There was a scream as the lights went out.
It's the last El. I don't have to guess; I know. The El just can't keep their mouths shut for three seconds. They thought they'd talk these cyborgs out of whatever they were doing. Ha! The only thing to do is to hide and listen, listen and wait and hope the cyborgs don't find you. That's what the Aur do best, what we're doing now.
The cyborgs apparently cut power to the main lighting in the building. They don't need it, anyway, what with the lasers they have installed in their heads. Probably infrared vision, too.
Then Norlan crawls over and nudges me to go. We have a ship. We're going to leave this planet and not come back, at least not until the cyborgs are long gone. I run.
"So, you're called El-Aurians, then, right?" Admiral Blowhard holds the data device at arm's length, squinting.
I can't help but sigh. "No, Admiral. As I said before, we're the Aur. Our planet was El-Auria. The El are extinct as far as we know."
"Oh, yes, Aur, El-Auria. El-Aurians. I have to get some more Retinax." Whatever this jerk is mumbling about, I don't want to know. No one should have to go through *two* home planets being destroyed in a lifetime, and then to have her ship damaged on top of it all, and to be sucked into the Nexus ...
We get away from the cyborgs for now. They call themselves The Borg. Nasty things, strange. Cybernetic lifeforms. I hear them on the commchannel, even though I'm supposed to be hiding in the passenger compartment. Mom always said I couldn't keep to my place. Mom's one of them, now. I sneak up to the bridge. They say we'll adapt to service them. We will be assimilated.
Terkim finds me. He says I have to get back to the passenger compartment, hide under the bunk. Maybe they won't find me.
I peek out from under the bunk when I hear them beam in. It doesn't take them very long to grab everybody and beam them back to their cyborg ship. I guess that's where they're going, anyway. I see them all: Norlan, Terkim, Berola. All captured. Assimilated. Doesn't seem real; it's a holovid. Pretty soon my friends and I will walk out of the simulatrex, go home, have some lunch. "You will be assimilated," the commlink says. I listen, quietly. That's what the Aur do, we listen.
"You listen? Is that all?"
"No, that's not all," I tell Admiral Blowhard. "But it's what we did, on our planet. It was our function. I'm sorry I can't explain it better."
He fiddles with his data device. "The Federation will want to know more about your species, and these ... 'Borg.' And the ... What'd you call it? The Nexus?"
"Yes, the Nexus."
I decide I have to go after them. It's too much, being alone on this ship, only one hundred years old. Everyone else is gone. It's not hard to scan for the ship, to find out where they were taken. Better to be ... assimilated ... with my family than to live alone.
I materialize. I see endless square upon square upon square, walkways and alcoves, most with a cyborg inside. Cyborgs walk past me, ignoring me. I think I see one of my people there, far away, toward the center of the cavernous ship. I run in that direction.
The cyborgs have taken him around a corner and through a doorway. I pursue them, not knowing what's going to happen. Soon I find myself in a little room. And I see my people, and I see a cyborg. And it's different. It's female.
"You are a likely-looking one. Young. The way I like them."
I can't help but stare at her. Her skin glistens as if wet. She has no laser sight on her eye, and no facial tubes; instead, a stretch of bare, veined flesh covers her skull. Her face is, in an odd way, beautiful.
"So, these 'Borg' have a leader of some type, eh?"
"What?" I'm so engrossed in my memory that I don't remember what I've actually said out loud to the Admiral. Hopefully not the beautiful part. And I'm not going to tell him what I'm thinking about now. "Yes, they do have a leader, after a fashion," is all I say aloud. He writes on his device.
Her eyes glow from within, golden light entrancing me. I have to approach. "Are you familiar with ... physical forms of pleasure?"
"Yes." That's all I can say, because it's then that she hooks a claw into my neck, and I can't move. She hits a nerve. And from then on, I'm lost.
"We seek perfection. Perfection." Perfection is what's happening to me now. The cyborg nerve pulse goes down my neck, through my body, to my abdomen, and heats me. I tense up.
"Yes, I see that your species has ... distinctiveness ... that we can utilize. You will service us well."
Cyborg nerve pulse through my clit, straight through my clit, and I don't want it to stop. I lose my balance, but the neck-claw holds me up.
"Your species does indeed have the capacity for physical pleasure. Excellent! Assimilation should proceed smoothly."
Do anything to me, anything! Just keep this perfection alive, please! I want to scream; I want to die, I will be assimilated. To keep this going, assimilate me! Perfection! I don't know whether I'm screaming, or whether I'm in a vacuum, about to explode. She keeps it going with her cyborg nerve stim, red hot in my body as I convulse. I'll be here forever ...
I'm on the Lakul; there's Soran. Our eyes lock as I try to catch my breath. He's been there, too, in the Nexus; I can tell by the wildness in his eyes. And I know that he'll go back to whatever it held for him, no matter what it takes. He has to get back. The Nexus lets us live out our dearest inner fantasies; it's somewhere we're compelled to stay. No one ever leaves the Nexus voluntarily. But now we're out.
"Is there any tactical information that you can give us about these Borg? Anything at all?"
My memories finally coalesce into the truth. I'm surprised to find my face wet with tears. I stop to dash them away. "No, Admiral, nothing. I was never actually on their ship."
He stares at me, but he can't be more confused than I. Because the memories are so real; that's the thing about the Nexus. I was never on the Borg ship. I waited, hid under the bunk until another ship came and got me.
I was only on the Borg ship ... in the Nexus.