Literary Challenge #32 : Into the Hive, Part II
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:
Today we start the two-week run of the thirty-second Literary Challenge: Into the Hive, Part II
The location of a Borg Unimatrix has been discovered and readings indicate that the Queen's vessel is in the area. You've been asked by Task Force Omega to lead a strike force that will infiltrate deep into the complex to upload a fractal virus to the collective that will disrupt the Queen's communication with the rest of the Collective, and if possible, defeat the Queen herself.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!
We're not gonna make it
The Pegasus task force has arrived at Battle Group Omega. While the other captains are pre-occupied with technological preparations, Amuro has completed preparations and is headed down into the drop bay to prepare himself for the coming mission.
"Will be a helluva long time to be stuck in that armour, better be sure to get squeaky, or I'm gonna have to req a new set, heheh." I thought to myself.
I turned off the nozzle for the shower, stepping out while reaching for the towel. I couldn't find it... then the reason for that spoke up.
"Thought you could finish up before I got here, eh?" Zazhid let out a small chuckle "You've seen it all before anyways, and so have I..." She continued, biting her lip.
"C'mon, you know I wanna get into my zen before an op." I responded in a sharp tone. "Sorry, honey. You know how worked up I get when the Borg are involved." I gently lifted the towel from her hand and slinked off toward the lockers. "Don't take too long, we move out in an hour." I called back as Zazhid slipped into the small, communal shower, leaving her towel on the shelf just to the side of the screen.
I sat on the short, cold metal bench, wearing only the towel I'd dried myself off with, staring at the walls of the drop bay. I'd never seen such a dull array of colours in one area before. With the exception of a few warning signs, the Alt, and the Weiss, everything was grey. I'd guess at least 50 distinct shades scattered across the walls caused by slight variances in the alloy. The drop bay was the biggest secret of Pegasus; only 5 people outwith my command knew of its existence, with only 2 of them knowing the purpose behind it.
I pulled myself off the bench and hauled myself over to my locker, where my pilot suit, rebreather and armour were stored. I was given two pairs of operational MACO armour; one for myself, the other for Zazhid. This was due to the reduced bulk of the torso plating, allowing it to be worn inside the Alt's cockpit. Firstly though, I put on the thermal undergarb,the top part of which was reminiscent of the Medical uniform used when the late Admiral Kirk captained the Enterprise, and the bottom was akin to a pair of longjohns, albeit all in white.
Just as I pulled the thermals up to their resting place on my hips, I realised that the shower was no longer running. I looked up to see Zazhid just for a moment before she opened her own locker, pulling on her own thermals faster than I had done. I blushed slightly as she closed the locker clutching her pilot suit, a one piece unitard which stretched from collarbone to toes, with integrated footwear. Her suit differed from mine only in that the shoulders on hers were blue, mine being red. She zipped the suit up, stopping an inch before the lock tab around her collarbone. She turned toward me and asked "Do you think we can do this, honestly? Stop the Borg permanently, I mean." Her eyes belied the false composure she had put on her face to try and keep me at ease.
"I don't know... but I don't want what could be our last few hours together wasted by us fighting each other" I said, an unusual gravity binding to my words. "Just promise me this: No matter what, don't stop."
"Amuro... I don't know... if I could..." Zazhid struggled to form a coherent statement, as we both leaned toward each other, tilting our heads in opposite directions. The comm panel on the wall chirped: "Captain, message from Dragon 2" Temerek said, muffled by a small amount of static.
"What is it?!" I shouted, realising that a tender moment had been wasted.
"FRD incompatible with unit 1, Sanger recommended as pilot, have backup OS installed. She should be able to fight, but I can't promise anything though. Will detail en route." Cagalli's audio message droned on.
"Plan seems to be going FUBAR before we even launch." I sighed, longing for a day where things would go as planned for once. It felt like that hasn't happened once since joining the academy. "Time to go!" I smiled.
We leapt from that small, now slightly warmer bench, running in opposite directions towards our cockpit hatches, which were opening remotely as a result of a pre-programmed boot sequence. "See you on the other side!" I yelled to Zazhid as I ducked into the cockpit.
Zazhid used the mech intercom to say to me "Not if I see you first!" with a vast grin splitting her face, just before she closed the visor on her helmet.
We dropped out beneath the Gespenst, making our way to the RV point where Cagalli, Char, and Sanger were waiting for us. The sight I saw before me made my jaw drop, quite audibly so.
Three more mechanoids, one rather larger than the last, which I could only assume had Cagalli inside. I hailed over, but the response was not what I expected.
"No sir! Lieutenant Sanger Zonvolt reporting for duty."
"Can the 'sir' crap. We're battle-bound as equals, now." I barked at him. "So Cagalli, three in such quick succession? Seems I give you too much free time."*
"Not so... I only built two recently, my own was recovered from Elseweyr." Cagalli nodded slightly.
"Huh? I'll ask later. Anyway, we're heading out! The ships will stay here until we fire the signal for evac. We will infiltrate in the mechs, secrete our way towards the uniplexus where we will upload a virus which SHOULD destabilise the Collective consciousness. If all goes well, we may be able to end the Borg threat once and for all. Let's go." I briefed the other pilots.
We all turned to face the co-ordinates given to us by that obnoxious admiral, and engaged our engines at best speed.
"Rrrrrememberrrr, it will take 5 minutes for our ships to reach our position for evac." Char purred across the intercom. "Approaching co-ordinates"
What awaited us was a horrific sight. Dozens of cubes, spheres and hundreds of probes, all gathered around a central... diamond?!
"There's the target. Follow close, I'm gonna use my bunker to get us in." I said as I plunged the bunker into the hull of the largest structure.
We stowed the mechs*inside*a large chamber, disembarking them as we would a shuttle. I turned to the others and motioned to them to follow me deeper into the structure.
After what felt like hours of skulking through endless green corridors, Cagalli asked us all to stop.
She pulled some cylindrical objects out of her kit, handing one to each of us, though her own and mine seemed to be larger than the others, "What are these?" I asked.
"These are miniaturised versions of my RV's plasma sword. A small reaction chamber bombards decalithium with high energy neutrons. The result of this is a highly charged, obscenely hot plasma, which is expelled through the aperture into a void maintained by a weak, shaped magnetic field. This should slice through the Borg like a hot knife through butter. I call them 'Beam sabres'." Cagalli explained meticulously.
"So, uh, why is mine bigger?" I asked her, still looking puzzled.
"Your affinity for archaic combat forms mean a larger 'blade' is more prudent. This necessitated a larger reaction chamber, field generator, and a gravitic compensator to minimise the additional weight, which could rip your arm off if that compensator fails."
"Right, onward!" I said, stroking my new weapon.
We entered a chamber with drones lining the walls. It seemed as though these alcoves had links which could be exploited to help destabilise the collective. We accessed one panel only to find that the drones alongside didn't take too kindly to sabotage. These drones didn't seem as intelligent or efficient as previous drones. Taking note of this fact, we repeated the process for the other panels in the chamber.
As we headed deeper towards the core, we looked back to see a bright green flash, due to the floor panels in the room we just left violently discharging plasma.
"That looks painful" Char pointed out. "Let's keep moving."
We entered a chamber with an ominous looking device at its centre, "This must be the place, lets upload here." I said to the others.
Not one moment after we begun uploading the virus, had we found ourselves under siege from mortar turrets and drones. All I could do was yell out "Remember the 5 D's: Dodge, duck, dip, dive, DODGE!"
The virus finished uploading and all the turrets ceased to function, while another door creaked open. I guess that was the way we should be going.
Before us was a corridor with a high ceiling, and drones lining the walls. This was an ambush waiting to happen. Realising this, we had bunched up, too much for Char's liking as Sanger stood on his tail "MMRrreOWWWWW *hiss* That ******* hurt!" He hissed.
