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Part of USS Hathaway: Episode 18: Fractured Loyalties and Bravo Fleet: Frontier Day

Torment’s End

Stardate 24014.12
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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.

Comments

  • I don’t know if it was intentional, but the fact that Bachmann lost track of Lt. Chiera but managed to keep close to two security officers makes him seem very self-serving. I love the description of Or’uil having the upper ground “for once” against Bachmann; it’s a more subtle way of showing what Bachmann really thought of him. And I appreciate that even though Bachmann wasn’t a positive presence in Or’uil’s life, he was still a forceful enough presence that he could almost reach the personality behind the nanoprobes; it’s usually a more positive relationship that drives this sort of interaction in stories, and it’s cool to see it done differently. And so ironic that the one time Bachmann showed mercy in his interactions with Or’uil (when he hesitated to fire), it doomed him.

    August 17, 2023