Read Episode 11 first.
Interlude 1: Operation: Neuralyze!
“The Borg?” gasped Agent Lócë of the Department of Mary Sues, Star Trek division. “Qu'vatlh!”
“Colorful metaphors will not improve the situation,” said his Vulcan partner Infinity, reaching into a bowl.
“Nor will raiding my nm&nms. Stop it.” Infinity was quite the chocoholic.
“Logically,” said Agent Salok of the Department of Mary Sues, HP division (and
husband to Tadkeeta's partner, T'Zar), “FicPsych is best suited for overseeing the neuralyzation.”
“Back to normal, then?” asked his Elf partner, Agent Aldion. Salok had recently gone through his first pon farr.
“If I were Elven, I would say to stuff an article of cloth footwear into your mouth.”
“You mean 'put a sock in it?'” asked Aldion.
“I believe I said that.”
Meanwhile, at the Department of Fictional Psychology, Dr. Freedenberg burst out of the Kudzu's office. “We have an emergency!” he called. “The Borg have assimilated at least one Agent!”
“By the Lion's Mane!” gasped Professor Timbledim, who had been working with him on a Medical-FicPsych joint project. “They'll be coming here and invading all the other worlds!”
“Thank you for the revelation, Captain Obvious,” said Jennifer Robinson.
Timbledim wiped the Sar-Plasm off himself and they dashed for the Lounge, thinking about everything but their destination.
The word spread all over HQ. In Response Center #999, Agent Supernumerary of the Department of Implausible Crossovers was jarred out of sound sleep when Ilraen burst in. [We are needed in the lounge ASAP!] exclaimed Ilraen. [We have a mission to the Borg.]
“Why the lounge?” groaned Supernumerary.
[It's a rescue mission and mass neuralyzation. The Borg have assimilated some Agents!]
All tiredness left Supernumerary at once. “Assimilated!?”
Agent Hydro, a Dryad in the Department of Mary Sues, Garfield Division, was feeding Nurmal the mini-Monday (which looked like a page-a-day calendar on legs) and Glinta the mini-Scoodler. Then her new partner, Stoneship Tayrime, burst in. Hydro jumped and drew her machete, then saw who it was. “Sorry,” she said.
“Get to the Lounge at once!” said Stoneship. “The Borg have assimilated some Agents!”
“The Borg! From Star Trek!”
“I don't know Star Trek, at least not anything beyond that very minor character Jarre Jarre killed in her Ten Little Indians reenactment. What do you mean, 'assimilated?'”
“Absorbed into their hive mind, or Collective! We've got to go rescue the Agents and neuralyze the Collective!” They dashed out the door.
Agents Andronicus and Prosciuttino of the Department of Bad Slash, Shakespeare division, arrived at the Lounge. “Is the cube near any double planets?” Prosciuttino asked worriedly. “You see, I'm a werewolf. Back when I was in the Harry Potter division, I was PPCing a ProngsSnape fic and Lupin bit me just before the exorcism.”
“Doesn't look like it,” replied Tadkeeta. “The cube in question seems to be in a planetless section of space on the Gamma-Delta quadrant border.”
Agents Gareth and Behnashiren of the Department of Mary Sues, Pirates of the Caribbean division arrived. Both were resurrected canons; Gareth had been a Knight of the Round Table and Behnashiren had been a king of D'ni. “What is going on?” asked Behnashiren.
“We need to rescue some Agents from the Borg and neuralyze the Collective,” said Timbledim.
“The Borg?” said Gareth. “Mehercule!”
“Oh my Yahvo,” gasped Behnashiren.
When all the available Agents and FicPsych personnel had assembled, they portalled to the Borg ship. They found some fused tangles of melted and refrozen metal and plastic and on the railing an ivory-billed woodpecker.
['Bout time reinforcements arrived!] exclaimed the woodpecker, who flew to the deck and began to demorph.
[Iskillion?] asked Ilraen.
[Where are Tawaki and Hul? They're both assimilated. And I scanned the Borg; it seems our inability to neuralyze the canons changed the timeline. Point your CAD at that drone there, Tadkeeta.]
Tadkeeta pointed her DoGA-issue CAD at the drone he indicated.
Eight of Eight. Benjamin Sisko. Male Borg drone. Assimilated at Wolf 359. Recommendation: fix breach in timeline
“Supernumerary and Ilraen?” said Timbledim.
“Yes?” asked Supernumerary.
“We're going to neuralyze the canons and collect the minis.” They got the coordinates from Iskillion and off they went.
