Chapter 2: The Soong Saga
This chapter follows up the aftermath of the Borg Cube Crash, Picard's Resurrection and the fallout of Saga's death. Also, this introduces the xB/Synth interaction.
I wanted to follow up and give some backstory on the situation with fallout of the Cube crashing and what happened to the Reclamation Crew and the possibility that Seven brought a few more Fenris Rangers with her.
This story also ties into my other story. A Witch's Name, A Pirate's Past, and a Time Traveler's Life. I am planning on having these two stories cross over at some point.
Now on with the story.
Today, Soji and several of her brethren have decided to head to the Borg Cube to help Seven of Nine care for the crashed vessel survivors. I have been doing my best to console Arcana, but she seems to have wanted to put her grief aside to help Soji.
As a father, I am conflicted on how I went so wrong with Sutra.
Am I no different than my father when it came to Lore?
Picard has stated that my ancestor Arik Soong had the same problem with his Augment creations.
But for his mistakes, he had success.
Out of all the Augments, she had overcome her baser instincts and had a balance of intellect and... well, compassion.
Picard had been informed years ago that she had been saved by one of his former officers due to a temporal accident.
Maybe it was her death or removal from her own time that spurred my ancestor to take up going into robotics.
I might reach out to her.
I don't know... Since Bruce died. I just don't want to be alone again.
Family is family.
But... I need new ideas—a fresh view of things.
Maybe that is what messed Sutra up so badly after she lost Jana.
Jana had been Sutra's moral compass. With that gone, she went dark.
Sutra had this logic about her. But because of the ban, she never had the chance to head to Vulcan to find herself.
Find that balance between logic and emotion she so desperately needed.
There is a world of difference between book knowledge and what takes place in the "Real World".
I so fucked up as being a father.
I am dealing with a lot here, but -
The La Serena Crew is a good change of pace. Maybe even the researchers on the Borg Reclamation project might be what I need considering recent events.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done.
I am great at making artificial bodies, but souls...
The immortal soul.
Saga, if your soul is out there. Your father and sister Arcana miss you so much.
Cattleya approached the cube vessel with Soji. Several of the Cappialian Synths had joined with Annika and the La Serena members to help the crashed crew recover.
Other than the Crew of the La Serena, these would be the first organics that she would encounter outside Father Alton and Father Bruce.
After the events with Sutra, Soji had convinced the others that they needed to learn to live with these very flawed beings that they would be sharing the universe with.
It took a moment for her to realize the sheer size of the vessel that had come down.
Nearby the remains of several orchids lay strewn on the ground.
The bio vessels had given their lives to protect their home, and now these three beings called out to be released from their pain.
Cattleya moved and pulled out her Thought Tool and activated it so that she may put the bio vessel to rest.
"Rest protective flower of these lands. You have performed your task well. May you experience the rise of a new dawn in the next world." Her words soothed the vessel into its eternal slumber as she patted the biomatter of its body.
It wasn't much, but the orchids were the defenders of her home, and though primitive her in their behaviors, they were brethren.
"Identify what species you are?" Cattleya turned to see a small humanoid standing by the ship. The being was covered in dark armored plating and some tubing sticking out and running from the small one's flesh down to the armor's parts.
Moving back to take in a full view of the individual, Soji approached and was recognized by the individual. "Doctor Asha?"
"Nameless 2650, It is good that you survived." The humanoid looked to be a female. Black armor. Cybernetic components.
"I have a name... "The young female approached Soji.
"What is it?"
"Freya... it is a good name." Soji moved and hugged the girl. "So, where are the others?"
"Um... Beta... she's an Her-Ro-Gen. She is out hunting for local game to feed the others. She is hunting with a Kling Non. The girl started to push on her two front teeth as they started to wiggle. "The replicators are crapping out."
The girl started to scratch at her skin until a blister underneath the skin erupted with a metal bud busting out. The child winced.
The child started to lick around her mouth.
"Throat still sore from the surgery?"
The girl nodded.
"I came out here with a few of the other children and adults to cool off." The girl looked worried. "Are the Bad Romulans going to come back?"
"No... hopefully not for a long time."
"Did Locutus..." The girl paused before continuing, "Did Picard get help-"
"Picard's systems needed repair after the battle in orbit. He is currently operational," Cattleya stated to the child. "The pre-existing implants that were in his system helped in his treatment."
Soji glared at her. Then she groaned.
"He got hurt?" Soji closed her eyes and knelt to the child's height.
"No... he had a disease that was hurting him. It had flared up after the battle. Doctor Agnes Jurati had to order an emergency medical transport to the settlement nearby to treat him. He is doing better, a little hungry, but better." The girl hugged Soji.
"Hello... I am Cattleya. I am a friend of Soji's." Cattleya waved at the small humanoid.
"You look weird, but maybe I look weird to you. You have gold skin."
That was when Cattleya's sister Rose appeared and came up to her.
