Child's Play
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 8 March 2000

[Mess hall]

(The First Annual Voyager Science Fair, according to the banner. Janeway is looking at Azen and Rebi's exhibit.)
JANEWAY: Why potatoes?
SEVEN: Their first idea was to clone Naomi, but I suggested they start with something smaller.
TORRES: Quite a feat of engineering.
MEZOTI: It's a Teirenian ant colony. I infused the soil with a blue ion dye so it'd be easier to see the insects.
JANEWAY: They're luminescent.
MEZOTI: The drones produce a fluorescent enzyme that's activated by the Queen.
JANEWAY: Drones and Queens? I thought we were trying to get these children away from the Borg.
SEVEN: The project was Mezoti's idea. I didn't want to discourage her individuality.
MEZOTI: I like bugs.
JANEWAY: Well done. Let me know before you take up beekeeping.
CHAKOTAY: What have we got here?
NAOMI: It's Kataris.
TORRES: Your father's planet.
NAOMI: I've been learning all about it.
SEVEN: Naomi programmed the geophysical and atmospheric conditions.
CHAKOTAY: There's quite a storm in those mountains.
NAOMI: The Arpasian range is known for high winds and hail.
JANEWAY: I'll remember to bring my coat. Now this looks impressive.
ICHEB: It's a high-resolution gravimetric sensor array.
TORRES: Ambitious.
ICHEB: It'll augment our ability to scan for the neutrino flux associated with wormholes. It could help Voyager find a faster way home.
SEVEN: The engineering principles are sound.
JANEWAY: I expected these projects to be interesting, but this is truly exceptional.
ICHEB: Thank you, Captain. I am very interested in astrophysics.
JANEWAY: Well, you've obviously got a knack for it. Well done.
TORRES: How did you think of scanning for neutrino fluctuations?
ICHEB: I've been studying Starfleet records. (continues under conversation)
JANEWAY: He's a remarkable young man.
SEVEN: He hopes to earn a permanent posting in Astrometrics one day.
JANEWAY: I'm afraid that won't be possible.
SEVEN: Captain, the boy has a unique talent.
JANEWAY: It's not a question of merit. We've made contact with his parents, and I've set a course for their planet.
ICHEB: My scanner is calibrated to pick up changes in neutrino trajectories.
SEVEN: That's good news.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: You've exceeded your scheduled time here by one hour.
ICHEB: I'm almost finished.
SEVEN: Your work will have to wait. There's something we need to discuss.
ICHEB: Look at this. It's a star forming in the Orpisay nebula.
SEVEN: The Orpisay nebula is out of range of our sensors.
ICHEB: I increased the resolution of the long range scanners.
SEVEN: Impressive.
ICHEB: When I was on the Cube, I never thought about what was outside. Pulsars, quasars, nebulas. But here in this lab, I feel I can see the entire galaxy. What did you want to talk to me about? You said there was something we needed to discuss.
SEVEN: Yes, that's correct. It's time for you to regenerate.

[Janeway's quarters]

(Janeway is reading a book when the doorbell chimes.)
JANEWAY: Come in.
SEVEN: I'd like the data you've collected on Icheb's species so I can prepare him for re-assimilation.
JANEWAY: Maybe we could refer to it as getting reacquainted with his family.
SEVEN: If you prefer.
JANEWAY: I'll transfer the files down to Astrometrics.
SEVEN: Thank you.
JANEWAY: How'd he take the news? You haven't told him.
SEVEN: No.
JANEWAY: Why not?
SEVEN: It won't be easy for him to accept. He's adapted to life on Voyager.
JANEWAY: And you've adapted to having him here.
SEVEN: My feelings are irrelevant.
JANEWAY: Are they? Would you like me to tell him?
SEVEN: It's my responsibility, but I am uncertain how to proceed.
JANEWAY: Well, you've already helped him make one difficult transition. How did you do that?
SEVEN: By giving him the benefit of my own experiences. Encouraging him to be resilient in the face of obstacles.
JANEWAY: Sounds like a good strategy.
(Seven leaves.)

