen bridge, warning signals flashing and blaring. "Beta, Borg energy signatures are being detected, and the singularity is closing!" the random Hirogen stated. A Hirogen Huntmaster Dreadnaught warped into view, a sickly green color to it, and patches of strange alien metals hewn into its hull. "Sir the ship his hailing us," the same Hirogen officer stated. The screen flickered to life, before plunging the bridge of the Hirogen ship into darkness.

    "We are the Borg, your species has been identified as Species 478, Hirogen, lower your shields and prepared to be boarded," The Borg drone on screen said, "Resistance is futile, but welcomed for the challenge." The unknown Borg drone was quickly pushed off screen and replaced by a Hirogen Beta.

    "Drone, return to you station, this ship belongs to the Hirogen, you buffoon," the Beta commanded the drone, before turning back to the Hirogen on the bridge, "The Claw, please proceed with docking procedures, and be prepared to report to the medical Officer." At that the channel was closed and the docking bays of the Dreadnaught opened, and the ship docked.

    "Sir, why was a Borg Drone serving aboard the ship?" asked a Hunter Initiate, "The Borg have not been seen among the Delta Quadrant for decades." The Beta aboard the ship could only guess the reason for a Borg Drone aboard the ship, but he followed the commands of the pack.

    ******
    15 Minutes Later...

    "Sir the last of the Hirogen have been neutralized, and we have 150 new drones ready to serve the Borg Empire," the Beta Hirogen on the bridge reported, "The Claw has been refurbished with Regeneration Alcoves, upgraded with standard Borg weaponry and equipment, as well as fitted with advanced shielding to serve on the frontlines for the War." The Alpha Hirogen was standing near his seat, his ocular implant glowing the standard red, while a Nausicaan tegolar sword was lashed to his side, a trophy of the hunt.

    "Good, with their primitive need for the Hunt suppressed, these Hirogen should make excellent tactical drones for the Queen's war," the Alpha took his seat, "Tell me what of the shuttle we found in their bay?" The Beta-drone pulled up a file on the P.A.D.D. he had in his hand.

    "The shuttle itself is locked up tight, and due to oscillating shielding we cannot break through it with our resources going towards the recent attack by the twenty-eight, but we can determine that it has a living passenger in it, as well as appears to be made by species 5618..." the Beta-drone doesn't get to finish it's sentence as its subjected to an agonizer ray.

    "Six of twenty, you did not think that this was important news," the Alpha said, turning off the agonizer, "Helm, switch course for Unimatrix 1, transwarp speed if necessary, we must get the shuttle and its occupant to the Queen at once, the Terran Directive overrules all priorities." The assimilated Huntmaster Dreadnaught changed course at the all fastest possible speed to its destination.

    *******
    Personal Log: Captain Son'aire
    Stardate: 90989.83

    After being imprisoned into the Hirogen ship, I've locked all systems down and encrypted it with only Omega level clearance allowing access. The Borg console has allowed me to speed up the encryption process; it has also allowed me to block any scans into the ship with a unique oscillating frequency that jams sensors.

    It's been at least 12 or so hours since capture, and can only imagine what is taking so long. Hopefully my fate might be determined quickly, for if I die, I hope at least the Federation's secrets do not fall into the wrong hands.

    ****

    Arriving at the massive Unicomplex, the Hirogen ship transported the shuttle into the Queen's personal chamber's, and was sent back on its original mission, with praise from the Borg Queen. "Classification, Terran, Ship design, Danube Runabout, designation, Cordius; U.S.S. prefix determines a shift in power, perhaps a new emperor, or change in foreign policy since last assimilated Terran in 2380, Terran year," the Borg Queen said, her body lifted by assimilation tubes, allowing her to examine the ship in 360 degrees, without having to expend energy, "Hmm, it's been awhile since I've seen a Terran ship, it reminds me so much of the blue, hazy skies of Earth, of course that was before the Terran Empire burned and fell to ash."

    The Queen released herself from the grasp of the tubules , choosing to walk on the cold floor of the Unicomplex, though her artificial limbs could no longer distinguish heat from cold. She laid a hand on the ship and was shocked to feel a Borg presence within the shuttle, and mused as it resisted her touch, choosing to obey the being within the shuttle, it's lone cargo. 'Pitiful encryption,' the Queen mused, 'Easily decoded by the collective mind of the Borg Empire.' Focusing all non-essential drones into hacking the decryption, she had the shuttle in her grasp in seconds. The shuttle recoded the hack, and the Queen frowned. 'Impossible, she thought, 'Let's try this again.' She once again broke the lock, this time isolating the programs controls over the shuttle. The shuttles loading ramp opened.

