Twelve to Perfection - A Collaborative Story

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Postby daBelgrave » September 15th, 2013, 8:02 pm

“What do you mean you have a delayed mission?” One of Twelve asked Rig, slightly unhappy that he seemed to know less about his mission than he should. “If I analyzed the situation correctly, you are the courier who reported mission success to Admiral Werralk. What I want to know is how the cargo you were supposed to deliver disappeared enroute. I should have been able to track that vial halfway across the quadrant. Where did it go? You are as inept a captain as…” She paused, realizing how hostile she was becoming.

Rig’s eyes narrowed. “Captain, are you sure you’re alright?”

“My health is adequate,” One of Twelve replied.

“Mmhmm,” Rig nodded, not believing a word. “You seem focused on the minor details, and are ignoring the glaring problem I mentioned.”

“I am well aware that every plan for this mission is falling apart,” One of Twelve replied. “That all began when the shipment of yours... Maybe I do need to regenerate. My nanoprobes feel tingly.”

“Tingly?” Rig wondered. “That doesn’t sound like the type of description a Borg would use.”

One of Twelve began to feel nauseous and confused. “It’s... You lost the... We’re not the... You... Where are...” She quivered as if cringing or shivering, and closed her eyes. She reached out toward a nearby console to steady herself, but a surge of electricity arced between her hand and the console. She collapsed to the floor, and her skin darkened where her veins were near the surface. “One of Cyzom watching,” she muttered. “They are coming.”

Rig knelt down beside One of Twelve. “Captain, are you alright?”

“I am missing,” One of Twelve answered weakly. “My cybernetic components are missing. I cannot function.”

“You still have all your implants,” Rig argued.

“They are missing,” One of Twelve answered.

“But who is coming?” Rig wondered. “The Borg sphere?”

“Liberate twelve,” she said, ignoring his question. “Save us.” She seemed to stop breathing.

Rig tapped his combadge. “Rig to Sickbay. I have a medical emergency in communications,” he said urgently.

“Acknowledged,” the doctor replied. “I’ll send a team. There was another medical emergency just now reported from the shuttlebay, and it seems a number of our Liberated Borg crewmembers are reporting a brief interruption with their implants, although no serious side effects once it passed.”

The red alert lighting turned on, and the ship lurched and rumbled. Once again, Rig tapped his combadge. “Bridge, what’s going on?”

“The Borg sphere is back,” Commander R'Shee answered. “They’re targeting our shields with an unknown type of energy beam! One more direct hit, and...”

The ship took another hit. Within seconds, a Borg transporter beam caused One of Twelve to disappear while Rig remained helpless to intervene. He stood up. It was time for him to return to the bridge.


One of Twelve opened her eyes. She was inside a Borg vessel, standing in a regeneration chamber. Her cybernetic components functioned again, and a quick check of their systems showed that it took an infusion of nanoprobes from Three of Twelve to revive her. She heard the thoughts of the other ten clones in her head, along with many other unfamiliar voices. “You cannot control me, and you know it,” One of Twelve told them.

“There is no need to control you,” a familiar voice replied. “You are designed to function in that capacity on your own.”

One of Twelve stepped out of the regeneration chamber. “I hear your voice, Admiral Werralk. When were you assimilated?”

“I am not Borg,” he answered. “I just happen to have access to a very special transmitter.”

Three of Twelve interrupted. “One of Twelve, take your place with the rest of us at your side. Two of Twelve will be with us as soon as she finishes the reviving sequence.”

One of Twelve found little use in resisting, and the thought of doing so seemed to disappear. This collective of Borg seemed disorganized and inefficient, and it was her job to fix it. She walked resolutely toward the primary control center of the ship. There was nothing unfamiliar or strange, and the place with its green lighting almost seemed comforting. One of the terminals told her she was light years away from the Andoss System far from any quick rescue or intervention from the ships that witnessed her abduction. It was time for her to take command of Borg once more.

She stepped in front of a communications terminal, and opened a channel on every possible frequency. “I am One of Twelve, Queen of the Alpha Quadrant. Where there is war, I bring peace. Where there is pain, I bring relief. Where there is life, I bring perfection. Join me, or suffer the consequences of your refusal. Resistance is futile.”
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A New Acquaintance

Postby Spomek » September 15th, 2013, 8:04 pm

The communications room door hissed shut as Rig passed into the corridor between Vamak’Ralan and One of Twelve's tactical officer, Tdurkan, standing guard on each side of it. Focused on his destination, Rig said, “you two, follow me,” and headed for the bridge.

Tdurkan, not knowing the situation, broke into the communications room looking for his Captain, but to no avail. He quickly swung around, and yelled at the two moving down the passageway. “What have you done with my Captain?”

Rig looked over his shoulder at Tdurkan and said, “Commander, she’s gone. Follow me.”

Tdurkan didn’t like that answer, but Admiral Rig was a Starfleet Captain and his superior; so he ran to catch up, reaching them just as they entered the turbo-lift, in hopes of finding out more about the disappearance of his Captain.

Reaching the bridge, Rig commanded, “Report Number One.”

Commander R’Shee laid out the situation of the last ten minutes. “Captain, we were making great progress transporting the Lachesis’ crew to the Shuttlebay when Six of Nine, and Two of Five reported a momentary problem with their implants. Shortly afterwards the, or a Borg Sphere reappeared on our sensors. They came out of warp only 9 kilometers away, Sir, and charged weapons. Our shields went up automatically as the ship went to Red Alert, and came down just as fast after being hit by two separate barrages from a weapon of unknown energy type. We are analyzing it now Sir, and there is no significant damage to the ship. Six of Nine then reported transporter signals targeting the Shuttlebay and Number three Communications Room. We attempted to get the shields back up but to no avail. The Sphere then jumped to warp and is now gone, Sir.”

“Thank you, Number One. Continue the evacuation of the Lachesis. Lieutenant Commander Two of Five, I want a computer dump from the Lachesis. Six of Nine, partition and isolate enough space in our computer core to handle the upload. Mr. Renard, I want to know who Captain One of Twelve contacted from Communications Room Three. Mr. Tdukan, Mr. Vamak’Ralan, my Ready Room, now.”

Sitting behind his desk, Rig stared up at Tdurkan, “Well Mr. Tdurkan, can you tell me who your Captain contacted?"

Tdurkan replied anxiously with not an answer, but a question, “Where is Captain One of Twelve? What have you done with her?”

“Commander,” Rig replied, “you just heard my First Officer’s debrief; she was transported off this ship, and right before my eyes. Where is your Captain? That is what I am trying to determine. Now, who did Captain One of Twelve contact from Comm Room Three?”

Somewhat hesitant to provide too much information, the Lachesis’ Chief Tactical Officer and Head of Security reported only the minimum. "We spent approximately 20 minutes attempting to contact Admiral Werralk at Starfleet Command, but were unsuccessful."

“Who else did she contact? You and she were cloistered in that room for over 30 minutes,” Rig pointed out.

"Sir, since we couldn't contact Admiral Werralk, we contacted a Rigelian businessman who was influential in her adjustment to life after liberation from the Borg Collective."

“A businessman, huh? Why would she contact a businessman?” Rig said rhetorically out loud. To himself he once again thought, What is going on here? “Mr. Tdurkan, before your Captain was snatched from us, she said ‘Liberate twelve,’ and ‘Save us,’ does that mean anything to you?”

Before Tdurkan could reply, Rig received a signal from the bridge. It was Mr. Renard with his communications research results. “Captain, it appears that Captain One of Twelve tried to make contact with Admiral Werralk at Starfleet Command but was unsuccessful. She then made a second call, coded Sir, but I do have the frequency.”

“Stand by Mr. Renard,” said Rig. "Mr. Tdurkan, I need that code. We need to find Captain One of Twelve.”

"You'd need to amend her code or it won't work for you," Tdurkan told him. "Try one oscar one two tango delta, priority alpha."

“Mr. Renard, did you get that? Authorization code one oscar one two tango delta, priority alpha.”

“Yes Sir,” replied Renard, sending now.”

