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Fanfic / A Voice in the Wilderness

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A Voice in the Wilderness is a three-part Star Trek Online fanfic by StarSword, set in the Bait and Switch Verse. It began under Unofficial Literary Challenge #8: "Revisit to a Weird Game, One of One" and ended under ULC #16: "A Future That Many Will Never See".

After the KDC Samsar incident (canon mission "Dust to Dust") ended with the suicide of Keten and Romulan High Admiral D'trel beheading the leader of the Kobali military, Captain Kanril Eleya of the USS Bajor is ordered out into the Delta Quadrant to seek a separate peace with the Vaadwaur Supremacy under Eldex, who had allied with the Delta Alliance to defeat Gaul and the bluegills but had now turned hostile. After making her pitch to an unimpressed Vaadwaur officer, Eleya pulls back, but in the process runs across an anomalous Borg signal and goes in to investigate.

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Tropes:

  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Prime Directive gets turned on its head here when Eleya uses it as her official reason for not retaliating against the Romulan overthrow of the Kobali government.
  • Alternate Continuity: In canon Star Trek Online the Vaadwaur get an easily missed one-line mention in "Dust to Dust" of having turned hostile to the Delta Alliance, and are an enemy in one of the Iconian War missions. StarSword didn't like this outcome, considering it a cheap cop-out to create a recurring villain, especially with strong fandom support for bringing the Vaadwaur into The Alliance.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Subverted. One of One realizes that despite their enormous mass and repair capabilities, Borg ships are bizarrely undergunned for their size and that the Borg Queen, an inferior copy of herself, cannot seem to get them to fire on more than one target at a time. One of One compensates by getting creative, Flash Stepping with transwarp and rotating a Borg cube so that it approaches the Bajor corner-first, allowing it hit Eleya with triple the cube's original firepower.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: Eleya's away team discovers a recording of a Preserver who is assimilated in the middle of explaining the Borg Collective's origins. The sequence is largely an Homage to The Reveal scene in Serenity.
  • Badass Creed: One of One's "you will be assimilated" spiel is noticeably different from the usual Borg monologue (for one thing, One of One uses the pronoun "I" in it), which proves the first clue that Eleya is in worse trouble than she thought.
    "Surrender your vessel. Your technological and biological distinctiveness are immaterial. You will be assimilated into the whole and perfected. I am the Borg. Resistance is futile."
  • Book Dumb: Eleya demonstrates a downplayed form of it. She's no science officer and a display of raw sensor data is gobbledygook to her, but she does have more general science knowledge like how half-lives and radioisotope dating work and what a Class N moon is going to look like (i.e. Venus).
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  • Call-Forward: Eleya at one point wonders in her Internal Monologue "how the phekk do you fight something that can jump anywhere it wants?" This proves a very relevant question in later Iconian War fics such as Beat the Drums of War.
  • The Cavalry: Bajor is trapped in an unwinnable fight against One of One, warp engines inoperable, and then a Vaadwaur battle group comes in, drives them back, and pulls our heroes out.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Or Gunwoman as the case may be. Commander Darva, captain of VSW Revenge, leads a Vaadwaur border picket, and it's to her that Eleya makes her pitch for a peace conference with the Supremacy. In part III, her ship is the flagship of a battle group under Overseer Harn sent to rescue Eleya from the Borg.
  • The Dead Have Names: Eleya is given a casualty list after the first fight scene and lists off some of them. They include Tess's second-in-command and a green crewman whose brother was in Eleya's training platoon in the Militia.
  • Death World: Or Death Moon in this case. Adaris VII has two moons described. One is considered Class Y, "demon", while the moon containing the Borg/Preserver installation is Class N (Venus-like).
  • Distress Call: Eleya initially holds off on sending one after waking up One of One by accident so as not to give away her position, but goes ahead and sends it after they come under attack. The Vaadwaur answer it.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: Rolling ship to present undamaged shields returns, and Eleya even has her conn officer pitch the ship relative down when facing a cube, which allows her to bring all fivenote  phaser arrays on the ship's dorsal surface to bear on a single target.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Borg now have a Mêlée à Trois between the main Collective, the Delta Alliance member Borg Cooperative, and One of One.
  • Flash Step: One of One is able to use Borg ships' capabilities to far greater effect than the normal Borg Queen, including using their transwarp drives to teleport around the battlefield and even change directions.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Averted. Even though Bajor is crippled, the shuttles so often forgotten in Star Trek are not. But they still can't evacuate more than about 150 of the ship's over 1,000 crew members that way.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Origin Story of the Borg. They were originally nanomachines for medical purposes created by the Preservers, but merged with an Artificial Intelligence and went rogue, becoming One of One. The modern Borg Queen is a different AI from the original, however, as One of One was successfully imprisoned by its creator.
  • I Am the Noun: One of One's version of the Borg Badass Boast includes the line "I am the Borg," whereas Borg controlled by the Collective still use "We are the Borg."
  • Literary Allusion Title: "A voice in the wilderness" refers back to the Old Testament, specifically a line in Isaiah 40:3: "A voice of one calling: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'"
  • Mythology Gag/Fandom Nod: Vice Admiral Reynolds mentions flame wars on the extranet around the Kobali situation, rather like what happened on the Star Trek Online forums on the same subject during the Delta Rising Expansion Pack's run.
  • No One Gets Left Behind:
    • Actually averted after Bajor's warp drive is crippled and the Damage Control teams can't fix it. Eleya makes plans to evacuate whomever she can in the shuttles, but they can only get about 150 crew of over a thousand out that way. She prioritizes cadets, stable wounded and medical staff, and any pregnant females; everyone else draws lots.
    • Two Vaadwaur ships are damaged during the fight and prepare to go on a suicide run to cover the escape, but Overseer Harn refuses to leave them behind. Eleya gets them to lower their aft shields so she can beam the crews off.
  • Noodle Incident: Gaarra mentions "that thing with the Xucphran geese on Klaestron IV", and Biri says she still doesn't know what that was about. That makes all of us, Biri.
  • Rule of Seven: Played with. Biri observes that the Borg ziggurat's dimensions are in multiples of seven kilometers and that the number recurs in civilizations across the galaxy, but Tess short-circuits her with the question of whether the Borg even use kilometers.
  • Spanner in the Works: The regular Borg Queen quickly adapts to counter One of One's ability to co-opt Borg ships to its own use and keeps sending ships, culminating in sending an entire Borg unimatrix command ship that distracts One of One long enough for Eleya and the Vaadwaur to run for it.
  • Take That!: Eleya to Darva: "By now you’ve scanned us, and you’ll notice that while I have my shields up because I’m not a moron, my phasers aren’t charged and my torpedo tubes aren’t loaded." As noted by another writer on the forum discussion thread, this contrasts with an anecdote by Picard in "The Wounded" where he left his shields down while approaching a Cardassian ship to offer a truce, and the Cardies responded by taking the opportunity to kick his balls up between his ears.
  • Theme Naming: Dakota-class starships seem to be named after Native American tribes, as the two mentioned in this story are the Onondaga and the Taino.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Borg under One of One aren't literally any tougher, but they prove considerably smarter, using transwarp to Flash Step around the battlefield and even having a cube approach Bajor corner-first, letting it bring the weapons of three sides to bear.
  • Xenofiction: There's a passage in part II told from a Borg cube's perspective. It's written entirely in C++-esque computer code.

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