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They Have Adapted by brokenhero0409 They Have Adapted by brokenhero0409
Drawn for the MLP-ATG-Alumni Week 30 theme, A pony in the future. Ponies are cool. Star Trek and the Borg are cool. Why not mix them?

(Ficlet to follow) And then it was over 2000 words long :/
I didn't do much more than spell-check this, so I apologize for any errors that might exist.


Lieutenant Applebuck Apple the Fifth, chief security officer of the U.S.S. Harmony, stifled a shudder as she led her small exploratory team through the steaming bowels of the seemingly-inert Borg ship. A nervous coal-colored unicorn from the ship's tiny science department followed close behind, clutching his tricorder in a jittery magic field. Overhead, one of the ship's few pegasi darted back and forth, watching the team's flanks.

The Harmony had stumbled across the ship tumbling through space with limited power emanations. The ship's computer had ground through the ship identification databanks and spat out the designation: a Borg sphere. Life signs had been negative, so the captain had ordered Applebuck to lead a scouting mission inside. If this sphere was part of a Borg vanguard, Starfleet needed to know.

Now, Applebuck flinched as yet another jet of putrid steam escaped a stretch of the ever present piping that ran throughout the ship. They had found dozens of dead Borg, but science officer Gazer hadn't been able to tell what killed them. He had offered a hypothesis suggesting the ship had lost its link to the collective and the Borg onboard had lost the will to function. The team was searching for any kind of computer terminal do they could download whatever records they could find.

Silver-maned Star Winds, the pegasus, sank down and prodded Applebuck's gold-colored shoulder. "I think I hear something moving," she whispered, obviously terrified. This was the first contact with any Borg since the return of the starship Voyager five years ago, and the everypony on board the Harmony was nervous. They were a border patrol ship, and the Borg had made mincemeat out of fleets of ships like theirs the last time they'd invaded.

Applebuck nodded and tapped her communicator. "Away team to the bridge," she called out. She kept her voice steady, to keep from scaring her team further. "We're detecting movement. Is there any change in the scans?"

"Nega... .....team ........nothing new...." the signal strength was barely adequate this deep in the Borg ship. The communications officer sputtered out something about keeping the away team in transport lock, but a new surge of interference blocked the rest of the channel.

Behind them, deep in the shifting shadows, something clunked. All three ponies spun in terror and probed the mists with their lamps. The gas swirled, throwing ghostly shadows on the deck beyond.

Applebuck cleared her throat. "Come on, let's find that terminal and get the hay outta here." The three ponies crept on down the hallway, each throwing nervous glances over their shoulders when they thought the other two weren't looking. The ship creaked and groaned softly as they walked, bringing to mind foal hood stories of haunted houses and of pranks played on Nightmare Nights gone past.

"This is it!" Gazer cried, rushing towards a random bulkhead. It seemed to be identical to the ones around it, except Gazer told them it was receiving both power and information feeds. He unreeled a cord with a generalized plug from the casing of his tricorder and stuck it into what he claimed to be an info-jack. A couple commands later, and the small device was draining the Borg ship's computer of everything. Starfleet analysts could pick it apart later and claim the ship's secrets.

Applebuck and Star Winds took up positions on opposite ends of the corridor, peering into the mist for any sign of a threat. If either pony registered the minute uptick in groaning and creaking as their comrade tapped the computer, they kept it to themselves.

***

In an unnoticed side corridor, a dead-looking eye opened. Electronic neurons tied in an enhanced spectrum view from the drone's optic implant. The ship contained intruders, the computer whispered, filling the drone's empty head with its song. Assimilate them and the vessel nearby and commence repairs to the sphere.

The drone took an unsteady step out of its regeneration nook. It had been one of the last drones to be converted before the ship's accident. The new implants forced it into an unfamiliar bipedal stance, rather than the pony's natural quadrupedal gait. Forest Glen had been a resident of Crooked Trees, the new Equestrian colony. The rest of the colony's residents figured he had run off with his sweetheart to another settlement. As the young fillies and colts did on occasion. Fire Ruby had been the other new drone, but she hadn't survived the meteor collision that crippled the sphere.