The screen before Rig lit up to the face of a dark-skinned Rigelian with yellow stripes on his face.

The Rigelian seemed to examine Rig briefly before casually responding. “You must be the captain of the..." He coughed as if somewhat amused. "...Moogie's Revenge. Where is Commander Tdurkan? How did you get the Commander's direct channel to me?”

Stepping into the camera view, Commander Tdurkan said, “I decided we needed to contact you. The Borg have her!”

Rig stared up at Tdurkan and said “As you were Mr. Tdurkan.” Turning back to the screen, Rig noticed Sodu’s reaction, one of artificial indifference. “Mr. Sodu, I need information. We have lost Captain One of Twelve to the Borg, and we must get her back. Why did she contact you? What do you know of our current situation?”

"I am aware that the Borg have her once more; I think she hailed the entire quadrant stating that fact. Perhaps we should continue this conversation in person," Kutrizian Sodu decided. "I am sending you coordinates to my private resort on Risa. My staff will inform me when you arrive. All I ask is discretion; that you not mention to Starfleet your intent to contact me."

"I might be able to do that," Rig said. "We'll head your way as soon as you send the coordinates, and we have finished our current rescue operation of the U.S.S. Lachesis." Kutrizian nodded, and the screen turned off. “Mr. Tdurkan, thank you, you may have just put us one step closer to recovering your Captain. And it seems the Shuttlebay was targeted also, so it is most likely that your First Officer, along with any other liberated Borg crewmembers, may be missing too. Return to the Shuttlebay and assist me with organizing your crew for transfer to the Starfleet Hospital ship U.S.S. Pasture’s Legacy when we make rendezvous. I would also like you to remain aboard as the Lachesis’ representative during our meeting on Risa. Do you accept?”

"Retrieving One and Two is a top security priority at this point," Tdurkan replied. "The technology they represent and the knowledge they posess is a danger few in Starfleet understand. As such, the past four years have been an experiment to learn the extent of their potential capabilities. I recommend you bring along more experts than just myself. I believe you would find Lieutenant Commander Sururo's and Lieutenant Tori's expertise invaluable."

“Very good, Mr. Tdurkan, please make those assignments and any others you deem necessary.” Shifting his gaze from Tdurkan to this Tactical Security Officer, Rig continued, “Mr. Vamak’Ralan will assign your team quarters, once he receives a list of names. You have your assignments, dismissed.”
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Change of Command

Postby daBelgrave » September 15th, 2013, 8:05 pm

Commander Tdurkan returned to the shuttlebay on the U.S.S. Moogie’s Revenge. Most of the crewmembers rescued from the U.S.S. Lachesis were fine, but some had injuries. Fortunately, Starfleet was sending a hospital ship to provide the necessary care. He quickly located Commander Pargman, who was trying to organize the crew. “Help is on the way, Mandi,” he told her. “We have a hospital ship coming to pick up the injured and most of the rest of us.”

“Where is the captain?” Commander Pargman wondered. “Did the Borg take her at the same time they took Two?”

Tdurkan nodded grimly. “From what I understand something briefly affected every liberated Borg on this vessel, then One and Two were beamed out. They reintegrated with the rest of the Twelve, and retook their original designations. From what Kutrizian said, it seemed the captain hailed the entire quadrant, but I have not yet been able to hear a recording of the transmission myself.”

“Then that leaves you in command until we retrieve them,” Commander Pargman told him.

“And you’d be my First Officer,” Tdurkan told her. “Before the Borg took the captain, we talked with Kutrizian. He said he would provide her with a ship while the Lachesis undergoes repairs. Since we’ll soon be heading his way, I want you to select a skeleton crew consisting of Sururo, Tori, and anyone else necessary to help rescue One and Two. Everyone else can leave with the hospital ship.” He glanced around at his surroundings. “I believe Captain Rig will help the search and rescue, but the sooner we’re off this Ferengi dump, the better. I get a bad vibe from his Jem’Hadar Security Officer.”

Commander Pargman chuckled. “Too many horns and scales on the face?”

Tdurkan shook his head. “No, they are bred to fight, and are nothing more than genetically engineered soldiers. Starfleet should never have given them amnesty.”

Commander Pargman shrugged. “And what of other genetically engineered personnel? Would you deny them the right to join Starfleet just because they are biologically unnatural?”

“You were there when President Okeg congratulated One of Twelve on her promotion to captain,” Tdurkan said. “He told her most men strive for power and some are born into power, but only she was designed to wield power. Although Starfleet is beginning to loosen its restrictions on genetic engineering and enhancements, I have to wonder if a person engineered for a certain task is free to pursue other interests. It isn’t natural.”

Lieutenant Tori walked over to them. “Tdurkan, Mandi, any idea how soon we get off this ship? I volunteered to help a Ferengi engineer work on the computer dump from the Lachesis, and she tried to charge me three strips of gold-pressed latinum. I can’t tell if this vessel operates under orders from Starfleet or the Ferengi Alliance!”

“I’ll have a word with Captain Rig,” Tdurkan decided. “In the meantime, tell us what you think of genetically engineered personnel working for Starfleet.”

“I think the Eugenics Wars cast a bad light on the subject,” Tori decided. “We tend to base our opinions about current genetic issues on the defects of the past. I don’t know much about the subject, but as an engineer, I know not to expect a defect in one model to be in a different model.”

“What about the Jem’Hadar?” Mandi asked her. “They’re completely engineered, not just enhanced.”

“I once knew a Jem’Hadar,” Tori said, tracing her fingers along a large scar on the side of her face. “They are fiercely loyal, but are still unpredictable.”

“What happened?” Tdurkan wondered.

“It was shortly after the Dominion War,” Tori answered.

Mandi raised her eyebrows in surprise. “I don’t think you’ve ever told me this story.”

“And I never will,” Tori said with a grin. “Needless to say, the Jem’Hadar are quite good at combat, their engineered purpose, but very poor at other things. If Starfleet decides to accept them into positions where they fit well, then I have no problem with that. I would not, however, recommend a Jem’Hadar as a counselor.”

“I somewhat agree,” Tdurkan said, “but I think Starfleet should hesitate to accept someone engineered only for combat.”

“He doesn’t think they’d be capable of having much diversity when it comes to individuality,” Mandi added.

“I can tell where this conversation is headed,” Tori said. “Take our Captain and First Officer, for example. They are almost identical genetically, but have noticeably different personalities and are quite different when it comes to personal interests. We are the sum of our experiences, not mindless automatons following a computer program. The genetic programming only provides a framework for us to interpret our experiences, not the other way around.”

Tdurkan crossed his arms. “Even if they’re all different, I still don’t like Jem’Hadar.”

“Not many people do,” Mandi said. She turned to Tori. “Anyway, we have plans to make. Commander Tdurkan says we’ll rendezvous with Kutrizian soon, and he should provide us with a ship so we can pursue One and Two. Put together a list of everyone from Engineering that you believe should come with us, and find a way to get our computer dump so we can take it with us.”

Tori nodded. “The computer dump will be hard, but I’ll have a roster for you within the hour.” She took several steps away before stopping to look back. “If you ever want to get to know more about a Jem’Hadar than the rough exterior, ask to see his favorite holodeck program; they almost never contain combat.” She continued walking across the shuttlebay.

“Something tells me that would not be a good idea,” Tdurkan muttered as Tori walked away.

“Perhaps for you,” Mandi said softly. “I might just take her up on the challenge.”

“Banish the thought,” Tdurkan ordered. “We have preparations to make. It shouldn’t take more than a few days to reach our destination.”
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Breaking the Silence

Postby Darqun » September 15th, 2013, 8:06 pm

"Captain!" came a yell from the Cheif Medical Officer. "Can you hear me?"

The pain of the sound and even of the light seeping though his one remaining exposed organic eye was intolerable, but Darqun managed a weak, "I live," in a breathy reply. His voice did not carry much in the way of vibration from his vocal cords, but more of a his of leaking air from within his lungs.

