Three of Ten – Three: Kicking Horse

“Naibe, Chief Medical Officer of the Khitomer. The Emergency Medical Hologram has everything under control in sickbay, so I’ve been assigned to assist you on the Kicking Horse.”

We’d been ordered by Commander Davis to stage a rescue mission and were gearing up in the transporter room. The Trill checked her equipment as we readied to transport over to my ship. At first sight, she was not what you’d expect of a senior officer: her short, brunette hair fell over one side of a soft, inviting face and full lips, her relative youth and beauty belying the years of medical experience she had accumulated. I checked my phaser rifle as she holstered her pistol in her belt, where I noticed that her spots went all the way down, past her skirt and into her high leather boots…

“Let’s go,” she said, snapping me back to reality. I agreed and nodded at Sherman.


He activated the console and a pale blue light engulfed us, seconds later finding myself on the bridge of the Kicking Horse, strewn with the bodies of my superiors, including Captain Qat’Anmek. Some crewmen cowered at their consoles, obviously traumatised by the events that had just unfolded.

“We’re all that’s left,” said Crewman Willis, the youngest member on board, bordering on  the verge of tears. “The others are all dead.”

Naibe pulled out a tricorder and took readings of the Captain’s corpse.

“There are holes in his neck where the assimilation tubules must have punctured his skin, but there are no nanites present in his bloodstream. Why are only the senior officers being targeted?  It doesn’t make sense.”

The same was the case for the other bodies, contributing to the other irregularities I’d noticed within the Borg: their sudden reappearance in the quadrant, their exterminating individuals rather than assimilating them, their lack of adaptive shielding and now this botched assimilation taken out solely on higher-ranking officers.  Something didn’t add up.

“Sir!’, cried one of the shaken crewmen. “A Borg cube is targeting us and powering weapons.”

“Do the same”, I replied, “and raise shields.”

We could see the cube slowly approaching us through the viewscreen, but even something was different about this one: it was heavily damaged, with large raggedy holes ripped from its looming hull. It wasn’t like the Borg to send such a heavily damaged ship into combat.

One thing I knew from being part of the collective, however, is that you never underestimate it. The ship may have been on the point of destruction, but it was still heavily armed with thousands of drones working on repairs within.

“Incoming hail, audio only.” I nodded and the crewman played the transmission.

“We are the Borg. Lower your shield and surrender your ship. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is…”

“Shut it off. We don’t need to hear it. Power all weapons and fire at will.” There wasn’t time to play these games. Direct action had to be taken. It was us or them.

I watched as the ship’s phaser banks and photon torpedo salvo let loose on the cube, futilely impacting on its shield. I checked the sensors to see that little if any damage had been done. A hole opened up on the cube, releasing a Borg sphere that headed directly towards us.

Our conventional weapons didn’t work: we needed a new approach.

“As soon as that sphere is ten kilometers from our bow, target it with our tractor beam. Reverse polarity and repel it with full intensity.” The sphere came closer and closer, rushing towards us like some hungry animal lunging for its next meal. At the last possible moment, the green light of our tractor beam engulfed it, holding it in space before shooting it back towards the cube with full force. It flew directly back the way it had just come and smashed into the hulk’s hull. It was heavily damaged and the green lights began to flicker. It looked like we had won…

Just then, a barrage of gravimetric torpedoes was launched and hit us full force, utterly devastating the Kicking Horse. The ship shook violently and consoles blew out all over the bridge. Crewman Brock was thrown from his console in an explosion of flame, landing on the ground and shrieking in pain. Naibe went to assist him, but all she could do was comfort him as the whimpering died down to a quiet whisper before finally fading to silence.

“Main power’s offline, we’ve lost shields, our weapons are gone.” Crewman Willis turned to look at me and a moment passed in an irretrievable second as I processed all the possible options I could take. My mind settled on the most viable and I looked Willis directly in the eye.

“Engage ramming speed.”

Willis recoiled slightly, then nodded with an accepting expression on his face: it was better to die than be assimilated. He bravely turned to his console, targeted the largest hole in the cube’s hull and thrust the ship’s throttle to full impulse. The engines began to whine as we reached full speed and the turbulence of our velocity, along with the debris in space ripping parts of our the ship off as they impacted our hull, caused violent turbulence as we got closer and closer to the enemy vessel.

The crew were contemplating their final moments:  Naibe looked down at the dead bodies littering the bridge; Crewman Willis hung his head forlornly from his shoulders and Irpod, a Bajoran, was deep in lastprayer. I did nothing as I have no spiritual solitude, instead  bracing for impact as the Borg cube came closer and closer, our ship edging ever nearer to the damaged hull.

The computer initiated a countdown to impact. “Five seconds… four seconds… three… two… one…”





2 responses to “Three of Ten – Three: Kicking Horse”

  1. Cathy avatar

    It took me some time to get to this but I am really enjoying your attention to detail. I love the direction you are taking this and am intrigued to read more.

  2. […] Originally published on Ready Up on 19th June 2011. […]

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