Once More Into The Breach

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Symbol of the Tkon Empire
Symbol of the Tkon Empire

Symbol of the Borg Collective

Symbol of the Borg Collective

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
-William Shakespeare, King Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1

Prologue

After the recent events on Starbase 989 with the Vexarak Spoilers which threatened to destroy the station and kill thousands of civilians and personnel, the crews of the USS Rosenante and the USS Boudicca embarked on some limited shore leave.

During this time, the crew also assisted in repairs to bring the starbase back to full strength and capacity. They also provided additional security personnel to discourage any possible rekindling of the Riots that rocked the station during the crisis.

Captains Alan Durand and Ahmed Ibn Salid attended the William Shakespeare play Henry V in the Auditorium aboard Starbase 989.

Duty Waits for No One

Near the end of the play, Salid and Durand were interrupted by an ensign from the Starbase staff, who advised them that there was a priority message from Admiral Richardson, from Starfleet Command. They were escorted to a small office, where the Admiral advised the two ship captains of a serious potential danger to the Federation.

The Darson Deep Space Array, a powerful observation tool used to monitor remote portions of the Federation - Romulan border in the Beta Quadrant had detected a Borg Tactical Cube and another unidentified Borg vessel dubbed a Borg Pyramid en route to the Dovek System.

The Darson Deep Space Array

As Borg Tactical cubes were only seen prior grouped with other vessels of the same type this immediately caught Starfleet's attention. The additional presence of a previously unseen Borg starship, also convinced command that they should be investigating. Admiral Richardson, assigned the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante to that mission.

The fact that the Dovek system was known to once belong to the Tkon Empire, a species that went extinct 60,000 years ago, added a level of concern as well. The Tkon were widely believed to be as technologically advanced, if not more so, than the UFP. The presence of the Borg in a now dead system, that once belonged to a dead civilization known for their technological achievements, raised considerable concern among the Admiralty.

For this mission, Captain Ahmed Ibn Salid was given overall command authority, with Captain Durand acting as the Task Force Executive Officer. Both Captains returned to their ships quickly, ordered all civilian personnel and pets off the ship, and gave orders to get underway towards the Dovek system.

The briefing to the senior staff was conducted jointly using the new communications equipment brought by the Tranquility. It allowed a complete real-time holographic interface between the two crews.

In addition, the SS Tranquility was stowed in the Rosenante's aft shuttlebay and Lieutenant Chance Raschen ordered to service aboard the Rosenante once again.

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Once underway, the crews of the USS Rosenante and the USS Boudicca sprung into action. With the mission briefing completed, Engineering crews prepared for battle damage, while security and tactical teams remodulated shields and weapons as well as established strongpoints throughout the ship in anticipation of action against the Borg.

Operations teams began encrypting the ship's computers in a manner that would prevent the Borg from gain access to them, while medical teams set up secondary sickbays to treat any wounded in the event that sickbays were overrun or disabled.

While a conflict was not desired, the potential for such an encounter was very high and captains Alan Durand and Ahmed Ibn Salid gave orders for their crew to begin advanced logistical preparation as soon as possible.

Course was set for Dovek II, with the planned arrival in the area placing the Federation starships in a position high above the systems elliptical plane.

Arrival

Dovek IV

With roughly two full days of travel and a great deal of preparation behind them the small Federation Task Force consisting of the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante dropped out of warp just outside the Dovek System. The two ships arrived well above the systems elliptic plane as planned.

Passive long-range scans indicated that there was a Romulan Shuttle waiting just outside the system. The vessel hailed them. The ship was identified as the Private Shuttle Bloodwing and was captained by Ael Harkonnen T'Rillian a Starfleet Lieutenant. At first, Salid believed that she was a representative of the Romulan Star Empire and requested that she dock her ship with the Boudicca, as he had the SS Tranquility in the Rosenante's main shuttle bay.

Besides the Romulan ship, scans also indicated that the Borg Tactical Cube had taken up a position in high geosynchronous polar orbit or Dovek II. in addition, the Borg Pyramid was observed using some sort of Antiproton beam to excavate sites on the planet's surface. The fact that the Borg were looking for something was no longer in question.


The Asteroid Belt in the Dovek System

Salid ordered the small fleet to proceed along a preset course which would take them into the magnetosphere of the Class J supergiant Dovek IV. The hope was to mask the energy signatures of the two Federation starships as they made their way closer to their objective at Dovek II.

The risk was that the close passage through the magnetosphere would blind both Starfleet ships, as the interference from the planet would suppress their scanning abilities. It was hoped that the Borg would also be blinded as a result of the maneuver and the presence of the subspace interference caused by the Borg's use of the Antiproton beam. The maneuver seemed to work, and once both ships had traversed the magnetosphere, they proceeded towards the Dovek Asteroid belt.