    *****

    Gregs finished removing the panel and disconnected the part he needed, a back up memory board, and putting it in his pocket. The shuttle bay opened revealing the Borg Queen outside the opening. Gregs stood up and was shocked to see a living Borg Queen before him, let alone this one. He stepped down the ramp, and found the Borg Queen smiling at him. He turned to look around, only to see his shuttle covered in a wriggling mass of nano-probe assimilation tubules, and his a small tubule like a cobra staring him down. "Hello Captain Gregs Sharvan Son'aire, of the United Federation of Planets, formerly of the Delta Quadrant, of the planet Excrivion; a paradoxical situation, as that system has been dead for two centuries now," the Borg Queen said. He turned back to her, while keeping the lone assimilation tube in the corner of his right eye. "Your a long way from home Captain Son'aire, approximately 70,000 light years from this point; now tell me, what has happened to the Terran Empire, in our absence?"

    He barely felt the lone assimilation tube enter his right tear duct, before he realized it had moved. He struggled a bit before stilling, the light in his right eye dimming until he was blind, as nano-probes surged into his brain to access his memories, pieces of technology blooming into new structures and organizing his higher functions.

    New memories surged into the Queens mind, as memories of both the Prime Universe, as well as the Mirror Universe they were located in, were connecting and being categorized into the Collectives memories. At the same time the Collectives memories flooded into his mind, of the Borg activities in the Delta Quadrant, and how it came to be like that, memories of an alternate timeline.

    ******
    2404, Alternate Timeline


    She is seen in an outdoor area. The sky is dark and gray. Gregs stood next to the woman in the black cloak, red trim signifying her tactical status. She speaks down to something on the ground. She kneels and rests her hands down. The spot she rests them on is seen; it is a gravestone:
    CHAKOTAY 2329 ? 2394.

    He recognizes the woman by the name on the grave stone, this is Admiral Janeway. He was her First Officer on the Voyager. "I know it wasn't easy living all these years without" she says. "But when I'm through, things might be better for all of us. Trust me." She rises and leaves.

    ***
    Memories skip, and he sees Admiral Janeway talking to a younger, Captain Janeway, though the scenery doesn't reflect a Starfleet ship.

    "Three days ago, you detected elevated neutrino emissions in a nebula in grid 986. You thought it might be a way home. You were right. I've come to tell you to take Voyager back to that nebula," the first says.
    "It was crawling with Borg!" the second exclaims.
    "I've brought technology that'll get us past them," the second says.
    Captain Janeway looks very skeptical, but sighs and turns away to a panel on the wall, showing the Terran Empire Logo.
    "Oh, I don't blame you for being skeptical..." she smiles," but if you can't trust yourself, who can you trust?" Janeway turns around again.
    "I couldn't trust anyone in the Empire, they would stab you in the back first," the second says.

    ***

    "You've infected us...with a neurolytic pathogen!"

    "Just enough to bring chaos to order."

    This was the Borg Queen and Admiral Janeway, alone, before a secondary beam activates, revealing a secondary Janeway. She is different now, no longer human, but infected with Borg circuitry all over here body, styled like the Borg Queen.

    "I have to thank Icheb for his immunity to this neurolytic pathogen, it allows me to take your place once the both of you die," she says this with a sadistic smile on her face, as the Borg Queen falls apart and the Admiral Janeway realizes how wrong she was about this universes Janeway.

    ***

    "I don't know how you do it. All those voices talking at once. You must get terrible headaches," says Janeway, to the last Borg Queen. The Borg Drones are no longer responsive to her commands, as they turn to the side of Janeway, no their new Queen, as she isolates the final Queens fragment into a small piece of a Borg vinculum, and has it tossed into the darkness of space.
    ******

    "Oh, yes now I understand, your from a mirror universe, where your Starfleet, and its Janeway killed the Borg, instead of merging with it and gaining so much more power," the Queen, once Janeway of the Terran Rebellion, says, "I've had so much fun with the collective, I had no need to subject every single drone to my command, I instead created a new empire, a Borg Empire, built on creating a perfect empire under my control." Se retracts the Borg tubule from Gregs head, taking her hand and lifting his head to her eyes. "Of course there has been resistance, but with your, unique, experience, I can destroy all of that in one swift..." she pauses in mid sentence, Borg tubules retracting her up into the main section of her area. She growls, motioning imaginary pieces of her collective against something. The Unicomplex shakes, an explosion across major connecting points destabilizing the whole place. "Rebels..." she growls, "Take him to the Assimilation chamber, and have Gregs Son'aire outfitted with the Sentry program." While she is saying this, three Borg Drones beam into the facility, and take the Captain, and beam outside the Unicomplex.