Nurse Dewstan looked through a pair of binoculars. “Heavily tattooed Borg drone over there,” she reported, pointing down to the near end of the corridor. “Stoneship, Hydro, Gareth, Behnashiren, Salok, and Aldion, follow me.”
Tadkeeta located Tawaki, now Two of Four. She called FicPsych. “This is Tadkeeta. We have located the Borg drones. Are the Borg Isolation Chambers ready?”
“Eight are ready,” replied Jen, back in FicPsych, “and Hul is here already.”
“We only need one more,” said Tadkeeta, forgetting the Laws of Narrative Comedy.
No sooner had she said this then T'Zar got a call from Aldion. “The Borg were alerted to us the moment we portalled Hul!” he said, voice laden with horror. “Gareth and Hydro have been assimilated, and- Oh my Eru! Now I'M-” and his voice turned into a scream of pain and dread.
Salok's voice came over the com. “Aldion is being assimilated as I speak. We cannot-” and that was all.
Then T'Zar's Vulcan control wavered as she reported, “Salok is dying.”
The Borg started attacking. Andronicus drew a decidedly uncanonical DL-44 blaster and got off three shots before the Borg adapted. He grappled with a Talaxian drone and they both fell over the railing.
As three drones converged on Tadkeeta, she pulled out a neuralyzer. She closed her eyes and activated it. She then portalled Tawaki to FicPsych.
Tadkeeta, Prosciuttino, Freedenberg, Lócë, and Infinity found the remaining Agents. Gareth was Six of Six, Hydro was Five of Six, Aldion was Four of Six, Stoneship was Three of Six, Nurse Dewstan was Two of Six, and Behnashiren was One of Six.
“wejpuH!” exclaimed Lócë.
“Good news,” said Tadkeeta. “Neuralyzation is spreading.”
“Good,” said Prosciuttino. They portalled the six drones to FicPsych, donned sunglasses and neuralyzed the Borg. They then portalled out themselves.
Tadkeeta portalled to Deep Space Nine to make sure the timeline had been restored. It was, and Sisko was in his office in Ops.
A week later, Tadkeeta went into FicPsych and into Tawaki's chamber. They embraced, and Tadkeeta asked how Tawaki was doing.
“Recovering,” replied Tawaki as they pulled apart. “Thanks for coming to my aid, love.”
“You're most certainly welcome. But what have I told you about terms of endearment at HQ?”
“'Do not use them unless you are sure they won't trigger flashbacks.' Sorry.”
“No harm done. How much longer will you be here?
“Only until later today, says the Professor. How have you been?”
“Well, I just got back from Mt. Seleya; T'Zar and I were there for Salok's funeral.”
“Salok is dead?”
“Killed by the Borg. T'Zar claims to be alright, but beneath her Vulcan calm she's devastated.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“And before you ask, Hul is a few doors down from you, on suicide watch,” said Tadkeeta. “He might require treatment on Ramandu's island.” Yuuzhan Vong hated machines, and he could well imagine that assimilation by the Borg would be their worst nightmare.
“Someone would have to volunteer to go into the Utter East, never to return, when it's time to wake him,” reminded Tawaki. “Did we get away clean, apart from Salok's death?
“No. Five more Agents and one FicPsych nurse were assimilated and Andronicus was also killed.”
“And it's my fault, too. My error. I'm so sorry.”
“According to Iskillion, you were in a hurry; David Gerrold's redshirt had noticed you.”
“'Sno excuse. How are the other assimilated Agents?”
“All back on the job, although Hydro and Aldion, who have always hated their true names, are now called Five of Six and Canta Enquëo, respectively.”
“Canta Enquëo,” echoed Tawaki. “Four of Six.”
“Yes. Now, I-” Just then, Tadkeeta's KI-cellphone rang. “Hello?” she said. “Hi, T'Zar. I'm visiting Tawaki. He's loads better. A mission, already? What? A five-minute hyperspace journey from Sernpidal to Dagobah? That's a geographical aberration, alright.” She paused. “Luke and Leia did WHAT? LION ALIVE!” She started pounding her head against the wall. “Yes, I'll be there ASAP. See you shortly.” She rang off.
“Ouch,” was all Tawaki could say.
“See you later.”
“Later.” They kissed briefly and she exited.
Shortly thereafter, Jennifer Robinson came by. “You're all set to go,” she told Tawaki.
“Thanks.” Tawaki returned to RC #4913, where Makes-Things had already installed a regeneration alcove. He regenerated as soon as Gyrgi and Saaveedroo, delighted to have him back, calmed down.