Infinite Regress
Stardate: 52188.7
Original Airdate: 25 November 1998

[Cargo Bay two]

(Seven wakes from a cacophany of voices.)
COMPUTER: Regeneration cycle incomplete.
(She prowls around the cargo bay, searching for something, then goes out into the corridor. In the Mess hall she sniffs some food then knocks other bowls onto the floor. She finds what she is looking for in a cabinet - a leg of meat. The reflection in the metal is that of a Klingon, knawing on the bone.)

[Briefing room]

KIM: When I checked the overnight sensor logs this little surprise was waiting for me.
JANEWAY: Maybe I'm not quite awake, but it looks like it's over one hundred kilometres wide.
KIM: One hundred twenty. At first I thought it was an asteroid cluster, until I picked up a residual warp signature.
SEVEN: It was a Borg vessel. There are tetryon particles in the debris consistent with the atmosphere inside a Cube.
CHAKOTAY: Any idea what destroyed it?
SEVEN: We would need to run close range scans of the hull fragments.
KIM: Unless we alter course, we'll get our chance. The debris field's directly ahead.
JANEWAY: Then I suggest we cut a wide berth. Chances are the Borg will send more vessels to investigate. Alter course to avoid the debris. If that's all.
NEELIX: Ah, one other piece of business, Captain. It seems we had another incident in the Mess hall last night.
TORRES: Return of the Midnight Snacker?
NEELIX: I'm afraid so.
JANEWAY: Casualties?
NEELIX: A leg of Kelaran wildebeest I'd prepared for Ensign Ryson's birthday. Since Commander Tuvok has been unable to round up any suspects, I'd like to ask that stronger measures be taken.
TUVOK: Perhaps an armed security detail.
NEELIX: I'd like to ask permission to replicate some locking mechanisms for the cabinet doors.
JANEWAY: Granted. Dismissed.

[Corridor]

(Seven opens a Jefferies tube access door, and Naomi Wildman hides in an opposite side corridor. She tapps on her PADD as Seven closes the door and walks on. Naomi comes around the corner and is face to navel with Seven.)
SEVEN: Naomi Wildman, subunit of Ensign Samantha Wildman. State your intentions.
NAOMI: I
SEVEN: Very well. You leave me no choice but to report your activities to the Captain.
NAOMI: Please don't. I was just observing you.
SEVEN: Explain.
NAOMI: Well, Neelix told me that the Borg do a lot of things they do because they're trying to be perfect. And even though you're not really a drone anymore, you still try to be perfect. Don't you?
SEVEN: Correct.
NAOMI: Well, if I can learn to be perfect, too, then Captain Janeway will have to make me her Bridge Assistant.
SEVEN: No such rank exists aboard this vessel.
NAOMI: Not yet.
SEVEN: And you hope to achieve this goal by emulating me?
NAOMI: Are you mad?
SEVEN: No. There are many on this crew that would benefit from your example.
NAOMI: So you'll teach me?
SEVEN: Your objective is admirable. However, your neocortical development is incomplete. You would require several months of accelerated growth in a Borg maturation chamber.
NAOMI: Oh, I don't think I like the sound of that.
SEVEN: Then I suggest that you
(The voices return briefly, then Seven turns and smiles at Naomi. Her voice is younger and slightly higher pitched.)
SEVEN:  Hey.
NAOMI: Hi.
SEVEN: I'm bored. Let's do something fun.
NAOMI: Like what?
SEVEN: Swimming?
NAOMI: Oh, I'm not allowed to go swimming without my mom.
SEVEN: Do you like Kadis-kot?
NAOMI: Love it.
SEVEN: Come on!
(They run off down the corridor hand in hand, giggling.)

[Wildman's quarters]