"Save your strength," the Doctor ordered, "Einsunowa grabbed her head and went down and you immediately followed after. I believe that there was some sort of weapon from the Borg sphere that was used against the U.S.S. Luchesis, that inadvertantly also effected the both of you. One kept muttering 'Two is gone and so is One' several times after she fell."

Darqun, still with his eye shut, rolled his head towards the Doctor.

"One is okay, but I am not sure who this 'Two' is." answered the Doctor as if Darqun posed a question.

"Where... is... other... One?" forced Darqun. "Captain... of the... Luch*." Darqun fell out of conscienceness.

The Doctor tapped his commbadge hailing the bridge, "Commander Lynn, the Captain slipped back into a semi-coma. However, he reported that there was another personal named, One. I will attempt to revive the Captain again once he has healed enough to survive another awakening."

"Roger, Doctor," replied the acting Captain, Sherrie Lynn, "I believe that is all I need to fit together parts of this puzzle. Let me know if he wakes back up. Bridge out."


"Decloak and set an intercept course for the U.S.S. Moogie’s Revenge," she said with only a slight attempt to hold back a grin as she called out the name of the ship.

The bridge interior darkened and then became brighter than it was moments before as the cloak was disengaged. Ever growing on the screen was the debris left of the parts of the U.S.S. Luchesis. The ship was not a total wreck but definately has seen better days.

"Hail the Moogie's Revenge," Commander Lynn said sternly, but immediately turned her head to hide the grin that she just could not keep from growing. "I want to speak with Captain Rig."

"Sir, Captain Rig is hailing us," stated the Communications Officer. "He was apparently expecting our presense. It is a standard open channel sir. Should I patch him through?"

Commander Lynn shot the communications officer a look of disbelief and quickly stated, "By all means." Sherrie realized that she needed the information about the Luchesis, how many of her crew was aboard the Borg sphere, what happened to the Captain and First Officer, and what caused Captain Darqun Sturminyt and First Officer One Einsunowa to collapse into near coma states.

The main view screen flickered and the view of the wreckage was replaced with the face of the Ferengi Captain.

"Greetings," started Captain Rig, "I would like to speak with the ship's Captain directly. Matters here have taken a turn for the worse and I believe that your Captain has information that would help resolve the issues.

"The Captain is indisposed in sickbay and, for right now, I could not tell you when he will recover. And... before you ask, the First Officer has also been injured. In fact, that leads to my first question: What happened that both the Captain and the First Officer fell in an instant? Due to security classifications, all that I am aware of, is that our First Officer, One Einsunowa, was to make contact to the first officer of the Luchesis through Borg implants. It was during this action in which she fell and the Captain fell shortly after."

Another officer came up behind Captain Rig and stated that there was an immediate situation that required the Captain's attention. Captain Rig nodded and shooshed the officer away.

"Commander, I need a few minutes to take care of an urgent matter. I believe that I can shed some light on the subject and that we need to coordinate efforts in a search and rescue mission, that I hope does not turn into a search and destroy mission. I will be hailing you again shortly. Standby, Captain Rig, out."

The screen went blank. Commander Lynn looked over at Commander James Christopher and then to the rest of the bridge crew. However, instead of finding solace, she found them looking back at her. She knew at this point, that this would be her first real mission as a Star Fleet Captain.
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Gathering the Minions

Postby daBelgrave » September 15th, 2013, 8:13 pm

One of Twelve, we sense your hesitance. She could hear the thoughts of the other eleven clones as they questioned her. She could block them from hearing certain thoughts, but she could not hide how she felt about them.

“No. Your plan is inefficient,” she replied. “The agreements the ten of you made across the quadrant create more troubles than they solve. The Borg designed you eleven to receive commands, and your agreements echo that need. You agreed to take commands from every faction you contacted, leaving your plans filled with contradiction. I must fix this inefficiency before we can proceed.”

It was true the plan was inefficient, but One of Twelve did not reveal to them the real reason for her hesitation. She felt conflicted about taking command of this group bent on gaining control of the quadrant. She knew it was wrong to interfere with quadrant politics in this manner, something she’d learned after her liberation, but she was now fighting who she was. She had to go along with the plan, and hope someone would defeat her once again.

“Set a course for the Trimble System in the Xarantine Sector,” she ordered. “We need to leave this sector before Starfleet begins searching for us. Then open a secure channel with all your allies.”

It took several minutes before everyone managed to respond to the hail, but One of Twelve soon heard everyone’s voice in her head. “It is time to consolidate the power of this alliance,” she told them. “Meet in the Trimble System in the Xarantine Sector in one week, alone and in shuttles.”

You know we can’t just reschedule our existing plans at a whim, a rough voice replied.

One of Twelve could tell it was Species 5008, Klingon. “You will be there,” she told him. “Anyone who fails to arrive on time will be a traitor to this alliance. You will not survive.”

Even though the communications were all through thought, the frustrated growl of the Klingon came through clear. After their previous dealings with the ten, these allies were accustomed to giving orders, not receiving them. One of Twelve could only think of one way to change their dedication to the alliance. There was one other order she needed to give.

“Admiral Werralk, you are to bring with you the schematics for a standard nanoprobe and everything Starfleet knows about the dissemination of the Borg nanovirus. It is crucial to the strategy.”

I will not, the Admiral replied. Do you think I would give you the ability to assimilate us?

I’d be more interested in learning how she intends to use them, another voice said. It was Species 3783, Romulan. We all knew nanoprobes were necessary for the initial pacifying of a population when we formed this alliance. Perhaps she intends to begin execution of our strategy in the Trimble System.

I still cannot get those schematics, Admiral Werralk added. I had the foresight to leave Sol just prior to One of Twelve’s capture. Now that she’s announced her intent publicly, I can’t go back without being taken in for questioning. If she wants nanoprobe schematics, she’ll need to get them from someone else.

I could be coaxed to provide them… for a price, another voice decided; Species 180, Ferengi. I’ll give her all the nanoprobes she wants as long as I get to see her assimilate you first.

Another voice spoke, this time Species 2000, Cardassian. For a price, Mork? Ha! Just because the Federation influenced the revocation of your business license doesn’t mean you should take it out on Werralk. Blame yourself for selling arms to the True Way.

You’re hardly the person to speak, Tukat, the Ferengi quickly said. You sold out your own people to these Borg; we all did.

Speak for yourself, the Klingon said. My actions are for the honor of the Klingon Empire. Chancellor J’mpok has no honor, and this alliance is the only way to remove him.

I hardly care about motives, Bu’vok, the Romulan said. You have yours, I have mine; they are different, but we have a common method to see them through.

romuluSngan vImuS, Bu’vok muttered. Tomalath, are the rest of the Tal Shiar just as honorless as you?

One of Twelve decided she’d had enough of the discussion. “Chaos!” she screamed. “Cease this pointless bickering. Each of you will meet me in the Trimble System in one week. Bring any information on nanoprobes and nanovirus that you can obtain. Until then, you will receive no further communications from me.” She cut off the signal.

Be careful not to anger them, Three of Twelve warned. They are allies only as long as we keep them appeased.

“They are all of different minds,” One of Twelve replied. “I must bring order to chaos. They must all be of the same mind. They must be assimilated.”

I expect they realize this, Six of Twelve observed. I doubt any of them will bring the nanoprobe schematics.

“You are correct. We need a second plan,” One of Twelve told her. “Two, intercept the first Starfleet vessel to cross our path as we travel to the Trimble System. Three, use the sensors to scan for any Liberated Borg, and set up a microtransporter to beam aboard a single nanoprobe. Four and Five, prepare a laboratory with a level two containment field to hold the nanoprobe. You two will reverse-engineer the nanoprobe. Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine, prepare contained facilities for mass nanoprobe manufacturing. Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, assist as needed. By the time we reach the Trimble System, I want to have new drones and possibly ships under our command. When our allies arrive, we will assimilate them.”
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A Service Rendered

Postby Spomek » September 15th, 2013, 8:14 pm

Once again alone in his ready room, Rig re-ran in his mind the events of what had become a very long day. What had started out as an “easy mission” days ago, had somehow turned into chaos; and, one where for the first time in his long career he was unsure if it could be resolved. He had done everything by the book, made his delivery as ordered, and it now seemed that everyone was focusing on him as the one who gave away Latinum.

