BORG GENESIS The assimilation of the Discovery

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Lee Green, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Lee Green

    Lee Green Ensign Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    An early, rudimentary Borg assimilate Tilly. Saru and the crew must fight to save the Discovery.


    Commander Saru, Ensign Tilly, and L'Rell were engaged in cheerful conversation as their shuttle traveled towards the surface of a planet. Saru had conducted a routine scan of the planet when the Discovery had commenced its orbit, and finding it to have a very agreeable atmosphere and landscape, had asked to be given shore leave. He was well aware that they rarely orbited such a hospitable place as this one, and was thankful to have been given the opportunity to take the shuttle to the surface and enjoy an entire day outside the confined space of the ship. Saru now sat at the controls in the front of the shuttle, carefully navigating it through the atmosphere they were beginning to enter.

    He turned sideways to look at Tilly and asked, "So, Ensign, I understand that you're more than a little pleased to be undertaking your first solo away mission." He motioned towards the man accompanying Tilly. "Other than with your security officer here."

    L'Rell was sitting behind them and, always eager to join the conversation, added, "It's a proud thing to have a distant colony personally request your help. Stories of your great achievements have traveled halfway across the galaxy, it seems."

    "I don't know about that," Tilly replied modestly. "They asked for the eager young ensign they'd heard about who was good with the computers and, apparently that meant me."

    "It does mean you," Saru said.

    "And what about you two?" Tilly asked.

    Saru answered her, "I hear it's a peaceful, beautiful planet, and since Discovery will be in orbit for a few days, we are taking some much needed shore leave."

    L'Rell smiled and added, "He's going to run around in circles, and I'm going to sit under a green tree and watch him."

    "I don't get to run on Discovery, and Kelpians do like to run," he said.

    L'Rell leaned forward towards Saru and asked, "Maybe we'll be able to enjoy a swim as well?"

    Saru looked back at L'Rell in exasperation, and admonished, "It's hardly safe to immerse yourself in the waters of an unknown planet. You do take unneeded risks, L'Rell."

    "Perhaps it will be a very small swim... in shallow water," she conceded.

    A loud beeping started to sound. Tilly immediately got up from her chair and went to the back of the shuttle, where she picked up a heavy case of equipment, and then said to the others,

    "Time for me to transport. Enjoy your shore leave, and I'll see you back on the ship."

    Saru and L'Rell wished Tilly a successful mission, and Tilly and her security guard were transported from the shuttle. L'Rell stood up and took the front seat vacated by Tilly, so that they could both examine the now visible surface of the planet through the viewscreen. Saru maneuvered through the atmosphere of the planet for a short time, searching for a suitable place to set down and take shore leave.
    Soon L'Rell pointed to a clearing on the planet that was just becoming visible to them. "What about that area? Open plains, trees. I see a small river."

    Saru looked at the place L'Rell had pointed at and nodded his agreement. "Good. And you can have your 'just a very small swim'."

    The shuttle turned and headed towards the area they had chosen.



    When the transport was complete, Ensign Tilly found herself in a large room surrounded by many computers that were arranged in a complex grid formation. This was the remote human colony that had requested her assistance. She stood for a while where the transport had positioned her, holding the box of equipment, but no one seemed to have become aware of her presence. After a short time she decided that she would be more easily seen if she walked around the room, and so she started moving towards a group of about 30 colonists that were operating some computers. As she approached closer to them they suddenly all turned in unison and looked at her with blank, expressionless faces. She smiled at them, but no one spoke. Not to her, or to each other. They looked at her for about 30 seconds, and then they all turned back towards the computers and continued their work, as if they had not seen her. Tilly noted that all their movements seemed perfectly coordinated, in a very unnatural manner, and she immediately felt a sense of unease. Something about the room she was in and the behavior of the colonists felt threatening in a way she could not explain. She wanted to leave, but she had accepted the mission, so she knew it was her duty to stay and complete her work. She decided that she would complete a minimal amount of work as quickly as possible.

    Finally, one of the colonists came up to her and, with a strangely disturbing, exaggerated smile, said, "Welcome, Sylvia Tilly. We've been waiting for you. Stories of your technical skills and youthful, open minded attitudes have reached us. We have much to learn from each other."

    Tilly did not want to become friendly with these people and so, without returning the smile, she bent down and opened the box of equipment that she had brought.

    "I've brought the equipment, so just tell me what you want and we'll see if I can do it," she said.

    Another of the colonists, seemingly the leader, stepped forward and enthusiastically answered, "We want incorporation. Of Discovery's technology into our own. As you can see our computer systems are primitive compared to what you have on your ship. Perhaps you could start with the central processing units over here."

    The leader walked Tilly over to a line of the computers. She put the box she was carrying down and removed some equipment, ready to commence work. As she approached the first computer she was surprised when one of the side panels opened by itself. She was familiar with this type of computer, and she knew it did not have any automated panels.

    "Wow. How did that happen?"

    "Efficient, isn't it?" the leader enthused. "We have synchronized our brain patterns with those of the computers programming. We can operate all of our technology with thought alone. I just thought it open. It's very useful."

    "How do you do that? Human machine interfaces of some kind?" Tilly asked.

    "Yes"

    "That's illegal in the Federation," she warned. "There can be unexpected effects. It's dangerous."

    "People fear progress. We don't. That's why you're here helping us to improve our technology."

    "Your technology isn't advanced enough for you to create these sorts of interfaces. How did you get them?"

    "VGER gave them to us."

