Unimatrix Zero
Stardate: 54014.4
Original Airdate: 24 May and 4 October 2000

[Borg Queen's chamber]

(In amongst all the regenerating drones, one is displaying rapid eye movement. He is removed from his alcove and escorted to the chamber. The Queen's head, shoulder and upper spinal cord descend to be joined to her cybernetic torso, arms and legs.)
QUEEN: Four of Twelve, subjunction of Unimatrix five two five. You have a disease. You're one of many with this sickness. We want to cure you but we need a better way to identify those with the mutation. Our testing method is too slow. It could take centuries to identify everyone. Help me find the interlink frequency that binds all of you together. Then we can put an end to this, quickly, efficiently. Comply.
(The drone gasps as if being strangled.)
QUEEN: I've disconnected you from the hive mind. You're alone. I know how uncomfortable that can be. Tell me what I want to know. tThen you can rejoin us.
DRONE: I don't know.
QUEEN: You must remember something.
DRONE: I don't remember.
QUEEN: The frequency.
DRONE: I don't remember.
QUEEN: Deactivate him. Wait. Dismantle him. Bring me his cortical array.
(The drone is taken away.)

[Forest]

(Seven is strolling along a woodland path. Birds are singing, and she is enjoying the sun on her face. Other people are walking, talking and laughing together.)
WOMAN: We'll save that for next time.
(The woman vanishes.)
AXUM: Annika.
(The man holds out his hand to Seven, and she turns away. Seven wakes in her alcove.)

[Sickbay]

EMH: Another milestone. You've had your first dream.
SEVEN: I felt awake.
EMH: Dreams can often seem quite real. Tell me more about this forest.
SEVEN: It was familiar.
EMH: Perhaps your unconscious mind was drawing on a childhood memory.
SEVEN: I spoke to someone. He called me by my human name.
EMH: Did you recognise him?
SEVEN: He seemed familiar.
EMH: This could give us a fascinating glimpse into your unconscious mind. Any one of those images might have a symbolic meaning. The mysterious stranger, for example. Is he a father figure or does he represent a repressed desire for male companionship?
SEVEN: I don't wish to dream again. Please repair my cortical array.
EMH: This isn't a malfunction, Seven, it's a natural step in your human development. It might seem unsettling now, but you'll get used to it. Before you know it, you'll look forward to climbing into your alcove each night. This'll keep a record of your REM cycles.
(She takes the small device and leaves.)

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: You're late, Mister Paris.
PARIS: Ma'am?
TUVOK: According to the ship's chronometer, by twenty two seconds.
PARIS: I'll make it up at the end of my shift.
CHAKOTAY: See that you do.
JANEWAY: Take your station.
(There is a small box on the helmsman's chair. Behind his back, Janeway is grinning broadly.)
CHAKOTAY: Open it, that's an order. Not only late but improperly dressed. That belongs on your collar, Mister Paris.
JANEWAY: Allow me. As ship's captain, I hereby reinstate you to the rank of Lieutenant, with all the privileges and responsibilities therein. Your performance on this ship over the past year has been exemplary. I expect more of the same.
PARIS: You won't be disappointed.
TORRES: Congratulations, Lieutenant.
KIM: I didn't notice a little box on my chair.
(Beep!)
PARIS: Hiding a cake in the console?
CHAKOTAY: Looks like a distress call.
JANEWAY: Put it through.
CHAKOTAY: I'm getting a carrier wave but no message.
JANEWAY: Origin?
TUVOK: An asteroid approximately two light years from here.
JANEWAY: Yellow alert. Set a course.
(Later -)
PARIS: We're in range.
JANEWAY: Drop to impulse. On screen. Magnify.
TUVOK: I'm reading artificial structures. It's a colony of some kind.
JANEWAY: Open a channel. This is Captain Janeway of the starship Voyager. We received your distress call.
(The metallic domes and other buildings have scorch marks on them.)
JANEWAY: Lifesigns?
TUVOK: None.
KIM: I'm detecting residual weapons signatures. They're Borg.
JANEWAY: Any vessels?
TUVOK: One. A Cube at the edge of this system.
JANEWAY: Resume our previous course, Mister Paris, warp six. Make a note in the ship's record. We responded to a distress call at oh nine hundred hours. Arrived at the colony two hours later. No survivors. We don't know who these people were, but we know the Borg destroyed them.
(Seven stands in front of her alcove, hesitating. Then she puts the EMH's gizmo on her neck and steps up into her alcove to regenerate.)

[Forest]

(Night. Seven runs from a Klingon warrior.)
AXUM: Come with me.
SEVEN: I'm regenerating. This is only a dream.
AXUM: You're not dreaming. I brought you here. This is Unimatrix Zero.
SEVEN: There is no Unimatrix Zero. Who are you?
AXUM: Five of Twelve, secondary adjunct of Trimatrix nine four two. But when I'm here my name is Axum.
SEVEN: Axum.
AXUM: Sound familiar?
SEVEN: Yes.
AXUM: Good. It's starting to come back to you.
ALIEN CHILD: Is anyone here?
AXUM: Hello.
ALIEN CHILD: I think I'm lost.
(The child looks very like the humanoids from Muse, but they didn't have space technology.)
AXUM: I'm Axum. This is Annika.
ALIEN CHILD: My father's ship started shaking. Men came aboard. They looked like machines. Will you help me find my father?
AXUM: I'll see what I can do. There are other children here. Would you like to meet them?
SEVEN: I just got here, too. This environment is intimidating, but I believe it's safe.
(The boy goes ahead of them.)
SEVEN: He was just assimilated.
AXUM: He's probably still in a maturation chamber.
SEVEN: Are you telling me this isn't a real place? It's some kind of virtual construct?.
AXUM: We come here during our regeneration cycles. We can exist as individuals here.
(They look out over an inlet.)
SEVEN: Unimatrix Zero.
AXUM: You used to come here, before you escaped the Collective. You have the recessive mutation, too. Don't you remember any of it?
SEVEN: No. What mutation?
AXUM: Only one out of a million drones has it.
SEVEN: Why did you bring me here now?
AXUM: The Collective has found a way to detect us. It's a lengthy procedure, but they've managed to identify and deactivate nearly two hundred of us over the last few months. It's only a matter of time before they find enough of us to isolate the interlink frequency. Once they've done that. You can help us stop them.
SEVEN: Clarify.
AXUM: We've designed a nanovirus that should mask the biochemical signature of the mutation, but we need someone to release it into the Collective.
SEVEN: You're already on a Borg vessel. Why don't you do it?
AXUM: After we've completed our regeneration cycle we have no memory of this place. You are not a part of the Collective anymore. You're our only connection to the real world.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

(The drones cortical array is removed from its severed head.)
QUEEN: Scan the node for residual harmonics. It's a shame you're not alive to experience disembodiment. It's the epitome of perfection. Give it to me. We have isolated the carrier band but it's useless to us without the precise frequency. We need additional data. Two more of the mutations have been discovered in spatial grid six four nine. Have their cortical nodes removed and analysed. Bring me the results.

