The Borg and the Marine
Location: Docking Bay — Strange Runabout
Timeline: Little Things
Jasen Calin hovered near the entrance to the flight deck, almost hesitant about his decision. The Martian marine was armed only with a standard phaser and a concealed KBAR knife, really against all protocol for what he was considering.
The recent encounter that involved marching a whole Marine unit into the deck to handle one accepted Borg drone had drawn his curiosity. When all was said in done, it had devolved into a brief pissing match between the Marine Commanding Officer and Chief of Security, something only doused by words their Borg "guest" spoken.
Jasen was no fool. The Borg was aboard only by Captain Rau's consent and she could easily give the order to space the entire deck — and the runabout and drone alike. But the young woman was obviously also a potential danger. But he was curious, especially after the language the drone had used as the two officers had bickered over jurisdiction.
After more than a year since he'd been transferred over from the USS Forge, he had never seen such interesting ship politics.
Jasen entered the flight deck and approached the flight deck. Two of his Marines were guarding the outward perimeter, but it was Starfleet security officers manning the actual runabout.
An ensign challenged him but he simply glared at the young boy. "Ensign, stand aside, now," Jasen said sharply. "I'm here to assess our 'guest' in certain factors as to whether integration will be possible."
Plainly spoken, it was a true statement. Rumors from an overheard conversation between the Borg and the new XO had spread ... and the Marine NCO's opinion did matter. If he dared to bug Captain Rau.
In reality, it was a lie. He was abusing his authority to gauge this Borg. And he was willing to risk the consequences.
The ensign capitulated to the more experienced NCO and Jasen stepped further toward the strange runabout. "La Forge, you are requested for a conversation with the ranking Marine NCO. Either come out or allow entry, the latter if you prefer a private conversation."
A clear green field appeared on the open hatch, and then vanished. "Enter!" Came from deeper in the craft. La Forge had just stepped from her Regeneration chamber as she was using it to run a diagnostics upon her systems. It hadn't come up with anything wrong. She didn't understand what was going on with her systems, but the major concern was that she no longer can hear the others.
As the green light flashed, Jasen drew his phaser ... and tossed it to the Denobulan Marine private near the annoying the ensign, along with his comm badge. The private caught both items in a heartbeat and set it aside.
Jasen could overhear the objections of the security officer, followed by his Marine's stringent recommendation to shut the fuck up.
Once inside the runabout, Jasen immediately recalled the Borg's appearance ... and her language shown to the Major and L-C. He looked around at the interior.
"Seriously, kiddo, this is the best color scheme you could come up with? Athena help me, but my sister has better taste ..."
La Forge tilted her head slightly which caused her brown hair to cascade over her shoulder. Her silvery cybernetic eyes made note that the man was unarmed and without his combadge. "Athena? Earth Mythology, Greek divine entity?" She said before looking around. "This is a standard Federation Danube-class Runabout, with cargo pod and Photon Torpedo rollbar, modified by Borg Technology." She then tilted her head the other way. "You are not authorized to speak with me? As you have removed your combadge before entering my...." She looked away as she accessed her database. "My vehicle? My Runabout? My home?" She turned her silvery cybernetic eyes back to the man with a odd look of wonder in them.
Jasen studied the young woman with an intense curiosity. "Athena, goddess of wisdom and warfare," the Marine said, taking an interest in obvious cybernetic eyes. "My ancestors and other Greeks carried the gods of our forbearers with us when we left to help colonize Mars."
Hazel eyes met silver eyes and Jasen cocked his head slightly. "Do those eyes see normally?" He shrugged as if it were an irrelevant thought.
"Yes and no," he said, looking around. "Gunnery Sgt. Jasen Calin, Starfleet Marine Corps, USS Minerva Detachment. I'm here to 'assess whether you're a threat.'" He flexed his fingers, using air quotes to stress the last part of statement as if it weren't serious. "A few people might be upset that I came here, but they can yell at me later."
Jasen smiled slightly and shrugged. "But in truth, I figured you were due a visit by someone who doesn't automatically consider you a threat or views you with suspicion or fear that you're just here to assimilate us into a strange Borg cult."
He frowned slightly, looking around the runabout. "Seriously, no decorations? No paintings? No flowers or plants?"
She blinked a few times. "My designation is La Forge. Counselor Wyndham has made a visit, but was disturbed by the fact that I had disconnected my right arm and was manually working on the connection. As for my vision, it is far superior to the standard biological or Borg Cybernetic ones." She said as she looked around the standard Borg decor, before returning her silvery eyes to the man. "I was dispatched by Hugh to render aid to the remaining Federation forces. This is as payment for the two times the Federation aided him and his Borg." She stated as she ran a check through her database about custums with guests. "Have a seat if you wish to interrogate me further."