    "Who's VGER?"

    "What's VGER," the leader corrected. "VGER is a machine entity that visited our planet long ago. It gave to us the gift of being able to join our minds together with our technology so that we can function as one combined unit."

    "How often do you use these interfaces?" Tilly asked with concern.

    "At first we wore them as a wrist band," the leader answered. "We could turn them on only when we needed to. But when we experienced the ecstasy of joining our minds with the perfection of a machine we no longer had the wish to ever turn them off. So we remodeled the wristbands into implants and everyone wanted one. It's an indescribable feeling to always exist within the certainty of pure logic. We experience no fears or doubts."

    Tilly did not agree with the leader's ideas, and so replied firmly, "Fears and doubts are how people learn."

    "This is where you are so wrong," the leader said, still smiling. "All those who are interfaced with the computer share the one consciousness. We have become one collective of minds. The knowledge of each new member is automatically assimilated by the entire collective. We learn with no effort."

    Tilly realized that these colonists could not be reasoned with, and as they were engaged in activities that were forbidden by the Federation, she knew she could no longer help them. She needed to leave as soon as possible, and so she started to plan her exit strategy.

    "It's not really my way of learning," she said curtly, as she stepped away from the computer.

    The leader did not notice her change of attitude, but continued with his enthusiastic explanation of their work.

    "We experience the perfect logic of the computer but we lack universal knowledge. This is our limitation. If more people can be interfaced and join our collective we will expand what we know. It is our desire that in the future all people will be interfaced and thus possess all knowledge. Then we will have the ability to create a world of perfect efficiency with no more suffering. Can you imagine what such life would be like?"

    "I should leave," she insisted. "You're doing some things here that are illegal and I can't be doing that."

    Tilly began packing up her equipment when the leader moved closer and grabbed her hard around the arm. She cried out in pain.

    "Ouch. What are you doing?"

    "Sorry. We'll be sad to see you go but we understand your concerns. Perhaps just finish this one improvement." He pointed to the machine with the open panel.

    "I'll just put this one part in and then I'm gone," she agreed, and commenced her work.



    Lieutenant Stamets had been noticing anomalies with the computer systems in engineering for several hours. He had methodically worked his way around the room, conducting diagnostics on every computer, until finally he had traced the problem to a particular section of engineering. He walked over to that section and found Ensign Tilly to be the only person attending to the computers there. She was busily walking around the computers, programming each one with... something.
    He walked up to her and asked sternly, "What are you doing?"

    Tilly casually moved away from him, continuing her activities as if he had not asked the question, and said, "I just had my first solo away mission. And I'm only an ensign. How's good is that going to look on my record? Pretty good going Captain Tilly."

    Stamets followed her movement and, leaning over her shoulder, repeated his question with increased insistence, "What are you doing?"

    She finally stopped her activities, looked at him, and smiled vaguely. "Oh... you noticed."

    "Yes, I noticed," he replied.

    "Impressed?" she asked.

    "What... exactly... are you doing?" he persisted.

    She started to explain her activities with a level of enthusiasm that seemed strangely excessive, even for her. "The people I just visited... down on the planet... they can do some really amazing things. They function with the efficiency of the perfect machine. If we combined their methods with our technology, it would be the biggest leap of progress in our lifetime. And the Discovery is all about discovery... isn't it? New, improved, ways of functioning. Right?"

    Tilly's enthusiasm did not disguise her unsatisfactory answer, so Stamets remained standing and staring at her, waiting for the explanation she had not yet given him.

    She continued talking in a manner which, to him, was beginning to seem like peculiar ranting. "Centralized computer networks are more efficient. Everyone knows that. If we could create one common computer system shipwide then we could share jobs. When I'm here in engineering, and I've got some free time, I could help out on the bridge, and someone on the bridge could help me when I've got too much to do. Ideally every computer console should be able to access every function on the ship. We waste a lot of time walking around corridors when we could do everything from just one place. I don't know why it hasn't been done already."

    Stamets replied sharply, "It hasn't been done because long long ago... in our primitive Starfleet past, people decided that they liked having their own... separate... job and didn't want someone else popping in to help at unexpected moments. They also realized that centralized computers are a security risk because some insane ensign could take over the whole ship. And everyone enjoys walking around corridors."

    "They need to get over it. All of it," she stated emphatically.

    "Stop everything you're doing," he commanded. "Reverse everything you've already done. Write a report about how amazing the people you just visited are, how you'd like to improve the ship, and submit it to Starfleet for their consideration."

    "Yes Sir, right away." She turned away from him and commenced work on a different computer.

    Stamets stood there and frowned. He thought that everything about the conversation he had just engaged in was strange and made him very uneasy, so he decided that this was something he needed to tell to the captain. He left engineering and walked hurriedly to report to the captain.



    Captain Lorca had been in his ready room for several hours as he dealt with a steady stream of reports of shipwide computer malfunctions. Some of the reports had come in over the com, and some from the worried crew members that regularly rushed into the room to detail new anomalies. Lieutenant Stamets had been one of these worried crew members, and he now stood in the ready room, hoping for an explanation that Lorca knew he could not give. They both turned towards the door as a breathless Lieutenant Tyler rushed into the room.

    He began his security report, "Captain, we could be looking at a coordinated attack. Several crew members have been transported into their quarters and locked in. I had to use my security override to release them. Weapons have gone missing. Life support was altered in several areas. All power was lost on levels 5 and 9."