“I have got to figure out what is going on here,” Rig mumbled to himself.

With that he picked up his PADD and started to reconstruct events since he conned his cousin into letting him transport the mission vial of nanoprobes to Andoss II, and received a free copy of the Holo Leeta Dabo Girl program to boot.

Chuckling to himself, Rig thought that “Hadron is not as crafty as he thinks he is.”

It took about an hour for Rig to map out the sequence of events, making notations here and there of some of the smaller details of certain events. Once the outline was completed, he began to go over his outline looking for any hint of what he might do next to affect the rescue of Captain One of Twelve and her First Officer Two of Twelve.

He recalled that his last orders were to standby out of sensor range of Andoss II and await further orders. He had followed those orders until he received a mayday from another Starfleet ship, to which he had to respond. Upon making the rescue and being attacked by a Borg Sphere, he had attempted to advise Admiral Werralk of the current situation, but with no luck.

“The situation is maddening,” Rig proclaimed out loud.

On his second read through, he recalled something that One of Twelve had said just after they had met, “The Lachesis was due a refit anyway, but there are several personal items I will need to salvage prior to any reclamation efforts.” Rig noted that One of Twelve never made it to her ship prior to her vanishing.

Just then his communications panel chirped. He tapped the answer button on his PADD and the face of
Chief Engineer Bandyk appeared.

“Captain,” she said, “The Lachesis’ computer upload is complete and all her personnel are aboard. I have set the sub-space transponder beacon for the salvage ship, so we can depart whenever you are ready, sir.”

“Very good Chief, I have one last thing we need to do aboard the Lachesis. Meet me in Transporter Room #1 in ten minutes with a small damage control team. We may need to access locked doors.” As Rig disconnected with Chief Bandyk, he made a call to Commander Tdurkan, the Lachesis’ Chief Tactical Officer and now temporarily in command of her crew, and Vamak’Ralan, his Chief Security Officer. “Gentlemen,” he began, meet me in Transporter Room #1 in ten minutes. We need to make one last foray to the Lachesis before we depart for the hospital ship. I will brief you when you arrive.” With that, Rig entered the bridge, briefed his first officer, and headed to Transporter Room One.

When Rig entered the Transporter Room, the away team was already waiting. “Mr. Tdurkan, as you may recall,” Rig began, “Your Captain mentioned on the way to the communications room that she needed to collect ‘several personal items’ before she left the Lachesis to be picked up for repair. Well, as you know she didn’t have a chance to complete this task before she was taken. It is my intention to gather those items for her. Let’s get going.”

Rig signaled Transporter Chief Mirklur, “Chief put us on the Lachesis’ bridge.”

“Aye Sir,” responded Mirklur, and he began working his magic.

In a moment the team materialized on the bridge of the Lachesis with its lighting set to low energy levels. Rig immediately set off towards the Ready Room and entered with his team trailing behind. “Mr. Bandyk, lights please.” As the lights came up, Rig directed his officers, and more specifically Commander Tdurkan, to search for any personal items that Captain One of Twelve might have left.

Rig noticed, lying on the desk, a particular piece of hardware that no Captain can do without, the Captains PADD, so he walked over to the desk and picked it up. A sweep of the room by the others did not produce anything of significance so Rig said, “let’s get down to the Captain’s quarters. Mr. Tdurkan, would you please lead the way?”

In a few minutes the team arrived; and, as expected the door was locked. “Chief, I will need this door opened.” In no time, access was granted. Chief Bandyk brought the lights up, at what confronted the team was a room that had taken some heavy kinetic energy damage. The contents of the room were spread all over the floor. Rig looked over to Commander Tdurkan who looked a bit forlorn and said, “Captain Tdurkan, see what you can find that Captain One of Twelve might have wanted to recover. I am sorry your ship took so much damage.” Tdurkan looked back at Admiral Rig knowingly, nodded, and began to sweep the room for particular items which he placed into the crate that was brought along for this purpose.

As Rig was monitoring the team’s progress, he noticed a portable interactive holo-projector sitting next to the desk. Curiosity, a notable trait of the Ferengi, caused him to investigate. As he approached, he noticed an isolinear rod still in the projector’s input terminal. Rig thought to himself, “I wonder how a Borg Captain entertains herself,” and pulled the rod out of the projector and placed it into his pocket.

As Rig looked up he watched the case being sealed and the two engineering techs pick it up by the handles at each end. The three officers took up their positions for transport, and Vamak’Ralan said, “Captain, we are finished here.” Rig said “very good,” took his position, tapped his communicator, and said, “Moogie’s Revenge, team to beam out.”
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Invasive Subterfuge

Postby daBelgrave » September 15th, 2013, 8:14 pm

Lieutenant Tori looked up from the terminal as Commander Tdurkan, now the acting captain over the crew from the disabled U.S.S. Lachesis, approached her after receiving her summons. She noticed the nearly imperceptible look of satisfaction on his carefully maintained expression. “Something seems to have pleased you,” she observed. She picked up a PADD that was set on top of the terminal, and pressed a few buttons before looking back up at Tdurkan.

“Captain Rig had no hesitation to accept my taking command over our crew,” he replied. “He called me ‘Captain’ while we were salvaging One of Twelve’s personal items. No one ever called me that before.”

“Despite losing our ship today, some things are working out for us. Do you remember Lieutenant Eshbu?”

Tdurkan nodded. “I recall her, but was never really acquainted. Didn’t she transfer off the Lachesis a few years back—some issue about feeling lonely because we had too few Ferengi on our crew?”

“That’s her,” Tori said. “It turns out she’s now stationed aboard this ship, and she managed to convince their Chief Engineer to grant me access to the computer dump from the Lachesis. According to my integrity check, most of it appears to be intact, but the sensor data prior to the disabling of the Lachesis seems strange.” She handed the PADD to Commander Tdurkan. “Here, see for yourself.”

“The sensor data does not match the results,” Tdurkan observed. “If this is right, there never was a Borg facility on the planet. But, how could… Do you know what caused this?”

“I briefly noticed an unregistered fractal algorithm that seemed to move between data files, but it seems to be eluding me,” Tori admitted. “It might be the cause, or it might just be a harmless prank left by an ensign’s personal projects. Either way, whatever falsified the sensor results was brought aboard while we were still docked at Deep Space Nine. The question is did an external entity sabotage the Lachesis, or did we purposely bring it aboard unwittingly?”

“It could be both,” Tdurkan admitted. “Whatever happened to the Holo-Leeta program the Captain confiscated from Quark’s? Perhaps she had a hidden subroutine designed to activate once we’d confiscated her as ordered.”

Tori shook her head. “I personally checked her subroutines and kept her separated from the ship’s computers with a level two firewall before giving the isolinear rod with her holoprogram back to the Captain. The program would need command authorization to circumvent that level of protection. If that was the vector used to sabotage the sensors, it had to activate the moment I first accessed the holoprogram, and personally I find that disturbing. It would take a flag officer weeks of planning to pull off that kind of attack and bypass our security.”

“That is disturbing indeed,” Tdurkan agreed, not hinting about One of Twelve’s own suspicions on the matter. “You said you gave the isolinear rod to the Captain?”

“Yes,” Tori said. “She took it to her quarters, and requisitioned a portable interactive holoprojector. You probably saw it when you went for her personal items.”

“I found the items I went for, although I really think Starfleet should have a backup copy,” Tdurkan said, showing her the crate. “I need to get this to Commander Pargman. Go find Captain Rig. Ask if his men found the isolinear rod, and warn them not to use it in any system directly connected to the ship.”

“I doubt the Holo-Leeta program is a threat anymore,” Tori told him. “If she was the original attack vector, she’s clean now. I’d be more worried about our computer dump infecting this ship. Regulations require a level one firewall in cases like this, but if they used even a level two firewall, they’d be as unsuspicious and vulnerable as we were.”