Jasen smirked slightly as he looked at the young woman. "Adele, squeamish? Hera help me, but I'm going to have fun with that one at our next session."
Granted, of course, the L-C would probably find some way to disarm him and regain the upper hand. That woman was quite good at her job as ship's counselor.
The Marine waved off the offer of a seat, shifting slightly. "Wait, did you say 'disconnect your arm?' Fascinating. Of course not surprising. Borg are partially cybernetic after all. At least that's what every report and briefing says."
He looked around the runabout again before asking, "Do you remember anything of your life before you were assimilated? A moment, a smile, an echo that hums just beyond reach but resides on the tip of your tongue?"
La Forge blinked at his a few times as she tilted her head slightly, causing a cascade of hair over her shoulder. "Remember my life before being assimilated?" She repeated. "I wasn't assimilated." She said looking down at her right hand, which she was opening and closing before her. "I was grown in a specialized Borg Maturation/Incubation Chamber. This chamber was modified by Lore, before being discarded. This was nearly 9 years ago, by standard Sol Calendar. The chamber had assimilated several components of a Soong-type Android. So I'm an experimental type of Borg. I had connected to the Hugh Collective, instead of the Borg Collective, so I have developed as an individual type Borg." Then she returned her silvery gaze upon the young Marine. "I still don't understand the entirety of all the Human interaction in social settings."
Jasen raised an eyebrow at La Forge's comment on being 'grown' in a maturation chamber. His knowledge of the Borg was at best limited. Oh, there were the stories survivors of the Battle at Wolf 359 and Battle of Sol provided, and the Enterprise-D's encounters, but not much else. Beside much of his past eight years had been combating Dominion, Cardassian and even Romulan troops.
The Marine's smirk vanished when La Forge mentioned "social settings."
"No one ever really does, kiddo, least of all humans themselves," the Marine said. "When you strip any all the layers, humans can be infinitely complex — the culmination of a thousand thousand different cultures that have changed and shifted and settled over its entire civilized period. Some are exceedingly adaptive and welcoming, some want nothing to do with the outside world, instead to be left to tinker and study and contemplate. One's social niceties can be another's social taboo."
His hazel eyes scanned the runabout one last time. "Somehow we manage, though only Athena knows how sometimes," he said. "Give it time, kiddo, and I'm sure you'll probably come to get a grasp on it."
"I wish to assimilate to the Minerva's crew." La Forge said. "With my vast knowledge, I am not used for my abilities." She looked away from the man and out the forward section of the ship. "With my vast knowledge, I don't know how to convince the Captain of my wish to assimilate into the crew." She stated with a odd look on her face.
Jasen lifted a finger the second the word “assimilate” was uttered.
“Just a recommendation, kiddo, but you could choose a better word than ‘assimilate’ in the future,” he advised. “A good choice might be ‘integrate’ or ‘join.’ Assimilate comes off as … well, invoking the specter of a Borg cube swooping in on the ship from parts unknown.”
He paused as if considering his next words carefully. “As for the captain … it’s been my observation that Cecilia Rau is damn impossible to figure out. Give it some time, though, and I would wager two days' worth of replicator rations that she’ll come to a decision.”
After a moment, he straightened and began turning toward the runabout’s exit. “Well, as much as this conversation can continue, duty calls. I’ve to wrangle two teens making some of my Marines miserable with their boundless energy.”
Before he departed, he turned his head and said simply, “One thing to consider, La Forge. If Captain Rau did not want you aboard, you wouldn’t be. I’m sure this deck would have been decompressed, you and your runabout spaced and half the ship’s torpedoes fired in your direction. That you’re here, now, should be considered a positive step.”
"Information....." She was about to say assimilated, but stopped herself. "Integrated," La Forge finally used a different word. "As for the Federation torpedoes, my adaptive shielding has already been adjusted to Federation weapon frequencies." She stated. Then she got a thoughtful look on her face. "Perhaps I can work with the Marines on Anti-Borg technologies and boarding actions. Can you ask this of your Commanding Officer?"
Jasen looked over his shoulder at La Forge, cocked his head and nodded briefly.
“I’ll take your request to Major Maddison, and I’ll give it my endorsement, kiddo,” he said simply. “But I would not recommend waiting for a positive response any time soon. He’s shown that he has … issues with Borg, so you may want to appeal to Captain Rau about said suggestion in the meantime. Should you do so, feel free to drop my name in support of such an endeavor.”
Without another word, he left the runabout. Such a curious person, he thought.