Axis Power, Part 2
A crossover with Walter Chmara's 'Timeship Atlantis'
TEASER: OUR FATHER...
AXIS had been in his regenerative alcove for more than a day. This was unusual for a ‘would-be' god of his caliber. But it was the only thing he could think to do. He must be damaged in some way.
The AXIS EXPERIMENT, his complex mathematical equation to recreate reality in his own image had been carried out flawlessly. Even down to the assault from Starfleet and his former Team Helix, he had calculated every contingency and compensated for the variables accordingly.
But something went wrong.
His new perfect universe was still inhabited the flawed biological lifeforms. His mind retraced the every occurrence, every nanosecond of this ascension. Still he could not find the ‘wrinkle in time' which threw his perfect calculations into turmoil.
‘ANALYSIS INCONCLUSIVE...' the Collective answered in unison. And for a brief second, a glimmer of emotion surfaced, a twitch of anger almost caused him to lash out at his children.
"IT IS THE REMNANT OF A MAN LONG GONE, MY AXIS." A voice spoke to him.
He open his eyes to find that ‘another' had entered his domain.
"MY QUEEN." He answered her, gracefully sliding from the alcove to stand side by side with her. She had been the only thing he willingly saved from the original timeline. She had been the one who ordained him as the AXIS, and so it was programmed that she would exist as his ‘other', his "Eve".
The Borg Queen continued. "YOU HAVE HAD EONS TO REFORM YOURSELF, YET YOU STILL CLING TO YOUR FORMER EXISTENCE."
"I CLING TO NOTHING." He replied. "IT IS JUST ANOTHER PART OF THE ERRORS IN MY PROGRAMMING."
"HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT WHY THE HUMANS STILL EXIST?"
"NOT YET, BUT IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME." He stared at her to exert his dominance. "THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS UNIVERSE I CANNOT TOUCH."
AXIS expected her to nod in agreement as she had always done. But this time it was different.
"I AM WORRIED ABOUT YOU, AXIS. YOUR ACTIONS SUGGEST THAT...."
He felt the anger once again swelling in him. "WHAT?"
She smirked. "YOUR ACTIONS SUGGEST THAT MAYBE YOU DON'T WANT TO DESTROY THE HUMANS. MAYBE YOUR QUEST FOR PERFECTION IS CLOUDED BY SOME REMNANTS OF A HUMAN SOUL."
AXIS smiled. "NEED I REMIND YOU THAT YOU EXIST ONLY BECAUSE I WILL IT? NEED I REMIND YOU THAT I ALONE AM THE KEY TO THE BORG'S SALVATION?"
"SALVATION!?" she started to laugh. "THESE ARE THE WORDS OF A HUMANOID."
‘Why would she speak such blasphemy?' he thought to himself. ‘How could she question his loyalty to his children?' He could not let this go on much further.
Before she could speak another word, he wrenched his powerful hand around her neck and pulled her close.
He smiled... "THEY ARE MY WORDS, MY QUEEN." ...and pushed her away. "DO NOT QUESTION ME AGAIN."
The Queen lured at him. And for the first time since the AXIS EXPERIMENT was brought to fuition, she thought to herself. ‘What have I done?'
AXIS continued to run his calculations...
ACT 1: LEGEND OF THE BORG SLAYERS
WAR JOURNAL: COMMANDER CY HANNES RECORDING...
We've successfully navigated through Borg-Theta space and are now circling around Borg-Gamma territory. We picked up an automated signal an hour ago that the Vulcan Resistance wing has fallen. That can only mean that AXIS has annexed 2 more systems in resistance space. If we're lucky, the Helix will hold together long enough for us to make it back the to Headquarters. As for the stranger Kyle K'Nar, the Captain believes that he could hold the key to finally putting the Borg on the defensive. END TRANSMISSION
In the briefing room, Mia watched Kyle pace the room and recount Team Helix's battle with AXIS.
"...and then I felt this tugging in my stomach. The next thing I knew, you and the one-eyed giant were waking me. And that's it." Kyle finished leaning on a near by table.
Mia was puzzled. "Do you have any idea why that happened?
Kyle shook his head. "Not a clue. It's as if the entire universe was pulled from right under my feet and I didn't go with it."
"Well, let me tell you, from what you've told me of you're world, you've pretty much stumbled into hell." She slowly got up and made her way to the window.
She had her back to him, but Kyle could see the sorrow on her face from her reflection.
"Yeah, I guess this alpha quadrant isn't fairing so well, huh?" he asked.
She tried to force a smile for the stranger. "That's an understatement. From what little history text we still have, it seems the Borg have ruled this end of space for almost four centuries. Our forefathers did their best to fight them off, but they forced their way in until every non-cyborg lifeform was surrounded by their assimilated planets." She found her way back to her chair. "Sure, we've won a few in the past decades. But for every victory we got, we've lost ten more." Her gaze met his. "We're only delaying the inevitable. "
"Inevitable, huh?" Kyle replied with a smile. "Well, let me tell you about a woman I know, my best friend, actually. You see, she came from a universe where the Borg invaded and took over Alpha Quadrant too. And for seven years, she and her crew fought them. With every loss she suffered, she fought back twice as hard. In the end, she beat them." Mia's gazed now showed interest as Kyle continued. "Not with raw strength, or power, or weapons... But with the will and courage to win. One little ship and a crew of three managed to stopped the Borg."
Mia smiled. "And who the hell is this incredible female warrior?"
Kyle smiled. "Her name was Mia Gan An'War of the Starship Helix— probably one of the most incredible women I've ever come across in by seven lifetimes."
Mia watched him in silence. She could see in his eyes— the way he looked at her, that he had an immense amount of respect and faith in her. She'd known this man for less than an hour and yet he seemed to trust her body and soul.
"You see..." he concluded. "...I don't care where I am. I've sworn my allegiance to this woman because I know, in her heart, she'd give her life for her crew and the cause. And I will follow her until my dying days... in any universe."
Mia wiped her face with her hands. "Wow. That was... one hell of a speech."
"Thank you." He said.
She smiled. "When did you write it?"
He smiled. "Last week." They laughed. "Mia was gonna skip out on a poker game we had scheduled with the Klingons. But, I think it applies right now... and I still mean every word of it."
He slid his hand across the conference table and she took it in hers.
"Very well, Kyle K'Nar, Motivation Speaker extrordinaire. You win. What's our next move?"
He thought or a second. "I don't know, Boss. But the fact that I'm still here means that restoring my timeline isn't completely improbable. If we can find a way to use that, we could stop all this from happening before it even started."
"Sounds good to me." Mia rose from her seat and walked to the window once more. We should reach headquarters inside of a day. When we arrive, you and the science team can maybe come up with something.... knock on wood."
The U.S.S. Atlantis' warp nacelles slowly heated themselves to a bright blue glow. As the Intrepid-Class starship picked up speed, it slowly became translucent and then transparent.
"Sir," the chief engineer's voice called out to Commodore Dimitri Andreyevich over the comm-system. "Minimal warp power has been restored, and the cloak is functioning within normal parameters."
"Good job, Zam." He replied with enthusiasm. "See what you can do with the weapons systems next."
"Already on it, Sir. I'll have a progress report within the hour. Poldegin out."
Dimitri next turned his attention to rest of his Senior Staff gathered in the conference room. Everyone had been working overtime on putting together the situation and finding the best solution. "all right people, where do we stand?"
Lt. Shelly Casey saw the apprehension in the rest of the room. It was obvious that fear was running rampant in the room, and as the acting 1st officer, she had to do her best to manage it.
She stood and walked to view screen. "Well, first the bad news. We're not in Kansas anymore. Lt. Saar and Ensign Antonia have been studying long-range scans for the past four hours at my request." She accessed a file on the view screen. "What they found was this..." On the screen the image of several spherical space crafts slowly traveling through space. "From what we can tell, they can't be anything else than Borg ships." The silence in the room was taken up by alarmed whispers.
Ensign Antonia reluctantly took her place alongside Shelly and continued. "Our first thought was some type of invasion attack. But we scanned for buoys and subspace transmissions and... any type of wreckage or technology we could use as a reference point. But there were none."
"What's the prognosis?" Lt. David Gerard asked.
Shelly looked at him. "Somehow, someway our universe has been totally rewritten. Even small subspace anomalies Starfleet had catalogued in this area are missing."
Krag. The Nausican Chief Security Officer grew impatient. "Then we go back in time and put it back the way it was! This ship is a time machine! Let us use it!"
"It's not that simple." Kollos, the Timewarp navigator replied. "The time-jump system uses a complex mathematical equation to obtain precise navigation between time periods. Unfortunately for us, the equation has mysteriously changed."
"How can that be?" Dimitri asked.
"I don't have a clue. There's an infinite number of constants in the universe— normalities which the mathematical equation's foundation is built on. I've run two hundred simulations using the available information and they've all failed miserably."
"Then if the universe has changed, why are we still here?" Dimitri asked his next question.
Lt. Gerard answered. "It had to be the shields. During our last mission when we traveled back in time to Vulcan, we took on a lot of damage navigating through that asteroid field. In order to bring the damaged shields back online, we had to partly use the Timewarp engines. We didn't get a chance to fix it before leaving space dock on this mission. By using the Timewarp engines to power the shields, a temporal layer of energy must've been used to reinforce the deflector shields— in essence, pulling us outside of time for that brief moment."
