Kirk glanced around the room. It looked or at least appeared to be Star Fleet in basic design. The Android that called himself Data was standing in front of them and alone. “Confident, aren’t you?” Kirk waved a hand around the room. “What makes you think the three of us won’t overpower you and take over?”
Data half smiled, “As Commander Spock might say, that would be most illogical. I am faster and stronger than the three of you combined. I am also only one member of this crew and by chance if you might overpower me, you would have to deal with the rest of the crew.” He looked to Spock. “The phaser you brought will not work; however, I do appreciate your effort. In most cases it would be most useful.”
“How?” Kirk started.
“I am connected to the ship, Captain. When the transporter detected a weapon, it identified it by class, model and strength and then it disabled it during transport and relayed the information to my brain.” He walked over to Spock and pulled the phaser from under the Vulcan’s shirt. “A classic example of early phaser technology. I last saw one of these in a museum.” He returned the phaser to Spock’s hand. “Your Tri-corder on the other hand will work Mr. Spock, you may scan the device.
Spock aimed his Tri-corder toward the cloaking device. ”Captain, it does appear to be the device we obtained from the Romulans with one exception.“ He paused and studied the readouts. ”It is several hundred years older than when we obtained it.“
”That is impossible,“ chimed in Scotty. ”We sent that to Star Fleet Intelligence. They should have it and they would never let anyone have it much less know of its location.“
”In my time, the cloaking device was part of an orbital museum at the Mars Institute. It is considered a classic example of the early years of ‘cloak and dagger’ type espionage that took place between Klingons, Romulans, and the Federation.“ He looked back at the device. ”Sadly, it has never worked since it was used on the Enterprise and Star Fleet has only recently identified that a special part is missing from the device.“
”If you are so far advanced, why do you need us? Why bring us through time for some special device that you should be able to make or better yet, get from the Romulans?“ Kirk stood silently waiting for a response.
”Normally, you would be right Captain. However, since we do not have access to the original missing part, we can not replicate it with the accuracy needed to ensure this cloaking device works,“ he walked around the room and toward the cloaking device as he talked. ”The Klingon-Romulan Alliance pulled out of the area when the Borg returned. We can not be certain, but we believe they have left nothing behind. We do not know where they went. This leaves us alone to fight the Borg.“
”Borg? Who are they?“ Kirk asked.
”They are a,“ Data paused for a moment searching for the right words. ”They are half humanoid and half android. They seek to assimilate all others in the galaxy.“
”Interesting that you would be in command of a ship fighting something of that nature,“ Spock stated flatly. ”It would seem that you would strive to be like or akin to those you fight.“
”The fact is, I am a Star Fleet officer. I intend to defend the Federation, but in order to do that, I must be able to get to the central node of the Borg collective in this area. If I can do that, we can destroy it.“ Data pointed to the cloaking device. ”This will allow us to get to the area and fire the needed weapons into the node. Once the node is destroyed, the rest of the fleet will have little difficulty dealing with the Borg on an individual basis.“
”I’ve got a better idea,“ Kirk smiled as his plan came together in his mind. ”Why don’t we move the cloaking device to the Enterprise, allow us to warp in and destroy the node and warp out? We are smaller and there would be less chance of detection.“
”We cannot afford to lose you or any of your crew Captain. To do so could alter the time line significantly. We...“
”You’ve already altered it by bringing us here. Don’t you think we’ll note this little encounter in our logs?“ Kirk looked at Spock and Scotty. ”You’ve got two other witnesses here. What are you going to do about my bridge crew?“
”We have a method to assist you in forgetting the encounter here. It has been used several times in the past with great success whenever there has been time travel...“ Data was saying.
The voice over the intercom cut into Data’s conversation. ”Admiral. We have a Borg Assimilation Cube on route for our sector. They have detected the portal and us.“
Data looked at his three guest. ”It appears that you are going to have a chance to meet the Borg on a first hand basis.“ Turning his attention back to the officer who had informed him over the intercom, Data continued, ”Ensign, sound red alert and prepare for battle. We will need to extend shielding to the Enterprise.“
”I want back on my ship. Send us back now,“ it was more of an order than a request from the Captain of the Enterprise.
”I’m sorry Captain. Now if you will follow me, I will introduce you to the Borg of this century.“