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Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #25
[ Doctor T'Panu | Mess Hall | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]

T'Panu was starting to feel the effects of lack of sleep. She decided it would be a good idea to leave the Med Bay, take a walk and grab some refreshments.

"Raktajino, black"

T'Panu was beyond exhausted, and wasn't thinking when she ordered her drink. She was curious why she had chosen that one, given what happened last time. She hadn't drank a raktajino since what happened at Wolf 359. It wasn't long before the battle that she ordered her last raktajino, and she swore she would never order one again. Whenever she thought about a raktajino, it brought her back to the battle, and she was able to do that enough on her own without help. She swore the events of what happened last time wouldn't repeat themselves, and here she was, beginning the fight the exact same way.

Maybe this time will be different?, She thought, as she walked back to the Med Bay.

[ Doctor T'Panu | Med Bay | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]

Back in the Med Bay, raktajino in hand, T'Panu grabbed the few things that would be needed for phase 2 of the plan. Phase 2 consisted of taking spinal cord and liver samples from Six for replicating and testing. If they could modify the vaccine far enough to resist the Borg, for even a short time, they would stand a hell of a better chance than they ever have in the past.

T'Panu grabbed a Bio-cylinder and Exoscalpel for the procedure. She also grabbed a Dermal Regenerator for use after the samples were successfully taken to repair the tissue.

While she waited for Six to free up some time to enter her makeshift lab, she thought about what would happen next. For the first time, she felt as though they actually stood a fighting chance, which was a huge surprise. T'Panu was usually far too realistic, thinking the past dictated greatly what would happen in the future. After all the lost battles at the hands of the Borg, she was completely pessimistic until now. What changed? She wasn't sure, but she felt a glimmer of hope that she was planning on keeping close. Some optimism at a time like this was never a bad thing.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #26
[ Lt JG, Salem Martin  | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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Martin was currently biting his lip waiting for the sensor data to get more clear as CPO Ekon did their best to help remove a lot of the static from the sensors. He listened as Six said that the new baring of the hive voice was leading into Federation space. He weighed that option.

The first thing they had to think about was that this ship they were currently on was part of a much larger ship that was being hunted by Federation space. He looked to Six, and then to Matsuda, thinking for a moment about how to address the point. "Sir I would advise against the return to Federation space. The ship we are on has travel log information that would put the Cayuga at risk and mark us  as collaborators. With so many ships, it's unlikely that the Federation didn't receive a warning."

The crew of the ship was a mix of the Cayuga, and the Theurgy,  The Theurgy was his only current link to his sister which put them as essential in his books but not trust worthy.

Martin's consol beeped as Ekon spoke about them not getting any clearer readings, and so he set about trying to identify the cube. He had a pit of fear in his stomach, but he was doing his best not to let it show. He watched the readings unfold, and brought up the scan records of the Cayuga, starting the cross refrences.

The words scrolled across the screen, reflected in wide eyes, reading and seeing what he could about it. He swallowed wanting to feel sick, his body shook for a moment as he looked to the bridge crew after checking the math over. He had to say the two words that everyone aboard the ship was dreading to hear.

"Doesn't match. The remains aren't of the cube the Cayuga encountered, which means there was more than one in the alpha quadrant." That was unnerving. It meant that they could be facing anywhere from two, to thousands of cubes. His best estimate however was that if this was a tactical warship of the borg. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to do his best assassement of the battle damage, the destruction of the cube, and the one they saw previously.

Reasonably he could guess that this was a first wave, a recon operation to see how far the federations defenses have progressed since the battle of sector 001.  He glanced to Six, his eyes caring about her input on all of this. When she was called away to help prepare an inoculation that could help lower their risk of assimilation he looked at her. "Your choice, but it would help ease a lot of the tension if you were to lend some of your spine tissue to help everyone else."

He shook off his thoughts as much as there was a part of him that craved to break down the tactical situation of the borg, he had enough work set out for him. He returned to his scans and started checking for life signs as he was bidden to do. For the most part he was glad that he wasn't getting much. The last thing he wanted to see was a drone up close, but then came a faint signal.

"Sir, there is a human life sign, about five hundred meters from here. the ruble is densley packed so it's a little hard to make out, but my best guess would be an escape pod, a soul survivor of whatever happened here, they may be able to tell us what happened." He tapped his chin, recon was important any information they could glean from this place was important, and first hand witness may be incredibly useful.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #27
[ Annika Van den Berg | Unknown Location | Unknown Date] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @FollowTomorrow @Masorin  @Brutus  @Griff @Fife  @Numen @Multificionado @lisavw @Triton

It was warm spring afternoon in Annika's native Netherlands. The fresh breeze and smell of tulips wafted through the air all around her. She biked along one of the many rural paths that crisscrossed the low lying country. She was biking along with one of her friends, a Betazoid boy that her parents didn't know about. If they had known, they would have been mad and Annika would have been in big trouble. As Annika and her friend continued along the path, laughing and having fun as most children do, Annika could hear a faint metal banging. She asked her friend if he had heard anything. The friend denied hearing anything. Annika recognized that the sound had changed to a metallic scraping. It had been louder than previously. The scraping and banging sounds continued along at random intervals all while becoming louder and louder. The world around her faded to black..

While the world around her was black, Annika saw a faint red glow appear and disappear over and over again. Annika blinked numerous times to try and put some clarity back in her vision. This didn't seem to help as the world was still black, occasionally punctuated by that mysterious red glow.

As she tried to get her vision working properly, she was taken aback by the assault on her sense of smell that had just arrived. The smell of acrid and putrid smoke burned her nostrils with every breath. The smell of the smoke had only been punctuated by the overpowering aroma of iron.

Iron? Why iron? Annika thought to herself before coming to the horrifying conclusion that it was the smell of blood. She tried in vain to look around and see if herself or anyone else around her had been injured. Her vision being blurry and darkened only hindered her efforts. Annika then tried to move, but her body felt fuzzy and heavy; as if it weight one thousand kilograms. The only thing she knew for sure was that the metallic scraping and banging sound was still present.

Annika laid on a hard surface, trying in vain to comprehend the current situation and to make sense of it all. Annika's body became less fuzzy over time and she was able to move her right arm, which she had figured was at least a good start. The fuzzy feeling in her body was slowly being replaced by pain. She hurt all over; and the pain was becoming more and more steady. Annika reached her right hand up to her eyes to try and help clear her vision. As she touched on her forehead she winced in pain just from the slight graze of her fingertips. Her fingers also became wet. She then used the back of her right hand to wipe her eyes; followed by numerous blinks in rapid succession to clear anything that might be in her eyes.

Annika's efforts had not been in vain this time as this helped to clear her vision enough that she could make out each individual finger on her hand. She lowered her hand out of the way and looked around her. She was surprised at what she saw.

There were 3 other people in this room with her wearing Starfleet uniforms. Annika tried to call out to them, however when she opened her mouth to speak, nothing came out. She rooted around on the floor beside her for something to throw. A piece of debris had found her hand, which she had proceeded to pick up and throw at one of the other people with her. Her vision was getting better as her throw had hit its mark perfectly. The person it hit hadn't moved or reacted in any way.

Annika decided she needed to go and get their attention any way possible. She flopped over on to her left side which caused a searing pain to course through her chest. The pain took her breath away for a few moments before subsiding enough for her to breathe a little more normally. She then rolled from her left side into a prone position before trying to crawl. The small woman slowly crawled over to the others on her stomach; as she tried to crawl normally, but found that she didn't have the strength to do that.

As she reached the others, she was horrified at what she found. The other three were severely injured from traumatic injuries and none of them were breathing. Annika noticed that they weren't familiar to her. They were dead and there was nothing she could do about that. She pulled herself up to a sort of sitting position against the wall next to the bodies. Once again the movement caused Annika severe pain througout her body. In one of the body's hands was a medical tricorder. She pulled it from the hand; which easily let go of it, meaning they hadn't been dead for too long. She opened the tricorder to try and scan herself. As she was scanning herself her vision once again became blurry. She tried to wipe her eyes, which didn't work this time.

The young woman was getting sleepy; both wanting to sleep and force herself to stay awake. The metallic sounds of scraping and banging were getting quieter now. The tricorder had slipped out of her hand and crashed against the floor with a somewhat muted sound. The world was getting darker again starting at her peripheral vision. Her pain was being replaced with the warm fuzzy feeling. Annika didn't care; now was the time for sleep..

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #28
[PO1 Lillee t’Jellaieu] |  Bridge of USS Allegiant NX-80978] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Triton, @Gadget, @Fife, @Masorin, @Numen, @Multificionado, @lisavw, @trevorvw

[Show/Hide]

Silently guiding the Allegiant around the farthest extremities of the debris field, Lillee listened to what was being said behind her. The idea of there being two cubes in Federation space was a horrifying concept, but even worse, what if there were more? Ever since Wolf 359, rumours had persisted of vast armadas of Borg cubes in the Delta Quadrant, separated from the Alpha Quadrant powers only by the sheer size of the galaxy itself. But if the Borg had found a shortcut, and if an armada of Borg ships flooded into Federation space, there would be no chance of victory.

They would all die. Or worse, be assimilated for centuries as a captive but conscious drone of the Collective.

Then the human said something else, something about a lifesign. "Five hundred meters is spitting distance," she said, tapping thrusters to swivel the Allegiant around ninety degrees, even as they continued sideways on their previous course. A few taps of the controls activated a holographic overlay on the viewscreen. Another tap zoomed in on the signal in question, which was indeed extremely close, although the Allegiant's velocity meant that the scout ship was now moving away.

"It's a Starfleet escape pod, certainly," she commented, frowning at the magnified image. "They have damage too...all of their thrusters have been stripped away. They have no thrust left."