[Encampment]

(Under transparent canopies.)
AXUM: Unimatrix Zero is our sanctuary. When we're here, our thoughts are our own.
SEVEN: What was my function?.
AXUM: You're thinking like a Borg. Our only function here is to try and regain a fragment of the lives we lost when we were assimilated.
ALIEN CHILD: Mister Axum?
AXUM: Go introduce yourself. They won't mind.
GIRL: Hello, do you want to play?
ALIEN CHILD: Sure.  
(An alien man appears.)
LAURA: Siral, over here. I was hoping you'd come. It's great to see you.
(He is hugged by a human woman.)
SIRAL: It's always good to be back.
SEVEN: I remember him.
AXUM: You were friends. You knew a lot of people here. You were a part of our lives for eighteen years.
SEVEN: I'm willing to help, but I can't do it alone. I'm part of a starship crew now. I'll have to inform my Captain.
(The Klingon warrior approaches them.
KOROK: I told you not to bring her here.
AXUM: We can't do this by ourselves.
KOROK: It's too great a risk.
AXUM: We don't have a choice.
KOROK: You do not speak for all of us.
AXUM: What would you rather do? Have us wait until we're all discovered? You disappoint me. Where's your warrior spirit?
KOROK: PetaQ! I'll rip your heart out.
AXUM: Go ahead, kill me. I'll be back when I begin my next regeneration cycle. You can't stop me, Korok.
KOROK: If you come here again, you'll be putting your starship at risk and all of us as well.
LAURA: Shouldn't you be off sharpening your teeth?
(Korok leaves.)
SEVEN: I know you. Your name is Laura. You're human.
LAURA: I was assimilated at Wolf three five nine. It's good to see you again. But you look out of place. Your cybernetic implants.
SEVEN: Our Doctor was unable to remove all of my Borg components.
AXUM: You don't have to look that way here.
SEVEN: My appearance is irrelevant.
AXUM: No, it's not. They may have turned us into drones, but they can't change the essence of who we are. My cycle's about to end. Talk to your captain. We can't do this without
(Axum steps out of his alcove, a drone again.)

[Briefing room]

PARIS: Another round with the Borg?
SEVEN: We'd only need to infiltrate a single vessel.
PARIS: Oh, just one?
SEVEN: I am prepared to take a shuttle and do this alone.
KIM: No offence, but how do you know that this wasn't some kind of a dream?
EMH: Seven was wearing a cortical monitor. She never reached REM sleep. She wasn't dreaming.
SEVEN: Unimatrix Zero is real, and so are the people who go there. They need our help.
JANEWAY: What else can you tell us about this place? How many drones?
SEVEN: No one is certain. Axum told me there could be tens of
JANEWAY: Axum?
SEVEN: He's someone I used to know. He told me there could be tens of thousands, perhaps more.
JANEWAY: How was it created?
SEVEN: Some of them believe it began as a random malfunction during the assimilation of a single drone, and eventually spread to the others.
TORRES: Well, this is all very interesting, but are we sure it's worth putting our lives on the line?
SEVEN: It's my understanding that when we receive a distress call, we respond. Starfleet protocols.
KIM: She's right. This is no different.
JANEWAY: I understand your reluctance, but Seven's discovered a potential weakness in the Collective. Before we decide how to proceed I'd like to learn as much about it as we can.
CHAKOTAY: Too bad you don't have the luxury of an interlink node.
TUVOK: There is another possibility. A Vulcan technique known as the bridging of minds.
JANEWAY: Go on.
TUVOK: I would need to initiate a mind meld with both you and Seven, acting as a telepathic conduit.
EMH: You make it sound like a conference call. Captain, it is my professional opinion that we wait until
JANEWAY: Objection noted. I think you'll be turning in early tonight.

[Corridor]

JANEWAY: Stay at Yellow alert. Maintain long-range scans for Borg vessels. Any sign of trouble, you know where to find me.
CHAKOTAY: This will be one away mission for the record books.
JANEWAY: Mind melds. The last time I heard the words my mind to your mind, I had a headache for two weeks.
CHAKOTAY: I'm willing to volunteer if you'd rather hold down the fort.
JANEWAY: I appreciate your trying to protect me, but a chance to see this place? It's worth a headache.

[Cargo Bay two]

EMH: How many times have you actually performed this bridging of heads?
TUVOK: Minds. Never.
EMH: Then how can you be certain it'll work?
TUVOK: Nothing is certain, Doctor. However, I once observed a Vulcan master perform the technique. I am reasonably confident I can duplicate his success.
EMH: Watching and doing are two different things.
TUVOK: As always, your logic is impeccable.
EMH: What a comfort.
TUVOK: We're ready, Captain.
JANEWAY: Let's do it.
(The EMH puts a gizmo on Janeway's neck and she steps up into an alcove.)
TUVOK: As the conduit, I'll be aware of both your perceptions. If something goes wrong, I'll break the meld.
JANEWAY: Understood.
(Tuvok puts his hands on the women's faces. They are monitored on Neural/Synaptic monitor 147.)
TUVOK: Your minds to my mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts. Your minds to my mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts.

