Scorpion
Stardate: 51001.2
Original Airdate: May 21st, Sept 3rd, 1997

BORG [OC]: We are the Borg. Existence as you know it is over. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is
(Energy streaks towards the two Borg cubes. They go KaBOOM!)

[Da Vinci's Workshop]

(Captain Janeway has abandoned her Victorian gothic holonovel for something more Renaissance.)
DA VINCI: The Cardinal is a thief. I delivered two portraits of his mindless nephew more than three months ago, to be depicted in the heroic mode of an Hercules or an Achilles, so specified our contract. I complied, making that young fool of a nephew look far more heroic than nature ever intended. An act on my part far greater than anything accomplished by Hercules or Achilles! And what have I, the divine Leonardo Da Vinci received in payment?
JANEWAY: The Cardinal's eternal gratitude?
DA VINCI: Essatto! In other words, Signorina, less than nothing.
JANEWAY: All the more reason why you should accept my proposal.
DA VINCI: Money is beside the point, Signorina. Catarina, is it?
JANEWAY: Yes. I'm only asking for a corner, one bench, a place to work on my own projects, paintings, sculptures. Just being here in your company is inspiring to me.
DA VINCI: Flattery, Catarina, is also beside the point. Besides, I prefer my solitude. Scusi.
(He activates a clockwork arm.)
DA VINCI: Meraviglioso.
JANEWAY: What will you call it?
DA VINCI: The Arm of Hephaestos.
JANEWAY: The god of the forge.
DA VINCI: Every blacksmith who has ever swung a hammer will thank me for this creation.
JANEWAY: Someone once said all invention is but an extension of the body of man.
DA VINCI: Do not think that just because I have enjoyed your visit today, that I am prepared to turn my workshop into a traveller's inn.
(The clockwork arm stops.)
DA VINCI: Che catzo.
JANEWAY: Here, let me help you.
DA VINCI: You will get your hands covered with goose grease.
JANEWAY: It's good for the skin.
(One of the wooden cogs has fractured.)
DA VINCI: Let us see if we can find his big brother. Hopefully he will be stronger.
(Janeway picks up one of his sketches, not the preliminary for the portrait of Lisa Gherardini.)
JANEWAY: This looks like a flying machine.
DA VINCI: I though that because my imagination took flight so easily, my body could do the same. I was wrong.
JANEWAY: It's this flapping approach. You designed your machine to mimic the way a bat or a sparrow flies.
DA VINCI: Yes, yes. So?
JANEWAY: So what if you based it on the hawk, instead?
DA VINCI: The hawk. A creature that glides through the air.
JANEWAY: Essatto.
DA VINCI: We will design a new machine, and you, Catarina, will help me fly it.
JANEWAY: I'll need someplace to work.
DA VINCI: A corner? One workbench?
JANEWAY: That will be fine.
DA VINCI: Ten scudi per week and you provide your own materials.
JANEWAY: Seven. And I might need to borrow a few things, on occasion.
DA VINCI: Then we have an agreement.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Chakotay to Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Captain, we need you in Engineering. There's something here you should see.
JANEWAY: On my way. Computer, end programme.

[Engineering]

JANEWAY: What have you got?
CHAKOTAY: Some bad news. The long range probe we sent out two months ago has stopped transmitting.
TORRES: At first I thought it was a problem with the communications grid, then I cleared up the last few seconds of telemetry. Take a look at this.
(The probe was taken inside a Borg cube.)
CHAKOTAY: This could be it, Captain. Borg space.

[Briefing room]

JANEWAY: We don't know exactly how many vessels are out there. but their space appears to be vast. It includes thousands of solar systems, all Borg. We are no doubt entering the heart of their territory. There's no going around it, but there may be a way through it.
CHAKOTAY: Before the probe was disabled, it picked up a narrow corridor of space devoid of Borg activity. We've nicknamed it the Northwest Passage.
TORRES: Unfortunately, the passage is filled with intense gravimetric distortions. probably caused by a string of quantum singularities.
PARIS: Better to ride the rapids than face the hive.
CHAKOTAY: Exactly. We're going to set a course for that corridor. and go into full Tactical Alert. Where do we stand with weapons?
TUVOK: I have reprogrammed the phaser banks to a rotating modulation, but I suspect a Borg vessel will adapt quickly.
CHAKOTAY: We can use every edge. Ensign?
KIM: I've already configured the long range sensors to scan for transwarp signatures. An early warning system.
CHAKOTAY: Good work. Doctor, how are you coming on the medical front?
EMH: I've analysed every square millimetre of the Borg corpse we recovered three months ago. I'm closer to understanding how their assimilation technology works, and I might be able to create some sort of medical defence.
CHAKOTAY: Redouble your efforts. This is your top priority. Neelix, I doubt we can resupply the ship any time soon.
NEELIX: No problem, sir. I'm working on a plan to extend our food and replicator rations.
JANEWAY: We have to act fast. The Borg have captured one of our probes. They know we're out here. We'll do everything in our power to avoid a direct confrontation. but if and when we do engage the Borg, I'm confident that we'll be ready. I have faith in each and every one of you. Let's do it.

[Engineering]

(Everywhere is busy, busy.)
CREWMAN: Ensign, on the double.

[Corridor]

ENSIGN: Coming through. Open!

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: I want to cut down on the time it takes to seal off the decks.
KIM: In case we take on some uninvited guests?
CHAKOTAY: Exactly. And I want to increase the magnitude of the forcefields.

[Sickbay]

EMH: These injection tubules are the first step in the Borg assimilation process. Once inside the skin, they release a series of nanoprobes into the bloodstream.
KES: Maybe we can develop some kind of protective shielding against them.
EMH: Unlikely. The tubules are capable of penetrating any known alloy or energy field. Which means our battle must be waged inside the body itself.
(Image enhancement 047.)
The first tissue to be attacked by the nanoprobes is the victim's blood. Assimilation is almost instantaneous.
KES: They take over the blood cell functions like a virus.
EMH: Which suggests to me that we should try to enhance the immune system. Create an assimilation antibody, as it were. I doubt we can actually destroy the nanoprobes, but we might be able to slow them down. Let's try a submicron dissection on the probes we've collected so far, see if we can discover the assimilation mechanism.
(Kes gets a vision of a pile of dead Borg.)
EMH: Kes, is something wrong? Kes?
KES: I saw Borg.
EMH: You've had a telepathic experience?
KES: There were bodies. Dozens of them, dead.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: How's Kes?
TUVOK: Unsettled. and uncertain. Over the past two hours, she has experienced several telepathic visions about the death of Borg and the destruction of Voyager.
CHAKOTAY: Some sort of premonitions?
TUVOK: Possibly.
JANEWAY: We can't just ignore her intuition, but I see no reason to alter our plan. Tuvok, I want you to keep an eye on her.
KIM: Captain, long range sensors are picking up transwarp signatures. Five point eight light years distant, closing from behind.
CHAKOTAY: Red Alert.
JANEWAY: Evasive manoeuvres.
CHAKOTAY: What's happening?
PARIS: We've dropped out of warp.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Engineering What's going on down there?