Dovek III

The Asteroid belt in the Dovek system was a thick band of debris that orbited between the third and fourth planet of the system. despite the density of asteroids and dust in the field, Captain Ahmed Ibn Salid ordered both ships of the task force to maneuver through the Asteroid field at full impulse speed. This posed a massive risk to the two ships since even the smallest impact against the ship's hulls during the maneuver would prove disastrous. It was because of this very reason that Starfleet held a regulation against travelling through such a field at speeds greater than one-fourth impulse.

Salid's decision was spurred by the desire to gain as much ground towards the Borg position as possible thereby reducing the odds of detection. Both the Rosenante and the Boudicca made it through the field without difficulty, although several small repairs to the ship's Structural Integrity Field and Inertial Dampeners were conducted during the traverse.

Once they had traversed the field, the two federation vessels emerged behind the third planet of the Dovek System. This rocky Class N world served to shield the two ships against possible Borg scans as they moved closer to their target planet. They maintained a position behind the planet relative to the Borg until the rotation of Dovek II took the Borg craft to the far side of that planet. When that occurred, the Rosenante and the Boudicca made their way to the opposite side of Dovek II.

Dovek II

Now in place behind Dovek II's moon. The USS Rosenante and USS Boudicca began to prepare to undertake the first phase of their mission; data collection. With the radiation and interference from the Borg Antiproton weapon curtailing their direct scans, it was suggested by Captain Alan Durand that they use multiple options to collect their data.

The first option was to use a pair of Class VII Sensor Probes to attempt to collect data. If that plan failed he suggested refitting a Lorimar Class Runabout with a sensor pallet and gathering data using Starfleet personnel.

Both suggestions were approved, and the task of refitting the Lorimar Class Runabout was given to the Boudicca. The sensor probes would fall to the Rosenante.




Loss of the Probes

A modified Class VII Sensor probe

The USS Rosenante launched the two probes once the modifications were completed.

Despite the best eforts of the engineering teams to compensate for the massive ammounts of interference caused by the Antiproton Beam used by the Borg on Dovek II very little could be discerned and adequately communicated by the probes back to the Rosenante.

To make matters worse, it was believed that at least one of the two probes were detected and tractored into one of the two Borg Vessels for further study.

The Reconnaissance Mission

The Antiproton beam strikes Dovek II

As a result, Captain Ahmed Ibn Salid gave the green light for the Lorimar Class Runabout Lorimar to be deployed. A mix of personnel from boths ships, comprised of Chance Raschen, Matthew McLaren, Robert Lorimar, Maria Holly, Joseph Willowbrook, Nickolas Romanoff, Andrew Maddox, and Brandy Shea were dispatched, under the command of Lorimar.

The shuttle had been modified by replacing several of the modular components with advanced sensor pallets. This was supposed to allow the Runabout personnel to be able to scan the area effectively, even despite the interference.

The shuttle was underway when the Borg suddenly disengaged the Antiproton beam. It became immediately apparent that the Borg Pyramid was excavating large sections of terrain in an attempt to unearth something of value.

The Tkon Nanosphere

At this latest site, the object that they were looking for was revealed. It was a Tkon Nanosphere, a device that was originally designed by the Tkon Empire to seed specially designed nanites into the irradiated atmosphere of a planet and absorb the deadly radiation sparing the biosphere of that world from radioactive death.

It was a solid sphere 300-meters in diameter and was comprised of a high concentration of Iridium as well as a tritanium compound that was phase bonded to some unidentified alloys. It was quantum dated to the Age of Makto, when the Tkon Empire collapse. It's exact age was calculated at 61,344 standard years by Romanoff. That meant that the device was firmly Tkon in origin.

After the beam was deactivated, it was determined that the Borg had transported hundreds of Borg Drones to the surface to continue a more fine tuned excavation of the site.

Volus

The Telepathic Interface Device as seen on the holodeck of the USS Boudicca

During the away mission, Lieutenant Detron Trei of the USS Boudicca gained access to the Holodeck where he programmed a Telepathic Interface Device which was designed to augment his natural telepathic ability and thus allow him to make telepathic contact with the Borg.

Trei managed to make contact with the Borg, but not in a manner that he preferred. His original idea was to implant a post-telepathic suggestion into the collective which would cause them to hallucinate and react to a perceived although non-existant threat rather than to the Federation starships and crew nearby. This backfired however, when the device was only able to contact a single Borg named Volus.

Volus was the leader of the Borg mission, granted a high-degree of semi-independence by the Borg Queen in return for betraying his species, the Varn (Species 6063), to the Borg for assimilation. Volus recognized the contact as telepathic and as a result became aware of the presence of a Federation Task Force hiding behind the moon of Dovek II.

He was then made aware of the presence of the Lorimar by the Borg Collective. He believed the later to be a bait-and-switch trap, sent to lure the Borg ships into an ambush when they advanced beyond the moon.

He had no way of knowing that there were only two Federation starships hiding there, the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante. As a result he chose not to attack the hidden Task force but focused instead on the runabout, in an attempt to reverse the bait-and-switch tactic.

