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Old August 21 2007, 04:15 PM   #46
DavidFalkayn
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 3 (part 3)

And the crew of the Persepheron go on 'brown alert'! I think we've found the new insignia for the Persepheron if it survives this encounter: A mouse giving a giant Borg drone the finger! I'm really...really...hoping this is someone's sick idea for a prank because if it isn't...to quote Dandy Don Meredith, "Turn out the lights...the party's over..."

Nicely done.

PS: Captain, this story's set post-Dominion War, so no continuity problems...
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Old August 21 2007, 06:57 PM   #47
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 3 (part 3)

Captain2395 said:
A very impressive turn and it'll be interesting to see how this encounter with the Borg is explained in the wider Star Trek chronology (e.g. did the Enterprise know about this event in 2365?)
The story takes place in 2376, post-Dominion War.

And I hope it's a prank, too, or this will be the fastest assimilation... EVER!
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Old August 21 2007, 11:46 PM   #48
Dnoth
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 3 (part 3)

DavidFalkayn said:
And the crew of the Persepheron go on 'brown alert'!


Man, these guys just can't catch a break!
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Old August 25 2007, 12:16 PM   #49
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 3 (part 3)

I have to apologize. I did read this offline but then forgot to leave my feedback.

I continue to highly enjoy this story. Your characters are just top-notch and so is there interaction. I have a thing for young, inexperienced crews mixed together with wise no-bull noncoms.

This is a lot of fun to read and now ... the BORG?!? You gotta be kidding?

Next chapter please? Quickly!
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Old September 11 2007, 11:52 AM   #50
Dulak
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Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 4

Sorry for the lateness of this continuation but as I must hold down a job for various reasons...reality intrudes.

I hope it was worth the wait.

USS Persepheron

Throughout the quiet warp tug, red lights began to flash as the warbling Red Alert siren began its wail. The voice that carried over the Persepherons intercom sounded scared. Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands to stations. Secure all interior doors. This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill. Um, its the Borg.

Already in motion before the announcement was completed, Commander Ryan Ridgeway decided as he ran that he was going to take charge of this one. His ship or not, he was the ranking officer onboard. Time to step up to the plate.

Behind him Ridgeway heard Chief Prak yell at the three engineers who were standing with the Tellarite. Get back to engineering, move it. Clamoring up a ladder, Ridgeway had to turn sideways to allow two running crewmen, still pulling on their coveralls, to pass him.

Ridgeway ran around a corner, dodged two additional crewmen, and went up another ladder before he stepped through the door into the bridge with Chief Prak close behind him. Status? He said in his best command voice. Luckily, no one seemed to have a problem with his taking charge, not even Chief Prak.


USS Persepheron
Aft Overflow Berthing

When the Red Alert siren began wailing, between the first verbal Red Alert and the second, a pair of feet hit the deck. They belonged to Federation Marine Captain and Doctor Shelly OConnell. Somehow, she had managed to combine the actions of getting out of bed and putting on her black uniform pants into one smooth motion. She had pulled on her boots and grabbed her pullover uniform top before any of the three other occupants had even begun to stir.

Striding towards the compartment door, she realized her companions might need some encouragement. Stopping she stepped over to the nearest double bunk and finished the rousting the Red Alert siren had failed to do. Come on Starfleet, assholes and elbows! Moving from bunk to bunk, alternately pulling the blankets off or shaking the occupant physically, she got two of the three Lieutenant JGs moving. I know its zero-dark-thirty, but theres something going on, MOVE IT PEOPLE!

TNoor, Vulcan science officer, and a lighter sleeper than the other two junior officers, roused first and hopped gracefully to the deck from one of the top bunks. Lieutenant JG Tara rolled out of her bottom rack a second later, pulling her pants and top on from where she had hung them from hooks. She briefly noted that TNoor had neatly folded her clothes before getting into bed and was having a bit of trouble dressing quickly. Ill have to talk to her about that, Tara thought to herself as she pulled her boots on.

Arjal Brak, the Trill Ops officer, and the only male in the compartment, proved the most difficult to awaken. Finally, with both other females up and dressing, Captain OConnell resorted to the only thing she could think of with the alert klaxon blaring. Already holding his blanket in hand, and realizing that sound wasnt proving to be a big motivator for the Trill, she dropped his blanket, reached up and pulled the barely two-inch-thick mattress out from under him. It was a reasonably good impersonation of a stage magician pulling the cloth out from under a fancy table setting, and Brak fell to the hard metal bunk with a thud, finally waking up.