[Engineering]

TORRES: I'm not sure, Captain. Some kind of subspace turbulence is preventing us from creating a stable warp field.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Turbulence is increasing.
KIM: I'm reading two Borg vessels. Make that three. Four. No, five. Fifteen Borg vessels. Distance two point one light years and closing.
JANEWAY: Shields to maximum. Stand by all weapons.
TUVOK: They're in visual range.
JANEWAY: On screen.
CHAKOTAY: My God.
(The Borg cubes rush past, and Voyager is thrown too and fro in their wake. The last one slows in front of them.)
CHAKOTAY: Captain.
KIM: I'm picking up a polaron beam. We're being scanned.
(A green vertical beam passes around the bridge.)
JANEWAY: Think good thoughts.
TUVOK: The last Cube has rejoined the others.
JANEWAY: Did we sustain any damage?
KIM: No. Shields held. Warp engines are coming back online. All primary systems are stable.
JANEWAY: Stand down Red Alert. Harry. maintain a long range sensor lock on that Borg armada. They seemed to be in quite a hurry, didn't they? I'd like to know what they're up to.
KIM: Yes, ma'am.
JANEWAY: I'll take this near-miss as a good omen. Resume our course, Mister Paris.
CHAKOTAY: If we needed any more evidence that we've entered Borg space, I think we just got it.
JANEWAY: I'll be in my Ready room.

[Ready room]

(Janeway is reading the Starfleet Database entry on the Borg.)
JANEWAY: Yes. come in.
CHAKOTAY: We've just completed the latest sensor sweep. So far, so good. The Northwest Passage is still clear of Borg activity.
JANEWAY: I'd like to see a tactical update.
CHAKOTAY: According to my calculations, neither of us has eaten since last night. Join me for dinner?
JANEWAY: No thanks, I'm not hungry. And I've got a lot of work to do.
CHAKOTAY: I see.
JANEWAY: I've been looking through the personal log entries of all the Starfleet Captains who encountered the Borg. I've gone over every engagement, from the moment Q flung the Enterprise into the path of that first Cube to the massacre at Wolf 359. Every battle, every skirmish. anything that might give me an insight into the mind of the Collective.
CHAKOTAY: And?
JANEWAY: In the words of Jean-Luc Picard. 'In their Collective state, the Borg are utterly without mercy, driven by one will alone: the will to conquer. They are beyond redemption, beyond reason.' And then there's Captain Amasov of the Endeavour. 'It is my opinion that the Borg are as close to pure evil as any race we've ever encountered.' What's so funny?
CHAKOTAY: Nothing.
JANEWAY: You're smiling. Obviously, I've said something amusing.
CHAKOTAY: You sounded just like Amasov.
JANEWAY: What?
CHAKOTAY: Just now, while you were reading his log. You were using his inflections.
JANEWAY: I did not.
CHAKOTAY: Yes, you were. And before that, you were doing a pretty good Picard.
JANEWAY: Was I?
CHAKOTAY: It's nothing to be ashamed about. Echoing the Greats. Ensign Hickman in Astrophysics does a passable Janeway.
JANEWAY: If we manage to survive the next few days, I'm going to have a little chat with Ensign Hickman. Imitating the Captain, huh? Surely that violates some kind of Starfleet protocol. This day was inevitable. We all knew it. And we've all tried to prepare ourselves for the challenge ahead. But at what point is the risk too great? At what point do we come about and retreat to friendly territory? Could the crew accept living out the rest of their lives in the Delta Quadrant? I keep looking to all these Captains, my comrades in arms. But the truth is, I'm alone.
CHAKOTAY: If that moment comes. we'll face it together. And we'll make the right decision. You're not alone, Kathryn.
JANEWAY: Three years ago, I didn't even know your name. Today I can't imagine a day without you.
TUVOK [OC]: Captain Janeway to the bridge.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Gentlemen.
KIM: Something strange is going on.
TUVOK: The power signatures of those Borg vessels have terminated.
CHAKOTAY: All of them?
KIM: They're dead in the water, about five point two light years from here.
JANEWAY: Cause?
TUVOK: Unknown.
JANEWAY: Mister Paris.
PARIS: Captain.
JANEWAY: Set a course for their position. Warp two.
(Later.)
KIM: We're approaching the ships.
JANEWAY: Slow to impulse. On screen.
(All the cubes have been blasted to pieces.)
CHAKOTAY: Lifesigns?
KIM: A few, but they're erratic.
TUVOK: Captain, I'm detecting two residual weapons signatures in the debris. One is Borg, the other is of unknown origin.
PARIS: Who could do this to the Borg?
(They cruise through the debris field.)
JANEWAY: Someone more powerful than the Borg? It's hard to imagine.
KIM: But they did it. Fifteen Cubes! We might've just found our ticket through Borg space. An ally.
CHAKOTAY: Let's not jump to conclusions. Scan the vicinity for other vessels.
TUVOK: There are none.
KIM: Hold on. I'm picking up some sort of bio-readings. They're coming from the outer hull of one of the Borg ships.
JANEWAY: Let's see it. Magnify, Mister Kim.
KIM: It's definitely organic, but our sensors can't penetrate its surface.
JANEWAY: Send a standard greeting.
TUVOK: No response.
CHAKOTAY: This could be a space-dwelling organism or a biological weapon.
JANEWAY: I'd like to know what kind of weapon could destroy the Borg. Can we beam it away from the ship?
KIM: I can't get a lock on it.
CHAKOTAY: Tractor beam?
TUVOK: No effect.
KIM: Whatever that thing is, it's impervious to our technology.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, are you reading an atmosphere in the Cube?
TUVOK: Affirmative.
JANEWAY: Commander Chakotay, I want you to take an away team inside. Try to get a short range scan of the biomass.
TUVOK: There are still Borg lifesigns, but they're unstable.
JANEWAY: We'll keep an open comlink and an active Transporter lock. We'll pull you out of there at the first sign of trouble.
CHAKOTAY: Tuvok, Harry, you're with me.

[Borg Cube]

(The metal creaks, and sparks fly. The away team are armed with phaser rifles.)
CHAKOTAY: This way.
(A pair of Borg are trying to make repairs.)
TUVOK: Lower your phasers. If we don't appear threatening, they should ignore us.
KIM: Looks like they're a little preoccupied.
CHAKOTAY: The alien bio-readings are getting stronger. We're close.
KIM: Commander.
(Kim has found Kes' pile of Borg.)
TUVOK: Curious.
CHAKOTAY: That's not the word I had in mind.
TUVOK: Those bodies are reminiscent of one of the premonitions Kes described.
KIM: Didn't Kes say we were all going to die?
CHAKOTAY: Let's keep moving.
(They reach their goal.)
CHAKOTAY: It looks like the bio-mass dissolved right through the Borg hull.
TUVOK: This Borg is attempting to assimilate it.
KIM: Doesn't look like he's having much luck.
CHAKOTAY: There's a chamber beyond this opening. Forty meters wide, high concentrations of antimatter particles. It looks like a warp propulsion system of some kind.
KIM: It's a ship?
TUVOK: Starfleet has encountered species that use organic-based vessels. The Breen, for example.
CHAKOTAY: There doesn't seem to be anybody on board. Chakotay to Voyager.
JANEWAY [OC]: Go ahead, Commander.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, we've found an entrance to the biomass. We think it may be a ship of some kind. Permission to go inside.
JANEWAY [OC]: Granted.
CHAKOTAY: Harry, that's a Borg distribution node. See if you can download their tactical database. It might contain a record of what happened here.
KIM: Aye, sir.
CHAKOTAY: Tuvok.