"If you've got an issue, here, have a tissue." We all shared a little chuckle.
We thought that corridor was ominous, but around the corner was the queen herself
'Aww crap' was the overriding thought in our minds, as we were sealed in. The only way out was through her.
We fought her guards valiantly, but we were running out of frequencies to remodulate to, the only effective weapons we had were the beam sabres.
"Dammit! We fight and we fight, but they just. Keep. Coming!" Char said, seeming to lose hope.
"Hold the Line! The queen is weakening, look!" Zazhid cried out,
Just as she did so, we were met with a monstrosity: A fully assimilated Gorn, 13ft of bio-mechanical death. It had Zazhid eyed up for a dance with death, I couldn't let that happen! The Gorg lunged at her, so I pushed her clear and took the brunt of the assault myself. I felt the teeth piercing the armour, but it held true enough to prevent a fatal injury. However, I did not foresee being tossed into the active forcefield, nor could I have foreseen being shot by a friggin' tail laser!
"AMURO! NOOOOOOO!" Zazhid screamed.
I was dazed, confused, and unable to move as the armour had been fused solid by the assault, but I could still feel the tender touch of Zazhid's slender fingers. She was hunched over me in tears, but she stood up, and charged the queen with a fury unmatched, until Cagalli twigged to the perceived situation.
Her rage unlocked a primal force in her genetics, which caused an explosion of growth and a total numbing of her intellect. Truly, she was little more than a beast as she stood eye to eye with the Gorg, and just as wide. Char and Sanger were slack-jawed by Cagalli's brutality.
With her first blow, she had punched clean through the Gorg's torso, yanking its tail through the cavity and proceeding to choke the already lifeless form until its head popped clean off.
"ugh, my head" I murmured "Computer... purge armour, code: Tango, Bravo... Sierra."
As the entire suit of armour broke apart, Cagalli had set her enraged eyes on the queen herself. She charged while the queen also charged... those tentacles. The queen had not anticipated Cagalli's speed, and paid the price: Cagalli kicked with enough force to completely sever the queen's spine from the navel down.
The queen had no plans of dying however, and stunned all 4 of the standing combatants. The floor was beginning to glow green and I could barely see, let alone fire a weapon. Luckily, I had my sabre, and it seemed the queen was preoccupied with killing my friends. I limped around behind the queen, sabre in hand.
She almost seemed to start laughing when I tapped her on the shoulder. She turned to see my swollen mug say "Adapt to this!" as I plunged that sabre through her smug mug before passing out.
As I began coming to, I wondered why I felt motion... without moving. As my sight came back into focus I quickly realised.
"You packed on some weight, huh Cagalli?" I joked, my voice muffled somewhat.
"By Arkay, you're alive?!" Char said, unable to mask his surprise, "You have more lives than I do."
"What's that rumbling?" I asked, as the decks 'we' were walking along shook with frightening severity.
"This place is falling apart as a result of the Borg's loss of efficiency." Zazhid said, her voice trembling.
"How far-" I began to ask "We're here." Cagalli growled, knowing what I was about to ask. "Setting Alt for remote control, signalling Riese, time to break out." Cagalli said with absolute authority. I wasn't about to argue with someone whose arm was thicker than my torso.
We headed towards the Riese, which had arrived with the Gespenst and the Ra Cailum. There was also another Odyssey class vessel with them, which hailed us with a brief message.
"USS Houston here. We're ready to assist any way we can-"
"We are the Borg. Resistance... is futile."
"Aww crap." We all cried out in united exasperation. Not surprisingly, as it seemed that our sabotage attempt had not been as successful as we hoped.
The console of my cockpit flashed with unusual readings from the Uniplexus. It seemed as though the virus had had an affect on the Borg's ability to maintain their ships.
I saw an opportunity, and disabled the remote control on the Alt.
"We have to finish this. If we don't, someone else is going to be sent here to finish the job we left behind; they may not have the same fortune we have...
"But-" The helmsman of the Houston was about to interject, but Zazhid interrupted him "Forget it, he's rolling."
"The Borg attack us: we fall back. They assimilate whole worlds; we fall back. NO MORE! We will hold the line here, this far, no further! CHAAARGE!" I bellowed out, rallying the righteous fury of my battle-brethren.
Our mechs darted between the Borg cubes, spheres and probes with effortless grace, followed only by a trail of exploding wrecks, while the ships maintained a steady barrage at stand-off range. We took down the guarding squadron with ease, but two incursion assault ships arrived in support of the queen, forcing us on the back foot.
The Houston advanced in, her captain crying out "Get under their guns!" moments before being raked by two lance type weapons from the long vessels. We were unable to detect any escape pod launches before the Houston was destroyed.
"RAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWRRRR! KYUKYOKU! GESPENSTO!" Cagalli cried out, the legs of her Gespenst RV being coated in a film of decalithium plasma.
"Wha?" I said, unable to spot Cagalli.
"KIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKU!" Cagalli engaged her thrusters with an alarming proportion of their power, plunging through the core of the ship, seemingly destroying its core.
I couldn't help but be slack-jawed at the display of strength I had just witnessed, just as the remaining ship fired its own lance towards Sanger.
"It won't move! The OS isn't working!" Sanger yelped, panicking in the face of certain death.
The beam enveloped the Double G, which left us deeply saddened at the loss of our friend...
"Jinki-1 online." Cagalli growled faintly over the intercom.
As the beam dissipated we saw the Double G, not a scratch on her. It seemed to be clutching a sword attached to its hip.
"This truly is a god of war... no..." Sanger was purring philosophically, but I seemed to be seeing things.
"Bushin soukou! DY GEN GUAR!"Sanger cried out, drawing a very large claymore from that scabbard, it can't fit in there, surely!?
I thought I saw an image form behind him, "What does 'challenge 32' mean?"
"Now friend, lets show them our bond." Sanger said to Char, who had stopped darting around with those twin phaser cannons. "Indeed!"
"Hissatsu! Zankantou! Ikki Tousen!" Sanger cried out. I thought to myself that I should really ask Cagalli about this later.
I could almost hear music as Char spoke out "Ikuzo, Trombe!"
I watched as Dygenguar mounted Trombe and they charged the borg ship, cleaving the latter in two.
Surely there couldn't be much more?
The diamond vessel began to move, its first action was to fire a barrage at our ships. Without thinking I fired a flare signal for them to retreat from the fight, as our mechs seemed to have an easier time dodging the beam fire.
"Howling Launcher, mode H." Zazhid boomed, joining the fervour of the fight, seeming to revel in its insanity. "Pop Quiz, hotshot. What does the H stand for? Hyperion, Hellfire, my measurements? HOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWLLLL" The Weiss fired a barrage of shells followed by a beam wider than that utilised by the Dreadnought?s phaser lance.
"Focus on that spot!" I yammered over the intercom. "Time to end this! At this range, Claymore Overload!" I opened the shoulder hatches, and fired every one of the embedded mortars. The Queen's vessel shook as explosions rocked the inside of the vessel, so I took this opportunity to lunge through the hull breach, charging for the core with the bunker piercing ahead.
I felt the impact of the bunker into duranium and plasma, so I fired off all six bunker charges. The ensuing explosion rocked me so hard I was wrenched from the seat and thrown against the walls of the cockpit. I placed my hand to the back of my head and felt the warm oozing of my head bleeding profusely. "Not agai-" I blacked out... again...*
I awoke in Sick bay, surrounded by familiar faces...
"He's awake!" Cried Zazhid, behind a flood of tears.
"Ugh... How long have I been out?" I grogged.
"Two weeks." Char purred, sporting a bandage around his head "Zazhid has been at your side the entire time."
"Sheer dedication." Noted Sanger.
"We all thought you were dead... again..." Cagalli chimed in.
"Why can't I feel my leg?" I asked.
Cagalli shot up, blushing "Sorry! Still haven't completely calmed down yet."
