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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 187
# 20
03-05-2013, 03:06 PM
LC39: Drone Alone

Quote:
Captain's Log, Stardate 86893.33. The Lord English is currently exploring a rogue planetoid straddling the border between Gamma Orionis and unexplored space on the suggestion of Admiral M'Sarabi of the USS Pride Rock. Long range sensors detected a foundering Borg probe in its orbit. As Pride Rock's sickbays are already overworked reclaiming Borg drones, Lord English will help pick up the slack, and perhaps net some Borg salvage.
===

In the far reaches of space, the faint green glow of a derelict Borg probe illuminated for the first time in millenia a jet black planetoid making its way through the galaxy. The probe's light was soon joined by a brighter beam, as USS Lord English shone its bow floodlight on the probe. On the bridge of Lord English, Admiral Remus Lee consulted his chief medical officer and former Borg drone, Four of Thirteen.

"Four, what should we be expecting today in terms of resistance?" Lee asked.

Four consulted his wrist imager, a leftover from his days as a drone.

"Borg probe, interceptor variant. Structural integrity at 47%. Borg activity at or near 0%. Life signs indicate one possible survivor, but data is inconclusive at current range. Recommend an away team for closer examination," he replied.
"Admiral," First Officer Kay Taylor interjected. "The Borg probe is in a perilous state. Any away team that goes onto the probe must be kept small, and I cannot recommend that you be on that away team."
"Well, since you won't let me go on a clearly dangerous away mission, who do you think we should send?" Lee inquired.
---

Commander Sabrina Honda would rather not have to remember her time as a Borg drone, yet here she was, exploring a derelict Borg probe with the chief medical officer of the Lord English. It didn't help that Four of Thirteen kept calling her by her Borg designation, Ten of Twenty-Five, nor did it help that he still possessed most of the Borg exoskeleton the Borg assimilated into him. The worst thing about the whole ordeal, though, was that Four of Thirteen was her estranged grandfather, lost at the battle of Wolf 359 without ever seeing the birth of his son. She never could shake off her fear of the Borg, a liability which led to her assimilation at Vega IX. She was lucky to have escaped the Collective with the help of the Borg counter-agent, even if it did cost her her human legs. Now here she was, working with a liberated drone who spent twice as long in the Collective as she spent living.

"Structural integrity of the probe is dropping at a rate of 1% per minute. This probe will be uninhabitable within the half hour," she told Four.
"Ten of Twenty-Five, at the signal, access node 2 of 4 to shunt power from the interplexing beacon to the structural integrity field," Four replied.

As Sabrina and Four began transferring power from the probe's damaged systems, Sabrina wondered how life would have been different had Commander Edmund T. Honda, chief science officer under Admiral J.P. Hanson, stayed by his wife's side in Nagoya instead of meeting his fate at Wolf 359. Having spent forty years of his life as a drone, Four of Thirteen was now completely dependent on his Borg implants, and Sabrina was always afraid that at some point he would revert under Collective control and start assimilating people again.

"Approaching assimilation chamber. Lifesign erratic, species cannot be determined. Ten of Twenty-Five, be ready to provide fire support," Four orders.
"At the ready, commander," Sabrina replied as she drew her weapon. At times like these, she acknowledged that her time in the Collective reinforced her physical and mental constitution. She would no longer cower as she did that fateful day on Vega IX.

As Four brought down the bulkhead to the assimilation chamber, Sabrina leveled her weapon, ready to blast hostiles with a decisive plasma bolt. The assimilation chamber was littered with drone body parts, inert Borg technology, and fading consoles. In the middle, a scintillating puddle of Borg nanoprobes pooled at the bottom of an restraining table. Sabrina checked her tricorder in astonishment; the puddle was the source of the erratic lifesign.

"Commander, what do you make of this? This mass of nanoprobes is the lifesign that we've picked up on sensors," Sabrina exclaimed as she waved her tricorder over the mess of nanoprobes.
"Unknown lifeform or Borg technology emitting lifesigns," Four responded matter-of-factly. "Further investigation is neccessary."
"How do we bring it back to the Lord English? The transporters aren't able to get a lock on... whatever that is," Sabrina reminded Four.