“Go tell Captain Rig,” Tdurkan told her once more. “I need to take care of this item.” He handed back the PADD. “You should find him on the bridge, and if not, ask to speak with him immediately.” He hefted the crate and walked to the door. “Lock down access to our computer dump,” he called to her as he left the room.

Tori quickly did as ordered, pressed a few controls, and cut off as much access to the computer dump as possible.

A short while later, as Tori stepped onto the bridge of the Moogie’s Revenge, she only saw a handful of Starfleet officers working at their posts. “Excuse me,” she said, “I need to speak to the Captain.”

The captain’s chair rotated toward the doorway, and Tori could see an Andorian Commander seated in it. “The Captain is preoccupied in his ready room,” she said. “I am Commander R’Shee, First Officer aboard this ship. What do you need to tell the Captain, Lieutenant?”

“I briefly detected an invasive algorithm working through the computer dump from the Lachesis,” Tori told her. “Unless you’re containing our data behind a level three firewall or greater, you might expose your computer to sabotage.”

“Sabotage?” Commander R’Shee wondered, standing up. “What kind of sabotage?”

“I don’t know the full extent,” Tori admitted, “but I do know it gave us false sensor reports. I have the data to prove it.” She handed the PADD to Commander R’Shee. “Our mission involved scanning certain coordinates on the planet. The sensors found nothing of interest, but the reports the computer sent to the bridge suggested an inhabited Borg facility.”

Commander R’Shee looked over the information the PADD for a moment. “This is interesting, indeed,” she said, almost as if the information looked familiar. “The Captain will want to see this immediately. Come with me.”

Tori followed the Commander across the bridge and through a door into the ready room. Captain Rig sat behind his desk talking to someone through his communication terminal. He glanced up. “Excuse me, Captain. It looks like I might have answers,” he told the other person.

Commander R’Shee set the PADD on the desk in front of the Captain. “Whatever it is, it came from the Lachesis. It seems Lieutenant Tori knows more about it than we do.”

Captain Rig picked up the PADD and examined its reports. The coordinates in the scans by the Lachesis were familiar to him, correlating directly with the coordinates where he beamed down the vial of nanoprobes. Most intriguing, however, was the sensor data that showed nothing of interest while the sensor reports listed a Borg facility and its personnel. “Do you know what caused this discrepancy?” he asked Tori. “When did you last perform a sensor diagnostic?”

“My last diagnostic was only a week ago, and we calibrated to Starfleet requirements while docked at Deep Space Nine,” Tori answered. “As far as I can tell, there was nothing wrong with our sensor array when we took those readings. I just now found the errors while checking the integrity of our computer dump.”

“Did you notice anything else of interest?” the Captain asked her.

Tori nodded. “I briefly glimpsed an unidentified fractal algorithm, but it seemed programmed to hide from discovery, and disappeared before I could isolate it. I suspect it might also be infecting your ship now unless you have our dump isolated by a level three firewall or greater.”

“Why level three?” Captain Rig wondered. “Only the captain of a ship has the authorization to override that.”

“Because the only way that algorithm could have gotten onto the Lachesis was through a holoprogram contained on an isolinear rod that I kept isolated from our computer by a level two firewall. No one else ever had access to input a malicious algorithm of this type.”

“What does level two mean?” Commander R’Shee wondered.

“It requires command authorization,” Captain Rig answered, “either from a ship’s captain or his commanding admirals.”

Commander R’Shee frowned. “Then only Captain One of Twelve or a Starfleet Officer could have put that algorithm into your computer.”

Captain Rig shook his head as he set the PADD back on the desk. “We suddenly started getting the same sensor reports shortly after starting the computer dump,” Captain Rig admitted to Tori. “We never scanned the planet, nor would your captain have the command authority to get a program to override our security.” He glanced down at his communication terminal. “Captain Lynn, are you hearing this?”

“Yes,” Tori heard a woman reply. “It sounds like you’ve got a computer problem. Would you like the Cyzom to try scanning those same coordinates?”

“Yes, please,” Captain Rig replied, tapping a few controls on the desk. “I’m sending you the coordinates now.”

“I got them,” Captain Lynn replied a moment later. “I’ll have my science officer run the scans, and get back to you momentarily.”

Captain Rig looked back up at Tori and Commander R’Shee. “Do you know anything else about this algorithm? Is it safe for us to go to warp? Would our weapons malfunction if we tried to use them? What else, if anything, was the algorithm designed to do?”

“All I have is the bad sensor report,” Tori said. “If it affects any other systems, it didn’t act while the Lachesis was still functioning.”

Captain Rig tapped his combadge. “Bandyk, report to my ready room as soon as you finish stowing that gear.”

Seconds later, the combadge chirped to signal the reply. “I’m almost finished, Captain. I’ll be there shortly.”

“I have those scan results,” Captain Lynn said through Rig’s desktop communication terminal. “Those coordinates contain bare, lifeless ground. There is nothing down there.”

Captain Rig looked down at the terminal. “Thank you, Captain. It seems we have admiral-level planning infiltrating the Lachesis and now my ship. We’ll find a way to remove the algorithm affecting our systems, but we might be sitting here another day. Would you mind taking the most severely wounded from the Lachesis to the Pasture’s Legacy?”

“We’ll do it,” Captain Lynn answered. “Was there any other assistance you need?”

“Not assistance,” Captain Rig told her, “but I am sending you a second set of coordinates for a place on Risa. We plan to head there as soon as we can, and hopefully get some answers about Captain One of Twelve. I think it would be a good idea if you would join us there.”

“I’ll see what I can do, Captain,” she replied. “I am only filling in for Captain Darqun while he is unavailable. Starfleet might recall the Cyzom to ensure he receives any necessary medical care we can’t provide for him on the Cyzom.”

“Very well,” Captain Rig said. “However, I have a feeling you will receive no such orders. I also believe your Captain would recommend that you help us get to the bottom of this situation. You saw that Borg ship disguised as a Starfleet vessel destroy the Lachesis. Something is happening, and as a Starfleet Officer, it is your duty to learn the truth of the matter.”

“Understood, Captain,” Captain Lynn replied. “I’ll see what I can do. As soon as we get those injured aboard, we’ll be off. Cyzom out.”

The communication terminal chirped the closure of the channel, and Captain Rig looked up about the same time Chief Engineer Bandyk entered the ready room. “I need you and Tori to work together on something,” he told the Chief Engineer.

“Sensor glitches?” Bandyk asked.

Captain Rig nodded. “Find that algorithm and remove it. Search file by file if necessary, but make sure it’s gone.”

Bandyk nodded, and headed toward the door, but Tori lingered. “Captain, I have one other question,” she said. “Did anyone find an isolinear rod in One of Twelve’s quarters?”

“I found it,” Captain Rig admitted. “Why?”

“Could I have it?” Tori asked. “I would like to perform some additional checks on her subroutines.”

Captain Rig shook his head. “Under usual conditions, I might let you have it, but this is not a good time. We’ll have the holoprogram analyzed in a proper lab. I’m sure you understand the reasons for this.”

Tori nodded. “I understand. We’ll have a better holo-lab on Risa. I guess I’d better help Bandyk search the computers.” She turned toward the door.

“One last thing,” Captain Rig said just before she left. She turned to face him. “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. If we didn’t learn what you knew, we’d still be wondering what was happening.”

Tori grinned. “I’m glad to be of help,” she said.

Rig nodded. “Dismissed.” He didn’t need to say more. Tori quickly left, and made her way toward main engineering to assist Chief Engineer Bandyk. It wasn’t her ship, but at least she would be working on engineering projects in the meantime.
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Borgs - Who Knew?

Postby Darqun » September 18th, 2013, 9:57 am

Captain Lynn always dreamt of being the Captain of a star ship. The CyZom is one of the best ships in Star Fleet, although, on record, it is nearly standard in all respects, except for a few special items for her Captain. "Her Catain," yeah, who was her Captain, for Lynn was now in charge and she could only imagine that Section 31 would give her more straight answers than all of the special divisions and clandestine motives involved with this one. The most straight answers seem to come from Captain Rig, of whom, seems to be involved with undercover work himself.

