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

Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason – 11

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78425.65
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The bridge was dimly illuminated by a deep red shade emanating from the warning lights, casting an eerie glow on the control panels and equipment. The crew members were on high alert, their nerves frayed by the palpable sense of danger that hung in the air. Every sound was amplified, every movement scrutinised, as they worked tirelessly to keep the ship on course and navigate through the treacherous depths of the Borg-infested nebula.

The Odyssey inched closer towards the nebula’s heart as Marova’s voice echoed through the bridge. “We’re approaching the nebula’s centre now,” The pilot lifted her gaze from the helm, mesmerised by the breathtaking view displayed on the main viewscreen. Shades of pink and purple clouds surrounded the spacecraft as it entered deeper into the unknown.

Fleet Captain McCallister oozed a sense of calmness and composure, his posture unwavering as he sat in the central command chair of the bridge. His steadfast gaze was fixed ahead as the image slowly appeared, revealing the colossal and ominous structure of the Borg’s half-built Transwarp Hub. The sheer scale of the structure was enough to send shivers down the spine of any seasoned space explorer. 

As the ship approached continued to creep forward, McCallister’s heart raced with anticipation, though his expression showed the opposite. Every second that ticked by felt like an eternity, as he knew their success depended on swift action. However, the situation had taken a turn for the worse. The incoming Malon fleet was now the least of their worries, as a massive Borg Cube was moving swiftly and would appear on the scene soon, threatening to thwart their carefully laid plans. McCallister knew they had to move quickly and decisively to achieve their mission against such formidable foes.

As a slight croak appeared in his voice, the captain asked Jen if the away teams were ready.

“Everyone’s in position, sir,” Jen replied from operations with a confident nod.

“Have we been noticed?” McCallister asked next, looking over his right shoulder to where Tomaz stood at the tactical station. 

He checked his readings and shook his head. “So far, the Borg construction vehicles appear to be ignoring us.”

“What about the Probe?” McCallister asked next. 

“Still on the far side of the structure,” Tomaz confirmed. 

McCallister calmly ordered Marova to take them within transporter range. Seconds later, they were in position, and he then contacted the transporter rooms to beam their away teams.

“Transports complete,” Jen announced. “Our away teams are aboard.”

“So far, so good,” McCallister said with some relief. “Lukiz, start the countdown, and Marova, take us back into the highest concentration of the nebula’s cloud formation.”

McCallister closed his eyes briefly, hoping that what they had planned would work.

As Captain Duncan materialised within the confines of the corridor on board the Borg Transwarp Hub, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of unease. The lack of sound was eerie and oppressive, and the darkness that shrouded the area was almost suffocating. Duncan expected to see a hoard of Borg Drones heading in their direction, but instead, he was surprised to find complete silence. The corridor seemed almost pitch black, and Duncan strained his eyes to make out the surroundings. Despite the lack of light, it wasn’t completely dark, and he could see the faint outlines of the walls, floor, and ceiling. It reminded him of some of the haunted house rides he had been on as a kid with his father, but he was expecting to see something moving or happening. The stillness was overwhelming, making him feel like he was walking through a ghost town.

“Not quite the welcoming I had in mind,” Tierra muttered, lowering her phaser rifle and taking her tricorder out to scan their surroundings. “It would appear most of this section is under regeneration.”

“Well, doesn’t that make our job easier?” Jisaraa asked after securing their landing zone with members of her Hazard Team. 

“It does, and it doesn’t, lieutenant,” Duncan reminded the Orion woman. He quietly reminded her that a sleeping dragon can always wake up to take a scratch. Duncan wanted to get on with their mission, so when Tierra pointed out the direction they needed to go, he quickly ordered Jisaraa and her experts to start moving towards their target. 

As they passed each alcove, Duncan couldn’t help but glance at each drone that appeared to be in a state of still regeneration. Their frozen postures made them look like statues from various museums he had seen over time. Within a second, they could break their mould and come to life. Keeping his phaser rifle close to him, he was pleased that after several intersections, they reached their first target.

“Here we go, the primary shield generator for this manifold,” Tierra said as she walked around it with her tricorder pointed at it. 

Before Duncan had a chance to say anything, Jisaraa was already taking out her plasma charges. 

“Set the charges, but make sure they’re placed in locations that will do the most amount of damage and then let’s get moving on to the next one,” Duncan said.

The Orion security officer did as she was told, and a few seconds later, they were moving across to their next two targets. Continuing to look behind his shoulder, Duncan was keen to get out of there as soon as possible. 

Returning to the confines of a Borg interior had not been at the top of his wishlist since he was rescued. However, Gray knew this structure too well. It was like a twisted homecoming for the engineer. Turning around to determine his location, Gray could hear Captain Banfield issuing orders to the rest of the team. For a moment, her voice seemed far away as memories of his own assimilation flashed back to him. 

“Reuben,” a friendly voice said close to him. It was firm enough to snap him out of his daze. Shaking his head slightly, Gray saw Keli before him. “You okay?” She asked.

He nodded with a smile. “Yeah, just acclimatising to our new surroundings.”

“Are you ready, commander?” Banfield asked him.

Gray nodded again as he took out his tricorder from his utility belt. The strong wraparound support from his incursion body armour. Not that it would stop Borg injection tubules, but if they engaged any tactical drones, it might save them from a plasma shot or two. Though he had his tricorder out, he could hear the whispers of the Borg. They were in a mess. In chaos. Through it all, though, he knew which way they had to go. Taking the lead, Gray moved swiftly, knowing that they had three targets to get to. 

