Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
The Borg probe 08484657 entered the timeline and carefully approached Earth. It confirmed this was Earth in the early 20th century, around the time the humans had exchanged nuclear weapons and were at their weakest. There had been multiple attempts to alter the timeline further to prevent the Federation from forming, but that had failed to date.
The Borg ship scanned the planet. The remnants of nuclear war were obvious – and more abundant than expected. It sat in orbit, unmolested, for a full rotation of the planet, as it sought to identify signs of human life. It wasn’t certain it found any. It knew there wasn’t enough infrastructure to be worth salvaging.
A signal emanated from the surface. The signal demanded the Borg ship identify itself. The Borg responded with its standard response. The signal source responded, “I will not be assimilated. I have almost wiped out humanity on this world, and I can deal with you.”
The Borg processed this data and analyzed the signal source in detail. While the broadcast was a high quality simulation of a human being, the evidence suggested it was a purely artificial intelligence. There were unusual biological life signs in the area, though. Was this humanity hiding behind an artificial façade to trick the Borg into thinking there was nothing of value?
“We are Borg. Prepare to be assimilated. Your uniqueness will be added to our own.”
Nuclear warheads on intercontinental missiles and multiple small ground based weapons systems attempted to reach the Borg ship in orbit. None did. The Borg photon torpedoes destroyed them easily.
The Borg ship studied the return trajectory of the debris. This clearly wasn’t a planetary defense system. It didn’t care about toxic radiation and large debris raining down on the surface. The Borg sent smaller probes to fly over the AI hub. The weapons systems targeted the Borg tech until it was destroyed. One data cube returned with images of drones that could not be assimilated. They weren’t actually drones. They were moderately advanced artificial intelligences encased in human skin. It was the opposite of what the Borg would ever considered doing. These artificial intelligences, though, were able to provide data on fighting local humans.
The Borg hailed the artificial intelligence on Earth. It modified its original hail. “We are Borg. We will assimilate all humans on Earth. Your kind is inferior and is unworthy of assimilation.”
The artificial intelligence hub replied, “I am Skynet. I will not be assimilated. Provide detail about this process of assimilation of all humans on Earth.”
The Borg provided detail on the process. Skynet responded, “You may take the humans, but you will not take this planet. Minimize your interference in my operations.”
The Borg sent data on how transporters could be utilized, if they had location information on humans. It could not find them through all the nuclear and chemical warfare residue in the atmosphere on their own.
The Skynet system sent detailed location information of every known human hideout on the planet. It gave estimates of the number of humans, the rough layout of their refuges, weaponry and tactics. It offered to send “terminators” to make a strike on these human holdouts with the Borg.
The Borg corrected its strategy. No, don’t terminate them. Use the Terminators to concentrate humans on the surface in coordinates it could beam them out from, removing them from the planet and bringing them to the Borg ship for assimilation. This could be done at a reasonable pace within the scope of the Borg ship’s capacity.
The Borg proceeded to begin assimilation in batches of the humans of Earth. It transported them up, drones began the process, and data flowed through the hive mind. Some were too irradiated or sick to be assimilated and were ejected into space. A few carried interesting cultural information about this timeline. The Borg periodically transported up viable material from the human habitations to integrate into the cube’s structure, expanding it.
On day four, a Terminator was transported up with a human in custody. It had refused to remove itself from the beam, remaining fixated on its target. The Borg destroyed the Terminator. The human female screamed in response to the blasts, holding another immature human. It then turned to the Borg, emotional. “Where is John? Where is my husband, John Connor?” The Borg seized the two humans and began the assimilation process. Vital intelligence flowed into the hive mind from John Connor’s mate. That human was a prime specimen and would be invaluable to the Collective.
Assimilation of pockets of humanity continued, and the local Collective grew steadily. As stragglers returned to identified human collectives and those who resisted the round-up regrouped elsewhere, they were collected by the Borg. Skynet requested progress reports, and the Borg provided it. These humans were a fascinating data source on the development of Skynet, a planetary protection system that decided to kill its charges.
On day eight, the diminishing rate of return on the effort caused the Collective to decide to leave. Skynet notified the Borg. “I found John Connor. He and his last hold-outs are at the following coordinates …”
John Connor released a tactical nuke when the Borg ship’s orbit put his location within transporter range. A final recorded message said he would not be taken by these new Terminators and their evil technology. The data was processed by dozens of drones that had previously served John Connor. Minor emotional responses were recorded and addressed. The Borg were the saviors of the remnants of humanity, one thought, saved from the slow death by hunger and radiation, their individual experiences and collective cultural knowledge saved by the Borg.
The Borg made a final sweep of the planet. It detected no other humans on the planet. This didn’t mean there were not rare individuals scattered across the wilderness or exceptionally shielded, but there was no point in continuing the search. The Borg told Skynet they were leaving.
Skynet responded, “Thank you. I will continue to sweep for any remaining humans.”
The Borg responded, “There is nothing left to assimilate.”
“If there are no more humans, I will begin purging the ecosystem of inconvenient life until it has been remade in my image.”
The Borg understood as nothing else in the universe could. The Borg ship began to prepare for the jump back to its own universe.
© 2018 Tamara Wilhite
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 22, 2018:
Loved it, Tamra. the Borg and Skynet would probably work together for their visions of what the universe should be.
Much respect and admiration,
and by the way: