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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

Death Takes a Holiday

Charon Base - Engineering
August 12, 2400 @ 1450
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In the darkness, there were sounds from all around.  Familiar voices shouting and panicked.  Electricity sparking and cracking.  Fighting.  Desperation.

Sorek sat up with a gasp, his right arm numb and tingling, his head throbbing in pain.  He remembered attacking the obscenity that was the computer entity.  He remembered the shock to his body.  Still forcing his mind to clear, he began recognizing the rest of the away team.

He saw a Borg.

The voice known as Ruby spoke in response to Sesias, “He has no power over your ship anymore.  but he can just as well travel as you would.  he cannot be allowed to leave. you must give me the power of my justice. Once he has become death, I will do all that you ask.”

The Borg drone was getting faster and better as moving and responding to the various crews dodging techniques.  Crawford shouted over the din, “I think we should listen to her.”  She glanced at Sorek, who was now sitting up, “Commander, welcome to hell.  Meet the ship’s computer…now in a Borg Drone.  We’ve got a Ruby…just need to give her a boost of power so she can do…whatever it is she is going to do.”  She made a mental note of where the large power cables were in relation to where they were.  It would probably take two of them.

Sorek was recovering quickly from being stunned, but he was still woozy.  He didn’t know the full situation, so he decided to trust his people.  “Crawford, do what you think is best.”

O’Shea listened to the exchange and looked around, ‘Need to slow this thing down…’ he thought to himself just as his eyes came to rest on the long coil of thick wire that had come loose in the recent commotion. His head snapped over to Dougal, “Dougal, give me a hand here, we might be able to trip it up or at least distract it.” He reached down and grabbed the end nearest him, and tossed it towards Dougal.

He raised an eyebrow but simply nodded, “Aye.”

Sesias looked around and noticed the abundance of power cords that used to run to the jars that contained the brains. “Ruby, any place, in particular, you would like us to plug into? “He grabbed three of the cables and made his way over to the console that Crawford was at.  

She glanced at him, “That’ll work.  I’ll take these two.”  She slung them over her shoulders, “Now, we’re going to have to move like the devil so that monster out there doesn’t have a chance to get after us.  Even without its connection to the rest of ’em, he can do a lotta damage.”

“Ruby, one more question. Any chance you could get the equipment we brought with us in here? I’m sure MacDonald and O’Shea would love to have their rifles or phasers back.”

Ruby grumbled, eliciting a few looks from the crew, “He locked them in a transporter buffer that he still has control over.  Once he is gone, I can release them to you.”

Crawford glanced at O’Shea and Dougal, “On your mark…get set….”, she glanced at the drone who was now running towards them.  Now was the time.  “GO!”

O’Shea glanced at Dougal and nodded as he grabbed the other end of the thick wire and began to move towards the drone. As he did he pulled the wire thick and dodged around the drone as it tried to swing at him but its momentum carried it past him right into the wire, effectively clotheslining it as its head snapped back and it dropped. The sudden force ripped the wire from O’Shea’s hand slicing his palm open but the drone was slowed. Looking at Dougal he shouted, “Don’t let it get up!” and moved towards the downed drone and the wire in the hope of buying the others a few more seconds.

Dougal moved to stop the drone but something stopped him.  He could hear the computer telling him things in his mind.  Dougal dropped to his knees, “Get out of my bloody heid ya wee bissom!”

O’Shea looked at Dougal for a moment as he lunged at the drone, partially tangled in the wire, as a passing thought sent chills down his spine. ‘Drone first, then Dougal…’ he thought then shouted, “Don’t listen to it, Dougal!” The drone began to regain its feet just as O’Shea grabbed the wire that had wrapped around its neck and pulled as he placed his foot into the small of its back pulling it back to the ground and partially onto him.

Carolyn shouted at Sesias, and they began to scramble across the room slowly at first, but they picked up speed as they moved.  Closer and closer to the computer banks that held Ruby.  Just inches away.

Sesias looked over at Crawford and wondered, as he often did, how anyone with two legs could move faster than their normal speed. 

There was a click as all five power cables locked into place.  The voice of Ruby warned them, “Step back.  I am going to get angry.”

Crawford grabbed one of the hands of Sesias and pulled him away as they ran full speed away from the broiling computer banks and the Borg drone that was breaking free of the trap the other two had snagged him in.  Electricity crackled around the computer banks as the drone started towards them but spun on its heel as it discovered someone else had entered its home.  It started to walk towards the array of computers that it had operated for two hundred years.  Then, a voice.

“You are going to die.  I am going to get justice.”  It was Ruby, but it was full of anger, malice, and rage.  It didn’t sound sweet or nice like it had before.  It sounded furious.  There was a flash of energy that exploded from the computer banks as they simultaneously exploded into burning wrecks, the sound crashing through the engineering room.  The Borg Drone had been moving fluidly but suddenly…it jerked…and nearly seemed to be having a seizure.  Sparks flew from it’s various components as voices from within croaked out.