[Alien Bioship]

(Lots of curves in stark contrast to the Borg angles.)
CHAKOTAY: They seem to be organic conduits. They're carrying electrodynamic fluid.
TUVOK: Maybe an energy source.
CHAKOTAY: Maybe. This looks like a binary matrix, but it's laced with neuropeptides. Could be their version of a computer core.
(Kim hears some clanging sounds and goes to investigate, then returns to his work.)
TUVOK: This damage was caused by a Borg disrupter beam. The wall appears to be regenerating itself. Commander!
(Tuvok discovers a Borg being absorbed by the wall. Kim finishes the download, then a Borg walks past him. More clanging for Kim to investigate. On Voyager, Kes has a vision of Kim screaming.)

[Sickbay]

(Kes drops the tray she is carrying.)
EMH: Kes?
KES: Harry's in danger.
EMH: What are you
KES: Get them out of there.
EMH: Sickbay to Janeway.

[Alien Bioship]

KIM [OC]: Commander!

[Borg Cube]

KIM: There's someone in here with us and it's not the Borg. I can't localise it but it's within twenty metres.
TUVOK: Perhaps the pilot has returned.
JANEWAY [OC]: Voyager to away team.
CHAKOTAY: Go ahead.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Stand by for transport. We're getting you out of there.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Good idea.
JANEWAY: Energise.
TORRES: I can't get a lock on them.
JANEWAY: What's the problem?
TORRES: It looks like bioelectric interference from whatever's coming toward them.

[Borg Cube]

CHAKOTAY: It's within seven metres. Let's get out of here!

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Narrow the confinement beam.
TORRES: No effect. I'm going to try a skeletal lock.
JANEWAY: What?
TORRES: I think I can get a clean lock on the minerals in their bone tissue. I just came up with it, but I think it might work.

[Borg Cube]

CHAKOTAY: The lifeform's five metres away and closing.
KIM: From where?
(The alien appears. It is bipedal, but walks like a bird, leaning forward. It turns and slashes Kim with its claws. He screams as they are beamed out.)

[Bridge]

TORRES: I've got them.
JANEWAY: A skeletal lock, huh? We'll have to add that one to the Transporter manual.
PARIS: Captain, the bioship is powering up, like it's charging some kind of weapon.
(Kes is given a view of the alien. She stumbles back into Janeway's arms.)
JANEWAY: Mister Paris, get us out of here. Maximum warp.
(They start to move away, then get hit by an energy weapons. The ship tumbles out of control before Paris manages to crawl back to the helm and initiate warp.)
PARIS: The alien ship is not pursuing.
JANEWAY: Kes?
KES: I could hear its thoughts. The pilot of the bioship was trying to communicate with me. They're a telepathic species. I've been aware of them for some time now. The premonitions. Captain, it's not the Borg that we should be worried about, it's them.
JANEWAY: What did it say to you?
KES: It said, the weak will perish.

Captain's log, stardate 50984.3. It's been twelve hours since our confrontation with the alien lifeform. There's no sign that we're being pursued and we've had no further encounters with the Borg. I've decided to hold our course. The Northwest Passage is only one day away, and I won't allow fear to undermine this crew's sense of purpose, even if that fear is justified.

[Sickbay]

(Kim is being absorbed, just like the Borg on the bioship.)
EMH: The infection is spreading. What began with a few stray cells contaminating the chest wound is now infusing every system in his body.
JANEWAY: It looks like he's being transformed in some way.
EMH: Not exactly. The alien cells are consuming his body from the inside out. In essence, Mister Kim is being eaten alive.
JANEWAY: He's still conscious, Doctor.
EMH: I tried giving him a sedative, but it was rejected immediately. In fact, every treatment I've tried has been neutralised within seconds. These are alien cells. Each one contains more than a hundred times the DNA of a human cell. It's the most densely coded life form I've ever seen. Even I would need years to decipher it.
JANEWAY: They have an extraordinary immune response. Anything that penetrates the cell membrane, chemical, biological, technological, it's all instantly destroyed. That's why the Borg can't assimilate them.
EMH: Resistance in this case is far from futile. Nevertheless, I believe Borg technology holds the key to saving Mister Kim.
JANEWAY: How so?
EMH: I hope to unleash an army of modified Borg nanoprobes into his bloodstream, designed to target and eradicate the infection. As you know, I've been analysing the nanoprobes. They're efficient little assimilators, one can't help but admire the workmanship. But they're no match for the alien cells. So I successfully dissected a nanoprobe and managed to access its re-coding mechanism. I reprogrammed the probe to emit the same electrochemical signatures as the alien cells. That way, the probe can do its work without being detected. Observe. The alien cells are completely oblivious to probe until it's too late. Unfortunately, I've only created a few prototypes. I'll need several days to modify enough nanoprobes to cure Ensign Kim.
JANEWAY: Does Harry have several days?
EMH: I wish I knew.
JANEWAY: Fight it, Harry. That's an order.

[Engineering]

TORRES: We've analysed the Borg's tactical database. They refer to these new aliens as Species 8472.
TUVOK: Over the past five months, the Borg have been attacked by them on at least a dozen occasions. Each time, the Borg were defeated swiftly.
TORRES: The Collective has very little information about the species.
CHAKOTAY: Is anything known about where they come from?
TORRES: I'm afraid so.
CHAKOTAY: Get the Captain.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: The Northwest Passage.
CHAKOTAY: It's clear of Borg activity for a very good reason.
TUVOK: I'm picking up one hundred and thirty three bioships. More are appearing.
JANEWAY: From where?
TUVOK: They seem to be coming from a quantum singularity.
TORRES: I'm localising the gravimetric distortions.
CHAKOTAY: On screen.
(Lots of ships zooming out of a bright light.)
JANEWAY: Kes, anything?
KES: Yes. I can hear them. They're in a place where they're alone. Nothing else lives there.
CHAKOTAY: Some kind of parallel universe?
KES: I don't know. I feel malevolence, a cold hatred. The weak will perish. It's an invasion. They intend on destroying everything.
JANEWAY: Tom, reverse course, maximum warp. Take us five light years out and hold position.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Maintain Red Alert. Commander.

[Ready room]

JANEWAY: That moment we spoke about? It's here. Any thoughts?
CHAKOTAY: Just one. Flying into that corridor would mean certain death.
JANEWAY: Agreed. The Northwest Passage is no longer an option. So now the choice is between facing the Borg in their space, or finding ourselves a nice planet here in the Delta Quadrant and giving up on ever getting home.
CHAKOTAY: We'd be turning around, but we wouldn't be giving up. We may find another way home.
JANEWAY: I'm not ready to walk onto that bridge and tell the crew we're quitting. I can't do it, Chakotay. Not yet. There must be an alternative.
CHAKOTAY: Kathryn, you haven't slept in two days. Try getting some rest, and clearing your head. We're safe for the moment. We can tell the crew tomorrow, if we have to.
JANEWAY: See you in the morning.

