The Borg Come to Town
The Borg arrive in time to attend a StarTrek Convention.
Before I start, I stress I have never been to a StarTrek convention, in any shape or form. My impressions have been formed from having seen Galaxy Quest, being an unfortunate bystander at a trainspotters convention and have been to Brighton on a typical British summers day.
All the usual disclaimers apply, doubly so, as I have witnessed many of the events described here.
A dark sphere slowed to a stationary geo-synchronised orbit above a small blue and green planet. The occupants of the sphere had come a long way to get there, both in time and space.
The planet below was known as Earth to its indigenous inhabitants and as a future pain in the butt to the Borg occupants of the sphere. Now they examined the planet with jaundiced mechanised eyes.
They were by no means certain they had arrived at the right place.
The species laid bare before them showed none of the potential the race was to become.
Finally the female in charge, the queen, gave her orders. We will investigate the species first. She took her place with her three support drones and commanded her ship to beam them to a place where they would be inconspicuous.
All computers are by nature stupid. The Sphere's computer was no exception. It carefully examined the planet for centres of technology, power and where the inhabitants were simply odd and ignored them, instead it chose a small town on the coast of a small island in the Northern Hemisphere.
The first problem to face the Borg Queen as she stepped from the bathing hut that the ship had transported them too was a short, thin red faced man. He was shouting at her.
'Ere. You bloody Trekkies. Who do you think you are. What d'you think you're doing?
We are the Borg. We wish to examine the native species before assimilation, she responded automatically, supplying honest answers as was her design.
Ho said you could use that hut to change in. Y' gotta pay, Y' know. £15 quid a day. Come on pay up! The apoplectic human continued.
We have no interest in your £15 quid a day', the queen admitted.
Bloody kids think they can come and do anything wif out paying. Ain't been upto anything in that hut ave you? I'll get the law if you have. I know what's you gets up to in those huts. There's a beach two miles down the road for that sort of thing!
The Borg queen deciding the human was unhelpful to her cause indicated to her tactical drone, who stepped forward automatically. The little man became quiet and altogether happier as the drone carried him back to the beach hut.
Her second problem was more difficult to deal with. The weather. It was precipitating. Not a problem to the continued functioning of her drones in normal circumstances, they were generally waterproof, though the efficiency of their sensory and ocular systems would be affected. The precipitation here was different, she could feel it seeping past the seals where her neck met her body.
It prompted her to examine the few hardy souls semi-reposed in canvas chairs on the pebble beach. They were all wearing what were obviously waterproof clothing on their top halves, but their pale legs were bare. Humans were either a lot tougher than they looked, or just plain stupid.
She decided the latter was the case when several of the figures rose and approached the sea, still wearing their weatherproof outer garments. Especially when she examined the salty expanse and deduced a real threat to life from hypothermia after 20 minutes exposure.
Still wondering what scale of genetic and cultural catastrophe would occur to make the human race the major nuisance to her in the future, the Borg Queen led her entourage onto the promenade.
Back on more stable ground she observed a large knot of humans entering a building. The sign above informed her it was The Grand'. A title that mystified her. However as it seemed to be the venue for life in this settlement she made for it, putting a swagger of confidence into her step as she did so.
The queen was brought up sharp by a Wolf Whistle from behind. It prompted her to slowly turn around to discover a group of male youths.
Like the slinky gear darlin'! The tubes from yer head are real cool! One proclaimed, then descended into fits off giggles.
We are the Borg! The Borg Queen declared stonily. Your technological and racial distinctiveness are not worth adding to the Collective.
Yeah! And I'm Captain John Luc Picard! The youth responded, then descended into giggles again.
It seems unlikely, the queen observed. He will not exist for another four hundred years. Nor are you follicularly challenged.
You wanna see them over there! The youth responded, still laughing, and nodding in the direction she had been heading. Make it so, Mr Crusher! Engage, Mr Data!
Again, the Borg Queen finding herself unable to compete with the ridicule signalled to her drones before resuming her course for the building of interest.
There was a female StarFleet Lieutenant on the door, much more promising, the queen decided hopefully. Though the hat she wore on her head entreating the Queen to Kiss her quick' along with the large label attached to her breast proclaiming Hi! My name is Tracey', were definite detractions. In her experience StarFleet personnel rarely required to be reminded of names and definitely did not suffer fashion problems. Still there was a lot of them about, there had to be some likely candidates.
