Author's notes: These are compiled posts for the Earth Spacedock RP on the Star Trek Online forums. Finally decided on Captain Aeris' new ship! Written in October 2016. Earth Spacedock, Pages 60-61 Captain Elric - Leora IV, Subterranean Elric's fall through a vertical tunnel turned diagonal and he slid out into an underground passage. He then got up on solid ground and, with his palm beacon light, he saw that the new tunnel was endless in either direction. After several minutes of walking, a parrot transported in and began fluttering toward him, frantically! Seconds later, a metallic cable with an end that split like a mini-claw, grabbed the bird in mid-air and pulled it away from Elric. The bird fluttered off, toward the opening in the wall several meters away, and Elric saw the cable sucked back into a 6 inch tall robot spider that looked like a crystal spinner. *Click!? Click, chirp!?* "Whoa! You're not what I was expecting?" Elric said. "And, by the way, I had that." The large arachnid hopped excitedly. *Chirp! By the way, I had that.* "That was you I heard on the surface, wasn't it? Well, anyway, I'm looking for a way out of here. Know of any?" It leapt onto the rocky wall and scurried passed Elric. *Click, click, chirp!* Then it leapt back onto the ground and started leading Elric. The Captain shrugged and began following. --- General Kro'nok - I.K.S. Hav'ok, Xarantine Sector General Kro'nok sat in his command chair as always, observing the Cube-bound away team on the view screen. Unexpectedly, a drone emerged from its alcove and began running towards them, tackling one of the officers and injecting him with nanoprobes. One officer's weapon was blasted away by a plasma bolt and the Gorn commander, too, soon became Borg. The General was shocked. After all, the entire away team of Honor Guards had been obliterated in under a minute. "Borg drones shouldn't be able to move that quickly." The Borg Tactical Fusion Cube came closer into view. It was a monster. Massive in size. It headed for Earth, having destroyed anything in its path. --- Captain Elric - Leora IV, Subterranean "So, your name is Zeta, huh? And you've been roaming the stars from ship to ship?" Elric said. "Sorry to hear that, and that you ended up here." The android-spider continued leading the way. *Click, click! Chirp!* "Speaking of ships, I think I've lost contact with mine. Things can beam in, but I can't beam out. I must be on the cusp of range. Figures that I'd lose my second chance at the Amaterasu. As for this medallion, its designs are nearly identical to depictions found on this planet. It's been claimed this world was a site for an ancient El-Aurian colony." Suddenly, the two came upon the end of the tunnel, leading into a giant open area containing an age-old, underground city, lit by luminescent plant-based filaments. The buildings were abandoned, dusty, and at the center of them was an alien pyramid. --- Captain Aeris - U.S.S. Viracocha, Bridge The human command officer sat at her chair aboard the Sojourner-class starship as it was examining a Class J nebula. A few seconds later, her arm console reported the Borg signature heading for Earth. Aeris stood and narrowed her brow. "All stop. Load up the engines and set a course." --- Borg Tactical Cube - Sol System, Earth The vessel dropped out of warp. Its mere presence had already altered the orbit of the moon, and the flight paths of half a dozen starships in the area, at least until the vessels were blasted away, almost immediately. Admiral Quinn had already organized as many ships as the Federation could muster here and now, but with only a few dozen ships, most of which were barely flying, the situation was bleak, to say the least. Admiral Quinn came over the comms. "This is Admiral Quinn on Spacedock. We've got officers working to set up a pulse to repel the incoming Borg vessel, but they won't be able to manage it in time, so you'll have to hold off that Borg ship, somehow, until they do. Do whatever it takes; anything and everything is authorized to keep that thing at bay. We can't let them--" The transmission cut out and was substituted for a new one. "We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." The Mephiles immediately shot towards the Borg ship, followed by a number of other Federation ships. The Borg vessel charged weapons. Lexington maneuvered into position, and the cube was suddenly struck by a constant Anti-Tachyon Beam from her main deflector. The Borg vessel targeted the Lexington, firing on her main deflector with a salvo of heavy plasma bolts. The Mephiles moved to target and destroy the vessel's targeting sensors. The Sojourner-class Viracocha dropped warp at Earth Spacedock in time to engage the enormous Borg cube. Aeris stepped forward in shock. "Never thought I'd be back here so soon. Well, new crew, new ship. Let's see how we hold up. Offensive maneuvers! Fire all weapons!" --- Captain Elric - Leora IV, Underground Lost City Elric and his robotic spider companion, Zeta, walked through the ancient subterranean core, passing dust-infused, abandoned building after abandoned building. He then came upon a public square displaying a giant stone wall with age-old inscriptions on it. "This appears to be Ancient El-Aurian. It's quite similar to recent historical El-Aurian, a writing that no one is familiar with." Zeta, at his feet, perked. *Click!?* "My professor was only one of a few that got their hands on a sample and was cataloging it back in my Academy days. I snuck in a study session with it once. If I'm not mistaken, by the looks of the pictographs and inscriptions, it's describing a communal anti-power vessel, and then it displays the top of the pyramid." Suddenly, there was a growl from behind him. Upon turning, he saw a tall, hairy beast, resembling a mugato, staring him down. It quickly moved forward and attacked, launching its giant forearms right for Elric. The Captain and Zeta leapt out of the way as the forearms smashed into the stone tiles and sent rocky debris into the air. The two explorers turned and ran for it! As Elric was running through the old streets, he saw two more giant mugato cousins running and leaping at pace over rooftops in his direction. Elric then turned toward the center-town pyramid. --- Borg Tactical Cube - Sol System, Earth The Borg vessel returned fire on all ships, firing off all kinds of weapons. Plasma beams, plasma