In response, Four wrenched the bottom third of the restraining table off its mount. Sabrina rolled her eyes; her grandfather's legendary indelicacy apparently survived his assimilation. Four contacted the transporter room.

"Chief Moore, arrange for transport of personnel Four of Thirteen with unidentified lifeform and Ten of Twenty-Five to sickbay."
"Aye, commander," Moore replied. "Beaming you back now."

The two drones materialized on the transporter pad in sickbay. The table piece Four was carrying was empty; the nanoprobe puddle was nowhere to be seen.

"Chief, we're missing the lifeform we picked up off of the probe," Sabrina hailed. "Can you check the transport logs?"
"Two personnel and an unidentified lifeform were beamed off the probe," Moore replied. "It looks like the lifeform didn't survive the transport process. I'll check the transport buffer to see if it's there, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. It was a weak signal to begin with, even with Doc there to boost it."

Sabrina felt disappointed at the outcome of the mission. Four felt nothing, as his emotions were lost during his years in the Collective. Four contacted the bridge.

"Four of Thirteen to Admiral Lee. Mission to retrieve unidentified lifeform has failed. Borg probe is no longer of strategic value to the ship. Recommend destruction to prevent recovery by enemy forces."
"Welcome back, Doc," Lee replied over the comm channel. "It's a shame the mission wasn't more productive. Let's frag this hulk and call it a night. Get some rest, you two. It's back to pirate hunting tomorrow."

Lee closed the channel. Sabrina cheered up a little, as she could discern from Admiral Lee's tone that he was relieved that there were no casualties on the mission.

"Looks like our job's done, commander. Good night, grandfather, I'll see you tomorrow," she said as she exited the sickbay.

After putting the table piece on a counter, Four entered his regeneration alcove and began his regeneration cycle.

---

As the swing shift ended, the night shift started. Commander Newa, the Caitian chief technician, entered the bridge and took command. Commander Twimek, the Reman biochemist, entered the sickbay. Bowing ceremonially to Four of Thirteen, who was still in regeneration, he set about treating the first injury of the day, a crewman Griswold suffering from necrotizing facsiitis. None of the commanders noticed the expanding stain flowing from the ceiling of sickbay...

---

As Admiral Lee awoke the next morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic vermin.

Struggling to move his body off his back, he was acutely aware that he was unable to breath. As consciousness began to fade from his flailing body, Sabrina entered his quarters, searching for him. Recognizing the dire situation immediately, Sabrina grabbed the two-meter vermin from the bed and tossed him into the tub, at the same time filling it with water. Life returned to Admiral Lee as he extracted oxygen from the water with his new gills. Having saved Admiral Lee, Sabrina quickly darted off to check on the other crew members.

When she awoke, Commander Sabrina Honda found herself in the middle of a zoo, as overnight, the crew of the Lord English had been transformed into animals. Sabrina discounted Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome almost immediately, as her Borg implants failed to detect any viral contaminants. Sabrina left her room to make it to the bridge.

"Mrrrooooowwwwllll~"

When Sabrina turned the corner as she made her way to the bridge, a blue-haired cat rolled out of First Officer Taylor's room, struggling with what appeared to be myriads of tiny mites. As Sabrina knelt down to assist the cat, the mites jumped from the cat and onto her hand. These were not mites, she realized, but Borg nanoprobes, enlarged to macroscopic sizes and trying to assimilate her hand. She quickly smashed her hand into a wall console, electrocuting the giant nanoprobes. As a token of thanks, the blue-haired cat rubbed up against Sabrina's leg.

"I'm sorry to pull rank, Commander Taylor, but I need you to stay in your room," Sabrina said, as she carried the cat into the room. The cat purred as Sabrina replicated Feline Supplement 47 for her before leaving.

The bridge was a sorry sight, Sabrina thought. The night shift bridge crew had to a person transformed into animals. Commander Newa, transformed into a Caitian pocket mouse, was busy chewing on isomagnetic conduits as the rest of the bridge crew roamed the bridge, smashing a panel here, tearing up a console there. The most unnerving thing to Sabrina, though, was what was displayed on the viewscreen. At some point, somebody had set the Lord English on a course deep into Borg space. With the Borg-enhanced engines of the Lord English, the ship and its crew would be among the Borg in 15 hours.