[Forest]

SEVEN: Welcome to Unimatrix Zero.
JANEWAY: Seven?
(Seven has discarded her implants, let down her hair and donned a purple blouse.)
SEVEN: Annika. That's what I'm called here.
(A group go by, talking and laughing.)
JANEWAY: Drones?
SEVEN: Come on. Let's find Axum.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

(Another head has been severed. It is an old cast of Brent Spiner from Datalore.)
QUEEN: We're close. I can almost hear them. Bring us closer.
(It is put on a spike next to the first head.)
QUEEN: There. Amplify. Disrupt the frequency. It's not working. They're using a triaxillating modulation. You're making this very difficult. If we can't terminate their link then we'll simply have to pay them a visit.

[Forest]

AXUM: You can see why we want to protect this place.
JANEWAY: We're prepared to help you, but I'm concerned that we'd only be putting off the inevitable. Even if we succeeded and you could remain hidden for a year, ten years, the Borg would eventually find you again. Have you ever considered a more permanent solution?
AXUM: More permanent?
JANEWAY: You've got a remarkable sanctuary here, but that's all it is. Maybe it's time to stop hiding and find a way to fight back.
AXUM: That's not possible.
JANEWAY: If you could find a way to carry your individualities into the real world, to wake up from your regeneration cycles with your memories intact, you could begin to undermine the Borg's control over you.
SEVEN: It sounds like you're suggesting a civil war.
JANEWAY: I prefer to call it a resistance movement.
AXUM: That's very ambitious, Captain. But we can't retain our memories.
JANEWAY: Not yet. But we know a good deal about Borg technology. Maybe we could
(She is interrupted by a woman's scream. People are running. A drone is in the forest. It grabs a man, injects him with its tubules and he vanishes.)

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: We've found another. Spatial grid three two six, Cube one one eight four. Continue.
(One of her drones steps into an alcove and appears in the forest. It grabs a woman and injects her.)
QUEEN: Welcome back. Spatial grid nine eight two, Cube four six one.
(This drone grabs the new alien child. Korok attacks it with his bat'leth. The drone disappears. Other drones appear and are dispatched until one gets the better of Korok. Janeway picks up the bat'leth and disposes of the drone.)
QUEEN: Janeway.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: How's your headache?

[Ready room]

CHAKOTAY: I'm guessing it didn't go well.
JANEWAY: Let's just say we ran into a little trouble. Have a seat, Commander.
CHAKOTAY: I'd prefer to stand.
JANEWAY: The Collective's found a way to infiltrate Unimatrix Zero. It won't be long before they learn enough to destroy it from the inside out. I plan to stop them.
CHAKOTAY: What have you got in mind?
JANEWAY: The people there are vulnerable. They don't have the ability to take action in the real world. We're going to give them that ability.
CHAKOTAY: How?
JANEWAY: The Doctor and B'Elanna are working on it. I know what you're thinking. We'd be violating half a dozen Starfleet protocols. And if the Collective ever learned we were involved we'd be putting Voyager in the middle of a civil war. Valid objections. Chakotay, we've had our disagreements and there have been times when I've chosen to proceed without your support. But this can't be one of those times. I won't do this without my First Officer.
CHAKOTAY: The way I see it, risking the safety of Voyager is a small price to pay. If we help these people, this could be the turning point in our battle against the Borg.
JANEWAY: I'm glad we agree, because I almost talked myself out of it.
CHAKOTAY: Somehow I don't think you were ever in danger of doing that.
JANEWAY: You'll inform the crew?

[Sickbay]

(Emulation subroutine 408 is on a monitor.)
EMH: This is the nanovirus Axum designed to prevent the Borg from detecting those with the genetic mutation. But I've modified it to nullify their cortical inhibitors instead. Once they're infected, they should retain their memories of Unimatrix Zero after they leave their alcoves.
SEVEN: Does that mean they'll be able to function as individuals? Stand up to the Collective?
EMH: There's no way to tell. This is highly experimental.
JANEWAY: How do we deploy it?
TORRES: Correct me if I'm wrong, but each Borg vessel has a device that links it to every other Borg ship.
SEVEN: The central plexus.
TORRES: If we can gain access to one of those and release the virus there, it should be transmitted throughout the Collective instantly.
JANEWAY: Any Borg activity in the region?
(Torres calls up a long range scan 321.)
TORRES: It just dropped out of transwarp three point six light years from here.
SEVEN: This is a class four tactical vessel, heavily armed. The central plexus is protected by multi-regenerative security grids. We'd be detected long before we could reach it.
JANEWAY: Meet me in main Engineering. We're going to find a way in. Prepare the virus.
EMH: Aye, Captain.

[Corridor]

JANEWAY: I think it's time for you to take another nap. Pay a visit to Unimatrix Zero. Tell our friends we haven't forgotten them. I couldn't help but notice you were a little different in Unimatrix Zero, and I don't mean your lack of Borg implants. You seemed more
SEVEN: Human.
JANEWAY: If you don't mind my saying so, it suited you.
SEVEN: I've been told I spent a great deal of time there. But since I don't remember Unimatrix Zero any more than I remember Earth, it's irrelevant.
JANEWAY: To you maybe, but if what I saw was any indication, Annika would disagree.

[Encampment]

AXUM: The Klingons have banded together and they're giving bat'leths to anybody who can handle one. Hirogen hunters are moving through the forest targeting drones, but we're losing people every hour.
SEVEN: Captain Janeway intends to keep her promise.
AXUM: This isn't your battle. You don't owe us anything.
SEVEN: Voyager won't abandon you.
(Axum picks up a bat'leth.)
AXUM: A gift from Korok. Takes some getting used to.
SEVEN: I'm sure you'll adapt.
LAURA: Eleven more drones, three hundred metres.

[Forest]

(Axum and Seven hide as three drones come along the path.)
AXUM: Sorry.
(He takes his arm from around Seven's shoulder.)
SEVEN: That felt familiar. Our touching.
AXUM: I told you. We were friends.
SEVEN: Elaborate.
AXUM: Now is not the best time.
(Seven kisses him.)
SEVEN: We were more than friends, weren't we? Why didn't you tell me?
AXUM: You'd forgotten. It wasn't my place.
SEVEN: How long?
AXUM: Six years. Only while we were regenerating. A very memorable six years. For me, anyway.
SEVEN: I should return to Voyager.
AXUM: Annika.
SEVEN: My name is Seven of Nine.
(Seven steps out of her alcove.)

