IV: The Origin
Seven point eight light years from the blue green center of the Federation, a fleet of the galaxies finest gathered. The Federation was an expanse of over five hundred light years, and though thousands of ships were in the fleet, only a few could be brought together in time to meet the invading force that now threatened the great civilization.
The center of the Federation, and the backbone of Starfleet, was Earth and her extensive human colonial endeavors. Though other species had far exceeded the humans in scientific accomplishments they all suffered a serious single drawback. For humans had one thing that the other founding members seemed to lack; an excessive ability to reproduce. They build viable and strong population structures faster than any of the other major member races. Within a single generation a human colony world could develop and produce a viable and stable economic base without enlisting the resources of neighboring populations. Other member races could not match this population expansion.
Without the humans to man the ships and build the fleets, the other races would never have been able to unite in such a great solidarity. Humans were literally the body of the United Federation of Planets.
A direct strike against any other home world would be horrible, but to take Earth meant something far worse. Earth was the center of the human culture, it was the unifying force that bound countless colonies of humans, and it was without a doubt, the greatest source of them in the Federation. Without the constant supply of life from the Earth, the fleets would slowly dwindle and the great Federation would wither away.
Upon the decks of the forty ships that had gathered to stop the great invader, not a single soul thought any less than to give his life to defend the Earth, for the Earth was the Federation. And though only a handful of the thousands gathered knew what they were about to face, no single being would turn away. Andorian, Tellarite, Vulcan, Centaurian, and Human were united.
On the bridge of the Agincourt, as was with the rest of the fleet, the officers and enlisted alike stood with rushing intrepidation. Kirk was at the tactical station at the back of the bridge. She could still feel a sharp pain in her side and wondered if the damn hologram had done its job well enough. She reviewed the incoming logs, and was overwhelmed with what she saw. Less than four hours ago the Enterprise engaged and was defeated by this new enemy, the Borg. They used advanced weapons that adapted and were powerful beyond anything she had ever seen. They could analyze any attack and effectively counter it. They could never be hit the same way twice. Kirk had some fears, this was something of terrible form, but she had faith in the tenacity and intelligence of Starfleet. They would, as they had always done before, overcome.
The fleet was gathered, forty ships in all, to stand against a single enemy craft. It was painfully obvious that standard weapons would be useless against the Borg. Of course the Agincourt was not equipped with standard weapons.
Tien browsed the most recent sensor scans. The set up of the Borg ship was decentralized, with an unidentified power source. It was immense (the size of a small space station) and its cube like configuration defied any known structural or warp dynamic principals. It shared technological and biological theorem, married in a Frankenstein like fashion. It was alive, and yet not alive, like something from a childhood nightmare.
Tien was awed by this new thing and felt a strange admiration towards it. An odd point came to his attention as he scrutinized the incoming data. The Borg ship, hundreds of times more advanced than any vessel in the Starfleet, seemed to contain a few backwater technologies. The power distribution nodes were nothing more advanced than what Starfleet was using. Intra-ship mechanical transmissions were not subspace, but high-band EM; much less efficient than ODN lines. It didn't make much sense to Tien. This race was baffling in its ad hoc approach to function. That is to say it seemed as if they had given very little forethought to the overall construction of their ship. Rather they had built it up as they went along improving over time. Even the articulators in their doors were nothing new. Technology like that had been seen on the frontier for several years. It seemed to Tien to be something fairly primitive from a race that could travel faster than warp nine point nine.
"We are facing a new threat to the Federation, one unlike anything that we have seen before. This force isn't interested in geopolitical boundaries, or commercial gains, but it sees us, our ships, and our technology, as a fundamental resource for its continued existence. The Borg are here to consume us like a locust plague and we are all that stands before the Earth and this evil swarm." Admiral Hansen's Image stood on the main view screen with a troubled brow. His hastily gathered fleet could stop any known force, or at the least slow it down. But there was an undertone that was left unsaid. A fear that there was something inevitable about this battle, something he didn't want to tell his fleet. Death was coming and it didn't come on a pale horse, instead it came as a giant metal cube.
Captain Hansen turned from his father's grim visage and looked to his crew, "People, we have been ordered to support the fleet with long range torpedo bombardment. What that means is we are going to get a better chance to watch what happens. Let's keep our eyes open and our ideas fresh." He turned back to the main viewer at the front of the bridge and looked down to his conn and ops. Faulkner and Tien looked back at him, waiting to follow his lead.
