STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Fanfic Episode, written by Sean Bordenkircher
The Borg cube remained still when the starship dropped out of warp, detecting it on the long‑range scanners. Apparently, it was a derelict. The ship, Voyager, made a mistake when they came to investigate.
Captain's Log; Stardate 43826.5
After a long week of traveling through open space, we've detected a Borg cube on long‑range sensors, seemingly dead in the water. Per my Chief Engineer's suggestion, we are investigating the cube for signs of damage, and testing a new weapon; an EMP grenade, provided by Seven. We are, at this time, 3 light years away from the cube, but we hope for this to be a good find. The promise of new technology is too great to ignore. Maybe it's just greed, but we've arrived, nonetheless.
"Captain, no response from the Borg cube." The acting science officer reported.
"They won't do anything until they consider us a threat." Chakotay responded, from his seat.
"Doesn't mean too much..." Janeway commented, watching the view screen with the dark cube sitting suspended in space, lifeless. Janeway blinked from keeping her eyes open too long, watching the cube, then stood. Never once did she take her eyes off of it. "Status of the cube?"
The panel beeped as the officer's fingers swiftly pushed the buttons.
"I'm detecting no power transfer anywhere on the ship. No detectible damage. It's just... sitting there." he said. "... Off."
Janeway was no fool, but she knew this would be a perfect chance to investigate the Borg closer.
She looked back to Chakotay, and nodded to him, who in turn hit his ship wide communicator on his panel.
"Away team to Transporter Room 3."
The ground glowed a little as the particles from the transporter pushed five unseasoned crewmen onto the Borg cube, the flashlights on the pulse rifles switching on in unison as the particles subsided.
The hallways of the hot Borg cube were almost pitch black, and the bright torches on the rifles cut through the darkness like a knife.
Two tricorders clicked open and started beeping; relaying their information to the small displays, showing there was almost no energy throughout the whole ship.
The lead man of the away team waved the signals to the other men, telling them to move in separate directions, and look for anything they could use. This was, after all, a prize for the taking. Borg technology was quite fascinating... when it wasn't assimilating people. Nanomachines were like gold‑pressed latinum to a curious engineer.
The crewmen sifted through the arranged pieces, scanning anything and everything.
One crewman moved along the hallway, scanning as he went, but when one step fell, a loud bang rang out. Suddenly, the whole ship shuddered and moved. Two of the crewmen were reduced to falling. Lights clicked on and charging pods for the thousands of Borg on the ship burst on with life.
Soon after, those thousands of Borg jumped down from their pods, intruders being detected on one deck. The strange, harmonic alarm rang through the hallways, and the crewmen scrambled.
Only two had successfully made it back to the transporter coordinates, back-to-back, firing at the Borg surrounding them.
One drew the experimental grenade out, and pushed down the trigger button. A clear‑blue wave of electricity rushed out in all directions, but it only took out about a dozen Borg. More took their place. Range is still a problem.
Suddenly, a heavy thud rang out as something landed hard, a few feet from the trapped crewmen. A man, appearing humanoid, had come down from the floor above, through a broad gap. In one of the humanoid's hands was a strange pistol, and the bursts that shot out were pure white, drilling holes clean through each Borg the person fired at. He didn't stand like a human, and a quick look showed why. His feet were long, and he stood on the balls of them, as a lizard might. His full‑face helmet showed his face wasn't normal‑shaped, either.
The phasers the crewmen had were (had they not been fried by the EMP grenade) useless, as the Borg had adapted to each modulation. This person's disruptor, though, kept firing and killing each Borg.
The two crewmen stood still from surprise, as the man clad in strange black armor slid between them, firing down each leg of the four‑way hallway, blowing down waves of Borg.
One crewman recovered enough to tap his combadge, and sent a message to Voyager.
"Voyager! Beam us up!" he called down, at his combadge.