[Cargo Bay two]

(Icheb is working at a console.)
SEVEN: Is your alcove malfunctioning?
ICHEB: I'm calculating neutrino trajectories.
SEVEN: You need to regenerate.
ICHEB: Very well.
SEVEN: Wait. We've located your parents. Voyager is due to arrive at their planet tomorrow.
ICHEB: Do I have to stay with them?
SEVEN: They're your parents.
ICHEB: I don't remember them.
SEVEN: After my parents were assimilated I never saw them again. You're fortunate to have this chance.
ICHEB: What about the others?
SEVEN: We haven't been able to locate their families yet.
ICHEB: That's not what I mean. What will happen to them if I leave? They depend on me.
SEVEN: They'll adapt.
ICHEB: I'll never see you again?
SEVEN: I've been studying Brunali culture. It's very different from what you've become accustomed to on Voyager.
ICHEB: In what way?
SEVEN: They're an agrarian society. Their technological resources are limited.
ICHEB: Are they capable of space travel?
SEVEN: Yes, but most of their vessels were destroyed by the Borg.
ICHEB: How will I continue my studies?
SEVEN: I don't know.
(Icheb puts down the PADD and steps into his alcove.)
SEVEN: Icheb.

[Bridge]

(Voyager arrives at the Brunali homeworld.)
KIM: I'm detecting scattered enclaves on the northern continent, all with populations of fewer than ten thousand.
TUVOK: Judging from the residual gamma radiation, it appears they've suffered numerous Borg attacks over the past decade.
SEVEN: That's not surprising. There's a Borg transwarp conduit less than a light year away.
PARIS: Not exactly prime real estate.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, run continuous scans for Borg activity. Tom, put us into synchronous orbit.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.
JANEWAY: Seven. You'd better get Icheb.

[Sickbay]

EMH: According to these scans, you're in perfect health.
ICHEB: Then why does my stomach feel so strange?
(The EMH scans it.)
EMH: Oh, I should have known. You've got butterflies in there.
ICHEB: I never assimilated butterflies.
EMH: It's an expression used to describe anxiety or apprehension, both of which are perfectly natural reactions for someone about to meet his long lost parents. If it's any comfort, I'm sure they're just as nervous about meeting you.
ICHEB: Parents are irrelevant.
EMH: Really. Do you think Naomi's mother is irrelevant to her?
ICHEB: I have Seven of Nine to assist me in my education. I have you to care for my medical needs.
EMH: Your parents can nurture you in ways this crew can't. They can explain the Brunali culture, share their experiences with you.
ICHEB: You didn't have parents.
EMH: No, but
ICHEB: You adapted to serve a vital function about this vessel, forged relationships with its crew, all without the benefit of parents.
EMH: I had my programming to fall back on.
ICHEB: And how would your programming respond if you were asked to live with strangers?
(Seven enters.)
SEVEN: Are you damaged?
EMH: He's fine. I was just giving him a last minute check-up.
SEVEN: It's time.
EMH: The butterflies will go away.

[Brunali settlement]

(Tuvok, Janeway, Seven and Icheb beam down.)
JANEWAY: Hello. I'm Captain Janeway.
(Icheb's mother speaks first.)
YIFAY: Icheb.
LEUCON: You've grown.
SEVEN: He spent several months in a Borg maturation chamber.
JANEWAY: This is Seven of Nine.
YIFAY: That's a Borg designation, isn't it?
SEVEN: Like your son, I was liberated from the Collective.
JANEWAY: Seven has been instrumental in helping Icheb make his transition.
LEUCON: Then we're very grateful to you. I'm Leucon, Icheb's father. This is his mother, Yifay.
YIFAY: How are you?
ICHEB: Fine.
YIFAY: Do these hurt you?
(The remains of his cortical implant by the bridge of his nose.)
ICHEB: No.
LEUCON: We're very happy to have you back with us. Mala, Remi, Yivel.
YIVEL: Welcome home, Icheb.
ICHEB: I would like to return to Voyager now.

