Last time, on a continent called Tyria on a planet in some part of some galaxy, a lone Charr was getting ready for a routine supply run. But far off in another part of the universe, two starship captains were about to discover a dangerous artifact in the hands of the Borg.
Deissa Plateau, just south of Butcher’s Block, 7th of the Season of the Phoenix, 1328
Flintlock Burnfur packed away her supplies on the Dolyak she’d purchased and turned to pay her old Fahrar mate, Brikkar Gearfang. He looked older than what he was, he was 18 years old, but had seen his share of action, having defended the Black Citadel against the Separatists and the Flame Legion. In battles with the latter, he’d lost most of his ‘band mates. Even though he was without a warband, he still helped out at the nearby scrap yards, fixing machines, weapons, and setting up defenses. He liked his life and his work. And in his spare time, he’d even begun to grow plants to create a new kind of tea; Gearhead tea.
“So tell me again,” he said as Flintlock paid him for the supplies. “This mouse… Liz, was it?”
“That’s her name,” Flintlock said with a nod. “Though, I’m not sure if she’d appreciate the term ‘mouse’.”
“I guess that depends if she meets me or not,” Brikkar said with a chuckle. “Anyway, she ordered a large cup of Gearhead for a human who was harassing you and another Charr?” Flintlock nodded with a grin. “And he took it as a challenge and still passed out?” He let out a loud laugh as he held his sides. Flintlock nodded firmly once more. “HA! I wish I’d been there to see that. I’ll have to stop by sometime, maybe that Sylvari you mentioned will be there. I can show those mice and cabbages just how best to drink a cup of Gearhead.”
“It’d be great if you stopped by,” Flintlock replied. “My co-workers might have a lot of questions for you. Especially Tyr, who is one of our main suppliers of tea.”
“I’d like to meet this Tyr,” Brikkar said with a nod. “Sylvari, you said?” Flintlock nodded once again. “Well, sometime soon. Watch your tail, Flintlock. And say hello to your mom for me when you get the chance.”
“You bet I will, Brikkar,” Flintlock said as she approached the Dolyak, taking the reigns of the bridal. “It’s good seeing you again.” Brikkar offered a wave and began his own journey back to the Town of Nolan. Likewise, Flintlock began guiding the Dolyak back to a hunting area she’d set up camp in.
It was a quiet, out of the way place where she could look over her supplies in peace, and have a place to rest when her day was done. Only five more days, and she’d be heading back to Claypool.
As she approached the camp, she saw several flashes of light through the trees. This was followed by several loud and desperate growls. They sounded female, and they sounded feline, possibly Charr. Someone found her camp? Were two others defending her camp while she was gone? It wasn’t unheard of, as she had quite a few friends in the area who knew whenever she was on a supply run.
She tied the Dolyak off to a nearby tree and drew her pistols, making her way quietly through the brush. The sounds of fighting was getting louder, the sound of metal on metal as bladed weapons clanged against each other. But there was something else, a certain smell in the air. It smelled acrid, like what happens when a lightning strike is awfully close. And there was something else.
Flintlock heard the sound of a shrill pop, accompanied by bright flashes. Another long pop with a bright flash that lasted longer. And she heard someone say something.
“…will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”
This was followed by a very angry, loud, growl.
“Assimilate this, you Borg bastard!”
Flintlock pushed further through the trees until she finally approached the small clearing she’d set up as her camp. There were four figures, two held long, curved, bladed weapons and seemed to be using a fighting style with them that Flintlock had never seen before. They both looked feline, but they stood on their back legs, just like humans. But they weren’t humans. Flintlock could see the long tail of one of them, swishing back and forth as she battled… whatever it was. Even the other had a short, bobbed tail, even from this distance Flintlock could see that it was cut off at some point.
The other two, though. They were even stranger that the first two. They looked human. But they had what appeared to be machines that replaced limbs. They even had components over their faces. What’s more, they seemed to be more powerful that the two felines. Flintlock had a choice to make. She could tell by observing the battle that these… what did that one call them? Borg? Yes, that was it. Flintlock could tell that these Borg were dangerous. She could just sit and observe, but would then have to deal with these Borg when they had dispatched the felines. Or she could help, and maybe get some answers.
The… Borg? looked to have exposed areas, but seemed to concentrate all their attacks and their defenses on the two felines. Which meant they were not aware of her at all. This gave Flintlock the advantage. Time to use stealth. In one hand, she held one of her pistols, and in the other she drew one of her daggers. Dropping a pinch of blinding powder, she moved stealthily into the camp, behind the two Borg.
A dagger thrust quickly into the neck of one, followed by a bullet (through the brainpan, as her mother would say), she used her larger frame as an advantage, dropping her weapons and grabbing the second’s head, giving it a quick twist as she snapped it’s neck. Both Borg were taken care of quickly, and effortlessly.
The two felines took a step back as they stared at Flintlock. She retrieved her weapons, and with her feet, gave each now dead Borg a kick to see if they still had any life left in them. Now that she was this close, she got a better look at each of the felines. Both were female. Both were smaller than Flintlock. One had three long ponytails tying her mane back, her teeth were longer than the other one, and she was taller, more muscular. The second had brown fur and one ponytail tying her mane back. Both of them had strange armour and weapons, including rifles and pistols that Flintlock had never seen before.
For what seemed like an hour, the three just stared at each other. Finally, Flintlock broke the silence.
“Who are you? And what is going on here? How did you get into my camp?”
The smaller of the two looked from her friend to Flintlock and back again. It was her friend that spoke up.
“I know what you’re thinking, T’Chall,” she said with a rumble in her voice. “This is most likely a post industrial, pre-warp society. But you can take Starfleet’s precious Prime Directive and shove it where the sun don’t shine. We’re stuck here.”