Guess who's coming to dinner...
The New Collective
Stardate 249509

The New Collective

Mission Day:
MD 3, Early
Academy Days


  • Federation Colony

  • Speed:
  • Standard Orbit

  • Shields:
  • 100%

  • Hull:
  • 100%

  • Systems:
  • Operational

  • Search Engine Submission - AddMe

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    Facing the Beast

    Posted on Wednesday 8 May 2019 @ 12:20 by Commander Melody Jones & Commander Save'ena (Sav) Tillatix & Commander Caroline Miller & Lieutenant Michael Ki MD & Lieutenant Marbim Rejal & Lieutenant JG Artis Lomar

    Mission: The New Collective
    Location: Bridge
    Timeline: After the home fires posts

    "How did I get here, And what went wrong? Couldn't handle forgiveness. Now I'm far beyond gone." - Shinedown, "Save Me"


    The Merlin turned and lunged forward as though a great cat had finished its stalking and was rushing in for its meal. Sav called out, "Intercept course plotted and engaged, Commander."

    Caroline looked at Ops. "Can you get them back?"

    With a grim look, Rejal turns to his monitors and enters some commands. "The Borg beamed them aboard. If we can get close enough we should be able to lock onto their specific DNA and beam them back, but it's going to take some power to burn through the Borg's shields, and some skilled transportering and buffering to enhance and then keep their signals long enough to get all of their parts home." He looks up with one of his famous grins, "Did I just make up a word mam?"

    "Scan the fighter, we need to know what happened," she ordered although a cold chill was running through her that they had been taken onboard that borg ship. She hoped she was wrong.

    Stephanie rushed out of the ready room, wearing her Uniform, which was hurredly donned. The jacket was on but not zipped up. "On it," She said as she moved over to her terminal. She blinked. "I'm na scannin' th' shuttle at all." She said. "If th' cube took it aboard, th' electromagnetic an' subspace interference could be obscurin' th' sensors." Her hands danced over the console as she looked over to the Science station. She had not officially met the new Science officer yet, but pointed. "What's yer name?" she asked bluntly.

    "Lomar," the science officer replied bluntly, not quite so sure he was pleased with the addition to the bridge. He gave himself a reprieve of half a second to eye the woman suspiciously.

    "Thanks. Now Mista Lomar, I'mma need ya t' recalibrate th' forward sensor package t' a bandwidth o' 9.72 gighaertz, please. I'mma divert power from th' auxiliary systems. Let's see if we can' get through that interference."

    "Do it Mr Lomar please," Caroline said to Lomar. O'Hara wasn't going to be allowed to take over here and she would be damned if she let her get too overexcited …. another thing they had to work on but she knew this stuff far more than she did so Caroline put her trust in the engineering.

    Sav listened to the orders and actions being done around the bridge. She shifted the ship to be more in line for deep sensor probing by the Merlin. She called out, "Three minutes to intercept."

    Artis' hands flew dexterously across his panels, his eyes away from the view screen as he studied line after line of input. "My department will work on adjusting our sensors," he called out, echoing the results from previous scans made by the other officers. "We'll find a way through their interference," the Trill added. "We need to."

    The Science Officer projected an outline of the Borg vessel on one part of his screen and began programming a systematic scan. "If we can't quickly find where they are, we can at least start eliminating where they are not."

    Stephanie frowned. "They're na outside th' Cube." she said flatly. "There's na enough debris t' indicate th' destruction o' th' shuttle." She walked over to the Equipment locker and withdrew a hyper spanner, a contact depolarizer and a degaussing unit , then walked over to Lomar's console and opened the access panel, and aimed the tools, in turn, inside for a few moments then looked at Lomar. "That's gonna keep th' increased scan power from overloadin' yer terminal. If yer team has th' recalibration done, Try it again."

    "It'll take more time," grunted Lomar, letting the rest of the bridge fade into the background. "But," he added before pausing, reaching a hand out onto Stephanie's shoulder. "If we scan for distinct federation material - allows in the shuttle, commbadge - even their uniforms; it might make it a lot easier to find them with your modifications."

