IV. Treaties and
Of paramount importance to any successful campaign, is the accumulation of relevant data on the enemy. This was the major lesson learned by the Cylon Empire as they made war against the Colonials for over one thousand yahrens. That they made war against the humans was attributed to them as 're-aligning the official order of the universe.' The humans had violated their sovereign right to rule their domain, which in this case, was the universe at large. The universe itself had other plans and other Powers simply ignored them much as a man might ignore a single ant underneath his foot. Their fleet of forty relatively primitive Basestars would have been considered laughable when compare to that of the Dominion, the Breen, the Federation, the Klingons, and a host of others with far superior technology at their disposal. Having never met them the Cylon Empire, relatively isolated in a corner of the Beta quadrant, didn't understand and didn't care about those abstract concepts. What they did care about was the constant loses to those weak organics called Man, who, with their ever-evolving technology kept the Cylons at bay. Their programming demanded that the 'human organic paste' be removed from existence as an example to others to remain in their places. There was no hatred of the human race, as machines had no feelings, they were simply an object to be removed. In other words, during the thousand yahren war, the Cylon warriors-indeed their entire mechanical culture-one could accurately describe their actions as ant-like. Out of instinct, ants make war also, simply because that same instinct in programmed into them. The Cylons did the same. Programming was all.
Count Iblis was the master programmer.
The programming was simple-make war, kill and destroy, thereby causing misery. He did not expect them to actually win the war, simply make everyone miserable. He enjoyed conflict because it was opposite of everything he'd been taught. He enjoyed his playthings, the weak, as compared to him, mortals that toiled and died by his wishes. To them he was a dark god and he reveled in their terror. But he was simply one among many, forced to conform to their laws. His powers were limited when it came to playing with mortals. How he hated that. Now mortals were his coveted prizes only if they came to him of their own free will. Then he was free to do anything he so desired. He didn't expect the Cylons to defeat humanity, but just in case they came close, he added an extra bit of programming, something he christened the 'Ruination protocols', designed to prolong the conflict as long as possible. When the Colonials actually did lose and began running for their pathetic lives, the plan had been modified. If the humans ran in the direction he hinted at when he first encountered the Galactica, maybe his plan would bare fruit.
Despite the odds, the Colonials made it to the Alpha quadrant and he was elated. Because his children followed-they always followed- he saw his chance. When the Cylons reached the edges of the T'kon ruins, all he had to do was press a button. No powers were needed at all to conquer a galaxy, all because he followed their rules. He would have all the mortals he ever wanted to love him and nobody could touch him.
Year [Earth date: December 
The Extreme-class Basestar Turrent, flagship of the new-improved Cylon Empire-a third larger than their cousins, jet-black in color, twin distortion nacelles situated just outside the classic double hulls- exited to normal space three weeks after they left the Katasi Star base. As advanced as the propulsions systems were, tunnel shifting allowed one's ship to travel basically in a straight-line direction. Stars, black holes, pulsars, or any phenom na that happened to be in the way usually were causes for catastrophic endings for one's journey. Then the temporal distortions had to be taken into consideration also so that one would not end up ones distant future. Therefore by definition, the T-S mode of travel had to be used with extreme care. The journey look the Turrent eight thousand light-yahrens distant from Katasi to the Tetragupta region, more commonly known as region J-28. This area of space was basically devoid of life and any stars of interest. The double star that the warship orbited contained only three Jupiter-sized planets and a myriad of asteroid belts. The ship slowed to point zero one c, finally stopping three million kilometers from the star's corona.
The navigations officer an armored, silver colored centurion revolved its head and addressed its Commander in a cold monotone metallic voice. "Commander Yuall, station keeping has been established."
