Chapter 7

Colonel Kira watched as more and more ships began filling the space around station Deep Space Nine. The battered survivors of the Federation taskforce limped into range and settled slowly into positions within the stations defences. Kira authorized the unrestricted use of the stations facilities and supplies in order to try and help the fleet. Within minutes the medical bays were filled to bursting point, wounded Starfleet personnel were laid out on the promenade as frantic medics rushed around trying to save whom they could.

Still more ships trickled in, all of them showing signs of the hard fighting they had endured. Finally the sensors showed her what she wanted to see, she closed her eyes and exhaled in a moment of pure relief as the USS Defiant entered sensor range, generally intact and healthy. It was the last ship to arrive, along with the USS Titan. One hundred and fifty ships in total had made it back to DS9, a fraction of those that had left. Based on what she had heard of the Borg it was going to get a lot worse.

A few days later the Enterprise found itself once more in Earth orbit, having proceeded at maximum warp from the battlefield. Picard was met by the sight of hundreds of ships above the world patrolling against Borg attack. He was heartened by this, but at the same time not reassured, if the Borg came in force nothing would stop them, unless Picard got his way.

Picard materialised in Starfleet HQ, Geordi LaForge beside him clutching a datapad.

"Captain, this is a bit of a surprise." The duty officer began.

"Oh there's definitely a surprise coming." Picard growled and stormed past the man.

"Err, Captain, you can't go down there, Captain!" the officer cried

"Don't try and stop him." Geordi advised, "You really don't want to get in his way."

Admiral Necheyev fixed the council with an icy stare, cold blue eyes and bright blond hair tied into a rigid style disguised the admirals true character. Her small figure held a sharp mind, cold and calculating like a Romulan while being as fierce and aggressive as a Klingon. She was head of Starfleets threat assessment team, the group of officers responsible for preparing the Federation for wars in the future and as such was one of the fleets most qualified officers.

"Mr President, our initial reports are that the first, second, fourth and sixth fleets have been decimated." She spoke clearly and concisely, betraying no emotion. "We have lost about Eight hundred and fifty ships including ten admirals, including Admiral Ross. The Klingons and Cardassians lost a further five hundred ships between them."

"This is a nightmare." The President muttered.

"Additionally we have lost the Ateega system near the Cardassian border, though we have no confirmation…"

"I will confirm it." Captain Picard stormed into the room. "The colony is assimilated and millions of Federation citizens are dead." He let the words hang in the air. Picard was a measured man, decades in space had taught him patience and tact, the keys to diplomacy. But right now diplomacy was the last thing on his mind.

"Captain Picard." A Vulcan admiral stood. "You have not been invited to this meeting."

"Careful Jean-luc." Admiral Janeway cautioned. Picard was having none of it.

"You sent our ships out to battle without giving them the means to defeat the Borg!"

"There are no reliable means." The Vulcan pointed out. The President was silent.

Picard motioned to LaForge who uploaded his data into the briefing rooms screen.

"Transphasic torpedoes." Picard announced as plans appeared on the screen. "These weapons can destroy a cube in one shot, I myself have seen it, using these torpedoes I destroyed two cubes in seconds!"

The meeting watched in stunned silence, to most this was a revelation.

"But Captain," the President began.

"If our fleet had been given these weapons they would have crushed the Borg in the first battle and prevented them gaining a foothold!"

"Captain these are weapons from the future!" the president retorted. "I'm not sure how you got them," he flung a glance at Janeway, "but they are not authorized for deployment in case they disrupt the timeline."

"They've already been deployed!" Picard pointed out, his rage gradually rising. "The timeline is already disrupted, these weapons exist here and now! We must use them!"

"We can't!" the president felt his own rage creeping in. "Temporal policy is…"

"DAMN POLICY!" Picard exploded, shocking the meeting. "I am talking about the death of every single member of the Alpha quadrant, trillions of lives depend on stopping the Borg! We can do it, we can defeat them. For the first time ever we can stand up to a borg invasion and send them all straight to hell! Authorize the damn weapons!"

The President sat in silence, nobody had ever spoken to him like that.

"Is this true?" the Vulcan asked. "Do such weapons exist?"

"Yes." Necheyev answered on his behalf. "And more besides."

"Logically it is better to…"

"I am aware of the argument." The president responded.

"So make a decision." Picard said, quieter but with a hard edge in his words.

"I have forces standing by." Necheyev added. "Experimental but active."

"Just make the right choice." Picard glared at the President.

Borg Cube 5 of 16 reporting sensor contacts. Location former Federation colony designated Ateega. Contacts Federation vessels, designation Prometheus class, type attack cruiser, number fourteen. Possible advanced technology detected. Priority assimilation, moving to assimilate.

Override, new tactical directive, all cubes move to assimilate. Resistance is futile

The fourteen Prometheus class ships ripped through space, sleek grey hulls moving like a pack of sharks moving in on their prey. Sixteen Borg cubes had taken station in the Ateega system, the once green world already ravaged by assimilation and showing signs of a Borg colony sprouting up.

All of the Borg cubes moved toward the small fleet, as arrogant and confident as only machines can be. No fear, no remorse only their directives.

"We are Borg." They began the same speech used a million times in a million battles, almost all of them had ended in the Borg adding more drones to their collective. Not this time.

The Federation vessels responded, the already heavily armoured hulls of the attack cruisers were suddenly covered in even more armour, thick plates sweeping across their hulls and enclosing the vessel beneath. Adaptive shields sparked on, matching the contours of the vessel underneath as they accelerated to attack speed.

"Resistance is futile."

Massed volleys of Transphasic torpedoes ripped into the Borg, all sixteen cubes died in seconds as the Attack cruisers swooped by. They raced past the growing Borg colony and dropped more torpedoes on it. Perhaps somewhere some of the Colonists had survived, they had hidden from the Borg, or had been ignored. It didn't matter. In the past perhaps the ships would have scanned the area but not now, too much had happened, too much was at stake. Nuclear fire swept through the main Borg structures as the Torpedoes struck and blasted apart what they found.

The attack cruisers kept going, they never slowed down, never paused. They simply engaged their cloaks and left the ruin of the system behind them.