[Da Vinci's Workshop - Night]

JANEWAY: Maestro? Leonardo?
DA VINCI: Catarina. Buona sera.
JANEWAY: Am I disturbing you?
DA VINCI: What do you see?
JANEWAY: A wall with candlelight reflecting on it. Why? What do you see?
DA VINCI: A flock of starlings, the leaves of an oak, a horse's tail, a thief with a noose around his neck. And a wall with the candlelight reflecting on it. There are times, Catarina, when I find myself transfixed by a shadow on the wall, or the splashing of water against a stone. I stare at it, the hours pass, the world around me drops away, replaced by worlds being created and destroyed by my imagination. A way to focus the mind. Sit, and tell me why you have come.
JANEWAY: There's a path before me. The only way home. And on either side, mortal enemies bent on destroying each other. If I attempt to pass through them I'll be destroyed as well. But if I turn around, that would end all hope of ever getting home. And no matter how much I try to focus my mind, I can't see an alternative.
DA VINCI: When one's imagination cannot provide an answer, one must seek a greater imagination. There are times when even I find myself kneeling in prayer. I must deliver a bronzetto to the Monks at Santa Croce. Come with me, Catarina, hey? We will awake the Abbot, visit the chapel, and appeal to God.
JANEWAY: Somehow I don't think that's going to work for me. But there is an alternative I haven't considered. What if I made an appeal to the Devil?

[Briefing room]

PARIS: An alliance with the Borg?
JANEWAY: More like an exchange. We offer them a way to defeat their new enemy and in return we get safe passage through their space. In developing a treatment for Harry, the Doctor has found a way to attack the aliens at a microscopic level.
EMH: It's still in the experimental stages, Captain. I've only made a few prototypes.
JANEWAY: Nevertheless, if we teach the Borg how to modify their own nanoprobes, they'd have a blueprint to create a weapon to fight the aliens.
EMH: In theory, yes.
JANEWAY: B'Elanna, it's clear from the Borg database that they know practically nothing about Species 8472.
TORRES: That's right. The Borg gain knowledge through assimilation. What they can't assimilate, they can't understand.
JANEWAY: But we don't assimilate. We investigate. And in this case, that's given us an edge. We've discovered something they need.
NEELIX: But the Borg aren't exactly known for their diplomacy. How can we expect them to cooperate with us?
KES: Normally, the answer would be no. But if what I've learned from the aliens is true, the Borg are losing this conflict.
JANEWAY: In one regard, the Borg are no different than we are. They're trying to survive. I don't believe they're going to refuse an offer that will help them do that.
TUVOK: What makes you think the Borg won't attempt to take the information by assimilating Voyager and its crew.
JANEWAY: That won't get them anywhere. Doctor, you're the only one on board with full knowledge of the nanoprobe modifications. I want you to transfer all of that research into your holomatrix.
EMH: Certainly.
JANEWAY: You're my guarantee. If the Borg threaten us in any way, we'll simply erase your programme. But it won't come to that, Doctor. It's in the Collective's own interest to cooperate. Voyager is only one ship. Our safe passage is a small price to pay for what we're offering in exchange. B'Elanna, assist the Doctor with his transfer.
TORRES: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Mister Paris, locate the nearest Borg vessel and lay in a course. They shouldn't be difficult to find.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.
JANEWAY: Dismissed.
(Everyone leaves except Chakotay.)
JANEWAY: You were awfully quiet.
CHAKOTAY: I didn't want the others to hear this, but I think what you're proposing is too great a risk.
JANEWAY: How so?
CHAKOTAY: There's a story I heard as a child, a parable, and I never forgot it. A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river. The fox said no. If I do that you'll sting me, and I'll drown. The scorpion assured him. If I did that, we'd both drown. So the fox thought about it and finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him. As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said why did you do that? Now you'll drown too. I couldn't help it, said the scorpion. It's my nature.
JANEWAY: I understand the risk, and I'm not proposing that we try to change the nature of the beast, but this is a unique situation. To our knowledge, the Borg have never been so threatened. They're vulnerable. I think we can take advantage of that.
CHAKOTAY: Even if we do somehow negotiate an exchange, how long will they keep up their end of the bargain? It could take months to cross Borg territory. We'd be facing thousands of systems, millions of vessels.
JANEWAY: But only one Collective, and we've got them over a barrel. We don't need to give them a single bit of information, not until we're safe. We just need the courage to see this through to the end.
CHAKOTAY: There are other kinds of courage. Like the courage to accept that there are some situations beyond your control. Not every problem has an immediate solution.
JANEWAY: You're suggesting we turn around.
CHAKOTAY: Yes. We should get out of harm's way. Let them fight it out. In the meantime, there's still plenty of Delta Quadrant left to explore. We may find another way home.
JANEWAY: Or we may find something else. Six months, a year down the road, after Species 8472 gets through with the Borg, we could find ourselves back in the line of fire, and we'll have missed the window of opportunity that exists right here, right now.
CHAKOTAY: How much is our safety worth?
JANEWAY: What do you mean?
CHAKOTAY: We'd be giving an advantage to a race guilty of murdering billions. We'd be helping the Borg assimilate yet another species just to get ourselves back home. It's wrong!
JANEWAY: Tell that to Harry Kim. He's barely alive thanks to that species. Maybe helping to assimilate them isn't such a bad idea. We could be doing the Delta Quadrant a favour.
CHAKOTAY: I don't think you really believe that. I think you're struggling to justify your plan, because your desire to get this crew home is blinding you to other options. I know you, Kathryn. Sometimes you don't know when to step back.
JANEWAY: Do you trust me, Chakotay?
CHAKOTAY: That isn't the issue.
JANEWAY: Oh, but it is. Only yesterday you were saying that we'd face this together, that you'd be at my side.
CHAKOTAY: I still have to tell you what I believe. I'm no good to you if I don't do that.
JANEWAY: I appreciate your insights, but the time for debate is over. I've made my decision. Now, do I have your support?
CHAKOTAY: You're the Captain. I'm the First Officer. I'll follow your orders. That doesn't change my belief that we're making a fatal mistake.
JANEWAY: Then I guess I'm alone, after all. Dismissed.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: There are three planets in this system. Inhabitants, all Borg. A vessel is approaching.
JANEWAY: All stop. Shields up.
TUVOK: They're hailing us.
JANEWAY: Open a channel.
BORG [OC]: We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
TUVOK: They've locked onto us with a tractor beam.
JANEWAY: Borg vessel, this is Captain Janeway of the starship Voyager. I have tactical information about Species 8472. I want to negotiate.
BORG [OC]: Negotiation is irrelevant. You will be assimilated.
JANEWAY: Borg vessel. What you're receiving is a sample of the knowledge we possess. If you don't disengage your tractor beam immediately, I will have that data destroyed. You have ten seconds to comply. We know you're in danger of being defeated. you can't afford to risk losing this information. Disengage your tractor
(Janeway is beamed away.)

[Borg Cube]

BORG [OC]: State your demands.
JANEWAY: I want safe passage through your space. Once my ship is beyond Borg territory, I'll give you our research.
BORG [OC]: Unacceptable. Our space is vast. Your passage would require too much time. We need the technology now.
JANEWAY: If I give it to you now, you'll assimilate us.
BORG [OC]: Species 8472 must be stopped. Our survival is your survival. Give us the technology.
JANEWAY: No. Safe passage first or no deal.
BORG [OC]: State your proposal.
JANEWAY: Let's work together, combine our resources. Even if we do give you the technology now, you're still going to need time to develop it. By working together, we can create a weapon more quickly. If you escort us through your space we can perfect the weapon as we
(Whumph! 8472 is attacking.)