"Did we win?"
Cagalli tapped Char and Sanger on the shoulder, motioning to give me and Zazhid some time alone. I dreaded what was coming next.
"You mean you don't remember?" I shook my head "It's a long story, perhaps when you've recovered I'll give you the full debrief." Zazhid bit her lip a little "Now, where were we?"
"I think I remember. Computer: Dim lights."
There was a rustling of the sheets, then I yelped.
"Ow, you're bending it..."
Medical Log: Stardate 88874.1
Emergency Medical Hologram reporting until the Chief Medical Officer is cleared for duty.
This morning at about 0300 hours Crewman Kyne was having trouble sleeping. In fact she's been unable to sleep ever since the attack on the Borg Octahedron four days ago. In accordance with my programing she was offered counseling as well as a strong sedative to help her sleep. She offered up what can only be classified information so protocol dictates that this recording be coded for the Starfleet council by way of Admiral Aviess as the Captain of the U.S.S. Highland was lost in the battle and the acting captain Commander Thiris Ossylov doesn't have proper clearance.
She was sweating profusely from night terrors incurred from being aboard the Borg vessel. Anytime she begins to sleep she has vivid recollections of the events. When asked to elaborate she began to retell the events leading to her current condition. She detailed meeting each of the other four members of an away team in shuttle bay two as they readied the shuttle for deployment. Lieutenant Kyne Owman is a Bajoran female devote in her religious beliefs and was the best candidate aboard the Highland to introduce a virus to the Collective for her computer knowledge and skills. Aside from her the first to arrive was an Andorian male who specialized in various explosives who would be acting as security for the team. Next came a Human male who would be the field medic, she described him as an older angry type lugging his field kit like a burden. Finally in came a Vulcan male science officer and a long pause from Lieutenant Kyne.
When asked if she was alright she shook her head and continued. The Vulcan had come in talking to a man dressed in full M.A.C.O. Armored Environmental Suit with the faceplate opaqued. Her first thought was that he must have been a higher up or at least an officer who was very well connected. He would act as the second security officer to the team. They were under strict orders not to disclose name or rank and remain as anonymous as possible, an odd request, even for classified missions. When the five separate vessels began the assault on the Unimatrix the shuttle would launch from the Highland and infiltrate the Octahedron. For the most part she described that things had happened mostly according to plan. First the team would need to disconnect the Central Plexus Nodes to keep the Borg from calling for reinforcements. This was accomplished by the Vulcan science officer who had trained extensively to handle Borg technology. As this happened the team was surprised by sudden build ups of plasmodic energy. Disconnecting the nodes was causing the energy to build up and discharge through the floor plating.
Luckily there were signs before each discharge so the team was able to easily avoid them as they handled the Drones reacting to their presence. Once they'd managed to disconnect the final node, they were able to move further in to the Octahedron to the Collective Core Chamber to upload the virus itself. This was the job Lieutenant Kyne trained for. She paused for a moment to take a deep breath and say a little prayer to the Emissary and the Prophets. As she did so the Officer she could feel the M.A.C.O. watching her, head cocked to the side out of curiosity. As she finished it took her only a moment to actually upload the virus, but as the sequence began running, the Core's defenses kicked in. Automated Turrets began homing in on the team.
In between blasts heavy tactical drones began beaming in and the M.A.C.O and Andorian went to work. Each using a pulse wave rifle to blast back the Drones before remodulating. The Andorian had a disruptor pulse wave, illegal under normal circumstances but the Lieutenant was sure they'd over look it this one time. The M.A.C.O. how ever had a newer model elite fleet pulse wave rifle, whom ever he was under the helmet he was well connected indeed, those models are so new they only come as phaser rifles. As most of the team was dodging plasma bursts from the turrets a drone had managed to come up behind her while she was checking on the progress of the upload. As turned to see what was going on she came face to face with the utility arm of the drone swinging directly at her head.
Before she could react the M.A.C.O. had lunged into her taking the brunt of the strike to the helmet. The helmet was shattered and the M.A.C.O. knocked several feet, the Lieutenant herself had taken a few serious gashes to the left eye, a blow that would have been fatal had he not interfered. She paused again. As the Drone raised it broken utility arm to strike again the M.A.C.O. was back on it and managed to break its neck in a single strike. What ever this well connected officer was, it wasn't human. ?A Heavy Tactical Drone with his bare hands...? she said in disbelief. It was that point he turned to check on her with no regard to his own safety tearing off the rest of his helmet and using it to kill another approaching drone. As he turned back to her she saw his face, ?it's Face? she emphasized. A face that was cold, dark, and inhuman indeed. She trembled slightly as she described it with a perplexing look of confusion on her face.
?It was the eyes I saw first saw first. They were all black except for the iris which was a blood red. Eyes that mirrored depths so cold even the Pah Wraiths couldn't burn.... and in an instant they changed. They became so kind and warm with out changing anything but the expression. When he turned to call for the medic I could finally see the rest of him. He had to be a young Vulcan given the look and the ears, but those expressions... the raw emotion... He looked as though he'd been assimilated, his skin was a dead pale, slightly greyish green. I... I could see the veins beneath, like he was well into assimilation, but there he was protecting me as the Medic did his best.?
Medical note: The Human Medic was able to save the eye and with a few more treatments it will function normally, however the scaring around the eye will likely be permanent with out cosmetic surgery, a surgery this sickbay is to damaged to perform.
She continued saying that as the medic was tending her wound, the virus took effect and the defenses were shut down including the barriers that locked them in the Collective Core. According to crewman Kyne every one paused as they first glimpse of the face behind the mask and the man who couldn't be more than twenty two or three seemed almost embarrassed before moving down the corridor. With the defenses down the team was given the perfect opportunity to search for the Queen had she been on board. Apparently even the normal Vulcan almost seemed confused at what he'd just seen before every one followed him. As they passed rows of Drones, not a single one moved. Not one twitch, not one raised arm, not even an open eye. All stood statuesque like some sort of morbid piece in a museum. The Andorian was bold enough after a few seconds to start laying explosives of some kind from his pack as part of an ?escape plan? she quoted.
Then they saw her. The Queen. She was hanging from the Command Interface, almost like some ?blasphemous effigy that scoffed the Celestial Temple itself?. She'd been surrounded by another barrier and several drones which attacked once inside. Each of the team handled themselves like their recorded holosessions adapting to floor plating giving off the plasmodic discharges again. As the last drone fell so did the field and the Queen herself stepped down and attacked. No one on the team knew what species she had once been, but she was almost twice as tall as every one else, even the other drones, as well as more machine that organic. Several Thick Cables draped from her head that moved like some kind of old earth fable the deceased captain had once told her about. From the description a Gorgon is the likeliest of probabilities.
After sustaining damage she returned to the interface in an effort to regenerate as another wave of drones beamed in. The M.A.C.O.'s pulse wave took a direct hit and burned, melting to the floor panel. Again as the drones were defeated the Queen engaged the away team using the cables to attack using some sort of ?focused energy beam? which clipped the Andorian's arm dropping him instantly. The Medic tossed the M.A.C.O. his weapon, and older model phaser sniper rifle, to help defend him as he attempted to revive the Andorian. While he was able to do so the arm which had been clipped could not be saved. Stabilizing the explosives expert he took the Andorian's pulse wave and retaliated against the Queens onslaught. As she returned to regenerate the entire group had been caught by surprise as along with another wave of drone, in beamed an assimilated Gorn. She described it as being over two meters tall and having a synthetic tail which it used as a weapon much like the Queen's interface cables.
As it attacked it used various strikes from its massive claws and tail as well as energy blasts from the mechanical tails tip. The M.A.C.O. was able to keep it busy as the Vulcan used some type of weaponized nanobot to attack the drone weakening it and in doing so the Gorn went into a blind rage getting hold of the medic. The lieutenant paused again and became very pale and sickly looking.