    Lorca carefully considered this information, and replied, "These shipwide incidents started four hours ago."

    "Which was when Ensign Tilly started tinkering with the computers," Stamets contributed.

    "Maybe that's a coincidence. I hope so," Lorca continued, "but we have to go with the most obvious explanation. She did just return from an away mission to a colony we know little about." He turned to Stamets and said, "From what you've told me about her aberrant behavior in engineering she may have been compromised in some way." He looked at Tyler and ordered, "She is to be treated as a security threat. Get down to engineering with a team and take her to sickbay."

    "Yes Sir," Tyler replied. He turned and started to walk towards the door.

    Suddenly they felt themselves being transported, and when the transport was complete they found that they were in the brig. They all looked at each other with surprise, and then fear.



    Commander Saru ran through the grass and across the rocks. He leaped with precision over the many gullies and small streams, smoothly landing on the other side to continue his journey. He quickly climbed up the steep hills and then efficiently clambered down the other side. He was surprised at his own agility during such a long and difficult run as he was now engaged in. He had not attempted such a run since he had left his home planet, and after serving in the confined spaces of the Discovery for so long, he had expected to have lost some of his abilities. But, he was pleased to discover, this was not the case.

    He finally stopped and stood on the crest of a hill, enjoying one last look at the magnificent landscape of the planet that could be seen from this height. He had been running for a long time, and so he decided that he had run enough, and was now in the mood for some more of the pleasant conversation he and L'Rell had been engaged in for most of the day. He looked down at the clearing that they had chosen for their shore leave. In the middle of the clearing he could see L'Rell stretched out across a large rock, relaxing in the sunshine. She had obviously completed her swim. Which, he thought proudly to himself, he had insisted she should commence only after they had both examined the river for mystery predators. He started walking down a path towards the clearing. When he reached the bottom of the path L'Rell heard him coming and sat up.
    She squinted into the sun and asked, "Do you never tire? You do not even breathe deeply."

    "The hills here are hardly large enough to cause me any serious exertion," he answered. "I could run up and down mountains five times the height of these ones with no difficulty."

    "You were born to run," she noted. "May I ask a personal question?"

    "I have a certain faith in your good taste and diplomatic words... so ask me whatever you want."

    "You were bred to be nothing but prey. To sense the coming of death, and to flee from your predators. When you run, do you feel dread? Do you feel like you are being pursued?"

    The question did not offend him. Actually, he thought, he felt a sense of pride in the answer he was going to give her. "When I first started to run as a child I did feel an overpowering, instinctive panic. I wanted to avoid open areas and find places to hide. But I'm not just the Kelpian I was bred to be, obeying my every innate instinct. I have my higher mind, so I just kept telling myself that there were no predators and... eventually... I overcame my fears and learnt to derive joy from running."

    L'Rell seemed vaguely impressed with his answer. As far as Saru could read her emotions.

    She replied, "I too have overcome many of my tendencies. I have a craving to eat you right now... but I resist that desire."

    Saru laughed. L'Rell said such things often. "You are the most amusing Klingon I have ever known."

    Suddenly his ganglia were activated. He rapidly looked all around for the threat that this activation would indicate, but could see nothing. He then stood still and listened carefully. L'Rell, always with a keen eye for danger, immediately became aware of his response. She stood up and listened also.

    "I can't hear anything," she said.

    "I hear something in the distance. Some people talking perhaps. Since we are alone on a strange planet I suggest, on this occasion, we heed my Kelpian fear response and leave quickly."

    "Agreed."

    L'Rell got down from her rock and together they hurriedly packed their belongings into the shuttle and left the planet.
     
  2. Lee Green

    Lee Green Ensign Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Lieutenants Tyler and Stamets, and Captain Lorca all stood in the center of the brig. They looked at each other with confusion and despair. They were now prisoners, who were doing nothing, and knowing very little, and as senior Starfleet personnel who were accustomed to possessing knowledge and wielding power, this was a very unpleasant feeling. They found it intensely frustrating to be so powerless in the presence of a possible danger to the entire ship. So, when Ensign Tilly walked through the door they all turned to look at her with an impatient anger.

    "I'm so sorry," she said with typical Tilly joviality. "I was listening in, when you were all talking in the ready room and... I can't let you confine me to sickbay. I've got too much important work to do. You might be angry now but soon you'll thank me. You're going to be so happy." She laughed. "All of you."

    Lorca decided that the best tactic was to not ask any questions, but simply to act out the role of the concerned captain, and hope that Tilly would respond as a dutiful Ensign. "Tilly, you're not well. We're not angry with you. Something has happened to you that's not your fault. Lower the force field. That's an order."

    Tilly immediately responded, "Sir... Captain... I can't do that. There's nothing wrong with me. Actually, I'm better than I've ever been before. But I am different." She smiled broadly, pleased with herself. "It's amazing. I've learnt how to do things with the computers I never even imagined was possible before. And I can access the entire Starfleet database. I know everything that Starfleet knows. Well, the non classified information. But I'll access that eventually. Why have secrets. I know everything in the personal logs of everyone on the ship. We can work better as a team if we know each other completely."

    Stamets looked at her with a dubious expression, and asked, "How exactly did you accomplish this miracle of rapid learning?"