"You are a twin?" The girl stated as she started to get a look at the rest of the group. "Doctor Asha... your gold friends are all twins!"
"They are," Soji stated as she saw one of her friends call out.
The dark-skinned Trill held a pipe as a club but seeing Soji, the scrap metal being used as an improvised weapon, fell to the ground. The rush and embrace of Soji stated that this female wasn't dangerous.
"You disappeared, the Romulans went nuts... Director Hugh, he- then the xB went 'We are Borg.'"
"I heard." Soji moved to wipe the tears from her friend's face. The young Trill woman looked like a wreck.
"So, find the pilot or whatever was flying these Flower things?" Naáshala Stated looking at the Dead organic ship.
"The Orchids were programmed to deal with any threats to the planet. Your conflict in our orbit was not tolerated. Their automated protocols told them to launch to prevent the orbital conflict from progressing any further over our home."
Naáshala looked at Cattleya and hid behind Soji. The Trill's uneasiness and emotional state had been pushed to their limits and the need to get to a port of safety- she was doing her best to lock on to so she could stay sane.
"They were programmed to deactivate the ships, not harm the crews onboard." Cattleya looked over to the size of the vessel that had been brought down by the Orchids. "Your vessel is much larger than anything we had anticipated for."
"They have offered to help treat the injured and bring whatever supplies they have available to help us," Soji stated as the Trill started to calm down.
"Oh." Naáshala seemed to understand that what had happened. It hadn't been so much an attack but to end the fight over their planet. "You guys don't jerk around when it comes to people starting fights on your doorstep."
"We have medical supplies and some foodstuffs from our village." The group looked uneasy. That was when an older female with blonde hair came out of the vessel.
"I see that you all decided to show up. Did you bring that fabricated parts I ask for?" Soji rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, Annika... we brought it." Then the sound of roaring took place as two figures lunged from over the body of the Orchid.
A scaled Reptilian-looking female wearing the same armor as Freya came running at Rune with a spear. Behind her was a male with formidable cranial ridges swung a makeshift club at her.
Rune stopped the female by stepping out of the way. Rune reached up stopped her descent by grabbing her by the throat mid-decent. The female was more in shock by what had happened.
Cattleya reached out and stopped the club from hitting her and pulled it from the male's grip, and tossed it aside well out his reach.
"We do not tolerate unprovoked violence upon our personage." The warrior with the ridged forehead took note of this. He considered his options that any further attack was not in his favor. Cattleya turned to see the female the Rune had stopped in her assault.
"Beta... Kling... They are friends", Freya called out.
Beta looked terrified as Rune held her very clearly off the ground by the throat. Her Spear had clearly gone through his tunic. Rune took note that she was still trying to attack him. Rune stopped this by tightening this grip on the adolescent female's throat to reduce her air supply. It wouldn't hurt her, but not knowing how long it would take the individual to lose consciousness, Rune just took his time and waited.
He didn't need long to wait when the female decided to fight him or lose consciousness. Then the female chose to let go of her weapon and focus more on the need to breathe. She quickly grabbed Rune's arm to keep herself from falling unconscious under his grip.
"I will put you down and treat your injuries."
Kling seemed to have taken up a defensive stance but backed off from further attacking.
"Your name is Beta is it correct?" Rune was lowering the female down as he was keeping a decent grip on her.
"You are Prey... You fight. I hunt."
Rune pressed his hand into the adolescent's chest as he marched the female over to the side of the downed Orchid.
"I am not your Prey, nor am I your foe. I am not your trophy."
The pressure was not enough to hurt the female but was enough to make her yield.
"Organic Biomatter, cybernetic components. Glandular structures seem to be producing an augmented amount of strength in the muscular system. Hardened dermal tissue with pheromone producing pores."
Rune was working through his options as the female cursed at him.
"I will make you my-" Rune made her stop cold with some well-placed words given Soji's information about what had happened to Annika's late progeny.
"You have excellent components for salvage."
The female froze. The predator species realized that she might become the trophy of someone else.
"Rune..." Soji called out as Rune turned to look at her. "I think you scared the kid enough."
"Actually, I was admiring some of her components that are compatible with our systems back at the settlement."
The female gulped. Soji approached and looked at the female.
"Oh..." Soji tilted her head and saw the parts Rune had been studying. "You know you can take those from her without killing her. The organics… Not so much."
"I know, but given her aggression and lack of knowledge of what I was studying, she thought that I was after her glandular system."
"You wish to keep me alive?" Beta looked at them. "As a... Servant animal- creature?"
"Alive, yes... but not as a role as being servant... more student."
"Rune, she is a huntress in her society."
"Like your friend Kestra?"
"More or less. Beta looks to be about the same age." Soji took the girl from Rune's grip but kept her pinned to against the Orchid. "A barter and trade. Your components for Rune's tunic. You earned it."
Rune moved back and removed his tunic, and looked at the hole the girl had delivered to it.