    ******
    Aboard An Unknown Borg Cube

    The Drones drag Gregs to the medical bay of the Borg Cube, putting him onto a examination table. A humanoid shadow looms over the table, putting an unknown instrument to the Captains face, removing the majority of the Borgs nano-probes from his face, sealing the wound and leaving a nasty blackened scar, while restoring sight to the right eye. The being walked away from the table, returning to subspace until it was needed again. The Borg Cube warps away from the Unicomplex, with a few dozen Cubes still attacking, following the retreat of its brethren into Subspace.

    ******

    Subspace

    Voth Dreadnaughts mill around aVoth Fortress in the expanse before them, a few Voth city ships, along with Krenim Warships, thousands of Talaxian vessels of various kinds, a few dozen Romulan Warbirds, a Caretakers Array, and a Borg Octahedron, with various hundreds of Borg Spheres, Cubes, and Probes, as well as an Undine Dreadnaught. Various of the remaining free species of the Delta Quadrant existed in this pocket of Subspace, such as Ocampa, Hirogen, Krenim, Talaxian, Voth, Brunali, a pocket of Vaadwaur rebels, all existing to defeat Janeways Empire. The fleet of rebels all existed in harmony, hidden within a massive Dyson Sphere.

    At the center of activity was the Octahedron, the center of which comprised of the I.S.S. Voyager.

    ***
    The Bridge of the Voyager

    The senior officers of the Voyager consisted of very few beings of the Alpha Quadrant. The original Senior Officers were lost to unfortunate accidents throughout the years, Chakotay to the Borg, Tom and B'elanna to a Warp Ten accident, though survived by Miral Paris-Torres, as well as the loss of Harry Kim to Janeway, after he sacrificed his life to keep the captain from assimilating Seven of Nine back into the collective. So many of the remaining Senior Officers, Tuvok, a stabilized Kes, Neelix, a holographic Reginald Barclay, and The Doctor.

    Captain Seven of Nine, elected to her position by the crew of the Voyager after the apparent death of Chakotay, served as mediator between the Borg of Unimatrix Zero, Nelen Exil of the Voth, Obrist of the Krenim, Icheb of the Brunali, Hunter Omega of the Hirogen, and D'Tan of the Allied Romulan Senate. Neelix and Kes also serve as delegates of their respective peoples, Neelix to the Talaxians, and Kes to the United Ocampa Colonies. Groundskeeper Boothby of course was joining them from their Undine allies in fluidic space, his face scarred from his many encounters with Janeway's Borg.

    "Seven, we all know you are our leader, but why did you compromise the security of the Delta Coalition, to rescue a lone drone in the Unicomplex, I see no logic in this?" said Tuvok, an elderly Vulcan now, no longer as young as he once was.

    Seven turned to the assembled group, fully prepared to explain why she did this, before a scuffle was heard outside the conference room. "Let go of me, you drones, I said let go!" a voice muffled but decidedly angry shouted in the hall. The door opened, showing an elite Borg tactical drone of an unknown species, and a Ocampa with an ocular implant shoving a pouting Gregs through the doorway. Free of their grip he brushed himelf off, until he noticed the group of varying species in the room. He had a puzzled expression on his face, before recognizing the Voyager crewmembers, as well as the various representatives of the Delta Quadrant species. "Well, this is interesting..." he said hesitantly, "Now I know I'm in a parallel universe." Suddenly he felt a telepathic intrusion into his subconscious. He blocked the intrusion, and felt the strands of telepathic energy link back to Kes and Boothby. 'You know it's impolite to intrude on another being's privacy; and while I can understand Kes' curiosity, why would an Undine need to know who I am?' he thought, 'And yes I can tell you how I now your true nature, but I want to know why Janeway is the new Borg Queen first.' Both the Ocampa and the Undine were shocked by his telepathic skills, but it wasn't so unusual with an Undine in the room. "Why am I here?" Gregs asks, "And why am I know longer part of the Borg?"

    "Yes well this is the question of the day," Nelen asked, "Seven, you didn't answer why you rescued this primitive mammal from the Borg?" All eyes turned to Seven as Nelen looked smug.

    "I did it because she asked me to get him," replied Seven to the discomfort of the others. The room suddenly got quiet as no one wanted to see where this conversation was going where she was involved.

