Captain, USS Osler.
In the past months, the Borg are becoming bolder in the Gamma Orionis sector and we’ve seen heavy duty. I can’t count the number of ships we’ve lost. I can’t even count the number of corpses I’ve seen. Sick bay is becoming an abattoir and triage is almost a joke. My crew is doing well under the conditions. They’re a good bunch.
We were recently assigned to provide support to a task-force in the Sibiran System. Rear Admiral Qer was in command of the mission, leading from his flagship the USS Shay II. Along with us were the USS Gladstone, USS Acheron and the USS Pegasus. Our primarily role in the mission was to be ECM / ECCM and medical support / triage.
Starfleet lost contact with Starbase 82. When we arrived, we quickly discovered why – the Borg had invaded and managed to assimilate the station and most of its crew. We were able to clear the station out, though not without casualties. I lost four crew myself – Ensigns Joffrey and C’ten, and Lieutenants Arch and Hu. Sixteen crew dead plus the crew of the starbase itself – more than three hundred.
The Borg are an insidious enemy. The worst kind of enemy. They don’t kill their victims. Instead they pervert them, they change them. Death would be clean, but the Borg aren’t that compassionate. They take our own people and make them our enemies and they let us kill them. That’s the real irony – we are the Borg. They take us and make them their own.
I knew some of the crew of Starbase 82. I went to the Academy with Commander Athelosh, one of the senior engineering officers on the base.
Yesterday, I shot him with a phaser rifle.
Or, at least I shot what he had become. Was Athelosh still in there? I’ve read accounts from liberated Borg – people who have been severed from the Collective and returned to normal life (whatever that means these days). They say it’s like being trapped in your own mind, like watching your body through a viewscreen.
I wonder what Athelosh was thinking as he watched me pull the trigger? Was he in there? Did he recognize me? Did he curse me as I gunned him down, or did he silently thank me, glad for the release?
In the end, does it even matter?