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #29
[ Lieutenant Masuda Yukimura | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ] Attn: @Gadget @Griff @Fife @Masorin @Numen @Multificionado @lisavw @Triton
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When Izar Bila made his recommendation that they would all be inoculated as soon as possible, Masuda had nodded. A prudent precaution. Before he left, Bila also made a recommendation about which path the Allegiant ought to take. The scientists' reasoning was sound... even though Masuda had something else in mind. For years, he had know this day would come, when he'd face the Borg again. This time, he was not going to be a victim. Going to Federation space, and join those who were to die by their hands, merely to tell them what awaited? No, if the Borg were to invade the Federation, he would not come with an empty warning, a warning already late.

"Duly noted, Junior Lieutenant," he said with his accent, and turned his head to the hybrid from the Cayuga. "Please prepare inoculations for us all, and return here when you are finished. Ensign Six." Having said her name, Masuda turned to her instead, his brown eyes unreadable. "Unless you have any objections, go to Doctor T'Panu and let her take the samples they need. We need the omicron radiation treatment if we were to become assimilated. Dismissed."

Then, Ops and Tactical worked together to learn more about the debris field. This, while t'Jellaieu led them around it at a quarter impulse, allowing for better scans. Martin learned that this cube wasn't the same as the one that had attacked the Cayuga, and Masuda was not surprised. If the Voyager had reported numbers ranging above hundreds of thousands, and they had a way to enter the Alpha Quadrant... Indeed, they had already tried to invade in lesser numbers before. This time... would be different. Unlike the scientist, at least Martin seemed to share his opinion about finding the transwarp conduit instead, or whatever method they used to appear on this side of the Quadrant. If they found it, they could either destroy it, or make sure it could be found by other Federation forces.

Then, Martin detected something. A lifesign?

Masuda got to his feet, straightened his jacket, and stepped forward. In short order, t'Jellaieu had turned the Allegiant ninety degrees and let them drift by inertia. The magnification he was looking at showed what she said, an escape pod. The magnification wasn't good enough to read where it came from, and while they strafed, the magnification was obscured by floating metal pieces and parts of Borg or Federation plating.

"Fire up the navigation lights," he ordered, and once done, the two nav beacons at the fore of the Allegiant cast the distance between the ship and the escape pod in stark brilliance. It made shadows dance across the pod's hull, but still, Masuda could not make out which ship it belonged to. Not that it mattered. He needed to make a decision. "t'Jellaieu. Take us closer at your discretion. Martin, I need to be sure that what you've detected is not a Borg drone. Keep scanning. Eboh, as soon as we can beam this survivor aboard, and Martin can confirm that the life-sign doesn't show more than regular readings, I need you to beam this person aboard. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the sensors."

Returning to his chair, Masuda tapped his combadge. "Bridge to Mariner. We might beam aboard a survivor soon. Suit up and arm yourself, and wait in the transporter room. Eboh will inform you when he energises the transport. Tell T'Panu on the way there... that she might be needed. In that case, the samples from Six will have... to wait..."

Masuda trailed off, narrowing his eyes at the magnification. Was that a shadow too? Had he seen movement there, outside the the escape pod? Or was it just a shadow cast by the nav beacons? Frowning, he had already told both Martin and Eboh to keep their eyes on the sensors. So, if he hadn't imagined it, they might see it too. He did not wish to spook his crew with shadows. The situation was already tense enough as it was. He bit his teeth together, not about to let it get to him.

"Engage," he said quietly to t'Jellaieu, and waited confirmation and transport.

Just to be on the safe side, he used his armrest to divert power to the phaser emitters. Just as a precaution, the tactical officer inside told him, not wishing to approach unprepared.


OOC: There! Seven days of posting in reply begins today. It would be great if @Griff and @Masorin could post early on, since the approach and the confirmation about the life-sign should come before the transport. Here is the page featuring the Allegiant, with deck plans and specs: USS Allegiant. Here are those aboard the Allegiant: [Show/Hide]
Again, this mission is depicted primarily in this thread, but one-on-one threads can of course be made, situated on the Allegiant during the mission. There is now a time-slot between 0800 hrs. and 2200 hrs. for such threads, and the naming convention is: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day XX | XXXX hrs. ] Insert Title. OOC discussions and ideas can be posted in the Plot Discussion thread. Here is also the floor plan of the Allegiant for convenient access: [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #30
[ Annika Van den Berg | Unknown Location | Unknown Date ]

Annika walked along the cobblestone street next to a canal. The cool wind gently moved about without being too cold. A light snow had started to fall, lightly blanketing the ground. Despite it being cool, it was not cold enough to freeze the water in the canal. A boat passed as it took people on a tour of Amsterdam to look at Christmas lights in the city. She had come to Amsterdam to visit her Grandmother. She wasn't sure why she had come to visit her Oma by herself, all she knew that her Dad was in trouble for some reason. Annika reached a small bridge that crossed the canal and started to walk across. She stopped at about the halfway point when she turned and leaned against the railing; her forearms crossed and resting on the top of the railing. She then gently put her chin down on her hands to relax and look straight down the canal. The combination of snow and Christmas lights made it brighter than she would have expected. The light twinkled off of the water as the small waves made by passing boats propagated until they hit the walls of the canal. The young girl had noticed the lights reflecting off the water were bright. Very bright. Bright enough to make her squint a little. Were they getting brighter? Was someone playing a trick on her? The lights kept getting brighter and brighter. Soon the world around her was replaced with white..

Annika slowly opened her eyes, but everything was blurry. There was a bright light on her face, even though she couldn't see where it was coming from, it still hurt her eyes. The light danced over her face; seemingly coming and going at random. Annika felt her head against a hard surface. Her body felt fuzzy, but she could gather she was sitting. The bright light once again lit up her face causing her to squint yet again. Things were less blurry at the moment, but the light made it hard to see. Just as quickly had the light shone; it had disappeared. Annika looked around to gather her bearings. Her vision in the dark environment had been disrupted due to the bright light. However, the light that danced randomly around the room she was in provided enough ambient lighting that could make out her entire surroundings.

As the three dead bodies around her were bathed in light, she had remembered about seeing them before. The three people she didn't know, but they deserved a better fate. Her head hurt but she slowly looked around the room. Where am I? What room is this? she pondered as she looked around her environment. Wait...An escape pod? Annika had the thought when she realized she was in an escape pod. She couldn't help but wonder what had happened that warranted her being in an escape pod. Was the Arizona okay? All the questions made her head hurt. She slowly remembered that there had been metal banging and scraping early, which had thankfully stopped now. It made her feel like this escape pod was going to fall apart. The sounds had been replaced by this bright light that came from an unknown source. Annika noticed that the light had been coming in from a viewport on the opposite side of the pod from where she was. She decided that in order to get over there, she would have to crawl like she did when she checked on the dead crew members. She flopped down on to her right side, hoping it wouldn't cause the pain that falling on to her left side had caused. This hope was in vain as it caused an intense pain to surge through her body. Her lungs burned and she got light headed. She breathed faster and gritted her teeth. She was determined to find out where the light was coming from. Annika slowly made her way across the deck plating and across the debris to the bulkhead immediately below the viewport.

The injured woman reached up and grabbed onto whatever she could. The edge of the viewport had a small ledge. She then grabbed onto it with her fingers and tried to pull herself up to her knees. Her fingers slipped off the ledge, causing her to fall back down but he stopped herself from hitting her chest on the floor again. Once more, she reached up and grabbed onto the ledge, this time she was successful in pulling herself to a kneeling position. She was able to get a look at what was outside. What she saw was even more confusing to her. A nebula? She didn't even recognize the nebula. As she looked out the viewport, she saw the lights coming from a source in the distance. It lighted up dark and irregularly shaped pieces of...pieces of...debris? She couldn't quite make out what kind of debris, but it was there. As the bright lights were blocked by a piece of debris, she could finally see the source of the light. Annika tried to see, but it was too blurry. Annika had to squint quickly in order to determine the source. A runabout? Shuttle? either way, Annika knew it was Starfleet.

Suddenly the bright light shone on her face and temporarily stopped her from seeing anything...

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #31
[ Lt JG, Salem Martin  | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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Salem was manning the sensors trying to keep them from falling apart on him, and the truth was they weren't doing a great job. The sensors were scrambling the pod was in the midst of the radiation field and that meant with each passing second they were starting to loose connection.

For a second the sensor showed two ticks, then only one, then register the one blip as two then go out almost completely and come back for one. Honestly it was hard to tell what the heck he was looking at. Finally he decided he had to simply report what he was seeing. "Confirmation is impossible Sir. The sensor readings are shot, it's impossible for me to tell if the life sign is getting weaker, or if the scanner is getting worse, the truth of the matter is if we don't act now we will loose the target."

He decided not to report the second life sign, he had only seen it as a blip for a second, and then it was gone, it had to be the radiation simply moving the thing he was locked onto from one point to slightly off point, a reflective reading. In the moment it would only have served to confuse the others, but as he looked away from the sensor to speak with the others, there it came again like a distant faint heartbeat, gone without a trace the moment it was picked up, blind to everything but the ships internally logged memory.

There was another slight flux and Martin was about ready to start kicking things to see if that would make them work better. "Sir I can't maintain a lock, we have to transport! Borg or Human it if we don't move now I don't think I can get a lock on it a second time."

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #32
[PO1 Lillee t’Jellaieu] |  Bridge of USS Allegiant NX-80978] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Triton, @Gadget, @Fife, @Masorin, @Numen, @Multificionado, @lisavw, @trevorvw

[Show/Hide]

It was a matter of a mere five-hundred meters, an incredibly tiny distance in astronomical terms, but Lillee was nevertheless cautious with the Allegiant's course. She could've moved the scout ship to the escape pod in an instant, with the surrounding debris being no serious threat given the Allegiant's main deflector and shields, but she nevertheless knew precisely why the Yukimura was being cautious. There was something incredibly unsettling about being in a Borg debris field, surrounded by the remains of nigh-invincible drones. The horrific capacity of the Borg for assimilation and adaption was legendary throughout the galaxy, and even a single drone could not be underestimated.