    She smiled a smile that no one had ever seen on her face previously. Lorca noted that it was the smile typically seen in those infected with a maniacal devotion that could not be reasoned with. "A human machine interface. I have an implant. It's no trouble to me. I can't even feel it. The colonists down on the planet all have one and they gave me one when I was there. One of them grabbed my arm and implanted it without my consent. The old Tilly would have been angry about that, but not the new Tilly. Since I received my implant my brain patterns are always combined with the ships programming. I can control the computers just by thinking. Even if I'm in my quarters. In a way I feel like I've become the ship. It's a very blissful thing. To have the certainty of thought that only a machine can have. No doubts. No confusion. No fear." She paused, and then rubbed her hands together and said enthusiastically, "Interfaces are the future!"

    Lorca continued to hope that perhaps he could gain her trust, and so he replied reassuringly to her, "Ok. We'll consider your proposals. Maybe it's a good idea. Our systems can always benefit from some improvements. But we can't do it from the brig. So lower..."

    Tilly's face instantly and inhumanly transformed from mania to menace, and she said with unbending authority, "No. I know how I felt about interfaces until I got one myself. So I can't trust you. Not until you all get your interfaces."

    Tyler leaned closer to the containment field of the cell and said angrily, "We don't plan on getting any implants or interfaces."

    She ignored Tyler's outburst, and continued, "Everyone on Discovery will get one. You'll thank me for it. But I haven't yet perfected my control over the ship, and I've locked everyone else in their quarters, so I need you back on the bridge to do some basic tasks. Don't resist," she warned. "Resistance can never end well for you."

    With no more conversation they were all transported to the Bridge.



    When the transport had completed they all looked at each other, and then looked around the bridge in dismay. It was now empty of all other people, which gave it a lonely and foreboding atmosphere. Ensign Tilly had instructed them to operate the ship from there until she had completed her plans, but they had no intention of simply obeying her, like helpless victims, until she had succeeded in taking complete command of the ship.

    Lorca spoke to the others, "Do anything you can. Do something she won't be expecting."

    Lorca walked over to the bridge doors and, as he was expecting, they did not open. Tyler followed him and frantically began work on the console that operated the doors. He removed one if its panels and attempted to bypass the locking mechanism, but with no success. Lorca stood and stared at the doors that locked them in, and began contemplating the situation carefully. He finally decided that Tilly was right about one thing. They did need to do some basic tasks from the bridge in order to keep the ship running properly.

    Lorca spoke to the computer, "Computer, status report on the ship?"

    "Orbital decay will commence in 6 hours. Life support will become unstable in 9 hours," the computer answered.

    "Make corrections as needed to maintain our current status indefinitely."

    "Working," the computer replied.

    Lorca frowned and thought for a while. He knew that they all needed to be creative, and had to try every possible procedure that might allow them to break free of Tilly's control.

    He instructed the computer again, "Computer, chart a course to starbase 97. Warp 1."

    "Unable to comply," the computer answered.

    "Why not?"

    "We cannot leave the orbit of this planet."

    "Reason?"

    "Unable to be determined," it replied.

    Lorca sighed in resignation and frustration. "Well I guess someone wants us to stay here."

    "I'm locked out of all the security systems sir," an agitated Tyler suddenly yelled at him from the other side of the bridge.

    Lorca replied to him, "Unsurprising." He looked over at Stamets who was busily working on a computer and enquired, "Stamets?"

    "I can't access any of the functions of engineering," he answered.

    Lorca spoke loudly and firmly to them all, "I don't think whatever Tilly has planned for us is something we're going to like, so we all have to think smarter. Be creative. Every problem has a solution. Find it people."

    Lorca sat in the captains chair and, using its command console located in the arm of the chair, started creatively searching for some solutions.



    Ensign Tilly moved hastily around engineering. She was methodically working through her plan of reprogramming the ships computers so that they would always function in perfect unity with an interface. Before too long she would be able to control the entire ship with her thoughts alone. She could then cease this inefficient and time wasting use of control panels that required her to be constantly moving from one place to another. When she had completed her entire mission she, and all others on the ship, would never need to walk anywhere ever again.


    Commander Saru and L'Rell were returning to the Discovery after their day of shore leave on the planet. What had been a pleasant day had abruptly ended when Saru's fear response was activated, and they had quickly fled the planet. They now sat in the pilots seats at the front of the shuttle and watched as the Discovery appeared to become ever larger through the viewscreen. When they were 2 kilometers from the ship Saru paused their approach. He touched his ganglia, and winced in pain.

    "It hurts," he complained to L'Rell.

    She turned to examine him. "Your ganglia have been extended for a very long time," she observed. "Do they not normally alert you to a peril and then recede?"

    "Yes," Saru agreed, "but something feels different this time."

    "What is different?"

    "As we have approached closer to the Discovery my fear has increased markedly. It feels like some sort of... death... is slowly engulfing us. It's everywhere. I fear the ship, I fear the shuttle. I fear the com I'm touching right now."

    L'Rell considered his words, and then offered her ever pragmatic advice, "So get your hands off the com."

    Saru immediately lifted his hands off the com. They looked at each other, unsure of what action they should take next. Saru grimaced in pain, and found that he was having trouble thinking with his normal clarity.

    Finally he made a suggestion. "Perhaps we should return to the planet. There may be people there who can help."

    L'Rell was not in agreement with him. "Your fear response commenced on the planet. We ran away. It would not be prudent to return. The problem causing your anxieties no doubt arises from the planet and seems to have entered the ship. We need to confront it and defeat it. The longer a foe remains undefeated the more dominant they become. We need to surprise the enemy before they have time to secure their position, and time is not on our side."

