Untitled Document
within perfection's grasp
written by: adam mcnicol


21:sept//2K - within perfection’s grasp


"Freedom is Irrelevant, Self-determination is Irrelevant,Resistance is Futile" The Collective, The Best of Both Worlds

The Cube came within sight, it was massive. At least fifty times the size of the largest Starship that they possessed. He sat at the console starring through the viewscreen out onto it. Within minutes they would engage it and in his mind, within seconds they would be destroyed. Tossed aside by the unstoppable force that is the Collective. No one could stop it, even this fleet of forty ships – it was not enough, nothing was.

The Captain gave the order and he laid in an intercept course. He looked around himself, the darkened state of high alert, made it difficult to see everyone clearly. It was supposed to help you concentrate on your task in a crisis, but to him, it was just distracting. The Cube on the screen became larger and larger as they moved closer, suddenly over the communications channels came the unmistakable voice of the Collective,

"We are the Borg, you will be assimilated"

This was the sign to commence firing. His task was basically redundant now; the computer would handle any necessary manoeuvres. It was only if it went badly and the computer went off line that he would be required. He sat, eyes fixed on the screen, as he watched other ships begin assaults on the Cube. He could identify ships on which he had friends. How many, he thought, would he ever see again.

The Captain ordered the tactical officer to commence firing. This was it, until now the Cube had ignored them, as it ignored anything until it became a threat. A volley of torpedoes left the ship, and for a few moments were visible on the viewer, before they impacted on the Cube. These weapons were useless against it – the moment the first torpedo, from the first vessel struck the Cube, it adapted. The weapon could not longer penetrate the Cubes shielding.

There was a sudden buffering of the ship, before he realised that the cube had locked onto them with a tractor beam. In a few seconds hundreds of drones would transport onto the vessel and would begin assimilating the crew. He jerked himself into action, pulled his hand weapon from his tunic and waited.

He did not have to wait long, the green signatures of the Collective’s transporter’s were beginning to form on the bridge – he could distinguish at least twenty different patterns. The odds of the bridge crew being able to fend off that many drones was remote, and even if they could, it would just delay the inevitable.

They materialised; he pressed the trigger on his weapon and watched as the drone fell. He turned and fired again, only to see the beam being absorbed into the drone – they had adapted. The weapon fell from his hands, in awe at what was about to happen. He was going to be assimilated, his individuality erased, he was going to become one of them. How many deaths would he be accountable for in the future?

A drone advanced towards him, he backed away, only to find a wall blocking his progress. In one last, desperate attempt to avoid his fate he lunged towards the drone. It was a futile manoeuvre; the drone had strength several times that of his own, he could not hope to knock it to the floor. Around him, he heard bursts of Phaser fire and the screams of men, who had already begun to merge into the Collective.

He hit the drone with a thud which winded him, as he lay at its feet gasping for breath, he felt a cold hand grasp him sharply by the shoulder. As he was lifted quickly to his feet, he struggled in a vain attempt to escape. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the drones other hand closing on his neck. The assimilation tubules burst through from under the skin on its palm, before he felt them stab into his neck and then retract sharply. The drone loosened his grip on his shoulder, and he fell limply to the cold steel floor.

It was difficult to catch a breath, as he felt the nano probes invade his system. The strangling effect they had as they attached themselves to his airway was intolerable. He let out an immense scream, like the one he had heard a woman screech, as she was being raped while he was on vacation on Risa. Then he had been able to save her but today no one would be able to save him. Quivering he lay, as the probes bored their way through to his heart. He had watched simulations of people being assimilated at the Academy – the way the probes take control of your circulatory system by dissolving your heart and replacing it with a few probes which merged together to form a cybernetic pump, had always frightened him. He felt the dissolving beginning; it was like the time he had placed his hand over his father’s blowtorch as a child, only ten times as intense. His chest cavity was going to explode open, he was sure of it. But just as quickly as the dissolving had begun, the pain ended – he was able to breathe properly.

He could feel the probes circulating around his blood stream; the sensation was rather like having a pulsating blockage in his throat. Slipping in and out of conciseness, he was back at the Academy, laughing and joking with his friends. Back then it was all so simple, no Borg, no Dominion, only a peace which had lasted more that fifty years. He was going to be an explorer, search the stars in search of a new species, new planets and most importantly experience. Instead the Dominion came through the Wormhole, intent on conquering anything in its path, including the peace which had existed between the major powers in the quadrant. That had been five years ago, since then it had been constant war – the Borg had always been a threat but now its assaults into the Terran System had become more frequent. No doubt encouraged by the weakened state the Dominion War was leaving the fleet in.

Lifting his hand to his eyes he could see probes congregating under the surface of the skin. The tingling sensation there reminded him of how he liked his wife tickling his feet and how he would never see her or his children again. It would have been easier for her if he was going to die, but he was not. He was going to be taken from her a piece at a time. Suddenly the bulge on his hand burst open and a mechanical implant settled itself on the surface of his hand. He could see from looking at it, that this was where his assimilation tubules would spring from when required. Then just as the pain from the initial bursting began to fade, his entire body erupted in a flurry of cybernetic activity – implants were appearing all over his body.

The pain was intolerable, almost as bad as when he thought his wives father would refuse to give them permission to marry. Her father had been concerned that his career in Starfleet would mean that he would not be able to devote enough time to her. How wrong he had been, she had been with him constantly for the past four years and if it had not been for the risk to the children, she would be here now, awaiting the same fate as himself. Inside him, he felt something the size of a tennis ball form; it thrust itself up through his neck and into his head. His eyes started to flicker, as if he were in REM sleep, he could feel the blood in the back of his throat; he was dying. The ball was tearing through his brain, severing the neural connections and then he could sense them being replaced with new ones, which suited the Collectives purpose. Behind his left eye was a swelling like he had experienced while boxing – he had been Academy champion, three years running, before a Uridian twice his size had destroyed his confidence in a bar brawl and he gave up fighting for good. He clenched his fists as the swelling pushed the eye out of its socket and formed a cybernetic sensor in its place. He could see clearly now, not only the visible spectrum but infra red and ultra violet too. It was beautiful, almost as beautiful as the Falls of Atoria, on Risa. It was fitting that in his final moment as an individual he would experience something of that magnitude.

Finally he began to hear the voice of the collec01110100ive invade his 01101101ind. It was overwhelming, he was finished, he was B01101111rg. He realised that he had been foolish in tr01111010ing to stop the Borg. He knew that before long everyone one would be Borg, including his wife and children, he was glad that they would be able to join with him in this state of perfection. Finally he understood that 0011001001100101istance was 01100110 01110101 01110100 01101001 01101100 01100101.

//agi. [agi@fsmail.net]