It's approximately fourteen years after the Battle of Wolf 359. Stardate 57498.8. The location is the Delta Quadrant, near a desolate sector on the outer rim.
A Borg Cube detects a space anomaly on their long-range scans, and heads toward it at warp 9.9. The energy spike had been very high, so this disturbance in their space needed to be investigated immediately.
The massive cube ship was the largest and most powerful vessel in the Galaxy. Its ability to quickly analyze and adapt was its greatest advantage. Combined with its ability to function even when badly damaged, and then rapidly repair itself made the cube ship virtually impossible to destroy. The Federation learned this fact at Wolf 359 when too many of their fleet had been so easily destroyed by just one such ship.
When the Borg reached the location they witnessed a whirlpool-like swirling mass of black and dark-grey that had formed within the vast emptiness of space. It was a space fold, a dimension of nothingness. A dimension without time and mass that linked one part of space with another, and it was large enough to allow something as immense as a small moon through its black centre.
What came through the hole in space was totally unexpected by the Borg. They witnessed the monster as it slowly exited the dark mass. It was a thing right from the deepest, darkest recesses of whatever was the equivalent of a Borg Hell (if there was such a thing). No words could have given justice to this horror. It drifted out into space-time like a colossal ghost ship.
The alien vessel was enormous, dwarfing the Borg Cube by comparison. It had a dull, slate-grey colour, and was roughly spherical in shape. It had many dozens of spine-like protrusions coming out of its central core, but they weren’t all the same length. Some were only half the length of the longest, giving the thing a chaotic, disquieting look. Its core was small in comparison to the diameter of its spines, and gave off a pulsating red glow, almost heart-like in manifestation.
But the strangest thing of all was that it didn’t even look real. Stationary, the horror seemed to vibrate all over, and every couple of seconds, it would slightly shift from one position to another – left, right, forward, back.
Although the Borg's instruments were all in optimal working order, the distortions and shifting patterns coming from the ship made getting a positive lock on it almost impossible. It seemed to shift between dimensions. Also, their scans of the alien ship came back with very little data – a virtual impossibility by Borg standards.
Any other species would have been extremely apprehensive at such an encounter, but not the Borg. Whether it was the machine part of them, their arrogance, or a little of both is unknown, but their initial communication was the same as it had been for countless other absorbed races.
"We are the Borg. Surrender your ship. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."
There came back no reply. It was as if the leviathan wasn't even aware of the Borg, or unconcerned about the small, metal cube next to them.
The alien vessel had no shields to prevent teleportation, so the Borg sent in dozens of drones to capture the ship. Once teleported within the strange ship, neuro-processor links between the individual drones and the Hive were immediately cut off. With the loss of contact, there was no way to retrieve the ship boarding drones, and no way to know what was transpiring within their soon to be acquisition. It never occurred to them that they were no longer among the living.
The Borg sent in dozens of more drones, but the result was the same. After a third attempt, they realized that continuing this course of action was indeed futile.
Next, they used a powerful plasma beam on the silent ship in an attempt to try to cut their way in. But the beam that should have cut through the vessel's hull like a laser through butter was equally ineffective. They would have had more success attacking a cloud of smoke.
Whether it was the attacks of the Borg or that the alien ship's scans of the sector were complete is unknown, but the great ship suddenly came to life. The pulsating red core of the ship glowed brighter. Several of the spine-like protrusions facing the Borg Cube became luminous, and a form of white energy was released from each. A pulsating, white ball of energy formed, and although basically spherical, it appeared unstable due to its constant shape changes, from sphere to ellipse and back again. As soon as the energy ball ceased growing, it slowly moved away from the great ship, and built up speed quickly as it launched itself toward the annoying, little cube.
The Borg managed to hit the deadly missile with a plasma beam. Unfortunately, the odd missile didn’t detonate in mid-space, as was assumed.
A split second later, it hit the Cube head-on, but there was no explosion of orange flames or a blinding flash. Instead, the entire vessel was consumed in a pulsating, white glow. It was eating through the cube like some kind of super acid. The ship's amazing ability to repair itself just couldn't keep up with the devastating damage that had completely encompassed the ship. It blanketed it, smothering it in waves of unrelenting damage. With every pulse, the large ship gradually dissolved from metallic greys to dull, transparent grey, and finally to light-grey dust. The silhouette of the Borg Cube could still be seen; a faint, distorted shadow of what it once was.
The destruction of the Borg Cube echoed throughout the entire Hive, and the Borg began to understand what all the other races felt in their presence.... FEAR.
This invading fortress of a ship was not a newcomer to the Galaxy, but it had been almost 400 years since it had last been here. The race was known as the Veiled, and they were back. They don't assimilate. They exterminate.
To understand the Veiled, it is necessary to go back to the early 21st Century, and to discover how one human traveled to the stars decades before the discovery of warp technology.
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Copyright 2013 Robert G. Moons