The Arrest

Trei meanwhile was arrested by Jessica Signos under orders from Captain Alan Durand, when his transgression was detected. He was escorted to the Observation Lounge to explain his actions, where the discussion was joined by Captain Ahmed Ibn Salid from the USS Rosenante. He was questioned and ordered to undertake a full medical and psychological examination to be performed by Doctor Basil Candle.

The Runabout Imperiled

A Borg tractor beam.

Meanwhile, the Runabout had fallen under the scrutiny of the Borg Pyramid and more specifically Volus, who ordered the vessel assimilated.

The Pyramid activated a Tractor Beam and grappled the runabout as it was making scans of the planet's surface.

Only quick thinking by Commander T'Larah Sullivan, the First Officer of the USS Rosenante saved the craft from certain assimilation by the Borg.

Sullivan ordered a probe to be launched at the narrowest point of the tractor beam being emitted by the Borg Pyramid. This maneuver would later become known as the Sullivan Gambit.

When the Federation Sensor Probe intersected the beam, it interrupted it, just long enough for the runabout to break free. The advantage didn't last long, however, as the Borg were able to quickly re-establish the beam on the now fleeing vessel.

Fortunately for the crew of the Lorimar, the beam was weakened due to the extreme range and it only caused the vessel to drop into a flat spin. the shuttle, badly damaged, was spinning out of control without shields towards the surface of Dovek II.

During this chaos five Borg Drones beamed aboard the runabout and Assimilated Matthew McLaren before they could be stopped. One Borg drone and McLaren were beamed off the Runabout, while the starfleet crew managed to destroy the remaining Borg Drones.

The Runabout crashed a mere four kilometers from the Tkon Nanosphere. Borg Drones were dispatched to assimilate any survivors. Meanwhile the Rosenante and the Boudicca rushed to assemble a viable rescue mission as well as a mission designed to destroy the Tkon device using an Antimatter Mine built by Robert Lorimar.

Three Teams, Three Missions

Seeing little choice in the matter and refusing to abandon the survivors of the away team to the Borg, Captains Salid and Durand put together a bold and daring plan to infiltrate two additional away teams on to the surface of Dovek II without the Borg being any the wiser.

The plan was risky and fundamentally involved the two starships being used to draw off the Borg Tactical Cube that was still in a high polar orbit. With the cube in place, there was no chance of any of the runabouts making it to the planet's surface.

Survivors of the Crash

The Lorimar Crashsite

Knowing full well that they faced a strong chance of encountering the Borg if they remained with their crashed Runabout, the survivors of the Lorimar's crash set out to evade any chance of encountering an investigating Borg Patrol. Commander Robert Lorimar ordered a patrol to be established to watch for Borg while the survivors treated their injured and salvaged much needed materials from the crash site.

It wasn't long before Chance Raschen, Brandy Shea and Taylor Dolan encountered a Borg patrol approaching the crash site. While Taylor returned to the site to warn the rest of the survivors, Raschen and Shae, set up an ambush and drew the bulk of the Borg Drones away from the crash site.

Upon reaching the site, Taylor conveyed the information to Lorimar, who immediately ordered the survivors underway. They set off on a vector southeast of the crashed runabout.

After several hours of travel, they encountered a Borg ambush in a field littered with basalt columns. during the struggle, Taylor Dolan and Maria Holly were assimilated. Of those, only Holly was immediately recognized as being in the process of assimilation. Dolan, under the control of Volus had slipped out of the immediate area during the struggle and attempted to assassinate Commander Robert Lorimar in the hopes that his death would cause any last vestigaes of resistance to the Borg to collapse. He was however, unsuccessful in his attempt and Taylor was killed.

The Mine Team

The Antimatter Mine

Meanwhile, kilometers away, the mine team was facing challenges of their own. After leaving the Lorimar Class Runabout Blackwater to move towards their target on foot, the mine team led by lieutenant Ben Soma encountered the Borg guarding the remains of an ancient Tkon bridge. Jessica Signos eleiminated the sentries, but not before one of them managed a glimpse at the Antimatter mine that they were moving by anti-gravity sled.

This alerted Volus to the team's mission and he immediately ordered waves of Borg drones to intercept and destroy the team and the mine. They fought their way across the bridge and into an old irrigation chasm discovered by Isra Caliel. because of this, thy were able to avoid the vast majority of the Borg with the exception of a few parties here or there. On two separate occasions, the mine team was nearly overwhelmed in their travels, but miraculously managed to overcome the odds and press onwards.

The Cave where the mine was planted.

Finally, the team reached the remains of the city and located a cave that carved through a mountainside to overlook the city and the Tkon Nanosphere within. it was determined that the team would move through the cave and deploy the mine just beyond it. The proximity of the blast would guarantee the destruction of the sphere.

However, the borg were now alerted to the team's location and began to send wave after wave in assaulting their position. When the weapons ran out, the away team was forced to continue fighting hand-to-hand. To further complicate things, the Antiproton radiation on the planet's surface had caused the Antimatter mine to lose a significant amount of it's charge. As a result it did not have enough power to manage a detonation powerful enough to destroy the sphere.

