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Episode 18: Fractured Loyalties

Amidst the chaos of Frontier Day, Hathaway becomes a battleground, torn apart by civil war and betrayal, the crew members face a grave question that echoes through their minds: Will resistance against this insidious force be futile?

Sabotage

En-route to Starbase Bravo
Stardate 24014.12, 0800 Hours

Streaking through the cosmos, a sleek vessel propelled by the raw power of the matter/antimatter reaction taking place in her warp core, Hathaway was surging towards Starbase Bravo with more than a point to prove. Her graceful form cut through the fabric of space, leaving a trail of shimmering energy in its wake. A testament to the ingenuity and ambition of Starfleet, soaring through the vastness of the universe with purpose and determination.

However, in an instant, the tranquillity of Hathaway’s warp flight was shattered. A catastrophic failure struck its warp engines, ripping it out of the slipstream and plunging it back into the realm of normal space. As the ship emerged from warp, a haunting silence filled the air. The once-potent hum of the warp engines was replaced by an eerie stillness. Hathaway hung suspended in space, adrift and vulnerable. The vibrant blue and green hues of warp plasma leaked from the upper starboard nacelle, casting an ethereal glow against the cold darkness of space.

Alarm klaxons blared across the ship, and red emergency lights bathed the corridors in an ominous glow. Frantic voices filled the air, issuing orders and reporting the extent of the damage. The ship’s systems strained under the unexpected emergence from warp, struggling to maintain stability and prevent further catastrophe.

Captain Nazir’s voice boomed over the internal comm, her tone a mix of concern and authority. The Trill urged the crew to remain calm, to rely on their training and expertise to navigate this dire situation. Her words offered a glimmer of reassurance, a beacon of hope amidst the chaos. In main engineering, the team led by the new Tellarite chief, Commander Denen Nes, descended upon the stricken warp engines with urgency. Their nimble fingers danced across control panels, attempting to diagnose and rectify the catastrophic failure that had brought the ship to a grinding halt. Each movement was executed with precision and determination, their expertise driving them forward despite the mounting pressure.

Outside the confines of the ship, the vast expanse of space stretched endlessly, indifferent to the plight of the Hathaway and its crew. Stars glittered in the distance, casting a gentle radiance that contrasted with the tense atmosphere within the ship. A tense atmosphere that was only going to get worse.


“Sabotage?!”

Standing behind her chair at the head of the observation lounge table, Keziah looked flabbergasted as she put her hands on her hips and glared across the room at the Tellarite engineer.

Commander Nes nodded, shuffling in his boots. “Yes Captain, sabotage.” With that, the man produced a small device from his pocket which he tossed onto the tabletop between them. “To all intents and purposes, it’s a bomb on a delayed timer. Whoever planted it knew exactly when they wanted it to go off,” he told the assembled team.

Nazir looked around the room in disbelief. Noli stood beside her, shaking her head slowly, while Or’uil and Prida both tried to get a better look at the device. “It obviously didn’t explode,” the Bajoran first officer stated, “so what did it do?”

“We found it on the plasma conduits in the starboard nacelle power distribution module,” Nes revealed, moving to the wall-mounted monitor and revealing a schematic of the ship. A flashing indicator showed exactly where the bomb had been located. “It released a cascading resonance pulse that disrupted the plasma flow to the nacelle and ripped us out of warp. If it had been any more severe, we’d have lost the nacelle completely,” he turned back to the Trill at the head of the table.

“Fuck me,” Nazir hung her head, shaking it in continued disbelief.

“What’s the damage?” Lieutenant Prida asked, turning to look at her successor from engineering.

“Nothing major,” Nes shrugged, “we’re just going to be stuck here for a few hours until the plasma flow can be regulated again and the alignment of the nacelle is checked out.”

“So all the perpetrator has achieved is to delay us from our objective, stranding us in space and, potentially, making us a sitting duck,” Noli smirked, placing her hands on the back of the chair in front of her and leaning back to stretch out her body.

“Is that all?” Or’uil cocked his big-eared head to the left as he regarded the Commander carefully. “I will increase security patrols on all decks and post guards outside key facilities,” he advised the command team.

“We have no way of telling when this device was planted, or by who,” the Tellarite interjected. “It could have been this morning, or weeks ago. We might be searching for someone who is long gone.”

“Or they may still be here, ready to cause more damage,” Or’uil countered.

“Or worse,” the Bajassian Ops chief added in support of her Ungeat colleague.

Kicking her chair in frustration, the Captain dropped her arms to her side. “I thought we were done with this shit. Now we face the prospect of more changelings being aboard, and the fact that it could, literally, be anyone,” she sounded exasperated, making reference to Doctor Zinn’s findings during the autopsy of the sh’Elas changeling. “Can we proceed at impulse?” She asked once she had regained her composure.

“Sure,” the Tellarite shrugged, “just nothing too bumpy.”

“Go. Get on with the repairs,” Nazir nodded, dismissing the engineer and leaving her in the presence of three of her most trusted officers.

“I swear to the Prophets,” Noli grinned with gritted teeth, “if that man shrugs his shoulders one more time, I may have to beat him.”

“Torture is not an acceptable form of punishment…” Or’uil swiftly noticed the change of expression on the faces of everyone in the room and smiled, “…but I clearly see now that you were joking, Commander. Perhaps I might suggest that we launch a CAP to secure the area until we are ready to move?” The tactical officer looked at the Captain with his bulbous green eyes and his ears twitching.

“We do still have the lingering threat of Kensington and Weytahn riding our ass,” the Bajoran first officer folded her arms across her chest, nodding in support of the motion from the Ungeat.

“Do it,” Nazir nodded, pulling out her chair and collapsing into it. “And get Henry to resume course, full impulse. Prida, where are we with communications?”

“Exactly where we were earlier,” the grey-skinned Bajoran wrinkled her nose. “Incapable of transmitting any outgoing communications, but we can receive transmissions from elsewhere. We can’t isolate the problem, but I’ve got my best people on it.”

“How long until the Frontier Day celebrations begin?”

Noli glanced down at the seated Captain, steeling herself to deliver the bad news. “Under two hours.”

“So, whatever they have planned could be less than two hours away and there is nothing we can do.”

“We tried getting a transmission through from one of the shuttles,” Prida advised the Captain, “but the carrier waves just weren’t strong enough. We’re too far away.”

“About that. I might have an idea…” Noli smirked. Pulling out her chair, the Bajoran took a seat around the table with the Captain while the other two officers departed to relay the orders from their commanding officer.

Almost an hour later, a sleek shuttlecraft emerged out of the upper shuttlebay, its hull shimmering with a polished sheen, reflecting the ambient light within the bay. With a surge of power, the shuttle’s impulse engines roared to life, propelling it forward with graceful agility. As it cleared the threshold of the shuttlebay, the pilot deftly manoeuvred the craft, aligning it with the path of escape. In a matter of seconds, the shuttle’s warp drive engaged, and a brilliant cascade of multicoloured light enveloped the vessel. The stars outside streaked past in a blur, painting a mesmerizing tableau of cosmic beauty and leaving the stranded hulk of the Hathaway behind.

Eliminate all unassimilated

Enroute to Starbase Bravo
Stardate 24014.12, 1000 Hours

Captain’s Log, Stardate 24014.12.

 

Hathaway remains stranded in space following the sabotage to our warp engines. Repair efforts are underway, but progress has been slow due to the extent of the damage. Commander Nes and his team are working tirelessly to restore our propulsion systems to full functionality, however, it will be some time before we can resume our course to Starbase Bravo.

 

In addition to the engine sabotage, we’ve now learned that our communications array was also targeted, leaving us unable to establish contact with Starfleet Command or any nearby starbases. Ensign Udraa and Commander Noli have been dispatched aboard a shuttle to deliver a report on our situation to Fourth Fleet Command aboard Starbase Bravo. They will attempt to secure assistance and resources to aid in our repairs.

 

It is difficult to deny the connection between these acts of sabotage and the recent presence of changelings aboard our ship. The circumstances strongly suggest their involvement, and while I would like to believe that threat is over, I cannot rule out the presence of another changeling among us, especially given the disturbing findings of Doctor Zinn. The discovery that the deceased sh’Elas was, in fact, a changeling with remarkable biological similarities to her Andorian counterpart raises alarming questions about the depth of this infiltration and the true identities of those involved.

 

As our crew remains resolute in the face of these challenges, we find ourselves unable to participate in the Frontier Day celebrations as originally planned, let alone prevent any possible attack as hinted to by our prisoner. It is a bitter realization, knowing that we must watch from afar while events unfold without our active involvement. Nonetheless, we must remain vigilant and focused on our mission to restore our ship and uncover the truth behind these acts of sabotage…

Before the Frontier Day celebrations had even begun, a sense of foreboding hung in the air. The crew was on high alert, aware of the potential threats that surrounded them. Captain Nazir, resolute in her duty to protect her ship and crew, made a crucial decision to launch the Hathaway Hellhounds starfighter squadron.

In the spacious hangar bay, Lieutenant Commander Orys Ch’tosrik, a determined Andorian with a no-nonsense demeanour, meticulously oversaw the final preparations of the Valkyrie-class starfighters. The sleek and formidable fighters, armed with an array of advanced weaponry, stood ready to take flight. His deputy, Lieutenant Varru, a Bajoran with a calm confidence, double-checked the fighter systems, ensuring they were primed for action.

As the hangar doors opened, revealing the vast expanse of space beyond, the Hellhounds, dressed in their flight suits, filed into the launch area. Each pilot had undergone extensive training, honing their skills to become elite members of the starfighter squadron. They were the guardians of their virtually stranded ship, poised to protect it at all costs.

Orys exchanged glances with Varru before they both climbed into the cockpits of their starfighters. As he settled into the pilot’s seat, the squadron leader checked the systems one last time, ensuring everything was functioning optimally. The Andorian officer’s sharp eyes surveyed the hangar, observing the other pilots preparing for departure.

Alright Hounds, listen up,” he called into the independent communications systems of the fighters. “We are the wings of protection for Hathaway. She’s pretty much dead in the water until engineering can get the starboard nacelle isolated from the warp systems. Our mission is to secure a defensive perimeter, maintain formation and be prepared for any hostile incursions.

The squadron acknowledged his command, their voices a chorus of determination and readiness. One by one, the Valkyrie-class fighters engaged their thrusters, lifting off from the hangar bay floor. The nimble craft soared gracefully into the depths of space, forming a protective shield around Hathaway.

From their vantage point on the bridge, and many lightyears away from Starbase Bravo, Captain Nazir and her senior staff could only watch as the momentous Frontier Day celebrations in the Sol system unfolded before their eyes. The grand sight of the majestic Enterprise-F gracefully emerging from the expansive space doors of Starbase One left them in awe, surrounded by a vibrant display of colourful explosions illuminating the backdrop. It was a spectacle that captured their attention, capturing the spirit of the occasion.

Across the ship, the speakers resonated with the voice of Admiral Elizabeth Shelby, resonating with historical significance as she delivered a speech commemorating the inaugural voyage of the Enterprise NX-01, a pivotal moment in Starfleet’s history. Her words evoked the spirit of adventure and the dedication of the eighty-three individuals who paved the way for the United Federation of Planets and the establishment of Starfleet. The atmosphere was charged with inspiration, hope… and dread. All they could do was wait, and hope they would be proved wrong, that there would be no attack during the joyous occasion.

Then came the announcement that captivated the crew’s attention: Fleet Formation. The revolutionary synchronistic technology that allowed the assembled fleet, with ships such as the Gagarin, Reliant and Venture, to operate as a cohesive unit, forming an impregnable defence force. The sight of hundreds of ships harmoniously aligning and creating an impenetrable armada was a testament to the power and unity of Starfleet. To the watching Captain, there was also something… worrying… about it.

As they absorbed the magnificent display of unity, a sudden interruption took them by surprise—the appearance of the USS Titan, seemingly tardy to the gathering. Within moments, the fleet communications array crackled to life, transmitting the voice of the esteemed Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. However, instead of the expected message of hope and harmony, the admiral’s voice carried a grave warning. The Changelings, those elusive and shapeshifting beings, had apparently aided the Borg in infiltrating Starfleet. It was a shocking revelation that sent shockwaves through the listening crew, even stirring the usually composed Captain Nazir to rise from her seat. This revelation seemed to affirm the fears and suspicions that had lingered among her people. They were right; something was going on. But, the Borg and the Changelings working collaboratively? No one could have ever predicted that.

Yet, the transmission abruptly ceased, replaced by an unsettling screech that pierced the air on the bridge.

“Captain,” the Bajassian officer manning Ops called out, her voice tinged with urgency, “the sensor array has detected a massive energy surge originating from Jupiter.”

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” the Betazoid counsellor sat to the Captain’s left whispered as she rose to her feet and stood beside Nazir.

Almost immediately,  LCARS panels began to change, flickering between the red of the alert status to the ever-familiar, always eerie green of their greatest enemy. A scream from Prida drew the Captain’s gaze back to the front of the bridge. Sitting at the CONN, Lieutenant Mitchell’s eyes widened with momentary fear. His face quickly contorted in agony as the nanoprobes infiltrated his veins, altering his physiology and overriding his individuality. The once vibrant and expressive Flyboy become masked by an eerie blend of human and sub-dermal nannies running rampant. Within seconds, Henry’s identity faded away as he succumbed to the collective hive mind, his thoughts and memories assimilated into the vast knowledge of the Borg. His individuality extinguished, he had become one with the hive, a mere drone in the collective’s relentless pursuit of perfection. And he wasn’t alone.

Beside Prida, her dutiful assistant, the Andorian called Ashrin, had suffered in much the same way as the Flight Operations chief. Across the bridge, just inches from Commander Bachmann, the Bolian intelligence officer, Ensign Kiras, had suffered the same fate. Adjacent to her, and perhaps most painfully for Nazir, she could see the assimilation process complete itself upon the face of her trusted tactical officer, Lieutenant Or’uil, leaving behind a transformed being that bore the unmistakable signs of Borg assimilation. His happy, peculiar appearance was now a chilling testament to the loss of self and the cold efficiency of the Borg Collective.

As the bridge officers watched in horror, Prida taking several steps backwards to join the Captain by her chair, their fallen compatriots suddenly spun on their heels and gave their undivided attention to the unaffected senior staff. Lurching forward, the assimilated spoke in unison as they reached for their weapons. A devastating chorus of three words that would haunt everyone for a long time to come.

“Eliminate all unassimilated.”

Descent into Darkness

Dead in Space
Stardate 24014.12

Chaos had consumed the mighty Hathaway.

