Night in the Lower City
Posted on Wed Jul 28, 2021 @ 2:26pm by Commander Ajani Carter & Lieutenant Dr. Elisabet Intarrah Ph.D MD & Lieutenant JG Maximillian Schott & Chief Warrant Officer John Fox
Edited on on Wed Jul 28, 2021 @ 3:42pm
Episode 5: Escalation
Location: Illran Wilderness/Lower City
Timeline: MD 07 - 1625 hours
2066 words - 4.1 OF Standard Post Measure
The shuttle landed, gathering the attention of some Illiran guards, an envoy from their diplomatic service, and their science minister. The shuttle powered down and its hatches opened. Lise approached the Illirans with Lt. Schott and Chief Fox, "I am Dr. Elizabet Granger Intarrah, USS Eagle Chief of Sciences. With me is Lt. Maximillian Schott, our shuttle pilot, and Chief Warrant Officer John Fox."
"Welcome, Doctor," the minister intoned while forming a traditional greeting, "we were told to expect you. I'm Minister for Science Pepelo. I believe you wanted a planet-side workspace?"
"I've brought my own lab and equipment as well. Along with some suggestions for your defense."
One of the Illiran military officers spoke. "The cyborg spawn are no threat to us... The spawn try to attack us, but their nanoprobes are usually defeated by ours."
"There's no need for alarm, Lieutenant." One of the Political attache noted.
Lise spoke. "Envoy... The Borg either do two things to a species. They assimilate, and when that fails; they destroy. We estimate the Borg has trillions of drones... and thousands of ships. They don't have the limitations of manpower or military training. Every drone is a member of the Collective, and draws knowledge and skills from the Collective Consciousness." Lise mentioned. "They are completely compelled by what former Borg call an 'overwhelming weight of consensus' to comply." She mentioned. "They are given no will to disobey nor individuality, as a mind linked to the Collective, ceases to be an individual. They're more dangerous than you realize." Lise mentioned. "You need to take this seriously!"
"We do take it seriously," the minister again droned, "I believe my compatriots are merely expressing the ever likely scenario that has played out time and again in our history: people will underestimate us to their peril. We do not want to cause a panic when things are under control."
Max noticed the Illiran guards had formed a semi-circular barrier around them, facing outward, and were making sure nobody stood around to eavesdrop on the conversation. He found the attitude rather strange, when they were there to help.
"There can be doubts about it, Minister. We know the Borg. Make sure everyone clearly knows the danger we're ALL in." Lise noted.
"What would you advise we do?" the minister's question was asked with a broad and toothy smile.
"Lise opened a crate and tossed a TR-116 to the Minister. "Make more of these. It's simple, but the Borg do not consider a simple projectile weapon to be any threat, and get them out to as many troops as possible. Tell them to prepare for war."
The minister looked to the military officers, expectantly. One of the officers growled in a way that sounded practiced, "We will incorporate your suggestions into our preparations."
"There," the minister motioned generously, "it will be taken care of. Was there anything else? Or can we find you somewhere to set up your lab?"
"Somewhere private," the attache noted.
Chief Fox looked around. "Somewhere defensible" he said "Single story, no roof access, two doors and the less windows the better." he didn't mention that they had field rations and a portable power supply so neither of those will be a problem. "And no other building within ten meters." He really didn't want to do this, he might put in a call to the Eagle for extra security, but he guessed that would come after he saw the building they were being put in.
Lise began scanning with her tricorder. "Alright.. I'm picking up Borg energy signatures this way."
"I'll leave you to it," the minister nodded. The other government officials nodded along and moved away, leaving the team of Illiran soldiers and officers behind. The Illirans spread out, along with the team from the Eagle, and moved in the direction Lise was indicating. A few civilians were still hanging around and the soldier gently nudged them out of the way as they trudged through the streets.
Max noted it was a bit quieter than other parts of Illiran he had seen, but, to be fair, he was mostly in and around the bustling shuttle yards getting people to and from the surface. He wondered if everyone potentially facing the Borg for the first time felt the same mix of electric fear that was coursing through his veins. He looked at one of the Illiran officer, marching ahead without even a weapon at the ready, and wondered if he should admire the confidence or fear the ignorance.
Lise took cover near what appeared to be a cave and found what appeared to be a small unimatrix. The drones were a mish-mash of races that were not Illiran. She walked forward calmly. "No sudden movements, they'll ignore is unless we pose a threat." She walked carefully into the cave complex. "Dopterian Female... Talarian Male.... They have cortical nodes, neural processors, but no interplexing arrays." Lise mentioned. "They're Borg, but not linked to the hive mind."
Fox frowned "That is not like their standard MO. Could this be a splinter Hive? I mean after what Voyager did to them, and then the Invasion could the Borg have fractured?" His team were experts in fighting them, they had all served during the invasion. They had learnt everything they could. But this was new!
"There's no Assimilation Bay in this complex. Just power nodes and regeneration alcoves. It's like they are not meant to be a part of the collective but a means to an end." Lise noted.
Fox did not like this at all. "Sir, i think we should leave, this isn't their normal MO and we can't know for sure if they will act the same way."
Lise spoke. "We need to capture one of them for study. I need one of their neural processors."
