Through the vastness of the cosmos, there are many unexplained phenomenon. Rifts through space and time, temporal anomalies, passages from one dimension to another, even gateways from one world to another, sometimes millions of light years away.
Many of these things are often beyond the comprehension of the trillions of species that inhabit the trillions of worlds throughout the millions (or possibly more) galaxies that exist throughout the universe. But sometimes, something happens that brings two of those worlds together, even if for only a fraction of a second. For a brief moment, we are able to glimpse into the unknown. And sometimes, on very rare occasions, we find ourselves thrown into that other world with no hope of escape.
Claypool, Queensdale, 5th of the Season of the Phoenix, 1328
Flintlock Burnfur locked her door to her house in Claypool, the only Charr living in the small village on the southern edge of Queensdale. As she hefted her pack onto her back, she turned to one of the few whom she would trust with the detail of seeing to her home.
“I’ll only be gone for a week, Mildred,” she said as she handed a set of keys to an older woman, one of the long time residents of Claypool. “But I promise you, I’ll have a good number of supplies to help out around the village.”
“A week without your lemon meringue pie?” Mildred said with a chuckle as she took the keys. “That’ll be a long while.”
“I’ll make it up to you,” Flintlock replied with a grin. “Two pies when I get back. I’ll make sure to get some lemons and start baking right away when I get back.”
Mildred was one of the first residents to welcome Flintlock to Claypool, having seen the Charr when she was cub living in Fort Salma. She was a long time friend for Flintlock, and a trusted one at that. The two said their good byes and Flintlock started out on the road to the east with her sights set on Diessa Plateau. There was good hunting to be found there, plus she could gather a few extra supplies. She’d have to make arrangements to buy a Dolyak to carry back what she’d gather. All in all, it was going to be a rather quiet and relaxing time for her.
But often, such plans often don’t turn out that way.
My crew caught up with the Borg cube in the Nimbus Sector of the Tau Dewa Block. We’re in Romulan territory, but the Republic isn’t too worried. They’ve been aiding other Federation Starships as we’ve been looking for what has been rumoured by various intelligence branches is an Iconian Gateway in the hands of the Borg. Their transwarp networks are vast and impressive, but a gateway in the hands of the Borg would mean they could land thousands of drones on a world without any effort. For five months, we, along with the Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians and anyone else with a vested interest in thwarting such a threat, have been searching. The U.S.S. Ocelot was the first to begin the search. We didn’t search alone. We joined forces with a Klingon ship, called the IKS Panthera. While it is a Klingon ship, her crew does not affiliate themselves with the High Council. They are Ferasan. Which brings a bit of a sticking point, as the crew of the Ocelot, myself included, is Caitian.
There is an old saying, if you put a Caitian and a Ferasan into the same room, you had best leave because all hell was about to break loose. Two long hated species with a vendetta against each other. At least when there’s someone else in that room, someone who is a threat to both, then all the aggression from both the Caitian and Ferasan would be directed to that individual.
Which may be why the captain of the Panthera and myself have been searching through the belly of the beast for the past hour while our ships remain cloaked.
The explosion rocked the hallway as several drones fell from their alcoves. Phaser and disruptor fire quickly followed as the two captains raced through the narrow passageways of the cube. Captain M’iaa T’Chall, commanding officer of the Federation starship Ocelot, gripped her phaser rifle in one hand while she held a tricorder in the other. Behind her, Captain S’Returru D’Magio kept watch. Every so often, she looked back to her Starfleet counter part.
“Well?” she said in a gruff voice. “Are we close?”
“We’re getting there,” T’Chall replied. “Just two corridors down and there’s a large chamber.” D’Magio took note of T’Chall’s attitude.
“You’re nervous,” she stated flatly. “And afraid. Your tail is twitching.”
“We’re in a Borg cube,” T’Chall replied as she took a deep breath. “This is worse than a house of horrors constructed on Earth.” D’Magio furrowed her brow as she stared at T’Chall. The words meant nothing to her. “You need to get out more,” was all T’Chall said. “Besides, your tail would be twitching too, if you didn’t have it lopped off.”
“That was an accident and you damn well know it!”
“Yes, I’ve heard the story,” T’Chall said with a smirk that revealed her impressive fangs. “You had to cut your own tail off to escape the Jem’Hadar.” T’Chall checked the readings on her tricorder one more time before pocketing the device and getting a good grip on her phaser rifle. “Make sure your bladed weapons are handy. The Borg have been adapting their shields.”
Both T’Chall and D’Magio carried their own Bat’Leth, a curved Klingon weapon. They’d each learned how to use the weapon quite effectively. Not the level of a Dahar master, but well enough that anyone would be easily impressed.
The two snaked their way through the corridors, avoiding fire fights with any Borg drones. They seemed to be more interested in repairing their ship from the battle with the Ocelot and the Panthera. Part of the orders. The two ships would go in under cloak and launch a surprise attack. When the cube was damaged enough, both starships would retreat, then D’Magio would beam over to the Ocelot and both Captains would pilot one of the Flyers in the Ocelot’s shuttlebay to the cube. So far, so good.
“Here it is,” T’Chall said as she shouldered her rifle and began to work on the door. “The lock is more than complicated. The Borg really didn’t want anyone breaking in.”
“What about using the charges on the door?”
“Fall back option,” T’Chall replied. “Besides, we’d have to use all of them in order to open the door. We’d have none left for the gate.”
D’Magio only looked back down the corridor, watching for any movement as T’Chall began to bypass the security on the door. It opened with ease, but the excitement of moving onto their objective was blurred for a moment. T’Chall could see the gateway quite clearly at the back of the room, but between herself and D’Magio were five Borg drones.
“Set phasers to randomly modulated frequency,” T’Chall said as she pressed the settings on her phaser rifle. “Looks like we have to fight our way through.”
“Finally!” D’Magio cried out as she readied out disruptor rifle. “At least now we’re starting to have a little fun!”