Captain Darqun confided in Lynn from time to time and she understood that there were many facets to being a Captain and even more with him. He was connected and cared deeply for his crew, but could be cold and seemingly unfeeling when it came to making hard choices to succeed in a mission. She never knew anyone that could be any less expressive than Darqun... until now. This One of Twelve, from the reviews and reports that Captain Lynn had to digest in a flood of information, seems to be absolutely ruthless at times. Lynn felt as if One was so heartless that she could walk up to an assigned victim, pull out a pair of daggers, stab the victim with pin point accuracy, and in continuation of one motion, place the daggers back into their sheaves and walk calmly out of a room filled with Klingon guards. It is an impression, but it seemed to Lynn that One is both someone to avoid and someone to keep on her side. Going up against the Borg with One in control all of the toes on both of Lynn's feet curl. This is not her idea of her first chance of Captaincy.

Decipher, decipher, decipher. Everything about this mission was secretive. Everything needed decoding and then decoded again. Was Captain Rig a straight shooter, or, is he taking advantage of her premature advancement? With less than desirable information available, her duty, per Captain Rig, is to get to the bottom of the situation with the Lacheisis.

The situation? The mission? Lynn, though inexperienced as a Captain, was an experienced Star Fleet officer. This was not just one situation and one mission, but a multitude of situations that required attention and, as far as missions, who could count the missions at face value and much less the grey and black operations being performed at this time. Captain Lynn realized that prioritization and multitasking where the keys to success. Though much is in question, Captain One and Captain Rig are Star Fleet Captains with incredible records and both deserve her respect and cooperation. Also, Captain One may be the key to saving Darqun and to get to Captain One, she needed to keep close to Captain Rig.

"Open channel to theMoodie's Revenge, Lieutenant." ordered Lynn to the communications station.

"Aye, Sir." came the reply and almost immediately followed by, "Captain Rig on the screen."

"Rig here," came the voice from the overly large head on the view screen. Apparently, Captain Rig was not on the bridge at the moment and the communications officer on the Moogie's revenge piped the transmission to the Captain's quarters.

"Updating the status. All injured have been received and are under medical care at this time. I personally will be checking with our doctor in concern with Captain Sturminyt and will be immediately leaving for Risa. We will not be travelling cloaked and will rendezvous with the Moodie's Revenge when you arrive. We will be awaiting your arrival."

Captain Rig, of whom seemed a little preoccupied with his computer simply stated, "Very well, then. We should be arriving within a few hours of your own arrival. Rig out."

Lynn stood up and proceeded towards the turbo shaft. "Take the conn," she instructed to the science officer as she turned to face the bridge from within the now opened doors to the turbolift.

In the medical bay, the doctor immediately approached Lynn as she entered the door. "I think that we need to get him to his chambers. That apparatus that he has assists in regenerating his body. It would speed up the process greatly."

"No." softly answered Lynn, "If he has anything that might be an outside influence to control him, that would give him access to information and controls that could shake the Federation itself. Captain Sturminyt is a great asset to Star Fleet and it would be a huge loss, but, right now, the same abilities that make him that asset, could make him even more of a liability. Let's keep that to a minimum and help him slowly recover and under a controlled situation."

The doctor dropped his eyes and chin downward and remorsefully responded, "He's dying. I don't know what else I can do."

"How long does he have?"

"A week at most... a couple of days at a minimum."

Lynn laid her hand on the doctors shoulder and whispered in his ear, "Do what you can." She gave the doctor a quick nod and headed out and back to the bridge.

The science officer jumped out of the Captain's chair and snapped to attention yelling, "Captain on the Bridge!"

"As you were," Lynn stated to the bridge crew and continued to the science officer, "take your post." She walked over to the navigation system and looked at the crew. "Helm, set course for Risa," she stated while reaching for and typing on the helm controls, "We need to meet with the crew of Moodie's Revenge at these coordinates."

"Captain," called the communications officer, "Do you trust either Captain Rig or Captain One of Twelve?

"They are Star Fleet star ship captains!" snapped Lynn. "One requires being rescued and Rig has the plan."

The science officer stood back from the harsh quick remark by Captain Lynn and then took his seat at the controls.

"May God help us all, if I am wrong," whispered Lynn under her breath and to herself as she seated herself in the Captain's chair. "Engage!"
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Kill Switch Communications

Postby daBelgrave » September 18th, 2013, 9:58 am

It was a long day. After seeing most crewmembers from the U.S.S. Lachesis safely embark on the Cyzom for the hospital ship, and dealing with an ever-growing list of other issues, Commander Tdurkan was finally in his temporary quarters aboard the Moogie’s Revenge as it made its way toward Risa. He set the crate containing the personal items salvaged from the Lachesis on a desk, and slumped back in the nearby chair. One and Two of Twelve, two of the most advanced Borg ever liberated, were reassimilated, the U.S.S. Lachesis was hardly more than a hulk of salvage, and rumors of a Starfleet conspiracy set his mind on edge. Were One and Two victims of someone else’s plots, or were the recent events the outcome of an elaborate escape they had been planning ever since their liberation? The implications disturbed him in both cases.

Tdurkan sat up, and opened the crate. Most of the items in the crate were junk; random items he had picked up to hide the importance of the two items most treasured by One and Two. Each was a cylinder of transparent aluminum attached to a small Borg neural transceiver disguised to hide its true purpose. To anyone else, they would look like advanced isolinear rods labeled “One” and “Two” to appear as a series, perhaps as holodeck programs, but Tdurkan knew they had a greater purpose than storing data.

He held one of the cylinders up to the light, and peered through it. Even though he knew the microcircuitry and single nanoprobe it housed was too small for him to ever see, he could imagine there was something slightly visible. Since One and Two of Twelve were the only Borg ever liberated with the ability to directly access and alter the programming of their nanoprobes, Starfleet had the devices built to provide a backdoor access in case either of them reverted to their non-liberated state. Since whoever possessed the devices could not just read the latest code on a PADD, but send changes also, they provided a last-resort means to shut down and kill the two Borg. He set them aside, hoping to never have to use them, closed the crate, and set it on the floor.

Leaning back in his chair once more, Tdurkan looked at the terminal on the desk. “Computer, give me recordings of all transmissions made by One of Twelve in the past three days. Begin playback with the most recent.”

“Two transmissions available,” the computer answered. “Beginning playback of latest transmission received on all channels.”

Tdurkan sat up, and examined the picture on his terminal. One of Twelve appeared
unharmed as she began speaking.

“I am One of Twelve, Queen of the Alpha Quadrant. Where there is war, I bring peace. Where there is pain, I bring relief. Where there is life, I bring perfection. Join me, or suffer the consequences of your refusal. Resistance is futile.”

He leaned forward, and pressed a few buttons, replaying the transmission several times before he was satisfied. “Interesting choice of words, especially from a Borg,” he muttered. “Mentioning three conditions when one will suffice is inefficient by your standards.” Although Tdurkan was not academically qualified to examine One of Twelve’s psychological profile, he still thought the statement awkward for a Borg. He tapped his combadge. “Commander Pargman and Lieutenant Mcmindes, report to my quarters.”

While waiting, Tdurkan picked up the nanoprobe container labeled “One”, and connected it to his PADD. The screen lit up with the Borg programming. He perused through it, unable to decipher the language. Eventually he set it down, and waited.

Mandi and Tori soon arrived, and he let them enter. “This is highly irregular,” Mandi said, “requesting two women to visit your quarters at this time of night.”

“Scandalous,” Tori added with a smirk.

“Being on a Ferengi ship is highly irregular,” Tdurkan replied. “Do either of you read Borg alphanumeric?”

Mandi shook her head, but Tori stepped forward to look down at the PADD on the desk. “What is that?” she asked. “I have never seen a PADD configured to provide Borg output.”

Tdurkan picked up the second cylinder, and held it for them to see. “As far as anyone else is concerned, these do not exist.

“I know what the cylinder is,” Tori said. “It’s a recent innovation used at Starfleet Academy to allow students to examine the code controlling nanoprobes. It was written about in an engineering journal two years ago, but even then they were configured to use standard output, not the raw Borg output you have.”