?It grabbed him and it.... it just bit into him. I've never seen such a thing, it was horrendous, the look on the medics face...? She was able to collect herself and regain composure and go on telling me that as they tried to save him the Gorn's shield had adapted to their weapons as it tore the pore Human apart. With that the M.A.C.O pulled out what the woman called ?some small handle looking thing. It folded out into some type of sword. I? I didn't even know they MADE collapsible swords any more!?. She went on to describe how the strange man in the M.A.C.O. armor attacked the Gorn severing it's head and arms before breaking the blade off inside the torso dropping it in it's place as dead as the medic.
And before any one had the chance to react the Queen attacked once more, and once more that strange but warm face turned to one of pure rage which froze into that same terrifying visage she had seen before. But it was more than just the same cold look, it was a cold focused look. A focus she would never wish on any living being, but a focus that the monstrous Machine had brought all on herself. At once he launched himself at her. With a flurry of punches and kicks, blocking her cables and landing blows that would kill most humanoids in a single hit. At one point she relayed he was braced against her, using her hips to stand face to face as he assaulted her, swaying her around a she stumbled trying to defend herself.
No one had noticed but the Andorian had regained consciousness and was watching the battle with disbelief, his antennae she noted even stood straight up in surprise. As the M.A.C.O. continued to pummel the Borg Queen the Andorian used his remaining arm to reach into his pack and tossed a large grenade to him. As if it had been planned the M.A.C.O. struck the Queen once more and as he raised his arm as if to strike her again instead reaching out to catch the grenade and in one single smooth motion reached over her and lodged in in her lower back somewhere before diving off of her to safety as it went off. The lieutenant seemed to be almost in awe of this as well as if she still couldn't believe it happened. The Queen had been blown clean in half.
To the young Bajoran's horror, the queen still lived. She managed to pick herself up and begin attacking again, using her interface cables to crawl the power conduits along the ceiling ?like some type of devil spider? she called it. The Queen was drawing energy from the conduits to power her blasts from which ever cables that weren't holding her weight. As she blasted away she told me that the M.A.C.O. grabbed what was left of his blade and threw it possibly as hard as he could launching it at blinding speed hitting the Queen between the eyes. It wasn't enough to kill her but the force of it knocked her from the conduits and she hit the floor right as a plasmodic discharge burst from the panel she landed on. The mechanized lower half must have held what ever shielded her from the discharge because once she was hit her systems were flooded.
Both organic and and non-organic alike fried instantly, an almost electric arc blasting from the metal of the blade lodged in her head. She returned to check the Andorian who was still alive, though barely. As the remaining team gathered around him he smiled in a way that the lieutenant refereed to as an expletive consuming grin as he held in his good hand the detonator for all the explosives he'd packed. The M.A.C.O. tossed the rest of the Andorian's pack onto the Queen's remains which had fused to the floor panel as the remaining flesh smoldered. He then gathered the remains of the medic and brought them over as he readied an emergency transporter beacon activating it as the Andorian activated his detonator. As Explosions racing up the corridor she was wrapped in a familiar light as they were beamed aboard the U.S.S. Morbius.
Every one was beamed safely back minus the remains which were probably rerouted to the ships medical bay, and the strange Vulcan M.A.C.O. who was no where to be seen. She said that any time she asked about him the crew either didn't know any thing or just rolled their eyes in frustration. As the Octahedron exploded each of the five badly damaged ships warped out at the first chance heading straight to Sol to debrief. It would be a long trip and there are still a few days left, but it is recommended that the Lieutenant be removed from active duty for the time being and treated for post traumatic stress once the U.S.S. Highland returns to Earth Space Dock. The Holographic Medical Officer will remain active until all duties can be returned to the Chief Medical Officer.
Computer, Encode log and store for Admiral Aviess only.
"Everyone loves it when a plan comes together." Jinx said, looking over her desk at Phantom, the other Trill sitting opposite her. "So why does it happen so damned rarely?"
Phantom chuckled at her. "It's your own fault for asking your Borg officers if they can think of anything relevant to your plans that you may have overlooked. Although, I have to admit, I do wish you kept your mouth shut. If you had, you would still be going on this suicide mission instead of me."
A few hours earlier, Jinx and Phantom had sat down with their command staff to hammer out any final issues with their plans for dealing with the Unimatrix and the Borg Queen. When it was mentioned that the virus Phantom had created would automatically install and distribute itself across the Borg network, One, Two, and Smiler (Phantom's Borg crewman) had stepped in to object. Their reasoning was that the Borg network was effectively alive, which would let it respond a lot faster to intrusion than a standard network, even more so if the Borg Queen herself was there. Having Phantom on the away team meant that there was a far greater chance of successfully installing the virus.
As a result of this, the task force was already on their way to the system where the Unimatrix had been spotted, and in a reversal of roles, Phantom would now be leading the away team and Jinx would command the space battle. Their plan was to have the Omega, D'Vak's flagship, enter the area first, and try to draw off some of the Borg vessels protecting the Unimatrix, opening a gap in their defenses to allow the Nightingale to slip through. Phantom and a couple of her engineers had already checked and tweaked the Nightingale's cloak to help them get through undetected.
Once the Omega and pursuing Borg vessels were a safe distance away, the warlord and other elements of the task force would warp in from the edge of the system right on top of these Borg and destroy them, before the fleet would move into position to engage the rest of the Borg ships.
A few hours later, One calls out that they are entering visual range of the Borg fleet.
"Drop out of warp and signal the rest of the fleet to do the same. Let's have a look at what we are up against." Jinx commanded. "On screen and magnify. See if we can identify numbers and types of ships out there."
A few minutes later you could hear the murmering of most of the bridge crew swearing under their breath.
"This is insane! There has to be at least 10 Cubes and double that in Spheres between us and the Unimatrix. Jinx, is it too late to quit?" Jinx glanced across at Phantom and saw the look in her eyes that said she was only half joking about quitting. Deep down though, Jinx agreed. Unless this was done perfectly, this was going to be messy.
A few more minutes of analysis, and Jinx and Phantom had worked out where their best approach would be from. Jinx passed on some orders to be passed on to other members of the fleet and the task force split up and warped away to get into position. Phantom looked a bit nervous. "I don't like sending her into combat with out me on the bridge." She admitted to Jinx. "I know how you feel." Jinx replied, one hand caressing the back of her Captain's Chair.
"Ok, One, take us in. Vranlek, make sure our cloak is up and at 100% efficiency. Two, get ready with the Impulse Burst in case we need to get out of here quickly. Stand by. The Omega should be starting her attack run... Now!"
Sure enough, on the viewscreen, the Omega warped into the system fairly close to one of the Cubes. Bright orange phaser fire erupted from the surface of the Omega, smashing into the Borg ship. Green beams of plasma energy shot back at the Omega as she turned and began to pull back away from the rest of the Borg fleet, the Cube and a small number of Spheres following.
On the bridge of the Nightingale, Jinx cried out "Engage!" and the little ship shot forward, aiming directly at the gap left behind by the Borg forces chasing the Omega, then as they passed the Borg's defensive line, One turned the ship to bring the Nightingale closer to the Unimatrix.
"Wait, what's that?" Phantom asked, moving closer to the viewscreen. "Let me see here, zoomed in." She said, pointing. The image exploded, showing Phantom what appeared to be a second hull hidden behind the Unimatrix. Phantom turned to look at Jinx and One. "Don't get too close. Go over or under it instead. I think something else is there."
The communications array crackled to life and the Nightingale bridge crew hears the Captain of the Omega calling for the rest of the fleet to join him, and a string of acknowledgements.
The Nightingale cruised over the Unimatrix vessel, only to discover that, tucked in beside it was a second Unimatrix. And what was that? A diamond?
"We are Borg. Resistance is futile." The crew jumped, then realised that this was the Borg broadcasting over any and all frequencies they could.