"This must have something to do with that Borg goo we picked up," Sabrina thought to herself. "There is only one other person who could help me."

---

A cow suffering from necrotizing fasciitis stampeded out the sickbay as Sabrina made her way down the damaged corridor. The entire medical wing of the Lord English was now covered in a shimmering layer of giant Borg nanoprobes, much like a layer of water. The sickbay itself was crawling with nanoprobes, pouring out from the ceiling and cascading onto the floor. A Reman dwarf bat lay on a piece of restraining table floating among the nanoprobes. Sabrina picked up the fitfully sleeping dwarf bat and put it in her pocket before slogging towards Four of Thirteen's regeneration alcove. The former Borg drone was still regenerating, oblivious to the chaos erupting aboard the ship. A quick yank of the power cord by Sabrina brought him out of his regeneration cycle, and the drone raised a gimlet eye at Sabrina.

"Ten of Twenty-Five, the power supply to Borg Alcove 4 of 13 has been disabled. Discover the source of the power lost and rectify immediately," he said.
"Grandfather, I believe we have a greater problem than the loss of power to your alcove," she replied, almost in disbelief.

Four of Thirteen surveyed the infested nanoprobe bog that was once his sickbay.

"Borg nanotechnology has replicated to visible sizes, and is about to take over the ship. Inform the admiral at once, Ten of Twenty-Five," Four ordered.
"Admiral Lee has been turned into a giant sea scorpion, and the rest of the crew is in the same state. Look at Commander Twimek," Sabrina hissed, as she pulled the dwarf bat out of her pocket. "We are the only two people on this ship left unchanged, and I have a suspicion that it has something to do with the Borg technology we brought back from that probe."

Sabrina put the bat back into her pocket as she confronted Four of Thirteen again.

"We are currently traveling towards Borg space," she said as her emotions started to boil over. "I don't know about you, grandfather, but I don't want to be a Borg drone again, so, please, help me find a way to save our ship and our friends!"

Four of Thirteen stood there as Sabrina struggled to keep herself from hitting him. Two tears rolled down her left cheek as she stared at her grandfather with pleading eyes. Finally, Four responded.

"Ten of Twenty-Five, sadness will not bring the ship back under friendly control. Please reconnect the regeneration alcove to the EPS system."

Something in his tone of voice convinced Sabrina that everything was going to be alright. As she reconnected the alcove, Four stuck assimilation tubules into the alcove's nodes. Within seconds, nanoprobes began flowing from Four into the ship's EPS conduits. As the ship's consoles began flashing with Borg script, the giant nanoprobes began convulsing and retreating back into the sickbay. Soon, the ship was clear of giant nanoprobes, and Sabrina felt it coming out of warp. As the last of the nanoprobes crumbled to dust, a small, shimmering brown puddle remained on the sickbay floor. Sabrina quickly sucked it up with a pipette and transferred it to a beaker. The brown puddle began settling, as if finally relaxed.

"The Lord English is no longer travelling towards Borg space," Four said as he removed his assimilation tubules. "Recommend transwarping back to Deep Space 9 to undergo EPS conduit cleaning and to revert ship personnel," he added, falling over.
"Grandfather!" Sabrina cried as she rushed over.
"The ship is out of danger," Four stated as he faded out of consciousness. "Recommend regeneration."

===

Quote:
Personal Log, Sabrina Honda, supplemental. Lord English is back at DS9. Engineering crews are scrubbing the EPS conduits while medical crews are slowly bringing the ship's personnel back from their transmogrification. Apparently, the Borg had stumbled upon a Founder and had attempted to assimilate it, with the result being a nanoprobe which injected Founder DNA into its victims, changing their genetic make-up. Ship and station transporters are currently working overtime to remove the traces of Founder DNA from the ship's crew, but they will not be done for 12 hours. In the meantime, Commander Four of Thirteen is peacefully regenerating in his alcove. I will also take a well-deserved break.
---

Commander Sabrina Honda curled up in her chair with a bowl of Feline Supplement 47. A blue-haired cat jumped into her lap and started eating from the bowl as she started petting its ears.


Literary Challenges Entries- Star Trek Online: Lord English
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Last edited by zidanetribal; 08-09-2013 at 10:44 PM.