(Kadis-kot is a hexagonal board where the players move coloured pieces around.)
NAOMI: I'll be Bridge Assistant for a while, then I'll be promoted to Ensign. It'll be Lieutenant after that, and by the time we reach the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Wildman. Green, grid fourteen four.
SEVEN: Kadis-kot! I win.
NAOMI: You're really good at this game.
SEVEN: You want a rematch?
NAOMI: Sure.
SEVEN: Captains don't have much time to play, you know.
NAOMI: That's okay. I'll be pretty busy by then. Want to hear the rules of First Contact?
SEVEN: No.
NAOMI: How about the suborders of the Prime Directive? I know all forty seven of them.
SEVEN: You study too much, Naomi, just like my brother.
NAOMI: I didn't know you had a brother.
SEVEN: Twelve of them.
NAOMI: Twelve?
SEVEN: Nine older and three younger. We play Kadis-kot all the time.
NAOMI: I only have my mom and Neelix to play with, when they're not working.
SEVEN: You must get lonely.
NAOMI: A little. You get used to it. You adapt.
SEVEN: Adapt?
NAOMI: You know, like the Borg.
SEVEN: Borg. I hate Borgs.
NAOMI: You do?
SEVEN: Yeah, they're mean.
TORRES [OC]: Torres to Seven of Nine. Please report to Engineering.
SEVEN: It's your move.
TORRES [OC]: Seven, respond.
(Seven stops being a little girl.)
SEVEN: I am on my way, Lieutenant. Naomi Wildman.
NAOMI: Yes?
SEVEN: What am I doing here?
NAOMI: We're playing Kadis-kot. Seven?

[Engineering]

TORRES: Take a look at this, will you? I'm picking up an energy signal in the lower subspace bands, and if I'm not mistaken it's got a Borg modulation.
SEVEN: You are correct. It is Borg. I believe it's a neural interlink frequency.
TORRES: A what?
SEVEN: A frequency that integrates the minds of Borg drones.
TORRES: Can you pinpoint the origin?
SEVEN: I will try.
TORRES: No offence, Seven, but you look terrible.
SEVEN: I am not well. I experienced a brief lapse in memory and I am disoriented.
TORRES: Maybe you should get to Sickbay.
SEVEN: No. This interlink frequency could explain my
(The voices again.)
SEVEN: Do'Raq Merash.
TORRES: I beg your pardon?
SEVEN: I am the son of K'vok! And you, what House are you from?
TORRES: Is this some kind of a joke?
SEVEN: You wear the uniform of a Starfleet P'Cha! What kind of a warrior are you?
TORRES: Tom put you up to this, didn't he? Well, it didn't work.
SEVEN: Come, warrior, let me look at you.
TORRES: Enough, Seven.
SEVEN: Your blood is sweet!
(Seven bites Torres' cheek. Torres throws her off.)
TORRES: Torres to Security. Get somebody down here right now.
SEVEN: You are strong. You will make an excellent mate.
TORRES: Get the hell away from me!
SEVEN: You wish to prove yourself in battle.
(She pushes her way past two security men and runs out into the corridor.)

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Report.
CHAKOTAY: Seven of Nine attacked B'Elanna in Engineering. She's on deck nine, section twenty three.
JANEWAY: Forcefields. Don't tell me those two have actually come to blows.
(Seven knocks out another security guard and takes his phaser before discovering she is hemmed into a corner by forcefields.)

[Corridor]

JANEWAY [OC]: Bridge to Tuvok. Seven's been contained. Deck ten, section thirty two.
TUVOK: Acknowledged. We're nearing her position.
(When they arrive, Seven is sitting, hugging her knees. She uses a little girl voice.)
TUVOK: Seven?
SEVEN: Somebody's hurt and he needs help. Did I do something bad?
TUVOK: Who are you?
SEVEN: My name's Maryl. Are you a Vulcan?
TUVOK: Computer, deactivate forcefield. Give me the phaser. (She does, and he deactivates it before handing it to his colleague. Seven hears the voices again. She stands.)
SEVEN: You are not a physician, Commander. The logical course of action would be to take him to the infirmary.
TUVOK: Maryl?
SEVEN: Subaltern Lorot, Vulcan High Command. May I be of assistance?
TUVOK: Yes. Please accompany me to Sickbay.
SEVEN: Certainly. Clearly he was attacked. I suggest we use caution. (voices) PetaQ! You will drown in your own blood.
TUVOK: Keep moving.
(Seven turns to attack him, and he stuns her.)