Still groggy, despite the noise and buffeting, Brak sat up on his bunk. Whats going on?

OConnell shook her head and looked at Tara and TNoor. You two get to the bridge, Ill bring Sleepy here as soon as I can.

With that she grabbed Braks pants and shirt and threw them at him. The two pieces of clothing hit the Trill squarely in the chest. Come on Mister, my grandmother doesnt sleep as deep as you, and shes been dead for twenty years! God rest her soul.

Brak finally got the hint and jumped to the deck and dressed quickly, asking again, Whats happening?

Taking a second to pull on her top as Brak dressed, OConnell said quickly, Its the Borg! She hoped silently that this was another prank, but couldnt shake the feeling that their situation was all too real.

Seeing that the news had shocked the young Trill somewhat, OConnell took the initiative. Follow me, were going to the bridge. With that she grabbed his arm and pulling him out of the compartment.

USS Persepheron
NCO Crew Quarters

When the red alert sounded, the newly minted Starfleet Officer and Cardassian, Ensign Dulak had been in the midst of an unfamiliar card game with several occupants of the NCO Quarters onboard Persepheron. Several meaning three, out of six total bunks, the other two permanently assigned Crewmembers on watch elsewhere.

The plan had been for Dulak to share Chiefs quarters with Marconi, but due to their recent altercation Dulak, having talked briefly to one of the Petty Officers assigned to the Persepheron, and finding him personable, volunteered to stay in the Petty Officers berthing.

Ridgeway had wanted to lock Marconi in a fan room until he could figure out what to do with the Chief, but Dulak had insisted on sleeping in the alternate berthing, or as close to insisting as a new Ensign dared with his new CO. Ridgeway had relented.

As the klaxon sounded and Um, its the Borg. came over the speakers, cards went flying as the Petty Officers scrambled to be the first to exit the berthing and get to Red Alert stations. One of them had the presence of mind to remember Dulak, Hey Ensign, youre an engineer right? Come with me.

It was all the prompting that Dulak needed and he ran out of the compartment following the PO.

USS Persepheron
Bridge

Petty Officer Davis punched up a closer view of something on the central main view screen. Ridgeway ignored the data-flow on the lower screen, mostly because he was totally unaware of what it all meant. He also ignored it because of what appeared on the main screen.

During Ridgeways run to the bridge hed had a good number of flashbacks from Wolf 359. Although the deadly encounter with the Borg cube had been only nine years ago, the intervening and ultimately more costly war with the Dominion had superceded most of his painful memories of that incident.

However, the mention of the Borg upon going to red alert had brought many memories back to the forefront. Ridgeway saw in his memory what seemed like countless ships being sliced apart and blown up by the Borg weapons, ships containing the greater part of his academy class, and some of his closest friends.

Although sweaty from running, he felt a chill run through his body as he remembered drifting in an escape pod following the destruction of the Henderson. He re-lived the terror of seeing other escape pods in his group being tractored or beamed into the Borg cube so that the surviving crew and equipment could be assimilated.

In the most painful flashback, he saw the disbelief in the eyes of the three others in his escape pod as he stunned them with his phaser. He had stunned them and then adjusted the life support controls, manually evacuating most of the pods oxygen and setting the temperature controls to just above freezing. It had all been in a desperate attempt to make the Borg overlook their pod and give them at least a slim chance of surviving. He hadnt thought there was time to discuss the option and in any case knew there was little enough time, if any, to implement it.

Before stunning himself as well in order to make the accelerated hypothermia less painful, Ridgeway had several seconds to contemplate the irony that he was killing four people to give them a chance to survive. The irony was lost on Ensign Takahara, the bright-eyed academy graduate who was the only one of the four not to survive.

Everyone told Ridgeway that he had done the best he could, that he had saved three people out of the thousands who died or were assimilated by the Borg. Despite those reassurances, it took a long time after the awards ceremony for the medal they gave him until he stopped seeing those bright eyes stare at him in disbelief just before he closed them, for the last time, with his phaser.

Blinking, Ridgeway struggled to match what he saw on the view screen to his memory of the gargantuan Borg cube. The object clearly out-sized the Persepheron by several multiples, but it was not a cube.

Studying the object closely, Ridgeway noticed that it did have one symmetrical corner, as if something had torn a chunk from what might have been a Borg cube.

