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

Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason – 7

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78424.2
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The mood in the Barn was calm, subdued, in fact. Gray preferred it that way. Everything was his fault; he knew it. If he had never been posted to the Herschel, then he wouldn’t have been assimilated. If he hadn’t been assimilated, then his Cube would have never crashed against the Class D planetoid, and if he hadn’t been saved by the Odyssey crew, then he wouldn’t be here at this point in time. 

Pondering these thoughts, along with wondering what his life would have been like if he hadn’t been assimilated, tormented Gray’s mind. He had only realised that he would have been an old man if he had lived a normal life without the Borg. Instead, nanoprobes had kept him rejuvenated and almost ageless. Now that had changed, Gray knew he would live the normal human life he was robbed of. It would take him another forty years or so to catch up. Though expecting a normal life was too farfetched, he felt. He was an exB, and that was it. 

As he looked around the new crew lounge, one that he had helped build, he could see every Starfleet officer strapped with a phaser by their side. The ship was at twenty-four-hour tactical alert and ready to engage the cybernetic beasts that chased him in his nightmares. 

It was certainly his fault that they were in this situation now. Gray could not shake that feeling, that regret, that frustration that everything was on his shoulders. If something went wrong here, if someone got hurt or worse assimilated, it would be because of him. 

“Reuben!” called out Keli from a booth on the far corner. 

After Gray walked over, he sat down on the opposite side of her and beside Hilgan. The two of them already had drinks in front of them.

“So, is this an intervention or an off-the-book counselling session?” Gray asked his companions after ordering his drink.

Hilgran answered before Keli could respond. “I don’t do off-the-book stuff, commander,” The Trill officer assured him with a smile. 

“And if it was an intervention, I’d have more of us here,” Keli added after allowing Hilgan to go first. 

Gray sighed in appreciation just as his drink arrived. “Where do we start then?”

“We don’t have to start anything, Reuben,” Keli replied. “I thought we were going to get drunk?”

That idea did sound good, Gray thought; old him would have done that with his engineering staff when something affected one of them, or he was celebrating some miracle they had solved. “This is wrong,” He shared after taking a pretty large swig of his drink. “We shouldn’t be chasing after the Borg.”

“I disagree,” Hilgan replied. “They are a sworn enemy of the Federation, who have caused us too much distress and hurt, especially recently. We need to know what they’re doing.”

“So where do I stand? Am I an ally or enemy, counsellor?” Gray asked, taking another gulp of his whiskey. 

Hilgan took a deep breath and realised he had spoken out of turn. “I didn’t mean you directly, commander.”

“It’s okay, Krizon,” Gray said, waving his hand dismissively. “I was being an ass.”

Hilgan looked at Keli, both exchanging a look that Gray noticed. Keli cleared her throat. 

“Reuben, as someone who has served under Fleet Captain McCallister, I want you to know he takes his job seriously. If there is a Borg threat out there,” She pointed towards what lay beyond the large bay window near them, “Then he wouldn’t want to ignore it. If it wasn’t us dealing with it, then some other crew would be or even worse, they could be attacking the races that live in this region.”

“Commander, with your proximity transceiver being activated again was not in your control, but now Doctor Slyvexs has a better understanding of how it happened; she can prevent it,” Hilgan explained.

“Is that true?” Gray asked him.

He nodded. “I spoke with her earlier. She’s running through some simulations to be certain, but her preliminary results were promising.”

Gray appreciated that. He took another sip of his drink before ordering another one. 

Keli smiled at him. “For all we know, the signal is something so minor, a remanent perhaps from a damaged vinculum.” 

“Or a hidden unicomplex,” Gray retorted as his next drink arrived. 

“Whatever happens, we’ll face it together as one ship and one crew,” Keli said, placing her hand on top of his. 

“Absolutely,” Kilgan said, placing his hand above Keli’s. Eager to prove to the engineer that he wasn’t alone.

For once, Gray appreciated the gesture and sentiment.

“Senior staff to the bridge,” announced Commander Tomaz over the intercom. “Our long-range probe has picked up something of interest.”

“Oh jeez,” Gray grunted as the three officers downed the drinks before heading to the bridge at once. 

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Reuben Gray

    Starfleet Corps of Engineers Unit Leader

  • Krizon Hilgan

    USS Bellerophon
    Chief Counsellor
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Counsellor