While Caliel, Matrix and Jackson worked on that problem, the rest of the team defended the narrow cave opening.



The Rescue Team

A Lava flow like this was used against the Borg Drones

After touch down in the Danube Class Runabout Rosencrantz the rescue team led by Lieutenant Sanok began to search for the remains of the Lorimar.

After some short time, they located the wreckage only to find that a patrol of Borg Drones were already searching the wreckage. Since they saw no indications of recent assimilation, the team deduced that the survivors had managed to elude the patrol and escape the crash. However, before the team could act on that information, they found themselves under attack by an element of that Borg patrol.

The team split, with Sanok, holding the rear flank of against the Borg, while Lieutenant Eian O'Neill led the majority of the team away towards the survivors. In that struggle, Basil Candle discovered a pocket of magma running just below the battle field. His quick thinking allowed the team to open up a chasm beneath the Borg and watch as they were incinerated by the lava.

The team continued to move over the rough terrain until they finally discovered the crash survivors engaged in a battle with a group of Borg drone. they lent what assistance they could until the Drones were destroyed. The combined team, then moved back to their runabout. With them they carried one of the Lorimar's power cells. members of the rescue team realized then that there was a chance that the mine may be suffering from a power drain caused by the high levels of Antiproton radiation on the planet. It was therefore decided that they would use the runabout to convey the power cell to the mine team in the hopes that they could help that team in achieving their mission.

Reunion

The Antimatter Mine detonating on Dovek II

The rescue team, now equipped with sensors on the runabout, were able to locate the mine team with relative ease. The team moved in quickly to lend their shipmates assistance only to find the area overrun by Borg.

Desperate to stop the detonation of the mine, Volus had ordered hundreds of Borg Drones to assault the cave where the mine team had taken refuge. Near exhaustion, the arrival of the rescue team proved to be instrumental in defeating the Borg at the cave.

An assault led by Mike Rosenbauer and Eva Saint Jean allowed Eian O'Neill to push through the resistance and deliver the power cell to the embattled away team. With reinforcements on site, the Mine team began to fall back towards the runabout as Steven Wade Matrix, O'Neill, and Isra Caliel managed to power the antimatter mine back to nearly full strength.

Ben Soma led the mine team out after Thomas Jackson ordered the general retreat while he set the detonation sequence on the mine. With only six minutes to get free of the blast area, Caliel used a phaser on overload to collapse the entry to the cave, preventing the Borg from gaining access to the mine. Back in the runabout, Sanok had used the small vessel's phasers to decimate the mass of Borg threatening to overwhelm his shipmates. Once everyone was aboard the Rosencrantz was pointed spaceward in the hopes of out running the blast.

just a few short minutes later, the mine detonated, destroying the Tkon Nanosphere.


A Jaunt through Time

A Temporal Vortex

With the detection of the antimatter explosion on the surface of the planet, the Rosenante and the boudicca break cover and make a run towards Dovek II in an attempt to pick up the survivors of the away missions and the Runabout crash before the Borg decide to attempt assimilation.

The Rosenante moves to recover the crews while the Boudicca, with her superior tactical systems is deployed as a rear guard against the attacks of the Borg Tactical Cube.

What happens next is both unexpected and deeply disturbing. Thinking that the Borg were defeated when their objective is destroyed, Captain Salid is dismayed to discovered that the Borg Pyramid is generating Chronitons and Seylerions, a very real indicator that the ship is planning on opening a Temporal Vortex.

The Rosenante uses it's Tractor Beam to grab the Rosencrantz and quickly beams the crews aboard her, just as the Borg vessel opens a vortex. With no time to recover their runabout, the ship is cut free and both the federation starships pursue their Borg opponents through the opening.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Already heavily damaged, and now pinned between two Borg vessels the Federation starships took a beating as they returned fire while the four ships traveled through the vortex. The Borg Pyramid exited first followed by the Rosenante, the Boudicca and the Borg cube.

Upon exiting the vortex the Borg Pyramid timed it's attack to strike the Rosenante at it's most vulnerable moment. The ship was badly damaged, her shields failing and her port side nacelle sheared away and plowed into the surface of the pyramid.

The Boudicca fared much better, managing to destroy the Borg Tactical Cube, although not without suffering critical damage herself.

The damage done to the Pyramid was extensive and the ship was destroyed by the damage, but not before a massive party of Borg were able to board both Federation starships and send a sizable force to the planet below to assimilate the Tkon Nanosphere in the past.

Age of Makto

The Borg have travelled backwards in time 65,000 years to the Tkon Age of Makto. a Period that was defined as the final era of the Tkon Empire. At this time Dovek II is a vibrant, vital world still untouched by the radiations of the massive supernova that destroyed the rest of the empire.