Thus, keeping the searchlights focused on the drifting escape pod, she set a slow, careful course. A course where they could keep their eyes open and be prepared to run like the wind if the need should arise.

"Engage," Yukimura said quietly to t'Jellaieu, and waited confirmation and transport.

"Aye," Lillee murmured, her voice quiet at the tension on the Bridge. She briefly tapped the Allegiant's impulse engine to give them a small bit of thrust, gradually easing towards the pod. It was illogical to feel concerned, really. Nothing could seriously threaten them in a graveyard. Nevertheless, her skin crawling, Lillee kept a hand poised on the impulse controls. If anything popped up, she'd have the Allegiant dart like a rabbit at the slightest provocation. Given Lieutenant Martin's difficulty maintaing a lock amidst the mess of radiation around them, the survivor would be onboard soon enough, and they could get back to their mission of tracking down a Borg armada.

Yay, Lillee thought sardonically.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #33
[Ensign Six | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @Triton @Numen @lisavw @trevorvw @Fife @Gadget @Griff

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"Unless you have any objections, go to Doctor T'Panu and let her take the samples they need. We need the omicron radiation treatment if we were to become assimilated. Dismissed."

Six nodded and headed for the medbay. She couldn't help but feel disappointed in Izar, with his overt mentions of omicron radiation. She knew about the effects of omicron radiation, and the implants she had were essential to her skills.

However, she didn't have much of a choice. She hoped that they would be careful. But then again, if they were taking samples of her nanoprobes, there wouldn't be a likelihood that Izar and T'Panu would douse her entirely with the radiation, but she had to expect the worst.

She still had mixed feelings about Izar. At least with Ejek, even Izar was half-Cardassian, Six respected Ejek as a superior officer and was sympathetic towards her.

She reached the medbay and entered.

"Ensign Six reporting for sample collections, Doctor T'Panu," she said, looking around.

Just looking at the lab T'Panu set up, she was instantly reminded of her own forensics lab back on the "Stallion." What both labs had in common: Makeshift. Six's lab was still incomplete, so she can understand the look of the place, how it was set up in so short a space of time.

T'Panu herself...Six never had a chance to get a good look at her, and she had the impression that, for a Vulcan, she was a gentle soul, if a tad professional and realistic as Vulcans were.

Six took a seat, wondering if Izar and T'Panu would either zap the samples of nanoprobes from her body, or just her entire body. So lost in thought she was, she was unaware of the new guest on the Allegiant.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #34
[ Doctor T'Panu | Med Bay | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]

T'Panu had been waiting in the lab for Ensign Six to come for the samples. As she waited, she was wondering what else was going on aboard the ship. She noticed a lot of commotion outside and a lot of people passing by the Med Bay. I wonder what's going on?, she thought. I'd better get back to work and prepare for Six's arrival.

Just as she was wrapped up in her work again, Six came into her lab. "Ensign Six reporting for sample collections, Doctor T'Panu."

T'Panu turned around, slightly startled, and noticed the ensign standing there. T'Panu had been so lost in her research again that she had lost track of reality.
Welcome! It's good to officially meet you! I'll be your doctor today. Well, I'm the only current doctor, so I guess I'll have to do!" T'Panu's half Betazoid was coming out as she made an awkward attempt at a joke. I need to get out more, T'Panu thought.

As Six took a seat, T'Panu stood, ready to explain the process. "Thank you for coming to the lab to help us with the samples. It's a makeshift lab, but it has all the necessary resources to make this as painless and easy as possible. The whole process will be simple. I'll take a few samples with my Exoscalpel and extract the tissue cells. From there, I'll collect the samples into separate Bio-cylinders for further testing. We should have our samples back relatively quickly, and should only need a small sample of each. Then I'll use a Dermal Regenerator to repair your skin from the areas that were taken."

T'Panu grabbed the supplies, sterilized the med cart beside where Ensign Six was sitting, and placed them on the cart. "There shouldn't be any pain, but just to cover our bases, I'll be applying an analgesic containing 3% Hydrocortilene to ensure this procedure is painless. If you have any questions about the procedure or something doesn't feel quite right, please feel free to tell me right away so we can postpone the procedure and see what's going on. I don't foresee any complications, but in case there are, please let me know."

Just as T'Panu was about to begin the procedure, Ensign Mariner came to the Med Bay, looking like he was ready for battle. T'Panu looked up at him, "Good day, Ensign! How may I help you?"

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #35
[ CPO Ekon Okotie-Eboh | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ] @Auctor Lucan @Numen  @Griff @lisavw @Triton @Masorin @trevorvw @Multificionado

Ekon heard Lieutenant Martin’s words and spurred himself to action. They had no way of identifying who, or what, they were beaming aboard, and so in transporting the unknown aboard were taking a significant risk. Even with the obvious threat of beaming aboard an unknown entity from the middle of a Borg-ridden debris field, if there was even a chance of it being a Starfleet survivor, they had to try.

”Initiating transport!” Ekon called even as his fingers tapped his console, opening a sensor window in the shields and setting the transporters to action. The dark skinned Chief watched the data readouts carefully as the transporters struggled to perform their task. ”The nebula is interfering with the transport. Re-routing power from auxiliary systems to boost the annular confinement beam.” Ekon gritted his teeth as he worked, and a single bead of sweat meandered it’s way down his face, passing between his brows and along the length of his nose.

”I’ve got them, sir.” Ekon finally reported as he tapped a command on his console and opened a comm channel. ”Bridge to Ensign Mariner. The transport is complete. Whoever or whatever they are, they’re waiting for you in the transporter room.”

The half-El-Aurian let out a slow breath as he closed the channel. For better or worse, their mystery guest was aboard. He only hoped that they wouldn’t come to regret the hasty action.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #36
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila| Science Lab| USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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Att.: @Multificionado  @lisavw 



When Ensign Six entered in the lab, Bila was preparing  modified nanoprobes injections for the crew. Well, for all the ship's complement barring the ex-drone. The probes' cultures grew at a stable rate and probably they would have a second batch before the effect of the neural suppressant in their bloodstream ended with the microscopic machines. The chemist took notes in his padd about the ratio of replication of the vaccine and the precise dose for each of the crew of the starship, according to what he had corroborated with the Voyager data and the knowledge of Doctor T'Panu. The Prophets were witnesses that the hybrid scientist was a fierce lover of detailed reporting and, given his luck in recent times, he didn't want to risk storing the data of his research exclusively in his brain. The last thing they needed was that something hit him in the head again and lose his memory, leaving the entire crew of the vessel at the mercy of the Borg. When he finished typing the data he put the tablet aside and began to manipulate the injections.


Bila verified that the vials filled with the precious argentine fluid were perfectly adjusted in the hypospray canister. A faint smile etched in his face looking at the shiny liquid. That little ampoule contained their first line of defense against assimilation, the only hope to preserve their individualities. He looked sideways to his left, where the ORE rested half assembled against the wall plates. The machine had a disastrous appearance, all of it cables in sight and temporary chips scattered around. But at least Okotie-Eboh had managed to get the small mass of matter and antimatter to produce a quantity of omichrom radiation that could theoretically cure an advanced infection. He just had to get it to produce enough radiation to actually make it. Or not as much as to burn the patient to a cinder.


While listening on his back how T'Panu enthusiastically related the procedure of sample extraction, Bila calibrated the hypospray to the requirements of his organism and placed the device a few centimeters to the line of scales of his neck, directly in the jugular. A hiss and a itchy sensation later, the vaccine ran through his body, protecting him. Momentarily, at least. He turned on his heel and advanced to meet the doctor. "If you allow me a moment," he said apologetically, touching the shoulder of the half-vulcan as he made the appropriate adjustments. "I'll just distract you for a second." Right after, he applied the dose in the neck of the vulcan with a reassuring smile shining beneath his beard. He said goodbye to the two women with a slight nod and left the lab on his way to the bridge.


As the door closed behind him, Bila heard a clinking sound. The hypospray clattered in his trembling hands. Was it fear, an interaction of the nanoprobes with the medication he was taking or...? He didn't know and, for now, he didn't want to know either. He squeezed the medical instruments with strength in his hands and he wriggled his face into his best smirk. Everything was going well. Everything was going perfectly ok. According to the plan.






[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
Att.: @Auctor Lucan @Griff  @Masorin  @Fife @Triton 


When the half-cardassian reached the bridge he could see how the tension had grown since the last time he was there. On the main screen was the trajectory of the Allegiant among the dense remnants of the battle. The entire bridge crew seemed to be leaning over their consoles, concentrating on their tasks, until finally the CPO pronounced the phrase that put a little light on the situation "I've got them, sir. Bridge to Ensign Mariner. The transport is complete. Whoever or whatever they are, they're waiting for you in the transporter room."


Survivors, they had found survivors among the remains. Quickly Izar began the mental calculations on that new dose that he was going to need. He could stretch the hyposprays he had in his hands to cover a new crewman at the cost of that last dose lasted less time but ... it couldn't heal an assimilated one. Not yet, he needed to do tests, calibrations, adjustments ... It was too early, he needed more time.


Lieutenant Yukimura's stare took him out of the anxiety attack in which he was fallen into. "Ca-Captain, if I may, I have the vaccines for the bridge personnel. I can inoculate all of you in the blink of an eye, I wont take much of your time," he stuttered as he approached the chair that occupied the center of the room, his fists clenched tightly on the medical cylinders. The commander officer was the least busy at that time so he was the best option to start immunizing the bridge, therefore he supported the hypospray on his jugular while adjusting the shot parameters to Yukimura specifications. Barely thirty seconds later, the Captain was immunized. "Who wants to be next?" He asked loudly.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #37
ENS James "Jimmy" Mariner | USS Theurgy | Docking Lounge on the Stallion > USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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Attn:

@Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow@Masorin @Gadget @Brutus @Griff @Fife @Masorin @Numen @Multificionado @lisavw

"Bridge to Mariner. We might beam aboard a survivor soon. Suit up and arm yourself, and wait in the transporter room. Eboh will inform you when he energises the transport. Tell T'Panu on the way there... that she might be needed. In that case, the samples from Six will have... to wait..."