At that moment everyone in the room stopped and stared at David.
"What?" David replied. "Can't I have an answer in temporal physics for once?"
Shelly smiled. "You've been hangin' out with Kollos again, haven't you?"
"Well, he's the only one that'll play checkers with me..."
"O.K.. Back the to the problem, please." Dimitri said. "We've covered the dismal situation. Now, lets swing it over toward solutions." He slowly stood up and walked to the view screen and turned it off. "The floor is open for theories, hypotheses, and even crazy ideas, if you have them."
Kollos leaned back in his chair. "Well, the most obvious solution lies in the mathematical equation for the Timewarp system. In order to do anything, we're gonna have to rewrite the equation pertaining to this universe."
"And how long is that gonna take?" Shelly asked.
"I'd say... about twenty, thirty years— maybe fifteen with David's help."
David grinned, then turned his attention to Dimitri. "We have all the elements required to develop the equation. But the computers onboard aren't fast enough or powerful enough to create them in a considerable time."
"None the less, get started on them." Dimitri ordered. "Anything else?"
"Since the cloak is operational, I'd like to run long range surveillance scans on the Borg." Krag offered. "I will need to formulate new contingencies for possible attacks."
Dimitri agreed and then turned to the ship's counselor. "Sept, what is the crew's status?"
Sept Midron, an El-Aurian thought for a second. "There are so many rumors running the ship, that a lot of the crew are frightened of the unknown. Also, the lack of mourning for the crew that has died has left them a bit unbalanced. I recommend you deliver a ship-wide address to brief them on the situation and acknowledge our losses."
"I'll do it after the meeting." Dimitri replied. He then scanned over his Senior Staff and realized the uneasy silence meant the briefing was over. He knew he had to send them off with words of encouragement and wisdom, but he had always been terrible with speeches.
He had to wing it. "all right people. I know this whole situation seems to be catastrophic. But this is exactly what this ship and crew, were made for. And I hand-picked each of you to handle situations like these. Together, we can find the solution— we can restore the timeline. We just need to get pass the fear and apprehension within all of us to accomplish the mission. I have faith in everyone in this room and on this ship." He stood up and cast one last, long glance at all of them. "Now, go and do what you best."
The holy man named Jerobi was the first to see them approaching. As the elected leader of his human refugee camp on Asteroid-16476, it was his job to make sure his parishioners were protected from the Borg cleansing quads, which ran rampant in their section of space.
But as he watched the squad of five Borg drones approaching over the rocky plains a few hundred kilometers away, he realized that this time, he may be too late.
He quietly made his way back for the camp, making sure the Borg sensors did not detect his movement. For a pudgy man of 67 years, he was quite agile, navigating through small caverns and climbing large dunes with ease.
As he entered the camp, he quickly found his son running behind in his evacuation duties.
"Corann!" Jerobi called out. "Why are there still people here?"
Corann glanced at the his father only for a moment. "The transport fleet in orbit had to cloak for a few moments. Three Borg Scout Spheres have taken orbit on the other side of the asteroid."
"They just landed over the ridge! I just saw a squad coming this way! We need to make sure these people are transported aboard safely. We'll have to do without the supplies."
Corann nodded and shuffled the remaining refugees to the transport pads, when the first disrupter blast destroyed a large container. The refugees screamed in fear and scattered as the Borg drones entered the camp.
"Get the people to safety!" The Jerobi yelled as he grabbed a tattered phaser rifle and started the shoot wildly at the approaching drones. The Borg with the energy weapon was hit in the face and staggered back over a pile of containers. The others quickly adapted to the phaser's frequency and centered their attentions on the holy man. Jerobi flipped the rifle over and wielded it like a club, swinging violently and hitting anyone who came close to him. The Borg surrounded him, trying to find the best way to reach the human.
‘By the Prophets, at least the others will make it to safety' he thought to himself just as one of the drones behind him managed to catch him in the back of the head with a wild swing. Jerobi fell to his knees as the mob of cyborgs closed in on him.
He closed his eyes and waited for the final blow which would end his life.
"Keep your eyes closed!" Jerobi suddenly heard someone call out from his left side.
The Borg stopped their assault and look toward a figure which had appeared on top of the closest ridge. They didn't notice the small marble-sized ball which the man had tossed, prior to speaking. The small orb hit the ground and rolled to the feet of the closest drone. Suddenly the orb opened and released an energy pulse which washed over the entire camp site. Jerobi felt nothing, but the Borg, the phaser rifle, every piece of technology on the site suddenly erupted in flames and sparks. The Borg drones began to convulse violently and stagger away until their synthetic parts were completely shorted out. One by one, the fell to the campsite floor.
The mysterious figure made his way down the ridge and into the camp. When Jerobi opened his eyes, he found the young bald, black man offering his hand to him. The holy man took it and was pulled to his feet.
"What has happened?" Jerobi asked, still shaken from the incident.
"Chrono Phase Grenade." the man said going off to investigate the fallen drones. "It sends out a pulse that disables any type of unprotected technology in the area."
"My... people?" the holy man scanned the area..
"They're fine." the man responded kneeling beside a drone. "Their safely aboard the transport and waiting to join the rest of the fleet. I told your son I'd get you there before their departure. As soon as the residual pulse energy dies off. you can transport up safely."
Jerobi wiped his face with his trembling hands. "Then we owe you our lives, stranger."
"Beckett Color ..." the man said looking up. "Eric Beckett. And you owe me nothing. Just concentrate on getting those people to safety."
It took Jerobi a few seconds to recognize the name and to understand truly to had saved him. "By the Prophets…" he whispered to himself, with a grin. "Beckett? You are the Borg Slayer?" he asked with a crackling feebleness in his voice. He stared at the youthful man as he inspected the drones with a technique which could have only come from experience. He had killed many Borg before. Jerobi knew he had to be the chosen warrior prophesied to lead his biological races in the destruction of the Borg Empire.
Eric Beckett sighed. "The Slayer is a myth. I'm a resistance fighter, like all the rest." he replied nonchalantly as he looked for the right body to plunder. The last body he examined looked like all the rest, but he could tell there was a slight difference to the one which held the energy weapon. "Jackpot!"
Eric plunged his hand into the dead Borg's stomach and rummaged through its mesh of circuitry and internal organs. Every few seconds he had to pause and catch his breath due to the sharp pain in his chest. He knew some of his ribs had been broken in his skirmish with other drones a half hour before. When a drone swung it's elongated arm into him, it propelled him at least ten feet. But he didn't have time to think about it. Commander Chapel said he needed specific information if the resistance was going to pull off their latest assault.
"What are you doing to it?" Jerobi asked.
Eric looked up at him as he continued to fish in the drone's chest. "Borg ‘Worker Drones' are easy to come by, but ‘Sentry Drones' are rare. They're used to route specific battle processes the to the lower ranks. I've been tracking this one for about five weeks. It's the first time he's been separated from his ship."
Slowly, Eric pulled out the Sentry's neural processor, hoping not to damage the intricate circuitry. "According to my Commanding Officer, this processing chip should contain the Collective's vital information on fleet deployment and battle strategy."
Jerobi started to smile. "You're planning to go on the offensive. You're gonna strike at the heart of the Borg?"
Eric grinned. "That's the plan." At that moment, a timer on his tricorder went off. "It looks like the area is clear now. You can transport to your ship."
Jerobi nodded. "What about you?"
"I'm taking one of their Scout Spheres. It should get me through Borg space without any harm."
Jerobi made his way to the transporter platform. "Then I bid you a safe journey, Eric Beckett. May the Prophets guide you to victory." the holy man said as the transporter signal washed over his body.
Eric waved goodbye until the man's signal was gone and went back to work. He took the neural processor, plugged it into his tricorder and started to download the data.
He then stood and looked up to watch the refugee transport leave orbit and push in the warp.
"Safe journey, Jerobi..."
PERSONAL JOURNAL: COMMANDER KYLE K'NAR RECORDING...
It's been almost a day since I've awaken in this… new world. Mia has activated me as the new Chief Tactical Officer for the Helix. Unfortunately, according to the damaged reports we've tallied in the past few hours, this position may be short-lived. By far, the Helix has outlived its usefulness. No doubt, who ever's in charge will recommend she be put out of her misery, and I can't say I'd disagree.
We've just arrived at the Resistance HQ, which rests in the nebula that in my universe was named The Badlands. It seems that more than a few people are curious about my arrivaL. END TRANSMISSION
Chief Commander Chapel stood at the airlock entrance awaiting the arrival of the Helix. The last report he had received from other ships a day before said the Helix had been incinerated in a blinding explosion. Apparently is was the unstable ‘fold system' which must have transported the Helix to safety.
The airlock opened with a thundering slam and Mia entered onto the base, followed by Dr. Holluke, Commander Cy and the stranger.
"Captain, welcome back." Chapel said with a nod.
"I wish I was returning under better circumstances." Mia replied as Cy and Dr Holluke left the area. "We're all that's left of the crew aboard."
"Well, they didn't die in vain. The sensor array you attacked was slightly damaged. We had a good 3 hours of access to their network." He turned his attention to the stranger.
Kyle offered his hand. "Kyle K'Nar at your service, Sir."
They quickly shook hands and the three of them left the area.
As they made their way to the Operations Center, Kyle studied the corridors and architecture. He knew he had recognized the place. He had been their a couple times before, only under different circumstances.
"I see you're admiring our station." Chapel said.
