STAR TREK: Where No One Has Gone Before
"The (Mis)Adventures of January McKenna"
By Michael D. Garcia
STAR TREK(R) and all related trademarks and copyrights used by this game are the property of Paramount Pictures Corporation. This work of fanfiction is intended for non - profit and entertainment purposes only and is in no way assuming intellectual property for any previously registered trademarks and copyrights. This disclaimer is pursuant to US Copyright Law (Chapter 1, Section 107 and Chapter 1, Section 117). The following is a derivative work that is my only claimant. Thank you for not suing me! :)
This series of chapters were originally written for the online role-playing game "Where No One Has Gone Before." This story is the culmination of the hypothesis, what would have happened if the crew of the Enterprise-D failed to stop the single Borg Cube at Sector 001 in the second part of "The Best of Both Worlds?" As a result, we made an entire RPG around that theme. Needless to say, this is very much an alternate universe Trek. I hope you enjoy it.
"My Ship Got Destroyed At Wolf 359 And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt."
The borrowed clasp in her hair lost control over several strands of her raven black hair every time impacts to the ship jostled her at the flight controls on the main bridge. Blood matted the strands down and prevented itself from dripping down her cheek and distracting her from her duties. She briefly lifted her head up to scan the bridge before returning her attention to the information being displayed. As the battle stations klaxon wailed in the background, she maintained the Federation starship Roosevelt's flight as her captain had commanded her to, keeping the ship within weapons' range of the enemy vessel.
Looming before the bridge crew on the main viewscreen, was the enemy vessel in all of it horrendous glory; a single Borg cube had attacked the Federation colony at Jouret IV and destroyed it completely. Starfleet dispatched Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Shelby to assist the flagship USS Enterprise in their investigation and confrontation with the cube, but in response, the Borg abducted Captain Jean-Luc Picard and assimilated him. He became an unwilling participant in the cube's further incursion into Federation space as the new face of the Borg. It was his eerie visage on the viewscreen as the Borg stated their intentions to the United Federation of Planets.
"I am Locutus of Borg," he had said in his accented Standard, implants visible upon the side of his head, with a red laser pointing directly at the video inputs and causing the light to scatter in a circular pattern. He continued to announce the intentions of the Borg, along the lines of destroying their vessel if they did not disarm and escort them to Earth where they would begin assimilating the population.
Starfleet had been charged with the responsibility of defending the Federation, and as such, Vice Admiral J. P. Hanson ordered a thirty-nine ship fleet to form at Wolf 359 to make a stand against the Borg cube. The flagship of the fleet was the starship USS Kyuushu, and the admiral had made it clear to all ship captains of how dire the circumstances were and what exactly was at stake. No one had ever heard of the Borg prior to this formation, and it was not common knowledge of the sheer destructive force that awaited them at Wolf 359.
Like most Starfleet officers, the crew of the Excelsior-class USS Roosevelt, held their confidence high just prior to the appearance of the cube on sensors. That confidence wavered almost immediately after the cube laid waste to five ship of the fleet in short fashion.
Another hit impacted against the shields of the Roosevelt, and Lieutenant (jg) January McKenna gripped the edge of the console as tightly as she could as the ship threatened to throw her from her station. As the ship's helm officer, it was her duty to keep a tight control on the ship's course and speed. In this battle, it was crucial to their survival that she continue in her duty.
To her left, Ensign Kimberly Dawes hung onto the operations console as January did. Like January, Kimberly was a recent arrival aboard the ship. They had formed a fast friendship with one another in the past six months, very nearly inseparable. The pair had been regarded as something of a couple, though without the sexual connotation. Within each other they had found a kindred spirit, and as they shared the same bridge duty shifts, they became the premiere team to have at hand. It was their outstanding performance that assured Ensign Dawes a swift promotion in the coming weeks.
Ensign Dawes was trying desperately to reroute power to the shields and adjusted their nutation as the captain had instructed. The engagements the Enterprise had with the Borg in the previous days allowed tactical information to be transmitted to try and prepare the fleet as much as possible. However, it seemed that in spite of all the work done to prepare, the Borg adapted. The most recent adaptation allowed the Borg to strike the hull of the Roosevelt directly.
The powerful energy coursing through the grid of the ship as multiple nodes delivered overwhelming feedback. The ship's circuit breakers attempted to prevent the delivery, but it was not quick enough. Along with the damage to the ship's superstructure, three of the bridge consoles exploded in fire, killing the personnel manning them. The smell of burning flesh floated through the bridge, causing January to fight off a wave of nausea. Without looking, she knew that her friend had been killed, and instantly rerouted operational control to her console.
The engineering officer reported immediately, "Main energizer is hit, I've lost the impulse engines."