There was also the irritating green laser which played over the outer hull of the Persepheron, and occasionally shone directly into the forward camera that fed the view screen.

When Davis spoke, answering Ridgeways Status query, it actually startled him. Sir, we only have a Mark II sensor suite, with a few enhancements to give us detailed structural analysis of damaged vessels prior to towing them, but the readings I get from that object are consistent with Borg technology. I think this is for real.

Another crewman, still pulling the sleeves of her coveralls on over a non-standard green undershirt slipped past Ridgeway and into a vacant bridge station. Ridgeway took another step into the bridge, realizing that Chief Prak seemed perfectly happy monitoring the engineering status board to the right of the entrance.

The bridge contained no command chair, so Ridgeway settled for what appeared to be the next best thing. A metal bar between two stanchions protruded from the overhead, below the ubiquitous cable runs and just above head-level. Ridgeway grabbed the bar with one hand, wondering how effective it would be in any real challenge to the inertial dampeners.

He didnt have to wait long to find out. Lancing out from the cube fragment, a single tractor beam collided with the Persepheron and locked on. Ridgeway was buffeted as the tug struggled against the tractor beam, and the handgrip proved its worth.

Ridgeway looked back to the Tellarite at the engineering board, Chief, reverse engines, get us out of here! Davis, or whomever is on coms, get a distress call out, NOW!

Chief Prak rapidly punched buttons on his console, but his only response to Ridgeway was a mumbled, Better idea. Before Ridgeway could question the response a much more powerful looking white beam from the Persepheron paralleled the beam emanating from the cube fragment back to its source, impacting just below the Borgs tractor beam emitter. The smaller green tractor beam from the obviously weakened Borg vessel flickered and cut off.

As the tractor beam locked on to the cube fragment a second beam, followed by a third, pulsed out from the Persepheron towards different sections of the cube fragment, locking on to it as well.

Chief Prak practically growled at the viewscreen, Lock on to my tug? I dont think so.

The female crewman seated next to Davis spoke for the first time, Sir, distress call activated, Im monitoring for a response.

Very Well. Was all Ridgeway could think to say. The sound of footsteps behind him on the deck plates, followed by a distinctive Crikey! let him know that Lt. Beverly Townsend had arrived.

Several seconds went by with Chief Prak adjusting settings and calling engineering, Thompson, can we hold those beams?

Instead of Petty Officer Thompsons voice over the speaker, Master Chief Arthrun answered. Chief, Thompson is occupied keeping those tractor beams going. Theyre pulling a lot of power and he said something about not being able to run a calibration routine on them before you activated them.

There was a pause on the intercom as the Master Chief chose his next words. Not coming up with any careful way to word his question he asked Chief, are we holding a Borg vessel in our tractor beams?

Ridgeway thought it would be best if he fielded that question, as Chief Prak seemed somewhat distracted by the constant adjustments the tractor beams were requiring. He stepped over to the com panel and spoke into it. Master Chief, Commander Ridgeway here. We are holding what appears to be a damaged fragment of a Borg cube. It attempted to get a hold of us and Chief Prak overloaded its tractor beam by using ours.

Ridgeway added, Just keep those beams up while we figure out what to do next.

For some reason Ridgeway was highly reassured by the simple Aye Sir, that came through the speaker.

Well so much for our low threat level mission protocol. Ridgeway turned at hearing his XOs voice and shrugged. Lieutenant Townsend continued, Any idea when the cavalry is going to show up?

Behind her, TNoor and Tara stepped into the now crowded rear of the bridge. Ridgeway held up his index finger to the two new arrivals, signaling them to wait. He walked over to the female Petty Officer whose name he still didnt know and asked, Petty Officer What is your name?

Intent on her console, the crewman did not look up but answered both his questions, asked, and unasked. Shelton Sir, and no one has responded to our distress call yet. Im not sure if its even getting out.

Ridgeway nodded, Keep working on it. Then he looked back at the two newly arrived junior Liutenants, TNoor, see if you can coax something out of these sensors. He pointed at a console where a crewmember was generating an annoying series of error buzzes and out-of-system-parameter alerts. TNoor walked quickly over and relieved the overwhelmed crewman.

Tara, get back to the cargo area in case we have any unexpected visitors. If you can find a small arms locker along the way, all the better. The Orion nodded and turned to leave when Davis spoke up from his station, Here Lieutenant, they probably dont have the locker open yet. He tossed her an old-style type II Phaser pistol which appeared in his hand from somewhere underneath his console.

