Chapter 18:

I was sitting alone in my audience chamber alone, contemplating the events of tomorrow. It had been eight days since the meeting with Shaleena which had taken place right after the second successful test of her virus. The Unimatrix had been completed four days ago and was now running at peak efficiency. Yesterday Shaleena had told me that she was finished with her tasks. She had modified the virus to make the assimilation of species 8472 possible. She had also redesigned the program that created the cortical node to be able to function with species 8472's brain. The cortical node would insure that the newly assimilated species 8472 drones would not have any individual thoughts.

Today, with the help of Shaleena, we had started redesigning a torpedo to be able to infect the target with the virus and Nano Probes in the most efficient way possible, so that when the collective was attacking species 8472 they would replicate the specially designed torpedoes for species 8472 in the ships' torpedo launcher. It was one of our greatest advantages to be able to have self-replicating torpedo launchers; we could create at any time any type of torpedo we needed for any situation.

At the moment I was setting up the strike force that would go into fluidic space. The strike force would move through the rift they had created and wait nearby to attract species 8472 bio-ships to their location. If the initial assault was successful then the strike force would remain at their position for the next attack group of species 8472 ships, which presumably would be much larger. No matter the outcome of the second battle, unless it was a total loss, the remaining Borg ships and the newly assimilated species 8472 bio-ships would exit the rift and return to the Unimatrix.

I had decided that the strike force would consist of Tactical cubes 0158, 0397, 0783, 1468 and 1470. The force would also consist of cubes 04589, 06984, 07579, 13485, 13486, 13487, 13488, 25680, 27860 and 27865. The rift would be opened and maintained by science sphere 072. The science sphere was something I had created which was based heavily off of my Diamond ship. I would not be going on this attack, instead I would be directing the attack from Unimatrix zero one. I had ordered all of the designated ships to gather at the point where the rift would be opened.

Now that I had everything set for the following morning, it was time for me to go regenerate. It was late and Shaleena had already gone to regenerate an hour ago, so I got up out of my chair and went to my bed. With a thought my dress changed into my body suit and I got under my silky sheets and closed my eyes. I heard the building hum of the hidden power transfer module and then my mind went blank.

The following morning when my regeneration cycle ended I got out of bed and with a thought I was wearing my silver dress. I went out to my audience chamber and sat down in my chair. I started my daily routine of making changes that I felt were needed. Today there where no changes, as I had already placed the collective in a defensive posture just incase anything went wrong with today's attack and we needed to defend ourselves.

The double doors to my audience chamber opened up and Shaleena walked in. "Good morning Naomi, I hope you had regenerated well last night," she said. Shaleena had the room create a chair to the right side of mine and sat down.

"Yes, I completed my regeneration cycle with no problems," I replied. "Don't worry Shaleena, I am ready for today's attack. Hopefully, with the assimilation of a few of species 8472's bio-ships, you will have a lot of new information to study and learn that you can use it to bring us a few steps closer to perfection biologically." I turned my head to the right for a second and the room changed itself to look like a real spatial overview of where the strike force was congregating.

With a thought science sphere 072 directed an energy beam a thousand meters away from itself and opened a quantum singularity which led to fluidic space. After ten seconds the rift had stabilized into a roughly oval golden portal, and the other fifteen Borg cubes flew in to the rift. With another thought the room changed to show fluidic space. It was almost like I was underwater, with the blue-green liquid surrounding my ships. I had the cubes form up into attack pattern 03 omega, one of our best defensive and yet offensive patterns. Now we would wait; all of the cubes had their shields raised to maximum and remodulated in a way to best be able to defend against species 8472 weapons fire. I hoped the tri-layer shields would help. All fifteen of the cubes had their torpedo bays already loaded with viral torpedoes.

I had to admit that I felt a knot in my stomach. I was very nervous, for if this did not work out right things could truly go badly for us. Each minute seemed to pass very slowly. I hated waiting, to many thoughts were going through my mind. Finally, after eight minutes Tactical cube 0397's sensors picked up nine bio-ships on an intercept course. Within a second all fifteen of the cubes had the same reading.

Thirty-six seconds later the seven bio-ships where in visual range, and Shaleena and I could see the group. The bio-ships where setup in an attack ring with a single ship in the center. I immediately knew what this formation did. The formation was so powerful it was capable of shattering an entire planet in one strike. Eight of the bio ships would give energy to the center ship and once the energy build up enough it would release it into a powerful beam. I sent the attack group a new directive, that any ship that was in the path of the beam was to initiate interphasic cloaking. The beam should pass harmlessly through the ship in danger.