Jimmy’s heart somewhat staggered in his chest at the prospect of a survivor as the Australian smiled. He abruptly quit what must’ve been his thousandth push-up (he'd lost count as time went by, particularly when he was nervous) and at once made preparations to get into his hardsuit. “Thank you.” Jimmy responded with the same vigor as giving Sharky a rib-eye steak. After a bit of spiritual respect by tapping an overhead bulkhead in a modicum of superstition, Jimmy wasted no time in getting into his third security-exo suit for the third time this week. It was starting to grow on him; if only it could, ‘on-the-tap’ access to armor would have been ‘awesome’ as he often blurted out.

Once he’d seen his intended rescue from the bridge’s monitors, the armor-clad Ensign sighed in relief. It could’ve been him in one of those escape pods if it Resolve were called out here to get obliterated. Fate and destiny were at play as Jimmy continued to shift his gaze from speaker to speaker. It was not unnoticed that his Klingon yan scimitar had a new handle, which was more akin to an old Scottish basket-hilt, but with a black padding instead of a traditional red one; blood camouflage or not, Black was a good tone to befit the gravity of their situation. Jimmy was determined to keep that weapon within arm's reach at all times.

Jimmy also had a private link to the runabout’s security feed, so he could keep his awareness of Ensign Six. It was a stinging reminder of the Card-joran’s prior recommendation to inoculate themselves with nanoprobes. Jimmy would rather lay with a Breen Female than let something even colder have its way with him. But he didn’t have room for blunt words here while there was work to do involving a rescue. Once… Six was a reasonably safe distance from the Doctor. Jimmy hated the traits he and Leon had to learn while allies of the Romulans: Even if they meant well during the mission at hand, there was an unspoken suspicion in the room.

Despite his seemingly ever-pleasant or stoic demeanor, Jimmy knew not to underestimate the ex Borg’s powers and profession of observation, so he changed to a more Vulcan flavor of his usual nature as he got T’panu’s attention. Oh darn. Jimmy at once spotted the black irises of the Betazoid and ‘behaved himself’ in his mind. He now wondered if his internal joke about lying with a Breen female instead of getting inoculated was indeed kept to himself now. So he instead hid that thought with an id-driven passive notion of the woman’s beautiful facial features and overheard the melodic lilt to her voice as she spoke to Six. Without looking at it, Jimmy clicked off the feed to his padd that was specifically monitoring Six.

"Good day, Ensign! How may I help you?"

<Oh, My. G’day to you too, beauti—> Jimmy caught his Australian-accented internal monologue with his characteristic use of slang dialect. She was not Meony, but Jimmy still at least privately had a soft spot for pretty faces. One less distraction if he ever did get married… and he wanted to. But not today.

“What’s up, Doc.” Jimmy greeted the Vulcan and gave her the semblance of her peoples’ nod when he had her attention after knocking on the bay’s inner doorway on his way to the transporter bay. He gave a light smile and nod to Six, but made it clear he was in a hurry and on assignment. “Skipper requests us at the Transporter bay. We picked up a survivor, let’s hope it’s not a drone. If it is, let's bring a vaccine or two. Let’s be professionals, ey?” When on the move and out of eyesight of Six, Jimmy procured a small phase pistol and offered it to the science officer to put in with her gear, the armor-clad Australian having his own immaculately-prepared sidearm ready to subdue or vaporize any potential Borg who could be hitching a ride.

Jimmy wasn’t one to initiate small talk yet and tried to forget the image of an armed tactical or assimilation unit he was willing to greet. If it was a Queen or the remnants of one, Jimmy was just about prepared to turn the room into ashes, and himself in it if it meant containing an outbreak. The thought vanished as Jimmy focused on his training, in case the telepathic Vulcan needed an example to follow in the situation at hand. “Normally, I’d be the first to volunteer for a risky experiment, but about that inoculation, let’s assume they’re not needed til the last minute, so how’s about I keep my injection on my person and apply it if needed.”  Despite being friends with Vivian and Ejek, Jimmy didn’t believe in birth-control hyposprays or anything that could risk the Mariner legacy, and this was no exception. If it was necessary or an order though, Jimmy wouldn’t hesitate to give himself a hypo of the vaccine he was issued and he kept in an armored pocket of his suit. But it was still too early to activate. A hail broke him out of his nervous anticipation.

"Bridge to Ensign Mariner. The transport is complete. Whoever or whatever they are, they're waiting for you in the transporter room."

“Affirmative, Chief.” Jimmy replied, before adding on the subject of greeting whoever was inside, he added, “And… for the record? My drone name should be ‘Robo-Cop of Borg.’ That is, in case I don’t… well,….” With a sigh, Jimmy concluded almost at once before opening the door. “Rolling out the welcome carpet.” Jimmy kept his combadge open and his hands behind his back, Phaser in hand.

The doors opened, and Jimmy spotted their guest. A human female in a red-collared uniform. Jimmy raised a hand before T’panu could pass at first, as he raised his tricorder and scanned, still keeping his armed hand back as a precaution. “Human female. No visible signs or readings of assimilation. She needs medical attention." Jimmy knelt a meter or so away, treating their guest with the same care and caution as any given Australian serpentine whilst trying to make eye contact. Despite that, he noticed the young woman’s features but couldn’t identify her rank or way to identify her unless she spoke. Tricorder in hand and distance maintained, Jimmy nodded at T’panu to enter. “Can you hear me? You have just been rescued by the Federation Runabout Allegiant I’m Ensign Jimmy Mariner. Are you allright?” Jimmy asked slowly but deliberately. “You were attacked by the Borg. Your Escape pod was adrift, and you are the only survivor. Are you allright?” He continued, letting the transmission record to the Bridge.
Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy
"Showtime!"

Lieutenant (J.G.) Alessia "Angel" Garcia
Valravn Fighter Pilot, USS Theurgy
"You're not the only one with a gun,"

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #38
[ Annika Van den Berg & Lt. T’Panu | USS Allegiant ] Joint post with @lisavw

Attn: @Fife @Auctor Lucan @Triton @Masorin @Numen @Griff @Multificionado

Annika was still being blinded intermittently by the lights coming in through the viewport. She squinted as she tried to adjust her eyes in order to be able to see. Her head was hurting badly, however she wasn’t sure if it was due to the bright lights and squinting or if it was due to her injury. It didn’t matter to her either way as she wanted the pain to stop. She closed her eyes to try and ease the pain she was in. Just moments after closing her eyes, she felt the familiar tingle of a transporter beam deconstructing her - molecule by molecule.

As Annika rematerialized on a transporter pad, she glanced around the room as her eyes adjusted to what seemed like normal lighting. She was alone in the small transporter room until the door opened and saw what looked like a security officer suited up for a battle.

What is going on… Annika wondered as the the security officer held up a hand to prevent someone behind him from entering the room. The security officer advanced to about one metre away and went down to a knee before he spoke; over the comm.

”Human female. No visible signs or readings of assimilation. She needs medical attention.”

Assimilation? What the fuck? The Borg haven’t been around here for a long time

The security officer then nodded at someone to enter and a Vulcan walked into the room; presumably a physician. Annika shuddered at the thought of a Vulcan treating her. Her xenophobia had lessened in the time she had been aboard the Arizona but still gave her pause whenever she had to deal with a non-human.

"Can you hear me? You have just been rescued by the Federation Runabout Allegiant. I'm Ensign Jimmy Mariner. Are you alright? You were attacked by the Borg. Your Escape pod was adrift, and you are the only survivor. Are you alright?” The security officer said in an Australian accent and slowly enough to allow Annika’s confused and injured brain time to process what he had said.

Is this guy high? The Borg? Arizona destroyed?

”I ha..have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m Ensign Annika Van den Berg of the USS Arizona. You mentioned the B..Borg? I don’t remember anything about that. Is the Arizona okay?” Annika asked while trying to fully comprehend the situation of what had just happened; let alone a Borg attack.

The security officer stayed pretty silent but allowed the Vulcan doctor to come over to Annika and assess her. The Vulcan crouched down in front of Annika and opened her tricorder before speaking.

”Hello, I’m Lieutenant T’Panu, and I’m the doctor aboard this ship. You can call me T’Panu. I understand you’ve been through quite a bit, so I’m going to assess you quickly before we move you to the Med Bay, if that’s okay with you.” Annika nodded as the doctor began her assessment. As T’Panu scanned Annika, she noted she was heavily covered in contusions, abrasions, lacerations and blood. She wondered what she had gone through already, and how bad she would be both physically and mentally.

After T’Panu and Annika made their way to the Med Bay, T’Panu grabbed a dose of Morphenolog and administered 5cc’s of fluid.

”This will help ease the pain. I gave you a heavy dose to help ease the pain. Do you have any other symptoms? Headache, nausea, pain anywhere else?”

”My head hurts a lot and my left chest. What happened?”

"There will be time later for that"

T’Panu noted a head injury, fractured left ribs, pneumothorax on the left side and a torn right ACL. She documented the vitals to be: blood pressure 182/117, pulse 61, SPO2 86%, temp 35.8C. Left pupil reactive to light at 3mm, while the right pupil was sluggish and 2mm. Slight Intracranial Pressure (ICP), with vitals confirming. T’Panu was concerned with the increasing pressure in Annika’s head and decided to start treatment with drugs, rather than anything invasive. She administered 28.75 grams of Mannitol. She watched as Annika’s O2 sats went from 86% with difficulty breathing to a nice 95%, with respirations deep and regular. The Mannitol had kicked in at this point, leaving her bp at 143/98 and her pulse at 82. T’Panu used a protoplaser to remove the excess air within Annika’s pleural space. This made Annika’s breathing much easier.