"Yes sir." Kyle replied. "In my universe, it was a Cardassian mining facility called Tarok Nor."
"You're close." Mia answered. "This is Empok Nor. The Tarok station was destroyed before we could take control of it. The Cardassians use to use these as military fueling stations before they became extinct."
When they entered the Ops Center, the entire station crew stood and applauded the arrival of Mia. Obviously, her operation to cripple the Borg array and save the rest of the fleet had become a moment for the history books. She nodded in gratification, then she followed Chapel and Kyle into the Commander's Office.
As the door swung close behind them, Chapel quickly started to brief Team Helix on the latest events.
"O. K., what's the bad news?" Mia asked.
Chapel smiled. "Fortunately, I think we have some good news for a change." He started to access his computer files as Kyle and Mia crowded behind him. "During our access to the crippled Borg array, we download 72 gigaquads of coded information. We knew it was useful information, but we didn't know how to unscramble the encryption codes. That is, until we got the transmission from Eric."
Mia was startled. "The Slayer's still alive?"
"Apparently, the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated." Chapel access more data. "Seven hours ago, he was able to apprehend a Sentry Drone's neural processor. With it, we were able to decipher the array data." On the screen, a bunch of random symbols suddenly became and standard binary transmission. "The data from the array was actually a fleet deployment protocol sent from the devil himself."
"AXIS?" Kyle whispered.
"The one and only. It seems there have been a host of unidentified space crafts which have appeared in the Delta Quadrant. They seem to posses technology as advanced as the Collective and they've been randomly attacking Borg ships quadrant-wide. The data suggests there are three crafts en route toward the Alpha Quadrant."
"Any idea what they are?" Kyle asked.
"No. the image data was corrupted so we don't have a visual."
Mia started to pace. "Do you think they could be allies? Maybe some remnant species like the Hirogens, or the Tak Tak have found a way to go on the offensive."
Chapel shook his head. "We don't know and frankly, I don't care." He accessed the fleet deployment data. "The only thing that interests me is the fact that AXIS has pulled ships out of the Borg-Prime sector. This report says that he's delegated 42% of his fortification fleet to intercept the unknown invaders."
Mia smiled. "AXIS is vulnerable. But how can we use this to our advantage?"
Chapel accessed more data. "Here's your answer, Captain." An astral projection of the galaxy appeared above Chapel's desk. "Eric also found this in the Drone's neural processor. As you know, we've always existed on the defensive because we've never been able to locate a prime target to attack. This is because the Borg erected a giant Subspace Disruption Field to mask the location of their massive transmission network. Since the network buoys are ‘self-replicating', there's never been a way of taking down the network, until now." The galaxy map zoomed into the area of space labeled Sector 001. "Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at the heart and soul of the Borg Collective's Transmission Hub."
They all stared at the Borg facility which looked like a small moon comprised of Borg technology.
Chapel continued. "According to the data, the Borg have become totally reliant on this Hub to link the entire species. If we can find a way to destroy it, at least disable it, we could totally crash the Collective, throwing them all into chaos! "
"Wow! Is that all we have to do?" Mia said sarcastically throwing her hands in the air. "We take a nice little trip to Borg-Prime and blow up a space station. Why didn't I think of that?"
Chapel grew aggravated. "That's enough, Captain. I didn't say it was gonna be cakewalk, but it's a hell of a lot better than what we've had!" he turned his attention back to the hologram. "The Hub is protected by a shield which emanates from a large platform in orbit around it. The plan is to beam a small team aboard the platform. Utilizing the new data, they implant a command virus to overload the shielding system. If this telemetry is correct, the resulting effect with scorch the Hub, bring it off-line, hopefully, long enough for us to do some damage."
Mia wiped her face. "With all due respect, Sir. What you're proposing is impossible."
Chapel smiled. "You've been known to do the impossible on more than one occasion, Captain. You'll just have to help me pull another rabbit out of my hat." He stood and went to stand next to her. "In the forty years since I picked up my first phaser for the cause, we've always been fighting on the run. We've never had anything resembling an advantage. We got to make this work, Mia. We've got to find a way to get the fleet to Borg-Prime, disable the Hub and get back safely."
She grimaced and looked over at Kyle. "Piece of cake."
Commodore Andreyevich glanced over the latest progress report from Lieutenant Gerard on the development of the universal equation.
David paced the floor in front of him. "We've tried every bypass we can think of to speed up the process. But there are too many variables in the mathematics. For every short cut we theorize, it brings up an infinite number of improbabilities."
"What would happen if we disregarded the safety factors in this equation, hypothesize an equation without simulations and variable contingencies?"
David sighed. "Without an equation, we wouldn't have a defined ‘exit-point' outside the time barrier. There's 99.9% chance that we'd get lost within the time stream, probably forever."
"So I guess that's not an option."
"This is not what I wanted, David." Dimitri said frustrated. "I got to get my people home, and whether you like it or not, you and Kollos are our only chance."
David rubbed his tired eyes. "Well, we have come up with a far fetched solution. But it's so far out of our reach, that I wasn't going to bring it up."
"Give it to me."
"Well…" David started, trying to make it sound a rational as possible. "Our achilles heel in the situation is a lack of technology. The only way to remedy that would be to procure enough computer power the finish the equation. And the only people in this universe that we know of with that power, would be…."
Dimitri found his way back to his seat. "The Borg? You're telling me our only option is to use a bunch of Borg computers to finish the equation?"
Before David could answer the question, the hail signal sounded. "Lt. Casey to the Commodore?" she voice called out.
"Go ahead." He answered.
"Sir, I think you should come to the bridge. There's something you need to see."
Inside of a minute, Dimitri and David entered the bridge to find the entire bridge crew huddled around Krag's tactical station.
Shelly was the first to notice them. "Whatever we're planning to do, we better get to it quick."
"Show me…" Dimitri said as he looked at what everyone else was staring at.
Krag pulled the transmission to the beginning which started with an image of spaced. "This is the last transmission from the long range probe I sent out a couple hours ago." Suddenly, the screen jumped to the point where three Borg cubes appeared and tractored in the probe. The screen then when blank. "The last sensor data specified that the three Borg cubes changed their course and are now en route to intercept us."
Dimtri made his way back to the command seat. "Did the probe detect anywhere we can go? Maybe other species we can ally ourselves with?"
Krag responded. "None, sir. According the probes sensor readings, 100% of the life we've detected has been Borg."
The Commodore turned to David. "Get back to Kollos and keep working on that equation. Maybe you'll stumble onto something."
The Lieutenant nodded and quickly left.
Dimitri then hailed engineering. "Zam, respond."
"Zam here." The Chief Engineer answered back.
"We're gonna need the cloak working at 100% efficiency." he looked up and Shelly who had walked over to stand at his side. "We're gonna have guests…"
ACT II: THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Empok Nor sat nestled in the Badlands, wedged between several stable plasma storms. The resistance science team had found a way to utilize the station's subspace field technology to use the storms as a powerful defense barrier.
Inside Mia, Kyle and the head Engineer, Michael Briggs worked on the Helix which had sustained an immense amount of damage. Michael tried to tell Mia that the best thing to do would have been to scrap the ship and use the parts to repair the more capable ships. But the Captain insisted that her ship still had a few good fights left in her. And everyone on the station knows whatever Mia wants, Mia gets.
"There…" Michael said giving Mia the Helix's progress report on a message pad. "I've reinforced the hull's secondary ablatve armor and replaced as many vital systems as I could. The Nano-Repair system is pretty much fried, your automated weapons systems are gutted and the three lower desks aren't fit for life support."
Mia sighed. "Then what the hell do I have?"
Michael paused. ‘Well, she's space-worthy." He smiled but Mia didn't return the sentiment. "O.K. The Protomatter has been put aboard with 17 containment fields as you ordered. You have a full compliment of quantum torpedoes, your sensors and warp systems are at full capacity. The gauntlet deflector shield should work if needed, and the cloak should hold together for a few hours…."
"And the Fold System should be operational." Kyle called out as he found his way to them. "At least… I think so."
"You fixed the Fold-System?" Mia asked surprise.
"I don't know." Kyle responded pulling out a mini tricorder from his pocket. "According to this thing, everything I did should make it work. Mia… well ‘my' Mia's been teaching me the mechanics of the Helix over the past year. She says I don't do enough, so I've been commission a junior engineer in training. This tricorder has my full training curriculum."
Mia stared at him. "So you've had this thing all along? Any reason why you didn't open your mouth before?"
Kyle smirked. "I'm sorry! I guess this ‘thrown into another universe' thing kind of sidetracked me!"
Michael took the tricorder and started to analyze the data. "Interesting." He said excitedly. "The Fold System schematics on this thing are completely radical!"
"The original Team Helix procured it from Borg technology and implemented it into the ship. It's never been reliable, so we've been trying different modifications with it."
"I've haven't seen theoretical equations like this since we were working on…." Michael's eyes widened as he looked up at Mia. "…the Slip Drive."
Kyle watched as the two resistance fighters locked eyes. "That's what Mia use to call it, I believe."
"Do you think it's possible?" Mia asked Michael.
"The methods in the two systems are slightly different, but we may be able to find a medium between the two, a compatible hybrid." He turned to Kyle. "You think you got the time to lend me a hand?"
Kyle nodded with a smile. "Sure thing. But most of the stuff in that tricorder are alien to me. I just follow the cirrocumuli."
