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Climate Change

Posted on Wed Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:24am by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez

Mission: Seraphim Requiem: Season 1, Episode 2.
Location: Below decks

Jrez knew straight away that things were very, very wrong. Thalal's bio-scans only confirmed it. The base was not just occupied by some Borg as Alamein's sensors had suggested, it was riddled with them.
“Anyone familiar with the layout of this base?” he asked.
“I was posted to a Jupiter class station fresh out of the Academy,” Endrijure replied.
“Where's Ops?”
S/he stepped over to a panel in the wall and punched a few buttons. “Eleven decks up.”
“How quickly can we get there?”
“The turbolifts are out so....” S/he considered for a moment. “Twenty...thirty minutes – provided we don't meet any hostiles on the way.”
“Can we get them working again?”
“Not from here. They're not just switched off, they've been disabled. My guess is from Ops itself.”
That was all he needed. With a large group in tow – most of them not combat trained – he thought the longer estimate the more likely scenario. That was too long. They had to do something and they had to do it fast if the base was to be saved. He was the one on the spot and he needed a way to stop these Borg in their tracks.
He had plenty of experience in out-thinking rivals who expected him to act along certain lines so blindly following regulations and seeking orders from the appropriate chain of command was dismissed out of hand. He also had plenty of experience in seeking input from those around him. Time to put all that experience into practise.
“Firstly, we need to get our people to safety and that means Ops. That's where the senior staff will be found. Endrijure, you'll lead the way. Pari and Venkath, you'll provide armed escort. Pray it's enough. But before you go....
“Chief,” Erixana Durot said.
“I also served on a Jupiter class station. I can get them up there. With respect, Chief, you'll need PO Endrijure with you.”
“Good. See too it. But as I was about to say.... Ideas people. I need ways to slow these Borg down.”
Maybe it was the way Jrez phrased the request but something clicked in Vartog's head. “The Borg will try to manipulate the station's systems to suit their own environmental needs,” he said. “We have to beat them to it.”
“They prefer a temperature around 39C,” the Vulcan tactical officer, T'Prel added, “relative humidity of a bit over 90% and atmospheric pressure a bit over 100kPa. If we can decrease the temperature and humidity we can significantly slow them down.”
“I think I can do that,” Jrez said. “I haven't worked with anything remotely resembling a starbase but environmental control systems are fairly similar the Federation over. What the...!” Jrez swore.
It only took moments for the emergency power to kick in and bring the lights back on but they were long, disconcerting moments.
He felt the calming pressure of Thalal's hand on his arm and was thankful for it. Thoughts of Castel III and that long walk through eerily silent corridors came back to him. Then too they'd been waiting anxiously for something to happen. He'd made it through that episode and acquitted himself well for a tyro. He drew encouragement from that.
Jrez knew he had good back-up. Thalal and Vartog had proven themselves more than once and while Endrijure could be impulsive, s/he was capable under pressure.
Thalal had her tricorder out and was scanning through 360°.
“No life signs in the immediate vicinity, Chief,” she reported.
“Endrijure, do you know where environmental control is housed?” Jrez asked.
“Five decks up and forward,” the Hermat replied. “I can get us there too.”
“Let's go then. Pari, tell whoever's in charge what we're doing.
“Aye, Chief. You heard the man,” he said to the Explorer's milling around, let's go!”
“I suggest we use the Jeffries tubes, Chief” Vartog advised.
“I agree,” Thalal said. “Less chance of meeting opposition.”
“Pari...?” Jrez asked to the rapidly retreating back of the brig officer.
“I heard, Chief. There's an access port up ahead.”
“See you in Ops. Good luck.” You'll need it. Hell, we'll all need it.

The Borg were a move or two ahead of them. When Jrez stepped out of the Jeffries tube, the heat and humidity were like a brick wall. He almost staggered before he pushed through. Up ahead, he saw a Borg working on conduits behind a wall panel.
It had a typically grey pallor, bald head and menacingly inhuman look. That is to say, Jrez guessed it had once been human.
Its left eye was now an elaborate implant which, as Jrez watched, zoomed out then back in, focussing on his position. He guessed it could 'see' him in many different parts of the spectrum.
Its left arm was an appendage which could best be described as a claw but Jrez suspected it had many more functions. He had no wish to find out what.
Tubes ran from various parts of its body to various other parts. What purpose they served he could not begin to guess. Presumably the Hive mind had a reason for each and every alteration to the basic humanoid form – alterations designed to facilitate the performance of specific tasks. He just hoped those tasks did not include military ones. From his admittedly limited knowledge of the Borg, the enhanced strength granted by their nanoprobes meant actual skill wasn't deemed necessary for military matters. Brute force usually won the day so they would just have to out think the Hive.
As Jrez walked past, the Borg looked up but, perceiving no threat, ignored the party. Jrez had heard it was so but, Doubting Thomas that he was, he'd never quite believed it. How could an intelligent species not see as hostile a group of people in the uniform of the base they were trying to take over; people who were obviously armed with phaser rifles? He could only put it down to a hive mentality that saw everything in terms of agglomerations of units, not the units themselves.
They made it right down the corridor without meeting any resistance. Turning, the next corridor was blessedly free of drones. At the end, Jrez saw their goal. He risked a look back where he'd just come from; the Borg continued to ignore them, busy as they were with their assigned tasks. He doubted they'd be that way when the party made its way back again.
There were four Borg in the Environmental Control Room. One gave the party a cursory look over as they entered. Vartog closed the door behind them and wedged a convenient chair under the door handle. They were committed now; either they'd succeed or die in the attempt. The alternative was beyond contemplation.
They fanned out, each taking their own target. Jrez gave silent thanks there were no more drones present or things could have gotten very sticky. He counted out three on fingers held out in front of him. On three, deadly bursts of phaser fire hit the Borg. Each one dropped where it stood.
Jrez sprang into action. Resetting the controls proved to be more difficult than he anticipated. Borg handiwork differed markedly from Federation designs for all that it was Federation parts that had been used. Precious seconds ticked away while he worked. No-one said anything but he could feel their anxious looks on his back.
Finally he drew back. “It'll take a few minutes to notice any difference,” he announced, “but once the temperature starts to drop, the effect will become progressively more marked. The humidity will take longer. They've pumped a lot of moisture into the atmosphere. Looks like they drew on the coolant systems. Goodness knows what else we're breathing.”
“Can we get out before the temperature starts to fall?” Endrijure asked. “When they notice what we've done, no doubt they'll come running.”
“There won't be enough time,” Jrez replied, “I trust that if our friends were going to disturb us they'd have done so already. I suggest we wait here until the change becomes really noticeable. By that time hopefully they won't be able to run.”


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