Through the Rabbit Hole
Posted on Mon Jan 11th, 2021 @ 9:28am by Captain Brett Watson & Lieutenant Commander Lylja Tigerlilly & Lieutenant JG Elden Lado
Mission: Dazed and Confused
"Helm, bring us about. Ready torpedoes, full yield. Reroute power to adaptive shielding," Brett ordered as the cube closed in on them. Their gamble to run to a nearby system had failed. The Borg were now less than a minute from weapons range. "Send out a distress call, all frequencies at full power. Download logs and release probes." He knew how his orders sounded, but the truth was that even one-on-one, his up-to-date Intrepid class ship was not equal to a Borg cube. Now was the time for realism, not false hope.
"Communications are being jammed," reported Lylja, "Power rerouted to shields," she announced as the emergency lights cut in.
"Then fire off two sets of probes!" He watched the cube in the main viewer. He took a breath as the range closed. At the instant he knew they were in range. "Fire at will!"
"Roger that sir."
First were the probes which launched without any trouble.
"Probes away sir. Firing on the cube."
Lado didn't expect to win a toe to toe match with a Borg cube, but at least make the Apollo more trouble than it was worth.
Brett watched as the first volley of high-yield torpedoes were away. Many of them were shot down, but the few that got through struck in small fireballs. He refused to take any solace in this sight, knowing that a single cube could take more damage than should be reasonable.
While Lado had heard stories from his mother about the Borg ravaging her home world, this was the first time he actually faced them.
"Second round of torpedoes ready sir. Firing now."
"Brace for impact," warned Lylja as the Borg retaliated with a beam of some green-purple energy.
Before Brett could make it to his chair, he was shaken to one knee. Dragging himself to his chair he shook it off and said, "Report."
"Shields at 41% and gaining power," Lylja reported. "Several non-critical systems offline, minor degrading of hull integrity."
"We still have weapons sir. If we concentrate our firepower on one section we might stand a chance at putting a dent in them."
He wasn't sure what other options they had, but would follow any reasonable orders the Captain gave.
Lylja shouted, "Target here!" A green targeting point appeared on Lado board centered on the upper right quadrant of the cube. "Fire!"
Nearly immediately after the order to fire was given, the Apollo was slammed in the secondary, engineering hull. The ship rocked and the lights on the Bridge temporarily cut out before coming back. "Engineering, report!"
Brett didn't like the sound of the report despite his team giving him the rosiest outlook. The engines were still online and no breaches had been reported anywhere. "Helm, after we fire the next volley, punch it to emergency speed towards the nearest friendly outpost. Tactical, I want a firing solution that allows us to fire constantly as we go by them, but keep us out of tractor beam range. Give the figures to helm."
"You want to keep us out of tractor beam range, but still maintain fire. We'll see what we can do."
Elden quickly scanned through all reports on Borg Tractor beams and the estimated range of their tractor beams. From there he backed off a bit more to give the Apollo a cushion.
"Got it, sending the data to the Helm."
The Captain looked over his shoulder to Lylja. "I don't care where we need to draw power from except the engines in order to bolster the shield and integrity. Evacuate everyone to smaller areas to draw from life support."
"Evacuation plan Theta is in effect," broadcast Lylja. "Please move in an orderly fashion to your Theta positions. Permission to drain emergency batteries, Captain."
"Do whatever you have to do, Commander!" Brett replied as he watched the cube get larger in the screen. He waited for the moment that they would unleash all they had and then run. That moment finally came in a show of true force. The Apollo fired all phaser banks and torpedoes concentrating on sector of the cube. An eerie, green fire erupted from the area as the Apollo passed the point of its firing solution and then took off.
Brett felt the ship go to warp which meant some of the inertial dampeners were offline, but they were alive. "Are they pursuing?"
"Unclear, Captain," replied Lylja. "The sensor readings are all over the place and I cannot get a lock on the Cube."
Suddenly, the tactical console beeped and Brett had his answer. The sensors had picked up a ship closing the distance. Ops also beeped the familiar sound of an incoming hail. "Don't answer that. They can shove their futility," he ordered. "On screen."
As the damaged cube came on screen, Brett grinned only slightly. "They appear to be venting something." He also knew it was only a small matter of time before they caught up. "Ideas?"
"The Kerulean Hypothesis is that a focused explosion in counter harmony to Borg's transwarp signature would cause a massive implosion crippling or destroying a Borg vessel," explained Lylja very quickly. "But it requires massive amounts of power, we would have to jettison and detonate the warp core."
It was a plausible idea but one that would leave them crippled. They just had to delay the Borg long enough to allow the Apollo to escape.
"Could we get a similar amount of power out of the torpedoes? Fire our whole inventory, rapid succession at maximum yield?"
"They would have to be detonated simultaneously," says Lylja, "but it could work. We would need," she did a quick calculation, "at least 27 torpedoes at maximum yield."
"I'm not willing to drop the core. Ready the torpedoes and fire when ready!" Brett knew that this would be their last shot. "Any responses to our emergency hails from friendlies?"
"Nothing clear, Captain," reported Lylja. "Yield information and energy harmony perimeters sent to tactical."
"Let's bump it up to 28 torpedoes. Throw in an extra one for good measure. Deploy them like mines along with a probe to help mask their signature and act as a extra targeting sensor. Once the Borg are in range, we detonate them all at once."
Hopefully it would work, otherwise they would be out of tactical options.
"Let's do it," says Lylja.
"Aye Commander. Probe away, torpedoes following."
After confirming everything was in place, Lado reported to the rest on the bridge.
"Trap set. Now we wait."
It didn't take long at the relativistic speeds of the chase. Brett watched in the view screen as the trap sprung and the cube was obscured by the simultaneous detonation of the torpedoes. The cube was nearly on top of them when the explosion occurred. A bright green wave suddenly expanded from the cube as is appeared to vaporize.
Before any further orders could be given, the wave struck the Apollo. The last thing Brett remembered before being knocked unconscious was the feeling like his body was being crushed into his seat as if the Apollo had accelerated beyond the capabilities of the inertial dampeners.