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY: Seven.
SEVEN: Captain, why am I here?
JANEWAY: You've been unconscious for nearly two hours. We believe you're experiencing a neurological disorder.
SEVEN: Voices, I hear voices. They are agitated, chaotic. Too many voices. 
(We are treated to shots of screaming people prior to assimilation.)  
SEVEN: Too many voices.
EMH: The cortical inhibitor is destabilising. I'm increasing the neurotransmitter levels. It's working. Do you still hear the voices?
SEVEN: They are fading. They are gone.
JANEWAY: All right. Let's see what we can do to keep them from coming back. What's the last thing you remember?
SEVEN: I was in Engineering, assisting Lieutenant Torres.
TUVOK: You have no recollection of a confrontation with B'Elanna?
SEVEN: Confrontation?
EMH: I'm not sure why, but you seem to be manifesting personalities other than your own.
JANEWAY: Naomi Wildman claims the two of you played together for nearly an hour this afternoon.
TUVOK: You also attacked Lieutenant Torres. She told us you called yourself Son of K'vok and that you initiated a Klingon mating ritual.
SEVEN: I have no memory of those events.
EMH: Come look at this.
SEVEN: Doctor.
EMH: This is your neural pattern. The memory engrams and synaptic pathways that define you as an individual. Unfortunately, you're not alone. Thirteen new neural patterns have emerged in your cerebral cortex. Klingon, Vulcan, Terrelian, Human and several others I can't identify.
SEVEN: How?
EMH: They're coming from within you. During your time with the Borg, the Collective assimilated hundreds of different species. All of those neural patterns were integrated into the Hive Mind.
SEVEN: Of course.
EMH: That means they're in your mind too, stored within your cortical implants. Dormant until now.
JANEWAY: From what we can tell, the various neural patterns are surfacing randomly.
EMH: In essence, you've developed the Borg equivalent of Multiple Personality Disorder.
SEVEN: Can you correct the malfunction?
EMH: The cortical inhibitor is suppressing the effect, but it's only a temporary measure.
SEVEN: Lieutenant Torres detected a Borg interlink frequency. It could be causing my cortical implants to malfunction.
TUVOK: The signal appears to be emanating from the Borg debris field we discovered this morning.
JANEWAY: Maybe we should jump to warp, try to get out of range.
SEVEN: The signal permeates subspace. We cannot avoid it.
EMH: Our only hope is to terminate the signal at its point of origin.
JANEWAY: Set a course for the debris field. When we arrive we may need your help. Feel up to it?
SEVEN: Yes, Captain.
JANEWAY: Keep a close eye on her, Doctor, in case she has any more unexpected visitors.

[Corridor]

(So the mobile emitter gets some use.)
EMH: Has any drone ever experienced symptoms like these before?
SEVEN: The Collective does not tolerate imperfection. Any drone with a malfunction as serious as mine would be destroyed immediately.
EMH: Lucky for you, this crew is a little more tolerant.
NEELIX: Oh, there you are. Lieutenant Torres tells me you're under the weather.
SEVEN: Correct.
NEELIX: Well, is there anything your Morale officer can do to help? Assignments you need me to finish while you recuperate?
SEVEN: No.
NEELIX: I have some wonderful medicinal teas. Maybe I could prepare one for you?
EMH: Talaxian homeopathy. I don't think we're quite that desperate yet.
NEELIX: How about if I make one of your favourite nutritional supplements?
SEVEN: Your concern has been noted. The Doctor will inform you when I am functional again.
NEELIX: Right. Sorry. Oh! Ah, I almost forgot. It's from Naomi Wildman. It's a drawing of Voyager, or maybe it's an asteroid belt. I'm not sure. Naomi thought it might make you feel better.
SEVEN: Tell her thank you.

[Cargo Bay two]

