Part 60: Episode 60: "Infected"Episode 60: "Infected"
Captain's Log posted:
We've lost contact with Starbase 82. I don't have time for a long and involved log today. In fact, I don't think I'm going to be doing too many more logs. Far too much effort.
"We're approaching Starbase 82. Two other starship-"
"Lieutenant, take us in."
"Captain, we should wait for the rest of the battlegro-"
"You heard me, Lieutenant. Every moment we wait, we're losing officers to the Borg. Even worse, if any of those officers are Undine…"
"Understood, sir. Raising shields."
"Boarding parties report full readiness."
"Medical is standing by."
"Sir, the other ships are following us in-they want to know if we know something they don't."
"Broadcast our Quarantine status. They're welcome to help-but we're not stopping for a strategy meeting."
"… Un… understood, sir."
"… Captain, multiple Borg cubes on sensors. It looks like they've also created a… it's a transwarp gateway, sir. It's active, they could flood the entire sector with cubes in a matter of days!"
"… We can't allow the Borg free-access to the sector. Transmit to all ships: that transwarp gateway is now our primary target."
"Captain, attacking a Borg transwarp gateway is suicide!"
"I'm going to need you at tactical, commander."
"Sir, sensors detect the gateway is heavily shielded. We'll never punch through."
"We won't need to."
"… I don't understand."
"With the shield up, the Borg can't use the gateway."
"… You're going to use the threat of the Brutus as a doorstop to keep the Borg gateway deactivated until the battle group gets here, aren't you?"
"No, I don't think we'll be able to bluff the Borg. They'll send ships-and when they do, we'll strike the gateway directly."
"Th-that's your plan?!"
"It's the only chance we have."
"-can't help but suspect that you have something to do with the nanoprobe infection spreading through the ship. First minor systems, and now the engines are affected-but only for the better? What secrets are you hiding?"
"… Captain, may I come in?"
"Of course, Korlissa. What did you need?"
"It's not so much a matter of need…"
"Quiet, you! Oh?"
"I decided it was time to start listening to my own advice."
"I'm not sure what you're getting at, Subcommander."
"I know. That's why I'm here, so to speak. You see… I'm in love with you."
"In… love..? with me?"
"Yes. I know it's hard to believe, but I've been in love with Isshan Korvat for a long time."
"I-that's a lot to consider, Korlissa. I had no idea you felt the same way about me that I feel about you."
"… Are you telling me you love me, captain?"
"I… yes, I suppose I-"
"I knew it!"
"Plasma. Hurts more than a disruptor. You'd have known that if you were Isshan. Where's the real Korvat?"
"… I'll tell you where he's not: Here. Or safe, for that matter. Hahaha."
"Then you admit it! Who are you, really?"
"You were expecting, perhaps, Captain Janzer?"
"F… for how long?!"
"Since before our brilliant captain crashed the Von Braun."
"… Molly's not going to like this."
"She won't be finding out."
"She already has."
"What do you-"
"Yes. Did you really think I was stupid enough to confront you without some backup watching? Romulan. I know better."
"Now tell me, what did you do with Isshan."
"Fffffff. Fine. It's not like the knowledge will avail you anything. Do you remember that Undine ship your captain so graciously spared? It stuck around, just out of reach in Fluidic Space while you confronted the Borg on their home geometry, to turn a phrase. The captain brought Molly with him, so I was at the transporter controls-"
"-and you beamed Korvat to the Undine ship, and took his place yourself."
"See? It's not that difficult. I told them someone on the Brutus figure it out eventually. Even with all the distracting dreams everyone on the crew's been having-"
"You're the reason I've been dreaming about Korvat!"
"And the reason the good Dr. Lomak has been so disoriented; and why Elerena was so distrustful-she rubber-banded so hard she couldn't have mistrusted an armed Klingon if she was in the same room with it. And the Captain, well… so much easier to keep him occupied. Too many of our rival factions just want him dead, but he's been too useful to kill; and now that he's in a position of authority-we'll pick his brain until we know more about him-and the Federation-than either knows about themselves."
"You've been using us to eliminate the competition."
"Oh, very good. And here I thought you wouldn't catch that little nuance."
"Where is the captain?"
"In 'Fluidic Space', no doubt; but I couldn't tell you exactly. You'll never recover him, Korlissa."
"We'll see about that."
"Yes, we will."
"Take that thing to the brig."
"Hahahaha. Oh, Captain, before you cart me off to your adorable little prison cell, one last thing."
"Once we're done picking your captain's brain for information about the Federation… we'll be picking it again for information about the Borg."
"You don't mean-"
"Yes. He's been infected-"
"Oh no, Korvat! … You're a monster, Billy! How could you do this?! Waaah!"
"Hahahaha… the Borg have studied us. Taken us apart. Now we'll get the chance to return the favor."
"… That's the only reason you started seeing me, isn't it?"
"Yes. But you're too stupid to have any useful information. You-"
"Why would you do that?!"
"To shut him up, so we can plan our rescue without him warning the other Undine telepathically."
"Well? Don't just stand there, Captain. Isshan's not getting any less captive while you wait around. It's time you saved him for once."
"And by 'for once', you mean 'again'."
"… Hehe… Hhhh, Korlissa's right, though. We need a plan."
"Assemble the other officers in the conference room."
"And Korlissa-you made a mess all over the captain's carpet. You'll need to clean it up before-"
"-He's just unconscious."
"… What. You thought I..? If I had, I'd have used max-settings and vaporized him. No mess that way. He could still be useful to us."
"Well, see to it you get him down to the brig, then."
"It won't be long, now."
"You can almost hear them: the collective. Whispering into your mind. It's not us. We've never seen this process before. You should feel honored we've chosen you for study."
"… I'll keep that in mind… the next time… I'm firing torpedoes at your friends."
"Hrrrngk. Still too stubborn. You are strong willed, Isshan Korvat-but you will break. Some time will see the process finished. Crewman."
"Put him on the Gekli with the Hylasa and the other prisoners until his metamorphosis is complete. The Borg will break his will for us."