Hot chocolate, please.
We don't ordinarily say "please" to food dispensers here.
Since it's listed as intelligent circuitry, why not?
Working with artificial intelligence can be dehumanizing.
So why not combat that tendency with a little simple courtesy?
- Thanks. - For someone just aboard,
you aren't shy with your opinions.
- Have I been talking too much? - No.
I do tend to have a motor mouth, especially when I'm excited.
- This assignment is so exciting. - Lieutenant.
Everyone in class wants the Enterprise.
It would have been fine to spend time on Reiner VI,
doing phase work with antimatter.
- That's my specialty. - I know.
That's why you got this assignment.
I did it again. It's just that...
I know. You're excited. Look, Sonya,
I don't think you want to be around control stations with hot chocolate.
I'm sorry. I shouldn't have this in Engineering. I forgot I had it.
I'll go and finish it over here.
Lt La Forge? This will not happen again.
No! I'm sorry. Captain...
Actually, it's my fault, sir.
- Indeed. - I wasn't looking.
- It's all over you. - Yes, Ensign, it is.
- At least, let me, sir... - Ensign...?
Ensign Sonya Gomez.
A recent Academy graduate, sir. She transferred at Starbase 173.
Is that so? Well, Ensign Sonya Gomez,
it will be simpler if I change my uniform.
Captain, I must accept full responsibility for this.
Yes, Chief Engineer, I think I understand.
I just want to say, sir, that I am very excited about this assignment
and I promise to serve you and my ship, your ship,
this ship, to the best of my ability.
Yes, Ensign, I'm sure that you will. Carry on.
My... Don't they say first impressions are the most important?
I'll give you this. It's a meeting the Captain won't soon forget.
Deck nine, officers' quarters.
- Crewman, what is going on? - Welcome, Picard, to shuttlecraft 6.
Haven't we been careless? A cleaning service I'm happy to provide.
You agreed not to trouble my ship again.
I always keep my word, sir. Look, we are nowhere near your vessel.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,...
..to seek out new life and new civilizations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
I read your thesis. I wouldn't have wanted you if you weren't the best.
- Where are we going? - Ten-forward.
We're going to forget about work, sit, talk, relax, look at the stars.
- You need to learn to slow down. - No, I can't do that.
You're awfully young to be so driven.
Yes, I am. I had to be the best, because only the best get to be here.
Geordi... Lieutenant...
It's OK. Go on.
Whatever is out here, we'll be the first humans to see it.
I want to be a part of that, I want to understand it.
Sonya, relax. You're here.
You've made it. But you won't last long, banging into walls.
- It’ll be there for you, believe me. - OK.
I promise I won't let anything exciting go by without telling you.
Bridge, this is ten-forward.
Guinan? You've never called the bridge before.
- Is everything alright? - How do you mean?
Is anything unusual happening?
Nothing out of the ordinary. Why do you ask?
I'm not sure. It's just a feeling.
I've had it before. It's probably nothing.
Forget that I called. Ten-forward out.
The locator beam won't help. They'll never look this far away.
Enterprise, this is Picard.
Stop this foolishness, Q. Return me.
You should change your attitude. Petulance ill becomes you.
We have business, Picard.
Keeping me prisoner will not compel me to discuss anything.
It will in time.
I appreciate your advice, Lieutenant. I'll take it to heart.
- Can I get you something? - We're fine.
Is everything alright?
I don't know.
I'll check out Engineering.
I'll go with you.
- Where is the Captain? - In his quarters?
Captain, this is Counsellor Troi.
- Computer, locate Capt Picard. - The Captain is not aboard.
Commander, there is a shuttle missing from bay two.
- All stop. - Answering all stop, sir.
I have hailed the shuttle on all frequencies. No response.
Sensors indicate no shuttle or other ships in this sector.
Let's assume the Captain is aboard that shuttle.
How could he leave without us knowing? Impossible.
Take it easy, Wes, we'll find him. Begin a search. Worf?
Set sensors on maximum scan.
Data, use our present location as a centre.
Plot a search pattern from these coordinates
to cover the most area in the least time.
- Search pattern input, sir. - Engage, Mr Crusher.
First Officer's log, stardate 4276 1.3.
We have not determined why or how Capt Picard left the Enterprise.
We are not sure he is in the missing shuttle,
although that is our assumption.
For the last six hours, we have searched without success.
We have covered the area in a spherical pattern
which a ship without warp drive could cross in the given time.
Widen the area.
Do we stay out here years?
Decades? I am ageless, Picard. You are not.
The Enterprise will continue with Riker as Captain.