(The Doctor checks Systems Usage log 709.)
EMH: I suspected as much. There were several interruptions in your regeneration cycle. Eighteen minutes, five minutes, one hour.
SEVEN: I don't recall them.
EMH: Let's examine your neural function logs. Low serotonin levels during regeneration, that's normal. But look at these spikes in the pre-frontal synapses. They appear only seconds before you left the alcove. You were sleepwalking.
SEVEN: I don't remember entering this data file.
EMH: Looks like we found the identity of the Midnight Snacker. I'm sure Mister Neelix will be relieved.
SEVEN [OC]: Personal log, Ensign Stone, Stardate 52188.7. I just completed my first week of active duty. It was a nightmare. After four years at the Academy I thought I was ready for anything, but Captain Blackwood runs a tight ship, and he seems to take special pleasure in tormenting new recruits. The First Officer tells me not to take it personally, but it's hard to be objective when
SEVEN: Blackwood. Captain of the Federation Starship Tombaugh. The Borg assimilated that vessel thirteen years ago.
EMH: The individual who made this recording must have been a member of the crew.
SEVEN: One of my victims.
EMH: Here's another log entry. This one encoded for transmission.
SEVEN [OC]: Hi. Guess who? I know I promised to write you every day but that's simply not enough. How about once in the morning when I resuscitate and once at night before I go into torpor, and I'll think about you non-stop in between. Wait, I've got a better idea. Why don't you leave your circle and visit the colony? You'd love it here, so
EMH: Anything familiar?
SEVEN: I helped to assimilate thousands of individuals. I do not remember each of their names.
EMH: Seven, you were a Borg drone who's now becoming an individual. That's practically unheard of. There's bound to be rough spots along the way. We just have to get past them.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Bridge to Seven of Nine. We're approaching the debris field.
SEVEN: Acknowledged.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Survivors?
TUVOK: None.
CHAKOTAY: Any sign of Borg vessels?
PARIS: No, sir. We're the first ones here.
KIM: I'm picking up the source of the interlink frequency. Bearing oh two seven mark three.
JANEWAY: On screen. Magnify.
(A long thin thing with green components.)
SEVEN: It's a Borg vinculum.
CHAKOTAY: Vinculum?
SEVEN: The processing device at the core of every Borg vessel. It interconnects the minds of all the drones. It purges individual thoughts and disseminates information relevant to the Collective.
JANEWAY: It brings order to chaos.
SEVEN: Precisely.
JANEWAY: Looks like this one has established a link to your cortical implant.
SEVEN: I believe it has identified me as an errant drone. It is attempting to reintegrate me into the Collective. The Vinculum is malfunctioning. It is sending me erratic commands.
TUVOK: Bringing chaos to order.
SEVEN: Yes.
JANEWAY: Can you sever the link?
SEVEN: Not without risking permanent damage to my own systems. The Vinculum must be taken offline. Permission to beam it aboard for analysis. I have worked with this technology before. I may be able to disable it.
JANEWAY: We're talking about the heart of a Borg cube. I'd rather not take it inside my ship. Can you disable it remotely?
SEVEN: Yes, but I would need several days. The Borg may return by then. I recommend we take the Vinculum and leave this region immediately.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, prepare to beam it to Engineering. Erect a level ten forcefield and maintain constant surveillance. The moment it poses a threat, send it back into space. Tom, as soon as it's aboard, get us out of here. Warp nine.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: I understand what you're going through, and I want to help you in every way I can, but the safety of this crew is my first responsibility. We haven't had the best of luck with the Borg.
SEVEN: Nor have I.

[Engineering]

TORRES: Let's keep an eye on those antigrav struts. Boylen, lock out all primary command consoles and reroute transporter controls to main Engineering.
BOYLEN: Yes, Lieutenant.
(The Vinculum is hanging in mid-air.)
EMH: Seven?
SEVEN: The voices. I hear them.
EMH: It's your proximity to the Vinculum. The link is stronger here. I'm adjusting your neurotransmitter levels. You'd better get started.
SEVEN: Don't worry, Lieutenant. The Son of K'vok will not be joining us.
TORRES: Glad to hear it. Does this qualify as our second date?
EMH: Just think of me as your chaperone.
TORRES: So, where's the off switch?
SEVEN: The Vinculum is equipped with many safeguards. I will need to access its transneural matrix and disable it directly.
TORRES: I'm reading a power surge.
SEVEN: It's a normal response to my intrusion. Don't be alarmed. Curious. I'm detecting an organism within the Vinculum. It appears to be a viral agent.
EMH: Let's see it. It's a synthetic pathogen. The virus was originally a biological agent but it's mutated. It's attacking the Vinculum's programmes as it would living cells.
TORRES: An organism that attacks technology?
SEVEN: The Cube was infected three days ago, shortly after assimilating an alien shuttlecraft. Species 6339. They were the last ones to come in contact with the cube.
EMH: Looks like we found our Typhoid Mary.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: Species 6339, Humanoid. Warp-capable. Origin, grid one two four, octant twenty two theta. They first encountered the Borg approximately four years ago. Since that time, eleven billion individuals have been assimilated. Three days ago, the Collective detected one of their last surviving shuttlecraft. A Cube was sent to intercept it.
EMH: We believe the virus was carried within their bodies. Once they were assimilated, it spread to the Vinculum.
SEVEN: The drones aboard no doubt experienced symptoms similar to my own. It is no surprise they destroyed themselves.
JANEWAY: I'd like to find species 6339. They may be able to help us treat you. Begin long range Astrometric scans. See if they have any more vessels in this region.
SEVEN: Yes, Captain. I've already begun a spatial diagn. (voices) My, my, my, look at the size of that thing. This viewscreen. It's got to be one of the biggest I've ever seen. I'll give you twenty bars of latinum for it.
EMH: I think the inhibitor's gone offline. Would you come here, please?
SEVEN: Be quiet. Can't you see I'm in the middle of a deal? Name your price, Captain?
JANEWAY: Janeway. And you are?
SEVEN: Daimon Torrot.
JANEWAY: You're Ferengi.
SEVEN: Of course I'm Ferengi. Is that some kind of insult about the size of my ears?
JANEWAY: No, not at all. I'd be happy to negotiate with you, but first we have to get you to Sickbay.
SEVEN: Sickbay? What for?
JANEWAY: Because you're ill.
SEVEN: I've never felt better.
JANEWAY: Doctor.
EMH: I'm afraid you've contracted a nasty strain of the Ankaran flu. We've been treating you several days. Remember?
SEVEN: No.
EMH: Short term memory loss. It's one of the symptoms. Don't worry, it isn't life threatening, but we'll need to treat you. In Sickbay.
SEVEN: What is this treatment going to cost me?
EMH: It's free of charge.
SEVEN: Free?
JANEWAY: Yes.
SEVEN: You know, I have been having a nagging pain in my lower left lobe, and while you're at it why don't you run a complete tricardial diagnostic. The Ferengi Health Commission's trying to revoke my trading license.