    "Who is she?" asked Gregs. He turned to Seven expecting an answer, she turned to a blocked off section of the conference room, not standard on many ships, and it opened to reveal a Borg Vinculum connected to what appeared to be a holographic projector. The image of a Borg Queen popped up. At this, he quickly suppressed his fear, instead looking into the blackened pits of the Queens eyes. "So, why would you want me?" he asked.

    The Queen chuckled at this. "It's not you I want Son'aire, but your shuttle and it's technology on assimilation, because I remember the Federation," she said, "I know in your universe your Federation was adapting to us, creating nanoviruses, nanoprobe immunity technologies, adapting our technology to your ships, freeing drones by the thousands, and you could help the Borg attain perfection." She turned to the screen on the left side of the conference room, pulling up many charts and classified Federation information. "You can help us create a Queen free of the need for perfection," she says, "No longer would the Borg need to assimilate knowledge, but adapt information and technique to advance the Borg as a free culture, instead of a destructive killer." She chuckled at this. "You see Gregs, I know my reign as Queen is at an end, but I also know Janeway will be of more harm to the Collective, easily manipulated, and easily able to be dethroned," she brought up the file of Miral Paris-Torres, daughter of Tom and B'elanna, "You see this girl Gregs, she can be a new Borg Queen, she has the Zero-gene within her, and she can be, as the Klingons call her, the Kuvah'magh to the Borg, a restorer of honor of sorts."

    ***

    Later...

    "Tell me Seven, why is the Borg Queen so adamant about restoring the Borg to peaceful ways?" Gregs asks Seven in the captains old quarters. Seven of Nine shifts on her bed, to a crossed leg position.

    "The Queen has felt something she hasn't felt for many centuries," she says, "It was something she had felt only once before in her life, a long time ago against a very old enemy, and she felt it before she died at the hands of the Alternate Janeway, when this world's Janeway took command of her Borg, and that was fear." She stood up and walked over to the replicator, ordering a hot fudge sundae with extra chocolate and whipped cream. "The Borg Queen has only felt fear in the presence of Species 29, and she knows that Janeway with all Terrans thirst for power, will stop at nothing to consume all life in the universe to quench it." She sighs, and drops her head down.

    "You see Gregs, while the Queen was by no means an innocent in her quest for perfection; she let cultures reach their peak points, allowing them to at least gain a history among the stars, before she would squash them like a bug," she said, "The Queen would sometimes foster development, by assimilating members of a world, so they could develop weapons against the Borg, such as the Brunali nano-virus, so that it would provide a new challenge for the Borg to adapt to." She stops, getting up to put her empty bowl back into the replicator for recycling of the materials.

    "That's very good and all, but why would Miral Paris make a good host for the Borg Queen?" he asks. At this Seven turns to the view port in her room, showing the dark black and green of the Borg construct outside the ship.

    "She is unique, and is still young, was never assimilated, and was never raised in the Terran Empire, or by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, instead learning from her adoptive father Tuvok the ancient Vulcan ways of Peace and Logic, as well as developing friends among the younger members of the Delta Quadrant," she continues, "I hope to instead of creating a Borg Empire, a Borg Commonwealth will instead be for the better, individual betterment than harsh subjection against free thought." Gregs chuckled at this.

    "Sorry, it reminded me of another Vulcan with a similar goal, though I meant no disrespect to your ideals," he says, "The question is how do you plan to create a new queen, while freeing all the drones, or even keep the new queen from getting out of control?" At this Seven brought up a P.A.D.D. from a table to the side of her bed.

    "We've been working with an invasive virus, based off of the Unimatrix Zero-Gene, a combination of Species 29 technology, and with the help of the Solanae scientists, we've managed to retroactively create a virus, that will do what we want," she explains, "But we have no way to introduce this without getting it to the Queen herself, but it would cost the life of whatever drone who would do this, they would be lost to the virus as well as the Queen." At this Gregs takes this all in, then blanches.

    "Solanae... the solanaege-based life forms that created the Dyson Sphere...we currently reside in, and Species 29... Iconians... an Iconian computer virus!" he says hysterically, "The Dyson Sphere created for the Iconians, a notoriously evil race of beings that have been dead for generations, and you've teamed up with their servants?" At this it was Sevens turn to be confused.

    "You didn't know?," she says, "A scientist removed almost all the Borg nano-probes in your system, and healed your facial wound." He subconsciously touched his new scar. She moves to access files on her P.A.D.D. and hands it to Gregs while she continues. "In fact the Solanae have been free of Species 29 for 200,000 years, instead taking over their structures, and forming a coalition with the remaining servitor races, such as the Elachi of Dewa III, and becoming the librarians of ancient cultures," she says pointing out specific files, "In fact it was the Solanae that let us access this disused Dyson Sphere to stage our coupe de grace of the Borg Empire."