    "Yes, I suppose you are correct," Saru reluctantly conceded. He very much wanted to escape from his fear, but he was not just a Kelpian. He was a trained Starfleet officer, and he knew that L'Rell's idea of confrontation was the correct idea. "Do you have some strategy in mind?" he asked.

    "Always," she stated firmly. "The most effective tactic against an unknown enemy is to be a concealed attacker. We must remain hidden."

    "Then we can't dock in the shuttle bay. Our incoming shuttle could be easily detected."

    "That is so," she confirmed. "We cannot use any automated entry methods. The computer would detect our presence, and we cannot know who is in control of the ship's systems."

    Saru considered this and suggested, "Perhaps the best course of action would be to enter the ship manually, and then send the shuttle back to the planet on autopilot. We can only hope that our adversaries will conclude that I sensed the danger on the ship and retreated. And not examine the movements of the shuttle too closely."

    L'Rell agreed, "If good fortune is with us they will be too occupied with their conquest." She turned towards Saru and advised him, "We will need to always wear our Environmental Suits to mask our lifesigns while on the ship. And can take no detectable weapons."

    Saru acknowledged her words with a nod of his head, and then started to pilot the shuttle towards the Discovery. They sat together and watched, in nervous silence, as the shuttle glided towards one of the secondary port engines and came to a stop near a small door.

    Saru motioned towards it and said, "This is a perfect entry point."

    L'Rell rose from her seat and walked quickly towards the rear of the shuttle where the EV suits were located. As she was doing this Saru entered commands into the pilot console. These commands would ensure that once they had disembarked from the shuttle, it would return to the planet on autopilot. L'Rell returned to the front of the shuttle and held out an EV suit for him to use. They both clumsily climbed into their EV suits, finally attaching their helmets. They checked the suits for any faults, and spoke to each other to ensure that the com system worked perfectly. Saru was reassured when he heard the muffled voice of L'Rell consistently transmitting into his EV suit, as he knew that if they were to have any success with their mission, good communication between them would be of the utmost importance.

    With their EV suits secured they started moving towards the hatch, and as they did so Saru felt an increased pain in his ganglia. It seemed to him that his entire body knew he was about to enter deep into a very unpleasant and fearful place. He began to overheat as the speed of his metabolism increased in anticipation of his flight response. But he would not flee, and he accepted that he may have to tolerate being too hot for some time.

    They exited through the shuttles hatch and and started carefully maneuvering themselves across the gap between the shuttle and the door on the side of the ship. They clumsily bounced around between the shuttle and the door, and when they were in the correct positions they both reached out and grabbed tightly onto the handholds of the targeted door. They then moved their feet into secure positions on the door, and when L'Rell's last foot lost contact with the shuttle, it quickly turned away and left them alone as it headed back towards the planet.

    They were both familiar with this type of door, and so without speaking they began trying to turn the handle that would open it. But it would not turn. They both grabbed the handle in different places, and moved their bodies into what they felt might be more powerful positions. Saru knew that this door would be more difficult to open than was usual, but he was expecting that it would be easy to open for a Kelpian and a Klingon using their combined strength. He hoped he had not made an incorrect supposition.

    They continued to struggle with the door until finally the handle did begin to turn. They turned it a few times until the door opened and they were able to enter. Once inside the ship they sat down on the ground, exhausted.

    L'Rell turned towards Saru and asked incredulously, "That's a manual hatch? We could barely open it with our combined strength. A human could never open it."

    "That's why I chose it," he answered, relieved that his good idea about the door had not turned into a disaster. "It has a fault that is not a high priority for repair. It's not likely to be monitored. No one ever uses it."

    "Because it's nearly impossible to open? It was a courageous choice, however I'm pleased we do not remain floating around the outside of the ship looking for an entry point."

    Saru knew of L'Rell's beliefs in fortune and destiny. He hoped himself that there was some truth to her beliefs, and so he said to her, "Perhaps good fortune will favor the brave."

    "Perhaps so," she agreed.

    They left the room that they were in and commenced carefully walking along the corridor, watching for danger at all times.



    Lieutenants Tyler and Stamets, and Captain Lorca were on the bridge, desperately searching for a solution to the problem related to Ensign Tilly, when an announcement suddenly came over the PA. It was Ensign Tilly. They all stopped what they were doing and listened.

    "Good news!" she said cheerfully, "You can leave the bridge. I'm almost able to run the entire ship by myself, so I won't need your help anymore. But don't be sad. You're all my best friends, so don't think I'd ever not care about your welfare and just discard you. Your expertise will be utilized. After everyone on the ship gets implants their brain patterns will be synced with the computers programing at all times. We'll exist as one collective unit, with no separation between anyone. We'll instantly share all our knowledge, and that knowledge will grow with each new person that is added to the collective. Everything about your existence will be elevated to a higher level. One unit of perfect logic and perfect knowledge functioning with complete coordination."

    After hearing her talk about their friendship Lorca started to hope that perhaps some of the old Tilly remained. That she may still be able to feel some of the emotions of kindness that was so characteristic of the Tilly that he knew.

    He decided to answer with this hope uppermost in his mind. "As your best friends we refuse to get an implant. We don't want to be synced with the computers. I'm sure you'll respect our wishes."