    "Th' hull o' a Griffin is made o' tritanium and durainium, wit' traces o' carbon steel. That's common enough so na help." Stephanie mumbled like she was talking to herself and began staring intently at the console as she bent down to button the access panel back up. "There's nothin' particular about their uniforms either... We can' scan f'r their comm badges themslves. In an area as large a Borg Cube, there's just na enough material in one." The Engineer's eyes went wide as her mind made the connection and she looked over to Lomar. "But... what mos' people don' know about comm badges is that they're keyed t' a ship. Therefore, when they lose connection they're constantly broadcastin' a handshake signal t' try t' reconnect with tha' ship on a subharmonic frequency. Th' Borg subspace field is preventin' us from connectin' with their comm badges, but we may sill be able t' pick up tha' broadcast if we tune th' subspace antenna down. It's a long shot, though. Th' cube is generatin' enough Subspace interference that we may just loose it in th' background emissions. " She reached over and input a sequence of numbers. That's the specific frequency f'r the Merlin's comm badges. " With that done, she went back to her station and began looking over the data to try to come up with a way of actually extracting them once they were pinpointed.

    Michael stared at the screen in disbelief. The Captain and XO have both been taken prisoner and most likely assimilated by now. Why does no one ever listen to the Chief Medical Officer. They often know everything. he thought. Save for informing Sick Bay to stand by for two incoming casualties and to initiate deassimilation protocol, Ki had nothing he could say or suggest. He stood there slightly dumbfounded as he watched everyone handle their jobs and orders.

    Caroline listened as the scientists talked the science. It was taking too much time. "Lets work on the assumption they are on that cube potentially against their will. Commander Jones would have made all attempts to reestabish communications by now. O'Hara be ready in case we have to do your shield thing but I want to try avoid that at all costs. Plus Im not convinced these are our run of the mill borg so open hailing frequencies."

    Caroline walked to between the two front consoles. She hadn't sat back down. "Borg vessel. This is Commander Miller of the USS Merlin. You have two of our people. Why have you taken them?"

    The view screen snapped on, to display a distorted, fritzing image of a green waveform against a black background. The waveform modulated whenever the voice spoke. "They were uninvited guests," It said. "I am extending my hospitality to them until they depart. You won't be seeing them again. I suggest you depart as well, lest you share their fate." There was a slight pause where the voice adopted a bemused tone. "I see you've let the O'Hara thing out of her box. How are you my dear? I did so enjoy our time together. I can't wait to do it again."

    O'Hara froze, the blood running cold in her veins, and she stared blankly at the view screen. She started shaking. "No," she said in a barely audible whisper. "Not again..."She grasped the console in front of her to steady herself, but to no avail.

    "What? No snappy comeback?" The voice asked in a tone that suggested that he knew he was getting her goat. "No overt threat of violence that you have no means of carrying out? Perhaps your shipmates would like to know how pathetic you sounded begging for death when you couldn't bear to see me dismantle your precious ship."

    This was a new look for Stephanie. She was actually visibly terrified of this voice. "No. Ya can' have 'em," She said in a voice so quiet and meek that it sounded like a little girl. "And ya can' have me, either."

    "It's far too late for that, my dear," The voice said. "I've already got them, and you will return to me soon enough. I am an endless font of patience." With that the view screen snapped itself off just as quickly as it had come on and returned to showing the view of surrounding space.

    Stephanie was white-knuckling the edges of her console, breathing shakily and shallowly, staring at the viewer in wide-eyed terror and repeating the phrase "Not again..." Over and over as if it were a mantra.

    Michael glanced at Caroline and then at Stephanie. He realized that Caroline had to stay on the bridge the ship needed a Captain. He also realized that Stephanie needed help. Michael crossed the bridge to the Engineering station. He leaned next to Stephanie and whispered. "You can do this, no it is not again we all heard it. I am here, Caroline is here we will both make sure you get through this."

    "We gotta get 'em outta there, Doc." Stephanie said quietly, not turning to look at Ki. "What he'll do t' 'em is worse than killin' 'em outright."

    "Stay calm Lieutenant," Caroline told her. "Focus on finding me a way to punch holes in him so he can't hurt anyone else." The blond nodded at Ki thankfully for stepping to try keep her calm while she was unable too.

    In a very stern voice Miles asks one question, "Permission to fire on the cube mam, we might be able to slip some troops on board to find our people if we can damage it enough. If that asshole is in charge, I doubt the Borg will react like normal..."

    Sav called out, "Fighter squadron away and standing by, full armament pods attached, Merlin in position at 20K clicks full front to Borg. Orders?"

    Seeing O'Hara's reaction upsets Miles, as he walks over to stand between her and the viewscreen. In a soft, but stern voice he admonishes her, "Red, hey, look at me. That asshole can shove it, he's not getting you again. You and me, we gotta save our people, now focus Ms. SmartyPants, can we lock onto their blood, the Borg don't really have any like ours, could that be our key to finding and saving them?"