[Corridor]

SEVEN: Impressive vessel, Captain. Galaxy class?
JANEWAY: Intrepid.

[Sickbay]

SEVEN: Ah. Ah, and here we are in the much talked-about Sickbay. Not exactly state of the medical art now, is it?
EMH: What do you mean?
SEVEN: You're low on biobeds, terrible lighting, obsolete instruments. Lucky for you, I know a medical supplier that can spruce this place up in a nanosecond, and I'll even drop my commission to a mere thirty percent?
EMH: How generous of you. Computer, activate forcefield.
(Seven is trapped in the surgical bay.)
SEVEN: Forcefield? You said I wasn't contagious.
EMH: It's for your own safety. I've set the cortical inhibitor to maximum but it is no longer suppressing the effects. These personalities are going to keep surfacing.
SEVEN: I've been kidnapped!
JANEWAY: Even more reason to shut down the Vinculum as soon as we can.
EMH: Even if we do break the link, it may be too late. Seven's own neural pattern is destabilising. It could be lost.
SEVEN: Please help me. I'm looking for my son Gregory Bergan, Lieutenant Bergan. Have you seen him?
JANEWAY: No, I'm afraid not.
SEVEN: From the starship Melbourne.
JANEWAY: Melbourne?
SEVEN: I was supposed to meet him at Wolf 359, but Starfleet sent out a warning that the Borg were attacking that sector. It was too late for us to turn back. We were caught in a terrible battle. My ship was badly damaged. We had to leave on escape pods. I never found out what happened to Gregory. Please, I haven't heard from him in over three days. Could you check with Starfleet Headquarters?
JANEWAY: I'll see what I can do.
SEVEN: Thank you, Captain. If you do speak with him, could you tell him that his mother is all right and if he could pos... Captain.
JANEWAY: Seven?
SEVEN: Yes. The Vinculum?
JANEWAY: We're preparing to shut it down right away. I'll give the order as soon as Torres is ready.
SEVEN: How long was I absent?
JANEWAY: About twenty minutes.
SEVEN: How many?
JANEWAY: Two. One of whom wanted to acquire half the items on the ship. Daimon Torrot, I believe.
SEVEN: Species 180, Ferengi.
JANEWAY: Yes. The other was a woman whose son was lost in a Borg attack. You'll get through this, Seven.
SEVEN: I do not share your optimism.
(The forcefield is lowered.)
SEVEN: When you took me from the Borg and began to turn me into an individual, I found the silence of my own mind difficult to bear. I missed the voices of the Collective. But now that I am an individual, those same voices frighten me. Captain, I don't know if I can tolerate this condition much longer. My courage is insufficient.
JANEWAY: Your job is to keep trying to hold on even when you think you can't. Leave the rest to me and the crew.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Meet anyone interesting?
JANEWAY: Just finished swapping jokes with a Bolian manicurist. Before that, I was debating the finer points of temporal physics with a Krenim scientist. Twelve new personalities have surfaced in the past hour alone. Seven's having a rough time of it. The Doctor had to sedate her.
CHAKOTAY: How's the Captain holding up?
JANEWAY: I've been better, Chakotay. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if my First Officer was right all along.
CHAKOTAY: About what?
JANEWAY: You always said that bringing Seven into the fold might be impossible.
CHAKOTAY: You can take the Borg out of the Collective, but. I don't believe that. Not anymore. I didn't think she'd last a day, much less a year. I'd say you've proven me wrong.
TORRES [OC]: Torres to Bridge. We're ready to begin disabling the Vinculum.
JANEWAY: Proceed.

