Star Trek: Defiant

"Absolute Zero" - Part Seven

Written by T'Mal


Mackowick fried the controls to the door with his phaser as soon as the last of their group emerged. At least it was still good for that.

"That should hold them for a few minutes." he said.

Already, they could hear the whir of Borg cutting devices going to work on the all-too-thin barrier that was their temporary protection from Mak and Bishop.

"We'd better get moving." Hardin suggested.

"It looks like we're the only ones left." Bridges straightened his tunic in an unconscious imitation of his mentor, Picard. It was a sign that he was about to take control, make the kind of decision only a Captain can make. At times like this, he considered it the worst sort of decision for anyone to have to make.

He started in the direction of the closest shuttlebay, having made up his mind as to the best course of action. Ordinarily, fleeing was not an option, but there are times when it is the most logical thing to do. This was one of those times. They would leave, but they would not do so quietly.

They took the back route, climbing through Jeffries tubes and avoiding the turbolifts. The Borg weren't much for crawling and bending and were not liable to follow them through the tight spaces if they could find another way. They were betting their lives on it. They offered assistance as needed to one another, at times half-carrying their wounded. Bridges and Hardin were both hit at odd moments with waves of dizziness and nausea and Mackowick's ankle caused him more trouble the more he used it. Barak had lost no small amount of blood from his wounds, but his Romulan physiology worked quickly to heal itself, and the pain could be ignored.

Nearing their destination, Lebin was in the lead. He poked his head from the relative safety of the Jeffries tube to check the corridor outside.

"All clear." he told them, hoping it would stay that way. He knew Shuttlebay 3 was right around the next bend and he was having a hard time believing it might be just this easy.

Lebin crawled out, Bridges and Matute following closely. Barak had only begun to emerge when he saw T'Mal and Ry Emeras approaching. These two fought together as Borg now, much as they had fought together as friends in their old lives.

Ry raised her arm to fire a lethal bolt of energy similar in form to a Romulan disruptor, but with special modifications made by the Borg. The shot missed Bridges by only millimeters, singing a bit of hair as it passed to burn a hole in the wall behind him.

"So much for wanting us alive, I guess." Bridges commented, pressing himself to the wall and considering their alternative routes.

T'Mal and Ry continued their advance, moving closer to improve their aim.

Matute moved to guard him from any further attempts at bodily harm, prepared as always to give her life for his, and aiming her phaser in what she knew would be a futile attempt at repelling these new threats.

"No, wait!" Lebin shouted to her.

Lebin pulled a round object off his belt, another product of spare time well-spent. Flipping a switch, he rolled it toward the approaching Borg, where it landed a couple of meters in front of them. At first, nothing appeared to happen.

Then T'Mal moved to step past the object and there was a flash of light and an otherwise invisible field barred her way. Taking a step back, she tried it again, with the same results. Ry was having the same problem as she also tried to pass. Finding their path blocked, they did what any good Borg would do, and raised their arm-weapons to fire at their targets. Simultaneously, they were engulfed by their own blasts, in one big, concentrated ball of destructive force.

"One of the little problems I was having with my personal force field." Lebin explained humbly. "I stunned myself a couple of times trying to work out the bugs."

Barak rolled out of the Jeffries tube in relief, helped Mackowick and Hardin out after him.

"What did we miss?" Wolfram asked, surveying the scene of Ry and T'Mal's demise.

SHUTTLE BAY 3:

Lt j.g Marinus was working on the USS Jim Lovell. The shuttle had been in pretty sorry shape before he had begun putting it back together. All the shuttles were badly damaged, but this one hadn't looked quite as bad as the others. He had been pulling parts off the USS Enforcer, docked across the bay. Catrin Kadiya was handing him parts or tools, whatever he asked for. She meant to be helpful, but Marinus was finding that he spent more time explaining what he meant every time he asked for something than actually getting the work done. If the circumstances had been different, he probably would have been enjoying it.

Midshipman Hobbes had been giving Kidaya, the newest arrival on the Defiant, a tour of the ship when the Borg takeover had begun. Now he was trying his best to get a power coupling off the Enforcer without frying himself in the process. He liked giving tours better.

"I should have paid more attention in that class...I should have paid more attention in that class..." Hobbes kept thinking.

"Hey!" Marinus shouted at him. "What's taking so long?"

Hobbes scowled and looked at Midshipman Clark. Clark had been wandering back and forth, checking things on both sides and explaining about Borg to Kidaya at the same time.

"Well, you're no help." he complained.

"Me? What do I know about power couplings?" Clark asked.

"Probably about as much as I do...hand me that other thingamajig over there, will you?"

Marinus came to see for himself what the hold-up was, amazed that anyone could be so ignorant of what made a shuttle go.

"I can see that you guys don't want to get out of here nearly as much as I do. Here, let me show you."

Kidaya was the only one watching the door when it whooshed open, and she wasted no time determining whether those coming through the door were friend or enemy. She shouted a warning to the others, and made use of her brand new phaser. Clark was just following her lead.


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