After the waves came closer and closer, the familiar sound of the transporter grabbed them, and yanked all three off the ship. He was too close to them, and had hitched a ride. After rematerializing on the transporter pad, the two crewmen leapt off the pad and spun back to the man still wielding the disruptor. The man behind the transporter controls drew his phaser, and tapped on his combadge. He was an unstable officer; the phaser was visibly shaking in his hand. He had probably never encountered one such as this... alien, before. An armed one, nonetheless.
"Security to Transporter room 3!" he yelled to the combadge.
The man in the armor, still holding the pistol took a step, and the ensign's phaser went off, catching the humanoid in the chest. He stumbled back, but didn't go down. The natural instinct made the man's disruptor go off, and fire near the crewman, as if to warn him. A security officer shot with a higher setting, from the doorway, and caught the alien in the stomach. The armor‑clad went down, hard.
When he came to, he saw the familiar gray of the inside of a Federation ship. One wall was exposed with glowing lights around the exit.
Force field, he thought.
With a strange determination, he pushed himself up and sat on the edge of the stiff bench. His head spun and ached from the phaser blasts.
They had stripped him of his weapon, but his armor was still on him.
Not very smart, but he wasn't about to do anything. They had probably assumed something like it kept him alive. Still not smart.
Captain Janeway and Chakotay stood in the turbo lift, not feeling it move quickly down and through the ship. They were heading to the brig, to see this new arrival.
"Reports are that he threatened the transporter officer, and was in turn, apprehended." Chakotay said. "How did he threaten him?" Janeway asked.
"I never did get a clear answer to that. The officer insisted that the alien fired at him, and the security officer fired back. What started it, I don't know yet." Chakotay explained.
"Who was manning the Transporter at the time?" Janeway asked, hunting down an obvious question.
"Ensign Lich." Chakotay responded.
"That's what I thought." Janeway stated, as the doors of the turbolift opened, and she moved out.
Janeway thought to herself about one or two talks she's had with Lich, about how anxious and nervous he always seems. The response is always along the lines of wanting to be in the fray, or action. At least he has heart, Janeway thought.
Captain Janeway came to the security officer in charge of the brig, then nodded to him and walked down the hallway, coming to the charged doorway of the newest addition to the brig.
Chakotay stood at the entrance of the Brig.
The humanoid's hand was on his head, holding it as it pulsed with each thought.
The humanoid took a quick sniff of the air, before he looked up, seeing her standing there in her red and black uniform, with her arms crossed.
Through the dark-lensed helmet, the humanoid stared at her.
"Mind telling me what happened?" she asked, astutely.
"Wouldn't you rather like to hear the story of what I was doing on the Borg cube in the first place?" he asked, sarcastically. His voice was low, and rough.
"My first priority is my ship, and crew." she responds.
"... My weapon?" he asked.
"In a safe place." She says.
"It isn't destroyed or taken apart, is it? Humans have a small habit of 'analyzing' other's technology." he said.
"No, it's perfectly fine." she said.
He waited for the ending.
"... But it's being analyzed." she finished.
The man chuckled and leaned his helmeted head back.
"I thought so." he said.
"So, what happened?" she asked.
"Well, I was aboard the cube, and when your crewmen came aboard, they were detected. That set the bell off, and the Borg woke up. Smart move, Captain. I thought you would have learned from experience that when a Borg ship is near you, don't be there." he said.
"The circumstances were difficult." she responded.
"As are mine." he says back.
"What were you doing on the cube?" she asked, shifting her weight onto her other leg.
"... Nothing I can inform you of." he said.
"Why not?" she asked.
"Treason isn't a very fun conviction, Captain, especially where I'm from." he says. "Nor do you live after it."
She stays silent, with that look that could drill through diamond.
The man, watching her eyes, stands, and comes close to the electric barrier, being much taller than she. She looks down, and sizes him up, then moves her eyes back to him.
"Captain, you're especially lucky." he says.