Tara caught the Phaser deftly, checked the power level and turned the setting to a higher level. Quaint, She said, grinning, as she stepped out of the bridge and headed off towards the cargo area.

Getting the distinct feeling that there was entirely too much personnel traffic on the bridge, Ridgeway made a mental promise that if they lived through this particular encounter, he would make sure to get his people assigned Red Alert stations throughout the tug until they disembarked, hopefully onto the Shepard.

In a somewhat apropos entrance, Captain OConnell, with Arjal Brak in tow stepped onto the bridge as well. Despite the tractor beams surrounding the Borg vessel at an all to-close-for-comfort range, Ridgeway managed a chuckle.

Chief Prak, still working the tractor beams from his engineering panel brought Ridgeway back to the reality of the situation. Commander, I hate to break up your touching reunion here on my bridge, but someone has got to come up with a plan. That thing out there is starting to test these beams, bucking and sending energy pulses through them.

Prak continued, having fully captured everyones attention. I dont think its adapting as fast as the Borg are supposed to, but why take chances.

Ridgeway nodded, his face serious again. Youre right Chief. Any ideas? Anyone? Shelton, anything on that distress call yet?

Shelton shook her head, No sir, nothing.

Fine, weve got to assume were on our own with this one. Lieutenant Townsend, do you have any experience with the Borg?

No, just on the holodeck, and some training scenarios at Starfleet academy.

Ridgeway stopped talking and stared at the viewscreen for several seconds.

TNoor broke his contemplation. Commander, the Borg vessel appears to be using energy from our tractor beams to accelerate its regeneration. Sensors detect an overall power level increase as well as structural reinforcement at critical junctures. I predict that it will be able to cause significant disruption of our tractor beams in ten minutes fifteen seconds.

Just as TNoor finished speaking a visible energy spike traveled back along one of the Persepherons tractor beams and caused the tug to lurch, lights blinking for a second before stabilizing.

TNoor, still deadpan, spoke again. It seems that my calculation was incorrect. However, that surge drained the power levels onboard the Borg vessel noticeably. It should not be able to repeat another such pulse for... A while.

Ridgeway punched up the com to engineering. Master Chief, two questions. One, can you keep those tractor beams locked on? And two, do we have warp capability?

The first thing Ridgeway heard when the circuit opened was cursing, in a language he didnt recognize but felt reasonable sure was Andorian. Then a voice he did recognize, but was not expecting to hear, Chief Marconi. Sir, one of the tractor beams, I think number three, lost a secondary coupler in that surge. Its running on the primary, but another surge and itll go down for sure.

The cursing in the background subsided and Chief Marconi continued. Master Chief Arthrun and Ensign Dulak are trying to bypass the primary on the fly and install a replacement. Im working with Thompson on the deflector, but its still down, so we cant go to warp.

Ridgeway slowed his voice just a bit as he spoke next. Chief, I think you misunderstood me. I didnt ask if the deflector was up, I asked if we could go to warp. Are the engines online?

Marconi sounded a bit confused as he answered. Yes sir, but without the deflector, the smallest impact could be devastating.

On the bridge, Ridgeway was starting to loose patience. I am aware of that Chief, but dont worry, Ive got a temporary replacement in mind, Ridgeway out.

Several people, Prak and Townsend included, stopped what they were doing and looked at Ridgeway. Prak asked first, A replacement for the deflector, what are you talking about?

Ridgeway merely pointed to the view screen. It out-masses us by a factor of five. We push it in front of us, go to warp and presto, instant deflector.

But Commander, TNoor piped up from her station, apparently paying attention to the conversation around her, without being enclosed in our subspace bubble, the Borg vessel would be exposed to significant stresses.

Prak chimed in, Shes right, without setting up the portable subspace generators at various locations around its hull, the Borg ship might

Ridgeway cut him off, Thats what Im hoping for people. Silence followed for a brief moment. Besides, Ive always wanted to see just how adaptable the Borg are. Im betting they wont just let a little warp stress rip apart their ship.

Townsend interjected, If youre wrong, and that thing breaks apart at warp

Ridgeway was not deterred in the least. Turning to Arjal Brak, he said, Lieutenant Brak, I hope you remember your high velocity precision piloting.