Crewmembers across the ship desperately fought for their lives. The once-harmonious corridors had become a battlefield, with each section of the ship becoming a battleground for survival. The eerie hum of Borg technology reverberated through the air, despite the lack of actual technological assimilation, serving as a chilling reminder of the crew’s worst nightmare.

Commanders and Crewmen alike frantically ran through the corridors, seeking refuge and safety. Firefights erupted in every corner of the ship, with phaser blasts illuminating the darkness. The unassimilated crewmembers, driven by a deep sense of duty, set their phasers to stun in an attempt to neutralize their former comrades without causing permanent harm. But the assimilated crewmembers showed no such restraint. They relentlessly pursued their former colleagues, their movements mechanical and devoid of any humanity. Their cold, emotionless eyes locked onto their targets, and with a single-minded determination, they unleashed phaser fire without hesitation.

Driven to the brink of survival, people formed impromptu barricades, using overturned tables and fallen debris as shields. They fought valiantly, desperately trying to protect one another and overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds. In the midst of the chaos, a group of engineers led by Commander Denen Nes had fled main engineering and were now huddled together in a maintenance access tunnel, their faces streaked with dirt and sweat. They worked feverishly to restore power to critical systems, hoping to regain control of the ship and turn the tide of battle in their favour.

Several decks away, in the medical bay, a group of doctors and nurses tended to the wounded while security tried their best to keep the Borg at bay. They skillfully patched up injuries, their hands moving with precision and determination. They fought to save lives, their commitment unwavering even in the face of imminent danger. Doctor Zinn and his Cardassian assistant stood over the lifeless body of Tharia sh’Elas, the latter placing a hypospray to the Andorian’s neck and waking her from her recovery.

There was much to discuss.

Throughout the ship, crewmembers displayed acts of utter bravery and selflessness, helping one another escape from the clutches of their assimilated comrades. They formed makeshift teams, moving in unison to secure vital areas and protect those who were unable to defend themselves. But the assimilated continued their relentless pursuit, their numbers seemingly endless. They showed no mercy, no remorse, their sole directive to eliminate all unassimilated beings. The sound of phaser fire echoed through the ship, accompanied by the anguished cries of those caught in the crossfire.

As the battle raged on, hope flickered in the hearts of the unassimilated crewmembers. They refused to surrender, fuelled by the unwavering belief that they could overcome this nightmare and restore their ship to its former glory.

In the bowels of the ship, the mess hall had become a stronghold for the unassimilated crewmembers. They fought with unwavering determination, their spirits unyielding even in the face of overwhelming odds. Led by their Captain, the gathered throng were resolved to fight for survival until the bitter end.

“Use your phasers and seal the doors shut,” Nazir decreed as she threw another chair on top of the makeshift fortress at the heart of the Starlight Lounge’s ground floor. Above her, in several locations on the upper floor, similar, much smaller defence positions were forming in order to take advantage of the high ground.

Inside the safety of the ‘fort’, Lieutenant Prida was being tended to by one of their colleagues, having been injured during their escape from the bridge. It hadn’t been pretty, with Prida joining the Captain, Commander Bachmann and the Counsellor in retreating from the command centre through the observation lounge once the assimilated on the bridge began their assault. In the chaos that ensued, the Counsellor and Bachmann had become separated from the Captain and their Bajassian friend, the latter pairing only receiving help when they united with those leading the resistance on deck three. From there, it had been a fight to get to the mess, and it had not been without casualties. Three were killed in the retreat, and Prida’s left leg was seriously injured.

“How is she?” Nazir inquired, looking at the Petty Officer who was working to prevent the loss of the woman’s leg.

“She’ll be fine,” the man responded rather unconvincingly, “if we can get her to sickbay. If not, I can’t make any promises.”

Suddenly, the sound of banging against the metal doors reverberated through the room, sending shivers down the spines of those inside. The relentless pounding of the Borg drones on the messhall doors created an eerie symphony of impending doom. With a single order from their captain, those near the doors sprinted back to the makeshift fort and hopped the crude barricades to take their position against the encroaching threat. Hands trembled with a mix of fear and adrenaline as they worked with fervour, fortifying their defences with the limited resources available. Sweat trickled down their brows as they pressed themselves against the barricades, their hearts pounding in their chests. The anticipation of the impending assault weighed heavily on all but the wounded, those unable to help.

As the Borg drones intensified their assault on the mess, the pounding became more frenzied, the metallic clang echoing through the messhall. The crew held their breath, knowing that the doors could give way at any moment. The sound seemed to reverberate deep within their souls, a constant reminder of the imminent threat lurking just beyond their defences. A nearby armoury had been raided just minutes earlier by the security team in the lounge, and they had begun dispersing phaser rifles, hand weapons, grenades, and even tricorders in the hopes that those miracle workers among them would be able to create some sort of protective forcefield between them and the drones. So far, no such luck.

The tension mounted as the banging grew louder, the doors quivering under the force of the Borg’s relentless assault. Time seemed to stretch, each second feeling like an eternity as they braced themselves for the inevitable clash.

“These are our friends, our family,” Nazir called out as she cocked her phaser rifle and perched it on the top of the barricade, pointed at the nearest set of doors. “Remember what they do here today is no fault of theirs. They are our enemy now, but in the days to come, we’ll need them, and they’ll need us. Shoot to disable, but lethal force is authorised only in extreme circumstances,” the Trill told her personal guard, looking around the faces surrounding her. “Today we fight for them, just as they would fight for us if they could.”

Then, in a deafening crescendo, the messhall doors burst open…


The Hellhounds starfighter squadron held their defensive positions, their eyes fixated on the chaos unfolding aboard Hathaway. The ship’s lights continued to flicker all across the hull, warp plasma leaking from damaged upper nacelle, and last they heard, the crew within were fighting for their lives against the relentless Borg threat. From their vantage point outside the starship, the Hellhounds could only watch helplessly, their hearts heavy with concern for their comrades.

Suddenly, a wave of silence swept through the squadron, their comms falling eerily quiet. A great sense of dread overcame all as a chilling message echoed through their internal communications, the words sending shivers down their spines: “Eliminate all unassimilated.” Horror washed over the pilots as they realized the gravity of the situation. The youngest members of the squadron, once full of youthful energy and zest, were now transformed into Borg drones. Their eyes changed to black, their once vibrant spirits now consumed by the collective hive mind.

Without hesitation, the assimilated pilots turned on their unassimilated colleagues, their starfighters transforming into instruments of destruction. The once cohesive squadron was now torn apart by a sinister force, pitting friend against friend, brother against brother.

“Break! Break! Break!”

Frantic manoeuvres filled the space as the Hellhounds desperately evaded the relentless assaults from their assimilated counterparts…

…until Hound One exploded in a ball of flame, signalling the demise of their fearless squadron leader. The first of the senior staff had fallen. But he would certainly not be the last…

Resistance of the Heaviest Kind

Stranded
Stardate 24014.12

To say that the atmosphere inside the runabout was tense as Commander Noli sat at the helm, monitoring the situation aboard the USS Hathaway, was probably a significant understatement. Ensign Udraa, Flyboy’s young and eager understudy, was seated at the pilot’s controls, watching as the sensor data and communication logs came in.

As they continued their journey, Noli’s eyes remained fixated on the console, reviewing the latest reports from the stranded Hathaway. The situation aboard the starship was dire, with crewmembers fighting for their lives against the relentless pursuit of the assimilated crew. Firefights erupted across the ship as the unassimilated tried to fend off their former colleagues.

