Part 61: Episode 61: "All Washed Up"Episode 61: "All Washed Up"
Acting Captain's Log posted:
After the Ozaki was destroyed, I never thought I'd find myself doing one of these again. It's funny how things work out-the one thing I don't miss about having a command of my own is the paperwork, and the logs.
… Korvat should be here.
We're preparing the Brutus for an excursion into Fluidic Space. I've been in touch with Admiral Janeway and, while she understands that this is primarily a rescue mission, she hopes we'll be able to establish some sort of dialogue with the Undine. I can't say I approve of the idea, they haven't shown themselves to be worthy of any trust. Actions speak loudly. The Undine have spoken far too often, and gotten away with far too much, for me to expect anything but the worst from them.
Fortunately, the Admiral understands that this is a longshot. We're going to be joined on our mission by an old friend, who's made it her work over recent months to create a means of detecting the Undine. It's still in its early stages, but I'm told the results are promising. She's going to be bringing someone else along, however… someone Korvat has worked with, but I've never met. Right now, I don't care who Admiral Janeway thinks we should work with-if they're willing to help me save Korvat, it'll all be worthwhile.
"Welcome aboard the U.S.S. Brutus. Be aware, that by coming aboard, you're breaking an official quarantine. The Captain is on her way, please wait a moment."
"Chie… Lieutenant Ramirez. It's good to see you."
"How are you holding up, Molly?"
"I'm alright. Really. The Captain-"
"-has just arrived. Thank you, Molly. Elerena, Glin-"
"My apologies. Gul Vorlaj. Welcome aboard. Would you like me to show you to your-"
"-Actually, Captain, if you'd be so kind as to escort me to your… er, prisoner, I'd like to get my research started."
"Ah, your mysterious 'means for detecting the Undine'. Can I ask how it works?"
"I'm not cleared to know, so I'll find somewhere else to be. Molly-would you mind showing me to my quarters?"
"Sure, Gilana. They're right this way."
"… You have an interesting friend."
"She's reliable, at least. She's up for permanent reassignment here, if we can rescue Korvat. I don't know how she pulled it off, but she convinced the Detapa Council that it's her duty to monitor the Borg threat both to the Cardassian Union and the Federation. She's going to try to use her reports to get some Cardassian vessels of proven loyalty out here to help, if she can."
"A tall order-the Detapa Council has always struck me as more than a bit reticent. I doubt they'll be thrilled to devote their ships and people to something that isn't directly their problem."
"You're certainly correct-which is why Gul Vorlaj is here. She's going to try to show them that the Borg are everyone's problem."
"I'll refrain from belaboring my own objections, then. To be honest… we could use Cardassia's help."
"Nothing, nothing. Anyway… I've been pulled from my command duties until my experiments into Undine detection bear fruition, so I'll be stationed here until the Federation is convinced I have something workable-or convinced I'll never solve the problem."
"Until we lift the quarantine, you couldn't leave anyway. Not until we know what the Borg nanoprobes infesting the Brutus' systems are doing."
"We both know the risks. It's worthwhile-in fact, my experiments are counting on those nanoprobes and, quite possibly, our friend Molly."
"Not going to ask me to clarify?"
"It didn't really seem necessary, I thought you were going to keep talking. Please continue."
"You have a lot on your mind."
"Yes, I do."
"Did you know, Undine biology is incredibly aggressive? Even toxic to non-Undine, although most of their infiltrators can keep that under control-their blood will still react highly aggressively to pathogens, harmless illnesses like the common cold, and… well, Borg nanoprobes."
"So, you're going to… inject us with nanoprobes to detect the Undine?"
"Pretty much, yes. Fortunately… we have a convenient and still-living test subject; but if we can create a pack of short-lived non-replicating nanoprobes that transmit on a certain carrier… well, an Undine will stop transmitting in a few minutes; while a normal person-"
"Would transmit for the entire lifespan of the nanoprobe. Interesting, if you can refine it. Isn't experimenting on a living Undine extremely immoral?"
"Yes, it is. That's… the only thing I haven't figured out yet."
"Sounds like a job for Section 31."
"… Are you-"
"No, but Dr. Hauzhan is; and Korvat may as well be. Janeway's given her tacit approval for this, but it's Korvat's call. We have to rescue him, Hela."
"… Now I'm not so sure I want to. Why does he get stuck making this choice? Nevermind, I already know the answer-because the Federation can later deny any direct involvement if we're able to establish peaceful contact with the Undine."
"You sound like you don't find that possibility likely. Either way, Korvat would understand-why are you so upset about it?"
"Because it isn't, and because someone has to be."
"Be silent, Animal. Try not to eat this one. I'm told he's an old friend of yours."
"Captain Korvat? What have they done t'you, sir? Where're the others?!"
"In my head… the Borg…"
"Borg? Sir, what-no. No, you're another Undine trick. They're always in my head. They want to know all about me. Well I'm not telling you anything, you… you…"
"Help is coming, William. Urghk… for both of us. So just sit tight… we'll make it out of this."