"Captain," January called out, "operations has been rerouted. Your orders?" The flight of the Roosevelt was becoming more and more erratic as the vessel's reaction control thrusters struggled to compensate for the loss of the secondary propulsion system. "Sir?" she asked, when there was no response.
"They're dead, sir," said the engineer, of the captain and first officer.
January turned her head to survey the bridge briefly, and discovered the smoking wreck of the captain's chair, along with the badly burned bodies of Captain Sotek and Commander Granger Kim. Tears began to form in her eyes; the smoke coupled with the loss of her friends and colleagues was too much for her to bear. Her voice caught as she asked, "Who has command?"
"I think you do, sir," came the reply.
She swallowed hard, fighting back the desire to shut herself down. Instead, she decided to turn off her emotions for the moment, and requested, "Status?"
The engineer, an ensign, wiped a smudge from his brow onto the sleeve of his uniform. "Powerless, adrift, and blind, sir." The deck below her feet shook once more as the Borg delivered another blow. "Hull breaches across the secondary hull, sir. They're cutting into engineering. I expect a warp core breach any second, now!"
"Abandon ship. All hands to the lifepods," Lieutenant McKenna ordered in a loud voice, making herself heard over the howling of the ship as it was being carved by the cube. She rose from her console and headed for the aft turbolift's portside panel, gesturing to the ensign to follow her.
The engineering ensign entered in his final command upon his console, and immediately made for one of the ten bridge-mounted lifepods through the hole made by the junior grade lieutenant. The kickout panel was designed to allow the bridge crew access to the lifepods in case of emergency. It was a narrow space to run through, and they had been lucky that the hull had not been seriously breached, though the passage was colder than the heat-filled bridge.
Making certain that the ensign's lifepod was away, she entered one of her own and launched it. The sight of the Roosevelt, her hull broken and burning in space was within view of the lifepod's circular ports. A limited view of the battle was also quickly seen as the pod's thrusters pulled itself away from the ship. Within moments, the dying ship's warp core breached; the explosion sent a shockwave that destroyed many of the other pods that had not yet gained a safe distance. Prior to the shockwave hitting her pod, January witnessed the Borg cube destroying the Princeton, and a tractor beam holding the Saratoga in place.
She accessed the control panel within the lifepod to adjust her course for Starbase Nine; the prearranged rendezvous in case the retreat order was sounded. Other lifepods would join her en route, no doubt, and they could use the modular nature of the pods to assemble a cube of their own. The limited sensors aboard the pod provided little information of other survivors from the attack, but it was clear that the Borg had the upper hand in this conflict. January keyed in another command, and the pod's homing beacon was activated.
Time passed, and the battle was over. The Borg cube proceeded on course for Earth, leaving a field of broken ships in its wake. Debris and wreckage slowly dwindled to nothing as the pod crept toward its destination. January could barely keep her eyes open, having already wept over the day's events, trying her best to express her grief.
A short time later, she could feel her surroundings change in spite of her slumber, and the silence of the pod was replaced by the chatter of a busy room. She felt the cold press of a hypospray against her neck and her eyes snapped open immediately. The eyes of a female officer stared back at her with gentle concern.
"Lieutenant, can you hear me?" she asked of January in a soft tone.
"Yes," January replied. "Who are you? Where am I?"
The woman introduced herself as a medical officer assigned to the starship Akagi, where she had been beamed to. "We just arrived at Wolf 359 to take on survivors."
"The Borg cube?"
The doctor's face betrayed her sadness as she informed the lieutenant, "I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but the Borg destroyed the Enterprise in orbit of Earth. We failed."
January felt as though the universe had collapsed atop her. Frantically, she tried to push away the doctor to allow her to sit up and leave the sickbay. The word "failed" continued to ring in her ears as she tried to wrap her mind around the concept of losing Earth. She explained, "There was nothing we could do. They destroyed every ship we sent at them, and killed so many people!" The volume of her voice rose with each sentence, as though she had been directly accused or charged with the failure of the mission. "We did the best we could!"
"Calm down, Lieutenant," said the doctor, keeping her voice as calm as she could manage. The doctor felt every bit as frustrated as January did, but unlike the lieutenant, had no luxury to express it in such a dire situation. She had to remain calm for her staff. "You've understandably been through quite an ordeal."
"No shit, Doc," snapped January.
"You need to rest, Lieutenant," replied the doctor.
Lieutenant (jg) January McKenna froze in her steps as she heard the doctor reply. With an incensed voice, she spat out, "Like hell I do. I'm going up to the bridge, and I'm going to lend a hand. Whatever it takes, and no matter how much it costs, I promise you this: I will not rest until I've sent every single one of those bastards straight to hell!"