    Gregs fingers his pockets, hesitant at this revelation, then pulls out a chip connecting to a few strands of wires. "Well, I may have a solution to your problem, but I need access to all your technology, a dozen Borg Drones specializing in fabrication and science capabilities, a Voth scientist or two, and possibly a compact memory device capable of storing an artificial intelligence," he says, "My question is, do you have the virus available for use a.s.a.p.?"

    ******
    Tell me Cordius, can you do this?
    Yes Captain, it is possible, I will redirect Borg Drones to complete the requirements you have set for the device, it must merely be calibrated to your personal biorhythms and brain waves.
    Good, prepare to be transferred to the I.S.S. Voyager, so you can finish the process and upload the Virus to the device.

    ******

    Aboard Unicomplex 1,
    Queen's Chamber
    12 hours later....


    The Borg Queen stood over the stilled and restrained body of Captain Gregs Son'aire, an assimilation tubule puncturing the scar once more. Behind the Captain was a female Borg drone, unremarkable in appearance, freshly assimilated, but not showing the signs of gray a normal Borg Drone has, stood Miral Paris-Torres, who held a box with the virus that could destroy the Borg Empire and reform it in a single bit of information.

    "Pitiful fools, you thought you could attack again so boldly," she boasts, turning to the view screen she opens up which shows a dozen Borg Cubes fighting and be destroyed, a few Voth Dreadnaughts swarmed by Cubes, and a Fortress Ship swarmed with an innumerable amount of Borg ships, with thousands more ships fighting over a few million star systems held by the Borg throughout the Delta Quadrant as planets were freed. "Now that I've assimilated your new 'Queen' I've managed to capture you once more Gregs Son'aire, and watch your pitiful resistance die." Saying this she plunges the assimilation tubules deeper into him, attempting to assimilate him, but instead finds herself frozen. "What have you done to me..." she stutters out, "I can't move." He darkly chuckles at that, as he is released by Miral Paris-Torres, and he seems to faze out of reality, revealing to be the Borg Queen hologram, showing the tubules extended beyond the holographic projection and end in the box. "Well...this seems unfortunate," Janeway says, as she notices her link to the collective fail, and her body starting to disentegrate like the Borg Queens did so long ago.

    "Ironic, is it not Janeway, I die by your hands of a neurlytic poison, and you die by mine, of a very similar virus," the Borg Queen says, as the real Gregs Son'aire beams in choosing to stand next to Miral. Janeway collapses, and the Borg freeze throughtout the universe, as their Queen is no more.

    "It's a good thing we ended it now, isn't it Miral, I almost didn't think we'd get you in here, but now that you are here, you can create a new Borg Collective," Gregs says cheerily. Miral stood motionless, the Borg Queen, turns around and looks into her eyes.

    "My, my, it seems our little savior isn't here right now Gregs, it's just me...and you," as the Borg Queen speaks, Mirals lips begin to move in sync, like a puppet and its ventriloquist, "As it happens you saved me a lot of effort to regain my Collective, and a few messy battles short of total unity too, pity Mirals dream will never come true, though by turning her into a new Queen, she'll still get to have a little dark ambition of hers fulfilled." The Borg Queen Hologram laughs, and turns around to relish Gregs looks of shock, betrayal and horror, only to see him smiling, a twisted wicked smile, unusual for him.

    "Poor, predictable Borg Queen, you think I'd be so foolish so as not to have a back up plan?" he says, "Well, bully for you... activate back-up plan Cordius." At that the Queen falters, her control gone, and a little piece of equipment detaches from Miral Paris-Torres' neck, and connects back to the box. Miral is smiling now, as she can hear the collective of the Borg heed to her control now, and she frees them all. "You see Queen, I used a bio-cortical node, technology created to make a double agent in the Borg, not on Miral to protect herself from the assimilation process, but to isolate you from her when you allowed her control over the collective," he says, "You see the box to store the virus, was not to spread it to Janeway, or to contain your conciousness, but to trap you and the virus in an infitismale loop of destruction." He takes the box from Miral, and sets it on the floor. "I knew you would try to take control back from her, instead I used your greed for power to convert Miral into a Queen, allowing her to take control of the Collective once I separated you two," he grins as he says this, "and now you both die." The Queen smiles a his plan, a work of clever man at his most desperate.

