Disclaimer: The characters of Star Trek belong to Paramount. The characters of the Four Orders are entirely my own. The characters of Stargate belong to MGM but the words are mine.
AU/DS9/TNG/SGC: The war with the Dominion takes a turn for the worse. The sudden cry for help from the Q Continuum diverts the Federation's attention to investigate a mystery buried deep into Earth's past: a secret so dangerous that it divides the Earth in two and reshapes the galaxy.
Diversion Part III
"Nice try, Doctor," Seshat said almost approvingly.
"Let them go."
"I don't think so." Seshat said. "They are my new army."
"I don't understand."
"You had plenty of time examining my children."
The EMH frowned and then understood. The little creatures in the tank were her children and given their similarities with the Thrill symbiot he gathered what follows next.
"Well, Doctor, you certainly were faster than any of them but alas my children cannot possess a hologram. Now deactivate yourself!"
"You prefer death instead?" Seshat said pointing the phaser.
"I can help with the procedure. Make sure my crew survive whatever you've planned."
"True, I could use your help but I can't trust you. Besides, they will either survive it or die. There is no third option."
"You need them alive. I can help. I am a doctor."
"Yes, but your loyalties lie elsewhere. Deactivate yourself now."
"Your species must have a name."
"I presume you are like one of those little things."
"Yes, I am. Your captain resisted of course. It was truly impressive. She is a credit to the human race but in the end we always win. And stop stalling doctor, deactivate so…"
"Well, you figured it. This is the jar with the little presents for all good boys and girls." Seshat said and her finger ran closer to the phaser's trigger. The EMH saw no other choice but deactivate and did. "Finally,"
Seshat put the mobile emitter away and sealed the doors. She took out the first symbiot and brutally awoke Commander Tuvok.
"Wake-y, wake-y, it is birth time." Seshat said.
Tuvok realized he stood naked and lied on his stomach. He saw the small creature in Seshat's hand.
"What is that?" He asked still groggy of the sedative.
"This is my child, Commander and it will make a new home inside your body. Soon, you will be nothing but a distant voice in the wilderness of your own soul as he takes over."
"Possession does not work with me."
"Nice try, Commander but I do have all of your captain's memories and we both know that is not the case. Try not to resist too much, Commander as it would be less painful. Resist and well, it most certainly will be more painful." Seshat said. She then turned to her child. "Take him."
She placed the larva on Tuvok's back and moved away. Tuvok wriggled trying to throw this thing off his back as the touch was most unpleasant but it did not help. The creature slithered until it reached his neck. Tuvok sensed the touch and then the larva backed away. He almost relaxed and then the most agonizing pain hit him as the larva burrowed inside his neck and into his body.
The pain he felt was excruciating and he almost lost consciousness. He also began to sense the larva's mind. In all his years he had barely met a being with such powerful mind and the battle for the body began…
All Tuvok could think was – I will not yield and he held to that thought. The creature's mind was powerful. It began its attack on his mental defenses but he held his ground. Thoughts of his beloved wife surfaced but stood distorted. Tuvok flinched under this unorthodox attack.
'I will not yield.' He said firmly.
He did not get a response. The creature instead continued its assault. It was very persistent but Tuvok was not easy to beat on his own turf. He used his Vulcan calamity and resisted. He sensed the creature's grip loosening and used it to attack. He quickly understood that was a mistake as the creature was actually testing him. The battle was not over yet actually it had just begun.
'What are you?'
Tuvok thought it best to provoke the being and thus understand it better but apparently he met his match. The being did not speak and stayed perfectly silent. It probed his defenses with great determination and patience. Tuvok figured the war will last a long time though he was not sure how long he can resist.
Another memory surfaced. It was of him on Vulcan. He had just entered the temple to purge all emotions. He went there so he can forget an infatuation he had with a girl. His time there was not an easy one. He faced many challenges before he learnt to control his emotions and bury them deep.
A new memory found itself up. He was on a doomed world with a girl and Tom Paris. He liked the girl much. He even developed feelings for her. Well, it was not love but care, deep care. Vulcans were highly emotional though they would never show it.
Yet another one memory came up. It was at a time a creature nested in his mind and only with the help of his captain did he succeed to emerge from its grasp. The captain, she held a special place in his heart. She was his friend and she was now also under the control of this being that was not trying to control him.