[Engineering]

TORRES: Target the transneural matrix. Stand by to initiate the dampening field on my mark. Three, two, one, mark. Its power output is dropping.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Doctor to bridge. It seems to be working. Her neural pattern is stabilising.

[Engineering]

TORRES: Power output is down to seventy seven percent. Seventy one percent. Wait a second. It's increasing.
TUVOK: I'm refocusing the dampening field.
TORRES: It's still increasing.
TUVOK: The Vinculum is rerouting its internal circuitry. It's adapting.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Engineering! Her synaptic pathways are destabilising. Abort the procedure!
SEVEN: Help me!
EMH: Abort!

[Engineering]

TUVOK: Stand by, Doctor. Power output at ninety eight percent. (Bang!) The forcefield is collapsing.
TORRES: Transfer emergency power.
TUVOK: It won't work, Lieutenant. We must abort. Tuvok to bridge.

[Bridge]

TUVOK [OC]: The procedure was unsuccessful. The Vinculum has returned to full power.
JANEWAY: Acknowledged. Doctor, report.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Seven's neural pattern has disappeared, Captain. It appears that the other patterns have taken over completely. We've lost her.

Captain's log, supplemental. Long range sensors have detected a vessel belonging to species 6339. We've set a course to intercept them in the hopes they can help us restore Seven of Nine.

[Ready room]

EMH: I've managed to stabilise her primary cortical functions but the woman in Sickbay is not Seven of Nine. Not any more. New personalities are emerging every few seconds now. She can't finish a sentence before the next one rears its head. It's creating an incredible strain on her cerebral cortex. If we don't deactivate the Vinculum soon, we may never get her back.
JANEWAY: Tuvok?
TUVOK: Lieutenant Torres is taking measures to prevent the Vinculum from adapting, but there's no guarantee she'll succeed.
EMH: Captain, I've exhausted every viable treatment in my database.
TUVOK: Then logic dictates we go beyond medical science. I will attempt to mind meld with Seven of Nine.
EMH: A mind meld? You consider that a viable treatment?
TUVOK: Seven's neural pattern, her sense of self, is immersed in chaos. I will attempt to isolate her true self and guide it to the surface.
JANEWAY: It's dangerous enough to meld with one person, let alone hundreds of different personalities.
EMH: It's too risky.
TUVOK: The risk is mine to take.
JANEWAY: I'm aware of that, but is this our only option?
TUVOK: I believe it is, Captain.
JANEWAY: How long would you need to prepare?
EMH: Captain, you can't actually be considering this Vulcan mumbo jumbo.
TUVOK: I will require two hours of meditation.
JANEWAY: Begin immediately. Report to Sickbay when you're ready.
(Tuvok leaves.)
JANEWAY: You said it yourself. We've exhausted every medical treatment.
EMH: I just hope I don't find myself with a second patient.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Captain to the bridge.
JANEWAY: On my way.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Commander?
CHAKOTAY: It's them. Species 6339.
KIM: Their vessel is well-armed, Captain. I'm picking up twenty two phaser cannons on the aft section alone.
JANEWAY: Hail them.
KIM: They're responding.
JANEWAY: On screen. I'm Captain Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. We recently found a piece of Borg technology. It's been infected with a viral agent we believe was transmitted by your
VEN [on viewscreen]: The Vinculum, you have it?
JANEWAY: Yes.
VEN [on viewscreen]: You've made a terrible mistake, Captain.

[Engineering]

JANEWAY: A weapon?
VEN: Yes. Since the Borg decimated our world, we've been looking for ways to retaliate.
JANEWAY: So you created a virus to infect their technology.
VEN: Thirteen of my people were injected with the virus. They allowed themselves to be assimilated so that the virus would spread to this Vinculum. Once another Borg ship had retrieved it they would be infected as well. Then another Cube, and another. We had the opportunity to infect dozens, even hundreds of Borg vessels until you interfered. Why?
JANEWAY: Your virus has had one unexpected casualty. A member of my crew.
VEN: It wasn't designed to infect other species.
JANEWAY: She's Borg.  
CHAKOTAY: We liberated her from the Collective over a year ago. She's an individual now.
JANEWAY: We were hoping you could help us treat her.
VEN: We designed that virus to destroy Borg, Captain. We never considered a treatment. I'm afraid your drone won't survive. But we must return the Vinculum to the debris field immediately. If the Borg arrive first, we'll have lost our chance, and those thirteen people will have died in vain.
JANEWAY: All right. We'll return it to you, but first we need to try to save our crew member. We think we have a way to counteract the Vinculum's effects. B'Elanna?
TORRES: I'm going to try to remodulate our dampening field to compensate
VEN: We don't have time for this. The Vinculum, Captain.
JANEWAY: I can't give it to you. Not yet.
VEN: You scanned our vessel, you're aware of our firepower.
JANEWAY: You could undoubtedly do significant damage to Voyager, and to the Vinculum. Is that what you want?
VEN: The Vinculum survived the destruction of one ship. What makes you so sure it won't survive another?

