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[Backpost] Red is the color of Insanity 2

Posted on 18 May 2012 @ 9:07pm by Lieutenant Quiv

Mission: Linearity
Location: Umbral Nebula, nearby and transpatial tunnels
Timeline: 1106 AD, 0042 local time

Four Pods floated before the massive Spatial Nexus waiting as the Elder within built the necessary trans-spatial models in their communal consciousness, the biofusion and subspace cores buried inside the gigantic biocrystalline and orgalloy torus were spinning up, building power to open the aperture of the transpatial tunnel that lay fallow between it and the rest of the Nexus Network inside the Umbral Nebula.

It was true that normally a transpatial tunnel had to have a receiving Nexus if the vitaki were going to remain in the network but several generations ago it was discovered that a tunnel could be opened to remote coordinates outside of the network to deliver vitaki or other packages to outside positions at impressive distances.

It could be used as a weapon of staggering potential.

As it was, the Unity was reticent to expose that potential to outside observers, especially the Borg and so far merely used it for transport.

~Pod status~ the coordinating mass-mind of the Nexus queried the Mothers assembled for this fleet action.

~Pending aperture dilation~ came the soft response from the Eldest Mother of the four, Hrm'k. The Neuters, four of them remained apart and behind, waiting their turn. They weren't to accompany the Pods and had their own missions suited to their unique abilities.

Before them the massive torus was pulsing with brilliance as the energies within the particle assemblies cycled through their rings, tunneling through spatial barriers to activate the nascent link that normally existed at the lowest levels of power. As the cycles quickly ramped to pulses, then flickers and then a steady brilliant glow from the exposed crystalline portions between the massive black orgalloy segments, the view of the Umbral-space through the aperture began to waver, effloresce and opaque towards a wavering bluish white and then, all at once, perception yawned away into a endless tube of brilliant white rotating energies.

~Fair winds~

Clearance was given. With tiny pulses of potential kinetic energy converted to forward momentum, the thirty-two capital-class vitaki slid to the forward edge of the event horizon and upon contact, accelerated to supraluminal velocities and disappeared down the conduit. The Nexus spun down and the aperture disappeared almost immediately though the rotations lowered to pulses, they did not cease. They waited, patiently, ready for the second step of their strategy to thin the Borg's ranks.

Inside the T-space Tunnel

The thirty-two gigantic capital-class vitaki maintained formation with almost unconscious grace, despite the cross-tidal forces playing on them. Tachyon lightning slashed from side-to-side of the tunnel, passing around them, some striking and bouncing off the gleaming black armored plates and flattened spines, all pushed backwards and flat to present the smallest profile possible and to protect the young beneath them where they suckled. Stretched out straight end-to-end, these massive creatures would span over 150 kilometers and each was at least a kilometer at their widest point, with their armored plates and spines down.

The massive black torpedo-shaped creatures gleamed with armored overlapping scale-plates with the Mothers possessed of a ring of spines around their middle section of half-kilometer-long spines and then aft spines nearly three kilometer long. The Hunters, smaller and sleeker, possessed no ring of spines in the middle and their aft spines were shorter but their coloration was more elegantly brilliant; oil slick iridescence warred kaleidoscopically in the tunnel along their sleek flanks as indigo glowed out from beneath their slightly raised armored plates.

~Emergence in eleven mek~ Hrm'k advised as the Mothers raised their middle and aft spines in preparation. The Hunters likewise raised their aft spines and all of their armored plates several more degrees, exposing the hundreds of small craft docked beneath then in softer support-cradles.

Ahead of them a dark circle had appeared and seemed to be slowly approaching but as one watched, it's speed of approach increased exponentially for every quarter-second they headed towards it.

In three heartbeats they emerged into n-space at high cee, spread into a quadruple crescent formation similar to the petals of a flower from the front with the four mothers at the inner-most points. They were close to the Borg, the tactical cubes were within visual range, a few thousand kilometers away. They began firing their green beams almost immediately even as the massive vitaki spread in their bone-crushing formation only for those beams to lash them and slide past, as if not fully finding purchase.