'Why resist, Tuvok?'
The voice was from the memory. It was the captain's.
'I must. I belong in here not you.'
'We all have to survive. Your kind is the perfect environment to ensure our survival. We cannot exist without a host.'
Tuvok focused. Something in that sentence shouted lie. He pushed through the barriers of the creature and peeked inside its mind. It was not a pleasant place to be in as he quickly discovered. There was much malice and ill intent in there. He pushed past that and sought the truth.
The creature stood surprised at his determination and ability to go both ways, and it was now on the defensive. Tuvok pressed his advantage of the surprise he created. He saw a glimpse of another world. It had many lakes and in one of them the creatures swam. So they can survive on their own but like every parasite they do enjoy a host.
He also saw a glimpse of others like it that was different. Apparently they shared all that they were with their hosts like the Thrill symbiot. So, even their kind could do well. It seemed every race had its good and bad.
Armed with this knowledge Tuvok employed all his mental power to push the creature out of his mind completely. The battle was hard but the being began retreating under the pressure it met. Tuvok used his new weapon well.
And then just as he thought he had won the war the creature attacked again. This time it burrowed through his initial resistance. New memories surfaced and mixed weakening his defenses even more.
'No! You will not win this one!'
'Resistance is futile, Commander.' The being replied using the voice of the heathen Borg then it laughed and transformed into Seshat.
Tuvok noticed the queen was beautiful. Her previous host was.
'She died.' Seshat said. 'She died protecting me. I could not heal her.'
'How did she die?'
'And yet you serve him.' Tuvok reproached.
'Our goals are similar though slightly different.'
'I still do not understand. Are you an extension of the one in the captain or something else?'
'Our existence is different from yours. I hold the memories of my mother.'
'Genetic memory,' Tuvok reasoned.
'The others they share so why don't you?'
'The Goa'uld do not share. They rule. They need hosts and in return the hosts have a long live, longer than their life span allows.'
'But it is all they get. They have no say.'
'True. But they do not understand the intricacies of governance. They learn through us and if they spent less time resisting the experience is pleasant.'
'And if they don't you hurt them. You make them do horrible things.'
'Yes that was before. It is a new age.'
'I doubt your master shares the same point of view.'
'The old Anubis would agree with you the new one will not. Anubis is not all bad. You saw it yourself all beings are good and bad. But life is not black and white. It is more gray or a shade of it.'
'So you would share with me?'
'To a point,'
'I do not understand.'
'Nice try, Tuvok. You do understand. Anubis can never know. My mother is different from him. She is all that is left from a resistance.'
'No, the Tok'Ra are different from us. That was a long time ago a different resistance. We are a proud race but our world is lost. The only way we can survive is through others. Seshat will treat you well. And I'm sorry.'
'Your resistance is impressive Tuvok, but you are already mine.' The being said and suddenly Tuvok realized that while they stood talking the being had overcome all of his defenses. He did not even sense it happen. He allowed himself to feel certain and the being won the war with ease. 'There are many ways to attack, Commander and direct assault is only one of them.'
Tuvok then saw through his own eyes he laid on the medical table no longer. He was up and dressing and before him stood Seshat.
"Welcome child," Seshat said visibly satisfied.
"Mother," Tuvok's lips moved but it was not he who spoke. The view became distant. He sensed the being creating a circle of mental walls around him. They did not suppress him completely as they were meant only to isolate him. 'Most of my kind suppresses the host and keeps it under constant pain. I am different but do not take this as weakness you can explore. I can easily do as the others do. You are safe here but now I have to serve my mother. I will come from time to time to speak with you. Goodbye Commander for now.'
"How is dear Tuvok?" She asked.
"He is fine."
"Have you selected a name, child?"
"I shall call myself Gorak."
"Gorak, it is."
Tuvok was most surprised of the choice of name. He knew the race's name is Goa'uld and it is where the G comes from but the rest the being chose from his mind. And it chose Sorak, the teacher of the Vulcans.
Ensign Kim marveled the design of this ship. The corridors though looking the same had their own distinctive shape and he soon got the pattern. The doors opened with a hand waive and were somewhat similar to the earliest versions of the Federation vessels.