Nothing remained of the young forester; only the will of the Collective burned in his empty mind. As he approached the party of intruding ponies, his gait steadied out, and the assimilation tubes on the technology grafted onto his right fore-hoof whipped out.

***

Lieutenant Applebuck threw a look over her shoulder to check on Gazer's progress. "Two more minutes, sir," the unicorn replied, most of his attention focused on his tricorder. Two minutes. A lot could happen in two minutes, Applebuck thought. She could've sworn she heard something rhythmically clanking in the distance, right at the edge of her hearing. She couldn't quite place her hoof on what it was.

Star Winds gave out a terrified whinny that turned into a shriek midway through. Applebuck whirled and saw the pegasus struggling weakly in the grip of a hideous Borg drone. Assimilation tubes were jabbed into Winds' neck, and her protests quickly faded. The drone turned its one dull organic eye and it's shining electronic one on Gazer. The nervous colt, never much for action, was frozen in place watching the color fade from Star Winds' coat and tiny metallic plates popping up through her skin.

Applebuck aimed her shoulder-mounted phaser at the first drone and fired at stun levels, thankful that Starfleet engineers had worked out a way for beings without fingers to use the standard weapons. The drone staggered back, its electronics sparking and sputtering. She ran up beside Gazer and shoulder bumped him out of his terrified stupor, and fired a second, heavier stun beam at Star Winds, who was rearing back her hind legs and trying to walk towards them. The pegasus, with her less-advanced stage of assimilation, slumped to the deck, unconscious.

"Stow your tricorder and pick up Star Winds," Applebuck yelled. Gazer gaped at her for an instant, then his training kicked in and he did as ordered. Both ponies hoped there was a chance to reverse the process, but to find out they had to escape. They cautiously moved past the still-sparking drone, and then dashed off at a run back towards the transporter point.

The drone felt the sphere's computer restarting his implants. His aural sensors heard the retreating hoof beats of the two ponies, and a heads-up display from the optic implant highlighted the course back to the unshielded portion of the ship. Subcutaneous hydraulics levered the drone back to its hind hooves. On its way, it could activate a few more of the damaged drones.

***

Applebuck bounded around yet another sharp corner, Gazer hot on her flank. The vision-obscuring, corridor-clogging steam in the air was making it hard to get her bearings. No matter which direction they took, they kept arriving back at an intersection with a huge pile of rubble from a blown bulkhead. She wanted to ask Gazer to check his tricorder’s mapping function, but the academic unicorn looked unsteady, and the magical field keeping Star Winds immobilized kept flickering. They needed to find the transport point fast.

“Hold still,” Applebuck said. She extracted the tricorder from the pouch on Gazer’s belt with her teeth. Sadly, Starfleet engineers hadn’t redesigned this crucial tool for ponies yet, so she had to fumble with clumsy hooves to open the device. Luckily the mapping program came up right away, and Applebuck figured out what went wrong.

“Whatever knocked down this wall blocked up the access tunnel we used last time,” she told Gazer. “We’ll have to shift this aside to get through.”

“That’s the royal we, isn’t it,” Gazer muttered. “What about her? Won’t she get up and attack us again?”

Applebuck considered this for a moment, and then fired another stun beam at the poor pegasus. “That oughta do it.” She started kicking debris off the pile, and Gazer joined in, after setting Star Winds down and rubbing his increasingly sore horn.

***

There was now a small flock of drones approaching the Federation ponies’ position, the sound of their movements hidden by the sounds of heavy lifting and the clatter of falling rubble. The two ponies would have been assimilated right then and there if Gazer hadn’t looked over his shoulder and saw the pony-drone trudging at the head of the column.

“Lieutenant!”

Applebuck whipped her head around at the terrified yell. “Oh grundlenuts,” she muttered. The hole they’d made would have to be big enough. “Take Star Winds and get to the transporter point.”