"Why?" Janeway asks, curious again.
"Your Electromagnetic Pulse only threw about 4 meters, but it was just enough to take out their warp drive for a few hours. That's why they didn't chase you. In which case, you would have desperately needed my help." he says, proudly.
"Why would we need your help?" she asks.
"Because I was on that cube for a week, without them even so much as seeing me." he said.
The moment was quiet.
The man, stripped of his armor and wearing light clothes, sat on the medical table, in the somewhat deserted sickbay. His legs were covered in scales, as were his arms, his neck, his feet, and the backs of his hands. Claws protruded off his fingertips, and his bare toe tips. Inside his mouth, he played his tongue on his sharp teeth, thinking ambient thoughts.
Captain Janeway and the EMH talked inside his office.
"There's no doubt about it, Captain. He's Gorn." the EMH said.
"Gorn? How can he be? He doesn't look like one... at least, not entirely." she responds, confused.
"He appears to be a hybrid. Gorn and Human... but the genetic gap is too large for any natural existence. The only way is he must have been genetically engineered." the EMH explained.
The man, hearing the vibrations on the glass from their speech, looked over at the mirror hanging on the wall. He saw his face, the one he hasn't seen in a long time. He slid off the table, and then walked to the mirror, having to stoop from his excessive physical stature. Standing a full height of 7'2" made it hard to navigate in most vessels.
The mirror cast back the reflection it saw, showing his alien, almost lizard‑like face. His face was almost like a snake's except rounder, like a human's. Almost like a smooth‑scaled cat shape, having his cheekbones. Hair hung down from his scalp, about 3 inches long, casting a small shadow onto his eerie red, slit eyes. A quiet sigh escaped his lips, and steam formed almost instantly on the mirror. His breath was warm, but the air, his skin, was dreadfully cold. He moved back onto the table, and sat, then slid his scaled hands up his arms, in a vain attempt to warm up.
Goose bumps had stood up on his flesh, just from walking through the cold air. How he longed for a heavy blanket, or it's equivalent.
Captain Janeway had watched as the man moved to the mirror and moved back. She also saw his legs, which made him so tall. He stood on the balls of his feet, with long feet and short shins. He slouched deeply, but it wasn’t hard to see why. He was a giant.
"Captain," the EMH interrupted. "There's something else."
Janeway looked to the EMH again. "What is it?" she asked.
"It's complicated, but when I was testing his blood, I found an incredible amount of Nanomachines in him. He has more of them in his body than most BORG do..." the EMH said, quieting his tone. "They're in him, and they're not assimilating him..."
Janeway looked through the office window again, to see the man sitting on the table, his long legs dangling off the edge, staring back at the two.
Janeway took another quick glance at the doctor, then exited the office, and walked up to him, crossing her arms again. This was a habit, he thought.
"You want to know why I have Nanomachines... am I correct?" he asks.
"... Yes. I'm curious." she said.
"As I said before, captain. Treason is not a fun conviction." he said.
"I'm giving you a choice. Either tell me what I want to know, or you go back into the brig until I can figure out what to do with you." she said, with a stern tone of voice.
"Is that a threat?" the tall man said, sliding onto his feet, his weight pushing down, but being compensated by the bulging calves.
She craned her neck back a little bit, to watch his eyes still. The top of his head nearly reached the ceiling, and he wasn't even standing totally erect.
"There's no point in threatening you. Besides, who will know if you tell me?" she asks, tightening her arms on her chest.
"I'm still not prepared to disclose all my secrets to you... ma'am." he says, teasingly.
"... What's your name?" she asks, breaking the moment.
"... Why?" he asks, slightly confused and caught off‑guard by the question.
"I'd like to know." she said. She always got her way, no matter whom she was talking to. She was powerful, in that way.
