Table of Contents
- Twelve to Perfection
- A Holo Deal
- Nanoprobe Probe
- Witness Removal
- Temporal Probe
- Detecting Anomalies
- Beyond Programming
- An Easy Mission Continues
- A Plot Revealed
- Insertion Investigation
- Subroutine Scramble
- Code 47 Compromised
- Yellow Alert!
- An Unhappy Customer
- Message Received
- The Rescue
- Who’s Who and Who Knows Who?
- A Vial Undelivered
- Sphere Tip
- A New Acquaintance
- Change of Command
- Breaking the Silence
- Gathering the Minions
- A Service Rendered
- Invasive Subterfuge
- Borgs - Who Knew?
- Kill Switch Communications
- Research and Relief
- The First Drone
- First and Last Duty
- Building the Team - Part 1
- Hail to the Chief
- Building the Team - Part 2
- Welcome Party
- Building the Team - Part 3
- Risa - Part 1
- A Detour for Time
- Because the Lady Captain Says So
- Risa - Part 2
- Battle Group 12 Alpha
- Murasaki Mystery
Captain One of Twelve hated the mandatory R&R each time the ship she captained docked at Deep Space Nine. Life aboard the U.S.S. Lachesis was structured and efficient, while spending time on the space station seemed a waste of time when there were thousands of other issues demanding her attention. It was nothing One of Twelve could not handle, but it did not feel very welcoming. Fortunately, the stay would only last a few days.
The first thing One of Twelve noticed as she stepped into Quark’s bar was a strange table across the room from the bar. The sound effects and flashing lights surrounded by several suspenseful characters told her it was some type of game. She scratched an itch above her optical implant. She would learn to master that game, but first, she wanted a drink.
The bartender was a dumpy Ferengi, but One of Twelve paid no attention. “I desire a lime-flavored electrolytic solution with a hint of tulaberry,” she quickly told him.
“A what?” The Ferengi looked at her confused, picking at his ear as if he had not heard.
“I desire a lime-flavored electrolytic solution with a hint of tulaberry,” she restated.
“I heard that much,” the Ferengi growled, “but my menus don’t list any electro-whatevers.”
“Very well,” One of Twelve decided. “I will replicate my own when I return to my quarters.”
She left the confused Ferengi at the bar, and walked over to the strange table. There were four other people and a holographic woman standing around the table. One of Twelve guessed the holographic woman operated the game. “How do you play?” she asked the woman.
“It’s dabo. Place a wager on up to three numbers, and spin the wheel,” the holographic woman answered. “Today could be your lucky day.”
“I think I’ll pass,” One of Twelve decided. “The Federation uses no currencies, so I have nothing to wager.”
Someone tapped her on the shoulder, and she turned to see the Ferengi from behind the bar. “I think you do have something you can wager,” he told her. “You were once Borg, and those nanoprobes are quite valuable to the right customers.”
“I am Borg,” One of Twelve corrected him. “Liberation will never change that. How many nanoprobes would it take for me to place a wager on number twelve?”
“Just one at a minimum,” the Ferengi answered, “but the more you wager, the more you win. Talk to Holo-Leeta. She will keep track of your wagers as you play. If you lose, you can give me the nanoprobes when you’re done for the night. If you win, you get to keep the nanoprobes along with any other earnings.”
One of Twelve turned to Holo-Leeta. “I will wager one hundred of my nanoprobes on number twelve.” It was a very small number of nanoprobes considering how many millions thrived in her body, and while she expected she would lose this spin and many more, she would eventually calculate the most optimal way to play the game. She would win them back, and more.
“A very good start,” the Ferengi assured from behind her. “You keep playing, and I will see about that electro-lime-tulaberry drink you ordered. Good luck on that spin.”
“That was a lime-flavored electrolytic solution with a hint of tulaberry,” One of Twelve corrected as the other players placed their wagers on the table.
Three hours later, One of Twelve had the odds calcutated. Placing wagers on three numbers with a set interval between them improved the odds of a favorable outcome. She had gambled away quite a few nanoprobes, but was beginning to win them back.
“Another dabo!” Holo-Leeta announced. “How do you do it?”
“It helps to be Borg,” One of Twelve answered.
“There must be more to it than that,” Holo-Leeta said. “I’ve seen hundreds of Liberated Borg try their hand at dabo, but never was one of them as successful as you. You are different somehow.”
“There are some secrets I cannot share,” One of Twelve admitted, “but I can say I was genetically engineered as a Borg experiment to study the potential of individual decision-making within the Collective. I am mostly Human, but also contain .0752% Ferengi DNA. I can play the odds just as good as any of those greedy businessmen.”
“You sound like a fascinating person,” Holo-Leeta decided. “Perhaps you can play more often.”
“I will not be doing that,” One of Twelve told her. “This game is rigged so I will never come out ahead.”
The bartender approached the dabo table. “That is correct,” he told her with a grin. “The house always wins.” He held out a small vial. “I believe you owe me some nanoprobes.”
One of Twelve examined the vial. A thin metallic coating was along the inside of the glass, so she knew it contained nanoprobes from previous Liberated Borg that played the game. One of Twelve opened the lid, and used her assimilation tubules to inject the nanoprobes she owed the bartender. “The house always wins, but winning might not be in the house’s best interest,” she said with a mischievous smile. She handed the vial back to the bartender.
“What do you mean?” the Ferengi asked. He looked closely at the vial, and could see the metallic coating beginning to darken.
“It's always good to know about new customers before they walk in your door,” One of Twelve quoted the 194th Rule of Acquisition. “My nanoprobes are incompatible with those of the average drone. By morning, you will have nothing but dead nanoprobes.”
The Ferengi’s eyes widened in outraged surprise. “You’ll ruin me!” he stammered. “I planned to donate a portion of that to the Bajoran War Orphans Fund!”
“Possession of Borg nanoprobes is a Federation crime,” One of Twelve reminded him. “Consider this a warning. Perhaps next time you will be as charming as your holographic dabo girl.”
One of Twelve turned, and walked toward the door. Just as she left the door, her auditory processor picked up one last grumbled Rule of Acquisition spoken by the Ferengi bartender. “Females and finances don’t mix.”