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Where did that ship come from?
TUVOK: A quantum singularity has appeared twenty thousand kilometres away. The bioship is heading directly toward the planet.
TORRES: The Borg shields are weakening. We might be able to break free of the tractor beam.
CHAKOTAY: Can you get a lock on the Captain?
TUVOK: Not yet.
PARIS: Commander, there are nine more bioships coming out of the singularity.
(Eight of those ships surround a ninth and send energy to it. It then sends a massive energy beam towards a planet.)

[Borg Cube]

JANEWAY: What's going on?
(The planet goes KaBOOM! taking several Cubes with it. Voyager is towed away at high warp.)

To be continued

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Report.
TORRES: The Borg shields are offline. I've got a lock on Captain Janeway.
CHAKOTAY: Get her out of there and break us free of the Cube. Stand by all weapons.
TORRES: I'm trying to energise. The Borg are scattering the beam.
CHAKOTAY: Compensate.
TORRES: No effect.
TUVOK: We're being hailed.
CHAKOTAY: On screen.
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: Commander. Cut the transporter beam.
CHAKOTAY: Captain?
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: Do it. I've reached an agreement with the Collective. We're going to help them design a weapon against Species 8472. In exchange, they've granted us safe passage through their space.
PARIS: The Cube is altering course. They're heading toward the Alpha Quadrant.
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: That's part of the plan. We'll work on the weapon en route. Once we're across their territory, we'll give them the nanoprobes. They appear to be holding up their end of the bargain. I suggest we do the same.
CHAKOTAY: How do you propose we begin this collaboration?
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: I'm going to work here, on the Cube. They have technology that'll make the job go faster. I want to take advantage of it.
CHAKOTAY: It's not necessary for you to stay there. We can set up a comlink with the Borg and
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: It's part of the deal. I work here.
CHAKOTAY: All right. As long as we're cooperating, maybe the Borg would be willing to disengage their tractor beam. We can match their course without a leash.
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: I'll propose it. Mister Tuvok, transport to my coordinates.
TUVOK: Understood.
JANEWAY [on viewscreen]: We're going to make this work, Commander. Janeway out.
CHAKOTAY: You heard the Captain.

[Sickbay]

EMH: I replicated nearly ten million Borg nanoprobes, each of them reprogrammed to my specifications, each capable of targeting the alien tissue.
CHAKOTAY: Assimilating it.
EMH: Just momentarily. The Borg technology will denaturate within seconds, taking the alien tissue along with it. Mister Kim, I'm about to inject your carotid artery. You'll feel a tingling sensation. Don't be alarmed.
(Kim slowly opens his eyes.)
EMH: Nice to see you again, Ensign.
KES: It's working.
EMH: Prepare another dose of nanoprobes.
KES: Yes, Doctor.
CHAKOTAY: Good work. Let me know when he's back on his feet.
EMH: Commander. I must tell you. I have my doubts about this alliance. You may have convinced the Borg the nanoprobes can defeat their enemy, but a medical treatment is a long way from a weapon of war.
CHAKOTAY: Leave that to the Captain. This situation is unpredictable so we're going to stay at full Red Alert. Keep all information about the nanoprobes stored in your holo-matrix.
EMH: Don't worry. I'll delete myself at the first sign of trouble. Well, maybe not the first sign.

[Bridge]

TORRES: We've just received word. Tuvok beamed to the Cube. He's joined the Captain.
CHAKOTAY: Keep a transporter lock on both of them.
TORRES: I'll try, but the Borg are already regenerating their shields.
CHAKOTAY: Try matching their shield frequencies.
TORRES: It won't work. They'll be able to adapt too quickly.
CHAKOTAY: I don't want to hear what we can't do, Lieutenant! Just find a way to get our people out of there if we have to.
TORRES: Aye, sir.
PARIS: They've released their tractor beam.
CHAKOTAY: Match their course and speed.
PARIS: I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but, looks like the Borg are cooperating.

[Sickbay]

(Kes is working in the medical lab, when she sees a reflection of Species 8472 in the wall monitor. Then one appears, and she curls up into a ball.)
EMH: Kes? Kes! Kes! What's wrong?
KES: They're watching us.

[Borg Cube]

TUVOK: May I ask where we're being taken?
JANEWAY: Grid nine two of subjunction twelve. Our very own workspace. It's near the centre of the Cube.
TUVOK: These are my tricorder readings of the bioship we examined. I believe you will find them most revealing.
JANEWAY: Have you compared this to the Doctor's analysis of the alien tissue?
TUVOK: Yes. Many of the cellular structures are identical.
JANEWAY: The aliens and their ships are made of the same organic material.
TUVOK: Apparently so.

[Borg Chamber]

BORG [OC]: You have entered grid nine two of subjunction twelve. Proceed.
JANEWAY: All right. We've analysed one of the alien vessels, and it appears to be constructed of organic material vulnerable to the modified nanoprobes. I suggest we begin thinking about a large scale delivery system. A way to infect their ships and destroy them at the microscopic
BORG [OC]: We will begin.
(A Borg grabs Janeway and pushes her to her knees. Another grabs Tuvok.)
TUVOK: What are you doing?
BORG [OC]: A neural transceiver is required for maximum communication. We will work as one mind.
JANEWAY: No. That wasn't the agreement.
BORG [OC]: The neural link is temporary. You will not be damaged.
JANEWAY: I don't care. I prefer to communicate verbally, thank you.
BORG [OC]: Your primitive communication is inefficient.
TUVOK: On the contrary. We work better with our individuality intact. Surely, we've proven that to you by now.
BORG [OC]: Irrelevant. You must comply.
JANEWAY: We must do nothing. Tell your drone to remove the transceiver. What about choosing a representative? A single Borg we can work with and talk to directly.
BORG [OC]: Elaborate.
JANEWAY: You've done it before. When you transformed Jean-Luc Picard into Locutus. We will not be assimilated. Choose a representative or the deal's off.
(The neural transceivers are removed from their necks. A door opens, and a Borg is released from its alcove. It walks towards them. This one is clearly human female, with an hour-glass figure.)
SEVEN: I speak for the Borg.
JANEWAY: I'm Captain Janeway. This is Lieutenant Tuvok.
SEVEN: We are aware of your designations.
JANEWAY: What's your designation?
SEVEN: Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One. But you may call me Seven of Nine. You are proposing a large-scale weapon. We concur.
JANEWAY: I thought you might.
TUVOK: We could encase the nanoprobes in some of our photon torpedoes. In essence, turn them into biomolecular warheads.
SEVEN: Your torpedoes are inadequate. They lack the necessary range and dispursive force.
JANEWAY: Do you have a better idea?
SEVEN: We are Borg.
TUVOK: I take that as a yes.
(Seven leads them to a computer monitor.)
SEVEN: A multikinetic neutronic mine. Five million isoton yield.
TUVOK: An explosion that size could affect an entire star system.
SEVEN: Correct. The shock wave will disperse the nanoprobes over a radius of five light years.
JANEWAY: That's somewhat larger than I had in mind. You're proposing a weapon of mass destruction.
SEVEN: We are.
JANEWAY: Well, I'm not. You'd be endangering innocent worlds.
SEVEN: It would be efficient.
TUVOK: We'd need approximately fifty trillion nanoprobes to arm this mine. It would take the Doctor several weeks to replicate that amount. You are losing this conflict. Are you willing to risk further delay?
JANEWAY: Right now your enemy believes it is invulnerable. If we create smaller weapons using our torpedoes and destroy a few of their bioships, it may deter them, convince them to give up this war.
SEVEN: You are individuals. You are small, and you think in small terms. But the present situation requires that we consider your plan. Voyager's weapons inventory. Photon torpedo complement thirty two. Class six warhead. Explosive yield two hundred isotons.
TUVOK: How did you obtain this information?
SEVEN: We are Borg.
TUVOK: Naturally.