    As Stephanie saw Miles' face fill her field of vision, she started and shook her head as if doing so would clear the fog. "Right, right..." She said distractedly. "Work t' do," She looked down at the console and then across the bridge to Science. "Computa, route display overlay 21 Bravo to main viewer." The viewscreen displayed the Cube with blue circles radiating out from several spots, "This is a distribution map o' th' Borg subspace field. It's originiatin' from generators at points along th' outer hull. If we can destroy enough o' them before they can fix 'em, it'll weaken th' field. If we've any hope o' beamin' 'em back, we have t' get through tha' field or it'll scatter their atoms from here t' Kindom Come. How are those sensors comin', Mista Lomar?"

    "Up and running," the trill Science officer replies with earnest. "I agree with the assessment of O'Hara. Disrupting the Borg subspace field generators - through external fire or an away team - should help us pinpoint our targets. Knock those systems down, and we should be able to get a lock."

    Moving back to his station, Miles looks over at the Chief Engineer, "Hey Red, we can shunt some power from shields to phasers to boost their damage potential and then shunt it back before the Borg can blast us ... if you and I can type fast enough that is...whatdya say, should we give them a show of strength?"

    Stephanie nodded at Miles and gave him the thumbs up but looked down at Caroline for orders first. She was already in enough trouble without helping the Cardassian start a firefight with the Borg without orders to do so. She wasn't a soldier. She was a mender. She fixed what the soldier's broke. She decided to stay firmly in her lane.

    This felt just like the command test. Caroline now had everyone's lives possibly in her hands. "Target the shield generator and then fire and fire hard. Try to do as much damage as you can. Roll through every programme of evasive manoeuvres we have Sav and get the squadron firing at the shields as well and providing distraction. We are going to dance with this cube while you," she nodded at O'Hara, and the Cardassian, "work on trying to pinpoint both our people and get a transporter lock."

    Sav called out, "Aye Aye, Sir, Evasive Maneuvers." Sav closed her eyes and once more merged fully into the Merlin, ready to dance as sensors read energy from the borg and her spatial awareness coupled with her experience allowed her to dance the Merlin about better than any programmed maneuvers. She waited, though, for the first volley to be launched from the ship... it wouldn't due to show the Merlin's hand before they fully engaged with the enemy.

    "I'm pullin' all the power I got t' give an' sendin' it t' the forward phaser array." The Engineer announced. "We're at 125%, so be careful ya don' blow out th' prefire chamber. Make 'em count, Spoonhead." She looked down at the center chair. "Councilor, I think we need t' launch th' fighter squad t' help out. As much as I don' wanna give him a fresh batch o' hostages, my projections show with jus' th' Merlin we're na gonna be able t' destroy enough o' 'em before th' automated repair systems put 'em back t'gether. We have t' hit 'em t'gether. There are are six subspace field generators on each side of th' cube. We'll have t' get no less than four o' em on th' same side t' weaken th' field enough, or th' others'll jus' increase their output t' compensate. Once we get them we'll have a window o' about five minutes before they re-establish th' field."

    Caroline resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Not at O'Hara but the idiotcracy in general. She thought saying get the squadron to attack the shields too meant the "launch" was implied. Obviously not.

    "Lieutenant Tillatix, launch the squadron please and have them coordinate in the attack on getting the shield generators down,"

    Sav's voice sounded out from the Helm speaker panel, "Yes Ma'am, they are launched and holding position just under aft and ready to accelerate when given coordinates."

    Caroline turned to O'Hara, "Lieutenant, I do not want to hear you refer to Lieutenant Rejal as a spoonhead again. That is both racist and derogative to his position as a senior officer."

    Without looking up, Marbim asks, "Mam, did you want us to fire any of our quantum torpedos, or are we saving those for a proper, I believe the human term is 'smackdown'?"

    Stephanie shrugged. "As ya say, councilor," The Engineer said in a tone that implied she didn't see what the big deal was. She didn't see any problem with it if Miles didn't object... This was after all not the first time she had called him that. She just wasn't presently in the mood to argue with Caroline and compliance was the path of least resistance.

    Sporek had only just arrived on the Merlin, there hadn't been any time for any proper introductions nor did he see the logic in it at this point. The CO and XO were MIA and although he had only just come aboard their safety was his primary concern, so too were the lives of the Merlin's crew. He silently observed as each crew member stepped up in ways he'd seldom see before, this was clearly a good ship with a good crew.

