[USS Vanguard] RPG: Multi-Vector Assault Mode

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS-Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 16:16:11 -0800 (PST)

OoC: Sorry I'm late. :-)

Captain Dominic Cesar Santos
USS Vanguard
Following "Anthropological Baseline"

Captain Dominic Santos stared at the viewscreen, impassively. He
imagined he were one of California?s legendary sequoia trees, unable to
move or speak. He was timeless.

Santos turned, almost imperceptibly, and caught Lt. Highwaij?s eye. He
nodded slightly, and Highwaij turned off the audio-transmission channel
from the Vanguard to the Borg pyramid. He turned his back on the
viewscreen. Stark?s Starfleet profile had mentioned nothing about the
ability to read lips, but Santos preferred not to take that chance.

?Nobody move, nobody make a sound, and under any circumstances, do not
say anything to her directly, especially if she addresses or tries to
provoke you. Just remember this isn?t Kristen Stark, but a shadow of
the woman she was.?

On the viewscreen, the Borg ?Kristen Stark? took a seat on a black
leather lounger and crossed her legs, holding her hands primly in front
of herself in imitation of a proper student. She pursed her lips in a
sarcastic imitation of frustration?frustration she was being ?ignored.?
Among Santos and the crew of the Vanguard, she was anything but

?Follow my lead,? Santos added. ?And try not to look surprised at
anything I might say or do.?

Santos looked at Highwaij: ?Audio on.?

?Your Majesty,? Santos said, bowing his head slightly. ?How can we help

Borg-Stark looked at Santos with some amusement. ?Oh, you know?the
usual. Assimilation, your cultural, biological, technological
distinctiveness added to our own. Blah blah. Don?t make me repeat what
the Borg are usually going on about. I do so hate to repeat myself.?

?Certainly,? Santos said. ?Just name your terms.?

And even though he asked them not to, a third of the officers on the
bridge spun and faced Santos, shocked beyond all words he would
surrender so easily.

It?s worth noting at this point that even though the United Federation
of Planets includes several member-homeworlds of non-Terran
species--and that many of those alien cultures are represented by
officers in Starfleet--the Borg have never encountered a joined Trill.

No one knows why. It?s one of those inexplicable galactic occurrences.
The ratio of host-to-symbiont is extremely high. (That is, there are
many, many more available hosts than there are symbionts for those
potential hosts. In a word, they?re rare.)

Another reason lies with the Trill themselves. Fiercely protective of
the symbionts, the Joined rarely place themselves in the way of danger,
risking not only themselves, but the symbionts entrusted with them.
Obscure is the joined Trill who wanders so far from home that in the
event of catastrophe, he or she cannot live through the procedure to
transfer the symbiont to another of his or her species.

All this occurred to Dominic Santos when he reviewed the staff of the
Astoria en route to his new assignment at Starbase Brigadoon. Because
of the gravity of the Borg threat, all Starfleet commanders are
required to develop an action plan in the event of contacting the Borg
alone, with low possibility of receiving support from Starfleet or
powers allied with or friendly to the UFP.

That, and Dominic loved the idea of giving the Borg a pasting. In his
Starfleet career, he had never encountered the cybernetic race.

Borg-Stark raised a playfully suspicious eyebrow at Santos.

?Oh, be real, Dominic. You don?t expect me to believe you?d surrender
that easily??

?Why not?? Santos replied. ?We can?t outrun you. We can?t outfight you.
You know all there is to know about each one of us, so we can?t
outmaneuver you. I?m a lot of things, but I?m not stupid. There?s no
shame in surrender to a superior force, as long as we?re treated

Out of the corner of his eye, Santos noticed Mandrake, Soman, and
Highwaij fidgeting, albeit the tiniest bit. He prayed silently they
would keep quiet.

They did.

?Very well,? Borg-Stark said, crossing her arms over her chest. ?I
expect a goodwill gesture. An?offering, if you will.?

?What do you have in mind?? Santos said, knowing exactly what she would

?Three of your crew. My choice.?

Santos smiled internally. All going accordingly?

As if to mask his movement, Santos shuffled until he stood in front of
Quetan, blocking her from the viewscreen.

?How do we do this? ?Duck-duck-goose?? Wait, I?ll take?Highwaij. Long
time, no see, old friend.?

Highwaij stood from his listening post at Communications. He turned
once to look at Santos, and without rancor or fear, he met Santos?s
eye. It impressed Santos immensely.

?And give me?that one.? Borg-Stark pointed out Cynan Mandrake. ?I don?t
know you, but you intrigue me.?

Mandrake rose from his seat and looked back at Santos. He nodded at the
captain and exited to the rear turbolift without another word.

?And finally, eenie-meenie-minie-mo?catch Starfleet by the toe. If they
holler, let them go. Eenie?? pointing at Soman, ?meenie?? at McCaw,
?minie?? at Santos? ?mo.?

Stark?s finger rested on Santos. No, just above his shoulder. At
Science Officer Zena Quetan.

?Zena.? Stark purred. ?How I?ve missed you.?

Santos turned around and looked at Quetan. To Quetan?s amazement, and
eternal surprise, the captain winked at her.

Santos: ?Kristen, all I ask is a chance for them to record their
goodbyes to their families and for me to share a few words with them.
In private.?

For a moment, Santos didn?t think she would agree. Then she nodded
slowly, once.

?You have five minutes.?

Santos rushed into the turbolift with Zena Quetan. He suppressed a

?We just doubled our chances of living through this,? he said. He
turned to look at Quetan. ?Do you think you can hang in there? Distract

??Distract her?? From what??

