Stardate:201004.16 - Approximate time: 19:00 Hours
You hear crackling of static over the subspace lines and see the once beautiful bridge of the Nausicaan cruiser IKT Whirlaway filled with smoke. Coolant is leaking from lines hanging from the bulkheads. The human Captain Burgundy Jenssen, clothed in her traditional black sleeveless rock-climbing t-shirt and khaki canvas cargo pants with a beautiful Romulan Blooddagger strapped to her shin, is standing bloody and smeared in black soot from erupting consoles. She is still standing firmly and defiantly in the center of the bridge directing her crew.
Helmsman Jrell shouts, "They've got us in a tractor beam Captain!"
Security Officer Tellis shouts over the alarms, "We've got breaches on Deck 2 and 3, shield are at 15 percent, forward sections only. Borg are boarding the ship below the bridge.aft sections."
"Tellis, get ready to beam those last two torpedoes right in front of that tractor emitter on that cube." Jenssen squares her shoulders and stares at the viewscreen.
"Jrell, on my mark get ready to jump to Warp 9."
"But Captain, that will rip the ship apart!" Jrell's eyes widen at what he suspects his Captain is about to do.
"Mister, either we get away or we are going to be assimilated. I’d rather die then be assimilated, wouldn’t you?" Jenssen’s steely glare at her Bolian helmsman quickly sets him back to keying in the commands to the console.
"Captain, the autodestruct is completely inoperative. There is more damage in the circuits then can be repaired in the time we apparently have. Commander Dorran in Engineering reports the warp core manifolds are fused in their current open and engaged position. We can not self-destruct." First officer and science officer T'Laurn soberly reports from the Science Station at the back of the bridge.
"Thank You T'Laurn. We've all done our best." Jenssen calmly replies.
The silent nod from T'Laurn confirms what all of them have already concluded.
"Captain Jenssen to all crew, arm yourselves. We are being boarded by the Borg. In 30 seconds we are going to jump to Warp 9. Either we get away or die trying."
Jenssen's green eyes glare at the view screen betrays what she already knows. This brush with fate isn't going her way. 'Damn you to hell, Borg Queen!' She curses under her breath. "Tellis energize with those torpedoes. Jrell, set a course directly towards that cube."
"Energizing now." Tellis calls out stoically.
"Course locked", Jrells grim blue face betrays no attempt to counter his Captain's suicide course. They all know this is the only escape left. They cannot outrun the Borg now with the damage ATT Whirlaway has taken.
The torpedoes rematerialize and detonate on target, right in front of the tractor emitter. The tractor beam fluctuates, monetarily allowing the Whirlaway to rear up like a gallant war steed ready for the race of her life in an effort to break the hold of the beam.
"Now Jrell, and godspeed for all of us." Jenssen quietly commands her Bolian helmsman to ram the sleek corsair class ship through the Borg Tactical cube.
"Captain, they have adapted." T'Laurn reports quickly from the science station.
The tractor beam flickers back to life and the jolt of the re-engaged beam sends everyone careening off their feet on and out of their chairs the bridge. The engines whine at Warp 9, heading for an overload. Jenssen smiles mischievously and triumphantly. 'Yes! An overload, still there is hope to take them with us.'
"Shields are gone!" Tellis shouts over the rumble of the deck plates.
"Captain we have Borg in the engine room!" Engineer Dorran calls up from below deck on the comm. "They have interfaced with the warp controls and we can't cut through their shields. They are ejecting the warp core!"
The ship shutters as the warp core is ejected through the hull. Whirlaway's bulkheads scream like a steed with a burst heart as it bucks under the crew one last time. The constant pulse-like thrum of the warp drive now gone. Whirlaway is dead except for auxiliary battery power, seeping away like heat from a lifeless body not yet gone cold.
Dorran's screams are heard over the commlink, a blood-curling scream of agony. Other sounds of the crew yelling, screaming and the whine of phasers and pop of photon grenades are heard, before the link goes dead. Jenssen knows Engineering has been overrun and the rest is the ship is next. Jenssen's heart begins to pound in her chest. Dorran, Noble, Brams'No!'
"My crew, my friends.....we have cheated death many times and Lady Fortune has been our sister, but today....today, may indeed be a good day to die. Die well!" Jenssen quickly commands her crew in an unwavering voice with the honor and bravery of Klingon Warrior, but her Human heart has already settled into her throat. She already fears that there will be no impish, laughing and thumbing her nose at the galaxy in a flourish as she leaves the room this time.