The corridor outside sickbay was equally as busy as the inside. Starfleet personnel and Federation citizens seemed to be walking upon and down with purpose. In their haste, they continued to push the lieutenant aside as they proceeded without further delay as she stood still within the corridor. The design of the ship was unlike her beloved Excelsior-class. It was obvious to her that the Akagi was of an unfamiliar design and she would require directions to the bridge.
"Excuse me, Crewman," she began to flag down someone, but instead of replying to her call, he brushed her aside. This was repeated four times before her anger overruled her sense of courtesy. She placed her hand upon the nearest crewmember and pulled the man around to scream at him, "Hey! I need to get to the damned bridge!"
"I beg your pardon, Lieutenant," was the annoyed response.
It was then that she realized that she was addressing an officer two ranks her senior. "I'm sorry, sir. I just wanted to find out what was going on."
"I see," said the lieutenant commander. He was not tall; in fact, she was eye-to-eye with the officer. In spite of her rude arrest, he seemed to smile at her, the skin around his large brown eyes wrinkling slightly. "You must be one of the survivors."
"Yes, sir. Lieutenant January McKenna, USS Roosevelt."
"Lieutenant Commander Jetrul Dae, executive officer," he said as he extended his hand to her.
"Nice to meet you," she returned, shaking the man's hand. "May I ask what's going on, please?"
"We've taken on the last of the survivors, and are proceeding to rendezvous at Starbase Nine," explained Dae. "If you'd like, you can follow me and I'll take you to the bridge."
"Thank you, sir," January replied. "What about Earth?" She followed him close abroad while asking.
"Spacedock had sent out a brief distress call, saying they had been boarded, but neither it nor Station McKinley are responding to hails from the other ships," Dae reported. "The general consensus among the surviving admiralty is that the Terran sector will be under complete Borg control within hours. They're trying to evacuate as much of the population as possible, but there's no way those ships can carry off twenty billion people."
January took a deep breath before saying anything further. "Are we going to defend Earth?"
"We don't honestly know, yet. There was an incoming call from the Federation President reported on the bridge," said Dae, as they entered the turbolift. "Bridge," he ordered. The lift moved immediately.
"We cannot abandon Earth," she said with conviction.
"That is not up to us, Lieutenant," he pointed out.
She could not reply, for the doors had parted and he stepped out on the bridge. The bridge of the Akagi was no larger than the Roosevelt's auxiliary control center. Circular and cramped, there was only room for the captain's chair in the center, with all of the support stations against the bulkheads facing out.
January walked to the starboard side of the bridge, having entered from behind the captain's chair. Because the vessel was classified as a light cruiser, the commanding officer of the Akagi was a Commander, rather than a captain in rank. Nevertheless, he was addressed appropriately by the members of the bridge crew, Dae included.
"What's up, Captain?" asked Dae, though he knew the answer.
"Put the message on screen," replied the captain. "Let's all take a look at it."
The viewscreen shifted immediately to that of a Starfleet Admiral, wearing four pips enclosed in an admiral's rectangle upon both lapels of his uniform. His expression was haggard, it was obvious that his demeanor was forced. "This is Starfleet Command to all vessels within range. By the order of the President, all Starfleet vessels not presently operating within the Sol Sector are ordered to maintain their distance and proceed directly to Starbase Eleven and report to Rear Admiral Daniel Ross for further orders. Do not risk the lives of your crew or your ships in an attempt to defend Earth. We will do everything we can to fight them hand to hand, if we have to." He paused, catching his breath. "Remember your training, people. Starfleet, out."
The screen changed to the broken ships at Wolf 359. It was then that the captain stood from his chair and placed his hand on the helmsman's shoulder, "Take us away from the sector, warp nine. Plot a course for Starbase Eleven."
Before the helmsman could reply, January walked toward the captain, her rage outweighing her control, "You can't abandon them, Captain. You must plot a course for Earth and add our firepower to theirs."
Dae moved quickly, grabbing January by the arm as she seemed to threaten the captain. "Lieutenant, that's enough. You heard the admiral."
"No, damn it!" she shouted in a shaking voice, shaking Dae's grip from her arm. "You can't just leave them there to die! We have to go in and rescue as many people as we can, even if it's just one person!"
"The admiral's orders were quite clear, Lieutenant," said the captain. "We must proceed to the starbase."
Lieutenant McKenna looked as though she were about to grab hold of the captain's uniform and toss him aside. The bridge crew looked on as the tension thickened before them. January stopped herself long enough to look at the captain in the eye, and call him, "Coward."
The captain froze for a moment, a look of uncertainty crossing his features. It seemed as though for a moment he would do exactly as January suggested. However, his duty and orders bore heavily upon him, and his brow furrowed toward Lieutenant McKenna. "XO," said the captain, "if she refuses to leave my bridge, then throw her in the brig." He turned to the helm officer and repeated his order, "Helm, plot a course for Starbase Eleven, and execute at warp nine."