You are an impossibly stubborn human.
Return me to my ship.
If I do, will you agree to give my request a full hearing?
You're right, Picard. This is the proper venue for our discussion.
Commander, my status board indicates that the shuttle is back.
- Computer, locate Capt Picard. - Capt Picard is in ten-forward.
I knew it was you.
Picard, if you had any sense, you would get her off your ship.
If you like, I'd be more than pleased to expedite her departure.
- You know him? - We have had some dealings.
Those "dealings" were two centuries ago.
This creature is not what she appears to be. She's an imp.
Where she goes, trouble always follows.
You speak of yourself, not Guinan.
Guinan? Is that your name now?
Guinan is not the issue, you are.
We agreed you would stop meddling with us.
- And so I have. - State your business. Out with it!
I agree, Captain. Enough about this creature.
She is diverting us from the purpose of my being here.
Which is...?
The redoubtable Cmdr Riker.
And Microbrain. Growl for me. Let me know you still care.
- Worf... - My purpose is to join you.
- As what? - A member of crew. Willing and able.
Ready to serve. This ship is already home for the indigent,
the unwanted, the unworthy. Why not for a homeless entity?
Homeless? The other members of the Q Continuum kicked you out?
Not all the Q are alike. Some are almost respectable.
Ready and willing... Able to serve...
What would you do? Would you start as an ordinary crewman?
What task is... too menial... for an entity?
- Sir, do you mock me? - That is the last thing I would do.
You are part of our charter.
We seek out new life forms and you are one of the most unique.
To learn about you is, frankly, provocative.
But you're next of kin to chaos.
Captain, at least hear my argument.
After our last encounter, I was asked to leave the Q Continuum.
Since then I've wandered vaguely, bored really,
my existence without purpose. Then I remembered the good times with you.
The good times? You tried us for the crimes of humanity.
- You were exonerated. - Then you asked me
- to join the Q continuum. - You should have taken up my offer.
More and more I realize that here is where I want to be.
Think of the advantages.
Now, I neither expect nor require any special treatment.
If necessary, although I can't imagine why,
I will renounce my powers and become as weak, as incompetent as you all.
No? Captain, in fairness, let me try.
- I deserve at least that much. - You kidnapped the Captain...
I add spice to your lives, and you complain.
Where is your adventurous spirit? Picard, think of the possibilities.
Simply speaking, we don't trust you.
Maybe not, but you do need me. You are not prepared for what awaits you.
How can we be prepared for that which we do not know?
But we are ready to encounter it.
- Really? - Yes. That's why we're out here.
The arrogance... They don't have a clue as to what's out here.
But they will learn, adapt. That is their greatest advantage.
They are moving further than they should.
- By whose calculations? - You judge yourselves
against the pitiful adversaries you've met so far.
The Romulans, the Klingons...
They are nothing compared to what's waiting.
Picard, you are about to move into areas of the galaxy
containing wonders more incredible than you can possibly imagine.
And terrors to freeze your soul. I offer myself as a guide,
only to be rejected out of hand.
- We'll do our best without you. - What justifies that smugness?
Not smugness, not arrogance.
We are resolute, we are determined...
..and your help is not required.
- We'll just see how ready you are. - Q!
Bridge, this is the Captain. All stop.
Answering all stop, sir.
According to coordinates, we have travelled 7,000 light years
and are located near the system J-25.
Travel time to the nearest starbase?
At maximum warp, in two years, seven months, three days, 18 hours,
we would reach Starbase 185.
Why? To give you a taste of your future,
a preview of things to come.
Con permiso, Capitán.
The hall is rented, the orchestra engaged.
It's now time to see if you can dance.
Guinan, your people have been in this part of the galaxy.
- Yes. - What can you tell us?
Only that if I were you, I'd start back now.
Captain's log, stardate 4276 1.9
Despite Guinan's warning, I feel compelled
to investigate this unexplored sector of the galaxy before heading back.
Captain, the sixth planet in the system is Class-M.
It has roads, indicating a highly industrialized civilization.
But where there should be cities there are great rips in the surface.
It is as if all machine elements were scooped off the planet's face.
It is identical to what happened to the outposts of the Neutral Zone.
Captain, we are being probed.
- What is the source of the probe? - A ship. On an intercept course.
On screen.
- Full scan. - Go to yellow alert.
- Yellow alert. - Keep the shields down.
We don't want to seem provocative.
Mr Data, what can you tell us?
The ship is strangely generalized in design.
There is no specific bridge, no command centre.
There is no engineering section.
I can identify no living quarters.
- Life signs? - There is no indication of life.