[Engineering]

EMH: Can't we find another Borg ship? A Sphere, maybe? Something less imposing?
TORRES: I rechecked long range sensors. There's nothing.
JANEWAY: This is our target. You'll keep a transporter lock on me. Once I make it to the central plexus and release the virus, you can beam me back.
EMH: In how many pieces? It's ridiculous.
SEVEN: Agreed. I should go. I'm the only one with experience.
JANEWAY: You're our only connection to Unimatrix Zero. You're needed here. It was my decision to help these people. This is my responsibility.
TUVOK: Starfleet Tactical Directive thirty six. The captain will not engage a hostile force without the protection of a security officer. The probability of success is greater if there are two of us.
TORRES: Make that three. If you're going to pull this off you'll need an engineer in there.
PARIS: B'Elanna.
TORRES: Tactical directive thirty six A.
PARIS: There is no directive thirty six A.
TORRES: There is now.
JANEWAY: I appreciate the offer. But if that Cube attacks Voyager, you'll be needed here. Now you have your orders. Set a course, Mister Paris.

[Corridor]

CHAKOTAY: Remember when I said I didn't have any objections?
JANEWAY: Can't this wait till I get back?
CHAKOTAY: I realise I'm not going to talk you out of this, but I'll be damned if you're going in there alone.
JANEWAY: We've got a lot of work to do, Commander.
CHAKOTAY: You said you wanted my support. Then take Tuvok and B'Elanna with you.
JANEWAY: And if I don't?
CHAKOTAY: I may only be First Officer, but I still pull a few strings around here. The Doctor could be persuaded to question your medical fitness.
JANEWAY: I was hoping for your unconditional support.
CHAKOTAY: This is the best I can do.
JANEWAY: Tell them to pack light.
(The lights flicker.)
JANEWAY: Janeway to bridge. Report.

[Bridge]

KIM: Someone's trying to tap into the main computer.
JANEWAY [OC]: Source?
KIM: It's some kind of transwarp signal. It's activating the comm. system.
(A green light suffuses the bridge.)
KIM: Captain,

[Corridor]

KIM [OC]: I think it's for you.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: Captain.
JANEWAY: It's been a long time. How are things in the Collective?
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: Perfect, for the most part. Voyager?
JANEWAY: Never better.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: I understand you've established contact with Starfleet. Perhaps you'll be getting home sooner than you expected.
JANEWAY: Perhaps.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: We could help you.
CHAKOTAY: How so?.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: Transwarp technology. You'd find that we can be quite accommodating, but we'd expect the same in return.
JANEWAY: I'm not sure I know what you mean.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: You know exactly what I mean. Tend to your own crew. Stay away from things that don't concern you.
JANEWAY: I'm afraid I can't do that, but thanks for the offer.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: I won't be as accommodating next time. Reconsider.
JANEWAY: I'm sorry.
QUEEN [on viewscreen]: We'll see you soon, Harry.
(Transmission ends.)
KIM: What did she mean by that?
CHAKOTAY: Why the stab at diplomacy?
JANEWAY: She's trying to find out what we're up to. She's worried. Have B'Elanna and Tuvok meet me in Sickbay.

[Delta Flyer]

(In the shuttlebay.)
PARIS: Watch the starboard plasma injectors. They tend to run a little hot at high impulse.
TORRES: I'll keep an eye on it.
PARIS: The warp matrix is out of alignment.
TORRES: By point three microns. Since when are you so meticulous?
PARIS: Since you volunteered for this insane mission. You know, I could sabotage the helm. You'd never make it out the launch doors.
TORRES: Then I'd have to put you on report. You might lose that new pip of yours.
PARIS: That'd be a small price to pay.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: We're in visual range.
JANEWAY: On screen. Magnify.
(The Cube has a lot of extra armour.)
TORRES [OC]: Torres to bridge.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.
TORRES [OC]: The Delta Flyer is ready for launch.
JANEWAY: On my way. Guess I'd better be going, huh?
CHAKOTAY: Anything you'd like done around here while you're gone? Gravity plating recalibrated, carpets cleaned?
(She takes his hand.)
JANEWAY: Surprise me. You have the bridge.

[Settlement]

SEVEN: You need to prepare the others. When they leave their alcoves they may be startled, disoriented. But they have to behave like drones or we could all be exposed.
LAURA: Our ships are scattered across the galaxy. Most of us will be the only drone on board who knows about this place.
KOROK: She's right. What can we hope to achieve?
AXUM: We should each gather as much tactical data as we can. What kind of ship we're on, its armaments, location. Then we'll coordinate our efforts from here. If all goes well, we'll be working very closely together.
SEVEN: As colleagues, nothing more. Our previous friendship
AXUM: Yes?
SEVEN: It's irrelevant.
AXUM: Irrelevant? Well, now that I'll be able to retain my memory, I'll keep that in mind.

[Bridge]

(Voyager is attacking the Cube.)
CHAKOTAY: Report.
KIM: Direct hit to their shield emitters. No damage.
CHAKOTAY: Increase phaser yield. Where's the Flyer?
PARIS: They're approaching. Heading zero one seven mark three.

[Delta Flyer]

(They are watching the fight.)
JANEWAY: Status?
TUVOK: Voyager has sustained damage, but they are continuing their assault.
TORRES: Come on, Chakotay.
TUVOK: One of the Cube's shield grids is fluctuating. Ventral axis, secondary emitter.
JANEWAY: Cut primary power. Thrusters only.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: Tactical cube one three eight is under attack.
(She calls up a visual on her screen.)

[Bridge]

KIM: Our forward shields are down.
CHAKOTAY: The Flyer?
PARIS: They're closing. Fifty kilometres.
CHAKOTAY: Maintain fire.
PARIS: Thirty kilometres, twenty. They're in range.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: Enhance grid six one one nine.
(She has seen the Delta Flyer.)
QUEEN: Captain, I expected something more cunning from you.