[Sickbay]

(The EMH is scanning Kes.)
EMH: Commander, we have some disturbing news.
CHAKOTAY: At this point, I'm getting used to it.
EMH: Her telepathic visions are increasing, both in frequency and intensity.
KES: It feels different this time. It's almost like they're right here, in the room.
EMH: There is it again.
KES: I'm trying to block them out, but I can't.
EMH: Every time she has a vision specific regions of her cerebral cortex go into a state of hyperstimulation. Memory engrams, perceptual centres. I can't be sure but I think there's more going on here than just a simple hello.

[Borg Chamber]

JANEWAY: Enhance this grid. I want to take a closer look at the detonator.
SEVEN: We must analyse the bioship. Your data.
(Janeway hands over her PADD.)
JANEWAY: You're human, aren't you?
SEVEN: This body was assimilated eighteen years ago. It ceased to be human at that time.
JANEWAY: I'm curious. What was your name before you were
SEVEN: Do not engage us in further irrelevant discourse. We are being hailed by your vessel.
JANEWAY: Commander, what is it?
CHAKOTAY [on monitor]: It's Kes. The Doctor believes that the aliens are accessing her memory.
JANEWAY: If that's true, they may already know what we're planning.
CHAKOTAY [on monitor]: I've ordered long range scans for bioships. Nothing so far.
JANEWAY: We should alter course, try to throw them off.
SEVEN: Agreed. Our course and heading have been changed.
JANEWAY: Match them, and keep me apprised of any changes in Kes.
CHAKOTAY [on monitor]: Chakotay out.
SEVEN: We now require one of your photon torpedoes and the nanoprobes.
JANEWAY: One step at a time. We're not safely across your territory yet.
SEVEN: We must construct and test a prototype now. The risk of attack has increased.
JANEWAY: Irrelevant. We have an agreement. You're asking me to give up my only guarantee that you won't assimilate us. I won't risk it.
SEVEN: Are you willing to risk a direct confrontation with us? If we transport five hundred drones onto your vessel, do you believe you could offer sufficient resistance?
JANEWAY: We'd die trying.
SEVEN: That won't be necessary. We must construct a launching system to accommodate this design.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Glad you could join us, Mister Kim.
PARIS: Harry. Welcome back.
KIM: Thanks. Reporting for duty, sir. The Doctor gave me a clean bill of health. Did I miss anything?
CHAKOTAY: Not too much. Take your station, Ensign.
TORRES: You've still got a tendril up your nose.
PARIS: Commander. I'm picking up gravimetric distortions twelve thousand kilometres aft. It's a singularity.

[Borg Chamber]

SEVEN: We are under attack.

[Bridge]

PARIS: They're charging weapons.
CHAKOTAY: Shields. Keep a lock on the Away Team.
TORRES: Direct hit to our secondary hull!
KIM: Transporters are offline! Shields and weapons are down.

[Borg Chamber]

TUVOK: Voyager has taken heavy damage.
SEVEN: We cannot let the nanoprobes be destroyed.

[Bridge]

PARIS: We're being targeted!
CHAKOTAY: Brace for impact!
(The bioship fires at the Cube section next to Voyager. It's energy weapon lances its way inside, hitting a console next to Janeway and knocking her out. The Cube changes course, hitting the bioship. They both go mega-KaBOOM! Voyager rocks in the wake of the explosion.)
CHAKOTAY: The Cube?
PARIS: Destroyed, and it took the bioship with it.
TUVOK [OC]: Tuvok to Chakotay.
(Tuvok sounds rough.)
CHAKOTAY: Go ahead, Tuvok. Where are you?
TUVOK [OC]: I'm in Cargo Bay two

[Cargo Bay Two]

TUVOK: Along with the Captain and a number of Borg.

[Bridge]

TUVOK [OC]: We were beamed over just before impact. We require assistance.
CHAKOTAY: Tuvok. Tuvok? Secure that deck. Security Team to Cargo Bay two. Paris, you have the bridge.

[Cargo Bay Two]

(Tuvok and Janeway are out cold. Chakotay and two security guards are armed with rifles. There are some Borg computer components around, too.)
SEVEN: Lower your weapons.
(She lowers her gun.)
SEVEN: We are here with your Captain's consent. It was necessary to sacrifice our vessel to protect yours. We have an alliance, do we not?

[Sickbay]

CHAKOTAY: For now they're contained. They've assimilated Cargo Bay two and they're drawing energy from the secondary power couplings.
TUVOK: But they've gone no further.
CHAKOTAY: Not yet. I've sealed off decks nine through thirteen and posted security details at every access point.
TUVOK: I suggest we increase security around Sickbay as well.
CHAKOTAY: Already done. How far did you get on the weapon?
TUVOK: We're ready to construct a prototype.
KES: You're fit to return back to duty, Lieutenant.
TUVOK: And you, Kes?
KES: Oh, I'm all right. The visions have stopped for now.
(Janeway is on a biobed.)
EMH: The plasma burns to her thoracic region I can treat, and I've already stopped the internal bleeding. But her neural injuries are going to require some creative thinking.
TUVOK: Before we beamed out, an alien energy discharge struck very near the Captain.
EMH: Well, it appears to have disrupted all her neuroelectrical pathways. I'll have to induce a coma to protect her higher brain functions. But I must tell you, unless I can repair the damage, she may never regain consciousness.
CHAKOTAY: Make sure those Borg stay put. I want tactical updates every twenty minutes.
TUVOK: Aye, sir. Shall I resume working with them?
CHAKOTAY: Stand by for now.
EMH: The Captain wishes to speak with you. Please keep it brief.
JANEWAY: The Doctor explained my condition. You're in command.
CHAKOTAY: I understand.
JANEWAY: They'll push you. They'll threaten you. But they need you. They need this alliance. You have to make this work. I want you to make this work. Get this crew home.
EMH: I must begin.

[Cargo Bay Two]

(The Borg have been busy building regeneration alcoves and other equipment.)
SEVEN: Where is your Captain? I must speak with her.
CHAKOTAY: In our medical bay, recovering. You'll be dealing with me now.
SEVEN: Circumstances have changed.
CHAKOTAY: I'd say so.
SEVEN: The loss of our vessel requires that we modify our agreement.
CHAKOTAY: I've been giving that some thought. I'm willing to let you stay on board. We'll continue to work with you on the weapon. Once we're safely out of Borg territory we'll give you the nanoprobes, shake hands and part company.
SEVEN: Insufficient. Our latest tactical projections indicate that the war will be lost by then. The nearest Borg vessel is forty light years away. You will reverse course and take us to it.
CHAKOTAY: Even at maximum warp, that's a five day journey in the wrong direction. We're supposed to be heading out of Borg space, not deeper into it.
SEVEN: There is no alternative.
CHAKOTAY: Look, I'll honour the original agreement, but I'm not turning this ship around. It's too dangerous.
SEVEN: Denying our request is also dangerous.
CHAKOTAY: I'll think about it.
SEVEN: Think quickly.