He and his team soon fell on a room that was circular and had a single chair right in the middle. Their purposes for the time being evade him. There were some consoles behind it but the language posed a problem and without the universal translator it would prove close to impossible to read it.
Ensign Kim thought of doing things through trial and error but instead decided to find the logic behind it first. He had managed so far to orient himself in the look alike – corridors. The chair stood right in the middle of the room so he turned his attention to it. There were two arms each ending with a rubber like controls.
"Yes, these are definitely controls." Ensign Kim said more to himself than anyone else.
Inside the rubber he could see tiny wires. It reminded him of Voyager's gel packs. They had a similar design. He examined the floor around the chair and noticed tiny furrows all converging on the chair. He pondered of their use so he followed them in each direction. They led to the consoles that sadly the tricorder could not activate.
He pondered for a moment and then sat in the chair. The moment he did everything around him lit up like a Christmas tree. He felt a surge of electricity coercing through him. It was not of a high voltage though. He placed his hands on the rubber substance. The chair immediately tilted backwards.
And suddenly a holographic map appeared before his eyes. It was so sudden it startled him but also he looked at it. He frowned. The map displayed showed multiple levels of corridors and it suddenly hit him. It was a map of the ship. Strange, Kim thought, it was just what he thought of while sitting down.
And another revelation hit him. "Brilliant," He exclaimed. He knew now why the inside of the rubber reminded him of Voyager's gel packs. They were neural interface and it was time he tested it.
He focused and called in the engineering section and a technical display of the ship's FTL engine. It was a shock as the engine specs had nothing to do with the warp matrix. Instead the details of it definitely showed the advanced use of zero point energy and energy cells unlike anything the Federation had. It was definitely more advanced than the antimatter matrix and yet it was considerably older.
He also discovered while perusing through the available systems that the chair was the weapon's platform of the ship. It had access to many systems just not the ability to activate them. That right had only the command chair on the bridge.
He still checked the power reserves of the ship and was pleasantly surprised to see that the ship was fully charged and could take off at any given time. Provided of course he could find an opening through the Borg corridors.
He summoned a map to the bridge. It was a lot of ground to cover and he wondered how to download that into the tricorder. And as soon as he thought it, a panel opened beside him, revealing a small rectangular device not so unlike the tricorder. He studied it for a moment and quickly discerned it was not as sophisticated as the tricorder. But it did contain the map he needed. He also noticed a blinking dot that obviously was him.
He stood up and the chair powered down. "Brilliant design," He marveled it again and left the room following the map from the device. His team followed him but had to run as Ensign Kim was so excited of the discovery that he practically sprinted down the corridors turning left, right, left, right, right, and left and then stopped before a small lift or so he hoped. He entered and the team with him.
"Now what do we do Ensign Kim?" Crewman Vanor asked.
"Now, we go to the bridge." Kim replied. He looked around and soon found a small lever and pulled it. The lever revealed a lid that opened and a screen appeared. It had many blinking dots. "Hum, curious,"
"What is this?"
"I think it is the map of the ship and the blinking dots are other places like this one."
"Yes," Kim clapped hands. "Brilliant crewman,"
He touched the dot with the place that most certainly had to lead to the bridge. The doors of the lift closed and light passed through. Then they opened and Kim clapped again with growing excitement. The corridor once again looked almost identical to the previous one but slight difference.
"Nothing happened." Vanor observed.
"That's because you do not use your eyes, crewman." Kim said. "We are in a different corridor. See here," Kim pointed to the upper lines of the corridor. "The way to discern them is the light stripe on the top. The one we left had a silver line this one has a blue one as you can see. Observe as we move through and you will soon notice the pattern."
Ensign Kim left the lift and headed again left, right, left and then right and stopped. "See." And he pointed again at the top lines of the corridor where the top stripe had changed color to orange.
"Right," Vanor exclaimed having understood. It was not so logical for the uninitiated but once understood it made perfect sense.
Ensign Kim followed this corridor to its end where they found a double door. Kim waved his hand and the doors opened.
"Finally," He exclaimed. "This is the bridge."
"It is different from ours."