As Brak nodded, Ridgeway swore he heard a male voice say Aw shucks, from the helm console. Brak walked over and patted the crewman Davis on the shoulder, Its alright, Ill give her back to you in one, well at most two, pieces. The two switched places and Brak adjusted his seat slightly and quickly familiarized himself with the controls.

Chief Prak, if you would keep that Borg ship at relative bearing 000 mark 0 please.

Almost an afterthought Ridgeway grabbed the support handle again as he ordered, Mr. Brak, ahead warp factor one.

Aye Commander, engaging warp one Arjal Brak replied as he punched some keys and the stars lengthened in the viewscreen briefly before the display compensated for the change in velocity. Ridgway and the other Shepard cremembers noticed that the warp engines on the Persepheron had a distinctly deeper hum than most Starfleet vessels.

Course sir?

Ridgeway looked at Chief Prak briefly as if to make sure the Tellarite was attentive to his duties on the tractor beam controls then asked, Lt. TNoor, course and distance to the nearest stellar mass.

TNoor only took three seconds to gather the information Ridgeway requested, Sir, nearest star bearing 165 mark 17, distance .773 light years.

Planets?

Negative sir, at least these sensors dont show any. I may have a correction as we approach.

Excellent, Lt. Brak, set course 165 mark 17.

Brak manipulated more controls, bearing 165 mark 17 layed in sir.

He may not have been on the Shepard but as he said Engage, something clicked inside Ridgeway and he felt, for the first time, like the captain of a Starfleet vessel.

The starfield shifted slightly in the viewscreen as the tug turned slowly. Ridgeway noted to his satisfaction that the Borg were indeed generating some sort of protective field. It was not perfect, and occasionally at the edges pieces of protruding structure would glow slightly before the Borg adjusted the field to compensate.

Ridgeway grinned slightly. TNoor, whats the status of the Borg vessel?

TNoors fingers brushed quickly across the sensor panel, then she replied. It seems the Borg are quite occupied with generating that subspace field. I am not reading any additional structural repairs, and they are not attempting to tamper with the tractor beams further.

Ridgeway took in a deep breath and blew it out. Were not done yet, but I think weve got some breathing room. TNoor, keep me posted the second anything unusual happens. Shelton, any replies on our distress call yet?

Negative sir, but I think the signal is at least getting out now.

Ridgeway nodded, Put any response over the speaker. Lt. Brak, I dont think we want to spend the next month enroute to that star, lets see if we can manage warp three.

The ship accelerated again, and Lt. Brak announced, Warp three sir. ETA 45 minutes.

TNoor gave a monotone status report, Commander, energy output on the Borg vessel is up by thirty percent, and Im detecting significant structural stress along the dorsal and ventral sides.

Lieutenant Townsend tapped Ridgeway on the shoulder, then leaned in and spoke quietly. Warp physics is not my strong point, but please tell me youre not planning what I think youre planning.

Without missing a beat, Ridgeway matched his XOs quiet tone. If you hope Im not planning to warp dangerously close to that star, cut the tractor beams, drop out of warp and see how well that Borg ship can adapt to five thousand degree hydrogen plasma, then Im sorry to disappoint you.

Beverly Townsend coughed in surprise, and then shook her head, smiling. Well, thats not what I thought you had planned, but I cant say your real plan sounds any better than the one I hoped you werent thinking.

Ridgeway didnt ask what Townsend had hoped he wasnt planning because TNoor interrupted him. Commander, Im reading a transporter signal emanating from the Borg vessel.

Destination? Ridgeway asked.

TNoor didnt look up from the sensor panel as she replied, Engineering. Wait, there is a second transport initiating now.

A shimmering energy column, followed by the appearance of a single Borg drone three feet to the left of Ridgeway answered his unasked question.
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Old September 11 2007, 02:11 PM   #51
DavidFalkayn
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 4

I liked how you had Ridgeway to use the Persepheron's limited assets to best advantage here in a creative way. This group is starting to coalesce--if the Borg give them an opportunity to do so, that is.

Very well done!
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Old September 11 2007, 02:43 PM   #52
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 4

Quote: "Um, it's the Borg."
That struck me as hysterical.

I really liked this segment. A good blend of tension, tactics and detail. Ridgeway does a good job of taking charge in a crisis. Prak makes a good call in using the tug's most powerful assets - the tractor beams.

