“Captain’s personal log, stardate seven-eight-zero-zero-three point seven. Though returning to the Delta Quadrant had always been something I wanted to do during my Starfleet career, I now starting to reconsider that aspiration. The Borg, one of our most lethal enemies who have brutally murdered billions of souls, my species in particular, are now asking for our help. Usually, I’m the first to stand up and offer help to anyone; however, not today. Though I do not disagree with my friend’s actions, I am highly concerned with Fleet Captain McCallister’s decision to bring so many drones on board the ships in our squadron. Triton is playing host to seventeen of them while we attempt to assist them in removing their Borg implants.”
Entering sickbay after a brief hesitation, Captain Canção took a huge breath in as she prepared herself mentally for what awaited her. Security teams were posted across the entire ship, and everyone on her ship was now armed. In addition, Lieutenant Ethav Th’vohless, her ops manager, had locked down the ship’s critical systems. As a result, only those with high-security clearance could access the Luna-class ship’s systems. Canção would destroy the vessel before allowing Borg to take it from them.
Sickbay was packed with people. Her security chief, Lieutenant Natima Lonar, stood on guard with several others. The young Cardassian woman watched their guests’ every moment as they lay on the biobeds. All five beds were in use. The entire medical staff were hard at work under the careful direction of Doctor Kamra Uknare. The Haliian physician worked on a drone in the central surgical bay while others operated on the other drones. The ship’s EMH was also active and was working on another drone.
Uknare noticed the captain’s arrival at the corner of her eye as she worked on the drone. “Captain, welcome to sickbay. Are you okay?”
“Perfectly fine, thank you, Kamra. I’m just checking in on how it is going with our guests,” The captain stated. Her eyes darted across the several biobeds.
Smirking, Uknare had noticed her captain’s discomfort during yesterday’s briefing when Fleet Captain McCallister had ordered each ship to take a proportion of the drones and begin assisting them. “So far, so good, ma’am.” She replied. “I’ve already completed surgery on three patients.”
“Three? Already?” Canção said, surprised. “Where are they now?”
“In the recovery ward,” Uknare said as she slowly removed what appeared to be an ocular implant of the drone.
“Under guard, captain,” Lonar remarked. “My teams are working with Counsellor Oron in keeping them…safe.”
Safe from what? Canção thought to herself. “How are we in identifying these individuals?” She asked next.
Lonar answered on behalf of the doctor. “Most are from the Alpha, Beta, or Delta Quadrants.”
“Any former Starfleet officers?” Canção enquired.
“Two, in fact,” Lonar said after a nod. “Both engineers who served on the USS Excalibur and were assimilated during the late twenty-three-sixties.”
“We may end up expanding our family,” Uknare commented as she started the next part of the procedure with a dermal regenerator in her hand.
“I think there will be several more checks first before we integrate them into the crew’s population,” Canção stated firmly. She paused as she realised how harsh her tone was. “Anyone we should be worried about?” She asked Lonar.
“One of the species from the Delta Quadrant is Vidiian,” Lonar replied. “However, they don’t seem hostile in any sense.”
“It may be because their assimilation meant they were cured from the Phage,” Uknare remarked while focussing on her patient.
“The Phage?” Canção questioned.
“A virus that has inflicted their species for many generations. From what I can tell, the Borg regeneration technology contributed to them being cured,” Uknare stated. “I’m running further tests to ensure the Phage is completely out of their system.”
“Very well,” Canção said and motioned towards Uknare’s patient before her. “What species are they with?”
“He’s a Sikarian, another Delta Quadrant species,” Uknare answered. “We don’t have a name yet, but Commander Thaustin is working with others in the squadron to retrieve the Borg database from the crash site.”
Nodding in satisfaction, Canção glanced around the room before excusing herself and heading towards the exit. She was stopped by someone calling her rank out. Turning on her heels, she saw a drone sitting up while their EMH tried to calm them down.
“It’s okay, doctor,” Canção assured the holographic medical officer. She looked at the drone; it appeared to be a Mazarite man based on the temples on either side of their cheeks near their ears. “Yes, I am the captain of this ship.”
“You are Federation?” The Mazarite man asked.
“We are; this is the U-S-S- Triton. You are safe here.” Canção reassured him.
The Mazarite seemed relieved. “Thank you, you do not know how different it is not to hear the sounds of the Collective anymore.”
“I can imagine,” Canção said. Not sure why she said that, but she did. “My crew will do all they can to help you recover.”
“It is appreciated.”
She smiled at him before looking at Lonar and Uknare again as she headed for the exit. After escaping sickbay, she walked down the corridor before she found an empty junction and leaned against the bulkhead. She took several deep breaths and couldn’t decide why that encounter affected her. Then, rubbing her temple, she decided to make her way towards her ready room.
A cup of coffee was needed.
A very strong cup.