[Delta Flyer]

TORRES: It's time.
JANEWAY: Their ventral shield grid?
TUVOK: Still fluctuating at a rate of point zero six terahertz.
JANEWAY: Align our transporters to match.
TUVOK: Aye.

[Bridge]

PARIS: They've detected them.
(The Delta Flyer is blown to molecules.)
EMH: They're inside.
KIM: Direct hit to the port nacelle. We're venting plasma.
PARIS: Should I back off?
CHAKOTAY: No. We need to stay close.

[Borg Cube]

(The Queen watches the away team's progress. The first two drones are easily killed with phaser rifles, but the second pair are unaffected.)
TORRES: They've adapted.

[Bridge]

(Voyager continues to throw photon torpedoes at the Cube.)
KIM: Hull breach, deck eleven.
PARIS: They're targeting our warp core.
EMH: No change yet.

[Borg Cube]

(Janeway walks into a forcefield.)
JANEWAY: We'll have to take the long way around.
(There is another one right behind them.)
JANEWAY: Tuvok.
(Three drones walk through the forcefield. There is a brief fight with rifle butts, then our trio are assimilated. The Queen breathes in deeply as she feels them join the Collective.)

[Bridge]

EMH: Their lifesigns are destabilising.
CHAKOTAY: So far, so good. You can take us out of here now, Tom.
(Voyager goes to warp and leaves their colleagues as full drones on the Cube.)

To Be Continued...

[Borg Cube]

TUVOK: Lieutenant.
TORRES: I'm all right.
(Her voice is gravelly.)
TUVOK: You've been given a subvocal processor.
TORRES: I can live with it. The captain?
TUVOK: We were separated. I don't know where they took her. We must proceed to the central plexus.
(Janeway is having a final node inserted into her brain.)

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Time.
PARIS: Seventeen minutes. We should have heard something by now.
CHAKOTAY: Doctor?
(Neural circuitry pattern 247.)
EMH: Their higher brain functions are stable.
KIM: The Cube's changing course. New heading, one twenty one mark six.
PARIS: Matching course and speed.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: The damage to their propulsion system is regenerating. They'll be capable of transwarp in less than two hours.
CHAKOTAY: I want you inside Unimatrix Zero. When the virus is released, your friends there will be the first to know. Problem?
SEVEN: No. But I wouldn't call them my friends.
CHAKOTAY: Acquaintances then. If you're having issues with these people I suggest you set them aside.
SEVEN: Understood.

[Forest]

KOROK: Tell your hunters to patrol the north-eastern perimeter. More drones were spotted there.
HIROGEN: Understood.
KOROK: Where's that virus you promised?
SEVEN: Captain Janeway is deploying it now.
KOROK: Good. The Borg have increased their attacks here. They're identifying us one by one. If you're looking for your mate, he's not here.
SEVEN: He's not my mate. He must not be regenerating.
KOROK: That or he's dead. He should have been here hours ago. No one's seen him. If he died in battle, I'm sure it was honourable. Here.
help me.
(They lift a dead tree trunk and add it to a barricade.)
KOROK: It's obvious your heart is in conflict.
SEVEN: My heart is functioning perfectly.
KOROK: Some advice from a warrior in the bedchamber as well as the battlefield. At times like these you must treat your heart as the enemy so you won't be distracted in battle.
(There is a new arrival.)
SEVEN: I'll keep that in mind. Has the virus been deployed?
ALIEN MAN: I'm not sure.
SEVEN: Do you remember anything? Your location? What ship you're on?
ALIEN MAN: No, nothing.

[Borg Cube]

TORRES: The central plexus is through here.
(Two drones walk through a forcefield.)
TORRES: Those must be the shield emitters that Seven told us about.
(They step through carefully. A drone is working at a console.)
TORRES: We need to get through that hatch.
TUVOK: I will attempt to deactivate him.
(Tuvok reaches to do a neck pinch, and the drone turns around.)
TUVOK: Captain.
JANEWAY: What's left of her. How are you holding up?
TORRES: Fine.
JANEWAY: I can't access the plexus without shutting down the power grid for this section. That's bound to draw attention. Is there another way in?
TORRES: The primary access port. I think it's isolated from the main power grid.
JANEWAY: Where is it?
TORRES: About thirty metres from here.
(Tuvok is distracted by voices in his head.)
JANEWAY: Let's take a look. Tuvok. Commander.
TUVOK: I can hear the Collective.
JANEWAY: The neural suppressant must be wearing off.
TUVOK: I'll be all right.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: I heard him. The Vulcan. But he's gone. Why? Why can't I hear the others?

[Forest]

(A drone spots a male and follows him. It triggers a tripwire than sends a log smashing into its chest. It vanishes. There is another noise and two males run towards it. Seven has been caught in a net trap.)
AXUM: Leave this one to me. Comfortable?
SEVEN: Release me.
AXUM: Easier said than done. I think I designed this trap a little too well. What are you doing out here?
SEVEN: Looking for you. Korok was concerned.
AXUM: That doesn't sound like Korok.
SEVEN: He said you were missing.
AXUM: As you can see, I've been busy setting traps.
SEVEN: Not the most sophisticated technology.
AXUM: Seems to work. Hold on.
(He cuts the net and she falls into his arms.)
SEVEN: I should return to the camp. Wait for word on the virus.
AXUM: I'll go with you. In case you run into any more trouble.
SEVEN: As you wish.
AXUM: I'm sure Korok will be glad to see me.

[Borg cube]

(Janeway stands guard while Torres works on a panel.)
QUEEN [OC]: Tuvok. Where are you, Tuvok?
JANEWAY: Commander?
TUVOK: Stardate 38774. Vulcanis lunar colony. The time and place of my birth. Recalling the details of my life helps me remain focused. Captain, if I succumb to the Collective, I will pose a security risk. You must be prepared to deactivate me.
JANEWAY: Without the Doctor's help, that could kill you. Stay focused. Stay Tuvok. That's an order.
TORRES: Captain, I've bypassed the access codes.
(She pulls down two sets of handles, and a hatch opens.)
TORRES: Welcome to the central plexus.
QUEEN [OC]: Tuvok. Where are you, Tuvok?