"... Xiao." he says, lowly. (Pronounced 'Shao')
"Xiao?" she asks, quietly, and then extends her hand openly, in a sign of friendship. "My name is‑‑"
"Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager. I knew this was a federation ship when I saw your crewmen's uniforms. Not easily mistaken." he says, in a calm tone of voice, grasping and shaking her hand gently.
"How did you know?" she asked, shaking his hand back, and then retracting it.
"I've heard of a lost Federation ship stumbling about the Delta Quadrant... You're a long way from home, Captain." he says.
"We are, but we're not 'stumbling about'." Janeway said, almost hurt.
"What then do you call taking Six and a half years left of getting home? Even at full warp?" Xiao asked. He knew more about the ship than she was comfortable with.
Janeway was quiet. Xiao knew what he had done.
"... I apologize, Captain... That wasn't called for." Xiao says, quietly.
"No, it wasn't." she says, sternly.
Suddenly, the silence is broken by the large groan of the Gorn's stomach. Xiao looks down, then closes his eyes and scoffs.
Janeway can't help but smile. "Hungry, Xiao?" she asked.
"... If you can spare the ration, I haven't eaten in a few days." Xiao responds.
"We have a cook aboard. Neelix will make you something nice." Janeway says.
Xiao bows his head slightly, and smiles.
"Thank you, captain.” he says.
::CORRIDOR, DECK 3::
Janeway and Chakotay walk down the hall together, conversing, heading towards the nearest turbo lift.
"So, how is he?" Chakotay asks.
"He's alright. He complained a bit from the cold, but he's on the Holodeck now, soaking up some heat on the desert program." she said. She cut the small talk. "Did we finish the look at his weapon?"
"The engineering team is stumped. All they can figure is the technical. How it's loaded, and deployed. The power system is insane." he responds, in a lower tone.
"Specify." she said.
"Well, it seems that his disruptor is using a miniature nuclear core, creating an infinite source of quickly‑recharging energy. Never have to reload. That's not the strangest part, though." Chakotay says, still watching where he's going, but watching her most of the time.
"What?" she asks intrigued.
"His disruptor is equipped with powerful components, especially so on the calculator for modulation. Most phasers and pulse rifles only have a few modulation settings, right?" He asks, as if to get a rhetorical answer.
"..." She says quiet, listening.
"The disruptor has the number‑crunching power to calculate thousands of modulations, down past the ten‑thousandth's place. Each shot, it stores the modulation as used, and arranges a new one." He finishes, stopping in the hallway.
"He never has to remodulate? ...Are you saying he has a perfect Anti‑Borg weapon?" she asks, suddenly even more intrigued.
"Nearly Perfect. It's heavy, but the only major downfalls are that each shot drains a large portion of the power reserves, so it has to take more recharging stops than normal weapons, but they're also faster. Also, the barrels have heating issues because of the muzzle energy." Chakotay says.
"If we had just 3 of those pistols, the Borg would never be a threat again." Janeway states, putting her hand on her temple.
"Captain... his weapon is distinctly created for dealing with the Borg. Odds are, he was equipped with more of the same focus of technology. We could probably learn a good deal..." Chakotay stated.
"One step at a time, Chakotay." Janeway responded.
Xiao stretches out on a long, flat rock, after removing his shirt and spreading his arms and legs, soaking up the holographic heat and light. Even though it's a hologram, it can still warm and blister if exposed too long. The heat is long‑missed, as a grin spreads on his smooth‑scaled face.
His eyes flicker and slide shut, as his body tingles a bit. A quiet, but satisfied growl‑like sound slides past his lips, as the heat reaches the depths of his bones.
Just as he's about to doze off, comforted by the heat, he hears the hologram change, and looks down from his rock, still laying still, to see the arch appeared in the middle of nowhere, and the doors slide open. The immediate view of the hallway is behind the opened doors, along with Janeway, standing there, and then walking into the Holodeck, onto the crisp, holographic desert floor. He smiles and sits up, then chuckles a bit. His eyelids feel as if they're made of lead.