“What the hell happened over there?!” Noli asked, glancing at her younger colleague who looked in disbelief but did seem to have some sort of clue.

“According to the sensor data, the ship received a powerful signal from Jupiter immediately before the chaos began,” Udraa revealed, pulling up the transmission on the display between them.

Suddenly, the signal from Jupiter disrupted the silence inside the runabout, somehow activated by the sensors that were analysing the data from Hathaway. Udraa’s eyes widened as the unmistakable Borg signature filled the screen and her head. Before they could react, the ominous words “Eliminate all unassimilated” echoed through the ship’s internal communications. Noli’s heart pounded in her chest as she turned to look at Udraa, only to see her eyes glazed over, her once vibrant personality replaced by the vacant stare of a Borg drone.

Gripped by an intense sense of terror, Noli quickly assessed her situation, but not before the young ensign lunged at her with mechanical precision, attempting to overpower her former commander. Noli’s training and instincts kicked in, and she managed to evade the drone’s attack during the frantic brawl. She knew she couldn’t overpower the now-enhanced Ensign Udraa physically, but she needed to protect herself and find a way to subdue the threat her colleague now posed.

Escaping from the ensign’s grasp, Noli made a dash for the nearby storage compartment at the back of the runabout’s cockpit, where she retrieved a hand phaser. Her heart raced as she pointed the weapon at the advancing drone, hesitating for a moment. She remembered the ensign’s bright smile, her eagerness to serve, and the potential she once held. But this was not Udraa anymore; this was a threat that needed to be neutralized.

Summoning all her courage, Noli fired the phaser, and a blue beam of energy lanced out, hitting the drone squarely in the chest. Udraa’s body went rigid for a moment before slumping to the ground, unconscious but still alive. Noli quickly rushed to her side, placing fingers on the youngster’s neck in order to check for a pulse. All the while, her mind was racing with what to do next.

She knew she couldn’t leave the ensign unattended, as she could wake up at any moment and pose a threat once more. She had to contain her somewhere, somewhere less dangerous. Dragging the stunned drone to the living quarters at the back of the runabout, Noli activated the most powerful forcefield the runabout could muster to keep her contained. It was a temporary measure, but it bought her enough time to resume their journey while ensuring they remained safe.

As she returned to the helm, Noli’s mind was reeling. The situation had escalated beyond her wildest expectations, and she knew she couldn’t handle this alone. She needed help, allies who could assist them in taking on the Borg threat and saving the Hathaway. But how far did this new threat spread? What if Starbase Bravo had been assimilated?

Accessing the LCARS database, Noli began searching for potential allies nearby. Her fingers flew over the console, seeking out any nearby Starfleet ships or installations that could aid them in their mission. The Federation had faced the Borg before, and surely there were those who would be willing to come to their aid? Minutes passed like hours as Noli scoured the sensor readings, praying for a glimmer of hope, a sign of something… anything…


The atmosphere around the Hellhounds was tense as they watched the chaos unfold aboard the USS Hathaway from the apparent safety of their defensive positions around the stricken starship. The relentless pursuit of the assimilated crewmembers had turned their once harmonious team into a battleground. Firefights had erupted between the unassimilated cremates and their ‘former’ colleagues, who showed no restraint, their cold voices echoing through the comms.

“Eliminate all unassimilated.”

“What the hell happened?!”

“Didn’t you hear it?”

“Hear what?”

“That sig…”

“EMERALD?” The Squadron leader, SMURF as he was known due to his blue skin, called out to his young wingman, “EMERALD? You ok?”

Suddenly, no less than six of the squadron veered off, jamming the communications between Hathaway and the rest of the starfighter wing and began their assault on their unprepared teammates.

Lieutenant Varru, the Squadron XO, was in the thick of the fight within seconds, barking out orders and coordinating the defensive manoeuvres. She was a seasoned pilot, with arguably more combat experience than their squadron leader, and was respected by her comrades for her fierce courage and leadership. But the situation they faced now was unlike anything they had encountered before, and fear gripped even the most experienced among them.

As the battle raged on, the once bright and vibrant squadron made up of some of the most eclectic species out there, was being torn apart, both physically and emotionally. Friendships were being tested, and loyalties questioned as the Borg’s unrelenting pursuit brought out the worst in some of their former friends. Crewmates who had been with the squadron since day one, battling through the recent conflict in the Deneb system and putting their lives on the line for each other were now engaged in a fierce battle for survival. Each member of the squadron had to confront the harsh reality that those they once trusted were now trying to destroy them. Kill or be killed was now the order of the day, and it was devastating the elder members of the team, especially the squadron leaders who had seen these young pilots, some just fresh out of Starfleet Academy, that they were now having to destroy their subordinates, the very people they were supposed to be guiding through their careers. Now faced with the harrowing task of defending themselves against their assimilated friends, and with the enemy ships closing in for the kill, the oldest members of the squadron had no choice but to fire relentless barrages of energy weapons, trying to take down any assimilated targets in their path.

In the midst of the chaos, Lieutenant Varru’s voice came over the comms, calm and steady, giving orders and rallying the squadron to stay focused. She was a beacon of hope in the darkness, stepping up where Commander Ch’tosrik failed, her presence bringing a sense of reassurance to the other pilots that were left. But even she couldn’t anticipate what was to come.

As the battle intensified, Varru’s fighter came under heavy fire from an assimilated pilot, her protege no less. As ‘EMERALD’ closed in for the kill, Varru expertly manoeuvred her ship, evading the barrage of energy bolts with skill and precision. But the young Orion pilot was relentless, closing in with deadly accuracy.

PROPHET, break off! We’ve got your back!” Cried BUGSY, ordinarily known as Lieutenant Casey Malone, called out over the comms.

But Varru was determined not to leave any of her team exposed. She knew that they were all in this fight together, and she refused to abandon any of them. With a swift manoeuvre, she turned her fighter to face the enemy head-on, engaging in a one-on-one dogfight.

The two ships danced through space, twisting and turning, each trying to gain the upper hand. Varru’s years of experience gave her the edge, and she managed to outmanoeuvre the enemy pilot. She fired a well-aimed shot, hitting the enemy’s ship in the port thruster assembly, causing it to veer off course. But the assimilated pilot was not done. In a desperate act, they rammed their ship into Varru’s, causing a devastating explosion. The shockwave sent ripples through space, and for a moment, all the other pilots were speechless, stunned by the loss of not only their XO, but one of their most promising young colleagues.

The comms were filled with calls of disbelief and sorrow as the Hellhounds tried to come to terms with the loss of their deputy leader. Varru’s fighter was reduced to debris, scattered across the void of space.

She’s gone… PROPHET is gone,” one pilot murmured, his voice trembling with emotion.

With heavy hearts but no time to grieve, the Hellhounds regrouped and refocused their efforts, training their sights on their younger colleagues. Nothing was stopping them now from destroying their young brethren. Nothing but guilt, anyway. As the assimilated showed no mercy, the guilt quickly subsided and the elder members of the group bore down on their colleagues for one final attack run…

Torment’s End

Stardate 24014.12

Running through the dimly lit corridors, Commander Felix Bachmann’s heart threatened to pound its way out of his chest. He was accompanied by two security officers, Lieutenant Daniels and Chief Dornigan, their footsteps echoing with urgency.