"Captain..." One looked a little distant. "I believe it may be better if you took over piloting." She looked over towards Two, seeing his eyes a little vacant too. "We can hear her. She is on that." One points to the diamond shaped ship on the viewscreen. "We are resisting, but it is difficult."
Jinx shifted over to take the helm. "Resistance is futile, eh? I guess not. Keep it up One, Two. Phantom, to the transporter room. I'll let you know when we are in position."
Phantom left the room, as One turned to Jinx. "Captain, she does not understand. The Queen. She does not comprehend how we resist her. She is also unable to pinpoint our position."
"Good news at last." Jinx muttered as she brough the nose of her ship round to point at the Diamond.
This close in to the Unimatrix vessels, Jinx dropped all pretence of being slow and sneaky. Sneaky, she kept up, but certainly not slow. As soon as she got close enough to the Diamond for Mat to report that transport was now possible, Jinx hit her combadge. "Jinx to Phantom. Ready to go?" "Affirmative, Jinx. Just don't forget to come back to pick us up." "As if I would do such a thing!!! Energising." Mat reported the away team was successfully beamed aboard the Diamond, so Jinx turned Nightingale around, and throttled her up, getting out of there as quickly as possible.
Back at the edge of the engagement area, the Omega, Warlord and the other members of the taskforce had crippled a Cube and destroyed 3 Spheres, and were working on drawing another Cube from the Borg fleet. Since the Nightingale was flying up behind the Cube, it's shields were down in that arc, being focused forwards on the enemy.
"Prepare to attack!" Jinx yelled. Mat started warbling orders, then as soon as Jinx yelled "Now!!!" switches were thrown, buttons pressed, and the cloak dropped and the weapons opened up, spewing red fire and quantum torpedoes into the back of the Cube. After less than a minute, something inside the Cube exploded and parts of it went dark. it stopped maneuvering and its shields and weapons went offline.
"Nice shooting Mat." Jinx called out with a smile. She got a warble in response.
Looping around the wreck of the Cube, the Nightingale joined another escort in blowing up a Sphere, then turned just in time to see another one explode under heavy fire from the Warlord and her support craft.
"Task force, this is Admiral Jinx. The plan proceeds as discussed, but please be aware, there are two, repeat, two Unimatrix vessels in there, and a Borg Diamond. We have it confirmed that the Queen is on that Diamond, and that is where our away team is. Proceed as planned. Jinx out."
Suddenly, an explosion ripped through the Nightingale's shields, launching people from their seats and causing a momentary loss of power. "Damage Report!" Jinx yelled, pulling herself back into the pilot's seat. Tosk reported that one of Nightingale's turrets had been destroyed, and that rear shields had been completely diminished. Other voices from around the ship called in, reporting a few minor casualties and some damage, but no deaths. "Two, hit the Impulse Burst. 3 seconds." Two, also back on his feet now, just stared blankly at the console until Vranlek pushed him aside and hit the button. The Nightingale shot forward as though fired like a photon torpedo, clearing the battleground in the 3 second burst.
As Jinx brought the Nightingale round for another attack run, they noticed what had taken a shot at them. Three more Cubes and their Spheres had left the main defense group and engaged the task force, one of them taking an easy shot at the Nightigale's rear. Vranlek rushed back to his console and started recharging shields and Two walked around to where he could get a good look at the viewscreen.
"We hear them." He looked at Jinx. "We hear all the Borg here. The entire fleet is mobilising toward us, and they are clearing the way for the Unimatrices to fire their Plasma Lances." For a moment, his eyes cleared, and the glance he shot Jinx was clear and a little afraid. "Captain, we do not want to be in the way of the Lances when they fire."
One spoke up. "Captain, we have informed the other vessels in our task force, and recommended 20 seconds, then evasive patterns to spread out and away from the Unimatrices. 20 seconds... Mark. Captain, as we can hear the Borg, we have a good understanding of their ships. I think we have some weak spots in their formation. Assigning targetting data." One turned and walked over to where Tosk and Mat were sat at the tactical consoles. She started speaking to them quietly.
18 seconds later, with a few more Spheres resting in pieces, Jinx opened her communications to the rest of the task force "Evasive patterns, go! Spread out and deny them a solid front to fire through." As she demonstrated her words by hitting the thrusters and moving away from the line of fire, she kept talking "Fleet, once we are out of the way of their big guns, come about track the targets being supplied to you now. We believe they may be weak points and allow us to break their fleet quickly." Glancing quickly at the sensors, she finished her orders with "Omega take the left anchor in our line. Warlord, you are our right anchor. Martok and Terra, form up on me. We're going to punch a hole through their centre."
The Omega Collective that Phantom had rigged up gave the task force the information and coordination needed so each ship began their new attack with optimal targetting. Almost moving as a single entity, the five ships that formed the task force turned and moved into position, opening fire on their designated targets as soon as they were in range. Several Spheres and a single Cube exploded under the barrage, with another two Spheres bowing up in the ensuing explosions.
Nightingale broke up, and flew above the explosions, curving over in an arc which brought it nicely in line to open fire on a Cube when, suddenly, a massive green beam erupted from the nearest Unimatrix, wiping out 2 Cubes and the IKS Martok, who had gone to the right when Jinx flew up.
"What the...?!?!?" Jinx yelled and quickly checked her sensors to make sure her other ships were still there, then swearing when she realised the Martok was missing.
"Plasma Lance." Replied Two, his head cocked slightly to one side. "We did not expect her to open fire on her own ships."
"Ok, new plan. Into the scrap. All ships, this is Jinx. Close and engage. Wipe out that fleet. Try to keep them between you and the big ships, and if you spot them charging their Lances again, call out and get out of the way. Jinx, out."
The task force surged forward, bright beams and bolts of energy passing from them to the Borg ships and back again. Nightingale took a few more hits, and once had to loop out of the fight for a few seconds for their shields to recharge, and minor damage was reported from all ships, but within a few minutes, the rest of the Borg fleet lay broken before them, and the way to the Unimatrix ships was open.
The task force spread out a little as they moved forward, and although a warning was called out by the Omega, the Terra was destroyed when a Plasma Lance was fired by the nearest Unimatrix.
"That Lance is nasty. We need to get in close, and stay to the sides of the Unimatrix. It can't target us with it then. No doubt it will have a few more tricks though, so keep your eyes open. Jinx out."
The three remaining ships in the Omega Force group charged in towards the first Unimatrix clearing it's nose before it had time to fire the Lance again. Omega and Warlord slowed down and started directing their fire into the side of the Unimatrix. Jinx kept the Nightingale flying at high speed, pulling low close to the Unimatrix hull.
"Let her have it! Everything you have!" She called out to her bridge crew, as she concentrated on staying as close to the hull as possible without impacting on the Unimatrix shields. All of the remaining weapons on board opened up, sending bolts of red energy and a few silvery quantum torpedoes into the Unimatrix.
After a few minutes, in which the Unimatrix shields started dropping slowly, the Warlord called out that a Probe had just exited the Unimatrix and warned the task force to watch for others. A few seconds after that, the Omega took massive damage as the Unimatrix fired a massive plasma torpedo out towards it. It tried to move out of the way, but didn't react quickly enough. Jinx saw the Omega, plasma fires burning all over the hull, turn and limp further away from the Unimatrix.
"Mat, Tosk," She said, not taking her eyes off the screen and her controls, "If you spot one of those torpedoes coming our way, activate the Point Defense System. Vranlek, keep your eyes on the sensors."
The battle continued, with the Omega returning once sufficiant repairs had been made. Several more Probes and Spheres were launched, then destroyed before Vranlek called a warning to Jinx to move the Nightingale away from the Unimatrix. She barely had time to hit the thrusters and get away before the Unimatrix exploded, hurling plasma fire and chunks of itself out in all directions.
