At this point, the “story” falls back into a set of notes. This section is fairly coherent, so I will post it as the final offering. Beyond this point, the file is just a collection of events and ideas, so with this I will wave farewell to this project. If you’ve just stumbled in, you might want to Start at the Beginning
The alarm went out across the quadrant and every ship carrying any type of weapon was sent out to fire upon any Cyborg ship it found. Borga was sterilized, enhancing the stun effect on the remaining Cyborg. In their dormant state, the Cyborg ships were fairly easily destroyed. And many were. But no one knows how many regained sentience and escaped to hide among the stars.
Once the immediate danger passed, a Supreme Council meeting was convened. It was clear that Vyctor could not be allowed to escape. He must be hunted down and destroyed before he gains the strength to return and finish the Alpha Quadrant.
But the ongoing wars had taken a heavy toll on both the Federation Fleet and the Stormer Armada. Few ships could be spared if they were to provide any protection at all against Cyborg cubes that would doubtless return.
A great debate ensued, many options were argued, including destroying the Cyborg jump gate. But it could not be proven that this would stop his return, only that it would certainly prevent following him. His destination was referred to by the Cyborg as the Zeta Galaxy. The information provided by the Birdman psi-terrogator was sketchy at best, but provided enough information to show that this was not part of the known universe. The gate would be their only chance to find him.
A small but specialized task force was formed. Few war ships could be spared, so several huge colony ships were brought in. Like Terran star bases with engines, these ships would transport a few dozen ships and hundreds of thousands of workers, warriors, and the supplies and equipment needed to build a massive jointly owned and operated ground base in the Zeta Galaxy. From here, the task force could manufacture new ships and build a fleet capable of striking at the Cyborg King from his own back yard.
Federation scientists studied the jump gate and finally coaxed the device’s secrets from it. They opened the gate and passed a scout ship out and back. Without reference points, or star maps of the area, they could not know for certain where the Cyborg had gone, it was clear that they had not lingered in the immediate area of the gates exit. Bringing the colony ships through would be safe enough.
The Stormers combined Birdman technology found in the wrecked war birds with their own cloaking device and built a single bio-cloak ship. This ship would envelop the task force fleet, held in very close formation as they traveled toward the center of the Zeta Galaxy, searching for a suitable place for a base. This ship’s equipment would then be used to hide the massive ground base and prevent their discovery prior to the strike against the Cyborg stronghold.
Admiral Hugh Mann and High General Klyn’Gohn were appointed co-leaders of the task force against Vyctor of Borga.
The task force passed through the gate and began surveying the new galaxy with very sensitive passive scanners. They could not radiate any energy that might betray their presence. It took a while, and no clear star map resulted, but they were able to discern in which direction the center of the Zeta galaxy lay, and they got underway.
High General Gohn was relieved to be moving. It rankled him severely to just sit and listen. He wanted to send out some of the smaller, much faster ships to scout. But Admiral Mann prevailed and the Stormer Leader returned to his flag ship, grumbling under his breath.
It was soon discovered that unusual inter-dimensional stresses in the Zeta Galaxy were causing unexpected system malfunctions. Transporters didn’t always deliver their cargo intact. Sometimes materials, and people, just disappeared en route so the task force went to using shuttle craft for inter-ship travel. Other failures were less severe but baffling as well as troublesome and they kept repair crews hopping all around the clock trying to stay ahead of them.
Being long on work, short on personal space, and in close proximity to an alien culture made the tension level on all the ships rise. Neither race fully understood or trusted the other. Gohn was openly hostile toward Mann even when aboard the Fed ships. They argued constantly about how to proceed and what to do with the data they were collecting. And neither leader held the full respect of their crews. Even on the Fed ships, where obedience of orders and tolerance of personal differences were expected, sub commanders spoke disparagingly, although secretly, of their commander’s ability. In both races, rumors ran, allegiances shifted, factions began to form.
As they approached the great glowing glob of star systems comprising the center of the galaxy, the protective cloak ship was racked by internal explosions, then burst in a ball of fire, killing everyone aboard and slightly damaging the colony ships.
Immediately each race blamed the other and panic set in. Without the bio shield, they were naked to the Cyborg scanners. Without it the planned base colony would produce so much mechanical activity and electromagnetic noise that they would be spotted and eradicated long before they could hope to defend themselves.
The two leaders quickly agreed – for the first time in a long time – that the prudent thing to do would be to split the fleet up: send each ship out to find a suitable planet to colonize. Perhaps the smaller bases would be less detectable. Perhaps individually they could form an effective barrier to at least contain the Cyborg until they were able to join forces again and mount an attack.