"Good enough." Michael replied as they both quickly headed for the engineering deck.
The small metallic sphere had been cruising as Warp 8.5 for roughly three hours. It took Eric Beckett and hour earlier to figure out how to activate it. The navigation panel used the Borg's fingertips as conduits to deliver flight orders directly to the computer. After that hour of pondering, he was able to amputate one of the drone's hands, and supply information to the computer using his tricorder.
He'd just began to sit back and take a breather when, what he believed to be the sensor detector sprang to life. He quickly consulted his tricorder to translate the data being patched through.
"Never a dull moment." he whispered to himself. The tricorder showed two large ‘Colony' Spheres approaching from behind. "Where's the cloak. Where's the damn' cloak!" he cried trying to navigate his way through the millions of command controls the Borg manage to access in nanoseconds.
Suddenly, there was deafening crash which rocked the ship. Eric fell forward onto the control panel, realizing the Colony Sphere had just caught him in a tractor beam. His viewscreen showed the massive Spheres pass overhead and settle in the position in front of him.
‘RESPOND' a voice called from the universal translator in Eric's tricorder. He froze. It was apparent the Spheres were asking for some type of identification encryption.
‘RESPOND' it/they asked again in a monotone, synthesized voice. Eric began to fiddle with the tricorder, but he knew there wasn't anything he could do. The sensors indicated the Spheres had powered up their weapons.
Eric's hand reached for the weapons controls when a series of disrupter beams struck one of the spheres from out of his visual range. The craft erupted into a series of explosions which made the remaining Borg sphere release its tractor beam. But it was too late to mount a defensive. As the first sphere toppled out of control, being torn apart by explosions, the other was struck by the another series of firepower. The result was the same.
Eric smiled and tried to get his ship's navigation back online. "One day my luck's gonna run out, but I guess it's not today."
But quickly, his smiled turned to a look of puzzlement. From overhead and both side of his viewscreen, he watched three ships of unknown origin slowly pull into view and situate themselves exactly where the Colony Sphere as been. Although they were unusually cubed-shape, he recognized the marking to be unmistakably Borg.
"WE ARE THE BORG." The monotone voice spoke. "DISARM YOUR WEAPONS AND PREPARE TO BE BOARDED."
Eric reached for his phaser and set it to the ‘kill' "I have to beg the question: What the hell is going on?"
Suddenly, three energy signatures materialized in the back of Eric's ship. In seconds, three Borg drones stood ten meters away from him.
He smiled. "Greetings!" and fired a series of phaser blasts. One of them caught the front drone in the chest causing it to evaporate on the spot. Eric fired and the remaining two drones, but quickly realized they had adapted to the frequency.
As they began to walk toward him, one of them raised its right arm and an electrical charge sprang forth, striking Eric in the chest. He cried out as the electrical voltage surged through his body. He fell to his knees just as the drone reached him.
Eric keeled over on his side. The last thing he was a drone reaching down toward him.
He had to smile. "So much for luck…"
Mia entered Chief Commander Chapel's office to find him staring out the window at the dancing plasma storms of the nebula. She could see his reflection in the glass. The sorrow on his face was frightening. It was a side of him he didn't want his troops to see. Everyone in his resistance cell knew the battle they've been waging is futile. Chapels motivational tactics and confident demeanor were the main reason why they all haven't given up.
"You wanted to see me, Sir?" Mia asked softly. She saw him put on his ‘confident' face before he turned around.
"I'm wishing for an uplifting progress report, Captain. This day hasn't been the best."
Mia sighed. "What happened?"
Chapel slowly took his seat. He almost seemed to worn out. "We just got a message from a distress buoy. The refugee convoy from the Beta Quadrant was intercepted by Borg patrol. All seven-two ships were destroyed."
"Sir, those ships were installed with our latest cloaking technology! There's no way in hell they could've…" she paused to catch her breath. "6200 people… slaughtered."
"There's nothing we could've done, Captain. That's the problem." He tapped a button and his door slid closed. "That's not the worst of it. Dr. Maulden was part of that fleet. There's no doubt the Borg knew he was the scientist who developed the technology for us to use the plasma storms as a defense barrier. We have to assume they assimilated him in the collective and now they know…"
Mia gasped. "…they know out to penetrate the plasma barrier! We're sitting ducks!"
Chapel nodded and leaned forward. "So, if there's any type of attacked plan you're developing, you better make it fast. My projections say we may have less than a week."
She took a few seconds to gather herself. "Umm… Kyle had a tricorder on him with data similar to our failed Slip Drive attempts. Briggs is running computer simulations on the prototype right now."
Chapel stood up and headed for the door with Mia behind him. "Then I guess we need to take trip to Engineering and let Mr. Briggs know his ‘initial testing' phase has been upgraded to ‘final development'.
Eric Beckett awoke with a sharp headache. As he slowly opened his eyes, he began to realize that he was no longer on the Scout Sphere headed for home. He was now in the midst of an endless sea of drones. He had been strapped and bound in a regenerative alcove. That is when he noticed the assortment of tubes and circuits which were now a part of his body.
"By the Prophets, no…" he whimpered. For as long as he could remember, his greatest fear was becoming assimilated by the Collective. They would use everything he knew, every bit of vital information to destroy his friends and family. And now it was coming to pass. He was going to become one with the Borg. "I can't let this happen."
"UNFORTUNATELY, YOUR FEEBLE HUMAN MIND CANNOT FATHOM WHAT IS ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE." A voice called from the shadow.
Suddenly, the braces which bound his wrists and ankles opened and Eric went falling to the floor. As he tried to pull himself up on wobbly legs, he watched as a female figure strolled into the dim light. She was beautiful, in a horrific way, he thought. There was no doubt she was Borg, but she was different.
She walked behind him and pulled him to his feet by the waist. "THE QUEASINESS IS FROM MODIFICATIONS WE MADE TO YOUR STRUCTURE. BRACE YOURSELF AGAINST THE RAILING. IT WILL PASS SOON."
"Who are you?"
"I AM BORG. THE FIRST BORG." She replied. "BUT THE LEGENDARY ‘SLAYER' WOULD ALREADY KNOW THAT." she smiled at him. "DON'T YOU ERIC?"
He glared at her. Anger and fear swelled in his eyes. "I won't become one of you!"
Her voice was sinister. "MY BOY, YOU ALREADY ARE! WELL, AS LEAST ON THE SURFACE." She slowly circled around as if playing with her prey. "YOUR OUTER FRAME HAS BEEN DEGENERATED TO A DEAD, RESILIENT SHELL, YOUR NEURAL PROCESSES HAVE BEEN MODIFIED TO REGISTER AT A DRONE'S FREQUENCY. ANYONE WHO WOULD SCAN YOU, WOULD REGISTERED YOU AS FOUR OF NINE, SUB-JUNCTION-D MAINTENANCE DRONE."
"Funny…" Eric tried to walk, but was too weak. "..I don't feel like… one of your minions."
The Borg Queen shook her head. "THAT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT TRULY BORG. IF WE DID FULLY ASSIMILATE YOU, AXIS WOULD HAVE CONTROL OVER YOU." She turned to look at the drones scurrying around. "DO YOU SEE THEM? THEY WERE CONDUCTING EXPERIMENTS IN TEMPORAL MACHANICS WHEN AXIS CREATED THE SHOCKWAVE. THEY WERE PROTECTED FROM THE REALITY CHANGE, WHICH MEANS THEY TAKE ORDERS FROM ME NOT AXIS. THEY ARE THE TOOLS I WILL NEED TO MOVE TO THE NEXT PHASE AND I NEED YOU BODY AND SOUL IF MY PLAN IS TO WORK."
"Reality change?" Eric was confused. "What are you talking about?"
"YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME STOP WHAT SHOULD NEVER HAD BEEN STARTED." Her smile became an evil stare. "ONCE I THOUGHT THAT ELEVATING HUMANS TO MY LEVEL WOULD HELP THE BORG GROW CLOSER TO PERFECTION. BUT AFTER LOCUTUS AND AXIS, I REALIZE I WAS WRONG." She approached Eric until they were face to face. IN 63.2 HOURS, AXIS WILL FIGURE OUT THAT HIS EXPERIMENT COULD NEVER WORK. HE WILL REALIZE THAT THE ‘BIOLOGICAL EQUATION' IS TOO COMPLEX AND UNPREDICTABLE TO ANTICIPATE. WHEN HE REALIZES THIS, HE WILL HAVE ONLY ONE OTHER CHOICE."
"And what's that?" he asked, finally standing on his own.
She smiled again. "IF THE BORG CANNOT REACH PERFECTION, THAN PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST. IF PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST, THAN THE BORG'S EXISTANCE IS A LIE." She brushed his cheek gently. "IF THE BORG EXISTANCE IS A LIE, THAN EXISTENCE IS FLAWED…. SO EXISTENCE— AND EVERYTHING IT, MUST BE DESTROYED."
WAR JOURNAL: CAPTAIN MIA GAN-AN'WAR RECORDING...
Kyle and Michael have been hard at work on the ‘Slip Drive' modifications for roughly eight hours. Michael says it would be impossible to have it working in a day. But I've known him for almost ten years, and his technical expertise seems to rival the Borg. If anyone can get our system up and ready for war in time, he can.