[Ready room]

PARIS: Busy?
CHAKOTAY: What's on your mind.
PARIS: The away team. The plan was to give them two hours. It's been two and a half.
CHAKOTAY: The Doctor's keeping an eye on them. We'll give it a little more time. Unfortunately, not everything goes according to plan.
PARIS: You know, it occurs to me that, with you in command and Tuvok off the ship, that makes me acting First Officer. Technically speaking.
CHAKOTAY: What's your point?
PARIS: Well, it's my duty to give you an opinion. And in my opinion I think we should pull them out now before it's too late.
CHAKOTAY: I appreciate your diligence. But I've made my decision. We wait.
PARIS: How long? A day? A week?
CHAKOTAY: As long as it takes to complete the mission.
PARIS: This mission isn't worth their lives.
CHAKOTAY: You've made your point.
PARIS: Apparently not.
CHAKOTAY: Lieutenant. A First Officer could get in a lot of trouble for talking to his captain that way.
PARIS: Well, I've learned from the best.
CHAKOTAY: I appreciate your concerns, Tom, but I need your support on this.
PARIS: Aye, sir.

[Borg Cube - Central Plexus]

(A big area with a box in the middle. Torres and Janeway remove one of its panels.)
JANEWAY: Download the virus.
(Torres injects tubules into the box.)
QUEEN [OC]: Tuvok.
TUVOK My daughter's name is Asil. She was born in the city of

[Borg Queen's chamber]

QUEEN and TUVOK: T'Paal. We share your memories. You are part of us now.

[Borg Cube - Central Plexus]

TUVOK: Don't resist.

[Bridge]

EMH: There's a problem with Commander Tuvok. His synaptic pathways are destabilising.
CHAKOTAY: If I decide to move in closer, I assume my First Officer would concur.
PARIS: You assume correctly.

[Borg Cube - Central Plexus]

(Torres disconnects from the box and Janeway replaces the panel.)
JANEWAY: We have to get out of this chamber and contact Voyager.
(Tuvok blocks their way.)
JANEWAY: You're Commander Tuvok, Tactical Officer of the starship Voyager. I'm your captain. Step aside, that's an order.

[Borg Queen's chamber]

QUEEN: She's irrelevant.

[Borg Cube - Central Plexus]

TUVOK: Captain, you must deactivate me.
(But his personal shield knocks her back.)
TUVOK: My designation is Three of Twelve.

[Borg Queen's chamber]

QUEEN: Where are you, Tuvok? The central plexus.
(More drones arrive there.)

[Bridge]

PARIS: Range, forty thousand kilometres.
CHAKOTAY: Harry?
KIM: Too much shielding around the central plexus. I can't get a lock.
CHAKOTAY: Stay on it. Closer.

[Borg Cube]

TORRES: This way.
(Tuvok knocks her down, then catches Janeway)

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

(Voyager is on the screen.)
QUEEN: Back so soon?

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Target their shield generators. Stand by phasers.
PARIS: Commander?
(A green Borg torpedo is heading their way.)
CHAKOTAY: Shields to full. Brace for impact.
KIM: Someone's accessing our tactical controls. Our shields are down.
CHAKOTAY: Evasive manoeuvres.
(The torpedo punches a hole in the hull.)
EMH: Sensors are offline. I've lost the away team.
KIM: Hull breaches, decks five, six, seven.
CHAKOTAY: Reverse course.
PARIS: We can't just leave them.
CHAKOTAY: The Borg have our access codes. Get us out of here.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: Thank you, Tuvok. I'm losing voices. Five in spatial grid ninety six, twelve in grid one eight two. Hundreds now. Thousands.
(There are dark spots in the central plexus. The Queen goes to a nearby drone.)
QUEEN: I can't hear you. Why can't I hear you? You've disconnected from the hive mind. Explain. Comply.
DRONE: No!
(He tries to attack her, and bounces of her personal forcefield. Two drones take his arms.)
DRONE: I'm not alone. You can't stop us all.
(Tuvok and a drone put Janeway into an alcove and activate a forcefield around it. A hologram of her is beamed into the Queen's Chamber as her human self in Starfleet uniform.)
QUEEN: I altered the transmission to restore your original appearance. I know now vain humans can be.
HOLO-JANEWAY: Why am I here?
QUEEN: You've caused a great deal of suffering. I wanted you to see for yourself. You are the cause of his death, Captain. You disconnected him from the hive mind.
HOLO-JANEWAY: You didn't have to kill him.
QUEEN: He was confused, irrational. I had no choice. Many more will die unless you tell me how to counteract the virus.
HOLO-JANEWAY: Sorry, we didn't think to develop an antidote.
QUEEN: I'll assimilate Voyager, then. Your Doctor created the pathogen. He can find a cure.
HOLO-JANEWAY: My First Officer has orders to delete the Doctor's programme if you go anywhere near

[Borg Cube]

JANEWAY: Voyager. The resistance is already underway. It won't be long before thousands of drones begin to fight back. 

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: They will fail.
HOLO-JANEWAY: Maybe. Probably. But a lot of damage will be done before they do.
QUEEN: Yes, a lot of damage. Spatial grid nine four, cube six three zero. Complement sixty four thousand drones. But I can no longer hear three of them. No doubt they've joined your resistance. Are they trying to sabotage the vessel and liberate others? I don't know, because I can no longer hear them. Initiate self-destruct.
(The Cube goes KaBOOM!)
QUEEN: An effective solution, don't you agree? Spatial grid zero nine one, sphere eight seven eight. Complement eleven thousand drones. Only one is silent. But I have no choice. I must silence all of them. (KaBOOM)  I know how this must upset you, Captain. As a Starfleet officer, you value all life. Even drones. How many more are you willing to sacrifice? Thousands? Millions? You can put an end to this. I want you to go on a diplomatic mission. It's one of your primary functions, isn't it? Negotiations?
HOLO-JANEWAY: Go on.
QUEEN: Tell them to rejoin the Collective, and I'll stop the destruction.
HOLO-JANEWAY: They will never agree to that.
QUEEN: They're individuals now. They have a choice. What are you afraid of, Captain? That they may cooperate? You've been waiting for a chance to damage the Borg. Now you've found one. You're only using them.
HOLO-JANEWAY: If you really wanted to negotiate, you'd visit Unimatrix Zero. You found a way to send drones. Surely you could go yourself. Or are you afraid that a taste of individuality might make you realise it's something worth fighting for?
QUEEN: Comply or you will be responsible for many more deaths.
HOLO-JANEWAY: You'll have to destroy the entire Collective to find them all.