On that planet Chief Scientist D'askto and his assistant are working hard to complete the semi-autonomous nanosphere to save their world from certain doom. Their work is interrupted by the sudden appearance of the borg, who being assimilating anyone they can find, as well as the technology behind the Nanosphere.

Close Quarters

A Holographic Samurai, part of a training hologram used by Ben Soma, was activated without safety protocols as a trap for Borg Drones

Meanwhile on board both federation starships, the crew is fighting for their lives. large number of Borg, led by Volus have infiltrated both ships and are systematically beginning to assimilate the ship and her crew.

Despite strong resistance, the bridge, Main Engineering and the Main computer core are lost to the Borg. The Primary Borg hive seems to be located deep in the bowels of the Rosenante. Meanwhile, Medical, Main Engineering and the battle bridge are lost aboard the Boudicca.

Both crews find themselves hard-pressed to stop the onslaught of the Borg and are many times forced to supplement their normal security procedures with improvised weapons, explosives and techniques. Among these are creative uses of the Environmental system to monitor Borg assimilation progress, holographic traps, booby traps and barricades, as well as acid and melee attacks against the Borg drones.

After a few hours of hard fighting the lines stabilize and finally the remaining senior staff begin to consider ways to put the Borg on the defensive rather than the offensive.

Assimilation and Injury

Among those members of the crew captured and completely or partially assimilated by the Borg are Matthew McLaren, Eian O'Neill, and Andrew Elliot Maddox.

Several members are injured in the attack, including Alan Durand, Xim, and Mike Rosenbauer amongst others.

While sickbay is busy, there are very few actual serious injuries, as the Borg rarely leave anyone to escape for treatment. They are either assimilated or they are killed.

With both ships under constant threat the number of skirmishes between the Borg and the Federation crews increase. Battles take place on Both Bridges, Computer cores and in main Engineering. A short holding action also took place at the Rosenante's sickbay but was thwarted.

A Spirited Defense

Volus, a Borg Drone
Eian O'Neill after assimilation (2 of 5)

Sanok and his security team valiantly defend the Primary computer core aboard the USS Rosenante before they are ordered to regroup in a smaller perimeter by Captain Salid. Sanok and Ben Soma are ordered to conduct a reconnaissance for Borg Strength, locations and concentrations to supplement the limited information received by disparate and thin reports.

Meanwhile Xim and a band of Security officers manage to thwart a Borg attempt to gain entry into one of the forward Torpedo magazines.

T'Larah Sullivan and Andrew Elliot Maddox conduct their own operation on the lower decks to ascertain Borg strengths, which results in Maddox's capture and subsequent revelation that he is an Android when the Borg attempt to assimilate him.

Eian O'Neill is captured during a nacelle repair operation and is taken to Volus who questions the junior engineer on religion and the concept of Hope. O'Neill is assimilated when Sullivan's unexpected arrival threatens to deprive the Borg leader from acquiring the data he seeks.

Thomas Jackson and Isra Caliel are ordered to make their way to sickbay to aid the wounded the and to liaise with Kimiko Ichijo and Basil Candle in an effort to protect the Sickbay from Borg assimilation parties.

Captain Salid relocated his command center to Holodeck one and then to the Observation Lounge on deck Eight in an attempt to avoid being assimilated by the Borg parties.

He joined Jessica Signos, Detron Trei and other officers in establishing a beach head and command center around the hard docking clamps connecting the USS Rosenante and the USS Boudicca.

When captain Durand is injured in an attack on the Boudicca Bridge and rushed to sickbay, The Boudicca's acting First Officer, Jennifer Caskie assumed command and rallied several members of her crew into action. She also relocated her command center to the Docking area aboard the Boudicca when the Battle bridge was over run by Borg Drones.

Point and Counterpoint

EVO/C Armor

With the Borg advance slowed, several things began to occur almost simultaneously.

Salid ordered Sanok and Ben Soma to conduct a detailed re-con of the lower decks in the hopes of determining the deployment, strength and activities of the Borg Drones operating in that area. Initial operational movements were successful, but Soma and sanok were separated during an attack by the Borg. As such, Soma ended up encountering Lieutenant Jessica Signos who had been ordered to capture a Living Borg Drone. Soma aided Signos and they captured an assimilated Eian O'Neill and conveyed him to sickbay after separating him from the collective. Eian was injured in a conduit explosion initiated by Signos, which facilitated in the ease of his capture.

Soma was ordered to aid Commander Jennifer Caskie when they reached Sickbay.

While Sanok continued to attempt to escape the lower decks and report back to Captain Salid. Eventually Sanok reached Soma's position and was also commandeered by commander caskie.

The Borg Temporal Equipment in the Rosenante's Main Engineering Compartment

Independently lieutenant Thomas Jackson, second officer of the USS Rosenante, led an assault to seize the Rosenante's CommSuite after receiving intelligence from Mike Rosenbauer on the area. He recruited several officers including, Henry Jacobs, Eva Saint Jean, T'Vyr, Chance Raschen, Detron Trei and Nickolas Romanoff to aid him in the attack. The team was able to eliminate the Borg working in the area, and retake the critical subspace equipment without destroying or damaging it. Later marine officers wearing EVO/C Armor reinforced the CommSuite and helped to prevent a Borg assault on the compartment.