My gut feeling was that Kyle's appearance on the Helix a week ago was a gift from the Prophets in our war. It looks like I was right. The technical information he brought from his reality is the missing piece of the puzzle. He says that in his reality, we're the best of friends. I believe him. He's become our inspiration. A glimpse of what we could've been, maybe what we will become.
There's no doubt that this will be my last journal entry. I'm taking the Helix into battle one last time. All I ask of her is to help me pull out a miracle like she's done so may times for me before, like she's done for Alex. I will make sure that in the future, no one will forget the name…. HELIX. END TRANSMISSION
Mia and Chapel entered the large main cargo bay which had been converted into the Science / Engineering wing.
Lieutenant Michael Briggs saw them enter and quickly jogged over to their side.
"How are we doing?" Chapel said with a raised eyebrow.
Michael took a deep breath. "Well, Kyle's tricorder held all the missing pieces we needed. Our simulations of the Slip Drive prototype have had a 89.2% success rate. And believe me, in the short time we've had, that's bordering on a miracle!"
"How long will it take to upgrade the rest of the fleet?" Mia asked.
"Upgrade the fleet?" Briggs laughed. "Lady, we haven't even run real space tests yet. It'll take at least…."
Chapel butted in. "Lieutenant, listen to me. We don't have time for more test. In less than a day, the Borg are gonna be here."
"By the Prophets…"
"Worst case scenario, how long will it take to equip the other ships?"
Briggs took a few seconds to think and then calculated the time on his tricorder. "It's not gonna happen, Sir. Nearly all of the ships have massive damage across the board. There simply isn't enough power to generate the vortex.….:"
"I need the short version, Lieutenant!" Chapel said impatient.
"The only way we're gonna be able to transport the entire fleet is two create a giant vortex for all the ships to pass through. The only ship with enough juice to do it is the Praxis. The bad news is that the Slip Drive will burn out every available system, except Impulse and life support. And once the Slip Drive activates, the system will burn itself out. This is gonna be a one-way trip."
Chapel turned a way and rubbed his eyes. "It doesn't matter. There won't be anything to come back to. You have ten hours to make the modifications."
Briggs nodded and quickly returned to his testing.
Chapel then turned to Mia. "We'll use the Praxis as the vortex-channeling vessel, which I'll be commanding. You're gonna be acting Fleet Commander until we manage to get the Praxis back into the fight." He started to walk back toward the turbo lift. "I'll write up the battle plan and I want you to forward it to our people in the field. If we don't make it back alive, I want the rest of the resistance to continue the fight."
Kyle K'nar gazed out the large hanger window at the endless number of ships which were rendezvousing outside.
"A bar of Latnium for your thoughts." Mia said as she approached from behind to stand at his side. "You look like you're a million miles away."
He smiled at her. "Not really. I'm just thinking about how odd this whole ‘alternative universe' thing is."
"What do you mean?"
"This whole thing…. It's different, but it's still the same. Take your resistance fleet, for instance." He pointed at the ships. "That ship's an Oberth Class starship. The one to the left is and Akira Class. Their mostly Starfleet configurations." He shook his head. "Sabre, Galaxy, Excelsior, there's even sprinkles of Klingon and Cardassian ships. I don't get it."
Mia grinned. "I don't know what that's suppose to mean, big guy. They use to all look exactly the same. But as time went on, we had to improvise with modifications and repairs. There's never been any type of ‘Class' system with our fleet."
"That's the whole point." His wiped is sweaty face. "It's as if elements and people were transplanted from my universe and place in this one. They were just given different roles, as if this is some type of giant holographic program or something."
At that point, Kyle's attention was drawn to a small ship which seemed to circle around from the other side of the station and settle in front of the window. As it turn it's nose toward the window, he saw the name engraved to hull… HELIX. But it wasn't the Helix he know. The configuration was similar, but the hull was more complex than he remembered. The old ship seemed simple and inconspicuous. This ship was more menacing, truly worthy of it's name. Why would his ship be one of the only which seemed to be not from his universe?
He started to stroll back into the hanger with Mia still beside him. "It begs the question: Was this some mistake on the part of AXIS, or is this Alex's way to giving me a way to stop this madness." He turned to her with a sigh. "Deep down, somewhere in AXIS, Alex may still be conscious. If we can find a way to get to him, I may be able to convince him to stop."
Mia smiled. "Commander, that's wishful thinking."
Kyle smiled back. "Captain, from what I've seen so far, that's all any of us have."
Dimitri and the bridge crew of the U.S.S. Atlantis stared at the view screen and held their breath. The trio of Borg cubes loomed and silence, shadowing the cloaked starship from the nearby sun. They tried to slowly maneuver away from the incoming cubes by staying cloaked and venturing away at warp 1. But each time, the Borg would change their course to match the Atlantis.
Krag suggested that the damage warp nacelles were venting plasma which couldn't be masked by the cloak. His recommendation was to drop out of warp and play possum. All now essential systems were shut down to lower their power signature and push more energy to the cloak. As Krag stared at the cube, which even made him tremble, he realized that his recommendation may have been a mistake.
" Antonia, what are they up to?" Dimitri asked.
The Ensign pilot checked the sensors. "They're running modified antiproton scans on the area."
"Have they reached us?"
"Yes Sir. They've scanned our area twice."
Dimitri turned to Krag. "Are we set?"
The Nausican nodded. "The contingencies are in place, though untested. I hope we aren't forced the implement them."
"That makes two of…"
Suddenly, the ship was struck with a large jolt.
Dimitri staggered back to his seat. "What the hell happened?"
Lieutenant Casey responded. "We been caught in a tractor beam by one of the cubes! The other two and approaching!"
It's now or never." Dimitri signaled the Krag. "Do your magic."
Krag initiated his countermeasures with lightning quickness. "Protocol One!"
He began to rotate the shield harmonics to random settings. At the same time, four quantum torpedo were launched at the cube tractor beam source. But the cube was quicker. It caught each torpedo with a disrupter shot before they got near.
Dimtri knew their first attempt would fail. "Contingency number two, Mr. Krag."
Krag tapped his comm-badge. "Zam! I need the power, now!"
"Everything looks fine." Chief Engineer Poldegin replied. "Go for it."
A fine red mist washed over the U.S.S. Atlantis. At that moment, the ships appearance became transparent and the Borg's tractor beam passed directly through the ship.
"The cloak is holding! The ship is free!" Krag yelled.
"Antonia, get us out of here." Commander Shelly order.
The Atlantis turned a full 180 degrees; and started to pull away when the Borg's green tractor beam turned a deep blue and homed in the cloaked ship.
"What's happening?" Shelly asked.
Krag slammed his fists on the console. "They've managed to counteract the phase! We're caught again! Firing all weapons!!"
The melee of torpedoes and phaser beams sprang for the Atlantis and washed over the Borg cube with no effect. The other remaining cubes quickly surrounded the starship and applied their own tractor beams.
A series of drones suddenly appeared on the bridge. One of them raised it's hands for Dimitri.
The Commodore reached for his hand phaser, but Krag was already in motion. He fired two shots simultaneously which caught the drone in the face and chest. It fell to the floor just as Krag turned and fired at the other two behind him. To his dismay, they had adapted to the frequencies quickly. He lunged for one, but was caught in the face with a swinging forearm.
He fell to the floor unconscious.
Everyone else rose to their feet to engage the enemy, when Dimitri took charge. "Everyone, hold your positions!"
While the bridge crew responded to his order, he stood and slowly approached the nearest drone, who he could tell use to be a female Klingon. The Commodore waved his arms, urging his crew to back away from the enemy.
"My name is Commodore Dimitri Andreyevich. We will not give up our ship. I've set a silent auto-destruct sequence. In five minutes, this ship will be destroyed."
The drone slowly approached him and then spoke. "WE ARE THE BORG. YOU WILL CEASE ALL STRUGGLES AGAINST US AND PREPARE TO BE BOARDED." It looked down at the unconscious Nausican and then slowly, back up at the Commodore. "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE."
WAR JOURNAL: CHIEF COMMANDER CHAPEL RECORDING…
With the help of Captain Gan'An-War, we have mobilized the fleet and are ready to get underway. Although we are greatly behind schedule, I'm betting we will make the jump to the Slip Stream before the Borg reach us. May the Prophets guide our mission to victory. END TRANSMISSION
"Captain on the bridge!" First Officer Cole yelled as Chapel entered the control room of the battleship Praxis.
"As you were." He responded heading for his commander chair. "What's our status, Mr. Cole?"
"We've received battle confirmation from 251 ships. All ships on standby."
"Good. Patch me through to the Helix."
In a few seconds, Mia face appeared in the viewscreen. "We're ready on this end, Sir." She called out.
"Good." Chapel stood and walked to the screen. Once we execute the jump, you are to take temporary command of the fleet. If Briggs was correct, the Praxis should be in bad shape by the time the fun begins."
"Understood. I recommend you drop out of the stream prematurely. Try and get yourself together and then join the party."
"You read my mind, Captain." He said with a smile.
Suddenly , the Science Station started to go crazy. Cole quickly made his way the console to investigate. "Sir, the nebula parameter sensors have picked up a massive transwarp signature." His voice faltered. "It's the Borg."
Aboard the Helix, Kyle's sensors registered the same signature.
"Captain, we've got company!" he called out.
Mia turned to her first officer. "Cy, get the fleet moving, maximum impulse! Tell Briggs and Anderson to drop their attack wings to the back for…."
"I got the Borg fleet on visual!" Kyle said.