    "Tell me Gregs, did you know you precious A.I. is still in here?" the Queen says, "Oh and what precious information he holds, even as I die, I will learn your secrets in death!" He halts at this, not knowing the Cordius' location.

    "I.S.S. Voyager, please respond, Doctor, is the Cordius' intelligence program still aboard?" Gregs pleads, not wanting to lose the link to home.

    "this is the Doctor, and I can tell you no, the Cordius' is not aboard the ship, it was last logged transferring the Virus to it's containment unit, but was never returned," the Doctor replies, "I'm sorry."

    Gregs hits the box at his feet and it slides across the floor. "Why did you transfer the Virus you stupid machine, you knew it would infect you, you idiot," he begins crying, before taking out his P.A.D.D., removing any wireless capability it possessed, and pulled the Cordius' wires and jacked it into the P.A.D.D. mainframe. He began typing words into it.
    Tell me Cordius, why did you do it?
    I'm sorry Captain, I had to do it personally, I had to make sure the Queen couldn't escape. I didn't want to go back, and risk destroying the I.S.S. Voyager or the fleet.
    You stupid, stupid machine I'll miss you. To quote a famous line by Ambassador Spock, a recorded in federation histroy: 'I have been...and always shall be...your friend. Live long...and prosper.' Damnit you stupid Borg A.I., don't quote a textbook... they always get their facts wrong... Cordius...respond...Cordius...go%$#bye [email protected]

    The P.A.D.D. shut off as the Virus took affect. Gregs merely lowered his head, as the rest of the quadrant, Borg and others celebrated their freedom.

    *******

    Other side of the Mirror

    It's been a month since I've returned to the frontlines of the Dyson Sphere. In my absence Zinuzee and Sharvan took joint command of the Oregon, and worked well, I'll have to remember to promote them to their own captaincy one day soon.

    I returned to my universe in the same way I came, by a Hirogen hunting parties' wormhole colliding with the Azure Nebulas natural subspace corridors. Pure chance though that I returned to my own universe.

    I returned with a refurbished Cordius, a mere husk of it's former self, no A.I., merely nano-probes acting to preprogrammed commands. I miss it, the days I spent fostering the A.I. when I found out it was sentient. But I must move on, for there is a war to win, very much like on the other side of the mirror, but this is for control of a banned substance.

    The crew wonders about my scar, but I tell them it is healed, the Medical Hologram says he can remove it but I say no, and they question me no more. I hope I can get over the loss soon, as I fear it may be impacting my relationship with the crew, as things are more tense since I returned.

    War changes a person, they say, and when you lose it friend the scars run deep and burn forever. Maybe I'll keep the scar as a reminder.
  • grylakgrylak Member Posts: 1,572 Arc User
    edited December 2013
    Captain's Log. The Viper is patrolling in the B'tran cluster, keeping an eye out for any Borg incursions and aiding any political unrest in the area, as directed by Admiral Rykon on the U.S.S. Hailstorm. Though we have not been in space for long, we have yet to encounter any trouble.



    As the Defiant class ship passed through the void between star systems, Talaina shifted slightly in the chair. The ache from her injuries was minimal now, and her exercises were helping her get back to fighting form. And the sparring with Ttorkkinn helped. Her missing antenna was growing back in nicely, but was still a nub and buried under her white hair. A beeping from the science station snapped her attention to the Vulcan male, T'Fon, waiting for him to report. "Captain, sensors have picked up an interspatial rift. It appears to share properties with those found in the Azure Nebula." Talaina frowned slightly at the news. "Are Tholians nearby?" Ttorkkinn checked his own sensors. "No Sir. No ships on sensors. And we aren't near any star systems. Or nebulae. We're out in the void away from anything."


    Talaina nodded as she processed this quickly. "How far away are we?"
    "0.5 light years." the Vulcan replied.
    "Then take us in and go to Yellow Alert."


    The dark hulled ship dropped from warp, approaching a large electrical field in space. Lightning bolts erupted out into the blackness of space, snapping back to launch themselves in another direction. The centre of the storm was a blue cloud, impossible to see anything inside it. Scans of the field did reveal a small solid object inside, the size of a small asteroid or space station, but readings proved very inconclusive. As the Viper held its position, Talaina ordered a full range of sensor scans.