[Briefing room]

JANEWAY: Thank you for coming.
LEUCON: Where's Icheb?
JANEWAY: I thought it might be better if we talked ourselves first.
LEUCON: What exactly is there to discuss?
JANEWAY: How to make this transition easier for your son. Please, sit down.
YIFAY: It won't be easy for him to give up the luxuries of your ship.
SEVEN: It's more than a question of luxuries. Icheb has special medical needs.
LEUCON: We have a physician in our settlement.
JANEWAY: We should arrange for him to consult with our Doctor.
SEVEN: He also requires daily regeneration.
JANEWAY: I'm sure you can adapt some of our technology to make that possible.
SEVEN: What about his educational requirements?
YIFAY: Our children go to school.
SEVEN: Will he be able to continue his studies in Astrometrics and spatial harmonics?
LEUCON: If Icheb has an aptitude for science, I'm sure he'll find that we have a great deal to teach him.
SEVEN: For example?
LEUCON: We've developed sophisticated techniques in agricultural genetics which allow us to grow crops in an inhospitable environment.
SEVEN: Icheb has expressed no interest in agriculture.
JANEWAY: I'm sure once he's been exposed to the subject, he'll find it quite challenging.
SEVEN: There's still the issue of his safety.
YIFAY: We're perfectly capable of protecting our son.
SEVEN: Your proximity to a Borg conduit makes you extremely vulnerable. I'm curious if you've ever considered relocating.
JANEWAY: Seven.
LEUCON: No, it's all right, Captain. This planet is our home. We will never leave it. We will defend it against the Borg or anyone else who threatens us.
SEVEN: Your courage is admirable but unrealistic.
JANEWAY: Wait for me in my ready room.
SEVEN: Captain.
JANEWAY: Now.
(Seven leaves.)
JANEWAY: I apologise for her behaviour. She and Icheb have grown very close, but that's no excuse for rudeness.
LEUCON: We'd like to see our son now.
JANEWAY: Please be patient. If we rush things, your next encounter with him may not go any better than the last. Stay aboard Voyager for a while. It'll give Icheb a chance to get to know you in an environment that's familiar to him. I'll have Neelix do everything he can to make you comfortable while you're here.

[Ready room]

JANEWAY: Your attitude is making a difficult situation worse.
SEVEN: I was simply attempting to insure Icheb's well-being.
JANEWAY: By insulting his parents?
SEVEN: Those issues needed to be discussed.
JANEWAY: You could have done it with a little more tact.
SEVEN: Perhaps, but that doesn't alter the fact that those individuals may not be suitable guardians.
JANEWAY: Those individuals are his mother and father.
SEVEN: Which is no guarantee that they'll be able to care for him. He's far more likely to flourish if he remains on Voyager.
JANEWAY; That's not an option, Seven.
SEVEN: Are you ordering him off the ship?
JANEWAY: That's not what I said.
SEVEN: So that he can be assimilated again?
JANEWAY: What makes you so sure that's going to happen?
SEVEN: They shouldn't remain on that planet.
JANEWAY: It's their home.
SEVEN: It's not worth protecting.
JANEWAY: Who are you to decide that?
SEVEN: Anyone who values their own goals over the safety of their children is irresponsible.
JANEWAY: Are we talking about Icheb's parents, or yours?
SEVEN: Both.
JANEWAY: It's not like you to admit to something like that.
SEVEN: It would be naive for me to claim objectivity in this case. But I'm not prepared to return Icheb to parents who may be as careless as my own.
JANEWAY: I know what it's like to feel protective towards someone you've helped through a difficult period, but Icheb is an individual now. You have to give him a chance to form his own opinions.
SEVEN: If I do, and he decides to remain on Voyager?
JANEWAY: Then it'll be my problem.

[Cargo Bay two]

(Mezoti is riding a little scooter. Naomi and the twins are playing Kadis-kot.)
MEZOTI: Is your mother pretty? What are they like?
ICHEB: I'm busy.
NAOMI: I never met my father.
AZAN: I don't remember ours.
REBI: Neither do I.
NAOMI: Are you going to stay with them?
MEZOTI: If you leave, who is going to help us with our science projects?
ICHEB: If you don't stop asking questions I'm going to put all of you in a cargo container and transport you back to the Borg.
SEVEN: Come with me.
ICHEB: Where?
SEVEN: To dinner with your parents.
ICHEB: I'm working.
SEVEN: You can continue your work after the meal.
ICHEB: I don't have anything to talk about with them.
SEVEN: Then it will be a very quiet evening.
ICHEB: I'm not going.
SEVEN: Your attendance is not optional.