Rune clearly had a slight cut to his side. Not deep, but enough to lightly break the skin. His dermal tissue would regenerate in time.
The sight of the injury calmed the girl down.
The indication that she had scored a blow upon her target seemed to relieve her worries some. "Be glad that you have a Duratianium and Cortenide bio mesh skeletal structure."
The mention of this made the female gulp.
"Your bone structure is that hard?" The female brought two of her modified fingers up and scanned Rune. Then she looked scared.
"You would have killed me without a second thought?"
"My progenitor had killed many Borg. Even a Borg Queen in his encounters when they proved to be a threat to himself or others around him."
Beta quickly decided that her aggressive actions would not be the wisest course of action for her survival.
Rune motioned for Soji to let the girl go as she held up her scanning appendage and scanned Soji as well.
"You are the same species as him."
Several of the individuals who had been part of the ship's crew looked in Soji in shock.
Soji took a deep breath and bit her lip before "coming clean" before them.
"I am..." Beta looked at her in shock and realized that she may have gotten more details about Soji than expected. "Welcome to my home... home world." Soji pulled away distressed. "Rune, give Beta your damn shirt." Her storming off to the other side of the Orchid gave her the space she needed. Both the Cappialain and Artifact groups watched as Soji's secret had been laid bare to those she had known before she escaped from the vessel.
"Soji..." Cattleya called out as she sprinted after her sister as she, too, was followed by Naáshala.
A moment later, Soji came to a stop and turned towards the dead Orchid. She slammed her fist into the flesh of the creature.
Now it was an effortless thing for Soji to do given her emulation of organic behaviors.
Though the blow was significant as Naáshala looked concerned seeing how strong Soji was.
Then as Soji moved away and slid to the ground crying.
"So... Soji..." Naáshala approached. "You're an Anthropologist?" Cattleya looked confused.
But Soji nodded.
"So, you were doing a First Contact Resonance operation for your people." Soji nodded again.
"So... what do you think of the... Federation, Romulan and... xB civilizations?"
"Wha..." Soji looked up at her friend with tears in her eyes.
"What do you think of us?" Naáshala blushed a little. "I mean... I guess that you think that all Trill are like..."
Soji Sighed. "Well, you are very socially Cappialan in your view of things."
"Wait... you think I..." Naáshala was processing this new information. "Wait... you became my friend because..." Naáshala looked over at Cattleya. "Because... socially, I'm like one of your people?" Soji nodded.
"So... your natural appearance is golden?"
"I don't remember." Soji pleaded.
"Actually... it was..." Cattleya stated. "You asked." Cattleya winced as Soji shot her a glare. "But... your cousin Jana... and her sister did have pointed Vulcan ears for a week. Though... you and your sister Dahj did experiment with your eye coloring. Bruce freaked when you did black Betazoid eyes. But... human eye colors... Green, you both loved it. Even after the experiment to dye them blue failed."
"You did a marvelous job, I might say," Naáshala stated as she wiped a tear from her friend's cheek.
"Thanks..." Soji stated as she moved to hug her.
"So... let's talk later as we get everyone on their feet", Naáshala stated.
"Okay..." Soji added.
"So... Your ass is gold."
"Damn... So that sort of explains why you were looking at me in the sonic showers. Probably wondering how far my spots went down."
"You have over thirty thousand spots in a fairly uneven pattern along the flanks of your body." Soji cleared her voice. "You have more on your left than on your right."
"Wait... when did you count them all?" Naáshala looked concerned.
"Um..." Soji looked a little awkward at her. "Your left side when we were in the sonic showers after one shift. And the other... your right when you were having sex with that group of Denobulans."
"Wait... when I showed up at your door wearing nothing but a-"
"Wait... I was only naked for..." The realization hit her. "Whoa... You count that fast!" Naáshala stated.
"Actually, I learn languages- Fully in about three to five minutes." That was when Soji spoke something in her friend's language.
Cattleya didn't know what had been said. Still, the conversation but the two females seemed to understand that Soji felt guilty about her unknowing deceit to her friend. Then Naáshala said something that made Soji wince then giggle at it. Some of the information was clear deception, but Cattleya realized that Soji didn't want to reveal her status as an artificial being.
"Yeah, that would be very truthful of what happened."
"So... why don't you let me read over your anthropology reports for the species you met?"
"Alright, alright. But I am not changing my eye color back to yellow, but I will use La Serena's holo systems to revert my skin tone to my native form so that you can see me in my native skin tone. Just don't call me Jana!"
"Jana was a fellow Asha-" Cattleya started to say before Soji cut her off.
"Family member." Soji was crying again, "Her vessel went missing about the time the Artifact went offline. It had scanned three vessels, the Cube, the Romulan Bird of Prey, and a Federation Starship before it went silent."
Then it made sense.
"The Borg Cube is the Artifact." Naáshala looked like she was sick to her stomach. "Somewhere in the Cube... is your kin and..."
