Walking On Eggshells

OOC - I fixed my last post. Sorry about that.
The USS Saratoga seems t get the wrong end of the stick too often. The whole crew wore red shirts.
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Joh: Can you identify it?

La Pol: Scanning for markings.

La Pol ran her agile fingers across the console very quickly like a concert pianist. Then she looked up and nodded as she zoomed into the markings.

La Pol: It appears to be the remains of the USS Saratoga-C (NCC-31911) sir.

Joh: La Pol continue your scans so we can find out how it was destroyed. Jynx keep us close and cloaked. Gaila keep weapons and shields ready. Liyla listen for any chatter or signals out there. The last thing we need is to get caught unprepared.

The crew of the Phoenix then went to work like busy bees trying to research the remains of the USS Saratoga-C.

After La Pol completed her scans she reported to the Captain.

La Pol: Sir it appears the USS Saratoga was destroyed by torpedoes of Borg origin.

Joh: I didn't know the Borg used torpedoes.

La Pol: They don't.

Joh: I see.

Taetae: Perhaps they have altered their fighting choices.

La Pol: Not likely since torpedoes hinder the option of assimilating.

Joh: My thoughts exactly. Did you pick up their trail yet?

La Pol: Yes sir sending the coordinates to helm.

Joh: Jynx....check out the coordinates La Pol sent you.

Jynx: Sir that will take us to the Tau-Vega IV.

Joh: La Pol check if we have any ships or bases in that area.

La Pol: There is nothing on record sir.

Joh: Crap.

Taetae: Something wrong sir?

Joh: I just got a bad feeling.

Jynx: How bad can it be sir?

Liyla sensed Joh's distress and looked at him with concern.

Liyla: Captain?

Joh looked at Liyla with a stern look as he shook his head at her. He figured she was reading him somehow since her people had some psychic abilities.

Joh: Liyla I value you as a member of this crew so for your own safety don't read my mind. Jynx follow the trail and keep us hidden. Gaila stay alert for a fire fight and put us on yellow alert. I have a bad feeling there will be others at Tau-Vega IV by now.

The crew saw the yellow alert go off and quickly headed to their proper stations in the Firebird. Alara deployed her security teams about the ship per the yellow alert. Koori had her crew man their stations in engineering in case they were attacked. Eventually they arrived at Tau-Vega IV and what was waiting for them.

Liyla: Sir I am picking up two starfleet ships. Should I hail them?

Joh: No and stay cloaked Jynx. Liyla see about picking up their communications and play them for us on the bridge only. Gaila and Jynx stay ready in case this goes bad. La Pol see what you can find without alerting them we are here.

Saren's stoic facade wavered for a moment. "This is bigger than us, Cam. This could destroy the peace we fought so hard for. So please... Cam... please tell me you don't know anything beyond what you saw."

"What is he talking about, Captain?" Vex asked.

"They were creating a weapon." Cam said. "Augments. But these ones were meant to fight Borg. They're augmented with synthetic organic and cybernetic upgrades that leave them incapable of being assimilated. Instead, they unleash a sort of cybergenic plague that wipes out Borg when they attempt to assimilate. Time bombs. Living time bombs."

Silence fell on the bridge of the Osiris.

Vex stepped closer. "That... that's..."

"A war crime of the highest order." Saren finished. "Illegal genetic augmentation, inhumane experiments with living test subjects, thousands of failed tests, thousands who died for a war they weren't needed for."

"It's worse..." R'ana added.

"They deployed them." Cam said. "A week before the invasion of Earth. They deployed fifty of them."

"But they didn't go off?" Vex asked.

"No." Saren said. "Something went wrong. They were assimilated anyway, became a part of the collective."

Vex's eyes widened. "Until we used the WISE."

"Indeed." Saren nodded.

"So what happened to them?" Vex asked.

"Jacinto." Saren said.

"Jacinto?" Vex frowned, confused.

"Jacinto was the site of a supposed Post-Borg riot." Kine suddenly spoke. "It was labelled as an act of civil unrest. A lot of people were killed. Post-Borg and not."

"You're not saying..." Vex looked at Saren in horror.

