Chapter 4 - Season 6: Episode 4 TBR077 – Collective Infiltration
“The SS Ikoria is a normal common transport ship which operates between several other star systems and Illiran. The only thing that sets it apart is that the vessel survived an encounter with the Borg. Ten years ago, during the Borg invasion the Ikoria was struck by several Borg projectiles. While severely damaged she was rescued by a contingent of Starfleet ships and make it to a safe harbor. Unknown at the time a Borg virus was introduced to the ships minor systems, where it remained undetected until another chance encounter with a Borg probe ship on the edge of the Illiran system. Once again defying the odds the Ikoria escaped with only minor damage and put in for repairs.
Deep inside a back up CO2 scrubber, a newly awoken Borg nano virus becomes airborne. The virus begins a slow assimilation of the repair crews. Far below, the citizens of Illiran were unaware that the Borg were once again trying to assimilate their culture, the point of no return, the tipping point was now approaching. Millions were infected and it was only a matter of days, maybe weeks before there is no saving them.
The Borg Queen had once considered a similar form of assimilation, at the time she decided that other means were a better choice. The Invasion into the Alpha and Beta quadrants revealed to the Queen one irrefutable fact, conventional warfare with the Alliance was never going to work. The Federation is too powerful, too creative, and ingenious that assaulting their space with ships was doomed from the onset.
A more cover approach was needed, a nanite virus that would spread like an organic virus, slowly working its way through a population. It was even programmed to disguise itself as white blood cells in order to spread undetected.”
The USS Wabi Sabi made port at the non-Federation shipyards of the Illiran. This is the second time Captain Pax had visited the world, the first having been during the Borg invasion while the Potemkin guarded the inhabitants from a pair of Borg cubes. This time, however they were putting in for some maintenance after their pirate hunting excursion, while no real damage had been taken Pax wanted to make sure their first fight didn’t leave any lasting problems.
The Wabi Sabi gently descended into the atmosphere on course for the massive array of floating lattice like shipyards, hundreds of vessels of all sizes nestled safing in kilometers of individual stations. On the view screen a HUD like display showed their pilot the course to follow to their own cradle. Around them were streams of shuttles and smaller ships moving in and around the credles. Pax was in awe, it had been a while since he’d last been here and but it still amazed him, the sheer scale of Illiran dwarfed even the former Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards before they had been destroyed. Thousands of ships could be simultaneously repaired/constructed.
Unlike spaceborne yards in the Federation the Illiran floating cradles were open at the top and so the Wabi Sabi settled in with a slight bounce as tractor beams pulled her in the last few meters and locking lacks and counter-gravity clamps locked into place taking the great weight of the mighty vessel.
Almost as soon as they arrived they received a hail from the Federation Advisor, Command Greyson. He had a request to pass on. Speaking with the senior staff he explained that over the last few weeks an increasing number of people had been disappearing, at first it was the deck crews around a now quarantined cradle and the freighter held there. For a while the disappearances slowed but soon ramped up again, this time citizens who live and work around one of the atmospheric processing towers. The local authorities are at a loss as to what is happening.
The Illirans are asking for help and any and all resources they need would be put at their beck and call, the away team decide that the quarantined cradle would be a good place to start. Once they arrive they quickly realize that the vessel is the very same one that they rescued from a Borg probe ship years before while aboard the Potemkin. Now suspecting Borg involvement they proceed carefully, leaving the Illiran Marines at the entry points they breach the vessel and make their way to the control center. They meet no resistance along the way and quickly make it to the bridge via an access tube, once on the bridge they find a Borg presence, not like an assimilation but have definitely infiltrated the ships systems.
With some deft computer work they discover that not only were a handful of nanites had escaped their scrubbing of the ship years before in a backup CO scrubber where they had laid dormant until about a month before when they were awoken by a signal and got to work. They can infect the crew using a modified cold virus designed to deliver nanites into a host and slowly take over, a vastly different approach for sure. A few calculations by the Doctor and Science Chief concur that the infection would take 3-4 weeks before a collective could control the actions of a host.
The problems keep hitting, not only is the virus airborne and very well hidden from standard sensors but it was using the Illirans own personal nanite factories, small wrist worn devices that help to regulate their health but the atmospheric processing towers were being used to spread the modified virus. Before they can find anything else out Pax contacts them and instructs them to beam back asap, they had detected a Borg vessel on course for Illiran and they are intercepting.