"How did I know this... pleasantry wasn't going to last?" he asks, then stretches his upper body. Janeway approaches the high rock perch Xiao is resting on, then watches him as he stands and jumps down, landing with a thud, but minimal‑looking effort.
"Would you like to tell me about this?" she asked, pulling he hand from behind her back, holding his black‑colored disruptor.
"... It's my disruptor." he replied.
"It's more than that." she said.
"... I am not at liberty to disclose my secrets, captain. I've already told you." He said, after a momentary breath.
"This disruptor is perfect against the Borg." she said, taking a dominating step towards him, making him take a half‑step back. "... How did you do it?" she asks.
Xiao stares at her with an almost satisfactory look on his face.
"That's what I like to see, Captain. Strength. I told you not to examine my weapon, and you did anyway. I told I wouldn't share my secrets, but still you persist. This quadrant has taken its toll on you, I see." He says, still smiling. He then chuckles a bit.
"The Borg are everyone's enemy. Why would you keep this kind of technology away from those who need it?" she asks, not amused.
Xiao stays quiet for a second, and then begins pacing around her, thinking.
"It isn't my pistol to hand out. I can't tell you how to remake it. If it were destroyed, I wouldn't get another one. It's a prototype. The only one of its kind." he says, stopping in front of her gaze again. "I was put on that dead ship for one reason, and one reason only. Testing. I was outfitted with experimental technology, and I was succeeding in my task for a week, before you showed up."
"We didn‑‑" Janeway starts.
"Don't give me that, captain. Nobody knew I was aboard. That's the way it should have stayed. If you would have acted like any other captain, and merely turned and left, then I wouldn't be in the predicament I am now." Xiao says, harshly. He was cranky from no sleep, and it was showing.
"What predicament?" she asked.
"In 58 minutes, I have to report to the branch in this sector, telling them if everything was alright. Right now, we're doing warp speed away from the cube, to which I was numerically and sector‑assigned, that is probably light-years away from the sector, by now." Xiao said.
"You'll be in trouble?" she asked.
"... Worse than that, I'm afraid. Not being in my designated place, on my designated ship, with prototype weapons in my control is a very harsh military crime, to where they will hunt me down and torture me, until death... So you can see how cheery I am on my outlook." Xiao says, calmer.
"And we pulled you off the ship..." she says.
"You arrived, beamed over, woke them up, beamed back, and got out of dodge. They will consider YOU enemies. And your ship will be scuttled." he says, walking further into the hologram, feeling the sand part between the pads on his feet. "... Not a fun day for any of us, really." he says.
"They won't understand?" she asked, trying to think of something.
Xiao sighs, and then turns to her.
"Janeway, they're Gorn. Just the sight of you will make them shoot." Xiao said. "I saved your crewmen. I've done more for humans in that act than any Gorn has done for them in the history of knowing each other's species. I am only half, but I am still bound by the regulations and rules. Just by being on this ship, they'll kill me that much slower." Xiao says, quietly.
"I want to help you." Janeway says. "We have to think of something."
Xiao sighs again, and starts walking around, feeling the sand on his feet again.
"W... when I transmit, back to the branch, there's a spatial locator that records my current position, exact to a few milli‑degrees in space. You could find me with a photon torpedo. If we can get back to the sector, and stay there until the transmit... I can tell them I'm..." Xiao says, and then stops, a grin spreading on his leathery face. "... I've got it."
Captain's log; Stardate 43826.8
Our newest addition to the ship, a half‑Gorn named Xiao, has requested that we return to the sector where we accidentally picked him up. The circumstances are that if he isn't near the exact place, as before, the Gorn will come after him. It's only a matter of time now. Hopefully we will arrive in time...
The starship dropped out of warp, in the same sector, with no cube in sight. Xiao and Janeway stood on the bridge, waiting for the call. Xiao had no armor on, just his normal clothes, except for his forearm piece, which housed his communicator. The Bridge was dead silent. Keystroke beeps silenced, alarms disabled, hardly any moving. Xiao stared at the view screen, slightly anxious, but also worried if this would work.