In seconds, Borg drones bathed in the eerie green glow of a transporter beam overwhelm the bridge.
Jenssen grabs the first drone by the arm and slashes its throat with her Blooddagger. Then quickly flicks the dagger over to plant it deep into the drone's chest with both hands on the hilt. As the drone falls, she catapults over the body and roundhouse kicks the one behind it, landing both of her boots squarely in the second drone's chest. The second drones shields engage. Her kick only succeeds in knocking it back and it grabs Jenssen's leg as she falls. Jenssen twists, like a leopard caught in a leg snare, and grabs her phaser rifle off the deck, setting the frequency to rotate as she fires off a direct shot to the drone's chest. The drone drops her and staggers back with a phaser blast through the chest. Jenssen scrambles to her feet and glances about. Her bridge crew is putting up a heroic fight. Pride in her crew swells for a brief moment, but the odds are overwhelming for her ten crewmen on the Whirlaway. More Borg drones are pouring out of the turbo lift.
Jrell screams in agony as a Borg drone he's fallen on top of inject tubules into his neck. He falls to the deck, implants irrupting from his blue skin.
T'Laurn has taken out four drones, but now two have her pinned by the arms, a third is ready to inject tubules into her neck. Jenssen fires the phaser to draw them off, but it's too late. The Borg drones have adapted. T'Laurn’s eyes betray the fear the Vulcan can no longer suppress.
"Forgive me T'Laurn!" Jenssen yells in Vulcan, as she flicks the phaser rifle to disintegrate and stares down the barrel at her friend and then hesitates. Jenssen can’t pull the trigger on her own crew and one of her closest friends, "T’Laurn.... I.... can’t..... Oh. God, I’m sorry.."
T’Laurn nods and closes her eyes as the Borg assimilation tubes are injected into her neck. She doesn’t utter a sound as the implants irrupt all over her neck and face. T’Laurn she sags against the counsel trying to keep on her feet. The stoic Vulcan collapses to the floor clutching her head, overwhelmed by the voices.
A Borg drone grabs Jenssen shoulders from behind as she is horrified by the realization of the huge mistake she has just made allowing T’Laurn to be assimilated. Jenssen drops her right shoulder and grabs the drone's arm in an attempt to roll the drone over her back, but the drone’s weight is too much. Their combined weight crashes Jenssen's knees to the deck. She lands on her palms to prevent her fall. The phaser rifle spins across the deck, out of reach.
Tellis tosses a photon grenade into the turbo lift tries to duck down behind his console. Six drones are instantly knocked down and the turbo lift erupts in a shower of shrapnel. A piece of the tubolift door flies through Tellis' chest, stifling his scream to just a gush of blood as he falls to the deck, gagging for his final breath in front of her. Jenssen screams, "Tellis, NO!" as she reaches out to touch his face.
A Borg drone hauls Jenssen to her feet, pinning her arms down from behind as another one advances on her. Jenssen looks the advancing drone squarely in its eyes, seeing only a blank, mindless stare looking back at her. With a steely resolve, Jenssen spits in the advancing drone's face.
The Drone doesn't waver, but instead tries to inject a tubule into her neck and it is repulsed by her ablative, 29th Century body armor, for the moment. Jenssen laughs mischievously, kicks the drone holding her in the knee, crumpling it over as she throws herself to the floor, taking the drone holding her arms with her and knocking the one in front of her down as they go. They fall into a pile of arms and legs and Jenssen rolls away from two drones, reaching for her blooddagger still lodged into the chest of a dead drone, only to be caught by the ankle by a third drone.
This drone has adapted and Captain Jenssen can tell now that the intimate knowledge about her known only by her assimilated crew has been processed by the hive mind. It yanks her black ankle boot off, exposing only her ankle and foot. A shiny silver and garnet ankle bracelet sparkles with a blood red light, revealing the energy source and power switch for her ablative body armor. The Drone presses the key garnet to deactivate the body armor. Jenssen kicks it savagely in the face repeatedly with her other boot, suddenly feeling exposed and helpless to prevent what she knows is to come. A cold sweat is pouring from her brow at the discovery of her weakness. The Borg know everything that T’Laurn knew. Jenssen suddenly laughs a humorless laugh at the irony of the Universe and the absurdity of all the sudden stray thoughts racing through her mind at this moment.