“These were the prototypes,” Tdurken explained. “The engineer who designed the devices now used in training had no idea what he was working on. These contain nanoprobes from One and Two of Twelve.”

“How does that help us?” Tori asked.

Mandi pulled over a chair, and sat down. “The standard drone has limited programming control over their nanoprobes. They can alter them individually, or in small clusters, but never as a whole batch. This allows the Borg Collective a means to regain control if necessary. One and Two are different. Their nanoprobes are linked via a small subspace network in such a way that altering the programming of a single nanoprobe affects all of their nanoprobes. If they need to make changes to the programming, all their nanoprobes receive the change, not just a select few.”

Tori whistled in surprise. “I knew their nanoprobes were incompatible with the average drone, but never knew to what extent.” She picked up the PADD. “If I am correct in assuming the subspace network is still active with this nanoprobe, how does reprogramming One of Twelve help us?”

“The worst case scenario is we program the nanoprobes to shut down her implants and kill her,” Tdurkan answered. “Even though that was the intent of this device, it would be slow and painful, so it’s the last option I wish to consider. Another option might be to make enough minor changes to get her attention, and see if we can communicate with her. At the very least, we can monitor her condition.”

Tori pressed a few buttons on the PADD. “Converting Borg alphanumeric to a standard readout is easy; making sense of the programming, that’s hard. I do Starfleet programming, not xenoprogramming.” She handed the PADD to Mandi, and leaned against the wall. “What bothers me is that I keep getting posted to secret assignments like this because I do well with species others find awkward, and never learn the full specs of who or what I’m working with until it’s too late to spend time studying. Having never really known any Borg prior to One and Two, I am not equipped to deal with more than the most basic of Borg technology, and I doubt you two are much more qualified than I am.”

“Most of this seems to sustain her basic biological functions,” Mandi said, skimming through the information on the PADD. “Cellular regeneration, power distribution and utilization, instructions keep her alive and unharmed by most substances that would hurt or kill us, although why tulaberry juice is on the list is beyond me.”

“Perhaps she has allergies,” Tdurkan suggested. “I know she likes to drink the stuff.”

“Perhaps,” Mandi agreed. “Now there are instructions that control the creation, maintenance, and repair of her implants.” She looked up at Tori. “You should take the time to look this over when you have a chance,” she said. “You could probably build a Borg with this information, or start your own ‘collective.’”

“I talk with my friends often enough,” Tori replied stoicly. “I do not want their voices with me all the time.”

“Is there any unallocated space on the nanoprobe’s memory?” Tdurkan interrupted. “If there is, we can attempt to send a message without causing other alterations.”

“There is a buffer area to allow programs space to expand with modifications,” Mandi answered. “I think I can put something there, although I cannot guarantee she will notice or properly decode it.”

“Hold on a moment before you do anything,” Tori said quickly. “The PADD only decrypts the programming. It does not work in the other direction. If you need to send her something, it needs to be encrypted in the original Borg alphanumeric. If you use any other type of encryption, the nanoprobe might think itself faulty and cease to function. I would hate for that to happen to everything keeping her alive.”

“I have a rudimentary knowledge of the symbols,” Mandi admitted, “although not enough to actually read the language directly.”

“That should be enough,” Tdurkan decided. “All we need to do right now is put in our names, and ask if she’s alright and has anything to tell us.”

Mandi leaned forward, and began to work on encoding a message. It took her several attempts to get the nanoprobe to actually accept her input, but eventually she managed to begin writing the characters she hoped were the correct ones to accurately transmit the message.

After several minutes, the PADD seemed to stop taking Mandi’s input. A program seemed to build itself around the characters she had just entered, cutting it off from the rest of the nanoprobe. Moments later, the recently entered characters reverted to their original encoding, showing Mandi how poorly she had entered the Borg alphanumeric. A single sentence from One of Twelve accompanied the changes. “It is inefficient to communicate in a language you do not know.”

“I have her attention,” Mandi announced. “She just programmed a translation matrix around my input, and scolded me about being inefficient in communicating.”

“That sounds like her,” Tori laughed. “You can’t tell if she’s being serious, joking around, or is absolutely infuriated by our meddling.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Tdurkan said. “Send the original message again, this time within the translation matrix she provided.”

Mandi did as ordered. There was no direct response to the questions, just a long list of names. “I think you should see this,” she said, handing the PADD to Tdurkan.

He looked over the names, noticing several that were familiar. “Human, Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Ferengi, and more,” he said, his eyes coming to a rest on Admiral Werralk’s name. “She has several dozen Alpha Quadrant factions and species represented on this list.”

“So what kind of list is it?” Tori wondered. “I don’t expect it’s a list of everyone she planned to invite to a friendly social gathering.”

“I cannot say for certain,” Tdurkan said, “but I think this is a list of people involved in her recent capture.”

“So what can we do about it?” Mandi asked.

“Nothing right now,” Tdurkan said, looking at the PADD where the screen had turned from green to gray. “We need to learn more from her, but I think she just entered a regeneration sequence.” He looked up at the two women. “Get some rest tonight. We have the rest of the voyage to Risa to make sense of this information. Tori, I know you wanted to get your hands dirty in these Ferengi engines, but I need you to familiarize yourself with Borg alphanumeric and programming in the morning.” He stood up. “Any questions?”

“Not I,” Tori said. “After spending all evening chasing a malicious algorithm through the ship's computers, I’m ready for a restful day tomorrow. I hope to have plenty of time to study.”

“How did that go?” Tdurkan wondered.

“The design of this ship leaves much to be desired,” Tori started. “Rather than having the computer in a central location, this ship has its computer divided into nodes scattered throughout various corners at the end of the longest, narrowest Jeffries tubes. To chase the program, we had to manually move around the ship and individually clean and disconnect each node so the algorithm had fewer places to hide. We have it trapped now in a node completely severed from the rest of the computer. The ship is safe from any nefarious side effects, but Captain Rig said we’ll have to study and analyze it somewhere else that has better research facilities, which in my opinion is fine. I’m getting old enough that all this activity takes it toll.”

“How old is that?” Mandi asked.

Tori rolled her eyes and frowned. “Well, you know I joined Starfleet toward the end of the Dominion War. Do the math and you’ll probably be close.”

“Fifty-two,” Tdurkan quickly answered, “assuming you joined Starfleet at the age of eighteen in 2375. You could, of course, be older than that.”

Tori looked at him with an amused glare. “I guess Sauria has no cultural restrictions about telling a woman she is old,” she decided.

“But you don’t look a day over…” Tdurkan began to protest, but stopped. “Okay, I give up. Sauria has no such cultural restrictions.

“I’ll ignore it this time,” Tori said, chuckling. “Anyway, my concern now is with One and Two.”

“Then you are dismissed,” Tdurkan said. “Tomorrow, wherever she is, we will begin work to find and rescue the captain.”
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Research and Relief

Postby Lizzy » October 1st, 2013, 4:46 pm

The main hanger bay of the USS Solzhenitsyn was an overall oval shape and about the size of a large cricket pitch. The hanger bay on deck four opened up around a central core to the two decks above, while navigation markings on the ground and open verandas around the circumference divided the expanse into a proper operational environment. Many of these were normally cargo processing areas, but under others sat a plethora of Starfleet shuttlecraft, most designed for one or two person occupancy. Some formed part of Starfleet's shuttle design legacy, the rest existed for a variety of specialist tasks.

The second floor held a number of observational galleries and mechanical workshops, bio containment facilities and access to the rest of the ship. The area of the deck above was largely fresh air and special environment holds, while the ceiling was a competing network of all the various systems necessary for the areas proper functioning, dominated by an efficient lighting network that assisted in the illusion of making the already large seem even larger.

Normally lying in a state of well kept resplendence, a testament to the ship and crew's standing as a reliable and capable vessel in the higher chains of command, the entire deck had been transformed into a make-shift triage centre. The transporter grid lay at the bow end, opposite the hanger bay doors, where hundreds of patients were currently beaming aboard seeking medical evaluation. Clear partitions and applied medical knowledge sorted the living from the dying. An abundance of areas given over to chairs, as many people sought relief from their own feet. And a disturbing smell, as a silent battle between natural dirt and potential infection took place.