[Mess hall]

(Yifay and Neelix bring dishes from the galley. Seven and Icheb enter.)
SEVEN: Enjoy your meal.
(Seven starts to leave, then stands by the door.)
YIFAY: Come, sit down.
ICHEB: I prefer to stand.
YIFAY: Mister Neelix let me use his galley to prepare some poma.
ICHEB: I'm not hungry.
YIFAY: It was your favourite food when you were little.
ICHEB: I'm not little anymore.
YIFAY: No. No, you're not.
LEUCON: Your mother worked hard on that meal. Couldn't you at least try it?
(Icheb looks at Seven, who nods. Icheb sits and tastes the food.)
LEUCON: Good, isn't it.
NEELIX: Nice to see the family back together again, isn't it?
YIFAY: When you were little, you would only eat the inside

[Brunali settlement]

LEUCON: The Borg didn't leave us much to work with but we didn't need much, just a little ingenuity. Everything you see, we built with our own hands. Our homes, cultivation bays
ICHEB: What's this?
LEUCON: A genetic re-sequencer. We use it to alter the DNA of certain plants to conform with environmental conditions.
ICHEB: You built this as well?
LEUCON: We adapted parts from damaged vessels. Nothing's been wasted.
ICHEB: Efficient.
LEUCON: Efficiency's one attribute we share with the Borg. In our case, it's a necessity. I know our settlement seems primitive compared to Voyager, but I promise you, that will change.
ICHEB: What about space travel?
LEUCON: Someday we'll have ships that rival Voyager, but we need the dedication of young people like you to help us.
(A young man shouts over from the rocky field.)
YIVEL: Icheb! How are you?
ICHEB: Well, thank you.
YIVEL: Maybe later you can join us up on the field for a game of pala.
ICHEB: I don't remember how to play.
YIVEL: It will come back to you.
LEUCON: You used to be quite an athlete. You can make a difference here, Icheb.
ICHEB: I don't know anything about agriculture or genetics.
LEUCON: It won't take you long to learn. Not with a mind like yours.
(Seven beams down.)
SEVEN: It's time to return to Voyager.
ICHEB: I am staying here tonight.
SEVEN: They don't have a regeneration unit.
LEUCON: We're going to have to install one eventually. Might as well do it now.
SEVEN: As far as I am aware, he hasn't decided to remain here yet.
LEUCON: But he has asked to stay tonight.
SEVEN: Return with me to the ship. We'll prepare a regeneration unit.

[Cargo Bay two]

SEVEN: I've adapted this neural transceiver to interface with the portable regenerator. It has enough power to complete one full cycle.
LEUCON: We'll have to devise a way of recharging it.
SEVEN: If Icheb decides to stay.
LEUCON: My wife and I appreciate everything you've done for our son. It's obvious you care about him.
SEVEN: He's a unique individual.
LEUCON: Yes, he is. To get him back is, well, a miracle.
SEVEN: How was he taken?
LEUCON: Since the Borg first attacked us, we've taken great pains to hide whatever new technology we develop.
SEVEN: So the passing cubes won't be attracted to your planet.
LEUCON: Unfortunately, we haven't always been successful. One morning, about four years ago, Icheb heard me talking about a new fertilisation array we'd constructed in the lower field. He wanted to see it. I told him I'd take him the next day but he was impatient, the way boys can be. I never even realised he'd wandered off when the alarm sounded. It turns out the Borg were just as interested in our new technology as Icheb was. They took him, and assimilated everyone in the area. If only I'd kept a closer eye on him.
SEVEN: Icheb has a mind of his own.
LEUCON: But still, it's hard not to blame myself. Your parents must've felt the same way when they lost you.
SEVEN: My parents were with me when the Borg attacked.
LEUCON: I can't imagine what that must have been like for them, watching their daughter being assimilated. Helpless to defend her.
SEVEN: It's important that Icheb regenerate for six uninterrupted hours.
LEUCON: I understand.
SEVEN: He may resist. He doesn't like to waste time. I've had to contend with his lack of patience as well.

