USS Excelsior Ship’s Log, Stardate 47274.1
Captain Sulu reporting.
We have had some great success, at no cost to us in lives or equipment. Almost unbelievable. But we have been through some terrible moments, and there is more to come.
With less than two weeks to prevent the Borg Cube from assimilating the alien artefact and no help coming that would get here in time, we had some thinking to do.
Could we neutralise the Cube? Not in a straight fight that’s for sure. And my Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ketsu, advised that the infection we had used on the Spheres was unlikely to do anything other than hinder the 100,000 drones on the Borg vessel. The infected drones we had “rescued” from the Spheres had, perhaps inevitably, started to resist the malware, and had restored themselves to full Borg function within 24 hours. Luckily, in the Brig and denuded of their weapons they were no threat to us.
But regardless of Ketsu’s advice we could perhaps still use the infection as a distraction: to get close, beam aboard and set a self-destruct or power the Cube into the Black Hole. But that seemed fanciful at best, suicidal at worst, and doomed to failure.
However, I decided we would begin the operation by infecting the Cube anyway: we’d need every advantage we could get. We would need our last Borg drone, that we had quarantined in a Faraday Cage, but couldn’t risk this drone learning how to resist the infection from the others we had on board. We had brought them with us in the vain hope we could save them, even rehabilitate some, but now we had no choice but to beam them into space and let them die. I just couldn’t risk the lives under my command, or the failure of the mission, for these poor souls.
So, we knew it was impossible for my little flotilla to destroy the Cube. Instead have to deny the Borg access to the artefact, by destroying the artefact itself: push it into the Black Hole. To do that, which would take the Warbird Devian the best part of an hour with their heavier frame and more powerful tractor beams, we would have to draw the Cube away and keep it busy. This would have to be Excelsior’s job: she’s faster and better able to soak the Cube’s weapons than either Aurora or Devian, and we need Devian’s cloak to get close to the artefact unseen. But there’s no guarantee that the Cube will come after us – they do have bigger fish to fry, after all. We may have to risk getting very close and make a huge nuisance of ourselves! I hope the Borg take the bait, and that our new alien friends don’t mind us sending their artefact to oblivion too much.
Then I had an idea. We have two captured Borg Spheres. If we could work out how to fly one, and get it to warp speed, we might have a ready-made missile that could destroy that Cube if it hit, or at least make the damn thing move. So we set to work: my XO and Science Officer Rekan and his science team set to understanding the Borg systems, Chief Engineer Resh and his engineers set to making an interface we could use to control the Sphere, and me and a Helm team readied ourselves to fly the damn thing (my name is Sulu, and I’m a Helmsman to my very core, and will not leave this dangerous job to another, not when I’m so well qualified to man the helm if we get it working).
I’ve reported before that Excelsior has the best crew in Starfleet, and again they proved me right. It took five days but at the end of that time I could navigate the Sphere and get it into and out of warp speed. We were now ready to execute the plan:
Excelsior, under the command of my Vulcan First Officer Rekan, and Devian will go through the wormhole first, Excelsior with the infected drone;
Excelsior will approach the Cube, maintaining as much distance as possible but still allowing our drone to connect to the Collective;
Devian will be cloaked and immediately head for the vicinity of the Cube and the artefact;
Aurora, under Captain Harper, will go through next and stay in reserve, to react to tactical developments or, should the worst come to the worst, flee and report our failure to Starfleet;
Then, with a protection team led by Lieutenant Torgh and with 25 tactical officers, I will pilot the Sphere through. Once through I will enter warp and approach the Cube, dropping out of warp near Excelsior, before engaging the Sphere’s warp drive for a second time, and at a range close enough to the Cube to prevent it from evading the collision.
As I engage the Sphere’s warp engines Excelsior will beam me and my protection team back, leaving the Sphere an empty but devastating missile.
If the attempt to destroy the Cube fails we will revert to the earlier strategy: Excelsior will attempt to draw the Cube away from the artefact, and Devian will use its tractor beams to push the artefact into the black hole.
It’s a risky strategy but it’s the only way we might prevent the Borg assimilating the artefact, and this is our number one priority. First Officer Rekan has reported his opposition to my decision to pilot the Sphere, but I am best qualified, and my decision is final.
Three ships going up against a Borg Cube…. Madness. May our success continue, at least for just one more day…
USS Excelsior Ship’s Log, Stardate 47275.6
First Officer Rekan recording.
I am gratified to report that the mission has been a success. The Borg Cube has been destroyed, but we were forced to destroy the alien artefact as well, as more Borg ships were detected in the system.
On entering the system Excelsior was hailed by the Borg Cube, which made the Borg’s customary greetings: demands and the assertion that resistance is futile. The Cube started to move towards Excelsior and away from the artefact but only under Impulse Drive.
Captain Sulu piloted the captured Sphere to the rendezvous point. We had hoped that the Cube would not detect the subterfuge until it was too late, but our hopes were to no avail. The moment Captain Sulu and the Sphere stopped near Excelsior the Cube went to warp. In a move not dissimilar to the Picard Manoeuvre the Cube almost instantly closed the gap between us, coming to a halt in the midst of our two vessels. The Captain immediately ordered Chief Engineer Resh to beam everyone, except himself, away from the Sphere.
I am often perplexed by my Captain’s approach to life and his duties as a Starfleet Captain, but this decision was even more illogical than usual. It was inevitable that the Borg would attempt to board our ships, and ordering his protection to leave his side at the very moment he would need them was foolhardy. Excelsior’s sensors showed that the Sphere’s warp drives were powering up and a collision with the Cube would be instantaneous and devastating at this close quarter. It was only in that moment that I truly understood his intention, and why he left himself in solitude.
As the Sphere powered up our sensors showed the Borg beaming drones to his position. Over the intercom link I could hear Captain Sulu’s cries of defiance as he tried to fight off the Borg assault. The last word we heard from Captain Sulu on the Sphere was Chief Engineer Resh’s name, perhaps a final order to beam him back if that were at all possible. I echoed the shout, with the faintest of hope that Captain Sulu could be saved. The warp drives engaged and the Sphere was gone.
The Cube was destroyed, and the Sphere vaporised, as they smashed together. Captain Sulu’s suicidal mission to destroy the Cube revealed his reasoning for ordering his crew away, but his decision was flawed: the Borg drones could have re-taken control of the Sphere and ended our strategy all together. Risking another 26 lives to secure the success of the mission was the logical course of action. Thankfully, and thanks to the efforts of Captain Sulu, his concern for his crew did not result in our failure.
It is a point I will take up with him, once he has recovered from his ordeal. I was pleased to hear Chief Resh’s call over the intercom: “I have the Captain!”.