I'm very much looking forward to the next segment! :thumbsup:
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Old September 11 2007, 08:36 PM   #53
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 4

Wow, Ridgeways tactics have kept these guys alive much longer than Id anticipated. A brilliant strategy, buoyed by the skills of his crew and that of the Persepheron. Heres hoping the rest of the plan goes smoothly
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Old September 12 2007, 05:16 PM   #54
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 4

This was definitely worth the wait. Ridgeway's plan was qutie ingenious and gutsy also. We finally get to see some leadership skills and action by your core characters, I've been waiting for that. And I'm not disappointed.

And now a Borg boarding party ... this is only just getting started.
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Old September 12 2007, 08:25 PM   #55
Dulak
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 4

What have I done...There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Oh my, I just had to go and write late at night and end up with two Borgs boarding the Persepheron.

Seriously though, David, TheLoneRedshirt, Gibralter, and CeJay... Thank you for the kind comments. What you noticed was what I was trying to get across.
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Old September 17 2007, 01:37 PM   #56
Dulak
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Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 5

Alright kids, here's a section, A bit shorter, but I hope enjoyable.


USS Persepheron
Engineering

If Master Chief Rexar Arthrun had been surprised when Ensign Dulak followed a crewmember into engineering shortly after the boat had gone to red alert, he showed no sign, other than perhaps a slight twitch to one antennae.

When the Ensign walked over to where he and Chief Marconi, the senior NCO who had assaulted the Cardassian less than a day before on Starbase 214, looked both squarely in the eye, and asked Can I help? Master Chief Rexar had smiled.

In all his years in Starfleet, the number of wet-behind-the-ears Ensigns who didnt have to be taught when it was important to drop any issues of personality that didnt deal directly with the task at hand were few and far between. His opinion of Dulak had gone up a notch.

The three had quickly gotten caught up in frantically helping Thompson keep the tractor beams online, and everything else was forgotten.

Then a Borg Drone materialized next to Thompson at the main tractor beam control station.

While he had more experience in Starfleet than any of the other crewmen or officers in the room, Master Chief Rexar was a little out of the loop in dealing directly with the Borg. Not that any of the others had ever seen one first hand, but when they had been receiving briefings and training on the new threat to the Federation, the Andorian Master Chief had been retired and busy gardening. More precisely, like a true engineer he had been maintaining the environmental controls of a greenhouse on Andoria, for gardeners.

As the Drone walked towards the control panel and extended its arm, replete with various interface junctions and rotating micromanipulators, Thompson opted to throw any chance of a covert response out the airlock. Pressing the intercom and activating all call, he announced quickly, Intruder alert, Engineering. He only said it once, then had the presence of mind to unceremoniously deactivate the control station.

The tractor beam station control was automatically routed to a new console by the damage control computer that maintained all current adjustments and power levels for the three hundred and twenty microseconds it took for station control transfer.

The drone stood with its arm extended, waving it about over the de-energized panel for several seconds before stepping back, and looking around.

Before the drone had the chance to choose a new course of action, Chief Marconi took the initiative briefly and charged the intruder. Attempting a simple leg tackle, the Chief did surprise the drone and managed to knock it forward a step.

For his efforts, the Borg rewarded Chief Marconi with a metallic cuff to the side of his head, which loosened the humans grip on its legs and sent the Chief tumbling several feet across the deck, limp and apparently unconscious.

Master Chief Rexars opinion of Chief Marconi went down a notch, and the Chief was quickly running out of notches. In case anyone else was thinking of trying a similarly futile stunt, Rexar spoke up. Unless someone can find a really big wrench, no more heroics people!

Then to the Master Chiefs surprise, Dulak spoke up as well. Hes right, until we can get some firepower down here, we need to prevent it from accessing our systems or assimilating us, but we need to do it by being an occasional annoyance, not a direct threat. Our best chance is to be subtle enough to stay out of its direct path, but still thwart its plans.

The Master Chief nodded as Thompson moved to the newly activated control panel on the other side of engineering, staying out of the Borgs direct line of sight.

Dulak continued. Petty Officer Thompson, how long until we can expect a security response?

Thompson held up five fingers outstretched.

Dulak nodded, OK, lets keep switching the panels as it approaches, that seemed to work, and with any luck, we should be able to keep it....

Suddenly, behind the drone and from the opposite side of Dulak and Master Chief Rexar, a blur of motion was followed by a crunch and a shower of sparks from the drones head. The drone spasmed and jerked as it fell to the ground, head at an awkward angle.

