“Captain, scans of the surface of the planet are looking promising,” Kim reported, just as B’Elanna and Tuvok sat down at their stations. “I am picking up several explosions on the surface, as well as what appears to be rioting.”
“Excellent,” Janeway nodded. “What about that cube?” She added after a moment’s contemplation, gesturing towards the cube quickly growing larger on the view-screen.
“It is in trouble,” Kim replied. “At this rate, the cube will have enough antimatter pods attached to it to be completely destroyed by one shot from their monofilament cannons in three minutes.”
“Very good,” Janeway replied. “All stop, Mr. Paris.”
“All stop?” Paris questioned back, as he brought the ship to a halt.
“Yes Tom,” Janeway replied. We are going to let the Khamish finish this fight.”
“But Captain-” This time the objection came from B’Elanna.
“B’Elanna, these people are going to have to handle the Borg all by themselves after we are gone, and clearly they are capable of it. They have that situation well in hand. We will hold position here and make certain no other Borg ships come into the area.”
None did. Every person on the bridge of Voyager watched in fascination as the Khamish fighters, thousands of them, circled the flailing Borg cube, as the three remaining Motherships circled the cube from a short distant back.
After a silent cue, each and every one of the fighters fell away from the cube in a pattern-less jumble, struggling to escape the coming explosion. The Borg cube started foreword, as if to flee the scene, but the Motherships had already fired. Three massive bursts of energy slammed into the cube. Tiny white spots slowly appeared all over the cube, then it was instantaneously engulfed in a white glare. The flash of the explosion completely covered Voyager’s view-screen, and when it finally faded, all that was left of the cube was a field of debris, no piece of the once mighty ship larger than a Federation shuttlecraft.
The four ships turned silently in space towards the nearby planet, each practically bursting with the swelling celebrations onboard.
“We have made contact with Kham, and they are sending an additional Mothership. We have five hundred orphan fighters, and that is more than we are willing to leave behind,” the Khamish Colonel eagerly explained. The officer’s mess was bursting with loud activity, the room filled to capacity with celebrating crewmates. Janeway smiled as she leaned forward to hear the Colonel better. The entire crew was breathing a sigh of relief that they were still alive, and not assimilated. The situation would boost morale on the ship tremendously, so the Captain did not so much mind the disruption.
“I must say that I was concerned about that,” she replied. “The Borg would be fools to ignore you now, and each one of those fighters could mean the difference between victory and defeat. Not to mention stranding five hundred people, knowing that they would be dead because of it.”
“It would be a sad loss,” The Colonel replied, “but one we are not prepared to make at this time. You are right, one fighter can make an incredible difference. We have already discovered that one of the cubes was destroyed by a single fighter, making a suicide run INSIDE of the cube.”
“Inside? How was that managed?”
“As near as we can tell, the fighter entered one of the small ports that were used to launch those nuclear spheres. The fighter got deep enough into the tunnel that when it hit the sphere that was coming out, it set off a nuclear reaction inside of the cube.”
“A bold move,” Janeway commented, “although a bit premature. Was that fighter ordered to make that run?”
“No!” the Colonel shot back. “We would never order a blatant suicide run, unless that was the only option. The fighter was an orphan from the Delta Mother. She was ordered to hold position for reassignment, but she ignored the command. If our fighters had not been so busy with the Borg, her ship would have been marked as a mutiny and a general order would be given for that fighter to be destroyed by anyone who saw it.
“She was rather clever though, if not desperate. We imagine that she thought she was not going to go back to Kham anyway, as her Mothership was destroyed, and preferred a quick death to being stranded.”
“I can see why,” Janeway replied, taking a sip of her drink.
“A regrettable loss, but an unavoidable one. There are going to be many such losses in the battles to come, I am certain,” the Colonel said. “In the meantime, we have a planet to populate. We have already made an agreement with the Bint’Ari for joint colonization, a sort of peace offering. After the chaos on the surface dies down a bit, we are going to send a task force to hunt down any remaining Borg, and offer amnesty to those who have broken from the Collective and are willing to start a new life. It will be hard for them, at first, to escape hatred from others who will still see them as Borg, but hopefully once their implants are removed, and their skin is returned to its natural color, they will be able to live out their lives without the stigma of being Borg.”
“We, of course, will remain behind a short time to offer a ‘lift’ to any from the Alpha Quadrant who wish to return home,” Janeway said.
“Excellent!” The Colonel smiled. “The Mothership from Kham will be arriving in a day, with delegations from both Kham and Bint’Ari. We will be signing a treaty here, where together we first defeated the Borg. Your crew, of course, is invited to the ceremony.”
“We would be honored to have it aboard our ship,” Janeway offered.
“Perfect!” the Colonel replied. “Here is much better than a dusty, war-torn planet for such things.”
Janeway smiled, which was about all she had the strength to do. She hadn’t slept in days, and was looking foreword to doing so. Politely excusing herself from the energetic Colonel, she slowly forced herself to her quarters, and immediately fell asleep. Finally she was certain that they could move on towards the Alpha Quadrant, and now that the threat of the Borg had been eliminated for a time, she could permit herself this rest.
“What is it?” B’Elanna impatiently asked.
“Do we have to do this?” the Doctor asked. “I mean, couldn’t you just delete those extra programs now?”
“Doctor, this is the only way. You are the one who caused this, and you are going to have to deal with the integration.”