"The cybergenic virus the augments carry has mutated. It effects both Borg and non-Borg now. Sending them into a homicidal rage which ends in permanent psychosis, followed by death." Saren explained.

"And you say there are at least forty-nine other post-Borg Augments out there just carrying this virus?" Cam asked.

"No." Saren replied solemnly. "There are five hundred."

"What???" Vex exclaimed.

"There were others. Others they intended to send out but never did due to the invasion. They were put in cryo stasis and locked up here, then Janeway sent in a crew on the Saratoga to dispose of them." The way he said "dispose" made it seem like it tasted bitter in his mouth. "But it turns out that the Klingons found them."

"Where are they now?" Cam asked.

"No doubt looking for their lost brethren." Saren told him. "I was tasked with determining their next move and wipe them out."

"Then what?" Vex asked.

"My mission was to gather the list of Augments who were assimilated from the computers here," Saren explained, "destroy the lab and leave no trace that anything ever happened here. No one can ever know what went on here."

"And the list?" Kine asked.

"I'd deliver it to Starfleet Intelligence. They'd use it to track down the Augments, they were given identities and special markers to help track them down."

"So that they could 'dispose' of them?" Kine asked.

"Yes." Saren said.

"Where does that leave us, Saren?" Cam asked.

Saren closed his eyes. "You realize what would happen if this got out? This wasn't just a Section 31 operation. President Janeway and other top members of Starfleet signed off on this. And not just them: The Vulcan Science Academy, The Klingon Empire, even what remained of the Tal Shiar took part in this. They joined forces and pooled resources to make a last-ditched effort to save the Alpha Quadrant from the Borg, and it ended in failure. If word of this got out, the Federation would no doubt crumble into ruins from the resulting chaos and paranoia. Everything we had only so recently reclaimed would've been lost."

"And that's how you justify this?" Cam asked. "All of this to preserve paradise?" He chuffed. "Your father would be proud of you."

Saren sighed. "No... he wouldn't... But my father is dead. He died saving this galaxy. Because he knew like I do, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." He turned to Wilco. "Ready red matter torpedoes. Fire on my mark."

Liyla: Sir your orders?

Joh: Do nothing. We were never here. Jynx quietly move us out of here. La Pol what did you find?

La Pol: Well sir USS Osiris under Captain Gunner and the USS Pericles under Commander Saren seem to have discovered a Starfleet base that does not appear on the records.

Joh: I had a bad feeling about this.

Taetae: Sir I demand to know what is going on.

Joh glared at his 1st Officer before he got up and pushed a few buttons on the coms before he spoke to the whole ship.

Joh: This is your Captain speaking. As of today you have been exposed to a classified mission that never existed and will have terrible repercussions on your life and career if ever leaked out. As your Captain who values the life of each and everyone of you.....I order you to never speak of this event or any related to it and forget it ever happened. Should the top brass find anyone discussing this mission.......I won't be able to protect you. So for the time being without asking questions or bringing up the topic, please follow my orders to the letter so we can survive our time on this ship. Oh and for the time being no transmissions without my permission. The last thing we need now is a Black Ops hit squad coming for us. Captain out.

Joh then sat down made sure on the officers could hear him now.

Joh: This wasn't just a Section 31 operation. Commander Saren is here to clean up after someone and we don't need to be involved.

Taetae: Section 31? Surely they won't.....

Joh: Oh surely they will and have done in the past. I use to be in the same line of work.

Jynx: So what now sir?

Joh: Well we know what the others are here for so we let them do their mission and we set out to find the troublesome Borg.

Jynx: So we just run with our tail between our legs? Kinda lame sir. I thought you were a bad@ss.

Joh: The only one with the clearance to a mission like this on this ship is me. The rest of you will simply vanish like a leaf in the wind if word gets out. I am not afraid for myself. I don't want your deaths on my hands because you didn't take me seriously on this matter. Got it?

Jynx: Yes sir. So where to?

Joh: Jynx take us further out into the Zandar Section. Liyla no out going transmissions till I say otherwise and monitor for all traffic so we can get a few clues on what's going out here. Gaila stay alert and La Pol let me know if you find anything related to this matter. Also do not discuss anything we find with the rest of the crew. This is a classified mission and be prepared to erase any and all data on this matter if we are boarded. I am going to talk to Alara an the Doc to make sure they are with us.