“We need to find a safe place to regroup,” Commander Bachmann said, gasping for breath as they rounded a corner.

Lieutenant Daniels nodded, his eyes scanning the surroundings. “Let’s head to the auxiliary control room. It’s a secure location, and we might be able to access the ship’s systems from there.”

As they hurried towards the auxiliary control room, phaser fire echoed in the distance. The situation was dire, and they knew that every moment was crucial. The young assimilated crewmembers were showing no mercy in their onslaught, and the unassimilated were being forced to defend themselves with phasers set to stun, attempting to neutralize their attackers without causing permanent harm. It was a handicap that he didn’t agree with, but it was a directive from the Captain.

Suddenly, a group of nearly a dozen assimilated crewmembers emerged from a side corridor, blocking their path. At the head of the group was the familiar face of Lieutenant Or’uil. The once vibrant and promising young Ungeat officer was now just a shell of his former self. His eyes were vacant, the spark of humanity extinguished by the Borg Collective in their most diabolical way yet.

“Eliminate all unassimilated,” Lieutenant Or’uil droned, raising his phaser with mechanical precision.

Commander Bachmann clenched his jaw, the great sense of fear he felt reflected in his eyes. For once, the Ungeat had the upper ground in their encounter. “Or’uil, you don’t have to do this,” Bachmann called out to the leader of the assimilated group, “Fight back against the Borg’s control!”

But his words fell on deaf ears, and the young Ungeat opened fire, forcing the small group of unassimilated crewmembers to take cover behind nearby bulkheads and crates.

With Lieutenant Daniels and Chief Dornigan providing covering fire, Bachmann attempted to reason with Lieutenant Or’uil once more. “Remember who you were, Or’uil! You were a skilled officer, loyal to the Hathaway and its crew. You can break free from the Borg’s influence!”

For a moment, it seemed as though a glimmer of recognition flickered in Or’uil’s eyes, as if he were struggling against the Collective’s control, or was it recognition of Bachmann’s lies? But before he could respond, the assimilated crewmembers pressed forward, intensifying their attacks. The firefight raged on, and it became clear that there was little chance of reasoning with Or’uil or the others in his group. They were lost to the Borg, consumed by the hive mind’s relentless pursuit of perfection.

Bachmann knew that they had to defend themselves, even if it meant using lethal force against their former friends and colleagues. He had a reputation for being a hard ass, someone who didn’t care about anything, or anyone, but the reality of this situation was not lost on him. The young assimilated crewmembers were mere shadows of their former selves, and it pained him to see them reduced to mindless drones. A moment’s respite was interrupted as Lieutenant Or’uil lunged forward, his phaser raised, a blank expression on his face.

“Or’uil, it’s me, Felix,” Bachmann pleaded, trying to reach the remnants of the young Ungeat’s consciousness buried deep within the Borg’s control. “You don’t have to do this. Fight back, Or’uil. Fight back against the Borg’s influence.”

A flicker of something akin to recognition briefly crossed Or’uil’s eyes, and for a moment, it seemed as if the young Ungeat was attempting to resist the Borg’s relentless commands. Bachmann saw an opportunity to reason with him further, to connect with the humanity he knew was still buried within.

“Or’uil, I’m sorry,” Bachmann continued, his voice filled with regret. “I was a bully, and I tormented you. I never meant for it to go this far. Please, let’s find a way to break free from the Borg’s control together.”

The glimmer of humanity in Or’uil’s eyes seemed to intensify, and Bachmann held his breath, hoping against hope that he could reach the young Ungeat and bring him back from the abyss of assimilation. But just as quickly as it had appeared, the flicker of recognition vanished, replaced once more by the cold, mechanical stare of a drone.

“Eliminate all unassimilated,” Or’uil droned, raising his phaser with chilling precision.

Bachmann’s heart sank. The humanity he had glimpsed in Or’uil was fleeting, crushed under the Borg’s relentless control. As he raised his own phaser to defend himself, he couldn’t help but feel the weight of his past actions, the guilt and remorse for the torment he had inflicted on the young Ungeat during their time on the Prometheus.

For a moment, it seemed as though Or’uil hesitated, as if he were fighting against the Borg’s relentless control. Bachmann’s heart surged with hope, his grip on the phaser momentarily faltering. But in that moment of vulnerability, the young Ungeat raised his phaser with cold determination and fired a shot at Bachmann. The blast hit the commander square in the chest, sending him reeling backwards, the world around him spinning into darkness.

In the end, it was not the Borg or the Ungeat that had been responsible for Bachmann’s fate; it was the choices he had made, the actions he had taken, and the failure to recognize the consequences of his past behavior. The darkness finally claimed him, leaving behind a ship in turmoil and a crew struggling to find a way to resist the relentless pursuit of assimilation.

And as the echoes of the firefight subsided, the corridor of the USS Hathaway fell silent, bearing witness to the devastating consequences of a fight that had claimed not just lives but also the very essence of humanity. Whether it had claimed the humanity of the Ungeat, only he would know, but anyone watching his continued march to his next target would have sworn they saw a momentary glimmer in his eyes as he passed the lifeless form of Commander Bachmann once and for all.

Hope Among Friends

USS Arimathea
Stardate 24014.12

A deathly silence had long since replaced the familiar hum of the small Runabouts engines. Noli, alone in the cockpit, had steeled herself for the inevitable. Almost an hour earlier her assimilated counterpart, who had been ‘secured’ in the aft section of the ship, had woken and begun causing chaos in the ship’s systems. Noli had thwarted her as much as possible, but the technological expertise of the Borg proved too much. Life support was dwindling, and the cold grip of fear settled deep in the pit of the Bajoran’s stomach.

Huddled in her chair, hugging her knees tight to her chest, the Blonde Bombshell found herself worrying about her friends. Blonde Bombshell. It was a nickname she’d heard and always assumed had originated from Flyboy, but she’d never had it confirmed. It made her smile though, and why shouldn’t it? To think that someone found you that attractive would make anyone happy, surely? Even if it was Flyboy. Then her thoughts drifted to the newest member of her family. Dear, sweet Or’uil. He was so naive, so trusting, so vulnerable. She knew he’d been through so much in recent months, and now this? She’d become an older sibling to him; protective and nurturing. How was he coping? Or Prida for that matter? She was probably the one most likely to be able to look after herself, but it was no secret that Prida did her best work alongside her Bajoran colleague. Prida and Noli went together like peanut butter and jelly, sausage and mash, or some other concoction Flyboy had introduced them to. Hell, they went together like Nazir and Vulcan spiced tea, like Zinn and pancakes, like… Picard and earl grey! And now, she’d probably never see her sidekick, her best friend, ever again.

Lost in her thoughts and fears, Noli was violently and abruptly pulled from her daydreaming by the sound of banging and clamouring at the back of the craft’s control centre. She turned to see Ensign Udraa, assimilated and wearing the vacant expression of a drone, relentlessly trying to break through the forcefield separating them. Panic surged through Noli’s veins as she realized that the forcefield would not hold indefinitely. Udraa’s strength, augmented by the Borg’s biological enhancements, was far beyond that of a normal humanoid.

‘This is it,’ she thought. The end. She had sent out a distress call almost an hour ago, pleading for help not just for herself but also for Hathaway, which was facing its own battle against the Borg. Noli had held on for as long as possible, hoping that someone out there would hear her desperate plea for assistance. But no one had come.