"Acknowledged," the gold leader said in even a lower voice. It would be the last communication using vocalization during the remainder this voyage. Indeed vocal communication wasn't needed as internal subspace transceivers kept them in constant contact with one another. The Cylons had progressed into a form of hive mind, in many ways like communal wasps, joined as a whole but independent in their thought processes. Vocals were a leftover from a time when the race was less evolved. Just like its name. There was no need for names to be used, but in the interest of communicating with lesser, living life forms, it was useful. Yuall took a moment to scan his bridge once more, its single red optical device constantly looking for any type of inefficiency by any of the bridge crew. First were the navigations center with three silvers manning the helm, each in contact with the other joined by their transceivers, working in perfect unison. To its right was tactical and weapons and next to those five silvers were the scanners triumvirate.
Scanning to its left it acknowledged the security contingent consisting of the dual-eyed golden warriors each carrying one heavy duty disruptor-pulse, anti-photon cannon, in addition to their built-in neutron-based disruptor weaponry, now standard in all Cylon warrior configurations engineering. And of course there was the Cylon classical short sword, a holdover from times past. Engineering was to their left and communications was positioned directly behind him. Satisfied with its crew, it sat in its command chair. Everything had been prepared and now all they need do is wait. The eight thousand warriors onboard would not move as much as a millimeter for the next six days.
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Registering nothing but negative scans for a week, Turrent began a slowly expanding elliptical search, moving way from the two stars. On the twelfth day, scans picked up target moving roughly parallel to their course. Five minutes later, the ship changed to an intercept course, slowly, almost casually coming to within thirty kilometers of Cylon vessel. This was what they had been searching for.
The silver-colored, sensors mechanoid began its detailed scan as the Turrent went on high alert. " Identified," it said thru it subspace transceiver. "Class-C Borg cube, seven point three-five-seven-two kilometers square, one hundred fourteen thousand crew onboard."
The dark and extremely menacing cube simply hung there in space, at a slight angle, as though trying to present as small a profile as possible. Dark green power emanations pulsed on various areas of its hull. Without those pulsations, the ship itself-blending into the starry background like camouflage-would have been just barely visible to human eyes
"The vessel has not taken hostile action," confirmed the head Cylon of the defense crew. All communication between them was precise, void of any unnecessary excess.
"Our vessel is being scanned."
"Acknowledged," Yuall Transmitted. "Return scans. Accumulate all available information." It observed as for several moments both ships simply stood gathering information on one another.
"Prepare," Gold Leader transmitted. "Follow the plan."
Four Borg drones materialized inside the warship moments before Cylon screens went up. Rotating Cylon screens effectively blocked any more Borg intrusions and as planned for, cut subspace communications between the drones as the mothership.
Even cut off from the Collective, as per standard procedure, two Borg began a cursory examination of the bridge, the third in engineering. The forth drone was incinerated the instant it beamed into the weapons bay.
"Drone interplexing node has been rendered inoperative. Jamming is effective."
Undeterred, the first drone performed a visual survey, of engineering then lifted its mechanical arm seeking to co-opt engineering. The Cylon next to it backhanded the Borg with a viciousness that smashed the intruder into the bulkhead, its organic components completely ruptured. The remains dissipated even as the second Borg drone retaliated, injecting the nearest silver warrior with nanoprobes. Whip-like injection nodes snaked out, penetrating armor. Hundreds of thousands of nanoprobes entered the silver Cylon warrior's system instantly converting and co-opting vital components to Borg specifications causing the Cylon to be momentarily staggered. The nanoprobes attempted to reprogram Cylon programming to conform to the Collectives specifications.
Such an attack had been anticipated almost a thousand yahrens past by the Master Programmer. He would never allow another to replace him since these were his children and no one would take them away from him. The Cylon recovered as its own internal defense systems kicked in by releasing millions of its own nanoprobes, which fought and destroyed the foreign invaders with a combination of T'kon technology backed with the resonating power of an entity who would be God. Borg flesh dissolved under the withering effects of close range neutron disruptor energy, personal shield notwithstanding.