"Jana got picked up by the Federation Starship. There was a Zat Vash agent on board. The Other Zat Vash was on the Bird of Prey."
"Wait, that means..." Naáshala was processing this.
"My sister Dahj was sent to Earth to see if the Crew was there. I was sent to the Artifact to see if they were scooped up by the Borg." Soji seemed to let out her mission details. "We found out about the Zat Vash by accident. Dahj got killed after she tried to protect Picard from being attacked. I wound up on their kill list when I started poking around the information about the Crew of the Bird of Prey." Then Soji said what had brought about all this pain. "Naáshala... The Synths on Mars.. They were hacked using my people's knowledge by the Zat Vash. Our computer code is all over their systems that was taken by the Borg prior to our encounter with Starfleet." Soji held back on the fact that she was also a Synth. But Soji just wanted to get the truth out about what had happened at the Shipyards on Mars.
"Mars was a frame job. The Syths there were innocent. Just- Hacked."
The silence among those from the Cube just hung in the air like death had come.
"We had no grudge with the Federation nor the Romulan Empire. But the Synths were victims in all of this. Bruce Maddox wanted his creations to help save and change the galaxy for the better. Instead, the work of several noble individuals had their names drug through the preferable mud. Just so a group of radicals could reshape the galaxy into something that they desired based on fear, contempt, and ignorance."
Soji was currently crying. "Bruce was me and Dahj's Foster Father. He raised us after my Progenitor's life cycle ceased."
Then Soji got up and started to punch at the Orchid's carcass, then she got faster as she activated.
Naáshala pulled back as Soji started to draw and rip and tear at the flesh of the Orchid. The material's density slowed her down, but she came to a sudden stop when she hit void.
"Holy Crap..." Naáshala looked at the hole Soji had made in the Orchid. "I heard that you came out the ceiling in one of the corridors when you disappeared. I didn't realize that you tunneled through the damn thing like a freaking Horta."
"Horta... Silicon-Based Species, Discovered by Captain James T. Kirk. Known for their mining skills. Made donation to Bajorian Government after Mining Asteroid Prophets Tear of found Latinum Deposits. Built the Temple on the Asteroid there as a blessing for their stay." Soji stated as she started to sob.
Naáshala Hugged her friend and Soji.
"By sacred pools of Mak'ala you are still my friend and still babbling when you are nervous."
"Now, let's go and fix what that backstabbing son of a constipated Targ of your ex-boyfriend and his friends did to the ship."
"I can deal with that."
"Good, So... no wonder you wore sweaters like crazy. Though." Naáshala Looked over to Rune. "Tell me about tall, cute, shirtless, and golden over there."
"Ruuunne. That's a cute name."
Naáshala's pheromone levels increased by a significant amount as she eyed the bare chest of Rune with sexual intent.
"He has a twin brother."
The spotted female squeaked in joy. A clear intent that she wished what the humans called a "Threesome."
Rose and Cattleya made their way into the lower sections of the ship. Off in the distance, they heard someone crying.
Moving over, they found a pre-adolescent male crying. From the looks of it, the child had been ejected from some sort of pod.
Cattleya was still processing the courtship situation that Soji's friend had initiated with Rune, but this was far different.
She approached slowly to the little one.
"Are you alright?"
"I miss my Mommy."
Cattleya and Rose approached the little one.
"I am not your Mommy, but I have a father. I would miss him if I were lost."
The little one calmed down a little.
"Wait... she looks like you."
"We are sisters."
"What are your names?"
"I am Cattleya, and my sister is named Rose."
"Cattey... Cat..." The child was doing his best to say the name but stopped saying the first phonic section of it.
"Yes..." Cattleya knelt by the child.
"I hear crying..." Cattleya adjusted her hearing and heard it too.
"I hear it too," Rose stated as she brought up her guard staff.
"Maybe it is a monster." The child pulled closer to Cattleya.
Cattleya brought up her tricorder and started to scan. The holographic interface seemed to calm the child.
"I am detecting several humanoids." Cattleya adjusted the scan. "All Pre-adolescent."
"Other kids..." The child spoke. "Like me?"
Cattleya looked at the scans.
"Age-wise, yes. But different species."
Rose moved and tapped the comm badge that Soji had issued them and opened a line.
"Admiral Picard. We are approaching one of the inner processing centers of the ship. We have found several life signs along with a young pre-adolescent who looks to have been ejected from some processing pod."
This was when Soji chimed in.
"Rose, Cattleya... you are near the Borg Nursery."
"Borg... As in Scary... Borg." The young boy clung to Cattleya, scared.
"Yes... and from the looks of it. All partially..." Cattleya adjusted her words not to scare the little one. "They were in pods like you."
"Oh... "The young boy looked at the two sisters.
That was when Picard spoke up.
"Progress to the Nursery. I will see if I can get Annika and Elnor to send some help your way."
"Elnor... Part of the search team."
