Distress – Anyone home?
by HoD Ro' Matlh & Ne' Michelle "Mike" Young & Soghla' Terri (Tell) Hope & Soghla' Marie St. Helene

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Title   Anyone home?
Mission   Distress
Author(s)   HoD Ro' Matlh & Ne' Michelle "Mike" Young & Soghla' Terri (Tell) Hope & Soghla' Marie St. Helene
Posted   Tue Nov 22, 2016 @ 5:27am
Location   On the Cube
The red glow of the transporter was replaced by the eerie green that pervaded the Borg ship. The three human woman were deposited, weapons out in a corridor intersection that looked identical to a thousand other sections of the ship.

Around them the metallic his and whir of the ship in operation went on. The temperature, was also noticeably higher than the FHew. Along the four corridors branching away from them they could see control panels and the standard walling. Every few meters was a Borg recharging station, though none of them appeared to be currently occupied.

“Quiet as a grave,” Marie said. “I suggest we stay together though. A central core would be the best place to head for but keep your eyes open for any other input stations. I might be able to put a few nanites of my own in and find out what’s going on.”

"Well this certainly isn't what I was expecting." said Tell looking around "What were they thinking of? Leaving the lights on and the door wide open, anyone could walk in. I would keep your nanites to yourself Marie for the time being until we know what's going on. I hope you've trained them well and are not going to let them run amok everywhere."

By it's very nature there was no central core, in the way most ships maintained it. Instead all jobs were farmed out to a variety of nodes around the cube. However, there were junctions which handled significant job partitioning. The crew moved quickly to locate one of these. As they did so the strange emptiness began to grow on them. Cubicle after cubicle was vacant and there was no sound of movement around them, no sign of even a single drone.

The distribution node was set into the wall to allow Drones easy access. Tell was able to tap in with a link to her tricorder.

The Borg ship was on high alert status. It was sending signals for repair drones to report to the damaged areas to assist with the repairs, but getting no responses. Put simply, not a single Drone on the Cube was responding to the Collective.

"Where the hell are they?" asked Tell "We should be surrounded by them repairing the Cube. Marie do you have anything?"

“Whether you like it or not, Tell, I need to link into the unit,” Marie said. “That means injecting some nanites. Don’t worry, they’re house trained. Did you bring that tubule I asked for?”

"Here" Tell replied handing it to her. "I just hope you know what your doing Marie. Its against my better judgment. If you start turning Borg, I swear I'll shoot you were you stand."

Jared, when he designed the interface, had similar concerns. The nanite were not exactly under Marie's control, but their partitioned network could be accessed from a control device at the base of the tubules. Marie pluged in and began to read of the data that was coming back.

They could have been on a ghost ship for all Tell knew. It was eerily quiet and unsettling.

“My nanites are entering the Borg data stream,” Marie said. “So far, no problems.”

She waited while the nanites now in the stream linked to those still inside her body...and waited...and waited.

“I think the Cube is re-assimilating my nanites. It’s not affecting me but it means I’m getting very little data back. There’s no connection to any drones on the ship but I do detect a few on the surface. Wait...the Cube is preparing to send out a distress signal and a call for back-up. I’ll try to shut in down before it can....”

Before the Borg Nanites were able to work their way back up the device and into her body, there was a crackle inside Marie’s mind then she was hurled backwards away from the console. She hit an empty regeneration chamber with a sickening thud. Lights came on above the chamber and it started to hum.

Tell made a grab for her but she knew in her head it was too late. "For gods sake Marie grab hold of my hand."

Tell signaled the Fhew. ,'. Hope to Fhew ,'.

,'. Fhew, here. Report. ,'.

Tell could only look at Marie in the chamber, she felt helpless. She reported in. ,'.The Borg ship is empty, a distress beacon has been activated and Marie.... She tried to access the ships computers and was thrown back against a regeneration chamber. We couldn't get her out in time. If I blast her out of there what damage will it do to Marie?"

,'. Tell, this is Jeeves. Listen to me carefully. Do not shoot at the controller; Marie is in no immediate danger. However, we need to disable the homing message. I will instruct you on how to remove the locator beacon. Once that is done the Borg ship will be cut from the collective and will self destruct. And you will be able to extract Marie and beam back to the ship. It is vital you recover that beacon. Do you understand? ,'.

,'.Very well,'. replied Tell tight lipped and disappointed at not being able to shoot at something. ,'.What do I do?,'.

The process was not difficult. the chamber was very close to their entry point and the beacon turned out to be a device little more than a foot and a half cubed, but quite heavy. Tell began to work the housing open.

Myriad thoughts flowed through Marie’s mind. No...messages...messages would be a better way to describe them. She tried capture them but her brain could not take them all in at once in so she tried to focus on what seemed to be important. Slowly, the messages started to coalesce.

The Cube was sending distress calls to the Hive but they were going nowhere. In none of the messages could Marie detect a response. It was as if the Cube had been surgically removed from the Collective. There were some drones on the planet. No, correct that...some drones had been sent to the planet. She could not sense any Borg presence down there any longer.

She knew it was important that ‘Ro get this information. If she could but concentrate, surely she could extricate herself from this chamber. She tried but every time she thought she was almost there, something dragged her back. Then she realised: the Cube was trying to implement one of its most fundamental protocols. It was trying to make her the new Queen.

She struggled, flailing at the constraints holding her in the chamber until she realised there were none. It was all in her mind. Like regeneration, until the process had run its course she was stuck there.

The housing came away with a snap in tells hands. She gripped the unit and gave it a firm tug. It lifted from it's housing with a futile resistance. As soon as it came away there was sounds of power going out around the ship and lights began to flicker.

Marie was aware of the ship dying and generating a self destruct message to all drones. If she didn't act fast she would be caught up in it.

To hell with this thought Tell and grabbed Marie's arm. She slung her over her shoulder and called the ship.

.', Tell to FHew. Get us out of here NOW .'.

There was a moments delay that seemed to stretch to eternity and then the familiar red glow engulfed them and the image of the Borg ship faded to be replaced by the FHew.

Marie tensed and spasmed in Tell's arms as the voices in her head went dead. There was a sudden shudder as the FHew was engulfed in the explosion from the Borg Cube's self destruct. Cha'a' braced against the transporter console, then straightened up.

"I get JaqwI' not all of you would get back from the mission," she glanced at Marie. "Guess that is still to be decided."