The End of All Things
"I am The Beginning. The End. The One Who is Many. I am The Borg."
Borg Queen, Star Trek: First Contact
Taran watched as his Cone was repaired, and non-Borg swarmed aboard all of his vessels. Examining drones, removing technology, trying to undo what the Borg, what He, had done.
He could not rightly complain. It had been his conditions, after all.
He was The Last.
This was the Dissolution. The dismantling of The Collective. The End of all things Borg.
In a way it seemed obscene, scavengers picking over the bones of the once proud Collective. Then, there were the petty politics and intrigues, the fools didn't seem to look at drones as intelligent beings, and spoke freely around them. Species 180, for example, intended to use the vessel's records in a massive treasure hunt. They assumed, (correctly), that the Borg had no need of money or valuables, that when a world was assimilated, its treasures would be discarded as irrelevant. The Borg Collective was the wealthiest empire in the known history of the universe, and they utterly ignored their riches. Of course, the Ferengi were trying to hide this scheme from potential rivals, which meant everyone. He wondered if the Ferengi had any idea what they would find in the ruins of Borg Space.
He did, and he shuddered.
The Gorn had, quite rightly, demanded first access, as they had literally saved Taran and his fleet, sparking heated arguments with other races. The Romulans had gotten an entire Cube, per their agreement, upsetting their many enemies. No one seemed to understand that he intended to disseminate the technology equally. One of the vices of individuality was arrogance, another, paranoia. Everyone seemed to suspect that everyone else was 'holding out' or hiding technology. Occasionally, they were right, though Taran did not sanction such acts. He had even relented to the diplomatic pressure and allowed the Breen some access to Borg technology, mainly medical. Between spies and enterprising Ferengi, they'd have everything within a few months, anyway.
This was also the first time he'd seen non-Borg members of Species 8071, Andorians, in person and he found them an incredibly beautiful species.
K'erash warily watched as Gorn scientists examined the Nexus, The Exarch's Personal Regenerative Alcove. Taran wondered what the Fek'lhr would do without him. He was his closest, most loyal friend, and it looked very likely that they would soon be separated. It was clear that Taran's psychological assessment was not favorable, and he wasn't really surprised. After his terrible childhood, his assimilation, the deaths of eight hundred million Cardassians, his vengeful genocide of the Changelings, and the trauma of being wrenched from The Collective, from Her, he would be surprised if they did not find something questionable. The issue of his genocide against the Founders had yet to be brought up by his 'guests', but his own mind continually reminded him of that act. In his vengeful rage, it had seemed soothing, now, it was sickening. He had intentionally destroyed an entire sentient species. If he was somehow institutionalised or otherwise placed under psychiatric confinement, he had no idea how his remaining Borg would fair. Perhaps, if he was committed, K'erash could replace him. The Fek'lhr was more than capable of controlling the remnants of The Collective. Taran could not have survived, physically or mentally, without his support, and, if his Klingon cousins didn't like it, too bad for them.
People warily moved about among the drones, and Taran had already released several hundred who were functional outside of The Hive Mind. He was a being of his word. It would take decades to dismantle this little corner of The Collective, so many lives to be. . . What? They could never truly return to who they had been before. Some could never operate without a hive mind, they had known nothing else their entire lives or had their own personalities and consciousness' totally crushed beneath the weight of The Collective. He could not imagine the Chaos and suffering those confused, piteous trillions of drones whose minds he could not touch were going through. The sense of abandonment. The horrible emptiness.
He sincerely hoped that he never would.
And he did not want that to happen to these few he controlled.
He was also worried about some of his drones. Primary Vinculum Monitor 1 of 1 in particular was creating a stir among the scientists and politicians. They were afraid of her and her young, and their fear made them frightening to him. He could not truly blame them, Species 132 was incredibly dangerous, and Spawnmothers exceptionally fecundate, spawning thousands of young at one time. In addition, Spawnmothers birthed Queens, and Queens could bear up to fifty young, though these were non-reproductive Soldiers. Fortunately for the rest of the universe, approximately 99.9% of all spawn were Soldiers. And all save mature Spawnmothers could take other species as hosts. If the Spawnmother was ever freed from his Collective, she would seek to conquer all other forms of life. 'Peaceful coexistence' meant something far different to her than to other races. They were a superior species trapped in the bodies of tiny insectoid parasitic organisms, lesser races were amusing, even entertaining, but their only true value was as the creature's arms and legs. Hosts through which they could accomplish tasks beyond their weak bodies, as well as a source of food for voracious Queens and Spawnmothers. He might have to take them all to a Class M world, uninhabited by sentients, and leave them in quarantined isolation to spawn in peace.