[Briefing room]

CHAKOTAY: A five day trip back into the heart of Borg territory. It's too risky. With those drones and the nanoprobes on board, we might as well have a bull's-eye painted on our hull. We're a prime target for Species 8472. We'd never survive another attack.
NEELIX: What is the alternative?
CHAKOTAY: I'm going to end this alliance here and now. We're going to drop the Borg off on the next uninhabited planet, give them the nanoprobes and take our chances alone. They can wait for a Borg ship to pick them up and finish the weapon. I'm in command now and I have to do what I think is best for this crew. Tom, I want you to scan for the nearest uninhabited planet and set a course.
PARIS: Aye, sir.
TUVOK: I must caution you, Commander. The Borg may not go quietly.
CHAKOTAY: We'll see. Bring that female drone to the Ready room. Dismissed.

[Ready room]

CHAKOTAY: Once we've beamed you to the surface, we'll send down the nanoprobes and all our research.
SEVEN: Unacceptable. We don't have time for
CHAKOTAY: This isn't open for discussion. I'm not turning this ship around. You're getting what you wanted. I suggest we part ways amicably.
SEVEN: There is another option. We could assimilate your vessel.
CHAKOTAY: If a single drone steps one millimetre out of that Cargo Bay, I'll decompress the entire deck. You won't pose much of a threat floating in space.
SEVEN: When your Captain first approached us, we suspected that an agreement with humans would prove impossible to maintain. You are erratic, conflicted, disorganised. Every decision is debated, every action questioned. Every individual entitled to their own small opinion. You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness. It will be your undoing.
CHAKOTAY: Escort our guest back to the Cargo Bay.

[Sickbay]

(Chakotay briefs his comatose Captain.)
CHAKOTAY: Well, I've made my decision. If it were only a matter of going against the orders of my superior officer. You're more than just my Captain. You're my friend. I hope you'll understand.

[Cargo Bay Two]

BORG [OC]: Species 8472 has penetrated Matrix zero one zero, grid nineteen. Eight planets destroyed. Three hundred twelve vessels disabled. Four million, six hundred twenty one Borg eliminated. We must seize control of the Alpha Quadrant vessel, and take it into the alien realm.
SEVEN: We understand.
(Seven enters a Jefferies tube.)

[Bridge]

PARIS: Class H moon. Oxygen-argon atmosphere.
CHAKOTAY: It'll do. Take us out of warp and enter orbit.
PARIS: Aye, sir.
CHAKOTAY: Tuvok. Stand by to transport the Borg directly from the Cargo Bay. After they're on the surface, have security run a sweep of
KIM: I'm reading power fluctuations in the deflector array.
CHAKOTAY: Cause?
KIM: It looks like the Borg have accessed deflector control. They're trying to realign the emitters.
CHAKOTAY: Shut them out.
KIM: They've bypassed security protocols.
(A green beam is emitted from the deflector dish.)
TORRES: We're emitting a resonant gravitation beam. It's creating another singularity.
CHAKOTAY: Reverse course.
PARIS: We're fighting intense gravimetric distortion. I can't break free.
CHAKOTAY: Bridge to Cargo Bay Two. Stop what you're doing, or I'll depressurise that deck and blow you out into space. This is your final warning. Do it!
(Borg drones are expelled from Voyager. Seven manages to hang on in the Jefferies tube.)
TUVOK: Decompression cycle complete.
KIM: I still don't have deflector control.
TUVOK: Commander, a single Borg has survived.
PARIS: We're being pulled in!
CHAKOTAY: Report.
TUVOK: We appear to have crossed an interdimensional rift.
PARIS: We've definitely left our galaxy. No stars, no planets.
CHAKOTAY: Let's see.
(The viewscreen shows a murky brown green expanse.)
TORRES: I'm re-calibrating sensors. The entire region is filled with some kind of organic fluid. This isn't space. It's matter.
SEVEN [OC]: Commander Chakotay. We have entered the domain of Species 8472. Report to the Cargo Bay.
CHAKOTAY: Paris, repressurise Cargo Bay two. Tuvok.

[Cargo Bay Two]

SEVEN: Our entry into fluidic space has created a compression wave. They know we're here. A fleet of bioships is already converging on our position. Time to intercept, three hours, seventeen minutes.
CHAKOTAY: You've been here before. How else could you know about fluidic space?
SEVEN: We must prepare this ship for the altercation. We will construct a complement of biomolecular warheads.
CHAKOTAY: Why? Why were you here? You started this war, didn't you? What's the matter, our galaxy wasn't big enough for you? You had to conquer new territory? But this race fought back. A species as malevolent as your own.
SEVEN: Species 8472 was more resistant than we anticipated. Their technology is biogenically engineered. It is superior to that of all species we have previously encountered.
TUVOK: Which is precisely what you wanted.
SEVEN: They are the apex of biological evolution. Their assimilation would have greatly added to our own perfection.
TUVOK: So instead of assimilating these aliens you opened a door for them to our galaxy.
SEVEN: There is only one course of action. Destroy them first. My subspace link to the Collective has been weakened by the interdimensional rift. We cannot signal for help. We are alone. We must construct a compliment of biomolecular warheads and modify your weapons to launch them.
CHAKOTAY: I've got a better idea. Why don't you open that rift again and take us back?
SEVEN: If I did that, you will no longer cooperate.
EMH [OC]: Doctor to Chakotay.
CHAKOTAY: Go ahead.
EMH [OC]: Report to Sickbay at once.
CHAKOTAY: On my way.

[Sickbay]

(Janeway is up and back in uniform.)
CHAKOTAY: Captain?
EMH: Ah. As you can see, I've repaired her neural damage. Ensign Kim, the Captain, I'm two for two.
JANEWAY: Doctor. if you'll excuse us a moment.
EMH: Hmm? Eh? Oh. Gladly. Computer deactivate EMH programme.
JANEWAY: The Doctor brought me up to speed, but he couldn't tell me what I really wanted to know. Why?
CHAKOTAY: The Collective ordered me to reverse course, travel forty light years back the way we came. What would you have done?
JANEWAY: I probably would've reversed course. Maintained the alliance as long as possible.
CHAKOTAY: In my mind, the alliance was already over.
JANEWAY: You never trusted me. You never believed this would work. You were just waiting for an opportunity to circumvent my orders.
CHAKOTAY: Trust had nothing to with it. I made a tactical decision.
JANEWAY: And so did I.
CHAKOTAY: They have taking advantage of us from day one.
JANEWAY: We made concessions, so did they.
CHAKOTAY: They lied. The Borg started the war with Species 8472. We've only got one Borg left to worry about. We should try to disable her and get back to the Delta Quadrant. We might be able to duplicate the deflector protocols they used to open a singularity.
JANEWAY: No. I won't be caught tinkering with the deflector when those aliens attack. There's no other way out of this, Chakotay. It's too late for opinions, it's too late for discussion. It's time to make the call, and I'm making it. We fight the aliens in full cooperation with the Borg.
CHAKOTAY: I was linked to a Collective once, remember? I had a neurotransceiver embedded in my spine. I know who we're dealing with. We've got to get rid of that last Borg and take our chances alone.
JANEWAY: It won't work. This isn't working either. There are two wars going on. The one out there, and the one in here, and we're losing both of them.
CHAKOTAY: It will be your undoing.
JANEWAY: What?
CHAKOTAY: Our conflicted nature. Our individuality. Seven of Nine said that we lack the cohesion of a Collective mind. That one day it would divide us and destroy us. And here we are, proving her point.
JANEWAY: I'll tell you when we lost control of this situation, when we made our mistake. It was the moment we turned away from each other. We don't have to stop being individuals to get through this, we just have to stop fighting each other.