Onscreen, they looked like a swarm of spherical locusts. The giant wave of silver orbs descended on the abandoned Resistance headquarters. It's auto-defensive systems automatically activated and unleashed a melee of photon torpedoes and phaser file on the swarm. But the small orbs weaved and bobbed thought the suppressing fire, totally engulfing the station one wave of a thousand disrupter beams. The station was destroyed in a matter of seconds.
And that's when Mia saw the giant swarm change course and close in on the slow Resistance fleet.
"Kyle, what's their time to intercept?"
The tactical officer replied. "One minute, fifteen seconds."
"And our time to the vortex?"
He slammed his on the console. "Two minutes, thirteen seconds. We're not gonna make it."
"Like hell…" Mia replied. She accessed the communications control on her armchair. "Captain. Gan-An'War to Briggs."
Chief Engineer Michael Briggs appeared on the viewscreen. "Briggs here."
"You see them coming?"
"Yes ma'am. What are your orders."
"You're gonna assume command of the fleet. I'm pulling the Helix out to engage them."
"One ship against that swarm. You won't last a minute in there!"
"True, but all the fleet needs is a few seconds."
Briggs shook his head. "I can't let you do that, Mia. You're part of the battle specs, and this mission is too important. Anderson and I are the ‘Cover-Wings'. We're pulling out of the fleet and engaging the Borg. It's the only way…"
Before Mia could answer, the viewscreen's aft-view showed twenty starship blossom out from the fleet and reverse course.
"Briggs to son-of-a…" she wanted to go after him, but she realized that he was right. There was no time for saving friends from danger. Not anymore. All that mattered the fight ahead. They were all gonna die soon enough. The only question was what would be left after they were gone? Their sacrifice had to give the human race another chance at freedom.
"Kyle…" she said in a stern, commanding voice. "Move us alongside the Praxis. And when she drops out of the stream, move us to front position."
She watched the aft-view and the twenty ships she had let go totally overran by the Borg. The small orbs sliced through the Resistance attack wings in a matter of seconds. But it was enough to stall them.
The huge battle barge known as the Praxis slowed to halt. It's four warp nacelles dimmed and the ship began to shake violently. Suddenly a massive bubble of energy expanded outward until the entire fleet of 200+ ships were engulf. And just as the small Borg cubes entered weapons range and began to fire feverishly, the bubble flashed the bright bluish luminance and then disappeared.
ACT III: CRY HAVOC...
Borg-Prime was nestled in the Milky Way, a system which should have been called Sector 001. Normally there would be so may Borg crafts stationed there, it would be almost impossible to maneuver through. But this time, it was different. A significant amount of AXIS' defenses were diverted to engaging the unknown marauders from the Delta Quadrant. If there was any chance in a direct assault, the resistance had to strike now.
Just outside of the array's defenses, an enormous temporal gate opened. From within, an onslaught of quantum torpedoes emerged and rained down on anything in the immediate area. They were programmed to seek out any Borg signatures in the area and lock on. Nearly all the projectiles found theirs marks just as over two hundred Resistance ship came through the gate. They quickly scattered like a swarm and began to attack the smaller, quicker Borg spheres.
Within the chaos flying back and forth, a badly under-powered Helix slipped past the defending Borg spheres and headed for the defense platform.
Deep within the main section of the defense platform, three transporter signatures materialized along a narrow catwalk. Mia, Kyle and Cy stood facing opposite directions, their phasers ready. The inside was similar to all other Borg facilities, Mia thought to herself. And she would know, being one of the few people to escape their clutches numerous times.
"Tell me again why this was a good idea?" Cy said staring at the hundreds of Borg drones in their alcoves.
"I never said it was." Mia replied turning to Kyle.
"Oh. My mistake. Where are we?"
The Trill warrior analyzed his tricorder readings. "We're on level 231, sub-junction 11: Defensive Systems." He grinned. "Jackpot."
"We haven't accomplished the mission yet. Which way now?"
Kyle showed her the data. "We take the door there. Twenty kilometers west, six hundred kilometers north."
They cautiously followed Kyle, keeping a careful eye on the endless line of drones in their alcoves. They knew if they didn't appear to be a threat, they should make it to their destination without any problems. Kyle's mind went back to that day he and Alex infiltrated the Borg artifact, the day Alex was reborn as AXIS. The similarities between that day and the current situation were too strange to be a coincidence.
Within a few minutes, they reached a large sliding door.
"Defense Operations is behind this door." Kyle said.
"Cy, do your thing." Mia ordered.
The cyclops quickly opened his backpack and pulled out a host of tools. "I've never done this with Borg technology so I'd advise everyone to stand back." He said igniting a small phaser torch and slowly cutting around the access panel.
Mia leaned over her first officer's shoulder and watched his handy-work. "We're already running behind. Can't you do that any faster?"
"Stop backseat hacking, woman! You know I hate it when you…."
Before Cy could finish his ranting, he heard the sound of Kyle's phaser rifle powering up. He and Mia stood and turned to see what Kyle had notice. Far in the distance, one of the drones had detached itself from its alcove and now silently stood staring at them. And then two more detached themselves, follow my three more, and then four more….
"So much for making ‘nice-nice'!" Kyle said as he opened fire on the activated drones. Fortunately, he set his rifle to a wide dispersal pattern which caught the entire group in two to three shots. But as the drones fell the floor, a swarm of others became active.
"Cy!" Mia yelled grabbing her own rifle.
"Give me some time, people!" he replied as he went back to work on door.
Mia and Kyle kept the phaser fire furious on the approaching drones. But for every drone they killed, three more were activated.
"Got it!" Cy said and the large door slip open. The three of them entered the room, keeping the phaser fire heavy on the approaching Borg. Cy quickly accessed the inside control panel and closed the door shut.
"Step away." Mia said as she fired at the control panel. The intense phaser instantly fused the panel shut. "That ought to hold them long…." She turned around to see what the others where in awe of. "…enough."
The Defense Operations room was massive. It was spherical in construction. The walls were an endless array of control paneling which stretched for three levels up. In ten key areas, Borg ‘Sentry' drones were regenerating in specialized alcoves.
All three resistance fighters raised their phasers.
"You think they know we're here?" Mia asked Kyle.
"I think they're probably assigned to regulating the defense platform. Hopefully if we do this quickly, they may not bother us."
Cy used his tricorder to scan the control panels until he found what he was looking for. "I found the access panel. I'll see if I can plant the virus." As his tricorder began to upload the data, he didn't see the dark creature materialize from the shadows.
Mia turned to see him, but wasn't fast enough to alert her first officer. She watched as the Borg raised some type of weapon and drove it into first officer's back. Cy cried to pain as his hands started to shake violently and the tricorder dropped to the floor. In a matter seconds, the assault was over. Cy's lifeless body fell to the floor, his one giant eye totally bloodshot.
"No!!!" Mia screamed as she and Kyle raised their phaser rifles to fire. But nothing happened.
"YOUR WEAPONS HAVE BEEN NEUTRALIZED, AS HAVE YOUR EQUIPMENT" the being spoke as he walked into the light.
Kyle gasped. "AXIS. I knew this was too easy."
Mia's eyes swelled with tears. "I'm gonna kill you, you bastard!" she lunged for him, but Kyle promptly subdued her.
AXIS walked closer. "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, MY LOST CHILDREN. AND THERE IS NO HOPE FOR ESCAPE. I AM HERE TO LIBERATE YOU FROM THE SHACKLES OF YOUR HUMANITY."
"You know Kyle, his speeches are cheesier than yours." Mia said trying to calm down.
Kyle smiled in defiance. "Who do you think taught me?" He pulled Mia to the side and walked toward AXIS. "Is this the part of the story when we die a horrible death?"
"NORMALLY IT WOULD BE…" AXIS replied as he saw Mia trying to wield her phaser rifle as a club. With a simple thought, he willed the nine sleeping ‘Sentry' drones to awaken. Mia stopped in mid swing as three of the revived drones converged on her and snatched away the rifle. "…BUT THIS IS NOT A NORMAL SITUATION. IT IS A CELEBRATION. I WILL FINALLY HAVE MY TWO FRIENDS TO STAND AT MY SIDE."
Kyle caught his breath. "You're gonna assimilate us?"
"THE AXIS EXPERIMENT HAS ELEVATED ME TO A GOD. AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO RULE ALONE." With a thought, he willed the large blast shield to open, exposing the gigantic window. "WHEN I CREATED THIS UNIVERSE, I WAS PUZZLED BY THE FACT THAT BIOLOGICAL SPECIES STILL EXISTED. I SPEND AN ETERNITY TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I DID WRONG. I NOW REALIZE THAT IT MUST BE YOU." His cybernetic face formed a grin. "THE BEING, ALEX GARRETT DID NOT WANT TO ASCEND ALONE. THE UNIVERSE WOULD NOT BE PERFECT WITHOUT COMPANIONSHIP. YOU TWO WILL BE ASSIMILATED RULE BY MY SIDE. JUST LIKE IT WAS IN TEAM HELIX."
Kyle could hear Mia struggling with the Borg behind him, he had to focus on AXIS. He had to see if there was anything left of Alex Garrett inside that mesh of cybernetic implants. "What about the other species? What about the people outside as we speak, fighting for there very lives?"
"OTHER SPECIES ARE IRRELEVANT. THEY WILL NOT EXIST IN THE NEW BORG ORDER."
"You were wrong before. How do you know now?"