‘Is this what having your life flashing before your eyes is like?’ Jenssen ponders as she instantly realizes like the ancient Greek Hero Achilles, she will fall today, pierced in the heel by the onslaught of an overwhelming force. What a Warrior Bard tale that would make! One she sadly acknowledges, she will not around to tell.
The Borg drone doesn't blink at the onslaught of her kicks, but instead injects an assimilation tubule into her ankle. Jenssen screams and tries to twist away. The drone lets her go. There is little more Jenssen can do now. Her ship is dead, her crew dead or assimilated, her own blood dagger and phaser rifle out of reach.
Jenssen pulls herself up off the deck and staggers to the console next to her Captain's chair on the bridge, leaning heavily on it. Borg implants begin to irrupt on her neck and bare arms. She's still human enough for the moment to send a short message to the Delta Quadrant. Assimilation is not merciful or quick.
"Mayday! Mayday! Captain Burgundy Jenssen to all Colonists in the Delta Quadrant. My crew and ship have been assimilated by the Borg. do not attempt to rescue us....do not risk your ships." Jenssen screams and claws at her neck as another implant erupts at the back of her head. A lock of her long blonde hair falls away into her hand and she stares at it momentarily, "Arm yourselves well and seek alliances to help you. Aaaahhha the collective is speaking to me, No... shut up, Shut up! ... can’t think..."
Jenssen clutches her head, "Dearest Ten Bears the Wise, Solstice, Que, Vinzahn, Boog, and brother Tor'Cha, do not avenge me, my bravest men of men, save yourselves don't get assimilated! Aahhhhh. it....makes Klingon.... pain sticks... look... like 'Tt-t-ttickle Me Elmo' dolls! G'uy, Dred, Erchni, Bijik, Temak'Clan, JJ, Roark, Koval, Robic, Jarm'en, Kreel, Fischer, Q', Admiral McGraw, Admiral Mudd, Aislin, Sally, all my friends and acquaintances; I regret have no time to list you all there are so many; sing, dance, drink heavily and be merry for me. Raise a mug and offer a toast in my honor."
Another implant erupts over her shoulder and on the back of her hand. "Aaaaaaa oowoww!! -- Q'apla sisters Ka'Ra, and Na'ReRa and all my Klingon brothers and sisters!" Jenssen howls in defiance and sags against the console, out of breath and shivering from the effort to just to stay on her feet. Stubbornly refusing to give in until her last breath. The voices, ahh , shut-up! NO! NO! I can’t!... I won’t!
Over half of Jenssen’s body is now covered in Borg implants.
"I am to be.... the... new... Borg Queen...No!...NO! Damn you,... no! I will resist...I will resist....I...will....ressssii," Jenssen gasps as her steely green eyes start to glaze over and turn to the silvery color of liquid mercury.
Jenssen has only enough strength left to launch the log buoy and bridge recorder for Whirlway that contains this final heroic battle of its crew.
As Jenssen’s limp body slumps to the floor. One of the Borg drones picks her up carefully. The other drones retrieve the other assimilated members of the crew of the Whirlaway and quickly beam off the dead ship in an eerie green glow. A lonely red alarm sirens continue to beckon as the last of the power drains out of Whirlaway’s lifeless hull. The screen goes blank to a faint audio of a song left automatically playing on the bridge. "Who wants to live forever.....who wants to live forever....."
The screen shifts to a view of an ornate office at Prestissimo Station. A desert landscape with stunning vistas is seen outside the window. Flags are seen flying at half-staff. A large golden dragon moans and roars longingly in the distance.
Fondly Remembered - Our Sons - Our Daughters - Our Colleagues
You see a thin, elderly human male in a well-fitted tan survival jacket and khaki shorts standing beside an ornately carved sandstone deck. His icy blue eyes are puffy and red, but is stands strong with a youthful resolve to overcome all odds. He is the kind of person Jenssen would want to lead the Alpha Tau Colonies in her absence. His salt and peppered hair looks disheveled from grief and the untold worries of a colony on edge. On the desk in the mouth of a gold statue of a luck dragon is Jenssen’s beloved Romulan Blooddagger. He starts talking to the viewscreen with a slight Australian drawl.