[Brunali settlement - Icheb's home]

LEUCON: There's a star called Kelsin Three. To the west is the Orlitus Cluster. There, just above it, when you connect those six stars, they form what we call the Great Horn.
ICHEB: I see it.
YIFAY: You inherited your love of the stars from your father.
LEUCON: Being on that starship, you've learned much more about astronomy than I have. Our little window can't compare to Voyager's Astrometrics lab.
ICHEB: No, but it's nice.
YIFAY: You see? We have everything we need right here. A warm fire, good food that we grow ourselves, and people who love us.
LEUCON: Icheb has people on Voyager who love him, too.
YIFAY: You've grown attached to the crew on that ship, haven't you?
ICHEB: They've provided for me, given me opportunities.
LEUCON: They're good people. People who've experienced hardship themselves. Seven of Nine told me about your science project. She said it might prove very useful.
ICHEB: It's designed to detect wormholes.
LEUCON: How will that benefit them?
ICHEB: It may help them find a way back to Earth.
YIFAY: Why is that so important to them?
ICHEB: It's their home.
LEUCON: Interesting, isn't it?
ICHEB: What?
LEUCON: With all their technology, their opportunity to explore the galaxy, the thing they want most is to get home.

[Astrometrics lab]

ICHEB: Good morning.
SEVEN: Did you regenerate successfully?
ICHEB: Yes, and I slept under the stars. You should try it.
SEVEN: You weren't in class this morning. The others missed you.
ICHEB: I was helping my father. There is something we need to discuss.
SEVEN: What is it? You've decided to stay with them.
ICHEB: Yes.
SEVEN: You're certain?
ICHEB: This is my home. I have a responsibility to help them rebuild it.
SEVEN: I'll inform the captain.
ICHEB: Thank you.
SEVEN: I'm sure you'll want to say goodbye to the other children.

[Transporter room]

(Seven hands Icheb a case.)
SEVEN: Inside you'll find PADDs containing data on a variety of subjects that will allow you to continue your studies. I've also included a high-resolution telescope. It's a poor substitute for Astrometric sensors.
ICHEB: I will use it every day.
JANEWAY: Goodbye, Icheb, and good luck.
ICHEB: Thank you, Captain. I hope you find a way home.

[Cargo Bay two]

(Mezoti steps out of her alcove.)
COMPUTER: Warning. Regeneration cycle incomplete.
(She shakes Seven's arm.)
SEVEN: What is it?
MEZOTI: I can't regenerate.
COMPUTER: Warning. Regeneration cycle incomplete.
SEVEN: Explain.
MEZOTI: I miss Icheb.
SEVEN: So do I, but we'll adapt. Now return to your alcove.
MEZOTI: If you find my parents, will I have to go with them?
SEVEN: We'll discuss that when and if the time comes.
MEZOTI: I hope you don't find them.
SEVEN: Regenerate.
MEZOTI: Seven?
SEVEN: Yes?
MEZOTI: What if the Borg try to assimilate Icheb again?
SEVEN: His people lack resources. The Borg have little reason to return to their planet.
MEZOTI: But what if Icheb's on a ship?
SEVEN: Unlikely.
MEZOTI: He was on a ship last time.
SEVEN: You're mistaken. He was on the surface when he was assimilated.
MEZOTI: No, he wasn't. A class one transport was detected in grid six four nine. One lifeform. Species, Brunali.

[Astrometrics lab]

