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Part of USS Odyssey: Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason and Bravo Fleet: We Are the Borg

Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason – 1

USS Herschel (NCC-61044), Beta Quadrant Frontier
Stardate: 39749 (39 years ago)
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“Commander Gray, you wanted to see me?” asked a familiar feminine voice.

Gazing up from where he worked in main engineering on the Herschel, Reuben Gray smiled instantly at seeing his wife, Tanya, standing before him. “Ah, yes, commander, I do need your help,” He picked up a PADD and passed it to her after standing up. “I’m working on improving impulse efficiency, and I didn’t want to compromise helm control.”

Smirking back at him, Tanya took the device into her hands. “A sensible idea,” She said as she read his plan. Tanya Gray’s curly blonde hair cascaded down her shoulders, framing her slender figure. “This looks fine, Reu,” she replied in an almost whisper as she passed the PADD back.

“Thanks,” Gray replied sincerely, “the captain told me yesterday about the Cardassian border war. If the Herschel gets sent to the frontlines, I want to give you enough power to outmanoeuver those Cardassian warships.”

She nodded in agreement. “He just mentioned something about it on the bridge,” Tanya sighed. “I really hope we don’t go into battle.”

Almost as if on cue, the universe had heard Tanya and had hit the ship hard. Gray caught his wife in his arms as she stumbled due to the lack of the intertial dampeners not compensating enough from whatever had rocked their vessel. Before he could ask if she was alright, the captain’s voice came over the intercom.

“Red alert, all hands to battle stations!” 

“I best get to the bridge,” Tanya said quickly before giving him a quick kiss. 

Gray wanted to saviour that kiss, that moment with her, but knew he had a job to do. Instantly, he called up a shipwide damage report to see that the Herschel’s sensor pod had been ripped off. 

What on earth had done that to them so violently? He asked himself. Gray handed out damage control repair orders before looking to see who had attacked them. They had been on the far edges of Federation space, performing deep space scans and conducting a survey of gaseous anomalies. Nothing too exciting. Had it been the Romulans waking up? Or was there a new threat facing them?

It was the former. Gray had pulled up the sensor readings to see what was attacking them so he could try and help with mounting a defence. Instead of seeing a ship he recognised, it was a ship he had never seen before. It was three thousand meters in length, height and width. It was a perfect cube shape. As it attacked the Herschel’s shields again, its menacing appearance seemed more apparent.

The captain had called down for power to be routed to the shields as they attempted to evade, but the ship was then held tightly by a powerful green tractor beam. Before anyone in engineering could respond to the captain’s orders, they were boarded. Transporter beams had delivered intruders. They looked like humanoids but were all wearing black. Gray looked at them again and shook his head in disbelief. He changed his mind on what he thought they looked like. Cybernetic zombies. They even walked like it with their technology attached to them. Screams filled engineering as people started to react. Phaser fire began to be poured out against the intruders. A few of them fell to the ground, and then they survived. Some sort of defensive screen appeared in front of their chests. 

As he tried to step away with the others, he ordered his staff to retreat. Gray was about to tell the computer to seal off main engineering and transfer controls to the bridge when he felt two powerful, strong arms seize him in a tight grip. He couldn’t move, and then he felt something sharp hit him in the neck. Was it a hypospray? Without being able to react, he found himself feeling weak, tired and helpless.

Tanya, he thought.

Then he heard the whispers.

The whispers got louder.

They turned into many voices.

Then, it was one voice.

One firm, unified, solid voice.

“We are the Borg” rang in his ears and mind.  

He felt at peace. 

He felt calm. 

He felt strong.

He was Borg.


USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant

Stardate: 78422.66 (Current Day – June 2401)

Instantly, Commander Reuben Gray woke up. He looked around his quarters and realised he had only experienced a nightmare. He could feel his heart racing, and his breathing was heavy. 

He sat up in his bed and looked around the dimly lit room, trying to shake off the lingering feeling of dread. Looking at the familiar objects in his quarters, he reminded himself that he was safe and that it was just a bad dream. He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down, focusing on the sound of his own breathing. Gray leaned over and tapped the button to deactivate his portable regeneration unit. 

After a few minutes, Gray felt his heart rate slow down, and his breathing return to normal. He got out of bed and walked over to the bathroom. Walking over to the sink, Gray splashed some cold water on his face and then looked up at the mirror. His reflection stared back at him, almost horrified at what he could see. The Borg ocular implant had left its mark on his face, with scars and other implants scattered across his body. A prominent implant adorned his bare chest, stretching across his shoulder, while another one could be seen on his left bicep, adding to the collection of modifications that spoke of a past filled with horrors and atrocities.

He was not truly human. 

He remembered what his body looked like without any of these implants there. Gray remembered working hard on his physical attributes, spending many nights in the ship’s gym. Whether he would weight train, swim or do some boxing, he had always kept himself fit and healthy. Gray’s chiselled abdomen had been a testament to his dedication to maintaining his physical fitness, and it also served as an impressive sight for those who saw him shirtless. Now, he would only work out in the privacy of his quarters. He wouldn’t show off his once-trimmed bare physique in public. He was too ashamed of what clung to his body. 

He was still Borg. 

Gray knew this. Others may have called him an exB, but he could feel the agony in his heart as there was nothing he could do to the scars that sat on him and in him. 

Taking one more deep breath, he decided he would wake up ahead of his alarm clock and get the day started.  

Comments

  • I enjoyed this story from the flashback of what happened during the fateful day that Gray had turned into a Borg drone which at the time he didn't even know they were Borg before assimilation. Only to wake up to find that he had another nightmare, though he still bears the scars of what he once was and how much he still has to heal from all those years as a Borg drone. The feeling of dread that he is trying to shake I wonder what that could be, if it was just from his nightmare that he's trying to shake or if there is something else going on that he doesn't know about yet. It's left me with a 'what is going to happen next' moment and I can't wait to read what's to come on the adventures of the Odyssey gang.

    October 27, 2023
  • Hot damn, that was actually a nice way of showing how a exB experience the process of becoming Borg. I never really stood still to think about what it would or could be how a person would feel or notice? But this is written as an experience that Gray had to endure, woke up from the nightmare only to realize even without the Borg implants, he felt like he still was or is Borg. I look forward how Gray develops through this mission! Awesome work :D

    October 28, 2023
  • Well that was a chilling start! I like how you took us from a cute moment between Rueben and his wife, into the horror of assimilation through the eyes of someone going through it. The second part with the wake-up and realisation of a nightmare was likewise very well done. I like how you’ve highlighted the physical changes by linking them to Gray’s emotional issues with showing his body now, and the fact he still considers himself borg. Great start, looking forward to reading more!

    October 28, 2023
  • That was pretty effective! The flashback is well done, but what really sells it is the ruminations Gray has afterwards. The setup for the line "he was not truly human," is great, and it really makes that land hard as something Gray Sincerely Believes. This is a solid start, really puts us in with his state of mind, and I look forward to seeing Gray get out through his paces by this story! Good stuff.

    October 28, 2023
  • The last memories of a man assimilated by the Borg brought vividly to life and the stark reality of the present after his removal from the collective. Is this how most xB's feel 'not truly human'. An interesting perspective very well written.

    October 31, 2023
  • The assimilation was *perfect*. That was such a great post, had me riveted from the start, and then the close out. the thoughts, the reflection on what once was. Excellent job from start to finish! Well done!

    November 2, 2023