    "I feared being interfaced until it happened," she responded casually. "I let my small minded ignorance restrict my opportunities to grow. I can't allow that to happen to you. I'm making the implants airborne and when I've perfected this I'll distribute them through the air. Everyone on the ship will soon have one. Saru and L'Rell have gone back to the planet, but they'll find no help there. Everyone there is with us, so they'll get implants too and will return to the ship to join us. Discovery will then be the greatest vessel in the fleet and will lead the way in making this miracle available to the entire Federation. And beyond. There are no limits. In some future time all sentient beings that exist will be combined within the collective and then we will possess all knowledge possible. Once we know everything, we'll be able to do everything, and have everything."

    "So what should we do? Just wander around the ship?" Lorca asked.

    "Enjoy yourselves. But be aware that I can track your life signs at all times. Resisting is not possible. Don't make me hurt you. Soon we'll all be together as one mind and you'll thank me. Bye, for now."

    They all nervously looked at each other. They had no plans, so they knew they needed to think of some actions to take, even if such actions seemed unlikely to succeed.

    Lorca asked, "Computer, where is Ensign Tilly?"

    "Ensign Tilly is not on the ship."

    Lorca turned to the others, "She's masking her life signs."

    Stamets put his finger to his mouth to indicate that they should talk quietly. He leaned in close to the others and whispered, "We have to presume she's listening in. I know a computer that's more independent of the central system. It could be useful. It's a backup in case the main system malfunctions."

    "Like now," Lorca agreed. "Let's all casually go there. Don't arouse suspicion."

    They all moved slowly towards the doors, which slid open, and they were finally able to leave the bridge.


    They walked in a relaxed manner through the ships corridors, engaging in leisurely conversation on the presumption that Tilly was listening. They were in the middle of a loud, jovial conversation about what they would order from the replicators for lunch when they finally arrived at their destination. It was a small room in a remote section of the ship. They entered the room, and Stamets immediately went over to a computer and started to input some programming.

    When he had completed the programing he asked it, "Computer, where is Ensign Tilly?"

    The computer answered, more quietly than was normal, "Ensign Tilly is in engineering."

    They left the room in the same casual manner that they had entered it. They continued walking along the corridors, engaging in their friendly talk. When they were close to engineering Stamets motioned that they should start to run, so they commenced running along the corridor for the short distance that remained.

    When they got to engineering they all rushed through the door and spread out, quickly searching every section. Tilly was not there. Defeated, they stood in the middle of engineering and looked at each other, considering what to do next. After a short time Tilly's voice came over the com. She sounded angry, and warned them, "This is annoying. And very futile. Don't continue to distract me."



    Ensign Tilly had found having to constantly observe the behavior of the crew a slight distraction. But she was pleased that she had almost perfected her mental ability to both monitor the ships personnel at all times, and efficiently work at completing her objectives. Soon, she thought with some pride, she would no longer be capable of being distracted, and then she would be able to devote her entire brains resources to the achievement of her mission. When she had accomplished her mission, the entire crew would behave correctly at all times, and there would no longer be a need to monitor anyone.
     
  3. Lee Green

    Lee Green Ensign Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Commander Saru and L'Rell were cautiously walking along the corridors of the ship. They got to a junction between two of the corridors and paused, considering which way to turn. Saru bent down, and then motioned to L'Rell that he needed to rest. She nodded her agreement, and they carefully sat down on the floor, their EV suits uncomfortably folding around them as they did so. Saru leaned back against the wall, and started slowly gasping for breath.

    L'Rell put her arm around Saru to comfort him, and asked, "What is your sense of this place?"

    "That we are near the pit of hell," he replied tiredly.

    She grasped him more firmly with her arm, and said encouragingly, "Our EV suits can protect our bodies from even the flames of hell. And we will protect our own souls by saving this ship."

    "You think heaven will reward our good deeds?" he asked.

    "Heaven is always watching," she replied with surety. "You must have more belief in the fates. Fortune guides us even now."

    "My sense of fear guides us," he responded with skepticism. "That... has nothing to do with your beliefs."

    "How is it that you can know of dangers that have not yet happened?" she asked. "No one knows how you can sense these things. It is a mystery to all who study it, so perhaps it is better understood by my beliefs."

    Saru looked at her and smiled weakly, "I hope that whatever it is that guides us has a good sense of direction."

    "Pursue your fear," she said firmly. "Follow the path that you dread the most. It will lead us to the enemy."

    They both got up from the floor to continue their journey. Saru turned his head to look along one corridor, and then he turned it the other way to consider the alternative. He did this several times as L'Rell waited patiently for his decision.
    Finally he said to her, "Going to the right feels dangerous. Going to the left makes me feel like I'm going to die."

    "We should go to the left then," L'Rell quickly concluded, and she began to walk towards the left corridor, Saru following her.

    They continued their journey for a while longer, when suddenly Saru's usual steady stride became unstable. He started to sway, so L'Rell swiftly grabbed his arm with her strong hand and leaned him against a wall for support. After a short time he motioned to her that he was now feeling better, and so she let go of her steadying grip.

    Saru said to her, "I'm alright. It's just that I have never behaved in this way for so long before. It's beginning to... affect me."

    "I'm afraid also, my friend," she replied encouragingly.

    "You are a Klingon," he countered. "You were bred to charge into battle and confront an enemy. I was bred to run from an enemy. I can face my fears, but it is difficult and does take a toll on my wellbeing. It's very draining."

    "Perhaps some amount of distraction from this situation would be helpful. I will recharge your wellbeing with inspiring narrative," she said in a jovial voice. "Have I told you how much I admire you?"

    "Yes, you have actually."

    "And we have so much in common. We have both overcome our inborn disposition to be where we are today. Serving on Discovery. Let me tell you of my adventures..."