“What about you?”

“I’ll be right behind you. But only one of us can fit through there at a time. And talkin’ ain’t runnin’! GO!” The hint of farm accent in the lieutenant’s voice galvanized Gazer. Taking hold of his magic once more, he stuffed Star Winds into the hole. He took one last look over his shoulder and slipped through. The access hallway was clear for the moment, and he galloped down it, fully expecting never to see Applebuck again.

***

To be honest, Applebuck didn’t expect to survive either, but she had to buy enough time for Gazer to get himself and Star Winds back to the ship. If she was lucky, the captain would send a better-armed rescue mission and get to her before the assimilation kicked in too bad.

She sent blasts of heavy stun at the bipedal drones behind the pony. The first three or four fell, twitching, to the deck, but then they started throwing up defensive shields. Applebuck increased the phaser’s power level to lethal levels, which worked on the last of the bipeds.

Now it was just her and the assimilated pony. It never hesitated, just tottered towards her on its hind legs. Disregarding the useless phaser, Applebuck charged the drone and, just before reaching it, spun around. She planted her forelegs on the deck and bucked the drone as hard as she could. The drone staggered back with a slight dent in its chest plate, but didn’t fall like she hoped it would.

She ducked under a clumsy strike from the things heavy bionic foreleg and bucked again, a weaker strike this time, since she had less momentum. The drone rocked back, and Applebuck danced away. It came after her quicker this time, and she dodged past it, like a matador before a bull. The clouds of steam swirled chaotically from their movement.

Applebuck paused at the far end of the arena. The drone spun slowly in place and started towards her again. She tensed all her muscles and charged, and when she kicked, she aimed for the drone’s head. Ponies were tough, but a full strength buck to the face tended to put them in the ground.

Applebuck felt a bright flash of pain as her hind hooves struck the drone’s force field. It had managed to adapt to her kicks. She tottered away as best she could on numb, shaking legs, but the drone followed close behind. It hooked its normal leg around her waist and extended the assimilation tendrils.

Applebuck wanted to shut her eyes, but her terror paralyzed her so completely, she saw every detail of the prongs on the tendrils piercing her skin. A chill spread from the injection point, and Applebuck thought she could feel her body refusing her brain’s demands, answering a higher voice. The world began to gray out.

She saw the drone standing inactive above her, perhaps receiving new instructions from the ship or the collective. Then it rocked back, clattering to the floor. Applebuck saw it try to rise, and then get lifted bodily into the air. It was hard to tell through the deepening haze, but it looked like it was being held up by magic.

It had to be Gazer. That silly colt should’ve been back on the Harmony by now. It was getting harder and harder for Applebuck to think, or even feel sensations from her body. Somepony was shifting Applebuck around, but her head lolled back and forth like a foal’s ragdoll. She caught a glimpse of a tall, proud unicorn mare. The captain? It couldn’t be, Applebuck thought as her consciousness drowned in the flood of cold, sterile grayness.

The last thing she heard before giving herself completely to oblivion was the captain’s warm voice. “We’ll bring them both back to the Harmony. Yes, him too. I won’t leave any of Princess Celestia’s ponies to die in a place like this if we can help it. Contact Starfleet Medical once we get back onboard and request the Locutus files. Doctor Wallflower is going to have her work cut out for her,” Captain Starlight Sparkle stared into Applebuck’s unseeing eyes. “We’ll bring you back, Buck. You have my word.”
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:iconbecca1c:
becca1c Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
this is awesome
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:iconbemnalthefallen:
BemnaltheFallen Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
LLLMMMMAAAAOOOO!!!!!!!! THEY HAVE ADAPTED! omfg that's freaking aweseome, you're a genius
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:iconterribletransit:
TerribleTransit Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012
Yay crossovers, yay stories in the description, and yay finally finding time to read this thing!
Reply
:iconim-not-sue:
Im-not-sue Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woo ridiculously long description~
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