"Get out of my head, monster!"
"Lieutenant Temujin, that is enouggghhk…"
"Gonna… pull through this. You're not the real Billy."
"Very good, Captain. It's about time you figured it out."
"Time's limited. Better hurry along… with your mockery. You won't get… another chance."
"Mockery? From moi? Why captain, perish the thought."
"Stop looking at me with those accusatory eyes."
"Please, Captain. I am Q. I don't have a conscience."
"If you were… any other Q, I might… have believed that. Why are you here?"
"The Brutus is coming… isn't it."
"Clever as always. I want to see how your crew does without you, mon capitan. Who knows? Maybe they don't need you at all anymore."
"That would be… my fondest hope."
"Your friend William is in a cell just down the hall."
"I don't think… I'm going to be… up for… any… rescues…"
"You can hear them. Can't you? Whispering at you. They don't know you're there, yet… but once they do, they'll know everything you do. Everything."
"… Throw me… out of phase. Like Molly."
"Then go away."
"Fine. I'll delay the assimilation process until the Brutus arrives. After that… it's up to them to save you in time, Captain."
"Thank you. Hardly… a fair trial… if they never… had a chance from the outset."
"My dear Captain, what makes you think I'm fair?"
"The Captain… he's on the Gekli, with the Hylasa!"
"How do you know, Molly?"
"Because… we're also here with us."
"We heard him. We're the closest Borg, so we formed a collective with him to keep the Collective from getting him. Come about, and hail the Hylasa."
"Do it, Hela. We're not joking. They've got Lieutenant Temujin here, too… and several others. The Undine were letting the Hylasa care for us, because they can't be bothered to do it themselves. You need to hurry, our nanoprobes haven't been neutered the way Molly's have. We're in incredible danger, if we're fully assimilated, Molly will be too!"
"Traxas, you heard the… woman. Come about, and get back in touch with the Hylasa!"
"How are you feeling, Commander?"
"Better than you, I imagine."
"I don't deserve this rank, Captain. I haven't been here to earn it."
"Don't be so sure, Commander."
"His logic is sound."
"There's something to be said for the qualifications of a man who's resisted the Undine for as long as Mr. Temujin."
"Quite right, Admiral."
"Excuse me, sir. Admirals, Commander Temujin… I'm going to need to give you all one last injection. Just a… formality of course, but you've been away for a long time. We need to make sure you're fully… inoculated."
"That is only logical."
"How are you feeling, Sir?"
"Like billions of minds were seconds away from marching through my cerebral cortex simultaneously. With muddy cleats on."
"Mmhm. Captain… what was that injection, earlier? Shouldn't I be inoculated too?"
"Ah, well… it's… actually a test, to see if any of them are Undine. We know you're not, because of the Borg nanoprobes, but the others needed to be tested."
"We can do that now?"
"It's a new process. The theory is sound, but it's never been tested… we'd need a live Undine to be sure it works. We have one, but…"
"but scientific experimentation on the unwilling is… extremely amoral."
"Pretty much that, yes."
"Hhhh… Starfleet Command say it's my call?"
"… I'll need some time to think about it."
"Of course, sir."
"How are you feeling?"
"Is everyone going to ask me that? Don't you people ever gossip like a normal cr-wait, Gilana?"
"Still unwell, I see. That's the first time you've ever called me by my first name."
"When did you get here?"
"Yesterday, with Elerena."
"Not pleased to see me?"
"Not pleased that you turned the lights on."
"That was me. Sorry."
"I'll go. It's good to see you again, Captain Korvat."
"And you, Gul Vorlaj."
"Wait, how did you-"
"Please excuse us, Gul… I'd like to speak with my ex-collective alone for a moment."
"Of course. We'll catch up later."
"Yes we will."
"… I won't tell anyone, sir."
"I'm not worried."
"It's nothing to be ashamed of."
"It is on Cardassia."
"… I know. I saw that, too. Nobody on this ship will care. Not even Gul Vorlaj."
"But you care."
"You know I do. You know me better than anyone else does, now."
"I suppose that's true."
"Molly, that was quick thinking on your part, creating a new unimatrix for us. If we're ever in the same situation… don't do it again. I'd rather be a Borg than let them get you again, understood?"
"Understood. Let's hope it never happens, though… I'd hate for you to have to write me up for disobeying a direct order. Hehehe…"
"… Heh. Hehe..."
"Captain, thank you, for your concern."
"You should talk to William."
"Maybe eventually, but not yet."
"Alright, I can't force you. Now, about that tribble collective you're the queen of…"
"Oh, you... uh, you noticed that. They're-"
"'Eating' the unmodified nanoprobes to keep the Borg from assimilating the whole ship. I know. Tell them to keep up the good work… but Molly, please ask me before you assimilate any more tribbles."
"Alright, Isshan. Sorry, Captain."