Vranlek quite sensibly called out to the crew to brace for impact and shifted extra power to the rear shields, as the Nightingale rode the wave of fire and debris into clear space. Some minor scrapes and bruises were reported, but for the whole, the task force escaped unscathed.
Forming up, the attack commenced against the second Unimatrix, concentrating fire towards the centre of the ship to stay out of the way of the Plasma Lance. The battle against his ship went much the same as the battle against the first Unimatrix, but they were able to protect the Omega from the giant plasma torpedoes. After 15 minutes, which seemed like hours, the second Unimatrix exploded.
Immediately, the Nightingale juddered as it came under fire from the Diamond. After a second under the barrage of energy coming from the last remaining Borg ship, the Nightingale was lurched over to the side as the Borg weapon penetrated the shield and impacted directly on the hull. Alarms sounded all across the bridge as people were flung from their seats, Jinx barely hanging onto the console to stay upright. Damage reports started coming in from all over the ship, along with casuality reports, this time with some deaths.
Vranlek pulled himself to his feet and was about to hit the Impulse Burst when the Warlord pulled her heavy bulk in between the Nightingale and the incoming fire. Security alerts started sounding as unidentified transporter signals started appearing on the ship.
"Warlord signals they are beaming over engineering teams to help repair the damage, Captain."
"Send our thanks. And turn off that alarm."
Jinx set her speed to match the Warlord while the crews frantically tried to repair enough damage to make Nightinale combat capable again.
"They have arrived." One and Two said together. They turned to look at the Captain. "Phantom has reached the Borg Queen. We can feel her virus running through the Collective. Individuals are falling from it. Omega Collective is trying to reach out to these individuals. Communicating. Explaining."
"Captain, sensors indicate one of the Cubes is operational again, and heading this way."
"Acknowledged, if it gets too close we'll hit that before getting back to the Diamond."
"Negative. Incoming Cube is Omega Collective."
"What? Confirm, that Cube is friendly?"
"Confirmed." Both of Jinx's Borg offiers answered her.
"Ok, flag that up... Oh, never mind. You already told the other Captains, right?"
"We are doing so now."
"Good, then get ready to get back into the fight. Reports here say most emergency repairs are done, so we're heading back in."
For the first time the fight had started, Two took up his station with his customary efficiency. One moved over to an engineering console to check progress on repairs.
Jinx brought the Nightingale up to flank speed, and told One to activate the cloak. Looping first away from the Warlord, she brought the ship in to fly over its bow, opening up with weapons as soon as the target was in view.
A few shots burst through the Diamond's shields, blasting a weapons emplacement out of existance. The Warlord on Omega were both taking a pounding, but their experienced crews were adept at keeping shields between them and the incoming fire, so neither had taken critical damage.
As the Nightingale looped around for another pass, Vranlek called out from sensors.
"Captain, sensor sindicate the Diamond is dead in space. It just shut down!"
Jinx glanced across to confirm the readings, and One turned to her.
"Away team report mission accomplished. Two dead, the remaining three in need of medical attention. Omega Collective reports the Diamond and Cube are secure and ours."
Jinx heaved a sigh of relief. The price, as always, was expensive, but the job was done.
Captain's Log: Stardate 6533-yeaaarrrgh!
They're boarding the ship!
Fire at them!
Shields are useless!
They're too strong! Fall back!
Weapons offline! Borg reported on all decks! They're swarming the ship!
Don't let theeeeaaaa!
We are the Borg. We will add your distinctiveness to our own.
Abandon ship! All hands, Abandon ship! Computer, initiate self destruct.
Self destruct protocols have been aborted. We are the Borg. Resistance is Futile.
They've assimilated the computer! Everyone, get off the ship!
There's millions of them! We're trapped!
We are the Borg. Resistance..... was Futile.
With a groan the dark haired trill slips carefully into the cavern entrance making his way back to his comrades that survived the special tasking they were sent on. Rounding a corner he winced feeling a sharp pain where he had twisted his ankle in their haste to find cover from the Borg. He takes a seat next to short blonde Bajoran female whom is firmly holding a bandage over a gaping wound in the blue engineer’s side. “Sir, if we do not get Taltha to a doctor soon I cannot be sure she will survive this little trip. She is bleeding heavy and my efforts to slow the bleeding have not been very effect”. Commander Kurab nods silently gazing at the two that were near him wondering if they would survive this mission. “Just keep up your best effort as there is very little else we can do until the shuttle is back in range to beam us out, if it is still there at all. It appears we at least have lost our pursuers and are as safe as we will ever be on the god forsaken planet. I will be right back; don’t hesitate to call if you need me as I won’t be far away, Sherima”.
Sherima’s expression is very grim as she nods to her Commander’s words and looks down to see Taltha’s antennae twitch a moment in her unconscious state. As Timothy walks away into the darkness of the cavern Sherima mumbles to her, “I just wish we could have saved M’tott before the Borg had got their hands on him”. Commander Kurab settles a short distance away in a small room of the cavern so that he can have some semblance of privacy. He pulls out a small device about the size of a standard Starfleet communicator and clicks it once. “This is Commander Timothy Kurab of the U.S.S. Trouncer. It is stardate 90490 and I do not know the precise time due to our circumstances. I am recording this log in hopes that if we do not make it off this planet what happened might still be recorded in the event this device is recovered. At least it will be my hope that this log will provide information that might aid in the eventual defeat of the Borg”.
Kurab grimaces and groans quietly when he shifts to a more comfortable position and then continues, “Myself and three other crew members of the U.S.S. Trouncer were sent on this special operation by Task Force Omega to upload a virus into the Borg collective with the hope it would then be sent to the queen’s ship orbiting the planet in the regular upload link. Assigned to my team was Lt. Commander Sherima Olaju a Bajoran explosives expert. Lt. Commander Taltha Ovrim was our assigned engineer. Finally Lt. M’tott was provided as our science and medical team member. We traveled here aboard a modified runabout which could mask its approach and orbit using some new technology recently devised by the fleet R&D department. After our beam down the shuttle went into hibernation mode and is expected to awaken in approximately an hour if it has not been discovered. At that time it will locate our signatures and beam us out, ideally”.
Timothy pauses a moment and sits the device on a nearby rock. He then picks up a small canteen like container and opens it taking a sip. Once he is done he closes it and picks the device back up to begin the next portion of his log. “Getting on the planet was incredibly easy to our surprise. I was uncomfortable with the fact we were able to get here with no interference but I accepted it and we continued on our mission. We immediately set out for the primary target facility which was about a mile and half walk from our beam in point. Though we did not expect any immediate interference from the Borg we did attain individual dampeners to decrease the odds the Borg would take notice of us pre-maturely”.
“After we manage to observe the facility for about fifteen minutes we found an entrance that was commonly used and open for an extended period. We used this for our point of entry into the facility. Up to this point the maps which Intel had provided us were very accurate. Thankfully getting to our target was as easy as getting on the planet. None of the Borg considered our small group a threat, which was very typical of the Borg mindset. Once we neared the central complex where the primary computer was located we discovered the defenses there were not very strong, but enough to cause us a bit of difficulty. The central processing link was located in a room that had multiple drones guarding it. As well it had a shield around the room that prevented entry to all except authorized drones.”
With a click he turns the device off and places it back into his uniform pocket. He then slowly rises to his feet and moves with a bit of a limp back to the main cavern. As he nears where he had left the other two team members he hears a low sobbing sound. Upon reaching Sherima he finds her cradling Taltha’s limp form in her arms. Kneeling down by her he places an arm around Sherima’s shoulders and in an attempt to comfort her he says, “Her death was not in vain that is the one comfort we can have in this circumstance. None of the deaths today will go without meaning because of our accomplishments here and all the lives it will save”. Sherima simply nods as her blonde hair falls over her face. Not bothering to brush it out of the way she simply stares down at the Andorian’s limp body as she holds it. Satisfied there is nothing more he can do, Kurab stands quietly and goes back to his “corner” to finish his report.
