Star Trek TNG: Universal Schisms Part 3- Apocalypse Now

PART 3

Captain Mark Alexander Smith stood on the bridge of the USS Enterprise looking at her former Captain. “Resistance is futile, lower your shields and surrender your ship. Your culture will adapt to service us” said Locutus, formerly Captain Picard, “No, we will not surrender, Locutus, you were taken from the Borg by this crew and restored to Captain Picard before” said Captain Smith. “The unit Picard is part of us, he cannot be removed” said Locutus, “Surrender is the only option” he said. Smith sighed, “Commander, prepare boarding parties to recover Captain Picard” he said, “Mr Worf, go with him” he said. Ensign Macaulay stepped up to replace Worf, “Ensign, target the Galaxy shields, Mr Data, do whatever you have to, to keep the Enterprise a step ahead of the Borg” he said. Weapons fire from the Galaxy hit the Enterprise first. The power of the shots quickly overwhelmed the defences, “Damage report” shouted Captain Smith. “Main power is offline” shouted Ensign Macaulay, “Shields and Weapons are inoperative, hull integrity down to 74%” shouted Data. “Helm, reverse course, full impulse” shouted Smith, “Manifolds can’t handle full impulse, Captain” shouted the helm officer. “Commander LaForge” shouted Smith, “I’ll be in Engineering” replied LaForge.

Commander Riker was regaining his feet, “Riker to Bridge, what’s happening” said Riker, tapping his commbadge, “The Galaxy is attacking, we are taking heavy damage. I’m sorry, Commander, we have to pull back and focus on rescuing Captain Picard another time” said Smith, “Understood, Captain” said Riker. He steadied himself against another shot, “Mr Worf, what are the odds that the Borg try to board the ship” asked Riker, “High, Sir, the Borg only live to assimilate, it is their way” he said, “Take a security detachment and secure main engineering. I’ll take the rest and secure other key areas of the ship” said Riker, “Aye, Commander replied Worf. The officers walked in separate directions leading security detachments across the ship. As they went another volley of shots crippled secondary power, “Right, we won’t make it to the bridge, I suggest we head to sickbay and help Doctor Crusher keep the wounded alive and safe” said Riker.

The bridge lights exploded, “Captain, impulse engines are offline” shouted Data, “I’ve lost helm control” shouted the Helm officer, “Secondary power systems are offline” shouted the stand-in tactical officer. The assault stopped, “Captain, incoming message from the Galaxy, audio only” reported Ensign Macaulay. “Let’s have it” demanded Captain Smith. “Witness the beginning, resistance is futile” said the voice of Locutus.

Stardate 48922.81, Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco

Vice Admiral John Adamson was looking at the report given to him by Captain Michael Thornton, Commanding Officer of the USS Akira. “Captain, I want an account of everything” said the Admiral, “Sir, about 4 hours ago, we lost contact with the Starships Enterprise and Galaxy. Our sensors picked up massive amounts of weapons fire as well as Borg signatures. When everything died down, we detected a starship but we could not open a line of communication. Intensive scans showed it to be the Enterprise, she was maintaining position when we moved back to transmission range. Admiral, we are the only other starship within 4 days of the Enterprise, if the Borg are gathering forces in this area, we need more ships” said Captain Thornton. “Understood, Captain, you are to hold your position on the edge of the sector until reinforcements arrive. Monitor the Neutral Zone for any signs of the Romulans taking advantage of the weakened state of the Enterprise, Adamson Out” he said. He turned away from the viewscreen feeling uneasy. As the head of Fleet operations, Captain Jean-Luc Picard had filed a report about Captain Smith, and the position Picard was assigning him. With the Galaxy and Picard MIA and a heavy Borg presence being noted, along with the destruction of Starbase 245, the Admiral was becoming concerned with the security of the Federation.

