by Robert Morganbesser

Chapter Twelve

"Shield up! All weapons on standby!"

Sisko stared at the Borg Cube that had dropped out of Transwarp. He could feel a chill sweat begin to creep down his back. Remaining on the station, he had sent Kira out with the Defiant to grapple with this most unwelcome intruder. The Defiant had the systems only quantum torpedoes, the only weapon in the Federation inventory that could pierce Borg shields.

A voice, sounding like the usual Borg collective but with an odd metallic ring to it, demanded, "You will surrender or be exterminated."

Sisko and O'Brien exchanged looks. "I haven't heard them say that before," said the stoic engineer, his fingers on the weapons console. Slightly above him Ezri announced, "They're powering up weapons."

"Sisko to Defiant, make your move, Kira."

In the center seat of the Defiant, Kira leaned slightly forward. She didn't know why the Borg were here, but the Dominion was enough trouble. These intruders would have to go.

"Lock quantum torpedoes on target. Fire!"

Great white orbs of light shot out of the Defiants torpedo tubes to cross space and smash into the Borg vessel. Bits and pieces of it flew off into space, sparks erupting from the machinery contained within.

Then the dreaded tractor beam of the Borg snaked out and smashed into the Defiant.

A Bajoran ensign spun in his seat. "They're dragging us in, Colonel!"

Before Kira could give an order, a second volley of torpedoes, from above them smashed the Borg emitter and blew a large hole in the ship. Kira stared at the screen as the majestic form of the Enterprise flew past, phasers punching into the enemy ship.

"YES!" She shouted like a spectator at a pareses squares match. "Fire torpedoes!"

On the bridge of the Enterprise, the Doctor said, "This is working but it's not enough. I have to get aboard that ship and destroy the taranium core."

Picard half turned in his seat. "Aboard? What if you can't get off in time?"

The Doctor smiled. "A part of the job, Captain."

"Number One, you and Mr. Worf accompany the Doctor to the ship. Take emergency transponders with you."

"On our way," replied Riker.

The away team appeared in the near center of the Borg ship which was rocking under the attack of the two ships and the station. The ship was darker than the others Riker had been on, the metallic odor more prevalent. Leading them off, phaser in one hand, tricorder in the other, Worf hissed, "I'm reading a large energy signature 100 meters before us."

The Doctor took a look in the Klingons device, then said, "I've told you both what to do. Go and set the core the way I told you, I'll cause a diversion."

Riker grabbed him by the shoulder. "What kind of diversion."

The Doctor smiled gently, removing Rikers hand. "Didn't I mention it? As well as the Daleks being my arch-nemesis, I am the being they hate more than any other. Now be off!"

Before either Federation officer could say a word, the Doctor was gone, heading for the center of the ship.

The Dalek Supreme had fought mightily when assimilated, but it still bore the scars of the Borg attempt. Now locked into the ship itself, it was both part and separate from the collective. It could feel another presence trying to take control, but fought back, constantly raising new walls of mental energy to resist it. It was planning a counter attack when a voice said, "I must stay I've seen you look better, old son."

The Dalek's eye stalk swiveled to stop on……the Doctor!

Riker and Worf approached the taranium core. It glowed alternately blue and green. With typical Borg arrogance, it was unguarded. There were two alcoves nearby, but neither was occupied. Taking Rikers phaser, Worf whispered, "I'll cover you" Riker nodded and slipped under the device…

"The Doctor! The Doctor! How are you here? You will be exterm.. assimil…exterm…"

"Can't you make up your mind, old boy?" The Doctor walked back and forth, followed by the eyestalk. He'd noticed that the gun stick was gone, replaced by a claw of some kind. He decided he'd better not get too close.

Riker rolled out from under the core and saw a small army of … rolling Borg approaching. From the waist up they were drones, from the waist down, similar to the Dalek the Doctor had shown them.

"Time to go Worf!" Even as Riker said it, the crackle of some kind of energy bolt shot over his head. One of the drones screeched, "Halt! Obey or be exterminassimilated!"

Worf fired, blowing the destroyed drone back into its fellows.

"Riker to Enterprise! Beam out now!"

The space where the two officers stood was covered in energy bolts a second after they dematerialized…

The Doctor tipped his hat to the Dalek Supreme. He could see the claw twitching and knew something was up. His body started to tingle as he said, "Better luck next time old boy!" The claw erupted off its base and would have slammed the Doctor into the far bulkhead had he not been snatched away by the Enterprises transporter.

The un-explosion began in the heart of the core. With a hissing noise as the taranium ate itself from the inside out, everything began to be sucked into a small spinning globe of energy. The implosion pulled the entire Borg cube inside out, then continued to reach out to the surrounding matter.

"Engines to full impulse!" Shouted Kira as the Defiant was caught in the implosion of time. The Bajoran ensign screamed, fear tingeing his voice, "I'm giving it all we've got!"

On the Enterprise, Picard leaned over Data's shoulder. "Now, Mr. Data. Fire the chronoton beam!"

"Firing," replied the android as a bright white beam, tinged with green shot out of the ships main deflector dish. It impacted on the imploded area of space where the Borg ship had been, glowed briefly and faded away.

The Collapse of quantum walls had been stopped.

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