Jacobs and Romanoff worked to restore ship-wide communications, and their hard work was rewarded with success. As a result of this development, Captain Salid and other officers were able to begin to truly organize their defense and to plan operational assaults to strike at key areas on the two vessels.

Salid led a squad of EVO/C equipped Starfleet Marines to clear out the Main Engineering area of the USS Rosenante. This action allowed lieutenant Steven Wade Matrix to begin limited repairs to the ship's critical systems.

News From the Front

Commander T'Larah Sullivan and Ensign Andrew Elliot Maddox were meanwhile conducting their own re-con in the lower levels when they encountered a group of Borg Drones. Maddox was captured by Drones, while Sullivan was forced to withdraw.

She managed to avoid capture but ended up finding herself in the same compartment as Volus, the leader of the Borg aboard the two ships. She escaped assimilation only with the aid of the Borg Drone Matthew McLaren, who had managed to maintain some control of his faculties. He managed to activate some sort of phasing system and force Sullivan through a bulkhead to avoid assimilation. He also warned her of the fact that the Borg had beamed down to the planet's surface and had begun assimilation of the Tkon Nanosphere located there.

Sullivan eventually managed to return to captain Salid and warn him of these development.

Emissary of Betrayal

Andrew Elliot Maddox

Volus, encouraged with his ability to persuade and break Eian O'Neill through the promise of knowledge and by feeding a deep-seated need for a god-like relationship, decided to approach Maddox with an opportunity that would allow him to make an attempt upon the life of Captain Salid.

Volus managed to convince maddox that the Borg were actually at Dovek II on a peaceful mission when the Federation had attacked them. He appealed to Maddox to act in the capacity as an ambassador between the Borg and Captain Salid.

Of course the plan was much more insidious, and despite the appearance of Joseph Willowbrook Volus allowed them both to leave. There were very few modifications made to Maddox, in order to give the impression of cooperation rather than assimilation.

Maddox and Willowbrook managed to make it to Salid, where a discussion ensued. During that conversation, The Borg Collective initiated an attack against Salid.

A weapon hidden in Maddox's arm injured Joseph Willowbrook who jumped in to defend the captain from the attack. In addition a group of Borg had beamed into the compartment in an attempt to assimilate Salid, after using Maddox to determine his location.

The fight ended with Willowbrook being transferred to Sickbay, Maddox arrested and Salid injured but still functional.

The Isolab

Meanwhile in the Isolation Lab aboard the Rosenante, Isra Caliel, Pembrook Carter, Jennifer Caskie and others worked to develop a modified Borg nanoprobe that would help reverse the assimilation process, using Eian O'Neill as a test subject.

Their work centered around the reprogramming of the core command code of the nanoprobes assimilation instructions. They accurately identified their function and managed to reprogram the code, although they had no means of deployment that was considered reliable.

During this process, O'Neill nearly died twice on the table, but quick thinking by commander Caskie, placed him in a stasis field which prevented his demise.

The Lone Assassin

Jessica Signos / Lily

Jessica Signos under the control of her persona Lily set out on a personal vendetta to locate and destroy Volus. Her journey took her to deck 28, where she was allowed access to the compartment where the Borg leader was located.

There was a short discussion which degenerated into a conflict. During the short lived fight, Jessica managed to use a pair of tricorders modified to produce an EM Pulse to neutralize Volus' personal shields. In her initial attack, she managed to drive a single blade into the Borg leader's chest although she failed to make connection with any critical organs or components.

Among Volus' weapons were a high yield Arc thrower, electroshock probes, self-repairing systems and his personal deflector shield.

The fight was brought to a stand still when Signos deployed a small ball of Triceron, an explosive that caused significant damage to the compartment and injury to both of the combatants. Unable to continue the fight, Signos was forced to withdraw, as was Volus.

The Sphere

Captain Salid had managed to resume control of his bridge and it was rapidly patched together so that it could be used. His intention was to use the Rosenante to destroy the Tkon Nanosphere before it could be launched, but he was too late.

The Sphere was launched before he could make all the preparations.

He ordered Caliel to the CommSuite, where she and Jacobs would be instrumental in transmitting the modified Borg command codes to the infected drones aboard the two Federation ships.

With them neutralized, Salid planned on undocking the two ships, each with orders to intercept and destroy the Tkon sphere if at all possible.

Battle for the CommSuite

just when things were starting to look up, the Borg sent an assault group to attack the CommSuite. Jackson, Jacobs, St. Jean, Trei, Rachen, and Romanoff fought the Borg using Booby Traps to augment their combat abilities.

Their quick thinking and skill allowed them to hold the compartment, but not before the transmission equipment was destroyed in the battle. As a result Jacobs and Romanoff were forced to relocate to the Boudicca's Deflector control room to disseminate the malicious code.