"WE ARE THE BORG," a multitude of united voices yelled over communications. The voices were as cold in their way as the mechanical voices of the Cylon warriors. "YOU ARE CYBERNETIC SPECIES TWO-TWO-FOUR -ONE, LOCATED IN GRID NINE-ONE- FIVE -NINE OF THE BETA QUADRANT. WE WILL ADD YOUR CYBERNETIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL UNIQUENESS TO OUR COLLECTIVE. YOU WILL SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE."
The Borg aggression was immediate, classical. A tractor beam attempted to lock onto the Cylon craft, its beams scattering uselessly across the quickly erected force sheen. The T'kon enhanced computer mind of both the defense team and the ship itself defied the Borg attack by rotating frequencies so swiftly that a lock was impossible.
The Cylon response was instantaneous, archetypal. Anti-photon disruptor lashed out carving pieces out of the Borg ship's massive superstructure. The Borg adaptive techniques were unable to keep up with the intense rotational protocols the Cylons had designed specifically for this purpose. The cube was severely damaged before it returned fire in earnest.
Each ship blasted away indifferent to the damages being sustained. To the Borg, other than completing a mission life and death were irrelevant. To the Cylons, other than their mission, existence or destruction was irrelevant. At this point the battle-to untrained eyes- was a stalemate, as sections of Borg cube, first melting, then disintegrating away, continued to remain in point blank range in defiance of the destruction. The Cylon Basestar's shields began to buckle as they registered scores of hits. Soon both ships started taking physical damage, all the while constantly regenerating themselves.
The Cylons were winning because they had struck first and struck hard. Unprepared for the initial assault the cube began backing away attempting to get some breathing space. As the Borg retreated the Turrent remained where it was. Surprise aside, small victories aside, unless they could destroy the cube utterly -and quickly- there was no possibility of victory because the Borg would soon adapt to the weapons, overwhelming the Cylons who would self-destruct rather than succumb. But that wasn't the point of the mission.
Yuall, while assessing the damage to his ship, strolled up to the now captured Borg drone that struggled violently, but futilely against two enhanced Cylons calming holding by his arms. "Cease jamming." Facing the drone he placed a PADD in front of its optical unit and the Borg read and sent the message, via subspace to its collective. Immediately the Borg cube ceased its retreat.
The comms received a reply. "WAIT."
A half hour later, the now fully repaired Turrent received another message.
"ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS ARE POSSIBLE. RETURN THE DRONE," the message continued. "PREPARE TO RECEIVE A TRANSMISSION."
"Open a channel," Yuall transmitted.
"Acknowledged. A holographic image is being transmitted."
On the Basestar's bridge appeared a somewhat humanoid-based female. The being was clad in black, fairly short and obviously implanted with a multitude of mechanical innovations. She casually strolled around the bridge coming to a stop in from of Yuall.
"I am the Borg," she said.
"Do you accept the proposal?" Yuall asked.
"You have grown, species two-two-four-one," she said to Gold Leader, ignoring his question for the moment. Circling the Commander now, she examined it with eyes that were not eyes. "There is a uniqueness in your programming that we have not seen before. Interesting. Chrotronics memory and storage upgrades. Admantium-plated, hyper-steel alloy combat chassis resistant to Borg weaponry-temporarily. Internal, self-replicator units, a nice touch. Built-in sub-space transceivers, primitive but effective. You are fast becoming your own Collective," she said softly, the energy rods within her head pulsating in response to some unknown signal. "If you were to join us instead of starting this foolish war with the humans, we would both be the stronger for it." Her voice was soft and sweetly seductive, much like a snake if a snake could speak.
"The elimination of the life forms known as Man and Vulcanoid takes priority. Do you accept the proposal?"
"You leader's proposal is rash," she answered. "Why should we stay out of your war?" She smiled. "We could very easily assimilate you all. We had the chance so many years ago. But then you so less evolved than you are now. We seek to improve, not lower ourselves with the unworthy."