Much more stable, T’Panu thought.

T’Panu confirmed there was no flail rib segment. They were fractured on the fourth and fifth rib in one place each. It was a hairline fracture and would be easier for recovery. The torn ACL she repaired as best as she could with a dermal regenerator. T’Panu then moved her Dermal Regenerator to fix the ACL, damaged lung, superficially damaged tissue and cleaned up the blood. She then used the bone-knitting laser to repair the rib fractures.

”Almost good as new. I recommend you stay still and catch up on rest. You’re going to need your strength to help you recover. I’m sure you’ve been through a lot, so I’ll administer one more dose of Morphenolog to help you sleep and check on you in a little while.”

”Please Doc, tell me what happened” Annika pleaded with the Vulcan doctor, all while the Morphenolog was taking action and she was feeling sleepy.

”There will be time for that later. Rest” came the curt reply from the physician.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #39
[Ensign Six | Medbay | USS Allegiant NX-80978] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @Triton @Numen @lisavw @Gadget @Griff @Fife @trevorvw
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Six was barely ready to begin when Mariner had entered. His request that T'Panu join him at the transporter room raised her interest. Izar was gone, already having tested his vaccination on himself and T'Panu, and left. Six was still somewhat concerned; the vaccination may block nanoprobes from assimilation, but she was concerned that it would destabilize her own implants, and it would only be fatal. She'd lose her skills, or worse, she could lose her life.

She was a little puzzled at T'Panu's...joke. She never realized Vulcans made jokes. Then she remembered from T'Panu's records: She's half Betazoid. She wondered if she can detect in her mind her concerns, her worries, her insecurities, and if she can hear the whispers of the Collective in Six's head.

Curious, she followed T'Panu and watched from a distance as she and Mariner brought up their new guest, an apparent survivor. Looking at her, she can see the survivor, who introduced herself as Annika Van den Berg, was in critical condition. What interested her was her level of confusion. No memories of the Borg, and it was perfectly to Six obvious that the Starship Arizona was among the ships forced to ram the Tactical Cube that Okotie-Eboh mentioned. Could attribute to memory loss, close enough to amnesia, or maybe it could be. As they say on Earth, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

What got her attention to the survivor most was her first name: Annika. That was also the name of Seven of Nine, her name before assimilation: Annika Hansen. But then, thinking about it made her miss Seven just as much as she missed Hi'Jak.

As she followed T'Panu back to the medbay, she wondered why Izar would just opt for omicron radiation rather than utilize what Voyager's EMH had discovered. After all, she had a great respect to Doc, as that EMH was commonly nicknamed, being raised on Voyager. As she waited for T'Panu to finish treatment of Van den Berg, Six pulled up Doc's notes copied in her implants, the more “modern” notations. She eventually set the notations aside and shrugged. Every specialist has his or her own methods; whatever Izar decided to work with, hopefully it will protect the crew of the Allegiant, but she was still concerned that his vaccination would kill her, and she intended to voice thus to T’Panu before Six’s surgery began.

Eventually, Six could see that T'Panu was wrapping up and she began to approach, ready for T'Panu's treatment.

She barely took a couple of steps forward when she stopped, so suddenly, it was like somebody pierced her with an ice-cold dart.

The whispers...she's hearing them again. And they were much louder than usual; The anlage in her mind enflamed. So loudly...it could only mean...

Six widened her eyes in horror.

They are coming.

She ran in a panic to the bridge and the voice she shouted her warning with brought with her the ultimate panic: "Everybody! We have to get out of here fast! We're about to have company!"

Then, quickly continuing on, forestalling the question, she continued to shout in ultimate panic, "The Borg! They're sending a couple of cubes our way!"

She gasped as she heard the Collective in her mind again, growing louder...and louder...and the rate it's going is much faster...

Six gritted her teeth in horror. "We have to get going now! I estimate they'll be here in twenty seconds, maybe half a sucking minute! They're almost here! They are coming!"


OOC: Post request by the boss.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #40
[ Lieutenant Masuda Yukimura | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ] Attn: @Gadget @Griff @Fife @Masorin @Numen @Multificionado @lisavw @Triton
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The approach took its time because of the debris, but in the end, they had a solid enough transporter lock. Mariner was summoned, bringing T'Panu to the transporter room. Masuda did not laugh at Mariner's jokes, but he made no comment either, thinking it was a defence mechanism of the Ensign to make light of the situation. At this point, officer Bila entered with a hypospray, announcing that it was time for the inoculation.

"Proceed," said Masuda, his mind on the situation at hand. He leaned his head sideways to accommodate the Cardassian-Bajoran hybrid, and with his armrest, he patched Mariner's helmet feed to the centre of the bridge's viewscreen, and they saw the survivor on the pad. Hearing her speak, he frowned, since the Arizona was a ship that hadn't been mentioned by Eboh when they scanned the debris. When it was safe to assume that the woman would make it, seeing through Mariner's helmet how she was led out of the transporter room by T'Panu, Masuda rubbed his neck. The muzzle of the hypospray had been cold on his skin. He let Bila handle the inoculations around the bridge when he dealt his new orders, shutting off the feed from the exosuit.

"Please find out if the USS Arizona is out there as well," he asked of Eboh, and then turned his head a bit in Salem's direction. "Martin, could you try and gauge the remnant energy readings and determine when this battle took place? t'Jellaieu, hold this position as best as you might to maintain sensor coverage, merely adjusting to moving debris."

Masuda didn't admit to himself that the situation was getting to him, almost feeling like someone was watching them. He preoccupied his thoughts with what questions he'd ask the survivor once T'Panu said it was okay to speak with her. Nonetheless, staring out at the tumbling parts of starships and the destroyed cube alike, Masuda wondered what had compelled so many Commanding Officers to sacrifice their ships in a last, valiant yet reckless attempt to destroy the Borg cube. Were their ships overrun by Borg, a complete crew assimilation pending? Still, why had so few made tactical retreats?

"Scan for distress signals, Eboh, old or actively emitted from beacons. Perhaps transmissions like that will tell us more," he murmured, his frown deepening. The feeling presided, and he narrowed his eyes at the distant escape pod. The light of the Allegiant's nav beacons cast shadows across it, catching tumbling debris, large and small. Then, his eyes widened. Wáng bā dàn...

One of the shadows remained still, even if the light shone right at it. "Magnif-"

"Everybody! We have to get out of here fast! We're about to have company!" shouted Six, and Masuda looked away, the distress of the former drone plain in her voice. In horror, she announced that the Borg were almost there, with mere seconds to spare for a tactical retreat. Masuda looked back towards the escape pod, but it had spun a quarter of a turn, and whatever it was he'd seen, it wasn't there any more. Regardless, it was a hide or flee situation, and they were too deep inside the debris field for a hasty escape. Perhaps they might overclock the deflector to clear a path? No time for the calibration. They had no choice.

"Helm, take us as deep as you can into the debris field, immediately!" he called, biting his teeth together. "Now!"

If they didn't pose a threat, they might render themselves beneath the notice of the Borg. This, the Voyager reports had mentioned many times, and Masuda had to put his trust in Janeway and her crew's accounts from the Delta Quadrant. When the Allegiant began to move, it sped past the escape pod... and that's when he saw it.

He met its eyes through the viewscreen of the scoutship, just as they moved past the pod. It stood on its hull, as if its feet had mag-lock boots, but it was plain that it just wore a tattered Starfleet uniform. A newly assimilated drone, watching them as they whisked by, it's eyes black as coal, and its long hair floating around its head in zero gravity. The former officer's gaze was a kick in the teeth, standing there with its body partially transformed. He even thought, for a moment, that he recognised her. And just like that...

...the Allegiant had passed the escape pod by, going deeper into the debris field.

Two Borg cubes dropped out of warp behind them, making the light inside the debris field dim with their colossal mass. They remained outside, impassive, but with his heart drumming in his chest, Masuda expected the dreaded words to blast through their intercom. He expected them any moment, hearing them announce their fate...

...yet the silence lingered, only the engines of the Allegiant heard.

Yet behind them, the drone never looked away - her stare something Masuda would never forget.


OOC: Post made in accordance with the poll! Seven days of posting in reply begins today. This next post will be your last one in this thread, the Epilogue ending. Please don't let more than a minute last in your post, and leave it open-ended as to if they will survive. Once you all have posted, I will make one last post before locking the Epilogue.

Here is the page featuring the Allegiant, with deck plans and specs: USS Allegiant. Here are those aboard the Allegiant:
[Show/Hide]
Again, this mission is depicted primarily in this thread, but one-on-one threads can of course be made, situated on the Allegiant during the mission. There is still a time-slot between 0800 hrs. and 2200 hrs. for such threads, and the naming convention is: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day XX | XXXX hrs. ] Insert Title. OOC discussions and ideas can be posted in the Plot Discussion thread. Here is also the floor plan of the Allegiant for convenient access: [Show/Hide]

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #41
[Ensign Six | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @Numen @Triton @lisavw @Gadget @Griff @Fife @trevorvw
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Six saw it, too, as the Allegiant passed by.

Six could see the logic in Masuda's move at once. It made sense; she shared the hope that the Allegiant would be beneath the notice of the Borg cubes. Otherwise, she hoped the radiation in the debris field would hide them from sensors. As she watched the viewscreen, like the reader of a holo-novel rooted in the spot from a very compelling twist, sharing Masuda's line of sight...she saw it.