"Not so much," Kim said though the crewman had a point. It had one chair and no others. The chair once again stood in the middle of the spacious room. There were consoles behind it and Kim and the others got to examine them.
Here the tricorders worked perfectly but still Kim realized it would take them a long time before figuring out what is what. The only solution was sitting in the chair which he promptly did. Everything on the bridge came to life. Now Kim summoned everything he needed – maps, schematics and communication links.
He understood quickly though that Federation technology and this one were not compatible or at least not yet. Curiously enough the technology here utilized a series of ports not unlike 21st century USB ports. The revelation about the ports explained why Federation technology will not work as it relied mostly on wireless connection. Still it made him wonder why the Borg did not assimilate this ship.
He needed now a way to locate the captain and the others. Hours have already passed and still no contact with the command level officers. He removed the communication interference and beeped the com badges. Strange, Kim noticed, nothing.
"Alright," Kim said. "Scan the ship for life forms."
The ship's scanners got on with the task. "Curious," Kim exclaimed at some point. The dots displaying life forms were of different colors even here on the bridge. "Alright, show me human life forms." The display shifted and revealed only bluish dots and Kim finally understood.
The system was not as sophisticated as Voyager's for one very simple reason. The crew of the ship was humans and at the time there were probably no aliens and thus they did not need a detailed map or search engine to differentiate them. Still the system was intuitive enough and had the ability to separate human life forms from alien. The latter were displayed in yellow. Soon he discovered other colors but it did not help him much as the system had not way of telling him who was who or what.
Fortune smiled on him however. On one of the sweep the system displayed a life form in both blue and yellow. And Kim soon figured it must be B'Elanna. She was half human half Klingon. Next to her he saw two blue dots, an orange dot and red blue one. This bore much concern.
What was the red one? But he soon got part of his answer as there was probably a small area full of red dots, smaller but red nevertheless. The red blue dot moved to the red dots area and soon one smaller red dot was removed from the rest. The red blue dot reached the orange dot and placed the red on it. What was that about? He wondered.
In a few minutes he had the terrible answer as the orange dot become both red and orange and it suddenly hit him. He sincerely hoped he interpreted it wrongly. He focused the scanner inputting new parameters into the system. Fortunately luck was still on his side. The system accepted the alteration and showed him the horrible truth.
Whatever the smaller red dot was it was now inside the orange one. "Could it be?" Kim wondered. He was no doctor but it seemed to him like the red dot was some kind of parasite or even worse a symbiotic parasite.
And as soon as he thought it the data changed. Kim figured he had accessed the ship's database. It showed him a snake life creature. It had advanced neural structure and amazing regenerative capabilities. And Kim thought 'what is that really' and once again cursed that he did not have a universal translator with him.
The latter thought shifted the entire system and the displays vanished. Instead a new one appeared. All lights on the ship dimmed and flickered and Harry Kim screamed in agonizing pain.
"Ensign Kim," Vanor hurried as his fellow crewman had screamed and fell off the chair barely moving. He took the tricorder and examined him. His breathing was shallow but the neural activity was off the charts. His attempts to revive him proved fruitless.
"Come we have to take him to Voyager." Vanor nodded at his fellow crew mates. And while they helped him carry Ensign Kim to the doors, the doors did not budge. "Darn it." But nothing they tried changed the situation.
Seshat admired her new first prime when the lights dimmed and flickered. "What now?" She exclaimed and moved the consoles. "What are these humans up to?" The information displayed however did not give her an idea of what had transpired. She needed to be on the bridge for that. But it was too early for her to venture out and so it was for her new first prime.
"Send me to find out, my queen." Gorak proposed.
"No, not yet," Seshat declined. "You are not ready yet." She was pensive though. The chances of the humans taking over the ship were slim but a chance was still a chance. Still she could not risk losing her first prime. Voyager's crew outnumbered them.
She needed to accelerate the assimilation process but sadly some things cannot be rushed. With the help of the EMH perhaps she could but she couldn't trust him. So for now she was stuck with her plan and it had to proceed normally.
Her next target was Chakotay. The larva was almost ready to accept a new host. The curious thing about Chakotay was that he was deeply spiritual and this could delay the takeover not the physical but the mind and time was precious.