"Oh this is gonna be fun" whispered one of his officers.
"Stow it" Fox said from their squad net, then through the normal channels. "Yes Ma'am. But once we snag one the rest are going to see us as a threat, Are we pulling out once we grab one?"
"Yes... I just need one of them separate from the rest." Lise followed one of the drones as it went away from the others to perform some kind of task.
Kate walked up behind the Drone and pressed a hypospray on her neck. Knocking her out. She then turned towards the cave. No activity. "Let's go Chief, Help me with her."
This wasn't the way he expected things to go, but they were there now. "Cover our retreat" Fox said slinging the small, slight drone over his shoulder and made a beeline for their FoB. He had called for extra security and was glad of it. His own fire team was covering them. "Lieutenant Schott. Please stay close, losing you would mean a lot of paper work" He smiled as the chief pilot glanced back at them.
*[Getting out of the Cave Area]*
"Thanks for your concern. I hope there's no release part to this catch plan, Doc," Max knew that Starfleet officers needed to be ready for anything, but this really felt like jumping in the deep end as far as Starfleet went. There were whole careers that never faced the Borg, and here he was on his first post.
He kept an eye on the unconscious Borg and swiveled to look for anyone coming after them, while trying to navigate the unfamiliar terrain.
Lise carried the unconscious drone with Fox. "Good news.... we are not being followed"
*Away Team Lab*
The area the Illirans had set aside for them was essentially a somewhat remote warehouse. You could almost call it a barn, and Max would have, had it looked like any animals had ever been raised there. As it was, it looked like it was as likely that it had been purpose built as an unassuming government facility as that it had ever served a legitimate purpose.
The dragged the Borg inside.
"Okay, Doctor, what can I help you with?" Max asked to the science officer who seemed the leader of this affair.
Lise unpacked a great deal of her equipment from the shuttle. She had already created an impressive field laboratory and began to remove implants from the partially assimilated woman. The life support system kept her alive. After a procedure on her chest, Lise removed what appeared to be her Neural Processor and connected it to a tricorder.
[Attack on the Fob/Lab?]
Outside of their lab, night had definitively fallen on this part of Illiran. There was some remote city and shipyard noise, but there was an unsettled sound of wilderness as well. Max looked out a window and it was hard to tell, but it seemed like it was getting quieter outside. Like nature was retreating.
Fox was just finishing the his tour of their lines. The Eagle had sent another team down to them and the Illiran had provided a dozen more at that. But if that hive decided to attack then they still might not have enough people.
Lise spoke. "Chief, I need a channel open to Commander Carter and the Illirans. I think I know what is happening here."
Fox nodded and tried to open a channel with the Eagle, only static. "Oh great" he muttered.
Lise spoke. "There's a reason these borg are unlinked, This is a form of gradual assimilation. Instead of the quick method we're familiar with.. this form of assimilation is slow."
"Does that mean they wont connect with the collective?" Fox asked, he thought he knew the answer but he did have hope.
"That means they're not connected... Yet..." Lise noted. "We also have a grave problem here. Chief, These drones were preprogramed to do a number of preparatory tasks. I'm afraid they've distributed Nanoprobes across the planet." Lise noted. "Now the Illran's Nanite factories can produce Nanites that can defeat assimilation. But there's one problem with that; Only Illrans have the factories.. We need to acquire some of our own." Lise mentioned. "The only races that have been assimilated are non-Illrans."
"Oh" that had not accrued to him. "The Illirans use weather towers to control what they get. I remember that one of those features was the ability to seed the air to form clouds, or to disrupt the formation of clouds." Fox had done some reading and the tower had interested him. "Could the Borg use one of those to seed rain clouds with assimilation nanites?"
Lise nodded. "That is a very possible outcome. But it's also possible that we've already been infected by Nanoprobes." She noted. "We may have to destroy those toweres. We might want to get a hold of our Illran contacts, They have a serious problem." Lise drew a blood sample from herself.
The first drone came into view, It had been Petty Officer Horis who spotted it. Fix knew it was him from the sound of the weapon used. An old Earth M4, modified with 24th century technology. It was a silenced rifle that fired case-less and explosive rounds. The pop pop pop of his rifle was followed by three small bangs as each round hit its target and exploded from with in.
"Contacts point beta"
That was Horis reporting in, there was more than one of them it seemed.
Lise suddenly heard some slight whispering, shaking her head. She went back to concentrating and walked outside. Pulling out some binoculars. "I don't get it... They're not linked. How could they know we've taken one of them?"
"They must be linked together. Like the Cooperative Voyager encountered. Separated from the collective as a whole, but not on a local level." Lieutenant Schott" he added looking around for the Chief Pilot.
Louder whispering was heard in Lise's mind. "Chief, Lieutenant. Take my research and get out of here. They're encircling us.." She held her head... "And they're in my head...."
"Not happening Lieutenant" Fox said "The best person to help you, is you" he said slapping a transporter beacon on her "Eagle, this is the ground team. Emergency beam out" there was a delay and the the Transporter chief said "Chief Fox, we are out of range. I am passing the request on to Illiran orbital forces"
Fox had a few seconds to wonder how long that was going to take just as the transporter effect overtook him.