Standing, holding a huge plasma-inductor spanner in one hand was a short, but extensively muscular crewman. The man had the top of his coveralls off with its sleeves tied around his waist, wearing only a tightly stretched tank top over his broad muscular chest. He had matching arms that would have, in previous centuries, been called guns. The crewman also wore a smirk as he said, Someone ask for a wrench? He swung the spanner against the Borgs head once more for good measure.

Still grinning, he looked at Dulak, That subtle enough for you?

The Cardassian Ensign was already moving to examine the Borg, and only half heard the crewman. His What? was an honest question, and nothing else, but the crewman thought he was being chastised, and half came to attention, I said, is that subtle enough for you, Sir!

Master Chief Rexar realized Dulak was distracted by the Borg drone, and took charge. Thompson, keep those tractor beams up. Crewman... He looked at the tank-topped crewman, and the man was sharp enough to catch the pause, Crewman Kellis, Master Chief.

Rexar continued, Crewman Kellis, It looks like you are now our security detachment. Keep that spanner handy and an eye out for more Borg.

The Andorian wondered if the grin ever left Kelliss face as the crewman slung the spanner over one shoulder, casually, and replied, Yes, Master Chief.

Then Master Chief remembered Marconi, who was still lying on the deck. As he moved to the downed man, Marconi started groaning. Looking at the Chiefs head, Rexar saw that swelling was already starting where he had been struck. There was, however, no obvious deformation, and when Marconi opened his eyes, both of his pupils contracted slightly.

Still with us Chief? You really need to stop getting hit in the head.

Marconi grimaced as he sat up, Yeah, but this time it wasnt my fault.

Master Chief Arthrun chuckled, Wasnt it? He held up a finger to forestall Chief Marconis protest. Chief, I have to assume for the time being that we are going to be working with each other, that is unless you somehow manage to get yourself killed or thrown in the brig. I never thought I would have to say this to anyone with actual experience under his belt, but I suppose there is a first time for everything. I expect my people to find things less valuable than themselves to throw at intruders. That does include you, am I clear?

Chief Marconi managed to look sheepish and in pain at the same time, Yes, Master Chief.

Rexar nodded, I also expect them to use their heads for something other than battering rams. Am I clear?

Yes, Master Chief.

Master Chief Arthrun stood up and offered a hand to his counseled engineer and said, Good! Now how about checking into that deflector grid? Maybe we can keep any more surprises from popping up.

Chief Marconi took the offered hand and hoisted himself to his feet. He wobbled a bit but kept his balance.

Dulak remained oblivious to the conversation mere feet away as he examined the inert drone. He half expected it to dematerialize when it had been incapacitated, but when it didnt, he knelt to examine it more closely.

He actually had some difficulty placing where his unease came from. Other than the normal discomfort at being inches from one of the most dangerous enemies the Federation had faced, Dulak at first couldnt identify his misgiving. Then it stuck him. The technology this Borg evidenced was different than the training holograms he had seen, and seemed to vary significantly from the stats he had studied in exo-engineering classes.

It was almost as if this Borg were more primitive than those the Federation had encountered previously. The various cybernetic implants seemed larger and cruder. The union between flesh and machine seemed less smooth, and in several places Dulak noticed the inflammation of rejection, something not reported on other Borg examined.

Dulak brought himself out of this introspection, realizing that they were still in the midst of a situation. Any examination would have to wait. Standing, he walked over to Thompson at the tractor beam controls.


USS Persepheron
Bridge

No sooner had the Borg drone begun to materialize on the bridge than Davis reached under his console. His hand came up empty and he cursed, Damn, as the drone finished materializing.

Instead of attempting to interface with any control systems, this drone walked straight over to Petty officer Shelton, who was still monitoring communications and grabbed her by the hair, pulling her head sideways.

With its cybernetic forearm held to her neck, a narrow yet strangely rigid cylinder pistoned out and back, leaving a bloody hole in Sheltons neck. The half-centimeter hole started gushing arterial blood, but was staunched by some kind of thick spray that emanated from another cylinder and quickly congealed.

The drone released Shelton, and stepped towards Davis, who was seated at the next console.

Ridgeway had had enough. Actually he had had enough as soon as the Borg appeared, but had spent several futile seconds looking for something to hurl at the drone. Nothing obvious presented itself and not seeing any other course of action, he acted a bit impulsively.