JANEWAY: This better be important.
SEVEN: It is.
JANEWAY: Sorry, I don't read Borg. You'll have to translate.
SEVEN: This is tactical data from the Cube where we found the children. It says that Icheb was alone aboard an unarmed transport vessel when the Borg took him.
JANEWAY: Oh, why are you telling me this at oh three hundred hours?
SEVEN: Icheb's father told me the boy was assimilated on the planet's surface.
JANEWAY: Is it possible you misunderstood?
SEVEN: No. He was very specific.
JANEWAY: That Cube was disabled by a deadly pathogen. It suffered extensive damage. Isn't it possible these records were corrupted?
SEVEN: Perhaps, but I found another inconsistency in Leucon's story. He told me Icheb was assimilated four years ago but further analysis indicates the Borg attacked three times during the last decade. Nine years ago, six years ago, and again last year.
JANEWAY: All right. Let's assume your information is accurate. What does it prove?
SEVEN: His father was lying.
JANEWAY: Why would he do that?
SEVEN: I'm not certain, but we have an obligation to find out.
JANEWAY: What are you proposing?
SEVEN: That we return to the planet, demand an explanation.
JANEWAY: Those people have been through enough. Do we really need to interrogate them?
SEVEN: We have a responsibility to ensure Icheb's safety.
JANEWAY: He chose to stay with his parents.
SEVEN: Maybe he didn't have all the information.
JANEWAY: Just because they weren't completely candid with you doesn't mean they're unfit parents. At some point, you have to let go.
SEVEN: I know what you're thinking, that I'm having emotional difficulty accepting my separation from Icheb and you're correct. But if there's a possibility he's in danger, even a remote one, I have to do whatever I can to protect him. If I don't, I'll be no better than my own parents.

[Brunali settlement - Icheb's home]

LEUCON: Couldn't we at least wait a few days?
YIFAY: What would that accomplish?
LEUCON: He's just getting settled.
YIFAY: The longer we wait the harder it'll be for everyone. You know that.
LEUCON: Why do it at all? There's nothing compelling us to go through with it.
YIFAY: It's what he was born for.
LEUCON: Hasn't he been through enough? Why not give him a chance at an ordinary life?
YIFAY: He's not an ordinary child.
LEUCON: No, but he can help us in other ways. He's bright. He's hardworking.
YIFAY: Leucon, his return was a gift. We can't waste it.
LEUCON: I don't want to lose him a second time.
YIFAY: To survive, we all have to make sacrifices. You taught me that.
(Icheb enters.)
ICHEB: We won three games in a row.
YIFAY: Sit down, Icheb. We need to talk. You know that you're very important to us.
ICHEB: Yes.
YIFAY: What you don't know is why.
ICHEB: What do you mean? What is that?
(Yifay fetches a hypodermic from a drawer.)
YIFAY: If you relax, it won't hurt you.
ICHEB: Father?
YIFAY: You'd better hold him.
ICHEB: What are you doing to me?
(Yifay injects him, and he passes out.)
ICHEB: No!
YIFAY: Prepare the launch.

[Bridge]