“Damn it, we were attacked 4 hours ago, Locutus could be anywhere by now and we have no way of contacting Starfleet” snapped Captain Smith, in what was left of Starboard observation. “Mr LaForge, status of the Engines” he said, “We think we have thrusters back, Captain, we need to test them before we can bring Impulse and Warp power back online” he said. He nodded, his temper subsiding slightly. “Mr Data, how are the sensors” he said, “We can only use short range sensors at the present time. All long range sensors have been destroyed” he said. Smith’s head dropped, “Find a way to reroute long range sensors through the short range sensor arrays, then transfer all power from the long range arrays back into shields and weapons. Mr LaForge, assist Mr Data when we are sure about the status of the Engines” he said. Riker pitched in, “Captain, Doctor Crusher is requesting that anyone with a level 2 medical qualification assist her teams in triage” he said. “Give her all the help she needs” ordered Smith. He turned his attention to Worf, “What about weapons” he said, “The phasers are being repaired as we speak. The torpedo firing system is online” he said. Smith sighed, “Very well, dismissed, prepare for engine trials” he said, joining the officers as they stepped onto the bridge. “Helm, forward thrusters to 50%, port and starboard at station keeping” he said. The thrusters activated, seemingly without fault, “LaForge to Bridge, Captain, the thrusters repairs are complete, I can give you partial impulse in 10 minutes and partial warp in 15 minutes”  said LaForge. Exhausted with the fatigue of defeat, Captain Smith turned to Councillor Troi, the most senior officer on the bridge at that time, “Councillor, you have the bridge, alert me if we run across the Galaxy” he said, walking into his ready room as Councillor Troi sat in the command chair.

After a few hours of restlessness, he was thrown to the floor as an explosion rocked the ship. “Report” he said. Walking out onto the bridge, “Romulans” was the only reply, “Open a channel” ordered Smith. The stand in tactical officer was doing so, “No response, Captain”. Smith pondered, in his time, the Romulans were allies, he even had Romulan friends, but where he was now, they would attack and they would not consider being friends. They wanted a ship like the Enterprise.  “Back us off, use thrusters and impulse engines to get us inside that proto-stellar nebula” ordered Smith. “Captain, if we go in there, we will be cornered, if the Romulans leave, the Borg will just take their place” said Ensign Macaulay. “Agreed, very well, Ensign, helm go to warp 1 and get us away from Romulan space” ordered the Captain.

The Enterprise repairs were going well, after 15 hours, weapons and shields were at 94% while Data and LaForge had managed to enhance the short range sensor arrays with long range equipment. Impulse engines had been fully repaired and Commander LaForge was preparing to unlock the magnetic constrictors and allow the full use of the warp drive. Commander Riker had returned to the bridge, but he had left security details at main engineering and sickbay ready for any Borg incursions. They were both sat in their chairs at the centre of the bridge. “Captain, our long range sensors have picked up unusual readings, I went to Stellar Cartography and ran a Quantum Spectral Analysis. The signatures are Borg, in about 3 days, the Viridian and Ceridian systems will be overwhelmed” said Riker, “I contacted Starfleet and forwarded the date I had, they are marshalling all ships to Sector 221 to engage, but I also found the Galaxy” he said. Smith looked at Riker, “Where is she” he said. Riker pulled up the data on a PADD. “The Goren sector, approaching Earth at maximum warp, accompanied by 2 Borg scout-ships” said Riker with a sigh. Smith looked at the data, “What’s their ETA” he said quietly. Riker looked at the information, “20 days 4 hours at maximum warp, Sir” said Riker. He stood slowly, “Captain, we have also been hailed by Admiral Rogers, we have been ordered to meet with the fleet at the edge of Sector 221” reported Data, “I can’t get a stable communications line due to interference from a plasma storm in that area” he reported. “Helm, lay in an intercept course for the Galaxy, warp 4.8” ordered Smith. The helm officer shot a look at Data, “Course plotted, Captain” reported the officer. “Engage” replied Smith, “Red alert” he finished, “Commander, I apologize, but hopefully this is an opportunity to rescue Captain Picard before he is destroyed. The timeline relies on it, so disregard any and all Starfleet Protocols. Submit the situation in your report” he said. Turning to the helm officer he said, “Ensign, ETA on the Galaxy”. The helm officer looked back, “At this speed 15 hours, but if we can get to maximum warp, I can do that in less than 4 hours” she said. Smith nodded, “Smith to LaForge” he said, tapping his communicator. “LaForge here” replied Lieutenant Commander LaForge. “Commander, can you have the constrictors unlocked in 1 hour” he asked, “Yes, Captain, I’m just finishing the preparation procedure, it’ll be done in about 20 minutes” reported LaForge. “Acknowledged” he said.