Lt Worf, what is its alert status?
I detect no shields, no weapons of any known design.
- Hailing frequencies. - Open.
This is Capt Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.
- No response. - This is Capt Picard,
representing the United Federation of Planets.
Activate your screen and monitor this. I may need your input.
I'm here, Captain.
View screen is activated. I have the other ship.
- You know this life form? - Yes.
My people encountered them a century ago. They destroyed our cities,
scattered my people throughout the galaxy.
They're called the Borg.
Protect yourself, Captain, or they will destroy you.
- Shields up. - Aye, sir.
All decks stand by.
Security, come to Main Engineering.
We have an intruder.
It made a visual survey of the engine core, sir, then moved in here.
Interesting, isn't it? Not a he, not a she.
Not like anything you've ever seen. An enhanced humanoid.
What is it you want?
We mean you no harm.
Do you understand me?
Understand you? You're nothing to him.
He's not interested in your life form. He's the first of many scouts,
here to analyze your technology.
He may attempt to gain control of the ship. I wouldn't let him.
I cannot allow you to interfere with the operation of this ship.
- Mr Worf. - Ensign.
Use whatever means to neutralize the invader.
Because her people had contact with the Borg, I have asked Guinan along.
You are aware of what occurred in Main Engineering?
What happened between your people and the Borg?
I wasn't there personally.
But from what I'm told, ...
..they swarmed through our system.
And when they left, there was little or nothing left of my people.
If they were that aggressive,
why didn't the Borg attack when they could?
They don't attack individually. It's not their way.
When they decide to come, they'll come in force.
They don't do anything piecemeal.
The initial encounter was solely to gather information?
How do we reason with them, let them know we're no threat?
You don't.
At least, I've never known anyone who did.
Captain, we are being hailed.
On screen.
- This is Capt Jean-Luc Picard... - Your defensive capabilities
are unable to withstand us.
If you defend yourselves, you will be punished.
We're not dealing with an individual mind.
They have no single leader. It is the collective minds of them all.
That would have definite advantages.
One leader can make mistakes. It's far less likely in a combined whole.
Picard... Are you sure you don't want me as a member of your crew?
Captain, the Borg have locked on to us with a tractor beam.
We're on our way.
Report, Lieutenant.
- The beam is draining our shields. - We'll be helpless.
Warp eight, any heading. Engage.
Captain, the beam is holding us.
- Increase power. - Shields weakening.
- Shields will be down in 18 seconds. - Locate tractor beam source.
Lock on phasers. Fire.
- They still have us. - Shields are down, sir.
A laser beam is slicing into the saucer section.
Carving us up like a roast.
Use whatever force necessary. Terminate the beam. Fire when ready.
Again, Mr Worf.
Tractor beam released, sir. Force field maintaining our hull integrity.
- Damage report? - Coming in, sir.
Sections 27, 28 and 29 on decks four, five and six destroyed.
18 were in that section and are missing.
What is the condition of the alien ship?
They have sustained damage to 20 percent of their vessel.
Life support is minimal.
I can't get the shields up.
Divert power from anywhere but life support.
It wouldn't help. The circuits that control the shields are fused.
If you can't reprogram, reroute.
18 people...
- Dead, just like that. - I know. Put it out of your head.
- No, I can't, I keep seeing them. - Sonya, stop. We can grieve later.
Let's get these shields operative.
Right, of course.
Guinan, how much more can you tell us about these creatures?
- Bits and pieces. - Anything would help.
They're made up of organic and artificial life
which has been developing for thousands of centuries.
The Borg is the ultimate user.
They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced.
They're not interested in political conquest,
wealth or power as you know it.
They're interested in your ship, its technology.
They have identified it as something they can consume.
You brought us here, exposed us to it
and cost us the lives of our shipmates.
Oh, please...
Number One...
18 of our people have died.
Please, tell us this is one of your illusions.
No. This is as real as your so-called life gets.
This is Lt La Forge, Captain.
We've been able to restore power to the shields.
Very good.
Captain, casualty list coming on screen.
Cancel. We'll deal with that later.
Sir, if we're to have any further dealings with the Borg,
we should find out all we can about them.
- Visit the ship? - I believe that's the only choice.
- Assemble a minimal away team. - What?
Mr Worf, transporter room three. Data.
I wouldn't go there, if I were you.
They paid us a visit. It seems only fair to return the courtesy.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We have been attacked by an alien race which Guinan calls the Borg.
We seem to have neutralized their vessel.
Cmdr Riker is leading an away team to try to learn more about them.
There are no life-sign readings.