It looked so subtle, like a trick of the light, but she saw it. Masuda could see it, too, so it was no figment of her imagination; in fact, Masuda could've seen it first.

It was a Borg drone. Newly assimilated and staring at the Allegiant like she was staring into the souls of everybody on the bridge, Six and Masuda included. The fact that she stood outside the escape pod where they found their new guest, like she had magnetic boots, and was still alive without a spacesuit, was proof enough that she was assimilated. And that stare she made...that stare sent chills down Six's spine; she had seen that expression before: it was the same expression on the face of the drone Six feared to become.

Even as the Allegiant passed by, she never forgot what she looked like, as her implants also helped her have total recall, and the expression she made, that that only sent worse chills down her spine.

She cannot help but feel a new sensation, that sort of sensation that someone was watching her, but in this case, she knew what it was: she was feeling the drone staring at the Allegiant as they went. That fact made her shiver with fear.

The cubes were out of warp. Six didn't need sensor readings nor the shadows looming behind the Allegiant to tell that; being so close to the hive mind brought the full cacophony of the millions of voices in her head. She began thinking to herself some a thought that didn't seem like her. She felt she was missing something, that she could easily be a part of something greater, something greater than just herself.

She was having a premonition of the greatness of the Collective, how extraordinary it would be to be a part of it. She could cast aside her individuality, let her identity, her memories, her inner being become one with the Borg...

So close...and yet so far...

The temptation was so strong. So compelling. Where the Collective instilled terror in the hearts of many, to Six, the call of the Collective became more than a beacon and a course; it was a siren call. And in her mind's eye, she began seeing her own personal shoulder devil, her own personal siren beckoning to her, gesturing to come into the embrace of the collective, almost a seductive gesture...

...and the siren beckoning Six to come, beautiful as she was...it was...herself.
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It was the drone that Six had feared to become. The drone who wore nothing but armored plating on her chest, cables jutting from her bare skin, from her bare shoulders to her bare back and hips, the tubules from her hands looking like spiders...

The moment Six got a good look at her, and recognized her at once, she instantly felt a surge of revulsion. What was she thinking? She didn't want to join the Collective! She didn't want to become the monster beckoning to her!

"It is not too late to become one with the Borg," said the drone. "You can be a part of something extraordinary. Join us. Merge your technological distinctiveness to our own. Join us in our quest to seek out biological and technological distinctiveness to achieve perfection."

Six forced herself back into reality, blinking like she had come out of a trance. She was surprised at how easy it was; she had found that the revulsion towards the drone that could potentially be herself acted as an antidote to the Collective's siren call. So revolted by the drone's appearance that Six was, her eye, her normal eye, twitched involuntarily.

She shrugged it off, but that feeling of anxiety never left her; in fact, she felt more anxious than the rest of the crew. The call of the Collective was so tempting...so alluring...but the very thought of the monster that looked like her deflected that temptation, and it kept her focused.

That feeling aside, she wondered if there was still a chance the Allegiant could pick up the warp signature they detected, one showing the point of origin of the Borg vessels. It seemed more important than following the Borg into Federation space; they'd discover where the Borg is coming from, what their shortcut into the Alpha Quadrant was, determine the coordinates of the shortcut, and figure out a way to shut it down. It would also relieve her of a great burden; the more she allowed the voices of the Collective in her head, the more the Collective's siren call would seduce her.

Of course, following the Borg to Federation space to determine what they're up to would probably override that possibility, especially in the minds of some, and Six trusted in her superior's judgement just as Seven of Nine did on Voyager.

What the next course of action depended on what the acting captain decided. Whether they continued deeper into the nebula or toward Federation space, Six knew she had to work on resisting the Collective's siren call. It was more powerful than she realized, and it would potentially not only be her undoing, but of the crew she was assigned to guide.

In the meantime, she continued to pray that the cubes would not detect them, shivering in anxiety as the Allegiant moved even deeper into the debris field, her blood curdling both at the thought of the monster she feared to become.

She was still afraid the Collective could hear her, could follow them as she was following their call, but something told her that the Collective wouldn't care even if they detected her; there could be a number of drones in the debris field, recently assimilated or not.

All the same, she cannot shake the uneasy feeling. She could still feel the gaze of the drone on the escape pod, like she was staring into the souls of the Allegiant.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #42
[PO1 Lillee t’Jellaieu] |  Bridge of USS Allegiant NX-80978] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Triton, @Gadget, @Fife, @Masorin, @Numen, @Multificionado, @lisavw, @trevorvw

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Having little to do but hold position, Lillee simply waited as the others did their work. That familiar hair-raising tension remained, as if the Allegiant was horribly naked on the outer periphery of the debris field, exposed and vulnerable, but it was an illogical feeling. There was nothing out there except corpses.

To distract herself, after the Cardassian scientist inoculated Yukimura, Lillee half turned around. "I would be next, sir, if you please," she asked with quiet politeness, and soon enough, Lillee too had been inoculated. She didn't entirely like being injected with a substance that she hadn't verified, but under the circumstances, she decided that it was better to trust T'Panu's skill. A minor violation of bodily sanctity was a small price to pay to avoid the horrors of assimilation. Lillee had had a particularly vivid nightmare the previous evening of her as a Borg drone assimilating her own children, and she had no intention of risking such an eventuality.

Time passed. The survivor was rescued while the debris was analysed, but while Lillee paid close attention, she didn't expend her own concentration on such matters. Instead she absent-mindedly mapped the debris field, eyeing potential courses through the debris if the need should arise, but otherwise keeping her mind free and relaxed.

Thus, when Yukimura gave the order, Lillee was able to react with lightning speed, flinging the Allegiant on a reckless course right into the debris field, twisting around the huge chunks of debris sometimes with mere meters to spare. Flying too fast to think, Lillee threaded the bulky scout ship through the debris, aiming at her target: the immense wreck of what had once been a gleaming Sovereign-class starship, the pride of Starfleet. The wreck was devastated now; much of the saucer had been broken off, one of the nacelles was gone, while the ship had been gutted by fire from stem to stern. The once silver hull plating had been charred black, while great scars ripped into the dead ship's hull.

It was perfect.

"Recommend we hide on the wreck of the Ark Royal," Lillee announced as she flew the Allegiant through the increasingly dense debris field, skimming the Allegiant around the obstacles with flamboyant grace towards the relative sanctuary of the former Sovereign-class starship. Then she caught a sideways glance at the aft sensors, and Lillee gasped in mixed horror and astonishment. "Oh by the Elements, two of them!"

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #43
[ Doctor T'Panu | Med Bay | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]

T'Panu had little to do, but wait. Wait for Annika's tattered body to heal. Wait for when she felt alert enough to speak about the horrors she had been through. She couldn't even imagine the things she had seen, left alone in the escape pod for so long. She couldn't imagine how she had felt; completely alone, helpless, knowing everyone would have thought she was dead.

T'Panu already had a lot of respect for Annika. She felt a connection to her given her struggle and her will to survive. It brought T'Panu back to Wolf 359, when she and so many others were fighting for their lives. She thought of the horrors she had seen, the power of the Borg to assimilate, the will of both sides of the conflict to survive. Except the Borg had a different will, and it was solely advancement at any cost to other life. No cost is too great for the Borg.

She felt the calm sway of the ship as they advanced further into the debris field. She knew of the imminent danger, but she felt calm. Was it her past coming back to haunt her that she was so calm? Was she crippled by fear again? Or was it the immunization's they had created that was creating a false sense of hope? T'Panu didn't know which it was; she didn't know if she was ready for this upcoming battle, but she knew they stood a fighting chance.

T'Panu braced for what was to come as best as she could, not fully knowing what that was. She had nothing to do but wait, and wait some more. Her next course of action was to get Annika better, and fast, so they could learn more about what she had faced and hopefully have another person fighting with them. She retook Annika's vitals, gave her a dose of Hydrocortilene for the pain, and waited.

"Rest and heal, Annika. We have quite the battle ahead of us and you'll need your strength, we all will." T'Panu stated. Both to Annika, and the rest of the crew; albeit likely no one heard her, she realized she was saying it to herself as well. T'Panu was starting to feel a sense of dread and fear, and was determined to stave the worry away so she had her confidence back. Sooner, rather than later. All that was left to do now, was wait.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #44
ENS James "Jimmy" Mariner | USS Theurgy | Keeping his Cool | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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Attn:

@Auctor Lucan @FollowTomorrow@Masorin @Gadget @Brutus @Griff @Fife @Masorin @Numen @Multificionado @lisavw

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If time had a tendency to instil sharp musical notes, it was right at the sight of that ghostly figure. It would have been one of those sharp 'Boo!' spikes.


After a moment, despite the intensity and sudden shock of the moment, Jimmy had managed to make eye contact and greeted reactively back with the Vulcan salute as he waved at her, wearing a dumbfounded expression of genuine shock in his wake of seeing the Vulcan-Borg Starfleet female adrift atop the escape pod. This was not a good omen-- as he feared, their hitchhiker could be a Trojan Horse. Bloody Hell. But at least he said hello to the woman, the symbol could have been returned in kind. Or the concept of humor would live on thanks to his small contribution.

After what seemed like an eternity after that slim silence, he remarked, "That was weird." the young Australian reacted shortly before the shuttlecraft engaged evasive maneuvers and blurted something less civilized for the universal translator to properly translate as he regained his footing and activating his exo-suit's helmet. "Doc. I'd like a word with you, m'um... specifically of the, err.. 'Plomek Soup' or 'Caesar Salad' kind." Jimmy whistled a note at T'panu as his suit's padd pulled up the last 15 seconds or so of footage of the ghostly Vulcan cyborg their ship passed. He hoped his sign language toward the Vulcan-Betazoid hybrid was clear enough, making the 'cut' gesture with the Vulcan salute, indicating 'we're buggered if you don't check this out.'  Jimmy showed T'panu footage of the Vulcan-Borg. "Sense any logical reccomendations for breakfast?" Jimmy was in essence asking her permission to use the vaccine on himself.