?Long enough for them to realize they can?t assimilate your symbiont.?

?What.? Quetan?s mouth hung slightly open.

?Just trust me. Sickbay,? he ordered the turbolift.

They arrived in Sickbay. Mandrake and Highwaij were standing around the
surgical table.

?Doctor, I need you to help increase Zena?s chances of surviving any
attempts the Borg make to assimilate her.?

?What about us!? Mandrake barked.

?I?m counting on the fact she?ll ignore the two of you.?

?That?s what I enjoy about this assignment, Cynan,? Highwaij said. ?I
feel so vital.?

?We?ll try,? Droin said.

?No, I need you to do, not try,? Santos said.

?We?ll do our best,? Droin snapped.

Santos spun and headed toward the bridge.

When he arrived, Soman had organized a skeleton crew to run ship?s
operations. The Borg pyramid hung in the viewscreen, reminding them of
the very real threat present.

?McCaw, Darkwater, Qbed, Desdemona?report to my ready room,

?Aye, sir,? McCaw acknowledged via comm.

?Acknowledged,? Darkwater replied.

?Can?t this wait? OH, never mind,? Qbed said.

?I?m on my way,? Desdemona said, all trace of cheeriness gone.

?D?Angelo, Kye, Tails to Ennien, Chen?ki?report to my ready room,

All acknowledged.

Moments later, Santos turned to McCaw.

?Sam, on my mark, I need you to make for best speed away from Vanguard
and toward the first friendly M-class civilization you find. Along the
way, I want you hollering on every frequency you can think of. Tell
them what?s occurred here. Wait until you?re 50 light-years away. I?m
sure she?s jamming our communications.?

?Aye, sir,? McCaw said.

?I can?t allow Qbed or Desdemona to fall into their hands under any

?So we?re not surrendering?? Darkwater asked.

?No, we?re not surrendering,? Santos said.

?Woo-hoo!? Qbed exclaimed.

?Before you celebrate, you realize I?m doing this in case Vanguard
falls to the Borg. I can?t allow them to capture two women who are
basically super-beings. I?m trusting you all to escape. Don?t look

McCaw opened his mouth to argue. Santos held up a finger.

?I mean it. Disregard that order at your peril, Mister McCaw.? Sam
looked at Santos.

?You?re in charge, Sam. Take the Hurricane and go. Now.?

The quartet left for the shuttlebay.

Santos turned to the other foursome. ?Ennien, D?Angelo, Kye, Chen?ki?I
want you on board the Avalanche and finding a way to get aboard the
Borg pyramid.?

?Begging the captain?s pardon,? D?Angelo said, ?but isn?t an attack on
the Borg from Vanguard while we are aboard, well, foolish??

?I don?t expect to do that much damage to them, D?Angelo. Besides,
we?re the distraction; you?re the genuine attack. Attack them, cripple
them, do whatever it takes to destroy them from the inside. Remember
your advantage?only one of you was present when these Borg were
assimilated. They know nothing about any of you.

?Now, hurry and go.?

?How do you expect us to penetrate?that?!? Chen?ki asked.

?Just as a horse doesn?t care about every fly on its rump, the Borg
can?t keep up with all small craft approaching it. That pyramid is
nearly half a parsec in length, Mister Chen?ki. Surely you can find a
way aboard.?

They were quiet. Then Chen?ki spoke: ?Did you just call me a horse?s

Kye turned to him. ?No, he called US a fly on a horse?s rump.?

The quartet nodded at Santos and left.

Santos re-appeared on the bridge.

?I need Jaav E?thexx, Ensign Khan, and Doctor Droin up here, on the

When they appeared, Santos turned to them.

?Soman, I need you at tactical and communications. Three shuttlecraft
are going to appear on your panel very soon. Tell me when the first two
have approached the pyramid, and when the other is at safe distance.?

The executive officer nodded.

?Xristha, can you take science, please.?

?I?m a doctor, not a blue?oh, YES. I will.?

?Jaav, I need you in the helm position??

?You mean Cynan?s chair,? Khan said with some impertinence.

Santos spun to face her. ?Yes,? he said. ?Just so.?

E?thexx watched the two of them with some interest, then took the
pilot?s position.

Droin looked over at him. ?I hope those flying lessons you took come in

?She?ra, take Operations. Give me front view, 50 percent.?

The pyramid hung in view. The first shuttle (Santos saw with some
amusement it was the captain?s yacht, Coba del Rey.) made its way
toward the pyramid, like an ant approaching a giant?s foot. A hole
opened on the front of the pyramid and swallowed the shuttle into a
gaping black maw. Santos suppressed the thoughts of Jonah and the

The second shuttle was nowhere in sight. Tails to Ennien knew better
than to open comm. channels before battle.

?Get ready,? Santos said.

Borg-Stark reappeared. ?Thank you, Dominic. That was all I wanted.? She
turned her back on them. ?Now.?

?Change view,? Santos said. ?Show me the pyramid.?

The pyramid?s corners separated from the main body, like wasps from the
nest. Each corner was in and of itself a small pyramid. The four flew
toward the Vanguard in a flanking maneuver.

?Does it remind you of anything?? Santos asked Soman Drath.

?Yes,? Soman replied. ?It?s a multivector assault Borg ship. What Stark
would have given them after her experiences aboard the Astoria.?

?Exactly,? Santos said.

Jaav turned to them. ?Far be it for me to offer comic relief under
duress, but am I the only one who finds this all slightly?ridiculous??

Santos declined to answer. Instead: ?E?thexx, anchor us in place, face
them head-on. Soman, prepare to fire.?

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