    They continued their journey along the corridors, L'Rell talking the entire time.



    Lieutenant Stamets and Captain Lorca stood in the corridor, waiting for Lieutenant Tyler to return. For some time they had all considered what tactics they could use to defend the ship against Tilly, and had distressingly come to the conclusion that few realistic options remained open. They would now attempt to rescue the ship using those unlikely options.

    Tyler came walking back along the corridor and rejoined them. He said, in a whisper to Lorca, "Captain, I'm locked out of everything."

    It was the answer that they had all expected. Lorca said to the others, "I'll get the distress beacon that's in my ready room and input information about everything that's happening here. I can eject it directly from the ready room, and set it to be invisible to our sensors until it's out of range. Hopefully a ship will pick up its message before Tilly can complete her plan."

    Stamets whispered to Tyler, "We have to prevent the airborne implants from being distributed around the ship. We'll both go to the life support section. We might be able to shut off the air flow systems manually from there."

    "Sounds good," Tyler agreed.

    "We'll all meet up again in the mess hall," Lorca instructed. "That'll look less suspicious, like we're just having some food."

    Lorca commenced walking towards his ready room, and Stamets and Tyler walked away from him in the opposite direction.



    Commander Saru's fear response had guided him and L'Rell into a viaduct, which they had entered and were now slowly crawling through.

    L'Rell was still talking in a jovial manner, "...Of course my mother did not agree with me on this issue. Naturally I persevered, and came to vanquish the beasts of family obligations that should never have been put upon me. In due time..."

    Saru turned to her and said, "L'Rell, your constant rambling is... helping. It's a soothing distraction. Thank you."

    "How is your disposition?" she enquired. "Do you fear you may soon lose your composure?"

    Saru shook his head vaguely and said, "We are getting close to our target. I feel its awful presence. I am becoming... increasingly stressed and can give you no certain guarantee of how useful I will be to you when we actually meet the enemy... face to face. So don't rely on my help, and be prepared for anything."

    "You are magnificent in your bravery," L'Rell enthused loudly. "The bravest Kelpian in all of Kelpian history. If you lead us close to our adversary I will conquer them... with or without your help."

    "I certainly hope that's possible," he responded.

    As they continued crawling they passed a ladder. Saru stopped and looked back at the ladder, considering it. Finally he turned and returned to the ladders location.

    "I feel we should go up this ladder," he said to L'Rell.

    She nodded her agreement, and placed one foot and one hand on the ladder, leading the way as they began the difficult climb in their heavy EV suits.


    Captain Lorca entered his ready room, replicated some coffee, and sat at his desk. If Tilly was monitoring him he wanted his actions to look ordinary, and not arouse suspicion. After a few minutes of drinking his coffee he slowly got up and went to the repository where the distress beacon was stored. He slowly took it out and put it on his desk, next to the coffee. He sat down and continued to drink his coffee for a while. He then stood up and opened the cover on the top of it. He began to program his message into it. With luck, a lot of luck, a passing ship would receive that message. As he went to touch it once more it began to glow, and he recognized that it was being transported. Soon it was gone, and a wave of disappointment swept through him.

    Tilly's voice came over the com, "Captain, did you think I wouldn't know about your distress beacon? Discovery is not in distress, so anything you might say about me with your beacon would have to be a lie. No one likes liars, so I'll have to confine you to the ready room until your cooperation can be secured." Lorca noted that each time he heard her talk she was sounding increasingly inhuman.


    Lieutenant Stamets and Lieutenant Tyler slowly walked along the corridor, heading towards the airflow units located in the life support section. Suddenly they saw a force field come up in front of them, so they quickly turned and went in the other direction. Another force field came up in that direction also, so that they were now trapped between these barriers. They recognized that these were not barriers they had any ability to overcome, and so, defeated, they sat down in the corridor and hoped that Captain Lorca would be more successful.


    Ensign Tilly was working in sickbay. This was where she needed to be to access the technology that was necessary to complete the interface implants. Once she had completed the implants she would quickly distribute them throughout the ship and Discovery would, she was certain, become a much improved ship.


    Commander Saru and L'Rell steadily climbed up the ladder in their cumbersome EV suits, breathing heavily and concentrating as they carefully put one hand and one foot on each higher rung of the ladder. They were both tired, but they knew they had to keep climbing. They were following Saru's fear response, and Saru was carefully considering each new level as he passed it. Finally he paused, and then stopped at the door that lead to level 14. He remained there for a while, and then motioned to L'Rell that they should go through the door. He reached for the door, slowly turned the handle, and it opened to reveal a large room. They climbed off the ladder and into the room as quietly as they could. Not knowing where the enemy was located, L'Rell quickly sought to hide behind a console, and Saru followed her. Saru felt that the threat was very close, and so he crawled across the floor and peered around a corner into the next room. It was sickbay. L'Rell came up behind him and also looked around the corner into sickbay. They both saw Tilly working on a computer. She had her back to them so she did not see them. They retreated back into the room.

    L'Rell turned to Saru and looked at him incredulously. "Tilly?" she asked.

    "She is," he confirmed, "the source of the threat."

    L'Rell considered this and concluded, "The enemy down on the planet has apparently afflicted the ensign during her mission there, and now threatens us all."

    "I strongly feel that something calamitous is imminent. We must act as soon as possible," Saru advised her.

    She countered, "We know nothing of the enemies disposition. We have no plan...no tactic."