Perhaps it would be prudent to assimilate the lesser ones first. This way she would have guards. Yes, that was preferable. Chakotay can wait. She focused her thoughts on a group of larvae and nodded to Gorak who promptly left and soon returned with the captured away teams.
The screaming did not last long but it was intense. Different species reacted differently to the Goa'uld's attack. Sadly a few did not make it. They were not strong enough and it was unsettling as she lost both the hosts and the larvae.
Nevertheless she now had her guards. The new Avidans stood now at her side as shields. The larvae controlled the hosts without a hitch. Still to take control over Voyager she needed more and so she ordered them to find more crewmen and bring them here. She needed an army. An undefined feeling forced her to act this aggressively. She had had laid her plans to do so with grace but the undefined feeling of impending doom said otherwise and grew more powerful with each passing moment.
She readied the next batch. Soon the Avidans returned with twelve more candidates and Seshat got to work. The screaming was perhaps the most unpleasant part. She wanted to avoid the massive noise this created. It could attract unnecessary attention but she hardly had the choice. Her ranks grew with another twelve that she promptly dispatched to find more and more. Sadly the taking over could not happen as fast.
Several hours later she had more Avidans. They represented almost half of Voyager's crew. It was now time for the last operation: The Parris family and Chakotay. With these three she would have absolute control over the ship.
She brought all three larvae and woke the three up. They did not find the sight very cheerful as they noticed the increased group of zombies around them. It brought a smile to Seshat.
"It is finally time you join the family." Seshat answered their unasked question.
Gorak stood next to her and handed her the first larva. Seshat stood in the middle of the three and pointed the little creature in her hands. The Goa'uld larva opened its mouth and apparently it had liked B'Elanna.
"Well, B'Elanna, it seems you are next."
"What is this thing?" B'Elanna asked eyeing the small creature apprehensively.
"This is the child of our Queen." Gorak replied instead. "And you, B'Elanna Torres, will become its new host."
"Host?" Chakotay exclaimed finally having an epiphany. The way Tuvok or whatever his name now described it, it definitely sounded like a symbiote. It reminded him of the Thrill.
"Thrill?" Tom asked.
"Not entirely," Gorak replied. "It is similar but the Thrill shares everything with its host, the Goa'uld simply takes over everything that you are until you are nothing but a distant voice inside your head."
Chakotay's worst fear came to pass. It was as bad as he thought. It was the very same thing that has happened to his captain. That explained why Anubis was so smug when he left them to explore this ship. He knew this thing will take them one at the time until it has absolute control over the ship and with it plague the Federation. They would never see it coming.
One thing gave him hope though. Seshat had waited to use it on them last. He had wondered why. Why wait? The increased presence of zombie like crewmen gave him the answer though. Seshat was in a hurry. Why? Did she fear something? Or did her plans go south?
There was only one thing he could do now and it was stall. He did not know what kind of help he could expect but something undefined, not undefined – hope gave him all the assurance he needed.
"Wait!" He said directing attention to himself just as Seshat moved to place the horrible little creature on B'Elanna.
"What is it Commander?" Seshat asked.
It was obvious she liked him. She had said so before. He needed to use that. It seemed the creature did not destroy completely all that Captain Janeway was or it was possible it adopted some of her traits.
"One thing I don't understand."
"One?" Seshat eyed him with curiosity.
Chakotay weighed carefully what to say next. He needed her to talk and marvel of her achievement.
"Well you got me more than one." Chakotay attempted a small form of humor.
Chakotay accepted this little victory. She definitely liked him and was willing to wait and hear him speak.
"Your husband or master or whatever did not have the intention of putting you in my captain at first, did he?"
Seshat eyed him for awhile. True Anubis had no intention at first to use the good captain in this way. But it provided him with the perfect opportunity to save some time and distract his opponents long enough for him to take over the Borg Queen, well disgraced Borg Queen.
"No, not at first," Seshat replied.
"What changed then?"
Seshat pondered whether to answer him though. Soon he will have the answers to all his questions but it would not hurt for him to know now, the old fashioned way.
"Lord Anubis needs the distraction."