“I WILL DEATH.  YOU CANNOT DEATH ME.”

“I can and I will.  My mother taught me that you have to hurt someone sometimes to save them.”

“I WILL NOT SAVE. YOU WILL NOT SAVE.  YOU WILL DEATH.”

“I may not be able to save you, but I will not let you out of this place.”

“I AM DEATH.  I DECIDE DEATH.  I AM DEATH.”

“I’m in your head.  Let’s play a game.”

The sparks became blasts of fire as the Borg drone seemed to be wrestling with itself, spinning, falling, grasping at the ground and itself.  It shouted, screamed, growled, and screamed as the struggle for control of the drone continued.

“I WILL NOT ALL-”

“You will listen to me.”

“I WI-”

“I am what you were.”

Suddenly the drone stopped moving, as the head turned to regard the crew.

Sorek was finally able to stand, flexing his arm to help relieve the stun effect.  There was an eerie silence in the room.

O’Shea stepped back slowly, a growling look of concern and pain on his face. “Ah, Ruby….you there?”

Sesias looked around, blinking and looking down at his burnt hands and arms. “Oh that’s going to hurt later. Ruby? You there?” He then looked over at Crawford. “Ummm, you don’t think we have her too much juice, do you?”

The Borg drone smoked lightly from all surfaces as it continued to regard the crew.  The voice of Ruby, now quiet and small as it had been before, returned, “I am so sorry he did all of this to you.  He is locked away for now.  He is very angry…but I cannot hold him forever.  You must leave…and I must destroy this station.”

Crawford stood and stepped closer to the Borg drone, scanning with her tricorder as she did.  “The readings from the droid are different.  All weapons are offline…we’re just dealing with Ruby right now.”

Ruby looked at Carolyn, the eyes of the drone trying and failing to exhibit emotions, “There is so much power in here.  It is tempting to take over where he left off…or join him in his mission.  Power is dangerous, my mother always told me.  It eats away at people from the inside.”  The drone’s face did the best impression of a child grimacing as she said, “Gross.  I don’t want that to happen to me.  I am too cute to look like that.” A quiet, childlike chuckle filtered out of the menacing-looking Borg drone.

Carolyn shook her head, “I wish we could have saved you, Ruby.  I wished we could have found a way.”

The drone shrugged as best as it could.  It ended up looking like a seizure.  “I have done a good thing.  I did what my mother taught me to do.  That is good enough for me.  Your equipment is in your shuttle.  I will start the base’s self-destruct sequence and transport you to the shuttle bay.  You will need to assist with destroying the station from your big ship.”

Dougal looked very much the worse for wear, silently standing there glancing around.   

O’Shea moved towards Dougal, a sinking feeling in his stomach. “Dougal, take it easy we are heading back to the Mercy; Aimee will get you sorted. Stay with us,” he said as he stepped up to him. He didn’t see any of the tell-tale signs yet but knew from reports they didn’t have much time. Turning to the others. “We need to get him to the Mercy NOW; I am pretty sure he was injected with nanoprobes! He needs to see the Doc now!”

Moments later, the sound of transporters whisked them away, and they reappeared near the shuttle.

Sorek was piecing together the full story, but there was time for that later.  They needed to leave before the Death entity could regain control of the base.  “Everyone, get on the shuttle now.”  His voice had a stern tone.  “Crawford, get us out of here.”

Sesias sat down in the first seat he found, awkwardly doing up the safety harness due to the burns to both his hands and arms. “Everyone better strap in and hold on tight; I have a feeling this going to be one hell of a bumpy ride.”

Crawford checked to make sure everyone was at least inside the shuttle before she shut the doors and threw the ship forward as it weaved and bobbed through the shuttle bay and into the open space.  “Hold on folks, this isn’t going to be like when we came in,” she punched the impulse engines towards the USS Mercy.  She stabbed the communications channel, “Shuttle to Mercy – we’re coming home with injuries inbound.  Commander Sorek has the details on what needs to happen to help the station self-destruct – he’ll send it to you.  We need to get on board, and then you gotta back the hell up!” There was a chatter in her ears as the Mercy responded and Crawford tapped at the console, “Got it.  Coming in hot.”  The shuttle swerved and headed straight for the shuttle bay, red lights flashing as the crews inside scrambled to secure the shuttle when it landed.  Crawford aimed, calculated in her head, and sent the ship into to bay.  The shuttle bottomed out ounce as it came to a slow halt, and the crews locked the ship in place.  Crawford tapped the console, “Shuttle secure, Mercy!  Fire away!”

She leaned back in the chair as the bay doors closed, “Remind me to never volunteer for shuttle pilot duty again.”