"I heard, Sir," Elnor stated as there was a huff of him running. "Nameless and I are making our way around to that section. We found a woman looking for her son."
"You found my Mom." The child chimed up.
"I don't know. But, I think she is the one with us? She was part of the lot of Borg that Annika set free when she was connected to the Queen's chamber."
"Borg..." The child's voice got to tones of scared.
"She was mostly assimilated but is an individual."
"Picard... is the child." a woman's voice crackled over the comm badge.
"Mama..." The boy's heart skipped a beat in hope and fear.
Then Cattleya's tricorder started to give warnings.
"Picard... several of the chambers look to be failing." Rose saw the readings.
"Stabilize the pods, or if possible, get the children out so that they can."
"Understood." Cattleya picked up the boy with one arm, and the two sisters sprinted down the hallway at their full speed.
Breaking into the chamber, Cattleya placed the boy down and moved over to the nearest terminal.
Having only learned to read Borg only hours earlier. Rose and Cattleya moved with unfettered speed to start to stabilize the pods that held the life of an innocent biological inside of each one.
The ones they couldn't stabilize, they activated the emergency open to evacuate the pods.
Smaller ones in the walls started to slide out. While the ones in the middle of the room began to separate. And individuals began to fall out of each.
Some caught themselves as they fell. Others just collapsed upon their sides. Some just slid down onto the floor.
Elnor came in, followed by a Male xB and a post-assimilated "Liberated" Borg woman.
"The wall chambers are where the infants are stored. Check to see if they are still breathing."
Cattleya and Rose moved from their spots and over the ejected shelves where each held a child.
Some were crying. Others looked to be not moving.
"There are several that look not be moving!" Rose stated started to check each wall she was closest to before moving along the border. Rose took note of each of the pods that had a child inside it that was either breathing or crying. Cattleya was covering the opposite side and took note that the ones on her side were functional.
"The ones over here seem to be functional."
The female Borg pointed to Cattleya and motioned her to move over to the other side of the non-functional biological units.
"Get a scan of the ones that have stopped moving. They might be revivable."
The xB started to access the terminal with his organic arm. The only arm he had.
Cattleya didn't know if he had lost the limb in the crash or some other way. But for the time being, she and Rose moved to the pods that had the inoperable humanoids.
"I am boosting the number of Nanoprobes in their systems." The xB stated as the female Borg headed over to them. The sound of a shock could be heard as the infants started to twitch. Several of the young Borg who had been awakened started to pull themselves off of the floor. The children began to look at them with concern.
Then an alarm went off.
"I am losing one," Cattleya called out as she watched the child remain still. The two that were returning to function were starting to move and cry.
The one before her wasn't moving.
"Her regenerative link has failed. There is-"
Taking out the multi-tool she had, Cattleya activated it and thought about the broken part in question. She didn't know what it looked like but knew it wasn't getting power.
She thought one word.
She gave it full will, Over and over in her imagination.
The probes dove into the flesh of the child.
She moved around the sacks of flesh that made up the child's internal workings.
Then she found the error.
There was a sort in the circuit caused by an adaptive regenerative bell that had tried to mirror the inorganics around it.
She reached for it and fixed the circuit.
Then the charge that the unit needed started to flow.
Commands started to be received and-
That was blood flowing through its organic pulp system.
Cattleya reached down and picked the young one up as she was working her way doing subtitle repairs to the inorganics.
"Did she just assimilate a Borg?" A child called out.
A single blurry eye opened and looked at her. And as she moved into the connections along with the spine of the infant. She felt emotions through the link.
It was more connective than her link with her sister.
She was confused, but the little one liked the warmth of her hand and arm.
"I think she likes you." The female Borg stated as she put her organic hand on the child's chest and started to rub under the little one's chin.
"I think I like her too!" Cattleya stated as she started to process this new feeling. Cattleya's only reference to it was through her progenitor Data and his first creation/daughter Lal.
It was a good feeling.
And one so needed to rebuild the bridge between the worlds of the natural and artificial.
Cattleya Would follow this path ahead of her without question.
Arcana just felt out of place.
Her body hurt.
Was this what Organics felt when they lost someone?
She didn't want to fall into the realm of hate that Sutra did.
She looked out at the cavernous interior of the spacecraft.
Then she screamed.
The echo felt great.
She screamed again and again and again—the echo tapping into her artificial flesh and bones.
Her throat started to feel rough as it reflected the pain in her heart.
The echo repeated, and it sounded so much like her sister.
A soft hand reached over and caressed her cheek to wipe away a tear.
Arcana turned to see an xB standing by her.
"Who is Saga?"
Arcana sensed no hostility from this being. He looked to have been damaged due to the facial scarring he had.
She looked down to see that he only had one arm.
"My sister. My twin."
"You miss her?"
"She died recently." Arcana felt the hurt in her throat. "I feel like I am malfunctioning."
"Understandable. I, too, feel like that. I have been pulled and disconnected from one type of collective existence and put into another."