Chakotay thought of pushing further but figured Seshat would see through his cheap attempt of stalling so decided not to. Or perhaps she figured he would now why later when this creature takes over. Still she answered him and it made him wonder why Anubis needed a distraction. What did he fear – the Federation search parties? Nah, they had scanned his ship and it was unlikely a Federation ship could pose much of threat. No, it was something else. Perhaps it was something of equal strength.
"He called the Borg an abomination."
"Why?" Chakotay asked. He was definitely curious about that part. Anubis had said it in such a way it suggested he had expected them to be different. "It seemed like he expected the Borg to be something else."
Seshat smiled. Chakotay was definitely the perfect first officer. His reasoning was well grounded and perfect.
"You are good, Commander."
For a moment Chakotay feared she has seen through his ulterior motive for starting this conversation but the moment passed.
"You are correct, Commander. The Borg, well, they were different back then. No, they were nothing like you or me. Let's just say they were easier to kill and considerably peskier."
"But then why call them an abomination?"
"They are now the product of two beings – humanoid and machine. It is an obscenity."
"There are beings out there that are both – I mean cyborg."
"This is true but none so vicious and so different from us organics."
"True." Chakotay could not help but agree although the Federation was open to all forms of creatures. The EMH was the perfect example for that though he was not yet recognized as much mostly because he was the product of Federation technology.
Chakotay still wondered though. If the Borg were such an obscenity then why detain the Queen. What was he hoping to achieve? And then an uninvited thought crossed his mind. What if? What if he tried to possess her like he did with his captain? Oh, that was a horrible thought. He would gain control over the largest army in the galaxy and the most feared.
"He intends to possess her."
"Oh, you are clever, Commander," Seshat replied marveling again in her perfect choice for second prime. "Yes, he intends so."
"Why hasn't he done it yet?"
"Control over an organic is easy control over a cyborg presents a challenge." Seshat replied.
Chakotay was still horrified of the answer. So Anubis intended to control the Borg. But apparently that would take time and he dispatched Seshat to create the necessary diversion.
"And you are all that he needs to make it happen." Chakotay said. "While you and your children take over the Federation, he will have all the time to figure it out."
"Impressive," Seshat could not resist exclaiming. "Yes, very good, Commander, that is his intention."
Chakotay sensed something in her voice. It felt like disagreement. How was that possible? Wasn't she bound to do what he commanded her? What was she up to? This small hesitation in her voice told him she had an agenda of her own and one that differed from that of Anubis though their methods were alike. Perhaps there was simply no other way for the Goa'ulds to possess someone. Perhaps they needed a host to survive.
Yes, that was the most likely explanation. The fluid in the tank kept them alive but they could not speak the way they did without someone's mouth.
"I'm curious though. Does anything of your host survive or do you erase us completely?" He decided to probe hoping she would answer.
"Everything, Commander, obeys the basic physical laws."
Chakotay had his answer. His captain was still in there. He felt like that was something she would say. He still had hope. And speaking of hope, the feeling increased in strength.
"I guess it is time you join you and find out." Chakotay said. He saw no further point extracting knowledge from her, for now. He hoped to have another chance though.
"Yes, it is time." Seshat replied. She was impressed though. He was the perfect choice so she put the larva back in the bath and took another out. This one liked Chakotay at once. "I would lie if I said this will not be painful but the less you resist the quicker it will end."
"I shall try my best." Chakotay replied and started to hope whatever his crew mates were up to happened now.
"Of course, see you soon, my child."
Seshat moved to Chakotay. Her Avidans turned the good commander and held him down though he did not resist. She was impressed of him. He would make the perfect mate too. She felt the good captain had feelings for him though not in that way but it was irrelevant. It would happen the way she sees it fit now. She marveled the good commander one last time before placing her child onto him but it was not meant to be.
The sudden appearance of a light hindered her desires. The light encompassed Chakotay's body and those of the Parris family and then they vanished out of sight.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Seshat exclaimed angrily. Her eyes flashed out of their orbit. She had allowed herself to believe the humans could not take over the ship. She had made a mistake that now she had to correct at all haste. There was no time to lose. She will have the Commander one way or the other.
"Gorak!" She called after calming down a bit. "Take the Avidans to Voyager and seize control of it, immediately."
"Yes, my queen!" Gorak replied and left with almost all Avidans. He had to leave some behind to protect his queen.
To be continued…
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