[Bridge]

(Tuvok escorts Seven of Nine.)
SEVEN: Captain Janeway.
JANEWAY: I've relieved Mister Chakotay of his duties and confined him to the Brig. I'm back in command.
SEVEN: And you understand the situation.
JANEWAY: Completely. Tuvok, give her the nanoprobes. Work with her. Build as many warheads as you can and start modifying our weapons systems. I suggest we think about enhancing our defences, as well. If we're going to fight this battle, I intend to win it.
SEVEN: We are in agreement.
JANEWAY: Good. This is the plan. We engage the enemy here, in their space. We show them what they're up against. If they have any sense of self-preservation, they'll back off, pull their ships out of the Delta Quadrant. That's provided the weapons are effective. If they aren't, it's been nice working with you. We've got to get this ship armed and ready in under two hours. We're going to war.
(Under two hours later. Kes is sitting in Chakotay's seat.)
KIM: Borg modifications are complete.
JANEWAY: Bring them online.
(Bits of Voyager's hull light up Borg green.)
KIM: Torpedo launch tubes active. Hull armour engaged. Shield enhancements stable.
TUVOK: Biomolecular weapons are ready. Thirteen standard photon torpedoes. And one class ten, armed with a high yield warhead.
JANEWAY: All hands, this is the Captain. Ready your stations. Seal all emergency bulkheads and prepare to engage the enemy. Stand by for my orders.
PARIS: Four bioships have just entered sensor range.
JANEWAY: Battle stations.
KIM: I've got a visual.
JANEWAY: On screen.
KES: I can hear them. They want to talk through me. They say we've contaminated their realm.
JANEWAY: Tell them we had no choice. We were only trying to defend ourselves.
KES: They say our galaxy is impure. Its proximity is a threat to their genetic integrity.
JANEWAY: Tell them we have a weapon. A devastating weapon that can destroy them at the cellular level. If they don't stop their attacks on the Delta Quadrant, we'll be forced to use it.
KES: They said your galaxy will be purged.
(The bioships start firing. People are thrown to the decks.)
KIM: Shields and weapons are offline!
TUVOK: Rerouting emergency power to the launchers.
PARIS: They're coming around for another assault. I've lost thrusters.
TUVOK: Biomolecular warheads are charged and ready.
JANEWAY: Fire.
TUVOK: Direct hit on all four vessels. No effect.
KIM: They're charging weapons!
(Then one by one, the bioships go KaBOOM.)
TUVOK: The nanoprobes were successful, if not prompt. All four ships have been destroyed.
JANEWAY: I think we've made our point. Now open a singularity and get us out of here.
(Seven complies. They return to the Delta Quadrant, followed by bioships.)
PARIS: Captain.
JANEWAY: Kes, are you still in contact?
KES: Yes.
JANEWAY: Tell them if they continue their attack, we'll use the weapon again.
KES: They're not responding.
JANEWAY: Evasive manoeuvres.
PARIS: Aye, Captain. They're in pursuit.
JANEWAY: Prepare to fire the high yield warhead. Aft torpedo bay.
TUVOK: Ready, Captain.
JANEWAY: Do it.
(The torpedo explodes in the middle of the fleet.)
TUVOK: Thirteen bioships have been destroyed. The others are in retreat.
SEVEN: I have regained full contact with the Collective.
JANEWAY: What are they saying?
SEVEN: All remaining bioships in the Delta Quadrant are returning to their realm. The Borg have prevailed.
JANEWAY: With a little help from us. Now it's time you fulfilled your end of the agreement. Tell the Collective we expect safe passage from here on out. We'll give you a shuttlecraft. You can head for the nearest Borg ship.
SEVEN: Unacceptable. This alliance is terminated. Your ship and its crew will adapt to service us.
(Seven goes towards Paris. He fires a hand phaser at her, but the beam bounces off her shields.)
SEVEN: Resistance is futile.
(She pushes him aside and fires her assimilation tubules into the helm console.)
KIM: Captain, she's tapping into helm control. She's trying to access our coordinates.
JANEWAY: Shut her out.
KIM: I can't.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Chakotay. Scorpion.

[Cargo Bay Two]

(A neural transceiver is activated on Chakotay's neck. He is in one of the alcoves.)
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Seven of Nine, stop what you're doing. You're human. A human individual. Our minds are linked. We are one. I can hear your thoughts
EMH: His link is stable, but it won't be for long. You must hurry.
TORRES: Just a few more seconds.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: I can see your memories.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY [OC]: You remember being human.
SEVEN: We are Borg.

[Cargo Bay two]

CHAKOTAY [OC]: I see a young girl. A family.

[Bridge]

SEVEN: Irrelevant. Your appeal to my humanity is pointless.

[Cargo Bay two]

TORRES: Almost there, Chakotay. You've got to keep her distracted if we're going to make this work.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Listen to your human side. To yourself, the little girl. Seven of Nine. Annika!
EMH: He's losing the link!
TORRES: Initiating power surge now!
(Both Chakotay and Seven feel the effects of the energy surge. Their neural transceivers overload and they pass out.)

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Her connection to the Collective is severed.
JANEWAY: Get her to Sickbay. Bridge to Doctor. Report.

[Cargo Bay two]

EMH: Commander Chakotay's going to be all right, although he may wake up with a bit of a headache.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Tom, plot a course out of Borg space. Maximum warp.
PARIS: Yes, Ma'am.

Captain's log, stardate 51003.7. Three days, and no sign of Borg or bioships. We appear to be out of danger, but the entire crew is still on edge and so am I. Not even the calm of Master Da Vinci's workshop is enough to ease my mind.

[Da Vinci's Workshop - night]

(Janeway is at a desk, writing with quill on parchment.)
CHAKOTAY: Am I interrupting?
JANEWAY: Not at all. Just finishing up my log.
CHAKOTAY: The old-fashioned way.
JANEWAY: I wanted to get as far away from bioimplants and fluidic space. And this feels more human somehow.
CHAKOTAY: I hate to spoil the mood, but you might want to look at this Engineering report. It'll take at least two weeks to remove the Borg technology from our systems. B'Elanna did note that the power couplings on deck eight work better with the Borg improvements.
JANEWAY: Leave them. How is our passenger?
CHAKOTAY: The Doctor says she's stabilising. Her human cells are starting to regenerate.
JANEWAY: I wonder what's left under all that Borg technology. If she can ever become human again.
CHAKOTAY: You plan to keep her on board.
JANEWAY: We pulled the plug. We're responsible for what happens to her now.
CHAKOTAY: She was assimilated at a very young age. The Collective's all she knows. She might not want to stay.
JANEWAY: I think she might. We have something the Borg could never offer. Friendship.
CHAKOTAY: I want you to know that disobeying your orders was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.
JANEWAY: I understand. And I respect the decision you made, even though I disagree with it. What's important is that in the end we got through this, together. I don't ever want that to change.
CHAKOTAY: Agreed.
JANEWAY: Good. Well, I think it's time we get back to our bridge.
CHAKOTAY: No argument there.
(We are given a last lingering look at Seven on a biobed, one small implant blinking.)

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