B’Elanna had come up with the best solution to the Doctor’s problem. They couldn’t ask any of the duplicates to submit to deletion, and it was doubtful that any of them would go for that anyway. So they decided that re-integrating the programs into one Doctor, with all the experiences of the six and one copy of the basic program was the best way. There was a concern that the integration would result in a multiple personality complex, but B’Elanna altered the programs of each of the Doctor’s to be submissive to a blending of personalities, and a tolerance for the period of time that would contain multiple memories. With any luck, the end result would be one Doctor that had all of the experiences and personality traits of the six.
“You are going to have to shut yourself down now, so that I can download your program from the holo-emitter to the main computer.”
The Doctor sighed, then winked out of existence. His holo-emitter dropped to the ground below. B’Elanna bend down to pick it up, and tied it in with the ship’s computer.
Several minutes later, after the integration was complete, B’Elanna activated the Doctor’s program, to see the results of her work.
“Please state the nature,” the Doctor said, as he materialized next to B’Elanna.
“How do you feel, Doctor?” Tom asked.
The Doctor did not answer, but for a moment with a curious look on his face.
Finally, the Doctor answered, “Fascinating.”
“What do you mean?” B’Elanna asked.
“I am amazed at my behavior,” he replied, still looking introspective. “Each of, well, me thought that he was the original personality. All of me were ready to do whatever was necessary to eliminate the others, even though they were all just as viable as I am now.”
“That is understandable,” Tom said. “Each of their survivals were at stake. You knew, all of you, that some way had to be found to restore you, and the most frightening possibility was death for five of you. Each of your copies did not want to be one of those who would be deleted.”
The Doctor affixed his holo-emitter to his arm, and looked back towards B’Elanna.
“Thank you, by the way. I don’t think I could have taken much more of that, being in a room with five other people who were, for all intents and purposes, me.”
Tom smiled. “Well, we should be going now. The signing ceremony should be starting soon.”
B’Elanna frowned. “Dress uniforms. Bleah. I would just assume screw up the Doctor’s program again so that I don’t have to go.”
“I would just assume that you didn’t,” the Doctor replied. “In fact, I wouldn’t like anything to be done to my program for a long time to come.”
Tom and B’Elanna smiled at one another, and quietly walked out of sickbay. The Doctor remained a moment, his face still plastered with a shocked look.
“Well, I wouldn’t,” he moaned.
Outside of sickbay, Tom and B’Elanna walked silently until they reached the turbolift. Finally, B’Elanna broke the silence.
“I’ve decided that you owe me dinner.”
“I owe you dinner?” Tom asked, incredulously.
“Yes,” B’Elanna replied. “I’ve been in two wars, been made a myth by an entire civilization, and you haven’t had me over in all that time.”
Tom smiled, and put his arms around B’Elanna’s waist. “Fine. After the ceremony, you can come over, and I’ll replicate you a pizza.”
“Pizza! Don’t you ever get enough of that garbage?”
“I thought you liked pizza.”
“Real pizza. You know cheese doesn’t replicate well at all,” B’Elanna smiled.
“Fine. You’re the mythological figure. I’ll just have to make it an evening worthy of such a hero!”
“You’d better, mister,” B’Elanna laughed. She quickly kissed Tom, and they separated themselves before the turbolift doors opened.
Working notes- Archeological dig on Paix, orbiting the Kalat Star. Notes by Corat’Ina, Bint’Ari Science Council, on 2-2-3993.
We have been working on this planet for nearly a season, and have found nothing of any value, until now. It seems our earlier hypothesis that this planet was barren before being occupied by the Borg is indeed false. There definitely was a society here before the Borg invaded this world.
We have discovered the ruins of what appears to be some kind of temple. There are various markings along the interior walls indicating what appears to be the position of this planet’s two stars during certain times of the year.
Tibur’Ygo stated before the project began that any society which inhabited this world would have to be fairly advanced to attract the attention of the Borg. This is clearly not the case. Markings in this building suggest an elaborate sun-worship by these people, something almost unheard of in space-faring societies. In addition, several primitive tools (e.g. spears, bows, and swords) were discovered in the interior of the building, suggesting a hunter/gatherer, early agricultural society.
Preliminary dating of materials found inside the complex indicate that the structure was erected less than four hundred seasons ago. Even in the Borg assimilated this world in the last ten seasons, there is no conceivable way this society could have advanced to the level Tibur’Ygo suggested before the Borg came.
The walls of the structure are constructed out of a very hard stone. The building itself was incorporated into a Borg structure for means of support only. It is unclear why the Borg did not adapt the interior of the building to serve some useful function. Our Khamish counterpart suggests that there may be some property of the rock used to construct the building that the Borg found undesirable. Scans of the rock will be taken in the next week to determine any abnormal properties. Perhaps there was something in the species that lived here itself, and not their technology that attracted the Borg? Until we can locate some biological material, there is no way to be certain.
This find could not have come at a better time. Most of the team had given up hope of ever finding any trace of the society that existed here before the Borg. Hopefully, this evidence will foster further study of this world. It is important that we discover who these people were, and preserve as much of that culture as we can. Fighting the Borg is one thing, but we must work to undo some of the damage they have caused to this part of the galaxy.
Star Trek, Voyager, and related properties are © Paramount Studio, and the author makes no claim towards them.