The forcefield flickered and weakened as Udraa’s relentless assault continued. The forcefield rippled under the pounding fists of the young Ensign into it eventually collapsed. Noli braced herself as Udraa surged forward, lunging in an effort to grab, and ultimately eliminate, her Bajoran senior officer, but a sudden flash of blue light engulfed the blonde, her body dematerialising and taking her out of harm’s way… for now.


Gasping for breath once her molecules had been reassembled, Noli looked around to find herself on the transporter pad of another vessel. A voice from nearby drew her back into the room, a voice she had not heard in a while, and one that almost caused her to collapse to her knees in disbelief.

“It’s alright Noli,” the voice spoke calmly as its owner reached out to help the woman from the transporter pad, “you’re safe here.”

Gazing up at the face of her rescuer, the Bajoran could feel tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “Giarvar…” she whispered, before pouncing on the man and flinging her arms around him. Relief washed over her as she realized that she really had been rescued, and not just by anybody. It was almost poetic that the man who had come to her rescue was the man she had succeeded as Hathaway’s first officer.

Although slightly taken aback at first, Captain Giarvar Kauhn reciprocated the hug, holding the woman safely in his arms until she was ready to release. He tried his best to soothe and console her with a slight rocking motion in between glances at the security officers who had accompanied him to the transporter room. A look that it was alright for them to leave him with his friend.

“Where are we?” Noli asked when she finally released the Trill from her grasp.

“Aboard the Arimathea,” Giarvar smiled, helping her from the platform and guiding her, gently, from the transporter room. “I was given command about a day after I left Hathaway. Met up with her near Starbase 72 and were on the edge of the McAllister Nebula when all hell broke loose,” the Trill revealed, his expression changing as he started to make reference to the events that happened earlier in the day.

Noli stopped dead in her tracks. “Borg… you don’t have any?”

Giarvar shook his head, causing the Bajoran to let out a sigh of relief. “Being a small science ship has paid off,” he smiled, “We’ve analysed communications and sensor data we managed to obtain in the last few hours. We determined that we were too far away when the signal was first transmitted. As we’ve grown closer, we’ve been hyper-vigilant, but so far no signs of any assimilation of our younger crew.”

Together, the pair entered the turbo lift at the end of the hall and rode it the short distance to the ship’s bridge. Arimathea had heard her distress call and come to her aid, and for that, she was overwhelmed. She couldn’t help thinking about her ship though. “We must help the Hathaway,” Noli urged, her voice filled with urgency. “They need our assistance, and time is running out.”

Emerging from the turbo lift, Giarvar led his friend into the command centre. “We have no idea what will happen if we even get close to an affected starship. There is a real possibility that they could turn on us, or transmit some kind of signal that will assimilate our young. We should head to Avalon and see what we can do from there,” he suggested as they walked towards the sizeable transparent screen at the back of the bridge where two other officers stood.

“I wouldn’t advise that, Captain…” one of the officers spoke up, turning her head from the display to nod in greeting to Noli. “Commander Nisea, first officer. I’ve heard a lot about you, Commander Noli,” the Arimathea’s XO grinned, offering a scaled, but surprisingly dry hand to the Bajoran. “This is Lieutenant Iersa, chief of security.”

Following a swift round of pleasantries, Giarvar folded his arms across his chest. “Alright Number One,” the Trill looked at the Syllian, “why shouldn’t we go to Avalon?”

Nisea nodded at the display on the transparent screen. It was a map with all manner of glowing markers. “Avalon’s been compromised. We’re not sure how considering we’ve got several reports of ships in the area not succumbing to the signal, yet it appears Avalon has,” she concluded. On the display, Avalon’s single dot marker began to blink red, as did every other vessel or facility known to be compromised. Several blue ones apparently indicated assets not yet affected, such as Arimathea.

“We need to help Udraa on the runabout,” the Commander told, grabbing Giarvar’s arm gently, but the slow shake of the head from Iersa told her what she needed to know.

“The runabout exploded about two minutes ago,” the security chief told, “apparently as a result of engine issues. I’m sorry, Commander.”

Noli took a moment, a deep breath and the closing of her eyes was all she needed to try and compose herself again.

“Where’s Hathaway now?” The Captain enquired, looking over the display.

“She’s here,” the tactical chief, a human named Deakon Iersa, pointed to a new, flashing indicator. “Up until about ten minutes ago, we were still detecting some communications traffic; location buoys, distress signals. But she’s been radio silent ever since,” he explained.

Noli shifted uncomfortably. She didn’t need to be good with people to know what the grim expressions on their faces meant. She’d been monitoring her own sensors while she could, too.

“No,” she shook her head, “nah uh.” She put her hands on her hips and started bouncing from foot to foot in frustration. “I know what you’re thinking, but she’s still there. She’s one of the most advanced ships in the fleet, with a kick-ass crew. There’s no way they’ve been destroyed.” She watched as Giarvar shook his head in response and weaved his way to the blue, leather chair in the middle of the command room.

“Giarvar… please,” the Bajoran pleaded, stepping over to the small rail and leaning over it to get closer to her friend. “We can’t just give up on our friends,” she implored him.

Pursing his lips, the Captain pondered what she was saying for a few moments, before finally making a decision. But once he turned and made eye contact with her and saw the tears in her eyes, he knew he couldn’t say no. How could he possibly resist the Blonde Bombshell, his very first executive officer (albeit temporary).

“Helm,” he barked before turning away from the Bajoran, “set a course for the Hathaway, maximum warp. Lieutenant Iersa, maintain full security procedures. Any sign of any sort of capitulation to this signal, we reverse course.”

“Aye captain,” the officers around the bridge responded in unison, instantly carrying out the Trill’s bidding.

Joining the Captain in the command pit, Commander Nisea took her chair to the right of her commander and then gestured to the vacant seat to his left. “Commander Noli,” she smiled, “Counsellor Duran is otherwise engaged, so the chair’s yours if you want it,” the Syllian told, then returned to her own duties at the console attached to her seat.

Rounding the rail and consoles behind the command pit, the Bajoran sheepishly took the offered chair. As she got comfortable, Giarvar reached out and placed a gentle hand on top of hers, giving it a reassuring squeeze, all the while he remained laser-focused on the view screen before them as the image changed from one of static stars to streaks flashing by at incredible speeds.

All they could do now was wait, and hope that Noli’s faith in ship and crew had not been tragically misplaced.

Redemption and Reservations

Messhall
Stardate 24014.12

The messhall had become a battleground, with the survivors of the Hathaway fighting for their lives against their assimilated crewmates. The clang of metal against metal echoed throughout the room as chairs and tables were stacked up to form makeshift barricades, reinforcing the protection against the relentless onslaught of the drones.

Captain Nazir, her heart pounding with adrenaline, was at the forefront of the defence, firing her phaser at the advancing Borg with deadly accuracy. Her sharp eyes and tactical mind guided her every move as she tried to protect her crew and regain control of her ship.

Lieutenant Commander Teyahna, the cool and composed Chief Science Officer, was by her side, firing precise shots at the drones while ensuring the barricades remained intact. Her fingers moved with practised ease on the phaser, and her eyes remained focused and determined.