[Bridge]

SEVEN: Several drones have reported that they retained their memories of Unimatrix Zero after their regeneration ended. The virus has been deployed.
CHAKOTAY: Good. We're going to need all the help we can get. The away team's still trapped on that Cube.
KIM: And as you may have noticed, we're in no shape to mount a rescue.
PARIS: Can you get back in? Find out if they have anybody else aboard this Cube?
CHAKOTAY: If they do, tell them to hurry. They're the only allies we've got.
EMH: I'd like to make a few adjustments to your alcove before you return.

[Cargo Bay two]

EMH: When this crisis ends I'll come up with a more permanent solution, so you can spend more time in Unimatrix Zero. You're in a unique position. Not many of us get to lead a double life.
SEVEN: When this crisis ends I intend to sever my link to Unimatrix Zero.
EMH: May I ask why?
SEVEN: I'm having difficulties with one of the people there.
EMH: Mister Axum? Whenever you mention his name, your pupils dilate by nearly a millimetre, blood flow increases to your facial capillaries. Both are consistent with an emotional response.
SEVEN: Axum and I apparently had a relationship.
EMH: Oh. Romantic? There go those pupils again.
SEVEN: Your diagnosis is accurate.
EMH: Well, how ironic. All this time we've been trying to develop that aspect of your humanity, and it's been there all along.
SEVEN: Not any more.
EMH: My readings say otherwise. You're very particular about who you choose to spend time with, Seven. No doubt that's why you and I have become friends. If you were involved with Axum once, doesn't that suggest he's a worthwhile individual?
SEVEN: He does possess commendable qualities.
EMH: Coming from you, that's high praise. There's nothing wrong with feeling ambivalent, Seven. After all, you're in the middle of a civil war. But eventually, you may want to give this romance a second chance. Who knows? You may even get to meet him in person someday.
(Seven steps into her alcove.)
EMH: I'll say this for your Mister Axum. he's a very lucky man.

[Settlement]

AXUM: The Collective has found a new way to attack us. Eleven ships have self-destructed in the last three hours.
KOROK: We need to coordinate a battle plan. A way to strike at the heart of the Collective.
AXUM: Our target should be the primary Unicomplex. If we can disrupt the Queen's control of the hive mind, it'll give us a chance to organise, build up a fighting force.
SEVEN: There is one more objective. The Voyager away team.
KOROK: They fought like warriors. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
SEVEN: We can still rescue them.
AXUM: She's right. They risked their lives for us. Now it's our turn.
KOROK: There's no time.
AXUM: It's a matter of honour, Korok. I thought you of all people would understand that.
KOROK: I'll see if any of our people are on a vessel near theirs.
SEVEN: Thank you.
AXUM: It's the least we can do.
SEVEN: What's wrong?
AXUM: It turns out I'm on a scout ship patrolling the border of fluidic space. On the other side of the galaxy.
SEVEN: I was hoping we'd be able to meet one day in the real world.
AXUM: Me too. There are things I can do where I am. I'll try to contact species 8472, see if I can persuade them to join the fight.
SEVEN: Given their history with the Borg, I'm sure they'll be eager. I guess this rules out Vorothon Gorge.
AXUM: Gorge?
SEVEN: It was at the top of our list of things to see in the real world if we were ever freed from the Collective. Don't you remember?
AXUM: We could add fluidic space to our list. We still have Unimatrix Zero.
SEVEN: It was sufficient before.
AXUM: And now?
(Seven takes his hand, and they kiss.)

[Forest]

ALIEN BOY: Where are you?
BOY [OC]: Over here.
(The alien boy crawls along on hands and knees until he reaches a pair of legs.)
QUEEN: Don't be frightened. Stand up, let me look at you. Comply
ALIEN BOY: You're one of the machine people. You're trying to hurt us.
QUEEN: That's the last thing I want to do. I'm here to help you. All of you.
ALIEN BOY: They said you want to assim. Assima.
QUEEN: Assimilate you. Yes. But that's nothing to be afraid of. You like having friends, don't you? Assimilation turns us all into friends. In fact, it brings us so close together we can hear each other's thoughts.
ALIEN BOY: Is that fun?
QUEEN: Yes. It's fun. I was just about your age when I was assimilated. I was worried then, too. But when I began to hear the others, hear their thoughts, I wasn't afraid anymore.
ALIEN BOY: Don't you miss your parents?
QUEEN: They're here, with me. Part of us. I can hear them right now. Would you like to be with your parents? They miss you. They want to see you.
ALIEN BOY: Can I talk to them?
QUEEN: Soon. But first I'd like to see more of this.
ALIEN BOY: There's a place where you can see the whole forest.
(The Queen holds out her hand.)
QUEEN: Show me.
(He takes her hand and leads her to the view over the inlet and settlement.)
ALIEN BOY: It's pretty, isn't it?

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: I took your advice, Captain. I paid a visit to Unimatrix Zero. It's far more primitive than I expected. I don't understand how anyone could prefer a crude environment to Borg perfection.
HOLO-JANEWAY: Spend a little more time there. You might find out.
QUEEN: I've seen enough. It's an illusion.
HOLO-JANEWAY: Even so, the people who go there are real, and they won't give it up without a fight.
QUEEN: They'll fail. I thought you'd like to see our latest accomplishment. Recognise it?
HOLO-JANEWAY: No.
QUEEN: I think you do. It's your nanovirus, with a few modifications. We've reprogrammed it to target your mutated drones. Once it's released, it will erode their autonomic functions. They will die within minutes.
HOLO-JANEWAY: You have no way to deliver it. Those drones have been separated from the hive mind. They aren't linked to the central plexus anymore.
QUEEN: No. But there's another way I can reach them. I'm prepared to go back to Unimatrix Zero and release it myself. But I'm willing to reconsider. It all depends on you.
JANEWAY: Me?
QUEEN: If they rejoin the Collective, I'll spare their lives. They listen to you. Tell them it's time to come home. You were responsible for many deaths. Now you can save thousands. Decide.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Let's try this again. Ensign?
KIM: The warp core is online. Navigational array. Shields at twenty percent.
NEELIX: We've got sensors. Short range only.
CHAKOTAY: It's a start. Try to get a fix on the away team.
(And the power goes down again.)
PARIS: Now what?
KIM: Someone's tapping into our holographic systems.
CHAKOTAY: Source?
KIM: It's a Borg signal.
EMH [OC]: Doctor to the bridge.
CHAKOTAY: Go ahead.
EMH [OC]: Someone's here to see you and Seven, Commander. You'd better come down here right away.