"I feel like my insides are not in the right place. That even though I have Saga's memories... Her-"
"-Connection is not there. You have the files and memory engrams- but the whole feels like it has been lost."
Arcana nodded at this.
"Yes..." Arcana investigated the xB's face.
His face told so many stories.
Wrinkles, Scars, and... implants.
"You are not entirely organic, like me."
Arcana sensed that-
"You are Half-Meat. Like the xB." Arcana looked concerned, but there was a gentle singing sound that was-. "sorry, I am sensing your positronic mesh and-"
Arcana felt calm.
"It is singing," Arcana remembered Saga's Aulos being played next to her own Lyra. The sound was so... calming.
Was this what telepathy felt like for organics?
The xB pulled back some as she projected some of her own musical experiences to the connection.
"Your..." The xB looked at her as he realized that she was attempting to communicate to him in her own way through the link he had established. "Oh..."
"I like your singing... music."
"You like my communication?"
"It's soothing." Arcana touched his face and started to hum as she traced his wounded face.
Her song blending into his.
"Saga- memory- life- curious-"
"She was all that and more. She was my sister."
His single eye studied her golden honey ones, and her "soul" was his.
"Come." That single word she understood that he wanted her to follow.
Her pain was like scars on her soul, like the tale of this male before her skin.
This was the painful part where stories are forged and made the creation of the new.
They walked for a time until they entered a chamber where xB and disconnected Borg moved about.
Many of the Borg looked to have had a considerable amount of their mechanical mass shed. The room temperature stated that given the reduction of their armor had left them cold. And the increase of the climate was for their behalf.
A nearly naked young woman was standing in an alcove regenerating. Most of the woman's armor had been removed. The lack of traditional clothing other than a half-open robe looked to have been used more for warmth than for modesty spoke volumes. Arcana moved over and looked at the female. So many scars, but life as she looked down to see the slowly swelling exposed belly of the woman framed by the loose robe.
"Hilde looks to be sleeping well." The xB stated as he moved over and placed his hand on a terminal. The information showed pulse and breathing rates as well as neural activity. Arcana watched the belly move some as the organic larval inside readjusted itself to become more comfortable inside its mother/host.
"Yes, she is." A female voice stated as Arcana turned to see a topless female Bajoran sitting in a chair breastfeeding a child. After a moment, Arcana realized that this woman was an xB. The scaring across her flesh told the story of her assimilation. "Twenties years in stasis, and her damn kid is a fighter." The woman reached over and pulled a blanket over the child and her breasts. "I apologize for-"
"Actually, I did some reading on xB psychology and biology before I came." Arcana looked around the room to see that most of the xB in the room were in various refurbish states, from full Borg to xB. "Your chest scars state that you were a member of the Bajoran Militia who was captured during their planetary conflict. The tissue damage states the weapon was Car-"
"Yeah... Spoonhead." The reference took a moment to match against the cultural slang of the Federation to the species in question. "Latara." The woman offered her hand out from her place in the chair.
"Arcana-" Arcana approached the woman and reciprocated the gesture.
"Your little one is-"
"Benjamin. Named for the Emissary." The xB blushed a little. "The first thing I did after getting myself back to sanity was to fuck away the pain." Latrara stroked the face of her son, who was suckling his fill from her breast. "This is what happens when you forget that your plumbing is fully operational and go on a passion-filled orgy run."
"The child is the result of-"
"Bad decisions and-" There was a groan from her, "-losing any tolerance for alcohol." The woman caressed her child. "But the Prophets blessed me with a precious life."
"So... I heard about what one of your kin did to save the young Borglette. People are talking."
"I do not know of the event. I have been doing my best to help." Arcana closed her eyes and listened to the hum of the environment around her.
The song that the xB who had brought her here was flowing just outside the range of human hearing.
Arcana started to hum.
"How do you-" Latrara spoke as Arcana raised a hand to her.
"The Song is louder here. It's soothing." Arcana turned towards the xB who had brought her here. "Thank You."
"The song of the Collective still flows through places, but also the song of Omega."
"Which one is this?"
"Omega." The Song had a name.
"It has gentle pulse to it, very base string to it. Like a Cello and the ping of a Harpsichord."
"You can hear that?" Latrara spoke up.
"There are other songs. Thean, than, thum, thum, than." Arcana closed her eyes, and the music echoed through her toes, fingers, teeth, skin, bones, and her positronic mesh in her brain. "There are five... no Nine... symphonies playing."
She opened her eyes, and her body felt like it was being wrapped in Math, Music, Sound, Touch. She even tasted it.
"Nameless, I need you to-," Latrara spoke as her brain started to compute so fast as she tried to make sense of the music. Her computational speed was racing so hard that it caused her to blackout. As she started to lose consciousness, she saw the data take the form of a type of atomic Buckminsterfullerene in her mind's eye.
Arcana awoke with a small group of xBs and Borg around her. The sound of a Tricorder running.