The room was filled with the sound of phaser fire and shouts of battle as the crew fought desperately to hold their ground. But the drones were relentless, advancing with eerie mechanical precision. They showed no mercy, no sign of their former selves. As the fight raged on, Captain Nazir spotted Lieutenant Or’uil among the assimilated crew. The young Ungeat, now firmly under the control of the Borg, was leading the charge, a grim determination in his eyes. The sight of one of her friends lost to the Borg sent a pang of sorrow through the Trill’s heart, but she knew there was no time for sentimentality. She had to protect her people.

A sudden burst of gunfire echoed through the messhall, and Captain Nazir felt a searing pain in her right shoulder. She gritted her teeth, trying to push the pain aside and maintain her focus, but her injury was slowing her down, and she knew she needed to find cover.

Lieutenant Commander Teyahna immediately sprang into action, pulling the injured Captain behind a barricade of overturned tables. “You’ll be alright, Captain,” she assured, her voice calm and steady. “I’ll take care of you.”

Nazir nodded, trusting her Chief Science Officer to keep her safe while she continued to fight alongside her crew. Her shoulder throbbed with pain, but she pushed through it, determined to do whatever it took to protect her crew and regain control of her ship.

But the drones were relentless, and the barricades were starting to give way under their relentless assault. As the room filled with smoke and chaos, the Captain knew they were running out of time.

Suddenly, there was a loud crash as the barricades were breached, and the assimilated crewmembers surged forward, overwhelming the survivors. Lieutenant Or’uil, his eyes vacant and cold, reached out and grabbed Teyahna by the neck, lifting her off the ground.

Time seemed to slow down for Captain Nazir as she watched her friend and colleague, the young Ungeat she had come to care for like a son, now turned into a merciless killer. She knew she had to act fast.

Summoning all her strength, Captain Nazir fired her phaser at Lieutenant Or’uil, aiming for a non-vital spot. The shot hit its mark, causing him to drop Teyahna and stumble back, disoriented. The Chief Scientist gasped for breath, clutching her throat, but she was alive.

Nazir could see the struggle in Or’uil’s eyes as the Borg programming warred with his former self. He fought to regain control, to resist the assimilation protocols that compelled him to harm his own crewmates. And then, to everyone’s surprise, the assimilated crewmembers stopped in their tracks. Their mechanical movements slowed and faltered, and they began to de-assimilate. The familiar features and expressions of their former selves started to emerge. Confusion and fear were evident in their eyes as they looked around, taking in the aftermath of the battle. They were aware of the atrocities they had carried out while under the Borg’s control.

Keziah and Teyahna watched in awe as their crewmates returned to their pre-assimilation states, their individuality and consciousness restored almost instantly. It was a miracle, and she couldn’t help but feel a glimmer of hope amidst the chaos.

Lieutenant Or’uil, his eyes now filled with remorse and regret, dropped to his knees, unable to bear the weight of his actions. “I’m so sorry Captain,” he whispered, his voice cracking with emotion.

Helped to her feet by the Orion scientist, Nazir reached out and took hold of the security chief’s hand. A reassuring squeeze and a smile later, tears began to well up in Or’uil’s eyes, accepting her offered forgiveness. “I don’t know how it happened,” he choked out. “The last thing I remember was being on the bridge, and then… everything went black.”

“It’s not your fault,” Teyahna tried to reassure him, her voice soft and soothing. “We’ll figure this out, together.”

“Teyahna’s right. We’ll get through this,” Nazir said, her voice steady and resolute. “We’ll find a way to stop the Borg and free the rest of our crewmates. We are strong, and we will prevail.”

Wiping his eyes on his sleeve, the Ungeat steeled himself for what was to come next. “We should try to retake engineering or the bridge. Given we are closer to deck one, I’d suggest the bridge,” he advised the Captain.

Nazir nodded. “Alright, everyone. You’re coming with me. Grab a phaser. We don’t stop until we reach the bridge…”


The USS Arimathea hurtled through space at maximum warp, its sleek form cutting through the cosmic sea. Commander Noli sat on the bridge, her gaze fixed on the viewscreen, watching the stars streak past in mesmerising patterns. Her mind wandered back to happier times, to moments spent with her friends on the Hathaway—laughter echoing through the corridors, shared meals in the messhall, and the camaraderie that had become the heart of her Starfleet family.

Captain Giarvar Kauhn, the Trill with a commanding presence, was standing at the helm, guiding the Arimathea with the expertise of a seasoned captain. It was strange to think that less than two months ago he was aboard Hathaway, serving in Noli’s very position, but now he had his own crew to worry about. He glanced at Noli, understanding the emotions that filled her eyes. The two of them had formed a bond in their time together, both sharing a belief in the resilience and strength of the Hathaway’s crew and her captain.

As they sailed through the vast expanse of space, a soft beep emanated from an aft station, drawing Noli back into the room. Lieutenant Mora, the Bolian operations chief, spoke up, “Captain, sensors have detected signals from the Hathaway. It appears there is still life aboard the ship.”

A hushed silence fell over the bridge as everyone turned their attention to the news. The crew of the Arimathea had been closely monitoring the situation on the Sagan-class starship, hoping against hope that they would find some sign of life amidst the chaos that had befallen the starship.

Noli’s heart skipped a beat at the news, a mix of relief and excitement washing over her. She had feared the worst for her friends, but now there was a glimmer of hope. “Captain,” she said, her voice tinged with emotion, “we need to reach out, let them know we’re coming.”

Captain Kauhn nodded, his eyes reflecting the same determination. “Agreed, Commander,” he replied. “Number One, make it so.” The spotted man directed his XO.

“Aye Captain,” the Syllian known as Nisea concurred, accessing her controls and formatting a message to their captain’s former posting.

Once again, they were involved in a waiting game.

From One Frontier to Another

Various
Stardate 24014.12 - Stardate 24017.15

The Hathaway’s bridge was a scene of controlled chaos as Captain Nazir, still nursing her injured shoulder, made her way to the command chair. Her team of survivors from the messhall had encountered no resistance as they navigated the corridors, finding to their amazement that all across the ship assimilated crewmembers had reverted back to their pre-assimilation selves. It was a development that left them all with a mix of relief and confusion.

Together with Lieutenant Commander Teyahna, Lieutenant Or’uil, and other members of the crew, they quickly assessed the status of the ship’s systems. Control had been returned to the Starfleet crew, and the ship was now laying dormant but active, awaiting their orders.

Lieutenant Or’uil, the Ungeat, worked diligently at the communications console, trying to establish contact with Starfleet and provide an update on their situation. His long, gangly fingers danced across the interface, his bulbous eyes focused and determined.

Meanwhile, Teyahna sat at the science station, her sharp mind processing data from the ship’s sensors. She needed to ascertain the extent of the losses they had suffered during the Borg attack. It was not making pleasant reading.

As Or’uil worked, a message indicator on the main viewscreen caught his attention. He alerted Captain Nazir, who gave the order to open the channel. The screen flickered to life, and they were greeted by a rather familiar face serving as the commanding officer of the USS Arimathea.

Captain Nazir,” Kauhn’s voice came through clearly, “we are closing in on your location and will be able to provide assistance shortly.

“Captain Kauhn,” Nazir’s weary face brightened at the sight of her former subordinate. “Thank you, Commander. We’ll be grateful for any help you can offer,” she replied.

Kauhn nodded, his expression serious. “Before we arrive, there’s someone here that belongs to you,” he said cryptically. “I think you’ll want to see them.

Confused, Nazir exchanged a glance with Teyahna and the others on the bridge. The screen flickered again, and to her surprise, Commander Noli appeared on the viewscreen.