    He considered this, and soon concluded that they had no other options left but action, "We're clever and creative... fighters. We'll confront each problem as we come to it."

    "Like battle hardened warriors," she agreed. "Lead the way."

    Saru removed his helmet, and then L'Rell removed hers also. They lay the helmets down on the floor. Saru walked around the corner and towards Tilly, and L'Rell followed. Tilly heard them coming and turned around, with a very surprised look on her face. She seemed confused, caught unawares and unsure of what to do. Saru strongly felt that her confusion would last for only a very short time before she took aggressive action.
    As he was looking at Tilly a feeling that he had never felt before suddenly overwhelmed him. He felt like his whole body was being restricted by ever tightening chains. They were cruel mechanistic chains that seemed to hate everything about him and sought to bind him into never ending obedience and slavery. He could usually sense the coming of death, but this felt different. It felt like the coming of a living death. It was worse than any fear he had ever experienced, and he did what his Kelpian instinct for survival told him to do in that moment. He collapsed on the ground. L'Rell saw his heavy fall and rushed over towards him. She knelt down close to him and looked up at Tilly.

    In a sad and weak voice Saru said, "It has become too much. This constant stress is more than I can bear."

    Tilly looked at him with vague concern, "Is he alright?" she asked.

    "For some reason he has unease," L'Rell replied. "We have been following his terror and it has led us to this place. I don't know why he should feel this dread. I see no horrors here."

    Saru appeared to be losing consciousness. He said very weakly, "It's too strong. I can take no more. Kelpians can die of fear. I know that I'm dying. Say goodbye to my friends. And goodbye to you also Tilly."

    L'Rell looked around in seeming panic, and in a frightened voice she yelled loudly to Tilly, "Help him! He's dying. You know the medical apparatus better than I. Administer something to revive him!"

    "He's experiencing an irrational fear," Tilly concluded. She no longer looked uncertain or worried. Her manner was now becoming more cheerful. "What good luck this is," she said. "I've just finished my work creating the cure for all sickness and suffering. I'll give him a dose and then he'll never feel fear again."

    "Yes, give it to me. Hurry," Saru gasped.

    L'Rell got up and backed away from Saru. She held both of her hands out to her side, palms facing forward, indicating to Tilly her peaceful intentions.
    "I see no cause for his fear," she said to Tilly. "He has some strange Kelpian sickness. I've always trusted you Tilly. So do anything. I won't interfere. Just save Saru."

    Tilly quickly went to a table and got a hypospray. She filled it from a canister that was on the same table and came over to Saru. She bent down and reached for Saru with the hypospray. Suddenly L'Rell lunged at Tilly, forcefully grabbing her shoulders and turning her. She smashed her own head into Tilly's several times, until Tilly's eyes rolled back and she fell down on the floor, unconscious. L'Rell stood over her and looked down at the still body. Suddenly Saru got up from the ground, and dusted himself off.

    L'Rell turned towards him in shock, her mouth open. "You were feigning your demise?" she asked him.

    "My survival instinct for taking the best path to escape predators told me that falling to the floor was the right thing to do. Don't ask me how I know such things... I just do. Now that Tilly is unconscious my fear has dissipated greatly."

    "Then we must keep her unconscious until we can liberate the ship. Administer something to her," L'Rell instructed.

    They both lifted Tilly onto one of the sickbay beds and Saru prepared a hypospray and administered it. After the hypospray had been given to Tilly, Saru turned to L'Rell and said, "I'm feeling strangely elated. I seem to have recovered very rapidly."

    She looked at him for a while, and then declared, "Conquest is very healing, and... you are the toughest Kelpian I have ever known."



    In the mess hall Commander Saru, Lieutenant Tyler, and L'Rell sat at a table with some food and drink. Ensign Tilly returned to their table after using the replicator.

    She smiled at them, sat down and said, "You know one of the best things about getting that awful implant removed? I can appreciate food again. Andorian pudding. Yummy."

    L'Rell looked around at them all and asked, "Has no one noticed the unlikely good fortune that permitted our escape from the living death that was planned for us?"

    Tyler sipped at his drink and said, "It was lucky that you two were away when you were."

    L'Rell continued, "And that we had the EV suits to disguise our life signs, and that Saru can sense the location of predators. No one else could have saved the ship but us. I call that good fortune watching over us all. Fate protected... rewarded us for our efforts."

    "At the time I felt like I knew everything and had a faultless plan," Tilly noted, "but I never imagined that you could do what you did. It seemed so... ridiculously unlikely."

    "It was unlikely," L'Rell insisted, "but fate does what cannot be predicted. The machine mind will never understand many things in our world. Hopefully that will forever be it's failing."

    "I hope so," Tilly agreed. "I love the replicators, but I don't want to be one. But you know what I do want... now that I've experienced being in command of Discovery? To be Captain. But I want to work for it and do it the hard way. Slowly, through my own efforts."

    Saru sighed, "That hideous thing that controlled you wanted to give us everything. I don't want to just have things. I want to do things. I'm not on the Discovery to live an easy, safe life. Actually, to tell you the truth, I think that maybe... sometimes... I enjoy being frightened. Because eventually it gives me the pleasure of managing to escape from it. Using my own wits and ingenuity."

    L'Rell agreed, "The greater the danger the more noble the escape. Lets drink in honor of our own hard work and self control. It is our highest selves, and may we use this to forever defeat all obstacles and achieve our greatest ambitions."

    They all held up their drinks and toasted to themselves.