I'll set you down in the least damaged section of the Borg ship.
Set phasers on stun. Be ready to increase power if we need it.
I wonder why they don't react. Or why we read no life signs.
- Especially with so many of them. - We scanned for individual life.
Apparently, in these slots, they become a part of the whole
and no longer read as separate life forms.
- Captain? - Go ahead, Number One.
Our readings were incorrect. The Borg crew survived.
They are in some kind of stasis.
- Explain. - There are slots along the wall,
compartments, with two Borg in each.
Captain, I theorize that they are interconnected through these slots
- and are working collectively. - We'll access their main computer.
Commander, I believe each slot is designed for a specific Borg.
Here is where the connection is made.
Like a juggernaut, it could begin moving at any moment.
The technology behind this biological and artificial interface
is beyond our capabilities. There are many advantages.
Speed being the most obvious.
This ship literally thinks what it wants, then it happens.
They either don't see us or don't see us as a threat.
- Transporter Chief. - O'Brien here, Captain.
If your fix on the away team wavers, beam them back at once.
Count on it, sir.
Captain, this is incredible.
We've entered what appears to be the Borg nursery.
Describe it.
It looks as if the Borg are born as a biological life form.
It seems that almost immediately after birth,
they begin artificial implants.
Apparently, they have the technology
to link artificial intelligence directly into the humanoid brain.
- What is it? - The ship seems to be regenerating.
This may explain why they have taken no notice of us.
Their effort is being directed into repairing this vessel.
the Borg seem to be using their combined power to repair the ship.
Transporter Chief, beam the away team to the bridge.
Let's get the hell out of here. Warp eight. Mr Crusher, engage.
Captain, the Borg are in pursuit.
On screen.
Increase to ten to the third power.
It's continuing to regenerate.
Let's see if we can outrun them. Mr La Forge, maximum warp
- for as long as we can hold it. - Yes, sir.
We are now passing warp 8.5.
Warp nine.
Arm photon torpedoes. Let's try to slow them down.
- Torpedoes armed. - Fire.
- They had no effect. - We are now at warp 9.65.
The Borg are still gaining.
They will follow you until you exhaust your fuel.
They will wear down your defences. Then you will be theirs.
Admit it, Picard, you should have stayed where you belonged.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We are unable to maintain the gap from the Borg ship.
Engineering to bridge.
- Go ahead. - That's all we can give you.
- I understand. - Captain, they are firing on us.
No reports of any damage to the Enterprise.
Captain, the target was not the ship.
The weapon was designed to drain the shields.
Confirmed. Shield effectiveness has been reduced 12 percent.
Captain, the Borg ship is closing.
They're firing again.
Shields reduced 41 percent. Another hit and we will be defenceless.
- Arm photon torpedoes. - Torpedoes armed.
Fire photons.
The Borg ship was not damaged.
You can't outrun or destroy them.
Damage them and their essence remains.
They regenerate and keep on. Eventually you will weaken.
Your reserves will be gone. They are relentless.
The Borg ship is firing.
We have lost shields again.
Captain, we've just lost the warp engines.
Where's your stubbornness now, your arrogance?
Do you still profess to be prepared for what awaits you?
Borg ship re-establishing its tractor beam.
- Lock on photon torpedoes. - Yes, sir.
Without our shields, at this range
it is probable a photon detonation could destroy the Enterprise.
- Prepare to fire. - I'll be leaving now.
You thought you could handle it, so handle it.
Q, ... end this.
What makes you think I'm inclined or capable to terminate this?
If we all die, here, ... now, ...
..you will not be able to gloat.
You wanted to frighten us.
We're frightened.
You wanted to show us that we were inadequate.
For the moment, ... I grant that.
You wanted me to say I need you.
I need you.
070, mark 63, sir.
Back where we started.
That was a difficult admission. Others would have been humiliated
to say those words. Another man would have rather died.
I understand what you've done here, Q.
But the lesson could have been learned without losing 18 of my crew.
If you can't take a bloody nose, go home and crawl under your bed.
It's not safe out here. It's wondrous,
with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross.
But it's not for the timid.
Mr Crusher, set course for the nearest starbase.
Course laid in for Starbase 83, sir.
Q set a series of events into motion,
bringing your contact with the Borg
much sooner than it should have come.
Now, perhaps when you're ready,
it might be possible to establish relations with them.
But for now, for right now, ...
..you're just raw material to them.
Since they are aware of your existence...
They will be coming.
You can bet on it.
Maybe Q did the right thing for the wrong reason.
- How so? - Well, ...
..perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency,
to prepare us for what lies ahead.

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