It sat in the middle of nowhere. No one bothered to wonder why. Most species would just avoid a single Borg sphere, regenerating in the void. Most wouldn’t care to know what it was doing there, but it was there, and something noticed, something cared. Slowly the cloaking shield shut down. The intruder was revealed a little at a time. It started with twin struts, black against the backdrop of space. The spikes on those struts threatening, some would say frightening, as they revealed themselves, but the sphere didn’t respond. The intruder continued to decloak, large, black, and threatening.
Once the intruder was revealed, in all its terror, the sphere reacted. Unafraid, it spun on its axis and moved towards the intruder. It opened hailing frequencies, but their message was ignored. It scanned the intruder, and the sphere was surprised to detect its own technology. It fired weapons, but the intruder survived. It tried to capture with a tractor beam, but the intruder resisted. Then the intruder opened fire, and the sphere was damaged. The sphere tried to adapt, but it had never encountered this technology before, never before had it tried to fight something akin to itself. It was difficult, but they were Borg, and they adapted.
The sphere and intruder appeared equally matched, and the fight stalled. Then another ship appeared. This ship, too, was unknown to the sphere. It, also, ignored hails, survived weapons fire, and resisted capture. It too opened fire, but this time the sphere couldn’t adapt. This weapon was different. This weapon cut through the sphere in seconds. There wasn’t enough time to adapt. There wasn’t enough time to contact the collective. This time, the sphere died, alone, in the middle of nowhere. Then this new ship turned towards the intruder…
Days later, on the RRW S’Harien
“Commander to the bridge!”
The call came through the overhead com, a device No’nara sometimes hated. Sometimes she longed for the days of old, when she could have executed whomever it was to interrupt her rare moment of peace. But only sometimes, and mostly she didn’t mean it. She rolled out of bed, got to her feet, and grabbed her wrist communicator on the bedside table. She hit the button and waited for the chime.
There was a bit of sleep in her voice that she was unable to dispel as she said, “Bridge, report.”
“Commander, this is Centurion Brek. A minute ago our sensors detected,” the centurion paused, and No’nara was content to allow him to collect his thoughts. “Well, Commander, I’m not exactly sure what they detected, but something unusual in a nearby sector. I’ve ordered an all-stop, and we are holding position. Do you want me to approach?”
“No, Centurion.” She replied, “You made the right call. Hold our position here, I’m on my way.” She cut off the junior officer’s reply and reactivated her communicator. “All senior officers to the bridge.” She moved to dress, glancing first at her Romulan Republic uniform before grabbing the new “Starfleet” influenced uniform and donning it.
She wasn’t sure she liked this uniform. The red color, signifying command in Starfleet, was too bright and hurt the eyes to look at it. Though she enjoyed the silver and metallic highlights, and also enjoyed the extremely short skirt she had chosen to go along with it. The looks she received from their new Starfleet allies was often worth the discomfort of the bright coloring. Still, it wasn’t Romulan. She may disagree with the Tal’shiar and the old Romulan government, but she was still proud of her people and their accomplishments.
She made her way towards the bridge, meeting her first officer on the way. She nodded a greeting to the tall, dark-skinned Reman who had been her friend for many months now. She could almost ignore his remaining Borg implants, as he simply accepted them as part of who he was. Simply part of his history, part of who he was. He accepted himself in ways No’nara had seen in few individuals, and she respected him all the more for it.
“Commander,” began Ownear in way of greeting. “May I ask what’s going on?”
No’nara smiled, “Direct, as always Ownear. To be honest I’m not sure exactly what’s going on. The night watchman woke me with a report of strange sensor readings…”
Ownear interrupted, “Oh? So, a junior officer gets spooked, interrupts your sleep and not only do you let him live, but you decided to interrupt every else’s sleep too?”
No’nara looked up at her first officer with a smirk on her face. Though his words sounded grave, and were said in complete monotone, she knew they were said in jest. It had taken her awhile to understand this liberated Borg’s sense of humor, but she could tolerate, and laugh at his jokes now. The doors to the turbolift opened, and No’nara joined the rest of her senior officers on the bridge.
A junior officer took notice of her first and snapped to attention. “Commander on the bridge!” he announced to the room, causing everyone to turn in her direction and snap to.
With a sigh, “As you were,” she stated. She stepped to her chair and took her seat before looking over at Renclaat, another Reman officer who came to her from Obisek’s resistance. He still wore the uniform of that resistance, declining to utilize the uniforms of the Romulan Republic, something that No’nara can deeply respect. “Report, Renclaat,” she requested.
“Commander, “ replied Renclaat in his deep, baritone voice. “Approximately four minutes ago our sensors detected a strange energy signal. The contact lasted only a few milliseconds, and it wasn’t enough to get any significant details. I have, however, been going over the record and I believe I’ve picked up a Borg signature.”
That got everyone’s instant attention. The senior officers quickly took their stations and started going over sensor telemetry, as well as actively scanning for Borg ships. “Borg,” No’nara whispered to herself. “This is too close to New Romulus. If there is a Borg presence here we need to discover it. Helm, set your course for that sensor blip. Best speed.”