"We can deliver the children to the collective. They have continued to resist you."
"Resistance is futile," she hissed, her face contorting in suppressed fury at the thought of being constantly frustrated by the children.
"Any technology containing Borg influence is rejected by the children," Yuall retorted. "Their power is sufficient to keep the Collective from collecting them."
"I see you're developing a since of humor," the Borg queen responded. "But I admit that you do have a point." Looking at the gold-plated Commander in false submissiveness: "How do you propose to achieve your goal and how will this possibly benefit the Cylon Empire?"
"We intend to bond with the machine half."
"The human half will reject you. That part which is human will never submit."
"As the Borg say, resistance is futile," Yuall answered. "That which is machine will conform and persuade and acquiesce. That which is machine is superior to that which is human."
"Again I ask what will you get from this magnanimous gift you offer us?"
"Access to the great machine cultures so that we may improve ourselves as you attempt to improve yours. Our access to the children will open their defenses so that you will be able to assimilate them into the Borg collective. The information that we extract will allow us future access to their creators. They are our kindred."
"But-" the Borg added cryptically.
But," Yuall responded, acknowledging her suspicions. "The Cylon Empire requires transwarp coils in order to pursue the children."
Ah, I see," she said smiling. "A noble endeavor for the benefit of us all." She turned facing the large view screen that presented a impressive image of the Borg cube stationed nearby. "But we can do this for ourselves."
"Negative. The Borg have suffered a high percentage of loses due to the conflict with Voyager. You are not what you were. It will take time to replace what you have loss. Janeway, as with all humans, is unpredictable and destructive...as you are aware."
Again momentary fury threatened to dominate her. Janeway was, in the scheme of things irrelevant, but it was all so personal now. She was the one person that she-who-is-Borg hated. The damage she did them had been considerable. Even now there were the Lost Ones, those who failed to hear Her voice, independently roaming the galaxy. The Collective was indeed damaged. Moreso than the collective was willing to admit.
"Your intelligence gathering is far more efficient that I thought. Perhaps WE have underestimated you," she said quietly. "The transwarp coils are incompatible with your technology," she lied. "And you do not yet have the ability to properly exploit your tunnel-shift engineering sufficiently to adequately perform your mission. However, WE will wait until you prove yourselves against the Federation. If what WE see is satisfactory then WE will give you a quantum slipstream drive unit that will be sufficient for your needs."
"You accept the proposal?"
"We will stay out of the conflict to see if you are strong enough to prevail where the Borg have not," she answered. "Then WE will decide if WE will give you the drive unit."
"Do not wait too long. Every moment of delay keeps you from achieving perfection." There was a definite hint of sarcasm present.
"Our perfection will come whether we assimilate the children or not," she said confidently. "But your proposal has been approved." She smiled and moved close to the Cylon almost touching him. Speaking softly: "You may find your war more difficult that you expect. We will be in contact soon."
The holographic image faded along with the captured drone. The cube moved swiftly away, created a transwarp conduit and was gone.
Yuall was left alone with its own thoughts. The children of Mephistopheles had made a deal with a Collective devil. It and all Cylons understood that the instant the children were compromised, the Borg would swarm all over them. The Empire was playing a dangerous game, however the kindred machine consciousness would never allow them to fight alone. They would join with their kindred, thereby sentencing organics everywhere to irrelevance, including the Borg. Cyborgs had no place in the new order that was coming.
The children that were called V'ger would be the ultimate bait to ultimate evolution.
The mission was completed. It was time to return. The fighting hadn't yet begun but every ship would be needed if the Romulan Empire defended itself as calculated. Their defensive strategies would not matter. Their home world was doomed.
"Return to the Katasi station," Yuall spoke.
"By the command," the Cylon navigator answered. Tunnel Shift energizers powered up and the ship began to move.
Next: 'The Ruination Imperatives'