Chapter Eight: The Back Room? – The Helvetica Voyage

Posted by | March 14, 2015

First time assimilation subscribers receive bonus energy for six months and free implant upgrades for signing up for lifetime contracts,” the Collective’s chorus boomed over a hidden PA system. “Certain conditions and restrictions apply.

Helvetica, Boots, and Rocky-Road beamed into what looked like an area less crowded with drones than any other section of the ship. Slightly below the center there was an area that the sensors showed was filled with aisles of boxes. The space seemed to have been set aside for storage. The vaulted ceiling soared over the small team as the poked through the contents.

The Borg had laid out the room in a very human-standard warehouse configuration, with tall racks of shelves running in one direction with regular openings to move between them. The floor appeared to be a composite of metal plates, thick rubbery wires, and green lights. This texture continued across every surface—from floor to ceiling—although the shelves were just a standard, steel with holes for bolting on the shelving.

Rocky-Road scanned one of the nearby boxes with her tricorder.

“This one seems to have bottles of some sort of alcohol,” she said, tapping buttons and making faces at the results. “Romulan ale probably, also possibly assimilated.”

Boots looked unimpressed. “Sssaurian brandy is sssuperior.”

“Leave it,” Helvetica said. “We need to find the bridge or control center of this ship. From there we can figure out how to take it over or blow it up…or something.”

“I approve of explosssion,” Boots said.

“Captain,” Rocky-Road piped up. “Lifesign ahead. Five meters.”

Helvetica turned her head to see a Borg drone wearing a blue sweater with a yellow nametag walking toward them. This drone looked different from the others they’d seen, it stood straight-backed, walked with purpose, and even wore glasses. The yellow tag read: GREETER.

Boots raised his pistol, but Helvetica waved for him to wait before opening fire. She’d been in a retail store before—and it seemed like the Borg had assimilated a Walmart or Costco at this point.

“Advance no further or we will open fire,” she said. “Please direct me to the bridge or control center for this…store.”

The Borg Greeter paused, a ghoulish smile floating onto its pale features. “Thank you for visiting the Collective. The control center of Sphere 551 of 600 adjunct 3 is the Vinculum and is accessed directly off the Food Court.”

“Thank you for your assistance,” Helvetica said. “We will be on our way now.”

The Greeter nodded. “Your presence here represents an agreement on your part to participate in the Collective. Please stand by for assimilation,” the Borg drone said and began to advance again. “Standard EULA applies.”

Helvetica raised her rifle and blasted the Borg Greeter and down it went. “I always did hate aggressive sales associates.” She toed the downed Borg body, it didn’t move. After a moment, she added, “It’s like they assimilated the worst parts of a Walmart.”

“Food Court?” Rocky-Road said.

“I suspect we’re going to be seeing a lot more ice cream sundaes,” Helvetica said.

“What’sss a Walmart?”

“They’re kinda like the Borg of retail,” she said to her crewmates, realizing that they probably would have no idea what she was talking about. She thought for a moment. “Imagine if the Borg and the Ferengi were working together to assimilate all products and services and you get Walmart.”

Rocky-Road looked queasy for a moment and shook her head as if to dismiss a disturbing mental image. Boots simply hissed slowly in disapproval.

“Let’s take these Borg down,” Helvetica said quickly and her away team fell in behind her as she headed toward the only obvious exit from the warehouse area.

The sign above the exit, glowing cherry-red and looking thoroughly out of place read: BACK ROOM EXIT.


The author Helvetica writes the Helvetica Voyage, Helvetica Venture, and Hellvetica Chronicles for Vox Ex Machina and proudly supports the works of Kyt Dotson, whose writing includes Mill Avenue Vexations (a gothic webserial featuring cab driver Vex Harrow), Black Hat Magick, and Helljammer and invites you to check out the novel, The Specter in the Spectacles by Kyt Dotson.


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