[Sickbay]

(Seven is tied down on the biobed. The EMH is using a dermal regenerator on her hand.)
SEVEN: Doctor.
EMH: Seven. A necessary precaution. A few of your guests have been violent.
SEVEN: The Vinculum.
EMH: It keeps adapting. We haven't been able to shut it down. Your own neural pattern was nearly destroyed in the process. I wasn't sure I'd find you again.
SEVEN: I am damaged.
EMH: One of your personas didn't appreciate the restraints. She seemed intent on forcing her way to freedom.
SEVEN: I apologise.
EMH: It was hardly your fault. You're ill.
SEVEN: Irrelevant. I am Borg. I should be able to adapt.
EMH: Surprise. You aren't invincible. I suppose that's something we'll have to tackle in our next social lesson. Voices?
SEVEN: They're getting louder.
EMH: It won't be long before I lose you again. It's my duty as your physician to inform you of an alternative treatment.
SEVEN: What treatment?
EMH: Commander Tuvok has proposed a mind meld to help stabilise your neural pattern. I had a similar reaction. If you don't approve.
SEVEN: What is the probability of success?
EMH: I don't know. A mind meld is hardly a standard medical practice.
SEVEN: Are there any risks to Tuvok?
EMH: He could suffer brain damage, but he's confident he'll be able to break the meld before that happens.
SEVEN: Even if we do shut down the Vinculum, it may not be enough. If Tuvok can do anything to help me.
EMH: I understand.
SEVEN: Doctor, you have shown a great deal of patience.
EMH: Not at all.  
SEVEN: Inform the crew that I am also grateful for their efforts.
EMH: You'll be able to tell them yourself, afterwards. Seven?
SEVEN: Voices!
EMH: Concentrate! Focus on the sound of my voice!
SEVEN: Get them out, please! I can't, I can't! No!
(The EMH sedates her. Tuvok completes his meditative preparations.)

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Report.
PARIS: The alien vessel is coming about.
KIM: They're charging weapons.
JANEWAY: Shields.

[Sickbay]

EMH: As if the meld weren't dangerous enough, the aliens are trying to take the Vinculum by force. Commander Chakotay is at Tactical. The Captain wants you here with Seven. This will allow me to monitor your neural activity for the duration of the meld. At the first sign of trouble.
TUVOK: You will do nothing.
EMH: I beg your pardon?
TUVOK: There will undoubtedly be many signs of trouble. You must have faith in my ability to endure them.
EMH: I'll try. I just hope my faith doesn't leave the two of you brain damaged.
TUVOK: Your concerns have been noted, Doctor.
EMH: With all of these new personalities floating around, it's a shame we can't find one for you.
TUVOK: Computer, deactivate forcefield.
SEVEN: Why am I tied to this bed? Please let me go. PetaQ! I'll rip out your throat, coward! Name your price. Ten bars of latinum? Twenty? This isn't medicine, it's torture! I'll sue for malpractice. I fail to see the logic in this meld, Commander.
TUVOK: My mind to your mind.
SEVEN: You are but one mind, confronting thousands.
TUVOK: My thoughts to your thoughts.
SEVEN: You will not succeed.
TUVOK: Your mind to my mind.
SEVEN: Let me go. The Borg are assimilating the ship! We've got to evacuate.
TUVOK: My thoughts to your thoughts.
SEVEN: Listen to me! They're trying to assimilate the ship.
TUVOK: My mind to your mind.
SEVEN: Let me go!
TUVOK: My thoughts to your thoughts.
SEVEN: Mommy. Mommy.
TUVOK: My mind to your mind.
SEVEN: Mommy.
TUVOK: My thoughts to your thoughts.

[Meld]

(Tuvok is standing in a regeneration alcove.)
TUVOK: Seven? Seven! Seven.
(He walks a gauntlet of panicked people.)
TUVOK: Seven. Seven? Seven? Seven?
(He sees her surrounded by people.)