Vice Admiral Elizabeth Lucas Fitzwiliam, master of the vessel, cast her eyes over the scene with solemnity as she descended with members of the ships medical staff to the hanger floor. The railed platform was silent as it moved. Although a flag officer in name and measure of responsibility, she was still a scientist and physician; her skills could be put to use here. The Admiral stepped out as the railings of the platform parted and she spotted the CMO 's station, a temporary affair dominated by a desk resembling a twentieth century Scandinavian office space, astride the modern tissue regenerators and bone knitters.

It's attendant engaged elsewhere, the captain turned around to see someone else approaching the desk, someone she recognised as Lieutenant J. Grisel; ship's Senior Nurse, a shorter than normal woman with striking green eyes and pearly white teeth set in a pale, round face that hadn't quite lost it's adolescent features.

Fitzwiliam came straight to the point, "Report."

"Admiral", she quickly replied, "so far we're looking at two hundred-fifty wounded, thirty-seven in critical care, eighteen unaccounted for."

"How many dead?"

The Lieutenant swept her long black hair behind her ear as her eyes departed from the Captain and looked to the ground. "Fifty-two." Her reply was apologetically short. "When the Tsunami hit, most of the cities residents were asleep. We've several crush injuries. We've had so many come in so quickly that we've had to resort to using surgical dressings. Even those not in critical condition have weakened systems making them susceptible to secondary infections", she continued. "Excuse me, Admiral."

She leaned in toward the Captain to reach something on the table behind her, brushing her hand beside the Captain's thigh as she sought to balance herself. Fitzwiliam silently acknowledged the gesture as deliberately slow.

Grisel once again tucked her dark hair back and let out a cool breath as she stood back. "Sorry. Thank you, Admiral."

The Admiral straightened her jacket. "Estimated time until all evacuees are treated?"

"I am uncertain at this moment, Admiral. We're treating them as they come in here."

"Where is Doctor Cantrell?", she asked.

"The Chief Medical Officer is in sickbay", the nurse replied.

"Thank you." As she made to leave, Fitzwiliam turned around to see a child behind her tugging at her sleeve, holding a stuffed creature with purple hair, three horns, and an Asian Tojo master moustache. There was a small hole where the right ear would have been. Ah, she thought, this must be the cultural equivalent of the Teddy bear.

"And what's this patients' name?" she asked.

The young girl gave no reply. Did Dostoydians talk down to their children?

"Well, let's see then."

As the nurse departed, the Admiral turned to the cabinet to the left of her head and took out a roll of tape. She tore two short strips from the roll using her teeth, and applied them gently to the hole in the fabric. She then stood back to inspect her work and seeming satisfied, gave a nod and a smile to the girl. The girl only blinked slowly in reply, and left to return to the queue for those being treated for radiation poisoning.

Fitzwiliam stood in contemplative silence; Federation citizens deserved better than this. The Solzhenitsyn was an advanced research vessel, tasked with the finest and most prestigious science duties the minds of the Federation Science Council could conjugate. It was fatiguing to both the planet-side survivors and the ships crew that a Starfleet vessel, in the midst of prolonged detached stellar cartography and research duty, should be mandated with assisting in such extensive relief efforts.

A familiar tonal sign emanated from the communicator on her left breast. She tapped it by way of reply, "Bridge, go ahead."

"Captain", came the reply, "There is a subspace communication coming in from Admiral Sonatra."

Admiral Sonatra? What in the name of heaven would a member of Starfleet intelligence want? "Acknowledged, on my way", she replied. Her asclepiad practices would have to wait.


"Tea, Lapsang Souchong, Eighty-five degrees."

A tea with a brilliant dark-red colour materialised in a white china teacup and saucer with gold leaf accents. She took the tea and crossed to her chair, pressed a button on her desk and held the cup up to her chin. As she sat down, the emblem of the United Federation of Planets on the screen was replaced with the image of Admiral Sonatra, a Deltan male with sharp jaw and cheeks, and a handsome bald head sporting a large cranium. She placed the cup back in the saucer without drinking to return his smile. There was something inherently calming about Deltans, like when one knows one's being flirted with and freely admits to enjoying it. They were a great pleasure to have on any Starship bridge, allowing everyone to reserve the energy they would normally expend on emotional exercises of personal restraint into acts of united, productive release. Their initial contact had resulted in a first impression of humanity as a sexually immature race, unlikely to form the deep bonds that were the traits of advanced emotional species, and a seemingly baseless aversion to prolonged physical touching. Obviously, they hadn't met her own parents.

Realising she had yet to say anything, the Admiral sat up. "Do you wish a report, Admiral?"

His reply caught her unawares. "What do you know about nanite engineering?"

"As you know", she began, "this vessel is among a select few in Starfleet with a licence to conduct advanced nanite research and engineering. We've had a history of contributing to some of Starfleet's great successes in this area, including the medical nanites used in ground combat zones, as well as adaptive hull repair." This was the kind of rhetoric reserved for ambassadors and visiting alien delegations; any more detailed information on this topic was classified, and he knew that.

Again, Sonatra gave an unexpected reply, "This was broadcast at zero-two-hundred hours this morning across the entire sector."

“I am One of Twelve, Queen of the Alpha Quadrant. Where there is war, I bring peace. Where there is pain, I bring relief. Where there is life, I bring perfection. Join me, or suffer the consequences of your refusal. Resistance is futile.”

Fitzwiliam was slow to reply, "The entire quadrant? What was the source of the transmission?" She continued at length without waiting for reply, "I confess I am familiar with the designation. If this One of Twelve is one and the same, so to speak, I do recall meeting her during the admission of the Vwort system to the Federation. She seemed... unused to social gatherings, poor creature. A liberated Borg or something if I remember right. Not unsociable, no, more... frustrated. While I was... busy, she seemed content to support the wall and spend the entire duration reviewing the ships' manifest and her crews' efficiency ratings. Is she alright?"

"The Admiral's vessel, the U.S.S. Lachesis was attack and severely damaged during a conflict with an unknown hostile and her Captain transported against her will onboard an alien vessel of unknown configuration. Shortly thereafter, the message you just heard was broadcast over via a broadband subspace transmission in all standard lingua-codes. This is all news to you, no doubt?"

Fitzwiliam noticed her former teacher had become harsh and accusative in tone; 'T'was likely due to subspace interference from the Dostoydian nebula', she thought.

"Your orders are to report to the Risa in three hours. There you will meet with a Captain Rig of the U.S.S. Moogie’s Revenge."

"Admiral, I'd like an explanation..." she began.

"The explanation is waiting for you on Risa." he replied.

"Admiral, I beseech you. I am in the midst of extensive emergency relief efforts on behalf of the inhabitants of this planet's sixth largest water-city. There has been a sudden and devastating release of Methane Hydrate from an subsurface oceanic vent, resulting in tsunami damage. Now, my crew and I ..."

"I suggest", he interjected, "that you and your crew make whatever reparational acts you can in the time available to you. Three hours. Admiral Sonatra out." The screen was replaced with the Federation logo and went blank.

Admiral Fitzwiliam sunk back into her chair holding both cup and saucer in her hands and thought. 'There was a six year old Saurian girl having her birthday party today, but the ship was noisy and busy and stuffy and colourless and full of old people and full of sick people and all at hundred miles an hour; no place for a girl to have her party. So the Captain had suggested the Solzhenitsyn's children's entertainer should have the party onboard the Captain's yacht. She had suggested party games, and programmed her favourite dessert of Vanilla Pannacotta with lemon and rose petal syrup into the yacht replicators, and even given her an old, old copy of Black Beauty, (because every girl must have a copy of Black Beauty)'.

'But they were leaving, and the shuttle would have to come in now, and the games would have to stop'. With Admiral Sonatra and One of Twelve exhibiting behavioural changes, she dwelt on the implications in silence.

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