Twenty-two seconds later the bio-ship had already initiated the energy transfer. The bio-ships entered range and the central ship released a powerful beam at tactical cube 1468, which immediately engaged its interphasic cloak. I held my breath as the beam reached cube 1468 and then passed straight through it. I sighed, it had worked. No damage had been taken by cube 1468. I gave the mental command to the collective to start attacking.

Within four point six seconds five hundred and fifty modified interphasic cloaking torpedoes were released, which quickly and with total ease ripped through the nine ships. It was simply too much for the ships to take. They were destroyed before the virus and Nano Probes had a chance to even try and assimilate the bio-ships. I cursed to myself; with memories I had of how easily we had been beaten before I had panicked and gone overboard with the torpedoes. At least we had learned one thing; we were now the stronger side.

Shaleena was laughing and patted me on the shoulder. "Well that did not go as planned, but it seems you have already developed a weapon that is able to destroy species 8472. Perhaps this time we will let my virus have a chance?" She asked with an amused smile.

A frown appeared on my face. "I admit I did overdo things a bit much, but that's no reason to laugh at me."

Shaleena snickered. "Oh I was not laughing at you. I understand that not long ago species 8472 almost wiped the collective out. I find it funny that we did not realize that with the upgrades you made to the collective we were now more powerful then them."

I was about to reply to Shaleena when I received a message through my link to the collective that a much larger attack group of ships were on an intercept course to my strike group. I gave a new directive to the collective, to first defend the ships using the interphasic cloaking device and to only use a few torpedoes on each attacking ship. I would watch what was happening and make adjustments accordingly.

Twenty-seven seconds later the attacking bio-ships where in range. My cubes started releasing torpedoes at the ships in front. This appeared to damage the ships and stop them from continuing their attack. As the bio-ships fired on our cubes they would cloak just long enough for the shot to pass through them, then decloak and return fire.

Within minutes of the battle I started hearing new voices join the collective, at first one and two, then a few more. The new voices where very distinct. The minds of species 8472 were different from most other species. In some ways their minds were far more complex then that most other species, but in other ways much less complex and more instinctual then other post-warp species.

I looked outward again and saw that the remaining bio-ships had changed tactics. They were firing in such a way as to trick cube 07579 into being visible when two close range shots hit the cube. The first shot passed through the first two shield grids and destroyed the third. The second shot hit the ablative armor, causing minor damage. The problem was that the damage caused to the effective area had become unstable in such a way that cube 07579 could no longer cloak properly. The damaged area was still in the normal space time continuum. The other bio-ships took advantage of this and pounded the still visible portion of the ship. Each shot cause more and more of the ship to become visible. Within forty five seconds cube 07579 was destroyed.

The battle did not last much longer. After cube 07579 was destroyed the invisible torpedoes made short work of what remained of species 8472's attack fleet. Soon the attacking force of over fifty ships had been assimilated. The newly assimilated bio-ships were healing themselves with the help of their new Nano Probes. Once the fight was over I directed the strike force to travel back through the rift. Any bio-ship that was to badly damage was drag through with a tractor beam, though slowly due to the fact that only the Borg portions of the bio-ships could be affected by the beams.

Once all of our ships were through the rift science sphere 072 closed it and opened up a transwarp conduit One by one the ships flew into the conduit, some by themselves, others being dragged in by a tractor beam. Once all of the ships except the science sphere were through the aperture, the sphere followed and at the same time maintained the transwarp conduit.

I looked over at Shaleena, who had her eyes closed as she absorbed the new knowledge we had assimilated from species 8472. I could feel that she was amazed at all the new knowledge we had gained. She was almost overwhelmed by it all. A smile had spread cross my lips; today had been a very good day. We had finally found a way to assimilate species 8472, and hopefully the cost of finally be able to assimilate them would pay for itself.

I looked away from Shaleena and instructed the collective to start transferring all knowledge on species 8472's energy weapon into me. I wanted to learn how to recreate it, and more importantly how to defend my ships from it. I knew I had to be even better prepared, for the next time we engaged species 8472, I wanted it to be the last.


A/N: I was going through my files and found the raw file that has this story in it. I have 9 more chapters written but not proof read and anther about a 1/3 written. I did nor proof this chapter, this is a raw post. If you guys wish I will see about proof reading all the chapters again and continue to post what I have left.

Damien