[Sickbay]

SEVEN: I'm lost. Somebody help me. Please, I don't like it here. I want to go home. I can't find my

[Meld]

GIRL: Mommy. Please, help me. Please, I don't want to stay here, I want to go home. I don't like it here. Please, help me. I want to go home. These people are scary. Please don't go.  Please, why are you leaving me here? Please! I don't like it here!

[Sickbay]

EMH: Sickbay to Engineering.

[Engineering]

EMH [OC]: How long until the Vinculum's offline?
TORRES: Two, maybe three minutes. Provided Voyager can stay in one piece for that long.

[Bridge]

KIM: Shields down to sixty percent.
JANEWAY: Evasive manoeuvres. Target their weapons array.
CHAKOTAY: Targeting systems are malfunctioning.
PARIS: We're losing power to main thrusters.
KIM: Shields to thirty five percent.
JANEWAY: Reroute all available power to shields. Chakotay, initiate manual targeting.
TORRES [OC]: Torres to bridge.

[Engineering]

TORRES: The Vinculum's stopped adapting. I think the new dampening field is working. We should have it disabled in the next sixty seconds.

[Sickbay]

COMPUTER: Warning. Neurochemical synapses are destabilising.
EMH: Computer, increase power to the cortical inhibitors.
COMPUTER: Unable to comply. Power transport systems are offline.
EMH: Tuvok, if you can hear me, we have to terminate the meld. Tuvok. Tuvok!

[Meld]

(Tuvok is fighting with a Klingon. He throws in into a void. Seven is being held by a Cardassian.)
SEVEN: Commander. Commander!
TUVOK: Seven?
SEVEN: Commander.
TUVOK: Seven!

[Engineering]

TORRES: Power output's down to twenty nine percent. Twenty two. Seventeen. Bridge, we just lost the field emitters.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: We took a direct hit to the power grid. Stand by. We're switching to emergency backup.

[Meld]

TUVOK: Seven.
(Tuvok and Seven are on opposite sides of the void.)

[Engineering]

TORRES: Bridge, the Vinculum's powering up again.
JANEWAY [OC]: The field emitters are back online. Pull the plug.
TORRES: It's working. Power output down to nineteen percent. Thirteen percent.

[Meld]

TUVOK: Seven. Seven.
SEVEN: Tuvok.
TUVOK: Seven.

[Engineering]

TORRES: It's done, Captain. The Vinculum's offline. (In the meld, the other people and the void vanish. Tuvok reaches Seven.)

[Sickbay]

EMH: Seven?
SEVEN: Yes.

[Bridge]

EMH [OC]: We have her back, Captain.
JANEWAY: Hail the lead vessel. Tell them we're surrendering the Vinculum.
KIM: No response.
JANEWAY: Lock onto the damn thing. Beam it into space.
CHAKOTAY: Transport complete. They're withdrawing.
JANEWAY: Take us out of here, Tom. Warp nine.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.

Captain's log, stardate 52356.2. After nearly a week of regeneration Seven of Nine has finally recovered from her ordeal.

[Cargo Bay two]

EMH: Neuroprocessor, cortical receptors, all stable. She's fit to return to duty.
JANEWAY: What about her other personalities? Any sign of them?.
EMH: Those neural patterns have returned to their dormant state.
SEVEN: The voices will not return?
EMH: I suppose that depends on your perspective. You may not hear them, but I suspect they'll always be with you.
SEVEN: The members of this crew put themselves at risk to help me. I am unsure how to reciprocate.
JANEWAY: Let's start with something small, like a recalibration of the EPS manifolds. B'Elanna's expecting you in Engineering.
SEVEN: I will join her shortly. There is a crew member I must see first.

[Corridor]

(Seven hands a pile of PADDs over to Naomi.)
SEVEN: These are star charts for the next three systems Voyager will pass through. Familiarise yourself with them.
NAOMI: Understood.
SEVEN: Sociological data regarding one hundred and seventy three Delta quadrant species. Study it.
NAOMI: I will.
SEVEN: As Bridge Assistant, you will find this information relevant.
NAOMI: Consider it assimilated.
SEVEN: There is one more assignment. I require your assistance.
NAOMI: Me?
SEVEN: I wish to participate in recreational activities.
NAOMI: Great. 

[Turbolift]

SEVEN: Kadis-kot. Instruct me how to play.
NAOMI: I will comply.

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