Deflector Control

Jacobs and Romanoff were joined by Caliel in the Boudicca's Deflector control room, where they managed to transmit the malicious code to the Borg. The Code had an immediate affect upon the drones on Both ships as well as on the planet surface. The code did not appear to reach the Tkon Nanosphere to which Volus had previously withdrawn.

Once the code was distributed Captain Salid ordered the Boudicca to undock and for both vessels to attempt the destruction of the Tkon Sphere.

Further Down the Rabbit Hole

Neither ship received much of a chance to engage the Tkon sphere before it opened a temporal rift and began traveling backward through time and space. Both ship's were able to follow, but not before the Tkon sphere emerged at the edge of the Sol system. It was now terribly apparent that the Borg intended to deploy nanoprobes into Earth's atmosphere, to remain dormant until such time as Human Life evolved, at which stage, they would be assimilated into the Borg Collective

Not only would this destroy Humanity, but it would also guarantee that the United Federation of Planets did not form. As a farther reaching consequence, it is possible that a Borg infestation on Earth could have spread through both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, guaranteeing Borg supremacy in those regions.

This was simply something that had to be stopped at all costs.

The Cretaceous Period

Earth as it appeared during the Cretaceous period

The Tkon Sphere emerged in Earth's history roughly 65 million years ago, during a geological period known as the Cretaceous Period. It was the final geological era in which the dinosaurs ruled the planet.

Far above the world, the Borg and the Federation battled for the future of humanity and the dominance of the Quadrant. The partially assimilated Tkon Nanosphere proved to be tactically superior to the two federation starships, as it's advanced shielding protected it from the vast bulk of their firepower. In addition to the advanced shields, the Borg had integrated a series of Borg Disruptors into the sphere, giving it limited tactical offensive capabilities.

With time rapidly running out, Captain Salid ordered Joseph Willowbrook to find a means to allow the Rosenante's transporters to bypass the Tkon shields. Willowbrook was able to do so and a small team of three were beamed aboard the Tkon Sphere.

The Forlorn Hope

While the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante fought to destroy the sphere from the outside, the Forlorn Hope assault team consisting of Ben Soma, Sanok and Jessica Signos infiltrated the Sphere via transporter. Their mission was to deal as much damage to the sphere as was possible, with the intention to destroy or cripple it enough to allow their ships to destroy it.

It was the intention that the team would be extracted if at all possible.

The Final Showdown

The Temporal Flux Capacitor Display

While the infiltration team worked their way towards critical components aboard the Sphere, D'askto who had managed to stow away aboard the sphere, was advised by Adrene of the presence of the away team. When he discovered that they were headed for the central control chamber, where critical equipment was located he knew he had to intervene. Realizing that any damage to the Temporal Flux Capacitor located in that chamber could cause a complete breakdown and implosion of the space-time continuum, set out to warn the potential combatants that they must not damage the equipment inside the compartment for fear of destroying the entire universe in which they all existed.

It was here, that Volus revealed two additional Drones, the parents of Ben Soma, in an attempt to demoralize Soma and the others. His ploy was to stall long enough that no actions made by the assault team could be effective.

During this period, Volus declared that the sphere had already crossed a point of no return, whereby even it's destruction would not prevent catastrophic damage to the Earth or it's inhabitants in the form of an Extinction Level Impact Event.

With a flash of insight, Soma used the EM pulse modified Tricorder developed by Signos to free his parents from the control of the Borg Collective. D'askto, seeing Volus attmpting to assassinate the Federation officer, threw himself in the line of fire and was mortally wounded by Volus' disruptor blast.

Sanok rushed to the fallen scientists side and D'askto revealed Adrene's existence before dying.

Meanwhile Signos attack Volus while Soma and Sanok, along with Ben's newly liberated parents handled the Borg Drones in the area. Terribly wounded, but victorious, Signos collapsed on the deck after she managed to kill Volus.

Sanok, meanwhile accessed Adrene, and using his superior logic, managed to convince the caretaker of the Sphere to shut down her shields and open herself up to attack by the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante. This was her only option, as she was still unable to control her helm systems due to Borg assimilation of that technology. in the end, she sacrificed herself to allow Earth a chance to survive.

The USS Boudicca retrieved the away team from the sphere, and both federation starships poured as much of their firepower as possible into the unprotected bulk of the Tkon Nanosphere.

The Impact

Ignition of the atmosphere upon ionospheric impact

The Impact of the core of the Tkon Nanosphere struck the Earth approximately 58 minutes after the Borg Collective , led by Volus slipped into the Cretaceous Period of Earth's History. The combined efforts of both the USS Rosenante and the USS Boudicca could not destroy enough of the sphere for it's pieces to burn up upon re-entry into the atmosphere. As a result of this, a sizable chunk of the sphere entered the planet's atmosphere and set off a chain reaction of events that devastated life on the planet.