A handle, identical to the one where he stood, projected from the overhead between where he stood and the drone. Ridgeway took two quick steps and launched himself into the air, grabbing the suspended handle with both hands as he brought his feet up far enough to clear the console previously occupied by Petty Officer Shelton. His feet slammed into the Borg directly between its shoulders and it fell forward, tumbling over the control panel and one full revolution before stopping in a seated position, legs straight out to its front.

Ridgeway grunted as he neglected to lift his legs back up on the return swing and both of his calves hit the front side of the console full force. He somehow managed to retain his grip on the handle and then safely drop to a seated position atop the console.

Adrenaline allowed him to hop off the console and walk, despite a severe cramp in each calf, but he was anything but graceful as he lumbered toward the seated Borg.

Captain OConnell darted past Ridgeway with a hypo-spray in one hand. It was her turn as she held the device against the Borgs neck and activated it with a hiss.

The drone convulsed once in a very humanlike manner and fell to its side.

OConnell turned towards Ridgeway and stopped his lurching progress with a gentle hand to his chest. That should give us a few minutes as its nannites repair the nerve damage. You should sit down Commander.

Ridgeway made as if to shrug off the doctors advice, but took only one step before his adrenaline wore off enough for the full and painful effect of his leg cramps to reach his brain. He leaned awkwardly against the control console. OK Doc, you were right.

OConnell pulled out a tricorder in bio-scanner mode, but instead of attending to Ridgeway she quickly moved to where Petty Officer Shelton lay on the deck, unmoving.

Running the scanner over the injured crewmember, Doctor OConnell let out a stunned exclamation, Well, if that isnt something! She took a plasma scalpel out of her bag and held it against Sheltons neck, activating it quickly and then just as quickly turning it off. The device left a small cauterized wound next to the original Borg incision.

OConnell then scanned the woman again with her tricorder, took a different hypospray from her medical pouch and adjusted it before pressing it to the womans neck. It hissed and almost instantly, Petty Officer Shelton started awake. What? Where am I?

Then a look of terror crossed Sheltons face as she asked, Am I turning into a Borg?

OConnell smiled and shook her head, I dont know what happened Dearie, but the only thing that Borg put into you was a tracking beacon, which I neutralized. I didnt detect any nannites at all, and since you are not already turning into a Borg, I think its safe to say that you wont be.

Ridgeway spoke, Doctor, I dont think that Borg is waking up anytime soon.

OConnell looked quickly towards the drone. It was lying in exactly the same position as before, but its eyes were open and glassy. None of the cybernetic implants were moving and all power seemed extinguished.

The Marine Captain was puzzled and she shrugged. She walked over and scanned the drone with her tricorder. Then, almost awkwardly she reached over and felt for a carotid pulse. Finding none, she shook her head.

I think you are right Commander, but you shouldnt be. I only gave it a hundred units of Dermapentazine. Its a class II neuro-toxin used in micro doses for cosmetic purposes. It should have been neutralized by the drones nannites...

OConnell scanned the drone again with her tricorder. Except this drone doesnt have any nannites.

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Old September 17 2007, 10:25 PM   #57
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 5

Interesting - primitive Borg drones from a damaged Borg cube? sphere? something else?

This begs several questions: Where did these Borg come from? When did they come from? Are they lost? Are they part of the greater Borg collective?

This was an excellent segment - you've really cranked it up several notches, and they haven't yet reached the Shepard! Great job! :thumbsup:
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Old September 17 2007, 11:48 PM   #58
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 5

TheLoneRedshirt said:
Interesting - primitive Borg drones from a damaged Borg cube? sphere? something else?

This begs several questions: Where did these Borg come from? When did they come from? Are they lost? Are they part of the greater Borg collective?

This was an excellent segment - you've really cranked it up several notches, and they haven't yet reached the Shepard! Great job! :thumbsup:
I'm right onboard with TheLoneRedshirt. This was a terrific and informative encounter with some very atypical Borg. What's really goin' on here?!
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Old September 18 2007, 02:50 AM   #59
Dnoth
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 5

I agree with the above comments. I eagerly await the explanation for these 'primitive' Borg!
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Old September 18 2007, 03:05 AM   #60
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 5

These Borg are intriguing--Borg who somehow got separated from the collective and are forming their own? An earlier model of Borg that got separated years ago? Another layer to the mystery and we still haven't gotten to the Shepard!
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