    As she waited for the results to come in, Xui Li did warn that the Viper's sensors were not as advanced as those on the Sentinel had been, and they would most likely not be able to penetrate the field. "Captain, I, ah, am detecting a breathable atmosphere within the field. It, ah, appears there are thousands of life signs within a, ah, metal structure. But we are unable to, ah, gather any further details at this distance." Talaina cast a glance over to Xui Li. "Would a probe be able to get through that field?" Xui Li shook her head. "No Sir. There are too many, ah, gravimetric fluctuations. A probe would be crushed. However, the ah, Viper itself would be able to."

    "Now hold on a moment." Ttorkkinn turned fully to face the others. "We don't know what that thing would do to us. We take the ship in there, we may not come out. We should at least study this thing further before we take the ship in."

    Jenna spoke up from the helm. "Captain, we're being hailed."
    "From where?"
    Jenna frowned as she checked her instruments. "Origin is the centre of that field."
    "On screen."



    A human male appeared on the screen. He wore very ornately decorated robes and spoke with a cheerful, yet booming voice. "Hello and greetings to the Great Beyonders. We have waited for you. Hallowed are the Omega."

    Talaina stood to focus attention on her.

    "I'm Captain Talaina Kazzur of the Federation Starship Viper. Do you require any assistance?" The man paused, clearly a little puzzled by the statement. "Federation? What's that? We're here for The Great Convergence."
    "I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're talking about. Perhaps if you could explain who you are?"
    "Come. Join us. Be one with The Great Convergence. Know unity. Know peace. Be one with Us."


    A strange sensation came over Talaina. A slight numbness in the back of her head was quickly ignored by how empty her life felt. She had no friends. No family. She was alone. It hurt her and she needed more. She needed to join them. "We will be there shortly."
    "Fantastic!" the man grinned. "I look forward to welcoming you."

    As the viewscreen went blank, Talaina ordered a course straight into the heart of the storm. Jenna plotted it without question, also feeling the need to be one with them. Only T'Fon seemed worried by this. "Captain. Is it wise to so willingly fly the ship directly into such a phenomenon based purely on the words of a character that has obvious questionable motives?"
    "Yes T'Fon. It's wise. It's the wisest thing we've ever done." Talaina opened a comm to the rest of the ship and played the man's message to the rest of the crew. As they heard it, every single person stopped what they were doing, becoming overwhelmed by the desire to meet that man.



    The Viper moved into the storm, the occasional lightning strike flowing across the hull and causing minor damage, but nothing serious. The blue cloud gradually became thicker, but the ship glided through towards the centre. Jenna brought the ship to a stop near what could only be described as a dodecahedron over two miles in size, composed of a dark metal. The surfaces of the shape expanded, growing at an even rate to transform the station into a rhombicosidodecahedron before collapsing down into a icosahedron, growing once more into the rhombicosidodecahedron and collapsing back into the dodecahedron and repeating the process in a very fluid manner. T'Fon raised an eyebrow at the image. "Impressive. Such a feat of engineering is beyond all known species."
    Talaina opened a comm. "All crew, prepare to beam down. We will be One with The Great Convergence. Hallowed are the Omega." T'Fon turned to his Captain. "Sir, I must protest this course of action. We-"
    "Do you not feel it T'Fon? Can you not tell what we meagre species have sought all of our lives is on that station? Can you not comprehend?"

    T'Fon did feel something in his mind. Something was telling him exactly what Talaina was saying. That the answers to everything were on that station. And he must admit, it took all of his mental discipline not to give in to it. Something was obviously influencing the crew. And whatever it was, it was coming from down there. "Yes Captain, I can. But I suggest we only send a very small party first, to ensure it is not a trap, and we will not be leaving the Viper in danger."
    "Very well. Xui Li, Grimworm and I will beam down."
    "Captain, I have extensive knowledge on such matters. May I suggest only you and I beam down?"
    "What's wrong? Don't you trust them?"
    "I simply prefer to err on the side of caution."
    "Very well. You and I will go and ensure it delivers everything it promises."

    As T'Fon stood, he knew this was going to be an interesting mission.







    The transporter beam put the two officers down on a raised stage. T'Fon quickly looked around to get his bearings. In front of the stage stood millions of beings, most of them humanoids of species from across the galaxy, some hortas, even animals were present. Every single one was dressed in white robes with gold trim, with suitable adaption made to the non humanoid species robes, and each one was stood in rows facing the stage. The room was an odd mix of the same metal the hull was comprised of, and stone masonry. Arches and pillars ran along the room, reaching back further than T'Fon could see. As he lifted his gaze upwards, he could see thousands more people lining the walls, every single one staring at them with the exact same expression, the exact same pose. The man from the viewscreen walked towards them. "Hello my friends! Welcome! I'm glad you joined us."
    Talaina shook the man's hand. "I'm honoured to be here. We have heard your message, and we will join your collective."
    T'Fon decided to interrupt. "Forgive my lack of knowledge, but what exactly is this place?" The man simply spread his arms as he looked around at the masses before him. "This? This is the Temple of Omega. For we are The Borg. The worshipers of Omega. Perfection itself. Soon, The Great Convergence will be upon us. Our temples will spread to all worlds, across all dimensions, and they will spread our message of truth. Everyone will become one with The Borg. Hallowed are The Omega." Everyone started chanting at once, in perfect unison, even Talaina.
    "Hallowed are the Omega. Hallowed are the Omega. Hallowed are the Omega."