The trailing outer-most Hunter generated a spark of indigo, all four simultaneously, passing it forward to the next Hunter in the formation, who added to it and passed it forward, and so on. As the sparks arrived at the Mothers they were violent cascades of brilliant purple fire, only for her to drink in this fire and for several long moments it seemed them would do nothing but continue to advance and bypass the Borg's attacks.

Yet as the formation drew within a few hundred kilometers the Mothers belched forth brilliant nearly white bluish fire, splashing the cubes and engulfing those ahead of them in the effect. The cubes themselves seemed unaffected but within the cubes, the drones most certainly were.

In each tactical cube there were nearly fifteen thousand drones and as the fire passed through the cube harmlessly, they encountered the neural tissues of the Drones.

And the Drones screamed!

Echoing through the Collective, the screams of the Drones were a psychic onslaught for a species that didn't fully understand the principle of psychic warfare nor what psychic damage shared amongst so many, shared and multiplied as the white-fire spread from each mind to the next through the psychic contact of the Collective. It took the Collective nearly seventy seconds to learn how to stop the damage, by using a sacrifice gambit and cutting off those from the Collective that were or were about to be affected, allowing them to die and the fire with them.

In that time, the Mothers and their Hunters flew through the Borg fleet and fired in all different directions, testing these new soul-less machine creatures' defenses, a few cubes were wounded, a few destroyed, some unaffected at all.

And then they sensed more cubes dropping out of warp and heading their way.

Silently they broke apart, the Pods rearranging so the Hunters formed around the Mothers in a defensive formation and each moved with great velocity back towards the emergence point, which was even now opening again, as the surviving cubes and the new cubes (some eighty-three in all) pursued them with beams flashing. With their maneuvers and the apparently taxing effect of the energy attack, the Pods were losing their lead against the cubes. The Pods managed to hit the aperture just before the Cubes and as they did, they fired a line of torpedoes backwards that wounded two cubes and destroyed three.

The Borg, it seemed, felt that was a challenge and sent all but one of their tactical cubes down the aperture after the Pods.

At the same time, distantly, another aperture opened in space and the four neuters emerged and scouted with their long-range senses, detecting the lone cube at the other aperture. They signaled back the way they came and the first aperture, the one the Pods and the cubes had gone down, collapsed on itself.

The neuters then positioned themselves so they lay across the aperture, above the event horizon by meters and drew careful aim on their target nearly a lightsecond away. The remaining cube never saw what hit it, even it's cloak penetrating sensors didn't detect the projectiles as they made contact with it's subspace field but like snipers firing at an armored target, whatever the neuters used destroyed the cube's defensive field in two hits and blew a hole through the middle of it large enough to fly a mother through. The remaining impact shattered the remaining largest piece into much, much smaller pieces and sent them caroming off into space.

Deftly, the neuters dropped back into transpace and the aperture collapsed behind them, leaving no trace they had ever been there.

Meanwhile, in the primary aperture, the Pods rushed down the corridor with the Borg in pursuit. Suddenly, just before them, apertures to other tunnels appeared and the Pods slid into them with all the grace and skill of seals riding underwater tidal rushes. The cubes tried to emulate and to slow down, some made it, many did not, crushed and slammed into one another to explode and be ground away to nothing against the sides of the tunnels.

Eighty cubes were now down to forty-one, the survivors tunneling down the much more narrow conduits the Hunters and Mothers had dashed down. Again the morphology of the tunnels changed, this time narrowing alarmingly so that only a mother could pass down the tunnel alone, the smaller hunters fit easily though now they travelled in a straight line. The cubes jostled as they attempted to arrange themselves in a formation to allow them to fit, several becoming blocked at the entrance of the tunnels and being destroyed while those that made it through did so wounded as their corners were sheared off entirely.

Forty-one became eleven and then as the Hunter and the Mothers joined back into a central tunnel, they passed through the aperture into n-space just as the Borg realized it.

And then the aperture disappeared behind the Pods.


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