    "If I might make a suggestion," Sporek said as he stepped out from the shadow's of the Tactical station. "As we are not dealing with the Borg proper, I believe we may not have to exert as much force as we think. By now the real Borg would have assessed the risk that we pose and made a concerted effort to assimilate this ship and its technology, and yet here we all are. We know two things one, the unknown assailant has a personal connection to a member of this crew," he said as he glanced over at Lieutenant O'Hara for a brief moment. "...And two," he continued "if the Captain or XO had been assimilated, our assailant would not been to stalling for time as he appears to be now." Sporek paused so that he could process his thoughts.

    "Maybe we do not have to focus our efforts on trying to destroy four of the six generators. Maybe we only need to focus on one, overwhelm its systems to the point where we could establish a link with just one of the shield generators operating systems so that it can be issued a command to the others, stand down." He surveyed the room before he continued "If I am correct about this, then our attackers will not be able to deal with a sustained attack and the dropping of the cube's shields at the same time. They will have to make a choice, even if we cannot

    Caroline again resisted the urge to roll her eyes. O'Hara and her inability to apparently say Yes maam Out loud. As you say...…... did she think they were living through the princess bride here she mused. If she couldn't get it through her thick head that insulting a senior crew members race publically on the bridge was wrong then she had even bigger problems. She put that on the EVER growing mental list of things to have to deal with the Lieutenant and concentrated on her newly appeared tactic officers words. At least he seemed to be talking more sense and in the right way one conducted themselves on the bridge.

    "I believe he's toying with us for fun," Caroline stated. In some ways O'Hara and this "puppet master" were similar in that respect. Perhaps this being had even learnt that from being in the lieutenants head. "I doubt he is buying time. More like making things more dramatic just because he can. Try your plan," she agreed, "But if it doesn't work quickly we have the marines keep going in for the generators kill. Besides it might just confuse the entity us not going with what he expects."

    Stephanie looked over at Caroline. "Counsellor, With yer leave, I'll head t' Transporter Room 3. I'll need t' realign th' targetin' scanners t' compensate f'r th' subspace interference." She waited for Caroline's answer.

    Caroline locked eyes with her and nodded. "Go get our people back,"

    She watched as the red headed engineer took off to the turbo lift then shouted after her, "And Stephanie don't plug yourself into anything for the love of god."

    "As ya say, Councilor. Once bitten, twice shy," Stephanie responded as she turned and headed for the Turbolift.

    As the turbolift doors shut Caroline turned to Ki and said, "Maybe you should go with her,"

    Micael's facial features drooped in a way as all expression left his face. He nodded in acknowledgement of Caroline's order and followed O'Hara into the turbolift. "Yes ma'am and I will make sure that she doesn't." Michael replied to Caroline. He tapped his comm badge =/\=Emergency response team to Transporter Room 3.=/\= As the turbolift doors closed he turned to Stephanie and spoke. "We will get them through this."

    "Don' make promises ya can' keep, Doc," Stephanie said flatly. "Right now, this is all purely guesswork. Well educated guesswork based in science an' engineerin', but guesswork none th' less." The turbolift door hissed open to allow the two of them admittance. Stephanie stepped in.

    Michael cocked an eyebrow and smirked. "My aren't we the pessimist." He followed Stephanie onto the turbolift.

    After the doors slid shut Comm unit snapped back on. "One must sacrifice a pawn from time to time when they are playing the long game. You have won this battle. The war is far from over, Meat. Enjoy your hollow victory while you can." An explosion rocked the Borg Cube from the inside. The Puppet Master was destroying the Borg ship.

    Sav called out, "Getting closer for sensors and transporters... monitoring timeline to self destruct getting to power core, escape route plotted and ready with a micro-warp hop..." Sav just hoped her preparations didn't upstage Caroline in her role as commanding officer at this time.


    ●○ LTjg Stephanie O'Hara
    Chief Engineer
    USS Merlin

    ●● Lieutenant Michael Ki
    Chief Medical Officer
    USS Merlin

    Commander Caroline Miller
    Chief Counsellor
    USS Merlin

    ●● Lieutenant Marbim Rejal
    Second Officer / Chief of Operations
    USS Merlin

    Ltjg Artis Lomar
    Chief Science Officer
    USS Merlin

    ●●● Commander Save'ena Tillatix
    Chief Flight Control Officer
    USS Merlin

    ●●● Commander Melody Jones
    Executive Officer
    USS Merlin


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