Minutes passed, and after successfully setting up charges around the first two shield generators, the final one created some problems. It was the generator for the central interspatial manifold. Hearing and noticing the regenerative force fields surrounding it, Gray knew that it would take a lot more for them to get bypassed.

“Problem?” Keli asked as she approached him. Her rifle was high up in her hands.

“As I guessed, the regenerative force fields in this section are active,” Gray stated. “Only a drone can get through it.”

“Can we deactivate them?” Keli inquired just as Banfield approached them.

“From in there,” Gray said, pointing to a nearby wall console. 

“Could we not set the charges up around the perimeter?” Banfield questioned as she looked at their surroundings. 

Gray shook his head. “No, not if we want to be sure the generator is taken out. Otherwise, the next stage of the phase would fall apart. The interspatial manifolds would still have shielding that Odyssey would struggle to disable.”

“Suggestions?” Banfield then asked them both.

Keli took out her own tricorder, trying to see if there was something else she could see that would help them.

“Let me go through,” Gray stated calmly.

“You’re not actually a Borg drone, Reuben,” Keli reminded him.

Banfield appeared uneasy at the idea, but Gray noticed that her reluctance was overridden by the need to complete their mission. She proceeded to indulge Gray in his idea. “Is there enough Borg technology left in your body to let it adapt?”

Gray was confident he could do it. “If you can help me activate the appropriate nanoprobes, then I could modify my bio-electric field. Nevertheless, my cranial implant would need to be adjusted.”

Keli showed the same hesitation that Banfield had.

Banfield asked him what he needed them to do to help with his implant, and Gray told her immediately. After taking out a microfilament from the engineering kit, Gray presented it to Keli. 

Turning his body to the side, Gray looked at Keli with confidence. “You will need to cross-link the third and sixth nodules.” 

Keli accepted his guidance as she began working carefully on his implant. “Tell me if I hurt you,” She offered. 

Being so close to her, Gray could hear Keli’s heart beating hard and fast. The adrenaline rush was high for them both. He closed his eyes as he listened to her work. After several more seconds, he felt the work complete and opened his eyes. “You’ve done it,” Gray said with satisfaction.

Keli stood back as she saw him step forward, put his hand out and watch it fizzle through the force field. He picked up the final bag of plasma charges and put them over his shoulder. Stepping through it, Gray eventually got himself through the other side. 

He turned to the rest of the team as he heard an alarm go off. “My presence may have been detected. Take up a position that keeps you safe from any incoming drones. Quickly!” Gray whispered.

Keli shook her head. “We’re not leaving you alone!” 

“Go, Keli!” Gray insisted.

Banfield stepped forward. “He’s right, commander; let’s find somewhere safe to avoid the local residents!” She pulled on Keli’s arm as they retreated further away from Gray.

He was now alone. 

Picking up his pace, Gray rushed towards the console but stopped in his tracks as he saw the central primary shield generator. Though the intruder alarm had been tripped, a single Borg drone was connected to it, and it remained there. Frozen still. Like a stone guard, it didn’t flinch or react to his presence. Knowing this would be more complicated than anticipated, Gray changed his plan. Instead, he took out the plasma charges and placed them strategically around the generator. If a drone was attached to the shield generator, just like how Voyager had destroyed the previous transwarp hub, this one required a drone to regulate its shield. Usually, it would have been a Borg Queen, but the neurolytic pathogen had damaged the Collective so much that the drones here had adapted and placed one of their own in that position. Looking at the drone, automatically, Gray recognised the species of origin. 

Species 2461. 

Brunali. Male. In his early 20s. 

Knowing that if this drone was linked to whatever Collective mind was in use here, Gray was forced to access him instead of the wall console he had initially identified. Raising his hand at the drone’s neck, Gray activated his own tubules and injected them into it.

Security breach. 

Unknown presence.

Species identified. Species 5618.

Drone designation confirmed.

Three of Eleven, Primary Processor of Unimatrix Two.

Confirm your intentions.

“No,” Gray said in the void he had entered. It was dark and green, just like any Borg ship.

Resistance is futile.

“Is it? I resisted; I found my individuality, now let me in,” He barked at the Collective will. 

Immediately, Gray was confronted with hundreds, if not thousands, of voices calling out. All standing around him. Surrounded. He closed his eyes and placed his hands over his ears before he realised this was their way of bringing him in. 

The chaos.

The destruction from the pathogen.

No order.

Opening his eyes immediately, he found what he was looking for. The regenerative force field emitters. Reaching out, he was about to deactivate it when Gray felt a hand on his arm.

Turning, he saw the drone he had injected.

The young Brunali man. 

No longer was he covered in Borg implants. He was his normal self.

“Stay,” He whispered as he tried to breathe. “Help!”

Gray stopped and just nodded. 

  • James Preston McCallister

    Squadron Commander

  • Max Duncan-Court

    Commanding Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Tierra

    Chief Engineer

  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Reuben Gray

    Starfleet Corps of Engineers Unit Leader

  • Corella Banfield

    USS Triton
    Commanding Officer
    Former Captain of Science
    Second Officer

  • Lukiz Jen

    USS Triton
    First Officer
    Former Chief Operations Officer

  • Jisaraa

    USS Triton
    Chief Security & Tactical Officer
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Security & Tactical Officer
    Hazard Team α Leader

  • Marova

    Former Chief Flight Control Officer