Meanwhile, on Earth, “Admiral, we have just got a long range sensor report from the USS Rhode Island. We are seeing a ship that appears to be the USS Galaxy as well as the USS Enterprise” reported a Vulcan Commander. Admiral Robertson looked at the report, “What is the heading of the Galaxy” he asked. “They are on a direct course for sector 001, the Enterprise is on an intercept course” reported the Commander, “Get me the Enterprise” ordered the Admiral. Minutes later, the Enterprise bridge was on his monitor. “Admiral, what’s the situation” asked Commander Riker. “Where is Captain Smith” he said, remembering the report of Picard and the Galaxy crew being assimilated. “On his way, Admiral” replied Riker. “Commander, what the hell is going on” said Admiral Robertson. “The Galaxy is making a direct run at Sector 001 while the fleet is engaged at Sector 221. They have Borg escorts, we are pursuing in the hopes of recovering Captain Picard, the future of the Federation may depend on it” said Riker. “Do you require assistance, I can have ships meet you in 3 days” said the Admiral, “Not necessary, Admiral, the fleet will be needed where they are”. The Admiral nodded, “Robertson Out” he said.

An hour later, the Enterprise was travelling at Warp 9.6 in an attempt to intercept the Galaxy and Captain Picard. The ship was only 2 and a half hours out travelling at current speeds. “I want shields set to rotating harmonics, weapons set to high-end EM frequencies, prepare anti-matter spreads to confuse their sensors. All emergency and secondary power to shields, reduce lighting in all areas of the ship to 15% and divert that energy to the weapons” ordered Captain Smith. “Reduce all non essential systems to minimal requirements and hold that energy in reserve” ordered Riker.

2 hours later

The darkened bridge was comforting for Captain Smith. He was used to the bridge dimming at red alert to divert power to the weapons and shields, it felt like normal to have a darkened bridge again. “Captain, the Galaxy has altered course to intercept but its escorts are continuing on course to Sector 001” reported Worf. “What’s the Galaxy’s new course” asked Smith, “334 Mk 114, an intercept course” he reported. “Entering visual range” said Data, “On screen” ordered Riker. The Galaxy looked different. Borg devices were appearing on the hull, the nacelles were glowing green rather than blue. The ship was a Borg ship all over. “Time to intercept 2 minutes 14 seconds” reported the helm officer. Smith and Riker shared a glance, “Battle Stations” they said, in unison.

The bridge was silent with anticipation, “Slow to half impulse” ordered Smith, “Ready phasers, load photon torpedoes” he continued. “Captain, the Galaxy is dropping out of warp 5000 km dead ahead” said Worf. Data was looking at the sensors, “Captain, I’m reading an increase of protons emanating from the Galaxy deflector dish” reported Data. “Proton emissions” questioned the Captain, confused. A sudden realisation hit him, “Rotate shield harmonics to compensate for Proton bursts” shouted the Captain as the first burst slammed the ship, “sparks erupted and the ship shook heavily, “Shield rotations having no effect” shouted Worf, “5 EPS conduits ruptured in Engineering, they have massive casualties” shouted another officer. “Smith to Engineering, Commander, I need a way to block these proton bursts” shouted Smith, “I got nothing, Captain, they are disrupting power systems, I’ll get back to you” said LaForge, “Brace for impact” shouted Worf as another burst hit the ship. The crew were again thrown to the floor, “Captain, shields are completely ineffective” shouted Worf, “No activity in the main weapons array on their ship, or ours” shouted Worf, “Helm, move us away” ordered Smith, “Aye, Sir” shouted the helm officer. “LaForge to Bridge, we have a new problem, you need to stop using the impulse engines, we’re burning Deuterium down here, were gunna blow our nacelles up, we won’t need any help from the Borg” came the shout of Commander LaForge. He considered, “Hold her together. I’ll reduce speed to ¾” said Captain Smith. Another burst slammed the ship, “Captain, starboard nacelle is fused, there is a plasma leak in that nacelle” reported the helm officer. Another burst slammed the ship, “Captain, weapon interlocks destroyed, primary and secondary systems destroyed” shouted Worf. “Reinforcing the structural integrity grid may buy time” said Data. “Make it so, Commander” shouted. “Bridge, this is Ensign Johnny Saunders, I need a clear evacuation rout for the children. There are 34 families on board presently and I have about 40 kids here” came an urgent call. Knowing that he had a younger version of himself aboard he knew he had to save the kids, “Commander Riker, you have the bridge, I need to get them kids” he said. “Yes, Captain” said Riker, in no mood to argue as another shot slammed the ship. Captain Smith grabbed a phaser, as he left the bridge he heard Worf shout, “Commander, Shield power relays taking heavy damage, Internal sensors are failing, but showing 20 Borg on every deck below deck 10, you won’t make it to deck 20, that’s where Ensign Saunders’ signal came from” he said addressing the Captain. “I intend to try, Commander, transmit orders for ALL crewmen to arm up” he said. “Aye, Captain” said Riker. Just as he prepared to enter the turbolift a burst slammed the ship. “Captain, Main power offline, not enough secondary for turbolift operation” shouted Worf. The Captain instantly went to the Jeffries tubes, “Commander, seal the bridge when I pass the bulkhead” he ordered. Riker simply nodded.