[Sickbay]

CHAKOTAY: Kathryn?
HOLO-JANEWAY: The Borg have established this link so I can propose a compromise.
CHAKOTAY: We're listening. 

[Borg Cube]

JANEWAY: They've developed a nanovirus that can kill every Borg with the mutation. They're prepared to release it inside Unimatrix Zero unless all the drones there return to the Collective

[Sickbay]

HOLO-JANEWAY: For reassimilation immediately.
SEVEN: That's not compromise, that's surrender.
HOLO-JANEWAY: I won't be responsible for any more deaths. At least they'll survive as drones. Tell them Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist. That's an order. Have I made myself clear, Commander?
CHAKOTAY: Yes, Captain.
(The hologram flickers out.)
EMH: We did our best.
CHAKOTAY: It's not over yet, Doctor. Can you disrupt the interlink frequency for Unimatrix Zero?
EMH: Commander, the Captain gave us a direct order.
CHAKOTAY: Yes, she did, but not the one you think. Seven?
SEVEN: I believe I can, but why?
CHAKOTAY: Didn't you hear? Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist. Chakotay to the bridge. Report.

[Bridge]

PARIS: A transwarp conduit just opened off our port bow.
NEELIX: Lieutenant?
KIM: They're on an intercept course.
PARIS: Evasive manoeuvres. Battle stations.
NEELIX: They're hailing us.
PARIS: Open a channel.
KOROK [on viewscreen]: Starship Voyager, I am General Korok. This vessel is now under my command. We've come to join you in battle.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: Your crewmates are coming to retrieve you. You were wise to comply.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Chakotay to Seven of Nine. We're almost in range.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: Stand by. I've isolated the frequency.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Get Korok.

[Korok's Sphere]

KOROK: Our emitters are fully charged.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: You should be receiving the interlink frequency.
KOROK: We have it.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Wait for my signal.

[Settlement]

AXUM: We have to end our regeneration cycles. We can't be here when it happens.
LAURA: Will there be anything left?
AXUM: I know we're being asked to make a sacrifice, but it's the only way.

[Bridge]

PARIS: We're in range.
CHAKOTAY: Full power to the shields. All weapons online. Voyager to Korok. It's time.
(The two vessels power their deflectors.)

[Settlement]

(The environment begins to break down, like a defective holodeck.)
AXUM: You must go.
(Axum is left alone.)

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: Bridge, it's working. Unimatrix Zero is shutting down.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Acknowledged. Voyager to Korok. Now.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

QUEEN: What are they doing?
HOLO-JANEWAY: You wanted to destroy Unimatrix Zero. We're just lending you a hand.
QUEEN: Get me the virus.
HOLO-JANEWAY: You're too late. There's no one left to infect.
QUEEN: This is your compromise?
HOLO-JANEWAY: I don't compromise with Borg.

[Korok's Sphere]

(It approaches Janeway's Cube)
KOROK: Match their shield modulations and fire.
(Korok attacks the Cube, then Voyager comes in with torpedoes. Torres goes to a panel to see what is happening outside. Seven runs out of Astrometrics.)

[Bridge]

NEELIX: I'm picking up the away team.
KIM: I'm isolating their bio-signatures.
CHAKOTAY: Get a lock.
KIM: I still can't penetrate their inner shields.
CHAKOTAY: Voyager to Korok. Status?

[Korok's Sphere]

KOROK: Patience, Commander. They're trying to remodulate their secondary shield grid.

[Bridge]

KOROK [OC]: I'm attempting to compensate.
(Seven runs into her alcove.)

[Settlement]

AXUM: You shouldn't be here.
SEVEN: Neither should you.
(They hug.)
SEVEN: I've wasted our time together.
AXUM: No, you didn't. It gave us a chance to fall in love again.
SEVEN: We've lost our only way to be together.
AXUM: No. I'll find you.
SEVEN: Axum.
AXUM: I'll find you.
(He disappears, then Seven wakes up. In the Cube, Torres knocks out a drone and works on the shield controls.)

[Korok's Sphere]

KOROK: Shields in sub-grid forty two are destabilizing. Target that section.

[Borg Queen's Chamber]

(Janeway's hologram disappears.)
QUEEN: Initiate self-destruct.
(The Cube starts to explode.)

[Bridge]

PARIS: Their shields are down.
CHAKOTAY: Energise.
(The Cube goes KaBOOM! catching the Sphere and Voyager with its shockwave. The away team are met in the transporter room by a medical team.)

Chief medical officer's log, stardate 54014.4. It's been forty eight hours since the away team returned to Voyager. Thanks to the neural suppressant, I've been able to extract most of their Borg technology. The Captain and B'Elanna are on the mend, but Tuvok will need a little more time to recover.

[Sickbay]

SEVEN: General Korok is finished with his repairs. He's already been contacted by another Borg vessel in the region. It's also under the control of former drones.
JANEWAY: The Doctor removed my spinal clamps but it'll be a while before I'm playing hoverball again. If I ever imply it's been easy on you these last few years, remind me about today.
SEVEN: Noted.
JANEWAY: Well, Unimatrix Zero may be gone but it looks like the resistance is alive and kicking. With any luck, the Collective may never be the same.
SEVEN: Korok said he would try to maintain contact, keep us informed.
JANEWAY: Have you heard from your friend?
SEVEN: No. But I don't expect to. Axum's vessel is in a remote sector of the Beta Quadrant. If I ever imply that he was nothing more than a friend, remind me about today.

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