Dazed and Confused
"Tell me you're sensor readings are wrong, Lieutenant Lado," Brett said standing from the center chair. "Tell me you did not pick up a Borg cube on long range sensors."
"That is what the sensors are reporting, Captain," said Lylja. "Though it could be a sensor echo or other anomaly. I am crosschecking it now." She seemed remarkably calm considering the Apollo was no match for a Borg cube.
"Time to intercept?" Brett asked quickly.
"They may not have seen us, Captain," says Lylja, "or we might be beneath their notice. They do not seem to be moving towards us."
A Borg cube was unexpected, but then again the Borg were rarely predictable. Double checking the readings, Elden confirmed his initial report.
"Confirmed Captain. Sensors indicate a Borg cube. Time to intercept 24 minutes."
Brett took in the information, "If we haven't be seen yet, is there a system nearby we can get into to be sure they pass us by? I want only passive scans unless the threat level changes."
Lylja's hands fly over the holographic controls. "Active sensors off, locking down what other emissions we can."
Corzan started looking up Borg countermeasures through their database, everything from La Forge to Torres. After a moment he found an idea that could work and began a start up sequence for an antimatter spread to help them if possible. "I've started locking out key areas and securing all outbound hatches sir."
"Aye sir. Passive scans only. Checking sensor logs."
There appeared to be a nebula ahead, but it took them too close the Cube for comfort. After some more research, Elden found what he was looking for.
"There's a system up ahead. Bearing 140 mark 7. We should be able to hide just inside the atmosphere of an N class planet."
"But we would need to use the warp engines to get there . . ." ponders Lylja. "Your call, Captain."
Brett thought for a moment. "At emergency warp, how long will it take us to reach the nearest friendly forces?"
"Too long?" opines Lylja. "With their transwarp capabilities, they will always be able to catch us. We could rig a shuttle to broadcast a larger warp signature and try to slip away while they follow that."
"Helm, set a course for that system, full emergency warp. Engineering, do what you can to hide our warp signature. I don't care where you have to draw resources from," Brett ordered. "Lieutenant Lado, ready security teams, go to silent red alert, and keep all external weapons system powered down."
Lylja nodded and did what she could to hide their signature.
"Aye sir. We'll station security across the ship. External weapons will remain powered down."
After confirming the orders, Lado set them into motion.
=/\= Lado to Petty Officer Kiden. We may have some cybernetic visitors. Deploy teams at key points shipwide.=/\=
As requested by the Captain, there were no other external signs the ship might see combat. Less than 3 minutes after the call went out two security guards took up positions on the bridge, rifles in the low ready position. One handed an extra rifle to Lado who set it down next to his console for easy access.
Lylja sighed, she had hoped to never look at this file again. Anti-Borg Protocol, Operations, V 27.6.1. She began entering the system codes, activating the protocols.
In an attempt to prevent mutinies, the weapons locker on the Bridge was only able to be opened by the Captain. This was a protocol Captain Watson had put in place following the crew's time on planet "Artemis" as it had come to be referred to. Walking over to the locker he input his code and voice recognition. It slid open, revealing a set of hand phasers. Securing one to himself, he ordered, "All personnel, please arm yourselves."
Lylja sighed and stepped over to get a phaser, she did a standard check and clipped it to her belt. With a nod to the Captain she returned to her chair and continued to activate protocols.
Brett watched the tactical display. It continued to show very slow updates as everything was passive. Two lines had been laid out on the screen showing the paths of the two ships based on best receivable data. When he looked, Brett took some comfort in the fact that the lines would not come too close to each other at the same time. As he was turning to look away the display changed. The Apollo's course remained the same. The cube's course would now intersect them just after entering the system.
At this point the entire Bridge knew the truth; the cube had found them anyway. Brett didn't know, but had a good feeling that it was his decision to go to emergency velocity that had triggered the response. "Will I ever stop putting this crew in harm's way?" he mentally asked himself.
Taking a breath he began to speak. "Helm, maintain course and speed. Ops, bring us back to full, active sensors. Engineering, divert all power needed to defensive systems. Let's hope the new shield modulators do their thing. Tactical, bring all weapons to ready. Full charge on all torpedoes. I was a full lockdown of all crew except emergency personnel." Brett ran through the list of procedures developed and redeveloped for situations like this. Somehow though, against the Borg, nothing ever seemed to be enough.
"Sensors hot," said Lylja, "We are detecting directed scans from the cube. Initiating hardening protocols."
It didn't take long for the ship's systems to respond to the new commands coming from the tactical station.
"We're locked and loaded Captain."
It was a saying Lado picked up from his time among human centric crews, and it stuck with him through the years.
"Borg Cube matching our speed and course but not closing," reported Lylja. "What are they waiting for?"
To be Continued . . .