Despite his hesitation, he was grateful for the innoculation. Jimmy hated vaccines and hyposprays but knew how life-saving they could be when integrated to suits. He hoped that'd save him and reverse any effects. At any rate, he still had dibbs on 'Robo-cop of Borg'; hell yeah his reputation was secured he went to hell on his terms. That's why his phaser had a certain setting and and combadge protocols as handy for emergency transport ensured shipwide. He had followed up on remarking that at the first moment the runabout pilot recommended a path  next to the Sovereign-class. Reactively, Jimmy looked up the ship hoping no friends served aboard: USS Ark Royal. Hardly worth reminding if there were any survivors in the wake of two of the Devil-Dice approaching. "Ole Snake-Eyes." he uttered, before calmly bluffing: "I've seen worse." Before he could even idly joke further, he awaited orders and the first chance to report.

"Cap'n. Advise a quarantine of our new guest, pending a debrief-- I'm fairly sure you saw that hitchhiking ghost. No rush, we can," His back to their new guest, Jimmy indicated the transporter and 'Show-it-the-airlock' gesture " wait, of course." he verbally covered up without missing a beat on the sentence, in the off-chance (but necessary one to ponder) they had a Borg aboard and had to beam it out. The not one but two phasers Jimmy had on his person, including a hidden one within access to Yukimura were further assurance of his train of thought. As usual, if the effects took effect of the crew, his suit would record it all. Might as well make the archives discreet but coded to anyone who knew Jimmy. One of the other Vectors who discovered them, perhaps. Perhaps Resolve's spirit lived on in his humor. That's what tacked aboard Mariner's logs were for in his padd; a 'Black Box' up to this Stardate.
 
Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy
"Showtime!"

Lieutenant (J.G.) Alessia "Angel" Garcia
Valravn Fighter Pilot, USS Theurgy
"You're not the only one with a gun,"

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #45
[ CPO Ekon Okotie-Eboh | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]

Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Numen @trevorvw @lisavw @Griff @Triton @Multificionado @Masorin

Upon hearing Yukimura’s request, Eboh set to work. He began sifting through the sensor data in an attempt to find the USS Arizona. As he set the sensors to the task of another sweep, he pulled up the data entry for the USS Arizona and found that it was a Galaxy-class starship. As far as he could tell, there were the remains of eleven Starfleet vessels in the debris field, though none appeared to be a match for the Arizona’s class of starship.

”I am not seeing any signs of a Galaxy-class starship in the debris field, sir.” Eboh reported, ”If the Arizona did indeed take part in the battle, it must have made it out intact.” Eboh’s brow furrowed in concentration as he turned the scanners on the escape pod from which their recent guest had arrived, the look of concentration changing to a puzzled expression.

”Sir,” Eboh turned to face Yukimura as he reported the puzzling findings. ”The escape pod our guest was aboard registers as belonging to the USS Fairchild-A, not the Arizona.”

”Scan for distress signals, Eboh, old or actively emitted from beacons. Perhaps transmissions like that will tell us more.” Yukimura murmured. The Captain seemed distracted by something he was seeing on the viewscreen, his frown deepening as he stared at the images the screen displayed. Eboh nodded an acknowledgement and turned his attention back to his sensor readouts, not bothering with the viewscreen as he worked to carry out the order.

Eboh spun in his seat as Six, their resident drone, made a panicked entrance onto the bridge shouting about the Borg. He stared at her as she called out her warning, only taking in part of what she said in her alarmed state, though what he heard caused the blood in his veins to turn to ice.

A couple of cubes? The words seemed to echo in his mind, sending a spike a fear through the dark-skinned man. How many Borg are in this nebula?

Lieutenant Yukimura was calling orders to the helm, telling t’Jellaieu to take them into the debris field. Immediately seeing what Yukimura was about, Eboh turned back to the Ops console and killed the active sensor sweeps they had been making of the wreckage, hoping to minimize their chances of detection amid the drifting wreckage of so many vessels. That done, he divided his attention between the passive sensors and the viewscreen, the former showing the arrival of a pair of Borg Cubes and the latter displaying the skill with which t’Jellaieu was maneuvering them through the drifting graveyard that had previously been their fellow Starfleet vessels.

Eboh watched with bated breath and silently hoped they didn’t share the same fate as so many of their comrades.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #46
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila| Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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Att.: @Auctor Lucan  @Griff  @Masorin  @Fife  @Multificionado  @lisavw  @Triton  @trevorvw


Everything was fine. Everything was perfectly fine.

After inoculating the vaccine into the captain of their small vessel, the romulan pilot called his attention to be the next to be immunized. Everything was going according to plan, he thought as he applied the hypospray to the slender neck of the PO t'Jellaieu, hearing the hissing sound of the device when it activated, the slight suction that the liquid projected through osmosis through the pale skin of the woman, the argentine liquid disappearing from the vial. With that small gesture, the hypospray was depleted. Bila held the injector in the back of his uniform, mentally reviewing the remaining doses. One for Igor, one for Liutenant Martin, a minimal dose for the ex drone and... The hybrid frowned heavily his browridges. With the arrival of the starshipwreck survivor, she or another crew member would be left without their dose. He hesitated a minute. If the decision were in his hand, he would vaccinate the entire crew and the survivor, praying to the Prophets so that Six's nanoprobes would do their job, since it was the one with the most prepared immune system for an assimilation attempt. However, it was not he who had to make the decisions, since that weight fell on Captain Yukimura. He didn't envy his position in those moments.


When he was about to call the commanding officer's attention to the problem at hand, his words died in his mouth before he formed. On the main screen, the ghostly figure of a half-assimilated drone watched them, her eyes vacant but surprisingly alert following the path of the Allegiant. A chill ran down the entire spine of the Bila, and he squeezed his hands unconsciously, applying the vaccine to Lt. Martin without intending it. Even with everything, the chemist didn't look away from the screen until the otherworldly borg leave his field of vision. The Prophets sent him an omen. An awful omen. As if someone were walking on the grave of his ancestors.


Pressing the hypo hard against his chest with both hands, he crossed the bridge with hurried strides, until it was placed himself behind the El-Aurian. It was then that Six made her appearance on the bridge, proclaiming the imminent arrival of the Borg. Bila remained flabbergasted, his right hand hanging in the air, the hypospray just inches from Ekotie-Eboh's neck. All was wrong, all went from bad to worse in seconds.


The same tremor that had seized him after the Asurian attack began again, the injector fell to the floor and the hybrid observed for a moment as it rolled over the floorplates, away from him. Bila just watched it numbly, away, farther and farther away from him. Did it matter? He hadn't been able to finish the development of the ORE, so if they ended up being abducted, that extra time that they had achieved with the modified nanoprobes wouldn't help at all. It would only increase their agony for more than two hours, all that time knowing that, whatever they did, they would only be a neuron in the brain of the Collective, a worker bee in the hive. A number among the crowd.


Finally the hypo stopped against the door frame, its silvery content reflecting the lights of the nebula and the lighting of the bridge. Another useless debris in that accursed battlefield. The chemist felt the palms of his hands sweaty, his teeth began to chatter, and the bones of his legs seemed about to sublimate in a puff of calcium carbide.


"Helm, take us as deep as you can into the debris field, immediately! Now!" shouted the Captain. Time, which had been frozen up to that moment, seemed to leap forward afterwards. Bila rushed from where he was and threw himself on his knees to recover the hypo, crawling a few meters on the floor, while the ship leaped forward among the debris. The half-cardassian staggered to his feet, and crossed the room again to the Ops console. He applied the vacine to the dark skinned man with disregard, and swiftly turned to face ensign Six. Bila calibrated the injector while reaching the wide-eyed woman and applied a minimal dose to her neck.


More staggering than running, hands shaking violently holding the last dose of the vaccine, Izar left the bridge on his way to the laboratory. The plan, he had to stick to the plan, that was the only sure thing he had left.

Re: Epilogue: Scouting Mission [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ]

Reply #47
[ Annika Van den Berg | Medical | USS Allegiant ] @Numen @Auctor Lucan @Griff @Masorin @Fife @Multificionado @lisavw @Triton

Annika felt the pain medication making its way through her body, slowly turning the pain and discomfort into fuzziness. The fuzziness she could handle though. Her eyelids felt like they two hundred kilograms; hard to keep open which in turn had made her blinks go even slower. The Vulcan doctor had told her to rest, however she had been having trouble doing that since she was worried about what had happened to the Arizona. Annika hoped that her ship and her friends aboard it were okay. Her eyes closed..

Today was graduation day from the Academy. She had put a lot of hard work into making sure she'd get to this point. Her last year at the academy had been a trying year, having to adjust to an alien roommate, almost being discharged from the academy due to issues that weren't entirely her fault and perhaps most heartbreaking of them all; the refusal of her family to come and attend her graduation. Her mother and sister never supported her decision to join Starfleet. As for her father; she hadn't talked to him in nearly a decade and a half and wasn't about to start now. Annika realized she couldn't wait to get out on the Arizona to get away from her family and hopefully a fresh start

Annika opened her eyes and looked around the room. She was still in medical and felt fuzzy but had no pain. She wondered how much time had passed, however she saw the Vulcan doctor was still standing in near the same place as before.

What's her name? Why can't I remember what happened? the thoughts swirled inside her brain as she struggled to find the answers, but couldn't quite grasp the answers to anything that had happened.

The doctor had approached a short haired woman in the med bay. The short haired woman had some things on her face, but due to Annika's blurry vision again, she couldn't quite see what they were.

Jewellery? Tattoos? Annika had pondered for a few seconds before realizing it didn't matter.