Suddenly, the arm‑mounted communicator beeped. He looked back at Janeway, who in turn looked to the others, to tell them to remain as quiet as possible.
Xiao licked his lips, and opened the panel, then keyed in 4 or 5 keystrokes. The link was opened, with a quiet electronic trill.
"... Xiao, 1135‑06, reporting in, on schedule." Xiao said quietly, as if he were still aboard the cube. He would have had to be quiet.
"... Confirmed. Status?" a sharp voice over the speaker asked.
"C‑65 activated, traveling 33.2 mark 8 at Warp 4. Hibernation interrupted." Xiao said, quietly.
"Explain." the voice asked.
Xiao immediately turned to Janeway, then back to his communicator.
"... Nearby vessel detected, manned freighter, Denobulan. Collective orders to assimilate, and resume patrol." Xiao said.
The voice was quiet for a long moment.
"... Respond." Xiao said.
"... Xiao, location." the voice said.
"... Close to exiting sector." Xiao responded. He turned to Janeway, who quickly but quietly approached the panel, and started moving the ship in the direction he specified. She really was helping him.
"... Xiao, you are not aboard the Cube. You realize that is a direct violation of your orders." The voice said, sharply.
"What are you‑‑?” Xiao said, interrupted.
"C‑65 was reported, 20 cycles ago, destroyed by our patrols. You were NOT aboard." The voice said.
"..." Xiao was silent for a short moment. "I can explain‑‑" The trill of the link closing interrupted him. He pushed the flap down hard, and let out a quiet word, in another language. He turned to Janeway, a very unhappy look on his face.
Janeway approached him, watching up at him.
"How could they destroy the ship with you aboard?" she asked him.
"They scanned the cube and saw I wasn't there. After that, they destroyed it." he said.
"They're going to come after you?" Janeway asked, turning away.
"Captain, I respectfully request you leave me behind, and get as far away from here as possible. They already know my position." Xiao said, quietly. "There's no point letting them know you were involved."
"We'll work this out,” she said, sternfully. Janeway always has a very defiant tone.
"There's no working it out, Captain. These are Gorn. The only diplomacy they know is a
Torpedo." Xiao said, sighing quietly.
Xiao crouched down, and sat on his haunches, trying to think. Long, quiet moments went by. Suddenly, he gasped, and his eyes opened wider. He quickly stood up, and faced the view screen. Janeway turned to him, worried.
"Captain..." he whispers.
Janeway approaches him and watches him, as he still stares at the view screen. "... What is it?" she asks.
"I recommend you raise your shields." he said, quietly.
Just as he finished his sentence, out of nowhere, dropping out of warp, was a Borg Cube.
Janeway was stunned for a moment, but only a split moment. "Evasive maneuvers!" she yelled.
A phaser blast shot down from a tip of the Borg cube, and crashed against the not‑yet-shielded hull, causing the ship to move violently down, and Xiao to be kicked off of his feet. While tumbling in the air, though, he twisted and landed hard, leaving a few deep scars in the fabric of the ground, from his claws. He saw the rest of the crewmen on the bridge grabbing onto things, to keep from flying away. He knew they must have encountered more of these violent hits than he thought.
Xiao ran up the angled ground, to the helmsman's controls, and quickly started keying. The helmsman had been nearly toppled off his post with the hit.
Xiao didn't quite understand these panels, but he finally hit the right one, and off they went, quickly into warp, away from the sector, and the cube. He panted quietly, as the inertial dampeners compensated, and the ship was returned to normal balance, then cleared his throat and stood from the panel, helping the shaken helmsman up. He took another deep breath, and fixed his shirt, then turned to Janeway, who was staring straight at him.
"..." Xiao looked as if he was going to say something, but he didn't.