With a silent click of his little device he turns it back on and begins, “Log supplemental, I wish to add that the planet we are on is Alini three of the Alini System in the Gamma Orionis Sector. It did not take Lt. Commander Olaju, our explosives expert, to come up with a plan to not only distract the Borg but also bring down the protective shielding. Olaju and our doctor, M’tott, proceeded to the nearby power junction which supplied the entire wing with power. They set charges around the center core without any problems from the nearby drones. At my signal they detonated the charges with their newly modified phaser rifles at ready”.
“Once the central power core for the section was destroyed the shields went down immediately. It took a lot of work but we were able to take down the drones that were guarding the uplink panel at the central processor. Lt. Commander Olaju and Lt. M’tott managed to make their way back to us, however; with considerable resistance from the Borg. Once they joined back up with our team I relayed the virus from our small PADD into the Borg console. It only took a mere second or less for the virus to load into the system”.
“It was at about this point that a chill ran down my spine as I heard a scream emanate from our doctor Lt. M’tott. I turned to see him in the clutches of a Borg drone well under way to becoming a Borg himself. I quickly retrieved my own rifle and shot him but it was too late. He was far enough gone to have adapted to our weapons along with the rest of the Borg attacking us. My team and I quickly sought an exit but on our way our one of the drones managed to gouge Lt. Commander Ovrim in the side with its arm”.
We were eventually able to escape the Borg facility to this cavern we are currently hiding in. Unfortunately we also lost Lt. Commander Taltha Ovrim due to her excessive wound just a short while ago. I do not know if the virus fully uploaded, or if we will be recovered. We were not able to make it to the planned beam out point, however; the shuttle is programed to search for us. That is if it was not discovered and destroyed by the Borg. I do wish to note that as we made our way out of the Borg compound in the beginning you could see the damage the virus was doing. As we came nearer to the egress location it seemed that the Borg began to recover slightly and start making repairs to nearby systems. I do not know if this was a sign they defeated the virus or not”.
As Kurab click the device to turn it off again he began to stand up as he intended to check on Sherima, however; he heard a shrill scream from her room. Timothy dropped the small device and dashed for her location realizing enroute that he didn’t have his weapon on himself.
To Be Continued…
First Officers Log, Stardate 8565.2.
It's been almost two weeks since the attack on the Borg, and the Captain is still in a critical condition. Both ships are still being repaired, and since I am also Chief Engineer I have been busy with repairs, rather than recording logs. But I guess it's time to let Starfleet know what happened.
We arrived at DS9 a few hours early. The Captain is always like that. Anyway, we signaled Captain Kurland that we were ready to transport the M.A.C.O.'s aboard. But for some reason, they never arrived. Captain Taasat was furious, so I decided to get out of the line of fire for this one, and help the rest of my Engineering staff with the preperations for the "Invasion" as most of the crew are calling it.
By the time I got back on the bridge, we were already on the way. Apparently, the M.A.C.O.'s were stuck on Earth, because their transport left early. So it turns out, we had to do this mission on our own. So the Captain and I started revising the game plan. After 5 hours and 6 pots of coffee we decided to split the team up in 3. Azroi & Bren with the Captain, and Kamman'Agar & Sibir, our Head of Science on my team.
Afterwards, I decided to get some sleep. I got around 30 minutes, when I was called to the Bridge. We got a message from Admiral D'Vak who was in the area, and asked us to rendevouz with him. We altered course, and a few hours later met with D'Vak. He had heard about the problem with the M.A.C.O.'s and decided to give us a handful of his best men. Turns out they were Klingon Honor Guard. I'm not sure how enthusiastic they were to serve under a Vulcan & Starfleet Captain, but they were probably the nicest Klingons I've ever met. And even polite aswell. Well... Considering the fact that they were Klingon.
So it was back to Plan A, with a slight change. Instead of the senior staff, we decided on putting our "Assault Squad" into good use. It was a newly formed team, of only the best and brightest aboard our ship. Non-Senior Staff I might add. They had been in training for over 8 months, and hadn't been on a single mission yet. So Kamman'Agar, who is the actual leader of the "Assault Squad" will acompany me, and 3 others on "Away Team Beta".
I was in my quarters, when the Captain gave the announcement to get ready. I wasn't too excited about seeing my old "Family", but hey... Someone's got to do it. I went down to the armory, grabbing my gear, and headed to the transporter room. Once down there, I realised that I had to go to the shuttle bay and started laughing in frustration. Finally I arrived at the shuttle bay, a couple of minutes later than everyone else. The Captain came with a funny remark as always, and we started making our way into the shuttles.
The Borg came with their standard "We are the Borg" greeting before they opened fire. But already there, things started to go wrong. The Avon's launch doors were damanged. So we had to blast our way through, damaging the ship and attracting unwanted attention. Shuttle Alpha was almost completely destroyed, and our engines were shot to pieces. It's a miracle we managed to get enough speed to get inside.
Once inside, both ships got away safely. We managed to find a secure location, from where we could blow up the shuttles. It was Fifty-Fifty. They didn't get to assimilate any of our technology, but it didn't keep them occupied for very long either, as it didn't blow near any critical systems. Which just resulted in us having to fight our way through instead.
We started making our way too the Central Plexus. But we kept tripping security forcefields, and automated turrets. I guess my time in the collective was rather... Useful in a situation as this. Although I am not too... Happy about being here, my expertise is invaluable, which is the main reason I volunteered for this mission.
Anyway, after a few hours of having established a routine of tripping Borg security, and disarming it, the ineviteble happened. Suddenly, we were surrounded by the Borg. Instant fire fight broke out. I managed to open a door, through which we could escape but... Two of the Three security officers ended up assimilated... As did the Captain. So now this had turned into a rescue mission.
We decided to split up. Azroi, Bren, Kamman and the Security Escort went to upload the virus, whilst myself and the Honor Guards went looking for the captain. We came to a big hall-ish room. Honestly, I didn't know where we were as I've never seen something like this in my time, in the collective.
Tricorders weren't working, and we heard some strange sounds. Even the Klingons looked... Nervous. I was hit by something, and blacked out. The next thing I remember is being in an assimilation chamber, along with the Klingons, our Security officers and the Captain.
I immidiately started working on a plan to get us out of here, only to realise that we were trapped in a forcefield. For some reason, they hadn't started assimilating anyone yet. And by my calculations, we only had 1 hour left to get out of here, and be at the beam out coordinates.
I have to admit, I was starting to get a bit... Anxious. Usually I'm pretty good at controlling my emotions, but not this time. Suddenly, the forcefield shut down, and two drones came walking in. The Klingons immediately jumped the drones, and managed to overpower them. We were free. But we still had no idea where we were, since they took our weapons and any other equipments such as comm badges and tricorders.
Luckily, there was a console nearby where I could plan an escape route... For some reason this seemed all too perfect. The two drones, that were rather easily overpowered, the console with the plan over the entire unimatrix... Then again, the Borg are rather arrogant. They probably never figured we'd be able to get this far. And what makes things worse, is that one of us had to carry the captain, as he was unconcious, and his bloodstream filled with Borg nanoprobes.
We started making our way towards the beam out point, when we heard a big exploding sound. By the sound of it, they've managed to blast the forcefield around the central plexus by now, which gives us around 30 minutes.
We managed to make it to the rendevouz point, just seconds before the other team. We managed to beam out, and we watched as the Unimatrix started blowing up. But for some reason, we were still under heavy fire.
To our surprise, we watched as the Queens ship escaped. We had no chance of following here, as both ships were badly damaged. The Night Hawk was almost destroyed, and the Avon's Shield, Weapons and sensors were completely fried.
So, once again, we failed to eliminate the Borg threat once and for all.
Computer, encrypt log and send to Starfleet Command.
