Literary Challenge #32 : Into the Hive, Part II
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Join Date: Jun 2012
We're not gonna make it
11-14-2012, 11:55 PM
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..."
Last edited by amurorx0; 11-15-2012 at
. Reason: Spelling errors from 2am writing xD