She felt woozy.
It was like someone had put a toxin into her stomach and knocked out her balance systems just to get her to shut down.
Then she heard the voices in her head.
She is known.
She is Soong.
Daughter of Queen Slayer.
The song was still there, but the volume had been decreased.
Then she felt the prongs in the side of her neck.
Positronic Net is stabilizing.
Arcana saw herself outside of her body.
Saga files located.
then she saw-
Sutra stabbing her- No... Saga.
By the Prophets.
A baby crying just after it was removed from her body as she squeezed the child out between her legs.
Their ridged nose clearly present.
A Musician playing.
Saga's song... No... Her song and...
It was an orchestra.
Father... No... Data...
Captain... I need-
Wesley, could you help me Socialize Lal.
Saga and herself bore this woman's hairstyle.
A British tar is a soaring soul.
Then... a soft touch on her cheek.
"Easy there, Daughter of Soong." It was the young man whom she had run into. "Omega's song is a potent Muse that has ended many a Borg Life in our former quest for perfection."
Arcana turned her head to see that the xB had donned some prosthetic limb on his stump.
"What happened?" Arcana spoke as the others' voices were still there in her head, but less poking around and more, well, worried.
"Your brain experienced what could best be stated as a synesthesia overload." Arcana noticed that she was naked, but the table was warm.
"Why am I naked?"
"We had to partially assimilate you to save your life. You had stopped breathing, and your heart had ceased function for a short time."
Arcana's modesty subroutines kicked in as she moved to cover herself.
"We have some clothes," Latrara stated as she placed down a black and blue unitard bodysuit. It looked to be similar to a late twenty-fourth-century Starfleet uniform. Still, this one was form-fitting as if it was an attempt to emulate the clothing from an efficient Borg perspective.
Arcana sat up to see that several of the males had left the room, all except one. A Romulan-based xB who was running a tricorder over her head. He clearly had his prosthetic sensor arm still attached to his limb.
"You lady, you have just the same amount of cybernetics in your young body as most of us." With that, the Doctor held her hand. "I gave her a dissipate to remove the Nanoprobes from her system. They should pass out of her stool and urine over the next few days. Make sure this young lady gets some food into her stomach."
"Thanks, Doc Keethera." Latrara Stated as she watched as the Doctor left the room, and an obscuring photonic barrier flickered on. The women in the room kept guard to keep any prying eyes from Arcana's naked form.
"Well," one of the female xBs turned to head over to a control panel to adjust the temperature. "Your secret is out." Arcana became concerned as she did her best to override her modesty subroutine and boot her defense protocols up. Then the words stopped the boot process. "You are just a child."
"You are not upset that I-"
"Have a Positronic mesh in your biological tissue. You are among former Borg. Actually. I feel safer knowing that you are a fellow Half-meat. That and-" Latrara tapped her forehead. "While we were in there, we found out that you are Data of the Soong's Niece. A person who saved a whole lot of xB, Romulans, and quite a few others before his death."
"Then-." Arcana reached for the garment.
"You are not a monster or demon or some fuck-bot whore. You are Arcana- and a young woman who had just lost her sister."
"Oh," Arcana's modesty subroutine kicked in, and she covered herself...
"Put the clothes on. There is a young man outside who is worried about you. Though after seeing you naked... I think you need to let him know that you like him."
"Namless... The xB that you ran into when you screamed your sister's name."
"Oh." Latrara moved and left the room.
They... these xB were not afraid of her for being a Synth.
It made them more comfortable knowing that she had mechanical and biological components to her systems like themselves.
Arcana started a diagnostic. She found that other than some modifications that had been done to her pulmonary and raspatory systems. Most done to stimulate them into action. She had been left unmodified.
Arcana looked down at the garment before her.
It looked to be a unitard done in the Black and Blue patterning of a Starfleet Science uniform of the 2360s. Significant modifications were done. It featured integrated stockings, footwear, and finger-less gloves that stated that this had been designed off a Borg Unitard.
Arcana looked at the foot ware and noticed that it was designed to expand and conform to the user's foot like a stocking, but with a bit of programmable matter to harden the soles to adapt to the environment encountered and comfort the user's foot.
The rest of the garment looked to be made to mirror that of a body-conforming environmental suit used for spacewalks or other extreme environments.
The fastener on the back of the garment was a simple zipper with a long-attached lanyard that would allow the user to access the garment for removal or partial removal for waste removal.
There was a knock on the doorway.
"Arcana, you alright?" Latrara stated, concerned.
"I am... Just that I am examining the garment before I put it on." Was Aracana taking too long to get dressed? "Just figuring out..." Arcana needed to lie. "How I am going to use the lavatory later in this."
"Okay." Latrara sighed. "Just thinking that you didn't like the garment."
They were worried that she didn't like the clothes she was presented with.
Not the fact that she was a Synth.
Wait, she had already thought that earlier?
She ran another diagnostic.