"I HAVE RECALCULATED THE EXPERIMENT PARAMETERS. MY ORIGINAL EQUATION WAS DESIGNED TO RECREATE THE UNIVERSE. IT WAS A HUMAN ERROR, REMNANTS OF MY BIOLOGICAL COUNTERPART. BUT NOW I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DELETED THE GARRETT PERSONA FROM MY PROGRAMMING." He approached Mia, who was being restrained. "I NOW UNDERSTAND THAT AS LONG AS THERE IS A UNIVERSE, LIFE WILL, SOMEHOW FIND A WAY TO EVOLVE. SO THERE IS ONLY ONE LOGICAL ALTERNATIVE…"
Kyle figured it out. "By the prophets, you're gonna destroy everything! You're gonna completely erase the universe!"
"WE WILL EXIST AS PURE CONSCIOUSNESS. WE WILL ASSIMILATE LIFE ITSELF. WE WILL BE TRULY…. BORG."
"Like hell I will!" Mia screamed in defiance and struggling violently. "I'd rather die than become one of you!"
"She's right." Kyle responded. "If you're gonna destroy the others, then you'll have to destroy us with them." With the grace of the skilled warrior generations old, Kyle swiped one of the phase rifles from the floor and swung it across the back of AXIS' head. The puny weapon shattered on contact.
Quickly, one of the free drones lunged to Kyle from his side. The Trill warrior quickly sidestepped him and send an elbow to the base of it's neck. The drone fell on his face.
Just as Kyle was about to finish the job, AXIS went after him with lightning quickness. His iron grip caught Kyle by the neck like a tritanium vice. And in that instant, the battle was over. Kyle squirmed as AXIS lifted him off the ground.
"DEFIANCE IS IRRELEVANT. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO BECOME. ONLY WHEN YOU ARE ONE WITH THE BORG, WILL YOU TRULY FATHOM MY INCREDIBLE VISION." The creature raised it's other hand, and two hallow assimilation tubes sprang from his top wrist. "UNFORTUNATELY, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU WANT..." Slowly, he started to bring the tubes toward Kyle's neck. "…FOR THE WILL OF AXIS IS ABSOLUTE!"
Kyle saw the tubes growing closer, but the grip around his neck was crushing his windpipe. The lack of oxygen was causing him to blackout.
Mia struggled even more forcefully trying to save her friend, even though she knew it was useless. "I'm sorry.." she said with a tearful farewell as she looked at Cy's dead body and then Kyle's approaching doom. But just when her body went limp in the Borg's grasp, the one which held her right arm let go. As she looked up at the drone, it turned to her and smiled.
And as it opened it's hand to reveal a small metallic orb, it spoke in a familiar voice. "Close your eyes." On instinct, Mia knew to comply. The drone tossed the orb at AXIS, who's assimilation tubes had just been inserted into Kyle's neck. The orb opened itself in midair and release an intense energy pulse. It washed over the Borg drones like a fierce tidal wave, causing them the release Mia and fall backwards from the force. When it hit AXIS, his body began to shake uncontrollably. He dropped Kyle and tried to walk his self to the nearest alcove, but Mia was on him with lightning quickness. The butt of her phaser rifle caught him in the back of his neck, causing him to fall forward.
"RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!!!!" he screamed out just before his body shattered as it hit the floor.
Kyle gasped for air as he pulled his self up on the walk and surveyed area. All the Borg except one had been leveled by the energy pulse.
Mia smiled. "I killed him. I killed the son-of-a-bitch!" she screamed out.
"Not quite." The remaining drone spoke while accessing a nearby control panel. "AXIS exists within the collective. You just destroyed one of the his many vessels." He played with a control panel. "I'm deactivating the dampening fields. Your tricorders and weapons are now active." Then he quickly made his way over the staggering Kyle. He checked the Trill's neck. "Don't worry. What little nano-probes that made it into you were destroyed by the energy pulse. The nausea will pass in a minute or so."
Mia walked to him and stared at his face. It took a few seconds, but she finally figured out who her hero really was. "By the Prophets, is that you Eric?!"
He smiled making his way back to the control panel. "Fortunately yes… somewhere under all this Borg junk." He turned to look at her. "But on a better note, your looking as gorgeous as ever."
"What the hell happened to you?" she asked, still shocked at his appearance.
"I'm the latest in interstellar camouflage, thanks to some unexpected allies. This was the only way I could get close enough to AXIS without being detected." He looked at her. "I'm sorry I couldn't do anything about Cy. I had to wait until AXIS spilled his guts about his experiment."
She smiled and placed her hand on his shoulder. "War is hell. Cy would've understood."
Kyle slowly approached them. "I'm sorry to kill this touching moment, but don't we have a job to do?"
Eric Beckett continued his work with the controls. "The overload sequence Cy uploaded has been initiated, but it looks like the overload sequence won't knock out the communications array as predicted. Once the defense shield goes down, you're gonna have to destroy this thing the old fashion way."
"No problem." Kyle said as he patted Eric on the back. "Just give us the pitch, and we'll knock it out of the park."
The Borg Slayer nodded. "O.K. You guys better beam out ASAP."
"What about you?" Mia asked.
"I'm taken care of! As soon as I copy a few things for myself, I'll be out of here. Now go!"
Mia smiled and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "You know your cute when you're excited… and Borg."
"Shut up and go." He said with a grin. And as she and Kyle transported back to the Helix, Eric looked out the large window and watched as one of the strange Borg Sphere slowly approached the defense platform.
"Score one for the good guys."
The emergency transport beamed Kyle and Mia onto the empty bridge of the Helix. Kyle quickly took the navigational position while Mia took the tactical position.
"Decloak and raise shields! I want weapons at full power!"
Kyle swung the ship around and locked onto several small scout spheres. Mia unleashed and horde of quantum torpedoes which washed over he Borg scouts and totally destroyed them
"I'm getting readings from the Defense Platform." Kyle shouted. "I'm registering power overloads across the board!"
In a blaze of white flames, the defense platform exploded. A wave of hot white energy washed over the array's defense shield causing it to deactivate and leave the Communication Hub totally vulnerable.
"This is Mia to the fleet!" she sent out a transmission. "The defense barrier's down, but the array is still operational. I want all ships to regroup and attack the array until there's nothing left floating!"
By this time, over 67% of the resistance fleet have been destroyed. The system was littered with floating debris so thick, it resembled an asteroid field. Little by little, the humanoid-manned starships regrouped and streaked for the Borg communications array with their weapons blasting. The Borg armada pursued closely, quickly picking off as many ship as they could.
Mia fired the Helix's full battery of weapons at the massive array, while Kyle tried his best to dodge Borg weapons fire. But the assault was great. The little ship was knocked crazy with each blast.
"We just lost aft shields!" Kyle called out. "The left nacelle took a direct hit! The controls are too sluggish for evasive maneuvers."
"Use the debris for cover and get us in position to attack the exposed areas of the array! The targeting systems just went off-line so I switching to manual!"
Suddenly, a disrupter beam struck a nearby piece of debris and shattered it into three pieces. One of the fragments slammed into the Helix's left nacelle, tearing it completely off. The small battleship toppled helplessly out of control.
On the bridge both Mia and Kyle were thrown from their positions and slammed into the ceiling. Kyle heard a couple of his ribs nap from the impact as he slammed headfirst back onto the floor. Mia fell backwards onto the guardrail and screamed in pain. But she knew she had to block out the pain. She pulled herself back to her feet and stumbled back to the tactical station.
Holding his ribs, Kyle staggered back to the navigator's position an assessed the damage. "We've lost the left nacelle! Power has failed ship-wide! Sensors are online, but badly damaged. Damnit! The warp core damaged! A breech is imminent!"
Mia stumbled to his position. "Can you get us to ramming speed?"
"I think I can!"
"Good. Then radio the fleet and tell somebody we need an emergency beam-out for two…"
"I can't do it! Communications are off-line!" he looked up at her. "The ship is thrashed!"
"Then that's it. We've lost…"
Suddenly, the partial sensors online. Kyle's heart stopped. "I'm reading three transwarp signatures materializing just inside of sensor range." He looked up at her. "More Borg…"
Their damaged viewscreen switched to an aft view in time to see three Borg Cubes appear on the battle field.
"They've got reinforcements!" Mia screamed. "We're dead!"
The three cubes suddenly split away from each other, the left and right ships engaging the battle, and middle one heading right for the array. The remaining resistance ships saw the cube enter the scene. It was apparent they were outgunned. But they had to try. They had to give the Helix enough time to finish off the array.
The small ships directed their weapons fire on one of the approaching cube. Dozens of phaser beams and torpedoes struck the oncoming cube with great impact. But it was too little, too late. The plowed its way through the resistance defense line…
…and directly into one of the large Borg spheres.
The collision caused a massive explosion which through all the smaller ships ship out of the control. The firestorm ceased, there was nothing left of any ship in the immediate area.
Kyle was shocked. "That ship! That's a Borg cube. "
Mia looked at him puzzled. "But the Borg have always built spherical devices."
"This doesn't make any sense." The Trill warrior checked the sensors thoroughly. "The Cube ships are from my universe. What the hell is going on!?"
That's when he saw the cube coming directly for the Helix.
"Their on a collision course with us!?" Mia shouted.
"No! Their on a collision course with the array!"