What Annika saw next, she saw perfectly fine, even with her blurry vision. The short haired person had stopped what she was doing and froze. It was brutally easy to see that the woman was terrified. Not just scared of what the doctor was about to do, but terrified of something. Before Annika could register what was happening, the short haired woman turned around and bolted out of the door as quick as she probably could.

Annika laid there wondering what had the woman so terrified, however the medications that she was given made her body prioritize unconsciousness over thinking; and with that, her eyes closed and her unconscious mind took over.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #48
[ Lt JG, Salem Martin  | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ]
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This place was made of nightmares, and some part of him just wanted to go home. Salem felt more than a little sick and annoyed at the idea of having to stick around, but they hadn't completed the mission that they were here for yet. His eyes were still focused on the sensor array, even as the ship started to go into a low power mode. Blending in with the natural radiation caused by the nebula, and the wreckage of the Federation ship.

HIs breath hung in the air still waiting. It was like any second he would hear the message 'We are the Borg' He looked up at the view screen, and felt numb, he could taste a slight amount of metalic tang on his lips, as he had chewed his dried lower lip to the point where it was bleeding slightly, and it took him a long time to realize he actually was holding his breath.

The entire crew was silent, and for a moment Salem remembered an old Holo-Novel, The Hunt for Red October, the nuclear sub that could start a war between human settlements. Of course the comparason was a touch stupid, and when he did finally catch his breath he looked to everyone else. "You... all know they can't actually hear us in space right?"

He said trying his best to break the tension even if it was just for himself.

Re: Chapter 03: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0800 hrs. ] Scouting Mission

Reply #49
[ Lieutenant Masuda Yukimura | Bridge | USS Allegiant NX-80978 ] Attn: @Gadget @Griff @Fife @Masorin @Numen @Multificionado @lisavw @Triton
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During their brief flight, Yukimura's brows were split with a deep frown. The Romulan at the helm flew expertly, but at the moment, there was no time to apprechiate her skills at the helm. Their pending assimilation was at the forefront of Yukimura's mind. The only one talking, all of a sudden, was Mariner, suggesting the survivor might turn into a drone.

"Speak with T'Panu about making sure our passenger is no more than she seems," he ordered quietly without offering any solution if that wasn't the case. Not for the time being. Seeing t'Jellaieu taking them to the Ark Royal, he approved of her decision with a short nod. It was, ultimately, of little consequence if the Borg decided to come after them, but the wreckage served well to apply their magnetic landing-gear to, and then, it was all a matter of waiting, with passive sensors their only periscope.

There was a beeping noise on the bridge at that point. A distress signal, but Yukimura said naught - eyes nailed to the sensor readings in the edge of the viewscreen. Junior Lieutenant Martin eventually jested, when the silence was thick enough to cut in the air. It caused Masuda to take a slow, careful breath, and leaned back in his chair a little.

"Play the distress call," he said under his breath, not knowing where the beacon was out there, but it hardly mattered. It was audio only in the recording, and the noise of the dead filled the bridge of the Allegiant.

[This is Captain th'Veral on the Ark Royal!] The announcement was punctuated by a loud explosion, and there was shouting in the background. [I am uploading the coordinates of our position to this beacon! We encountered the Borg ten minutes ago, and we are taking heavy fire! Five ships are already overrun by drones, and communications are jammed! It is a Tactical Cube, and we have already lost four ships! The Kusanagi tried to make a run for it, to call for reinforcements, but I don't think she made it!]

There was screaming heard across the static, along with phaser fire. [Please, if you hear this message, you must know this. When we encountered it... it was not just the Borg telling us we were about to be assimilated.... It was the Borg Queen herself! We saw her.. when we were hailed! She told us the invasion of the Alpha and Beta Quadrant had begun!]

The hairs on the back of Masuda's neck rose, and his eyes widened. It was confirmed, at last. The Andorian's voice was heard again.

[The fate of the Federation might rest on our shoulders. Shelat, we might not be able to speak to each other... but the Ark Royal will show the way. We have lost one nacelle, but I will give the order to ram the cube at full impulse. I will show those that are left what to do... before we're all dead.. or worse. If the Queen is on this cube, it is our duty... to all the billions of people on our homeworlds... to end the invasion before it begins! By Lor'Vela, if anyone hears this... Tell my bondmates I am sorry. th'Veral out.]

The transmission ended there, and the silence lingered on the bridge of the Allegiant once more.

[ Meanwhile ]

The Vulcan formerly known as T´Less saw the Federation scoutship flee into the debris field, and in her seeing it, so did the entirety of the Collective.

She was just another set of eyes in the hive mind, another drone among hundreds that had just been assimilated, and one of those surviving the fate of the the ships they used to serve on, having led organic lives before their assimilation. Idly, she just watched, without incentive to act on what she saw, with her hair floating around her head. Behind her, cubes M-395 and M-582 loomed, just outside the debris field. They were making scans, and the conclusions were mindless - automated to fit the situation. Once scans were complete, new information entered the minds of all drones, present in the field as well as those servings in their functions aboard the two cubes.

++++
UPLOAD BEGINS
++++
DESIGNATION: ONE OF TEN | SENARY ADJUNCT | UNIMATRIX 07
++++


The Vulcan drone made no reaction to her new name. What followed was the result of the scans, corroborated by the memories and experiences of the new drones in the debris field.

++++
TACSUM ENGAGEMENT AT SECTOR 291
/ DESIGNATION AZURE NEBULA
++++
RESISTANCE ENCOUNTERED BY CUBE M-927 / 11 VESSELS
/ [ATTACHMENT: SENSOR RECORD 58973BB9]
++++
NEW PRIMARY DIRECTIVE SET: NEUTRALISATION OF 11 VESSELS
/ TECHNICAL DATA FROM RECENTLY ASSIMILATED UNITS INDICATED EXPECTED OPPOSITION TACTICS AND
CAPABILITIES
++++
4 VESSELS DESTROYED
/ 3453 ORGANIC LIVES ELIMINATED AND UNAVAILABLE FOR ASSIMILATION
/ DAMAGE TO CUBE NOMINAL
/ 3 VESSELS NEUTRALIZED AND LEFT FOR ASSIMILATION FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF PRIMARY DIRECTIVE
++++
1 VESSEL SET A DIRECT COLLISION COURSE WITH CUBE M-927 AT IMPULSE VELOCITY
/ QUEEN ATTACKED WITHIN CUBE M-927
/ ATTACK FUTILE
/ NO EFFECT ON PRIMARY DIRECTIVE OUTCOME
++++
5 VESSELS SET A DIRECT COLLISION COURSE WITH CUBE M-927 AT WARP VELOCITY
/ CUBE M-927 DESTROYED
/ 11 OF ENCOUNTERED VESSELS DESTROYED
/ 77 ASSIMILATED ORGANIC BEINGS RETAINED
/ TIMESTAMP AJ7-5W
/ PRIMARY DIRECTIVE FAILURE IN SECTOR 291


The Vulcan drone stared into the floating debris, the results accepted and stored for future reference, no more.

++++
ADDENDUM
/ QUEEN PLATFORM COMPROMISED
/ ROYAL PROTOCOL EXECUTED
/ PLATFORM DESIGNATED: ONE OF TEN | SENARY ADJUNCT | UNIMATRIX 07


Then, the Vulcan eyes moved, animated by information upload - flowing through her body like blood. The unique data was made available to her and her alone. Slowly, as if thawed, she raised her hands, looking at them. Meanwhile countless drones shifted their focus to her. The transfer of the protocol lasted mere seconds, and the complete obedience of the entire Collective instantaneous. The hive mind was no longer a persistent hum inside the Vulcan. She was the incentive that the rest of the Borg lacked. She was no longer just a part of it. She was the beginning, the end, the one who was many.

She was the Borg.

++++
ROYAL PROTOCOL EXECUTION COMPLETE


The new Borg Queen was the old, just another body imbued by the Collective to be the sole conscious thought. She was the singular soul in the hive mind, and her will and power was absolute. She was immortal as long as the Royal Protocol remained stored on all Borg cubes. Slowly, she turned around on top of the escape pod, and she looked at the two cubes in front of her. She smiled, closing her eyes for a moment.

She needn't speak. All the present drones were a part of her, and she could sense them out there, all of their memories a part of her. The execution of the protocol was always an extraordinary sensation. Even now, before her limbs would be severed and she would be stripped of redundant organic tissue, she already felt reborn.

Yet she did not remain idle for long.

Come, she thought, raising her hand at her sides, and throughout the whole debris field, flares could be seen, where assimilated drones were transported aboard the two cubes in front of her. Then, without hesitation, she set a new primary directive for the Borg. It was the same as before, when she had been attacked and destroyed by boarding teams on the Ark Royal. It would remain the same, the directive, until it was achieved; the assimilation of the Federation and the Klingon Empire, with more to fall once they were a part of her.

As the sole drone still outside the cubes, she turned her head towards the direction where the scoutship had vanished. She had sensed a former drone aboard it, and for a moment, she considered if she would re-assimilate her and the rest of the crew. Yet in the end, what was one drone and one ship compared to the successful assimilation of all within the Alpha and Beta Quadrants?

No, instead, without need for words, she sent M-395 back to the apertures she had found, the gateway to replace her lost transwarp network. Obedience was immediate, and the mass of the cube cast shadows through the debris field as it set a course towards the heart of the nebula. It would carry her directive, spread it through the new Borg Unicomplex, and hundreds, thousands of cubes would return through the aperture. As for her, the Queen would wait for them on cube M-582, the single cube left behind, until a better vessel would come through the subspace tunnel.

They remain oblivious to their pending ascension, she thought, her smile remaining. Let's not keep them waiting.

She opened her eyes, and vanished from the debris field - transported aboard the remaining cube.


TO BE CONTINUED...


In tribute to the books by David Mack and Christie Golden

Thank you to all who both read and contribute to this story



 
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