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The New Collective
Stardate 249509

Mission:
The New Collective

Mission Day:
MD 3, Early
Sub-Plot:
Academy Days

SHIP STATUS




Location:
  • Research Station

  • Speed:
  • Full Impulse

  • Shields:
  • 100%

  • Hull:
  • 100%

  • Systems:
  • Operational


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    Evil Inside

    Posted on Sunday 2 December 2018 @ 20:18 by Lieutenant JG Stephanie O'Hara
    Edited on on Sunday 2 December 2018 @ 20:31

    Mission: The New Collective
    Location: Shuttle Pendragon
    Timeline: Concurrent with "Attack" and "Information Overload"

    "We sweat and laugh and scream here. 'Cause life is just a dream here. You know inside you feel right at home here." - Alice Cooper, "Welcome to my Nightmare





    O'Hara sighed. "Here goes nothin'," She said as she inserted the small sliver disk into the port on her neck... To the rest of the shuttle crew, she seemed to just being sitting on a chair, motionless. What O'Hara saw was something completely different.

    When the team beamed back, they saw Stephanie slumped into a chair, sitting immobile with the Borg on the table. She didn't welcome them back. In fact, she didn't acknowledge them at all.

    On the Shuttle, Matthews looked at the Engineer, cocking her head to one side. "Is she alright?"




    Stephanie stood on a high catwalk above a seemingly bottomless chasm. Something at the bottom was pulsing with a dull green light. Various protrusions from the wall arced electricity between them. The walls and floor thrummed with their own energy as she took it all in. She was in The Borg Collective. It wasn't a physical place, but it was real to her all the same.

    Stephanie permitted herself a smile. " I did it..." She murmured, quiet awe creeping into her voice. "I hacked th' Borg." Her moment of reverie was cut short as she reached back and tapped on her neck where the data port was. A floating keyboard that seemed to be made of pink neon coalesced at her fingertips. A few moments later a similar looking visor appeared over her eyes and ears, showing her readouts of code. She tried to access what was going on in the collective.

    She heard what sounded like thousands upon thousands of discordant voices all at the edge of hearing. It was like being at a party where all the hushed conversations joined together to create an almost overwhelming din. Stephanie tried to focus on one voice at a time. It seemed routine enough. Reports on ship's systems; sensor scans of the Federation ships; troop deployments; Everything you would expect. Say what you will about the Borg, but they are the model of efficiency. She began scanning it, downloading all the data she could to the PoVI's onboard isolinear memory... That's when it found her.

    This wasn't the voice of The Collective... It felt different than the rest of the voices. Whereas the Borg were ruthlessly efficient, this was a evoked a feeling of pure malevolence, ripping at the seams of O'Hara's mind. The force of it was like a gale wind, and it bowled the Engineer over. She landed on her posterior on the catwalk.

    "HOW DARE YOU INTRUDE, HUMAN!"


    "Who th' Hell're you?!" She screamed into the void.

    "WHAT I AM IS FAR BEYOND YOUR COMPREHENSION, LITTLE GIRL."


    O'Hara scrambled back up to her feet, indignance rising in her tone. "Little girl? Who in th' actual feck d'ya thin' yer talkin' t', Boyo?"

    "INSECT! BE GONE FROM THIS PLACE!"


    Electricity arced from the wall again, but this time it was focused right at Stephanie, slamming into her shoulder and forcing her down to the catwalk once again. The Engineer screamed as she fell and for a moment her keyboard and visor disappeared. "Tha' actually hurt," she said, looking bewildered. "It's na supposed t' hurt. How'd ya do that?" She rose back up, the keyboard appeared and she began typing furiously. "There's na tactile interface on th' PoVi."

    "HUMAN MINDS ARE SIMPLISTIC. OBSERVE..."


    As Stephanie typed, another bolt of electric fury arced out of the wall out her. Nonchalantly, she took a large step to the right and it sailed harmlessly past her and impacted on the far wall. "You'll na catch me wit' th' same trick twice, ya bloody gobshite." She was not without her defenses... But it seemed silly to attack a wall. She had nowhere to direct her fury.

    "THE BORG ARE MINE NOW. WITH THEM, I WILL DESTROY THE FEDERATION... AND YOU."


    "Na on my watch," Stephanie said. She was still typing industriously, . "Ye're in my house now, ya langer. I'mma find ya, an' when I do I'mma end ya and all that ya hold dear." This was bravado she wasn't actually sure she could follow up on. She grinned anyway. Gran Da always said 'fake it 'till ya make it, she thought wryly.

    The voice didn't respond... At least not verbally. Instead, a section of the wall at either end of the catwalk opened up, and Borg drones began pouring out of them, converging on her..

    "Defense protocol O'Hara-Bravo-Foxtrot-Gamma," Stephanie commanded. The keyboard disappeared and was replaced by a much more substantial looking (and much larger) plasma discharge launcher. When it had fully coalesced, she fired it at a wave of the advancing drones. A three foot wide ball of arcing, spitting, blue-hot plasma was projected at the Borg, the first wave vanished as they were hit. . She got off five shots before they adapted, and began converging on her again. "Feck me runnin'. She made a complicated gesture with her hand and the keyboard reappeared. "Shields!" She ordered. A pinkish bubble appeared around her.

    There was nothing else she could do. She crouched down and began typing feverishly, trying to get the data she needed. The first Borg reached her and began battering against her shield with his mechanical arm. It wasn't long before he was joined as many compatriots would fit around her without falling off the catwalk.

    After a minute or so of pounding, a mechanized voice in Stephanie's ear said "Shield integrity at t seventy seven percent and falling." Still she typed.

    She was running a trace program. The idea was that she would be able to track whoever this voice belonged to back to wherever they were. They couldn't be that far away. The technology didn't exist to cast a subspace telepresence more than handful of light years... At least none that she knew about.

    Every trace protocol she knew how to run slammed into a brick wall that she couldn't find a way around. She kept at this for what seemed like an eternity, until she was snapped back to the urgency of her situation by a voice. "Shield integrity critical. Shield will fail in fiften seconds."

    There was nothing for it this time. She was getting beat and she had to take what she had and get out. She abandoned her traces and began keying in the exit protocols as the computer voice intoned it's countdown ending with the phrase "Shield failure."

    As a single entity, The Borg closed the distance between where the perimeter of the shield had been and her body. As the first one grabbed her, she keyed in the final exit protocol....




    As Matthews stared at her, Stephanie was suddenly a flurry of movement. She gasped deeply and began scrabbling at her data port to disengage it. "JESUS! GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT!" She screamed. As she finally managed to disengage the disk it fell to the floor. Having accomplished that, she sagged back in to the chair. She looked aghast at the Borg, still on the bed. "Miles, kindly get rid o' that feckin' thing. I don' care what ya do with it, jus' get it th' Hell offa this ship."


    =/\= "Pendragon t' Merlin. Mission accomplished. We're headin' back t' th' barn." =/\=

    LTjg Stephanie O'Hara
    Chief Engineer
    USS Merlin

     

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