The crew of the Firebird followed Joh's orders as they felt like they were walking on eggshells now after Joh left to the med bay after he called Alara to meet him there. After an awkward fifteen minutes Jynx called out to Gaila.

Jynx: Is the Captain always like that Lt. Gaila?

Gaila: Only on serious matters. Its rare I get to see him like this.

Taetae: You know the Captain well Lt.?

Gaila: Yes, very well.

Liyla: Should you be divulging that information Lt.?

Gaila: Its not a secret.

Taetae: What secret?

Jynx: That Lt. Gaila and the Captain are............close.

Taetae: Isn't that against Starfleet regs?

Gaila: The Captain got permission to bring us as officers since Starfleet was desperate to get him in this ship.

Taetae: Seriously? I could barely find anything on his record though.

La Pol: Because he didn't exist while he was a spy. The Captain is held in high regards for making problems go away.

Gaila: Sounds like you did your homework Lt La Pol.

La Pol: Indeed. I was curious why the Captain requested me personally.

Taetae: Wait a sec......you said us. Who else id the Captain close to?

Jynx: Lt. Alara.

Taetae: Seriously? The both of you?

Gaila: Yep....for two years now.

Taetae: What did I get myself into? That explains what he meant about only being strict on certain regs.

Gaila: Does that bother you Commander?

Taetae: Of course it does! I believe we should adhere to Starfleet regs and not just if we feel like it. This is nerve wracking. How can that man.......?

Gaila: The Captain does his best work from behind the shadows. In two years he took a bunch of average security crewmen and officers and turned them into elite soldiers. Then he ramped up the security of DS9 and beefed up the engineering crew to aid to the upgrades. He also had more entertainment events to control hostilities on the station. In time you will see how amazing he can be.

Taetae: But none of that was on his record.

Gaila: The Captain could careless about credit. To my knowledge he avoided several promotions till he was forced to take them. He could have been and Admiral several times already since I have known him.

Taetae: Then why would he pass up that chance? It doesn't make sense.

Gaila: He is funny that way.

Jynx: So just out of curiosity..... why did he pick an all female crew?

Gaila: Trust me I am not to keen on that either. However the only males on the available officer list were to troublesome. The Captain said he picked the officers he could work with with the least amount of trouble.

Taetae: I see.

Jynx: Figures........This was my last chance to fly again.

Liyla: Most men have trouble working with me due to my pheromones and mental reading abilities.

La Pol: I too was shunned for my Borg history.

Taetae: Okay this is getting to weird so lets keep go back to work.

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Meanwhile at the Med Bay Joh was talking to Alara and Dr. Holly. He had already gave them the order to never speak of what they experience just recently and only follow his orders if it was ever brought up again.

Joh: Any questions?

Dr. Holly: Several. Maybe we could discuss them over dinner?

Alara: You can't eat food.......can you?

Dr. Holly: So it is true then.

Joh: What are you going on about?

Dr. Holly just checking if it was true about your being close to Lt. Alara and Lt. Gaila.

Alara: Yeah it is and we got permission to break regs.

Dr. Holly: Oh did you now?

Joh: Meh. They had to bribe me to take this ship since there is more ships than crew these days. So anything else?

After that Joh dismissed them and returned to the command deck where it was eerily quiet. Joh ignored it and went back to work as he read the data he received from his officers. Several hours later they found a badly damaged Borg ship spinning in a circle.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/subnautica/images/8/8f/1888186-borg_cube.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20171113091543

Joh had La Pol scan it for energy and life signs.

La Pol: Sir this ship seems to be caught in an infinite loop and is spinning nonstop.

Joh: What's the cause?

La Pol: Unsure sir. However their signal they are sending in and infinite loop of one direction. It appears their ship is spinning because of that message.

Joh: Are they dangerous?

La Pol: No sir. Their are no life signs on it but the ship was set to spin by some kind of virus program.

Joh: Can you pick up its last trail?

La Pol: Its faint but yes sir.

Joh: Jynx follow that trail but nice and easy like. Whatever got to these Borg is still out there.

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