5 minutes later, Captain Smith hit a blockage in the tube at deck 6. He kicked through a damaged panel. “Smith to Bridge, Commander, I’m running deck to deck on foot” he said, tapping his communicator. “Copy that, Captain, the Galaxy is holding position. No more activity” reported Riker. “Acknowledged, reinforce structural integrity grid and polarize the hull, divert power from shields and weapons if you have to, cut impulse engines” he ordered. “Aye, Captain” said Riker, “Smith Out” said the Captain.

After another 5 minutes Smith was on Deck 14. He had climbed into a turbolift shaft and made a rudimentary rappel and fast roped down to the turbolift that was on deck 14. As he forced the door. He saw Borg working on the Enterprise and her crew. “Smith to Saunders, I’m on deck 14, ETA 5 minutes, Smith Out” he said. He holstered his Phaser, he didn’t want to provoke the Borg. He was looking for another access point. He wanted to jump the last 6 decks like had jumped to deck 14. He found it. As soon as he forced the door, the Borg turned towards him. He jumped down again and the door shut behind him. “Smith to Saunders, I’m on the deck, which section are you on” he said. “Head to section 3, Sir, Saunders out”, the Captain moved on. Soon he was in section 3. He forced the door and stepped into a phaser in the face. “Easy there, Ensign” said Smith. Another proton burst slammed the Enterprise followed by another 2. Smith sealed the door as the corridor outside the room collapsed.

On the bridge, Worf picked himself up, looking at the rest of the bridge crew. “Report” said Riker. “Last internal scan showed a collapse in section 3 of Deck 20. There are 900 micro-fractures in the hull and 14 hull breaches, the Borg have repaired long range sensors and routed the Long range sensor data and all stellar cartography data with full detail as to all ships in Starfleet, the Borg fleet and the Klingon fleet to the bridge. Communications are down, weapons and shields are inoperative. Main power is offline, secondary power is at 23% and is barely sustaining life support” reported Worf. Riker looked around, “Shut down all lighting except alert lighting and divert the power to the life support systems” ordered Riker, “Get repair teams on those micro-fractures and have Geordi work on getting sub-space communications back” said Riker. “Display data being given by the Borg” said Riker.

They were not aware of how the Borg were working such an angle. “Mr Data, how could the Borg go from emotionless to working an emotionally motivated attack. They have a concept of morale and human emotions, they are wearing our morale down” said Riker, “I do not know, Commander”. Riker sighed, “Ok, what are we looking at Data” said Riker. Data looked at the data, “500 ships are at the edge of the Viridian system trying box in a Borg invasion force. There are 42 anomalies open in the Viridian System. Starfleet is overwhelmed, Commander” reported Data. The bridge crew watched the dots moving around on the screen, each signifying hundreds, even thousands of lives desperately fighting for their lives. The only sound to pierce the silence of the smashed bridge of the Enterprise, was the crackling of flames, and the explosion of sparks from damaged consoles.

To Be Continued….   

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