lances, torpedoes, plasma bolts, cutting beams, cannons, etc. Basically everything the Borg have ever wielded. Lexington held her ground, using every conventional and unconventional trick in the book to survive the onslaught, but it was starting to become clear it was taxing the ship's systems to do so. A Miranda-class starship's saucer section was torn apart and as the Viracocha fired a spread of quantum torpedoes into the Borg cube, Aeris' starship dropped shields for a moment to beam the other ship's survivors on board. The Viracocha's port hull was hit with a harsh beam, but its access was quickly cut off by her shields going back up. Aeris had the Viracocha tractor beamed the Miranda-class starship toward the Borg cube, dropped tractor, and fired phasers into the derelict Federation starship until its core breached against the Borg cube's hull. A massive explosion bloomed behind an escaping Viracocha. The Borg vessel, seemingly oblivious to any attack, continued firing, now targeting Aeris' ship with a flurry of plasma lances and heavy plasma bolts. The Mephiles continued firing on the Borg ship, but the Borg vessel was starting to adapt to the anti-tachyon beam, hopes of sending it back to the mirror universe started fading. Nat and 11 of 14, rushing to set up an anti-tachyon pulse from Earth Spacedock, redoubled their efforts. An energy spike came from Lexington, along with a massive burst along the Anti-Tachyon Beam, which slammed into the cube with enough force to actually shift an entire side of the cube back to its home universe. Shortly after the burst, all power on the Lexington failed, and the main deflector exploded, damaging the ship and leaving her adrift and spinning out of control. Half the Cube went back its home universe, but the rest of the Cube held on. For a moment, another massive ship of unknown, yet somehow familiar design transitioned into this universe, then disappeared just as quickly. A few minutes passed. No more rifts, nor any more mirror ships. Everything was calm. A Miranda-class vessel locked a tractor beam on the Lexington and towed the ship back to Earth Spacedock, as Krystal materialized on the bridge of the Mephiles. The Viracocha lost its shields from the attack, and drifted sideways until it stopped itself. The crew began recovering failed emergency systems. --- Captain Elric - Leora IV, Underground Lost City Elric reached the pyramid steps but was intercepted by the two other hairy beasts. They stopped before him and just as they were about to attack, Zeta leapt onto the face of the first one. Elric jumped back, away from the incoming fist of the second beast, while the first struggled to pull the android spider off him. With the second mugato's fist embedded into the stone steps, Elric ran forward, up its arm and force-kneed the animal in its head. The beast fell onto its back, confused and disoriented, while the first mugato did the same. Zeta jumped onto Elric's shoulder and the human continued his run up the steps. "Let's see what these Ancient El-Aurian ancestors were coveting," Elric said. "I'm not even sure what it could be? I suppose they have some extra-dimensional relationship with the space-time continuum?" But as they reached the top, the large mugato-like creature they first encountered landed there, in front of them. Elric clenched his fist and Zeta, on the Captain's shoulder, stood himself up. --- U.S.S. Mephiles, Bridge Krystal's hair was messy, and it looked like she took a hit to the head, but she was still standing. "Did it work?" she asked, sounding a little out of it. Scott looked concerned. "At a cost. The fabric between our universes is weakening, enough that some other ship passed into our universe, only for a moment." Sarah seemed worried. "I saw it. It wasn't just any other ship either. It was an Infamous dreadnought." Nat turned to Sarah, concerned, then turned to Krystal. "Didn't Mirror Nat say something about the Terran Emperor's flagship being a massive ship? What if the changeling Admiral Nat turned the Infamous into an agent, using him to take over the Terran Empire?" Jim was thinking. "Now it makes more sense. What if they only sent that Borg ship so we'd break down the space between our universes, forcing the Terran Empire to launch an all out invasion and thus leave us weakened so we have no choice but to agree to mirror Nat's Alliance's terms when we meet?" --- Captain Elric - Leora IV, Underground Lost City The large hairy beast growled in anger and flung out a giant fist at Elric, who leaned to the side and used the extended arm to elevate himself into a kick across the creature's face. Zeta lept and locked several metallic cables into it and sent an electric shock through them. The beast was knocked out, fell down, and hung, partially off the edge of the top of the temple. Zeta sucked his cables back in, returned to Elric's shoulder and the Captain examined an odd ancient box-like artifact on a pedestal in the centre. Before touching it, he read inscriptions on the pedestal. "It's explaining that this isn't the only colonized world of these people. But, even at nearly ten thousand years into the past, these Ancient El-Aurian offshoots somehow reached this part of space, to what, hide this thing?" *Chirp! Hide this thing. Click!* Zeta brought Elric's attention to the surrounding city below, where a hundred more of those beasts were approaching the temple steps. Elric took out the medallion he acquired from Earth Spacedock and saw that there was a slot in the El-Aurian artifact that was the same circular size. He then joined the medallion with the artifact and a large wave permeated the space-time continuum all around them. The robot spider scrunched its eight legs in and sat in a docile, regenerative mode on Elric's upper arm as the Captain began an eerily walk down the steps. The large beasts growled and roared in anger as he walked by them, but they didn't dare come close to the artifact. Elric made his way out of the underground city. --- Captain Elric - I.S.S. Amaterasu, Bridge Elric and Zeta beamed to the ship, and Elric took scans of the altered space around Leora IV. He then set course for Earth Spacedock and had a seat. "So, you were built by a cyberneticist a long time ago? Fascinating. Well, you're welcome to join me. I'm pretty much crew-less on this ship. Plus, any assistance dismantling this faulty transporter device would be a great help."