The Borg Cube zipped past the Helix causing the small ship to be caught in a mass swirl-spin. Instantly, small Borg spheres converged on the approaching cube. They collided with it in an attempt to disable it's course. Each sphere cause a massive firestorm on the cube's hull, but it did not waiver in it's course. It came in contact with the array's most exposed wound and shattered across it like fine wine glass. Tiny explosion began to appear along the it's surface, which created a burning inferno.
"What the hell just happened?" Mia yelled. "What the hell is going on?"
Kyle checked the sensors. "That collision almost did the trick! The array's power cells have been destroyed. It's currently running on backup power!"
"Then let's finish the…."
Before she could finish her sentence. Four transporter signatures suddenly appeared on the bridge in the form of a Borg attack squad. They quickly split into two teams and went after Kyle and Mia.
"Keep them away from the controls!" Mia said as she pulled her hand phaser and fired at the approaching enemy. The first drone was hit, but the other quickly adapted. She quickly tossed the phaser at its face. As it swatted the gun out of its way, Mia quickly went to work. A martial arts kick the chest cause it to stagger back, and she quickly followed up with a leg sweep. The drone fell on it's back. Mia then made her way to the tactical console. She quickly ran her fingers along the controls, but didn't see the drone quickly get to it's feet. It sent a backhanded slap to the side of her face, knocking her out of the way. But not before she accomplished her task.
‘WARNING, PROTOMATTER CONTAINMENT FIELDS 1 THROUGH 17 HAVE BEEN DEACTIVATED.' The computer sounded. ‘PROTOMATTER INSTABILITY RATIO AT 72%'
At first Kyle was startled by what he heard, but after the met eyes across the room, he knew exactly what she was thinking. The Helix was pretty much history. There was no way they, as well as the fleet were gonna escape alive. The only option was to finish to mission, even if it meant suicide.
Kyle saw the remaining two drones converging on him. Quickly, he manned the controls and pitched the ship hard to the left. The drones stumbled backwards long enough for Kyle to roughly point the Helix in the right direction.
‘ WARNING. COLLISION WITH BORG OBSTACLE IN 30 SECONDS'
A swarm of small Borg sphere descended on the Helix like a swarm of locusts. The constant weapons fire began to tear the ship apart. Within a matter of seconds, the ship was turned into a spiraling fireball.
One of the Borg drones made to the tactical station and dove it's right arm into the console.
"No!" Mia screamed trying to get to her feet. It was apparent the drone was trying to re-enable the Protomatter containment fields. Without them, the ship would collide with the array and totally obliterate it. Protomatter was one of the most unstable and volatile substances ever discovered. It was her final solution. The array would be eliminated by any means necessary.
Kyle saw what was happening and tried to assist his Captain, but one of the fallen drones grabbed him by his ankle. He fell face forward in time to see Mia lunge for her console.
‘ WARNING. COLLISION WITH BORG OBSTACLE IN 20 SECONDS'
Kyle kicked away his captor and crawled to the wall to pull himself up. Mia had reached the drone at the console a jumped on his back like a feral animal. He tried to help, but another turbulent jolt sent him to the floor again.
‘ WARNING. COLLISION WITH BORG OBSTACLE IN 15 SECONDS'
With her legs firmly wrapped around the drone from behind, Mia grabbed its head and gave it a wrenching twist, breaking it's neck. They both fell to the floor just as Kyle made it to his feet.
‘ WARNING. COLLISION WITH BORG OBSTACLE IN 10 SECONDS'
As she pulled herself up on the console, she looked at the statically viewscreen which showed their collision approach with the array.
She then looked at Kyle and smiled. "It's been a pleasure, Commander"
Mia stood up, but didn't see the final living drone coming toward her from behind.
"Look out!" Kyle cried and started to lunge toward her. But just as he started to move, he felt a transporter signature wash over his body.
"No!!! Not yet!!!!"
Mia turned around in time to see the drone plunge some type of metallic spear into her chest.
She bent over backwards, being held up by the large talon.
She looked at Kyle's dematerializing body and smile at him one last time.
What was left of the Helix toppled into ‘what was left of' the array.
The detonation what immense.
The Protomatter explosion chain reaction created a white hot plasma explosion which expanded outward and engulf everything in the immediate area. What was left of the Borg and resistance fleets scattered for their lives as the explosion overtook them. The intense shockwave tossed them like strong sea currents, causing massive collisions and ships simply being torn apart. And in a matter of seconds, anything within the immediate area was completely incinerated, all except a phase-cloaked Intrepid Class Starship, which had merely been silhouetted by the intense heat.
EPILOGUE: STILL NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE
The last thing Kyle remembered was feeling the white heat as the Helix was destroyed. Even though his body was in transport-limbo, he still felt the pain. He watched as Mia and her murderer were incinerated by the intense heat. It was only a fraction of a second and he knew she probably didn't feel any pain, but that image would live on in his memory for years to come.
When he opened his eyes, he found himself lying on a bed of some kind. The blurry bright lights overhead came into focus, along with a face staring down at him.
"Hello there." The person said. "Welcome back to the land of the living."
"Where am I?" Kyle asked with a scratchy voice.
"Safe." He replied. "I'm Dr. Zhivago, Chief Medical Officer of the U.S.S. Atlantis."
"Starship?" Kyle focused on the Doctor's blue uniform. "You're Starfleet?"
"Yes." Zhivago used the medical tricorder the scan Kyle's body. "You're gonna be fine. You suffered four cracked ribs and a mild concussion. But I've stitched you up pretty fine."
Kyle let out a long sigh. "My ship?"
"…destroyed by the explosion. I'm afraid you're the only survivor."
Kyle gathered his thoughts to try and retrace what had happened. How could he be aboard a Starship when the Federation no longer existed? Was the doctor speaking of the explosion, caused by the Borg artifact from Nuvellis? Could all the occurrences in the new reality have been a delusional dream?"
He closed his eyes to rest. "Doc, I had this crazy nightmare."
"Well it can't be far from the reality." another spoke to him.
Kyle slowly opened his eyes, and even though his vision was still a bit blurry, he could make out the shape of a figure standing over him, A figure dressed in black with tubes and technology implanted within his body.
In a flash of panic, Kyle jumped off of the table. He crashed shoulder-first onto the floor and crawled away until he was stopped by the medical bay's rear wall.
"Kyle, calm down." He heard the Borg figure speak as he approached him. "It's me. It's Eric Beckett, remember?"
Kyle's vision slowly began to clear and the Borg Slayer's familiar face came into view. "Eric? By the Prophets, it wasn't a dream."
"Unfortunately no." he heard a female voice say as the entrance door slid close behind her and her entourage. As Kyle looked over at the approaching group of people, he again jumped and tried to give himself some room between them and himself. Standing a few yards away were two Starfleet Officers, a Borg-a-fide Eric Beckett and the person he knew from stories Alex and Mia use to tell him. The woman could be none other than the Borg Queen.
"Somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?!"
"Come down, Mr. K'Nar. I know this is a hell of a lot to take in right now, but frankly we don't have the time." The female officer said. "My name is Shelly Casey. I'm the first officer of the Atlantis. This is Lieutenant David Gerard, and I'm sure you recognize the Borg Queen. Believe it or not, we all on the same team now. We all want the same thing."
"Why am I here? Why me and not Mia?"
David stepped forward. "The Atlantis isn't in the best of shape right now. We only had enough power to beam one of you through the cloak."
Kyle found the strength to stand. "O.K. Then I'll ask again. What the hell is going on?!"
Eric walked toward him. "We're gonna destroy the Universe, and it turns out we're gonna need your help to pull it off."
Kyle looked past Eric to see the Borg Queen
Her cold jet-black eyes were glistening in the room's luminance and she was smiling from ear to ear. "UNFORTUNATELY FOR AXIS, RESISTANCE, THIS TIME WILL BE FAR FROM FUTILE."
TO BE CONTINUED
Kyle, Dimtri & crew, and the Borg Queen unite
for one last effort to restore the shattered timeline.
But can they withstand the power of AXIS?
Find out in the shocking conclusion of:
Phantoms, part 2
|(EPISODE 4) A new Superpower has been discovered, and their trying to plunge the Alpha Quadrant into an intergalactic war. Now with countless lives on the line, Team Helix and a renegade Klingon out for revenge, have to find away to stop the massacre before it starts.|
|Launched December 2004, TrekFiction.com (Version 1.0) is a readers resource from Trek Writer's Guild. This website is a collaboration between the many TWG/SotF authors and Mediaboy Productions. All stories are original and copyrighted by the respective authors under United States law, as well as every other country that matters. (Including Canada) All graphics are original and copyrighted, either separately or collaborativly, by Mediaboy Productions and/or others as specified. The stories and graphics on this site may not be copied, reprinted, or reposted without express and written permission of the original creators. Trek Writer's Guild is in no way affiliated with Paramount Pictures Inc. Star Trek : Enterprise ( Archer T'Pol Reed Tucker Hoshi ), Star Trek ( Kirk Spock Bones McCoy Scotty Enterprise ), Star Trek: The Next Generation ( Picard Data Riker Worf Enterprise ), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ( Sisko Dax O'Brian Odo Quark Kira Defiant ), Star Trek: Voyager ( Voyager Janeway Chakotay Tuvok Paris Torres Be'lanna Neelix Seven of Nine ) are property and copyright of Paramount Pictures Inc. These properties are used in good faith by the authors of Trek Writer's Guild, to further the human adventure through positive storytelling.|