After only a moment the S’Harien leapt to warp speed. No’nara dismissed the junior officers to allow them to get some sleep. The senior officers would finish the rest of the night shift, as well as their usual shifts. They might be short on sleep, but it was one of the disadvantages of being on the command staff. An hour later they arrived.
“Commander, we are nearing the coordinates,” reported Lotrah tr'Vokall, the Centurion at the helm.
“Drop us to sublight speeds,” ordered, No’nara. “All stations, full sensor scan, and tell me what you see.”
The bridge came alive with sounds. Beeps and chimes mostly as the bridge crew began using every sensor at the S’Harien’s disposal. She knew her crew was capable, but still she found it hard to be patient while she waited for the scans to find something. The Borg… the single greatest threat in the galaxy. They had touched on Romulan space years ago, and assimilated a few Romulan ships over the years, but never before had they come this deeply into Romulan space.
Mostly they seemed overly interested in Earth and the human species. Something that No’nara used to be extremely grateful for, however it was the Humans’ who had developed several anti-Borg weapons and tactics. It was Humans who had resisted at least three attempts by the Borg to assimilate the Federation. Now she was grateful for that, and for this new alliance between the Romulan Republic and the United Federation of Planets, as all that technology was shared freely between the two governments.
If the Borg were in Romulan space they had the technology, the weapons, to fight them, and it was mostly because of Humans. It was something the Tal’shiar would never understand, and that’s one of many reason the Tal’shiar had to be overthrown. They would lead the Romulan people to destruction, or assimilation.
Almost thankful to have her grim thoughts interrupted, No’nara looked up to see who had spoken. The voice had come from the aft Science station where she was surprised to see the ships physician, Nilona tr’Mirran, seated. “Go ahead, Doctor,” she ordered.
“I think I’ve found something, but if this is what we’re looking for, then I have also discovered a new mystery,” the doctor reported.
No’nara got up from her seat and walked over to the science station. “What did you find?” she asked.
“I’m picking up a large debris field which appears to be the remains of a Borg sphere. I’m also detecting a strange metallic resonance signature, and a possible biologic residue. Give me a moment to recalibrate sensors. If I can narrow the beam…”
“You’d make a fair science officer, Doctor.”
With a smile the doctor focused on her work. It was only a moment later when she reported, “I’ve got it. I can confirm the debris if from a Borg sphere, and there isn’t much left of it. The biologic residue is actually of number of spaced corpses… I believe they are Borg drones, Commander, but they seem to all be dead. At least their cybernetic implants aren’t giving off any energy readings. The metal resonance is… well… it seems to be some sort of ship, but it’s hull is… changing, almost growing. Our sensors are having a hard time penetrating the hull, or getting any definitive readings of the hull geometry.”
No’nara nodded and returned to her chair. “Helm, set a course for that ship. Take us within transporter range, and put it on screen when you can,” she ordered. She then turned her attention to the engineering station and ordered, “Centurion, beam a couple of those Borg corpses to medical.” Then she turned back to the doctor, “Doctor, I need you to report to medical and find out what you can about those bodies.”
The doctor nodded in response and got up from the science station to leave the bridge. “I’ll give you a report in a few minutes, Commander,” she said before leaving.
“Commander, I’ve refocused the sensors and now have a visual of the ship. It appears that the cloak is partially active on it, sir. That’s why our sensors were having trouble getting a reading,” reported Lotrah.
No’nara nodded and motioned to the screen. After a moment the screen switched from a backdrop of stars to a ship, only partially decloaked. The ship was long, with a black hull dotted by green lights. Two long struts seem to form a crescent from stem to stern and is dotted by spikes. All in all, the ship looked like something from a nightmare. No’nara moved to the science station and refocused her sensors.
The readings she got were confusing. She was detecting no life signs, and the ship was heavily damaged, but it appeared to be regenerating. Repairing itself, with Borg nanites, if her sensors were accurate. As they got closer, and she was able to gather more information, she detected a Romulan signature. This didn’t appear to be an assimilated Romulan ship. This was something new. Like a mixture of Romulan and Borg technology. Again she scanned the ship for life, and was unable to find anything. Whatever happened here caused this ship to have lost its crew.
“Ownear,” spoke No’nara.
“I want you to go over there. That ship appears to be derelict, and it has a Romulan signature. Gather a team, and go over to that ship. Find out what you can, and see if it is salvageable. If we can take it home to New Romulus, then I think we should.” She turned to look at him. “But be careful. There are Borg nanites repairing systems over there, and we don’t know what happened to it’s crew.”
Ownear nodded to his Commander. He made a gesture to Renclaat, and called for others as he headed for the turbolift. No’nara retook her chair and looked out the viewscreen. She’d heard rumors of the Tal’shiar experimenting with Borg technology. She had no idea they’d gotten this far, but could this ship be one of theirs? She intended to find out…
(To be continued)