Chapter Six: Borg Give Bad Customer Service – The Helvetica Voyage

Posted by | February 28, 2015

“What happens if we get to the bridge and the Captain is…dead?” asked Rocky-Road.

Boots shifted on his feet, all of the leather on him creaking. “If sssooo then I nominate Helvetica as Captain. Ssshe’sss most sssenior and I’d rather ssshoot than command the ssstarssship.”

“We will know in a moment,” Helvetica said. She went through her belt-full of weapons, once by one checking their charge and firing mechanism. She’d offered Boots one of the guns but he shrugged it off. Instead she gave the weapon to Rocky Road–a phaser, she made sure it was set on stun.

She checked the turbolift panel. It would arrive at the bridge in approximately ten seconds, if she were reading the little glowing line correctly. Just in case, she levelled both rifles at the door and fluttered her finger over the triggers.

Boots took this as his own cue, drew his rapier and pistol and nodded.

Rocky Road just looked anxious, she never put away her tricorder, and she hovered her fingers over the controls trying to look half as menacing as Helvetica and Boots did.

When the turbolift doors shooshed open Helvetica sprang through the door like a pouncing cat and swept the area with fully automatic fire. Bolts of energy sizzled through the bridge, blasting chairs, splashing over access panels, and one even barely missed the giant view screen. What none of the weapons fire did, however, was hit a single Borg.

Once the furor died down and Helvetica could see again she noticed that the bridge was oddly absent of anyone. No Captain, no bridge crew, and no Borg.

“Well, that was unexpectedly easy,” Boots said as he sauntered over to the Tactical station and started tapping buttons with his overlarge claw. “It looks like the entire ssssship is empty of hostilessss and the ssshields are back online, Captai…I mean Ensssign Helvetica.”

Helvetica shrugged.

She walked around the stations near the rear of the bridge and peered into the Captain’s ready room. Nobody home. The conference room the same. Finally she walked back into the bridge, set her weapons down in the first officer’s chair and sank into the Captain’s seat. That’s when she noticed someone else was missing on the bridge.

“Ensign Rocky-Road!” she tried not to raise her voice too much. “It’s safe, you can come out now.”

The cat slinked quietly out of the turbolift, sniffing the air as she did so, tricorder at the ready. “Are you sure? I thought I heard–” Upon entering the bridge and swiveling her head, she finally adjusted her posture to her full height, peered down her nose at her tricorder and said:

“Looks like the bridge is secure, Captain, no Borg detected.”

Boots rolled his eyes.

“The Borg ssship is hailing usss, sssir,” Boots hissed.

“Put them on screen,” Helvetica said.

The screen was instantly filled with the hive-like corridors of a Borg ship, with tiny alcoves barely visible amid distant green-grey lattices and structures. Helvetica and Rocky-Road both shivered instinctively—Boots simply looked mildly annoyed–at the image on screen and the hollow voice the issued forth.

Cultures who accept assimilation now will receive a one-time offer of a 1% individuality benefit,” the Collective said. “We also offer a discount for trade in of vessel at time of assimilation.

“This is Ensi—“ Helvetica paused and blinked. She looked over at Rocky-Road and heard Boots clear his throat with a sharp hiss. “This is Helvetica, Captain of the U.S.S. Oxford. Borg vessel, stand down hostilities immediately or we will return fire. We have called for reinforcements and you will be destroyed.”

If these offers are not to your satisfaction, the Collective can give you a delayed-assimilation package free of charge.

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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