Chapter Five: Ensign Boots – The Helvetica Voyage

Posted by | February 21, 2015

Ensign Rocky-Road proved to be extremely clumsy with the phaser rifle that Helvetica gave her to defend herself—she couldn’t manage to hold the rifle and her tricorder at the same time. This led to a series of misfires, fumbles, and one instance where the ensign blasted open a wall panel. To prevent this in the future, Helvetica traded the rifle for a pistol and this seemed to resolve the problem.

As they paraded through the corridors, Helvetica started to notice that the number of Borg has precipitously dropped.

“Shields restored,” the ship’s computer announced. “Intruders still present on decks two, three, and one.”

“I think that means the Borg have control of the bridge,” Rocky-Road said, licking at an ice cream sundae.

Now that Helvetica had someone to give the damn things to, she’d been feeding every bit of ice cream to the cat-ensign. Rocky-Road seemed perfectly pleased about this and now wore, jingling on her belt, a set of shiny glass cubs tongue-polished clean.

“We’ll have to take it back from them,” Helvetica said as she stepped over the sixth downed Borg drone on the floor. “Do you get the sense we’re not the only people killing Borg out here?”

“The compliment of The Oxford is exactly thirty-four people,” Rocky-Road said helpfully. “There must be other members of the crew who have not been overcome by the Borg roaming the ship. I will try to use the internal ship sensors and my tricorder to detect them.”

She started prodding at her tricorder, which began to emit a melodic series of bleeps-and-bloops. Her fingers deftly danced across the surface of the device as she stared mesmerized at whatever the screen displayed.

“I think there is someone four bulkheads…” she turned the tricorder and gestured. “That direction.” Then she paused and frowned. “Oh, we should move quickly. They’re surrounded by Borg!”

Helvetica took off down the corridor in the direction Rocky-Road indicated. Bright blinking “RED-ALERT” warnings blurred past her as she charged. The bulkhead numbers etched into the molding of the walls fell number-by-number until finally she came to a door that did not open when she walked up to it. She glanced at Rocky-Road.

“I guess it’s locked?” she said and shrugged.

Helvetica levelled her rifle. “It works in show sometimes,” she said, then blasted the panel next the door.

With a whisper, the door slid open and Helvetica stormed in.

Inside, she found…

Carnage.

Borg drones lay strewn about with limbs entangled, some stacked two together against a wall, another few face down like a trail of breadcrumbs down the hallway. Their surprise at the scene rapidly evaporated with the sound of metal striking metal and a disruptor firing. The sound of battle accompanied a loud hissing and susurration that rattled the walls.

The source of the sound, it turned out, was a very large green crewman battling six Borg drones near the end of the hall. As Helvetica and Rocky-Road rounded the corner, he had just downed one drone with a disruptor shot to the face, and finished it with a stab from a sword the size of a tent-pole. The brief pause he took to yank the sword from the drone, though, two more grabbed him from behind and another walked in front of him and started to shock him.

“Sssssgggssttthh sssshaaaattt!” the crewman cried in a loud, angry hiss as he shuddered visibly.

With a targets in sight, Helvetica sprang into action. A barrage of orange and green shots down the hallway and two of the Borg drones vaporized, leaving only twinkling shadows of their silhouettes behind before those faded away. The drones holding the crewman released the man, he fell to the floor with a loud thud as he dented the grav plating.

The remaining drones moved to block Helvetica and met a very similar fate. She stepped over their still-smoldering corpses to check on the downed crewman (and tossed yet-another-sundae to Rocky-Road in the process.)

The downed man was stirring even as Helvetica came to his side and she reached down to help him stand. His hand was dry, scaly, and bigger than her head—and he nearly wrenched her arm out of its socket as he rose. And rise he did, standing almost two feet taller than she, one of him could have been built out of three of her. His chest looked so large, she wondered how much fabric was needed to cover it. His face, which peered down at her with beady black eyes, had the visage of an angular dragon.

“A saurian?” Rocky-Road said. “I did not know there were any Gorn on the ship.”

The giant-lizard flexed his muscles—they bulged everywhere—and that’s when Helvetica noticed that the ensign was not wearing the standard uniform of The Oxford’s crew. Instead, his boots, pants, shirt, and coat were all a thick, supple leather. She did not envy the herd of cows that must have been skinned in order to make a single outfit for this giant of an officer.

“I thank you for the resssscue,” the crewman hissed. “I almossst had it handled. Isss there anyone elsssse with you?”

“Just us,” Helvetica said. “We’ve been moving from deck-to-deck looking for people. Want to join up?”

“I am indebted,” the lizard crewman said. “I am Ensign Boots and I will join you.”

“Nice to meet you,” Helvetica said. “We’re going to take the bridge back from the Borg.”

“I would be pleasssed to help you take the bridge,” Boots hissed. Before they went on, he retrieved a disruptor pistol and his rapier from the floor.


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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