Let me guess? Lieutenant Tracey declared, wearing a plastic smile of recognition. You're here for the Borg Queen look-a-like contest. I must say the costume is very good.
I'm afraid there is a slight delay, she continued before the queen could disillusion her. But you're on after the Seven of Nine Contest. She pushed a polythene bag into her hand and pushed her through the door.
The hall was full of people', most of them she could identify as human and members of StarFleet. But there were a vast arrange of other races. Vulcans, Klingons she could recognise, though her Borg data files told her that they would not encounter Earth for more than a hundred years, obviously there was a fault in the data. Then there were the others that she was unable to identify, they looked vaguely Klingon or Vulcan, but the genetic appearance was wrong. Vulcans did not come in 200Kg size.
The queen wandered further in to the hall, mesmerised by the sights and sounds. Never had she been able to roam amidst an unassimilated race so freely and with so little attention being made to her.
Then there was the list of stories she overheard. Ah yes. We had that problem over Setion 5. Scotty rigged something with a graviton inverter, a 40Kg Captain Kirk with acne was telling a 120Kg Captain Picard with a rubberised forehead.
Picard said. Geordie had to induce a Polaron Field with an anti-matter emitter and a phasor.
That can't possibly have worked, a blonde captain declared. Seven of Nine and B'Elanna did something by inducing a Photonic Particle beam, using a Kronotonic Flux Generator.
The Borg queen decided they did not have a clue what they were talking about and tested the assumption. Perhaps you should have induced a rift in the Temporal Cohesion Field with a Neutronic Flux Inducer and the radiation from a Quantum Pulse Anomally? she suggested.
All three looked at her in surprise.
I suppose that would do it, Captain Kirk admitted.
She refused to be drawn further into the discussion.
Disillusioned the Borg Queen made towards a quiet corner besides a raised dias and examined the contents of the polythene bag she had been given. Meticulously cataloguing the contents:-
Primitive silver-nitrate image- Captain Kathryn Janeway, one off.
Primitive silver-nitrate image- Seven of Nine Tertiary Adjunct Unimatrix Zero-One, one off.
Primitive silver-nitrate based image- Voyager crew on bridge of Voyager, one off.
Paper folder stabled and folded, containing more primitive images, one off.
Writing implement, plastic, one off.
Slip of paper apologising for the unexpected absence of said Captain Kathryn Janeway, due to illness, one off.
Small green tube, bearing the legend Polo, the mint with a hole', one off.
Idly she inspected the last item, carefully unwrapping the end and examining the small white hoops inside. They seemed to have no intrinsic value or relation to the other useless articles. The hole was certainly superfluous.
She put one in her mouth, exploring the sweet taste of boiled sugars and mild menthol flavouring and pondered thoughtfully at the nature of StarFleet on the planet Earth. She felt a certain amount of sympathy for her arch enemy. She was feeling ill as well. No wonder she always seemed to prefer fighting the Borg to going home. The only way the inhabitants would get into space was to use copious amounts of the narcotics that a couple in the far corner were testing.
The Borg Queen's musings were interrupted by a number of humans pushing at her. Come-on doll. Your turn.
She was pushed gently but firmly onto the dais and into line with what appeared to be six poor effigies of herself, dressed in a mixture of black polythene and rubberised slacks.
A foam ball was thrust in her face. Would you care to tell us where you are from and who you are? the owner of the ball asked cheerily.
Unimatrix Zero-One. The Delta Quadrant. I am the Borg.
And do you have a message for all of us on planet Earth? the owner asked, keeping the fixed smile on his face.
I have decided I will not assimilate you, the Queen announced. You are of no benefit to the Borg. I will destroy you.
It was probably the wrong thing to say, the queen decided as she collected her drones and made her way back to their transportation point, gripping her consolation prize of a stick of rock with Trekiverse Brighton' running through it and another tube of the small round Polo, the mint with a hole's'.
Not only had the Compere of the competition chastised her by suggesting it was not what the Borg said, but she had finished last. The winner had been a fat female with a funnel glued to her head.
The only resistance the planet had offered was by a deckchair that had attacked a tactical drone when the rain had gained access to his occular implant, temporarily blinding it. The drone would have to be deactivated due to the trauma of attempting to assimilate the wood and fabric contraption.
No she was not going to bother assimilating the planet. She had some values afterall.
Wed 26/Sep 01
Thu 27/Sep 01
21/03/00 The Borg Come to Town 4 of 4