“Noli!” Nazir exclaimed, her heart soaring with relief. “Thank your Prophets!”

Noli’s face broke into a grin. “Yes, Captain,” she replied. “Thanks to the timely intervention of the Arimathea, not the Prophets this time.

Nazir couldn’t help but chuckle. “It’s good to see you well, Commander,” she said warmly. “We were worried about you.”

Noli’s expression turned serious. “I was worried about all of you too,” she said. “I’m glad to see that you’re all safe.

Nazir nodded, her heart filled with gratitude for the friendship and loyalty of her crew, both at home and away. “We’ve been through quite an ordeal,” she said, “but we’re still standing.”

Kauhn nodded. “We’ll be there soon,” he said. “Hang tight.”

Nazir smiled, feeling a sense of camaraderie and unity with the crew of the Arimathea swiftly permeating the bridge and drawing smiles among those relieved by the support. “Thank you, Captain,” she said sincerely. “Your assistance means more than you know.”

As the transmission ended, Nazir turned to her team on the bridge. “Prepare for Arimathea‘s arrival,” she instructed. “We’ll need to coordinate our efforts to get the Hathaway back to Avalon for repairs.”

The crew sprang into action, working together with renewed determination and hope. The knowledge that they were not alone, that they had allies coming to their aid, giving them the strength to keep going. Strange to think of what had happened to them in the space of one short day. And they were not alone. News of similar tragedies happening across the Federation soon filtered through and brought the stark reality of their situation to their doorstep.


Captain’s Log, Supplemental.

 

Frontier Day was supposed to be a celebration of unity and progress but has instead left a haunting toll that echoes across the expanse of the Federation. The joy that many felt on the eve of this momentous occasion has yielded to the sombre melody of mourning, the death toll standing as a grim testament to the devastation wrought by unforeseen circumstances. Reports from various sectors paint a harrowing picture – hundreds of thousands of lives lost, scattering the weight of grief across countless worlds. The promise of Fleet Formation mode, a concept intended to fortify our defences, has instead opened an unexpected conduit for our adversaries to infiltrate and assimilate numerous starships, along with their courageous crews.

 

The aftermath is a panorama of chaos and ruin. The proud bastion that was Spacedock lies in ruins, its halls bearing witness to the fierce battle that unfolded. The venerable USS Enterprise, the very emblem of our Federation’s spirit, now rests among the stars as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices endured. As much of the fleet lies ravaged and broken, Earth itself teetered on the brink of calamity. Thanks to the intervention of the crew of the USS Titan at the eleventh hour, Earth was saved from what could have been a devastating fate, an act of heroism for which the valorous Titan crew have the eternal gratitude of so many.

 

Hathaway stands as a testament to both courage and misfortune. Our ship, like many others, bears the scars of conflict. We navigate the starry expanse towards Avalon Fleet Yards at a cautious pace, its destination shared by others of the Fourth Fleet, battered yet resolute in the face of adversity. The comforting presence of the Arimathea and the Venture alongside us in close formation reminds us that, while we are diminished, our strength lies in unity.

 

In a turn of events that is both bittersweet and daunting, I have been honoured with an appointment by Task Force Command. The title of Fleet Captain carries with it a new responsibility, one that I embrace amidst the turbulence of tragedy. Hathaway and the Arimathea shall constitute a new squadron under my command, a mantle that brings both pride and sorrow. It is a leadership role borne from necessity, a call to action that underscores the unbreakable spirit of Starfleet, even in the face of despair.

 

The magnitude of the catastrophe has exacted a heavy toll upon the Hathaway. Our ship mourns the loss of many cherished individuals, their memory woven into the fabric of our shared experiences. Among the fallen are Lieutenant Varru, the steadfast deputy of the Hellhounds Starfighter squadron, Ensign Teanne Udraa, a promising Assistant Flight Operations Officer, and Counsellor Chiera, a compassionate guide to the crew’s well-being. Their loss ways far heavier than that of Commander Bachmann, a foil to many aboard the ship, but someone who gave his life in the service of Starfleet nonetheless. Their absence, like many, leaves an ache that cannot be quantified.

 

The wounded survivors bear both physical and emotional scars, a testament to the agony they endured. Some 32 souls have been tragically lost, and nearly two hundred others have been touched by injury. We stand united in the knowledge that these wounds will heal in time, but the echoes of trauma will linger long after the scars have faded. Our hearts are heavy, but our resolve remains steadfast. We will never cower in the face of danger, nor give in to terror.

 

In this most solemn hour, as we join our fellow beings in mourning the fallen, I am reminded of something my mentor once said; there is solace to be found in the unassailable truth that Starfleet’s finest continually confront the perils that seek to extinguish our light and live to fight another day. Our sacrifices, and our resilience, have blunted the edge of malevolent intent yet again, and as we stand upon the precipice of restoration, let us remember that the indomitable spirit of the Federation prevails.

 

Even in the darkest of times…


Captain Keziah Nazir sat alone in the dimly lit observation lounge aboard Hathaway, PADDs displaying reports and status updates scattered across the table in front of her. Outside, the lights of Avalon Fleet Yards glittered against the inky canvas of space, a stark reminder of the repairs her ship had been undergoing for the past three months. Repairs had been much slower across the fleet given the sheer volume of starships needing spare parts, replacement equipment and yard engineers to do the jobs the ship’s own engineering personnel couldn’t.

With a sigh, she rubbed her temples, feeling the weight of exhaustion and responsibility pressing down upon her weary shoulders. The aftermath of the devastating Frontier Day had left its mark on both the ship and its crew. Despite the progress in repairs, there were still many weeks to go before the ship would be fully operational again, and the crew were already growing restless.

Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t immediately notice the door to the observation lounge sliding open. Only when a shadow fell across the scattered PADDs did she glance up, her expression shifting from contemplative to curious at the arrival of her visitor.

Commander Noli stood at the entrance, her usually composed features etched with uncharacteristic seriousness. Nazir straightened in her seat, her concern deepening at the sight of her trusted executive officer’s demeanour.

“Noli, is something wrong?” Nazir asked, her voice tinged with worry.

Noli hesitated for a moment, her gaze fixed on Nazir. “Captain,” she began slowly, “there’s something you need to know.”

Nazir’s heart quickened at the grave tone in Noli’s voice. She leaned forward, her attention fully focused on her XO. “What is it, Commander?”

Noli stepped further into the observation lounge, her expression betraying a mixture of reluctance and urgency. “Task Force Command has sent new orders,” she said, her voice measured. “Orders that will affect the entire command crew.”

Nazir’s brows furrowed in confusion. She wasn’t accustomed to receiving orders that would directly affect her crew. “What kind of orders?” she inquired, her mind racing to consider the possibilities.

Noli’s gaze didn’t waver as she spoke. “Orders that might take us away from Hathaway,” she revealed, her words hanging in the air like a heavy curtain.

The Captain’s heart seemed to skip a beat. Away from the Hathaway? Away from the flagship of the squadron she had just been given command over? The ship that had become a second home to her and her crew, the place where they had faced insurmountable challenges and stood united against the darkest odds? It was inconceivable.

As the two women locked eyes, the weight of the decision ahead hung in the air. The fate of the Hathaway and its crew rested on Nazir’s shoulders, and the impending orders held the promise of a new chapter, one that was both uncertain and full of potential.

“You best take a seat, Commander…”