"As soon as that thing comes into range I want randomized frequencies on all our shields, keep it rotating and eliminating those used by other ships. Kirk, don't let your finger off the button until we are completely out, and Faulkner hold position, but be ready to dance us out of here if necessary."
"Sir," Tien spoke up.
"Yes, Dan." Hansen smiled calmly as if he were a master instructing children and not on the verge of galactic annihilation.
"I have been noticing several incongruent technologies, and none of them are consistent with Federation equipment or transmission bands."
"What are you saying son?"
"Well according to the Enterprise logs, they want our technology, but they don't seem to have integrated any of it yet."
"It might take time to do that." Faulkner interjected.
"Or they might not want to integrate it until they have defeated us." Kirk pointed out.
"I don't think so," Tien said adamantly.
"Seven minutes until interception with hostile vessel." Hansens' first officer Marco Leeds announced. Leeds had been with Hansen for nearly seven years, promoted from a lieutenant and reared through Starfleet by the captain himself. He was a tall man, lean with a dark complexion, possibly Indian in decent.
"What are you saying Tien?" Hansen asked trying to cut through what he knew could be seven minutes of technobable.
"I have noticed a 2.21 gamma energy spike in their door articulators." Tien began.
"What do their doors have to do with anything?" Faulkner was annoyed.
"What about the doors?" Hansen seemed interested.
"Well that is the same range as Romulan ore processors use in their pneumatic micro pumps."
"Standard English son."
"I have worked at several mining sites with my parents, Romulan technology is very distinct. The Borg have integrated Romulan micro pumps to open and close their doors."
"That could be a coincidence." Faulkner pointed out.
"Maybe, but the signature is identical. They have absorbed that technology and probably have done it with in the last few years; they only recently developed the 2.21 range pumps." Tien explained, but was unsure why his shipmates weren't following along.
"What's your point ensign." Hansen was sharp.
Dan could tell that the captain didn't want the technical details, "The Borg have had a longer time to assimilate Federation technology, but they haven't. Why?"
There was no answer, and Dan continued, "Because they can't talk to our equipment. The micro pumps are simple machines, though incredibly innovative. They just require a gamma source to function, but most Federation technology is based on subspace transceiver and integrated multi-tronic mother-boards. There is nothing in these scans that show the Borg as having anything similar to that. They don't know how to talk our language. They haven't assimilated something to transition our technology to their current established tech."
"If what your saying is true, how can we use that to our advantage?" Kirk was quick to understand.
"I don't know." Tien admitted.
"Three minutes to intercept with hostile vessel." Commander Leeds announced "War of the worlds!" Faulkner shouted.
The Bridge crew looked at him and waited for an explanation.
"It was a radio broadcast in the late 19th century."
"Radio wasn't invented until 1940." Kirk corrected.
"Whatever, the story had an invading force killed by a virus. Stuff that humans were already immunized against." Faulkner spoke with an excited tone. Like a child that knew he was the only one with the right answer.
"A computer virus that can affect broad based systems, but wont affect ours." Hansen muddled it in his mind.
"The Borg are decentralized, they might be able to contain it," Leeds warned.
"We might be able to tap into their power distribution nodes with a subspace signal, they have no protection from that." Tien smiled.
"Two minutes till intercept." Leeds called again.
"Alright people- Leeds find a virus that will work against them but is useless against Federation technology, Tien see if you can find away to deliver it to the cube uniformly."
"Sir, the Iconian translatory program." Tien suggested.
Hansen paused. He knew that Dan was the son of two very famous explorers, and he knew that they had done work on the ancient Iconians, a near mythical species that filled the imaginations with wonder. That is mythical until a Federation Starship recently found a functioning Iconian computer. The advanced device was programmed to upgrade computer systems as it went along, but had never seen a Federation ship before. It created billions of errors in its attempt to modify the ship's software. The U.S.S. Yamato had been destroyed because it uploaded this virus. Starfleet was leery of this strange computer plague. Unable to control it, they had deleted any known source or copy and banned it. But it seemed that young ensign Tien might have had access to it from outside of Starfleet.
"I would advise against that sir," Kirk warned, "Not all Federation ships are upgraded to resist the virus."
"I agree. Let's keep that on the backburner. Everybody look sharp here they come..."