"My dear Delta Quadrant Colonists and our other Galactic neighbors, I am Gavin Renquest, Magistrate of Solfeggietto, a desert planet in the Alpha Tau Colonies. What you have just witnessed is the remains of a log buoy we received two days ago. It has been confirmed by finding the ATT Whirlaway adrift in space. Our Colony Leader, Captain Burgundy Jenssen, AKA J'Ssen, to our Klingon brothers and sisters, and the entire crew of the ATT Whirlaway have been killed or assimilated by the Borg. The news has come as a shock to us all. Burgundy was the daughter I never had and her loss has hit me and the other Governors of the Alpha Tau worlds very hard. We are all working very diligently to keep her visions of a strong and thriving Colony alive, but we have to now go into seclusion for our safety and the safety of all our friends and neighbors."
We have recovered the Whirlaway and the bodies of those who perished in the attack. The ship will be restored to her former glory and sit in orbit on our principle world, Alpha Tau, until such time as our Colony Leader can return to Captain her. No other ship Captain will pilot her.
"I regret to inform you that the Alpha Tau Colonies are now all on Red Alert and have enacted a trading freeze. Our large complement of Scientist, Engineers, Ship builders, Plant workers, farmers and soldiers are even now preparing for what we fear may be the worst. We strongly suggest you do the same on your worlds. Captain Jenssen had many friends and dealings with other Colony leaders in the entire Galaxy. No doubt the Borg now know everything Captain Jenssen once knew. "
"There will be no further trading or visitation of our planets, as Captain Jenssen had knowledge of all of our coordinates and access codes. Our codes have been modified to prevent infiltration by the Borg, but we fear our colonies may become a target for assimilation. Do not approach our colonies. I cannot stress this enough. Do not approach our colonies or territories. Keep your ships and yourselves safe."
"A short Memorial Service for our dear leader and her valiant crew will soon be held at Ironsides in the Jousting Dome in a closed ceremony for our Colonist only. We regret that we cannot extend the offer to our off-world friends as this time. If you should feel the need to remember Captain Jenssen in your own way, I might suggest you do so by telling a story, preferably over a strong drink at the local pub. Some of her favorite places of gathering included the Targ’s Head, Vic’s Lounge and the pubs of the Terran Empire. That is how she would have wanted to be remembered; with humor and wit, not sadness. We hold out a small sliver of hope that one day she may be able to escape the clutches of the Borg. We have faith that 'The Fair Lady Fortune' will smile upon our most honorable and gracious leader again, allowing her to come home to us. Gorp, Stelvok, and Grewell as well as Captain Rhoades and Captain Vel’Tera have sworn an oath to destroy the Borg Collective to bring Jenssen and what crew we can recover, home. Though Jenssen did not believe a ex-Borg drone could be rehabilitated, our excellent Medical staff, including Dr Nibbert, want to try to do just that for all the crew of the Whirlaway. I invite the rest of the galaxy to join us, if you feel it is safe to do so, to try to recover our Warrior Bard and return her to us so we can hear more of her stories. I am sure that if we are successful, she will have even more to stories to tell. "
"Until such time, I bid Captain Burgundy Jenssen; Warrior Bard, Trader, and our Colony Founder, as well as the glorious crew of the Whirlaway, Godspeed my friends."
"Magistrate Renquest out."
Renquest turns to accept a digital padd one of his aides is rushing into the room to hand him. You catch a glimpse of sparks from the welding of tritanium reinforcements being placed in the governmental offices in preparation for a Borg onslaught as the screen fads to black, displaying a solemn casualty listing of the Whirlaway .
Captain Burgundy Jenssen Warrior Bard - Human - Alpha Tau Colony Founder - assimilated
Commander T’Laurn - Vulcan - First Officer and Science Officer - assimilated
Commander Tambor Tellis - Alpha Centurian - Security and Tactical Officer - killed
Lt. Commander Larry Dorran - Human - Chief Engineer - assimilated
Lt. Commander Yar’Kal - Romulan - Science Specialist - killed
Lieutenant Jovan Jrell - Bolian - Helmsman - assimilated
Ensign Amelia Noble - Human - Warp Specialist - captured/assumed assimilated
Ensign E’mund Adams - Bajorian - Engineering Technician - assimilated
Crewman B’Rell Brams - Trill - Power Distribution Specialist - killed
Crewman Karmen Baxter - Human - Weapons Support Specialist - killed