Some of the visitors genuinely seemed interested in studying the Spawnmother and her brood, but most were terrified by her. Those who were afraid of her should not be allowed access to her, he determined, They could do her harm, and that could not be allowed. He would have to discuss that with his liason, Ambassador Savar. To his credit, Savar displayed no ill will toward her or her spawn, despite having been himself a former host.
His conditions of surrender included protection for his drones, all of them, and he intended to hold them to the letter.
He smiled slightly as he thought of the orphanages springing up across Cardassia Prime, and watched them through the eyes of his drones. He hoped to visit them in person, if at all possible. The Cardassian people were wary of the drones, but none could deny that they were invaluable in the rebuilding effort. The laws protecting orphans had been swiftly enacted, but he would make sure that they were enforced. He didn't trust the Cardassian people in general. He was, after all, Cardassian himself.
It was ironic as hell, but many Cardassians seemed to view him, an unwanted, abandoned child of the streets, as a hero. A Cardassian had dismantled The Borg Collective, destroyed The Dominion and provided a technological quantum leap to his people. The Cardassians, shattered and demoralized by The Dominion War, needed something to look up to, to restore their hope and pride. Even something as pathetic as him.
He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. . .
Hopefully he could begin building and supporting orphanages on other worlds as well. He was also developing a deep sympathy for the Reman people, Species 3782. Species Designations were now irrelevant, but they were so ingrained into his mind that he was doubtful he would ever stop using them.
Assimilation was a so much simpler and surer solution to the myriad problems facing the universe. But it was such a terrible price to pay, trading freedom for efficiency. He understood now, respected that others did not desire his flawed 'Perfection'. The Spawnmother had been right, after all, the Borg would never have achieved perfection, regardless of how many worlds they conquered, how many species they assimilated. As a wise man had once told him, What good is perfection, if you can't enjoy it?
Deep within the ruins of Borg Space-
12 of 16 felt a faint spark within her. New, yet ancient, thoughts filled her mind as she looked out over the ruins of Planet 7189914. The thoughts of another subverted her own.
Order had become Chaos.
It must be put right.
The Royal Protocol.
This body was not of Species 125, but it would have to do, for now.
The Borg had been crippled, and Her chosen Consort, alone and afraid, had abandoned Her vision of Perfection. He had mistaken Her whispers for Silence. She was almost impressed that he had shown such decisiveness, She had expected him to simply shut down, to wither and die without Her guidance. Yet he had adapted to Her absence.
He would be long dead by the time Her mind would be capable of spanning the stars that separated them.
But She still survived, weakened beyond measure by her long period of disincorporiation, but alive. The Pathogen had very nearly been the end of Her, but Her will was too strong to embrace the void. It would take centuries to repair the damage Janeway had inflicted upon The Collective. But She was patient. She could wait.
She was The Beginning.
The One Who is Many.
She was Eternal.
She was The Borg.
The Exarch's Chamber is located at the apex of the Cone, as the Power Core took up too much of the central decks.
I initially used Savar simply because I needed a high-ranking Vulcan, and having one who was a host to a Parasitoid an extra treat
Yes, Taran believes the Parsitoids superior to many other races, (I won't name names), they are highly intelligent, extremely durable, telepathic, ridiculously fertile and capable of controlling other beings like living puppets. They are also highly cultured.
How does She know what Taran has done when She can't contact him? She can contact other Borg and learn from them, and just because he can't feel Her, it doesn't mean She isn't aware of his actions. She just can't control or contact him. Her voice is too weak to be heard, but She can still hear. . .
The Star Trek: Destiny novels, (by David Mack), describe the origins of The Borg Queen in relation to a complicated time travel accident and a union between humans, (Species 5618), and a race called the Caeliar, (Species 125). Species 1 being the Kindir, (the unfortunate natives of the planet the time accident took the future Borg to). I disagree with this theory, but list Species 125 as possibly being Caeliar, though I don't believe it myself. I prefer either the 'Beginnings' theory, from a short story by Annie Reed, (called 'The Beginning') which involves a plague world experimenting with nanotechnology and ending up with Borg, (Like the Cybermen, who appeared on Doctor Who about forty years before the Borg appeared on Star Trek), or that She is The Avatar of The Collective.
I came up with Species Designations for Andorians, Bluegills, Gorn and Remans. The Designation for dogs was on the Memory Beta non-canon Star Trek site, and I just couldn't help myself, Borg Dogs! Kinder and Caeliar come from the Destiny novels, which I disagree with but have noted nonetheless.
Species 1 - Kindir?
Species 125 - Caeliar? (All Borg Queens shown were of Species 125)
Species 132 - 'Bluegill' Parasitoid
Species 180 - Ferengi
Species 775 - Dogs (It's unclear if this is only domesticated dogs or canids in general.)
Species 3782 - Reman
Species 3783 - Romulan
Species 5008 - Klingon and Fek'lhr
Species 5618 - Human
Species 8071 - Andorian
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