Her mesh was running at optimum levels.
Neurochemicals in her bio-neuro gel were a little off but connected to emotional reactions.
Worry and concern. For herself and how the others were seeing who and what she was.
Arcana quickly got dressed. She pulled the stockings over her toes, hiked the leggings up to her legs and thighs. Then she slipped the sleeves up her arms.
Finding the lanyard hanging at the base of her back, she pulled the zipper up and felt the garment close behind her. Noticing that the lanyard was designed to loop and store around the neck, Arcana fastened it to the garment's collar.
The garment was comfortable.
It felt like standard Starfleet uniform materials.
They had said that she was a relation to Data Soong.
So, replicating something familiar to him might feel familiar to her.
All she was missing was the Gold Comm Badge, and she would look like any Starfleet officer.
Peeking through the projected privacy field, she saw several people around, including Latrara and the young male xB that she had encountered.
Most of the former Borg and xBs had drifted away as they were talking.
Her hearing stated that they were talking about her.
Then Soji walked in with Annika.
"Arcana, you okay?" Soji stated.
"They know what we... are." Arcana's worried voice spoke volumes.
"It's okay. If they haven't been hostile to you, you can be calm."
"They are talking about-"
"Lore..." Soji looked at the group and back at Arcana. "He left a mess that Director Hugh had to clean up many years ago. Our uncle Data... he did his best to put things right with Admiral Picard with what our uncle did to these people. "
"It's because I am related to Lore and Sutra that they-"
"Actually. Arcana, they are talking about you because you interfaced with the Cube much like our Uncle Data did. We can cause reactions in their system by our presence. That and we are the Children of Soong."
"Then they see us as monsters like the Romulans." Arcana felt a hand on her shoulder.
She turned to see the hand of an infant. It was Benjamin who was doing his best to reach for her brown hair.
"No, just a member of a family of a late good friend." Latrara, his mother, stated.
The weight was lifted from Arcana's shoulders as she realized that though the truth about her was out. It didn't matter.
They were not a threat to her.
She just felt so Tired.
She missed Saga...
"How about we take you to one of the modified alcoves to get some sleep." the xB male who had talked with her earlier stated.
"They modified the gravity field so that they could get used to sleeping lying down."
"Oh." Arcana realized that the male xB's hands were starting the sweat out of nervousness.
This wasn't fear, but given her olfactory detection schemes, she realized that he... "You like me?"
"Yeah..." there was nervousness in his voice as the xB scratched the back of his head with his handless arm. "I saved your shoes."
This was a courtship protocol.
He was interested in her... not her origins or biology... Brown-haired, Yellow-Eyed, Gold Skinned her.
She turned her positronic mesh to his implants but went slow.
"My name is Arcana. What is your name/designation?"
The xB male blushed.
"I do not have a name yet. But I am designated as Nameless 053... I go by Namless."
"Nice name," Arcana stated as she grinned.
"You are communicating via your implants." Annika stated grinning.
Arcana was about to disconnect till she heard Annika in her head.
"Don't disconnect. This is the most open Namless has been in a while. It is good for him, and it might be good for you."
Arcana took note of that and walked with Namless down the hallway back to the modified quarters that she had been in earlier.
Over in the corner, she saw her shoes had been placed on the couch. She same couch that Latrara had been using to rest on while breastfeeding her son.
"Here... "Namless pointed as he gestured over to the cubical. "I will modify the gravity field so that you are comfortable laying down."
Arcana moved and stood in the alcove.
Namless tapped a few controls, and the gravity field shifted, and it felt like she was... laying down.
She moved a little, feeling a little uncomfortable.
"No... just that the field feels a little-"
"Too Cold? Too warm?"
"No... too soft."
"Okay." Namless adjusted the field, and the "bed" felt a bit firmer behind her.
Arcana nodded. She turned to watch and saw that Namless was moving over to the cubicle next to her. With the clicking sound and whoosh that she noticed, she realized that he would be near her.
She didn't mind.
She just let her body drift off to sleep and rest.
Occasionally she would hear the humming of music, but that was nice, as she wouldn't be alone during this time of turmoil in her short life.
It wasn't Omega's song, but it was Namless's song for her.
It was a variation of an Ancient Earth Song about a girl.
My Golden Eyed Girl.
Namless made her feel not so alone.
She pictured herself playing her late Uncle's Guitar, following along with the notes.
She felt safe.
She played music in her mind as she fell asleep in the alcove.
She slept for several hours as the images and fears of terrifying Organic Monsters had been chased away by her new friends.
Saga would have liked them.
They had great stories about them. Sad, Strong, and Hopeful.
Arcana wiggled her fingers as she felt the guitar strings underneath them in her mind.
She had a song, and it was lovely.
She was able to rest for now.
She still hurt, but she wasn't alone in feeling her pain.
Arcana… I like the Organic, I think he is cute.
I end this chapter with some mush and some hints ahead.
Let me know what you think.