The first stage of the impact was the atmospheric re-entry. The impact with the ionosphere was seen to deform the entirety of the planet's atmosphere, compressing it on the side of the impact, while forcing a bulge in the opposing side of the globe. Such a tremendous and sudden shift of atmosphere would have caused a massive number of windstorms and mega storms to form spontaneously. As the object continued into the atmosphere, ignitable gases, combusted. These included oxygen, methane and other hydrocarbon derivatives. In addition to the windstorms, now a massive ring of fire spread across the planet, although it did not consume all available oxygen, but instead depleted it significantly.

The impact with the crust of the planet

The second stage of the impact was the impactor. The debris struck earth at a point that would later become known as Chicxulub. The crust split and was instantly liquified at the impact point as the massive amounts of remaining energy transferred into the planetary body. Some of the energy wasabsorbed by the vaporization of miles of ocean water near the impact point. The atmosphere was then forcefully blown away from the site in a massive series of shock waves as the main body of the impactor gave in to sudden irresistible forces and exploded.

The portions that weren't immediately vaporized were pulverized instead. An ultra-fine powder of iridium and other materials kicked up from the impact flew skyward, where they would be captured and suspended by the newly agitated windstorms as the planet struggled to stabilize itself from the impact.

Massive dust clouds suspended in the atmosphere

Dust remained airborne for a very long time, blocking out ultraviolet radiation and life-giving sunlight, and plunging the world into an ice age that would last for the better part of a millennium.

Trailing pieces of the device, known as secondary impactors, slammed into the planet at intervals and a few even managed to slam into the dark side of Luna. Some of the ejecta reached low orbit, traversed a sizable arc over the world before succumbing to its intense gravitational grip. All over the planet, sections and pieces of the debris slammed earthward, creating dozens of impact craters of various sizes, setting fire storms, and throwing incalculable amounts of iridium and other dust particles airborne.

Sciences determined that as many as 90% of all viable life was extinguished upon the planet. The largest animals, the dinosaurs would become completely extinct within a couple of decades, with only a few survivors managing to scavenge enough food to survive. It was estimated that the rise of mammalian life was soon to explode and that life on Earth, would recover and thrive.

Returning Home

With the destruction of the Sphere, and the subsequent impact of the sphere's remains into the surface of the Earth, the USS Rosenante and the USS Boudicca assumed a standard orbit around the planet to consider their options.

With Borg temporal equipment located in the Rosenante's engineering compartment, it was decided that the best course of action was to attempt a return to their own time using that equipment.

For three days, Henry Jacobs, Isra Caliel, Steven Wade Matrix and the combined engineering and science departments of both ships turned their attentions to completing the equipment, working out the calculations and repairing the critical systems needed to make the trip through their own Temporal Vortex possible.

With everything completed, the two ships activated the temporal equipment, activated the spiral warp drive and plunged headfirst into the temporal vortex in the hopes of returning home.

Homeward Bound

The USS Kelman, NCC-2997

The two ship's managed to exit the temporal vortex intact. Their scans immediately placed them back in the Dovek System, the very place from which their journey began. The science departments on both ships were quickly able to verify that they had arrived only a standard week later from the point that they had begun their temporal jaunt.

The Boudicca and Rosenante quickly conducted recovery and salvage operations of their runabouts, before heading for Starbase 989

Epilogue

On their way back to Starbase 989, they were intercepted by the USS Kelman, captained by commander Liam O'Neill, father of Eian O'Neill. The Kelman ran escort for the two wounded vessels all the way to Starbase 989.

Upon arrival at the starbase, the captains of the two badly damaged starships were disappointed to be told that the starbase facilities, still damaged from the recent infestation of Vexarak Spoilers was unable to render aid to ships in so much need of repair.

As a result, the Kelman took on the civilians and families from both the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante who were waiting on the station for the return of the two starships.

With no other choice, the three ships made best speed (warp 2.0) to Starbase Geneva, which was the closest facility capable of handling the damage that the two vessels had sustained.

They arrived there 5 days later and were immediately placed in repair slips.

 

USS Rosenante Missions
Missions: Picking up the Pieces | A Fine and Private Place | Furlough | Letters of Marques | Fields of Elysium | Homecoming | Into the Darkness, Go I | Equals and Opposites | The Quondam Season | The Gilded Man | Touch of the Eidolon | Just Another Saturday Night | Once More Into The Breach | Personal Logs | The Third Law | The Captain's Cotillion | The Veil of the Sky | A Port in the Storm | The Raven's Nest | Through the Looking Glass | Sensory Overload | Lest We Forget

 

USS Boudicca Missions
Missions: The Anointed | Fires of Heaven | To Each His Own | A Blast From The Past | Swords To Ploughshares | Downtime | The Loudest Silence | Through The Looking Glass | Where Fools Fear To Tread | Just Another Saturday Night | Once More Into The Breach | Personal Logs | Bandits on the Surface | Dead or Alive | Starting Over | The Raven's Nest | Recurrent