Wow! Some really epic conclusions. Proud of y'all for these stories :)
If you would still like to make an entry for this challenge, feel free to do so, but I'm going to unstick it as I prepare to post #33.
?Acting Captain?s Log Stardate - 93436.31.
The Ulysses has been sitting in the Cestus Sector, near the transwarp conduit waiting for any response from Captain Darmoth?s team. Their mission was to infiltrate Unimatrix 001, the Borg Queen?s personal ship, upload the virus given to him by Task Force Omega, and see if he can destroy the Queen. We?ve received no word if the plan succeeded or failed. Other command Captains and their MACO squads were also tasked to attack Unimatrix 001 as well, hoping that one of the squads would achieve this.
My standing orders were to stay near the transwarp conduit and conduct long range scans where the ship would be at and confirm anything. We will continue some other tasks while we wait.?
Commander Moon Weich leaned back into the captain?s chair, knowing that this wasn't the first time that the Captain and his away team had been gone on long missions and put her in charge of the ship. But this was the first time that she was given specific instructions on what she could and couldn?t do. Taping a few commands on the console next to her, she brought up the ship?s current status and reports, noting that she needed to complete her report for the Captain herself.
?Ensign,? She looked over at the engineering station that held a new Ensign, one of the Android modeled after the artificial life form Data. ?Please look over the engineering report and confirm what the teams have requested. I?ll submit the request form to Starfleet once we leave the sector.?
?Yes Acting Captain Weich.? Moon winced slightly at the impromptu rank, ?I will have the newly submitted report sent to you by oh-five-hundred.? At least this android didn?t have any issues with keeping things simple. The blond engineer with a short ponytail gently drummed her fingers on the arm of the chair as she finished reading up the reports, setting them aside for Captain Darmoth to return to.
?Captain, We?re receiving a signal from the fleet.? The almost echoed voice called out from the conn. Moon turned her head towards the officer and bit her lip lightly. What faced her was a rescued Borg, named Three of Four. Her cream colored skin made her look deathly ill, her implant covered her whole right side of her face. ?We are receiving audio only.?
?Put it on, try to isolate Captain Darmoth?s frequency.? Moon gripped the arm of the chair, tapping on the command PADD in front of her to retrieve the frequency, ?Frequency is 265.9.?
?Compiling.? Three of Four responded, tapping out the frequency. ?Frequency isolated. We?re are now receiving Captain Darmoth?s audio signal.?
?... We?re entering the Queen?s ship now. Mirra, set personal shields to rotate frequency Markus-4-Bravo.? The light baritone voice escaped the bridge audio speakers.
?Roger Markus.? A quick witted voice responded. Moon snorted at the breach in protocol, but recognized the voice of the First Officer, Mirra, ?Setting personal shields to frequency code Markus-4-Bravo.? A minute of silence before Mirra spoke again, ?Nasera, can you confirm that the weapon frequency modulations are set up.?
?They are Mirra, we?re set up for five modulations before the Markus protocol takes hold.?
?And we all know why it takes hold,? The rich tenor voice echoed, ?It?s because the Captain found the Borg?s temporal weakness, and they don?t like time very well.? Moon gave a soft smile, as she was part of the team that found out about that little feature, even though it was her Captain that noted the irregularities.
?Can the chatter Perry,? Markus? voice took over the comm channel, ? We?re getting into position. Nasera, focus on where we can upload this virus. Perry, I want you on defense. Keep the turrets coming and I?ll provide the mortars.? a tapping of commands and a hiss of escaping air reached the comm. ?Mirra, keep watch over the Borg and provide targets for Perry and I. And Easie, keep the shuttle ready in case we need to make a quick getaway."
"Yes Captain." 'Easie' responded.
"All right, lets move..."
Static filled the channel before a new, collective voice took over the air wave, "We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own."
Static once more filled the audio signal before someone spoke, "So does that make us the life of the party?" That came from Perry.
"Only if you get caught." Mirra responded, there was some soft chuckling.
For the next half an hour, the bridge of the Ulysses only heard the sound of the team's breathing and occasional comment about the Borg infrastructure. Various phaser and rifle blasts also accompanied the sounds heard over me chatter. Moon had looked at her console, reviewing the battle chatter from the fleet as a whole and saw how bad it was getting. She desperately wanted to join the fight, but was also under orders not to join unless she was called for. "The Captain knows what he's doing. He knows we're listening on his frequency." The bridge crew looked up and at her several times, waiting for her command to jump to warp and save the Captain.
"Okay Mirra, signal the fleet, we've entered one of the main computer core systems, and we will be attempting to upload the virus now."
"Yes, Markus." Mirra's voice changed tone, "Task Force Omega, Darmoth team is at the objective, proceeding to next task. Will update once the task completed."
"Roger Darmoth team, will await your response once task is completed. You better hurry up, we're getting eaten alive out here." And unknown female voice responded to Mirra's signal.
"We'll try Task Force Omega. Darmoth team out."
"Borg incoming.? Perry said, phaser fire sounded out. ?Keep them out of the room.?
?Dropping a cover shield. That should hold them long enough to upload the virus.? Markus responded. The sound of the shield being deployed came across the speakers.
?Virus is being uploaded, ETA five minutes.? Nasera replied.
?They?re coming in swarms. I've already re-modulate 4 times.? Mirra yelled out.
?Stay together and watch your backs.? Markus said. ?Nasera, keep an eye on the Borg as well. I want to make sure..?
?Such a pitiful attempt to resist becoming one of us.? The soft, seductive voice echoed across the airwaves, ?Your existence is to service us.?
?Of course, your Majesty.? The sarcastic tone from Perry exclaimed. ?How may we service you?? Several more phaser blasts echoed out.
?Your weapons are no match for the Borg.? The Borg Queen spoke.
?That?s what you think. Mirra, re-modulate your rifle.?
?We?ve already adapted to your modulations, you weapons will have no eff..? The phaser blast sounded and there was a shrill scream. ?What have you DONE!?
?Welcome to normality, my Queen.? Perry?s voice sounded like he was grinning, ?Your subjects have revolted against you and your castle has fallen.? More phaser fire exploded from the speakers as several more screams from the Borg Queen continued to leave the speakers.
?You.. How could you!? The Queen screamed out. ?You should have been assimilated!?
?Maybe next time.? Markus replied, ?Easie, lock onto our badges and beam us out.?
?Captain. I?m having difficulties locking onto you. You need to get out of the room before I can beam you out.?
?Kind of hard to do so, with the Queen blocking the entrance.?
?I?ve got some mines we can use to blow a hole in the wall.? Perry reminded Markus.
?Plant them and give us an exit.? Markus commanded. More phaser fire before a shout from Perry was heard over the comm.
?Fire in the hole!?
?Let?s get out of here. Mirra, you first. Nasera, you?re after her. Perry and I will cover the rear.?
?I will never let you escape!? The Queen screamed.
Moon gave a sigh of relief until another boom echoed across the bridge.
?Markus!? Mirra yelled out, ?You...? Her voice cut out
?Mirra, we will go back for them.? Easie replied on the comm. ?But we need to leave, the other teams have planted their charges. Once the damage is done, we?ll search for them.?
?Your plan has failed.? The Queen?s voice spread across all frequencies. ?And now, we will begin to assimilate you and your culture.?
?Shut off the comm. Three, set course for the fleets location..? Moon growled out as she stood up.
?Captain. May I remind you of Captain Darmoth?s request.? A Klingon science officer replied.
The blond engineer whirled around to face the Klingon, ?Markus may be dead or assimilated. Until Commander Mirra is on this ship, I?m in command Shunuro.? Moon turned back towards the rehabilitated Borg drone. ?Three, once the coordinates are set, engage at maximum warp.?
"Coordinate set. Warp drive engaged." And the Ulysses jumped to warp.
To Be Continued...
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