(Voyager returns to the planet.)
JANEWAY: Hail them.
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: We didn't expect to see you again, Captain.
JANEWAY: We'd like to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind.
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: Questions?
SEVEN: Regarding Icheb and the circumstances of his assimilation.
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: We've already discussed that.
SEVEN: The story you told me was inconsistent with our data.
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: We don't owe you any explanations.
JANEWAY: In that case, I'd like to talk to Icheb.
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: He's not here.
SEVEN: Where is he?
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: That's not your concern.
JANEWAY: Scan for his bio-signs.
TUVOK: He is not in the settlement.
SEVEN: I'm detecting a Brunali transport vessel, distance, nine million kilometres. It's heading for the coordinates of the transwarp conduit.
CHAKOTAY: According to these readings that ship is travelling at warp nine point eight.
PARIS: It only looks that way. It's been designed to emit a false warp signature strong enough to penetrate subspace.
SEVEN: They're using it as bait to attract the Borg.
JANEWAY: Icheb's on that vessel, isn't he?
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: He's fighting for his people.
SEVEN: Alone, on an unarmed transport?
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: We don't have particle weapons or powerful starships at our disposal. We're forced to use the only resource we have.
SEVEN: Your children?
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: No. Our genetic expertise.
JANEWAY: Icheb's not bait. He's a weapon. The first Cube that captured him was infected by a pathogen. Icheb was the carrier, wasn't he?
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: Every time we try to rebuild, begin to make progress, the Borg come and take it away from us.
JANEWAY: Tom, set a course for that transport vessel. Full impulse.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: You have no right to interfere.
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: We're trying to save our civilisation.
SEVEN: By taking away Icheb's future.
YIFAY [on viewscreen]: If we don't stop the Borg, the Brunali have no future.
LEUCON [on viewscreen]: Captain, a Borg ship will emerge from that conduit at any moment. You'll be destroyed.
JANEWAY: We'll take our chances. End transmission. Red alert. Battle stations.
(Voyager leaves orbit.)
PARIS: We're coming within range, Captain.
KIM: I'm picking up Icheb's life signs. Bio-scans indicate he's unconscious.
CHAKOTAY: Transport him to Sickbay.
SEVEN: I can't. There's some kind of interference.
TUVOK: It's the conduit. By my estimate, a Borg vessel will emerge in less than forty seconds.
JANEWAY: Transfer auxiliary power to the transporters.
SEVEN: I still can't establish a lock, not at this distance.
TUVOK: Thirty seconds.
JANEWAY: Tom, get us closer to that ship.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.
TUVOK: The conduit's opening. Twenty seconds.
JANEWAY: Seven?
SEVEN: Still out of range.
JANEWAY: You heard her, Tom.
PARIS: When that Borg ship comes through I'm going to have a hell of a time getting away from it.
JANEWAY: One problem at a time.
TUVOK: Ten seconds, nine, eight.
SEVEN: I've got a lock.
TUVOK: Seven.
SEVEN: Transport in progress.
TUVOK: Five.
SEVEN: He's in Sickbay.
TUVOK: Three, two, one.
JANEWAY: Get us out of here, maximum
(Whumph! The Borg Sphere grabs Voyager and the Brunali shuttle.)
JANEWAY: Target their tractor beam generator.
TUVOK: Phasers targeted.
JANEWAY: Fire.
TUVOK: No effect.
BORG [OC]: We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
SEVEN: Perhaps not. There is a way to get a weapon through their shields.
JANEWAY: I'm listening.
SEVEN: Transport a photon torpedo to the Brunali vessel. Set it to detonate soon as it's inside the Sphere.
TUVOK: That will occur in approximately twenty seconds. However, Voyager will be inside less than three seconds later.
JANEWAY: Tom, full reverse thrusters. It might buy us a couple more seconds. Do it.
SEVEN: Transport complete. Detonation in ten, nine.
(Voyager turns on a sixpence.)
SEVEN: Five.
JANEWAY: Tom, go to warp on my mark.
SEVEN: Three, two.
CHAKOTAY: All hands, brace for impact.
(The shuttle explodes in the entrance, funnelling the shockwave outwards.)
JANEWAY: Now, Mister Paris!
TUVOK: The Borg vessel has taken heavy damage. They are not pursuing.

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY: Are you saying his parents re-infected him?
EMH: No, they merely sedated him.
SEVEN: I don't understand.
EMH: He was genetically engineered to produce the pathogen from birth.
JANEWAY: Bred to kill Borg.
SEVEN: Is he in danger?
EMH: I can suppress the pathogen. He'll be fine, physically.
JANEWAY: He's going to need help coming to terms with what's happened.
SEVEN: Captain, I
JANEWAY: Use your maternal instincts. They worked before.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: I thought you were studying spatial harmonics.
ICHEB: My parents suggested I might have an aptitude for genetics as well.
SEVEN: I see. What have you learned?
ICHEB: This is the genome of a typical Brunali male and this is my DNA. They're nearly identical, but do you notice the differences in the third, thirteenth and seventeenth chromosomes?
SEVEN: Yes.
ICHEB: My parents made microgenetic alterations so I would produce the pathogen. Quite ingenious.
SEVEN: It's also barbaric.
ICHEB: They were trying to defend themselves, their way of life. Preserve their species.
SEVEN: I know how difficult it is to acknowledge your parents' faults, but what they did was wrong. You don't have to forgive them.
ICHEB: Do you think they will ever forgive me?
SEVEN: For what?
ICHEB: I could have destroyed that Sphere. I failed them.
SEVEN: You would have been reassimilated.
ICHEB: I know, but
SEVEN: But what?
ICHEB: Maybe it was my destiny.
SEVEN: Maybe. In the future you may choose to fight the Borg, but you'll do it in your own way. You're an individual, and you have the right to determine your own destiny. It's time to regenerate.
ICHEB: And if I prefer to continue studying?
SEVEN: It's your decision.

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