    "You mentioned the Great Beyonders. May I ask who are they?"
    The man turned to face the Vulcan. "You ask a lot of questions. Are you truly one of us?"
    "Yes." he replied, very calmly. "I simply wish to understand the truth."
    "Good man. We always want to know the truth. It is said The Great Beyonders are those who will open the doorways for the soldiers of Omega to march to those worlds untouched by Omega, those worlds living in darkness and fear. They are the ones who will allow the Temples to fly across all of reality and spread our message. Our message of truth. Of wisdom. Everyone who hears our message will become one with The Borg."


    The man walked past T'Fon to a gold altar, with carvings depicting the Omega molecule. "We will walk through shadows and flames, a 'Crusade of Light', and those who do not believe will be destroyed. Omega will know all. Omega will unify all. Great ships will be flown to cast asunder those who refuse to hear Omega's words. We are the soldiers of Omega. We are the Borg. Resistance is futile."


    The man placed his hand on the altar, causing the temple to tremble. Assimilation tubes shot out of the altar, locking the man in place. The stage started to open as everyone started chanting again. From beneath the stage, a powerful subspace transmitter rose up, already coming to life. It displayed some molecules that shone with Godly light, holding position in a perfectly stabilised sphere. The man gazed upon the vista. "Hallowed are the Omega!"



    T'Fon saw his chance. He performed a neck pinch on Talaina, catching her as she collapsed and slipping the knife from her belt before launching it at one of the power insulators of the transmitter. Fire erupted from the device, the Omega molecules already starting to destabilise. The man whirled angrily towards T'Fon. "What have you done? You're not Borg! KILL HIM!"
    T'Fon started moving backwards quickly as the millions started rushing the stage in a surprisingly ordered riot. Slapping his communicator, he ordered a beam out.


    Appearing on the Viper's bridge, he carefully dropped Talaina and noticed everyone seemed dazed. Ignoring them, he ran to the helm and pushed Jenna aside, firing up the engines to get them out of there. He could see thousands of identical temples floating here, each one surrounded by its own lightning storm, each one ready to leave this universe and spill out into another. He only hoped the distortion was a two way street. The temple flashed, Omega going critical. The blast wave spread out, causing a chain reaction in the other temples. The ship shook as lightning struck the hull and the instant they were clear, T'Fon triggered a jump to warp, escaping an explosion that could be seen throughout the sector, brighter than any star.






    A few hours later, the Viper returned to the area. The effect of the Borg?s message was wearing off now there was nothing being transmitted. Talaina sat in her Captain's chair, rubbing her throbbing head. "So you're telling me, these Borg were from another universe and were essentially knights of old earthen legend, on a crusade in the name of something called Omega?"
    T'Fon nodded. "That is correct Sir."
    "And they used some form of brain washing embedded in the initial contact to.... what? Assimilate us to their cause?"
    "Again, I believe that to be correct. It was only due to my Vulcan training I was able to fight off the effects."
    "Is there any fallout from that explosion?"
    "Negative. As the explosion happened on their side of the dimensional rift, all damage caused by the explosion was contained to their universe. There does not appear to be any further signs of them, but Starfleet should be made aware of this threat. Especially for ships operating near the Azure Nebula and other Tholian sectors."
    "You're sure Tholians are the ones referred to as The Great Beyonders?"
    "They have a history of opening dimensional rifts. They do fit the criteria given."
    "Ok T'Fon. Excellent work. I just wish I could remember something after opening the hail."










    Floating in the depths of the B'Tran cluster, a lone escape pod drifted. A man sat holding a small transmitter, sending out a distress call. The pod clunked and shook, indicating someone had found him. As he moved to look out a window, he saw he was caught in the tractor beam of a wedge shaped ship. He checked the transmitter was working as he smiled.


    "Hallowed are the Omega."
    *******************************************

    A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'
  • aten66aten66 Member Posts: 653 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    *Please delete post*
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