Captain's log, star date 45854.2.
The Enterprise is charting the six star systems of the Argolis Cluster,
an area being considered for colonization.
It's beautiful. But frightening at the same time.
I am detecting a transmission from within the system.
- What sort of signal? - It is self-repeating.
- Of unknown pattern. - Where is it from?
A small moon orbiting the fourth planet.
- Life signs? - Indeterminate.
I am attempting to screen out sensor interference.
Readings are inconclusive, but the moon's atmosphere can support life.
It could be a distress call.
Helm, take us into transport range.
Dr Crusher, transporter room two with a Medical team.
I'm reading one life form. Very weak signs.
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.
- Riker to Enterprise. - Go ahead, Number One.
We've found the wreckage of a craft.
One survivor. It's a Borg. Male. Adolescent. He's badly hurt.
Sir, there is no other Borg activity within sensor range.
Prepare to return to the ship.
We can't leave him here. He won't survive.
- The Captain understands that. - I don't.
The Borg collect their dead.
He's not dead! At least not yet.
The transmission was probably a homing signal.
They may be on their way.
Let me at least stabilize him. Give him a chance.
Your concern is noted, Doctor.
But any intervention would alert the Borg to our having been there.
We've turned that corner already.
Kill it now. Make it appear it died in the crash.
Leave no evidence that we were ever here.
Security measures must be taken before we beam it up.
Thank you. Standing by.
Notify Security to prepare a detention cell.
- Bridge to Engineering. - La Forge.
We're bringing up a Borg. We need to neutralize the homing signal.
Prevent it from sending or receiving any transmissions.
I'll set up a subspace damping field around the detention cell.
Four more. None survived.
- Picard to Riker. - Go ahead.
We are transporting you to the detention cell.
I need him in sickbay.
The cell, Doctor. Your equipment will be brought to you there.
Is there anything you wanted to talk about?
I don't think so, Counsellor.
I would have thought having a Borg on the ship would stir some feelings.
I'm quite recovered from my experience.
Sometimes, even when a victim has dealt with his assault,
there are residual effects of the event that linger.
You were treated violently by the Borg.
- Kidnapped, assaulted, mutilated... - Counsellor.
I very much appreciate your concern for me, but it is quite misplaced.
I have considered the implications of having a Borg on this ship.
I have weighed the possible risks,
and I am convinced we are doing the right thing.
Now, I am quite comfortable in my decision.
Well, if at any point you want to talk more...
I shall certainly avail myself of your help.
Lower the force field.
Captain, the Borg is still unconscious.
He has massive internal injuries. His brain implants were damaged.
I may have to remove them.
The Borg will die if they're removed permanently.
Their brains depend on the biochips.
Perhaps Geordi can make new implants.
They contain relatively straightforward programming.
We have the files from your experience, Captain.
I think I can manage it.
Mr. La Forge.
Do you know enough about Borg programming
to alter the pathways to their root-command structure?
I'm not sure, sir. Subroutines are complicated.
I'd probably have to study the data- processing algorithms for the codes.
If we could get to the root command,
we could introduce an invasive programming-sequence via its biochips
and return it to the hive.
Borg are interconnected. It would act like a virus.
Which would infect the entire collective.
We could disable their network at a stroke.
Infect it? You make it sound like a disease.
Quite right, Doctor.
If all goes well, a terminal one.
If this works how I think it will, it'll only be a matter of months
before total systems failure.
- Comments. - A question.
What exactly is total systems failure?
The Borg are computer dependent. A systems failure will destroy them.
We should be clear about that. We're discussing annihilating a race.
Which normally would be unconscionable.
But the Borg leave us no choice.
- I agree. We're at war. - There's been no declaration.
Not from us, but certainly from them. They attack us at every encounter.
They declared war. We are to be assimilated.
But even in war, there are rules. You don't kill civilians.
- There are no civilian Borg. - They're a single collective being.
No one Borg is more an individual than your arm or leg.
- How convenient. - Your point, Doctor?
When I look at my patient, I don't see a collective consciousness.
I see a living, breathing boy who is hurt and needs help.
We're talking about sending him back as a tool of destruction!
It comes down to this.
We face an enemy who want to destroy us
and we have no hope of negotiating a peace.
Unless that changes, we are justified in doing anything we can to survive.
- Security to Captain. - Picard here.
The Borg has regained consciousness.
We proceed with the plan.
What's he doing?
Looking for an access terminal so he can interface with the collective.
He doesn't understand that the signal is cut off.
He's emitting a homing signal and a subspace beacon,
but our damping field is blocking both signals.
He's alone. For the first time, he has to cope with his environment
without the resources of the collective.
He must be hungry.
The Borg don't ingest food.
Their implants can synthesize any organic molecules they require.
What they need is energy.
- Arrange to feed it. - Aye, sir.
I'll have to adapt a power conduit and install it in there.
If I didn't know better, I'd think he was scared.
I don't like this sport.
Last week when you scored two touches, you liked it.
Today, you were dropping your foil. You kept letting me inside.
But if I lift up, you lunge right underneath.
Let's face it, you're much better at this than I am.
I understand we have a guest on board.
- Is that wise? - I'm not sure. I hope so.
I thought I understood you, but I don't understand this.
It was an errand of mercy. He was injured.
Dr Crusher decided for humanitarian reasons to care for him.
They're gonna come after us. You, of all people, know that.
Shall we go again?
Are you alright?
You felt sorry for me. Look what it got you.
I'll have to go in to connect the power conduit.
I will follow the Commander. Reactivate the field once we're in.
Good. Now stay that way.
We are Borg.
You will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile.
Just look around, pal. You're hardly in a position to make any demands.
We must return to the collective.
- Who's we? - We are Borg.
Yeah, but there's only one of you.
Do you have a name? A means of identification?
Third of Five.
There were five on your ship. Is that it? Just a number?
Third of Five.
It does kind of suit you.
This is for you.
It regulates power flow to the frequency you're used to.
This connection should fit that coupling on your arm.
- Let's get out of here. - Lower the force field.
He's hungry alright.
- Why do you do this? - I'm just a nice guy at heart.
- Are you feeling better? - You are not Borg.
That's right. And I hope to stay that way.
You will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile.
That's gratitude for you!
I've rationed his portions of energy. I think he understands.
When he cooperates he gets fed. If not...
Like a rat in a cage.
If I'm going to figure out his command pathways,
I need to learn how he processes data.
The only way I know how to do that is by perceptual tests.
For that, I need his cooperation.
So he can help with the destruction of his species.
- Doctor... - I know. We're at war.
I'm here to help, but I don't have to like it.
I think we're ready to transport him.
Any trouble, we can access the force field through that console.
Are you ready?
La Forge to transporter room three. We're ready here.
- We're standing by. - Energize.
Third of Five, this is Dr Crusher. Dr Crusher, this is Third of Five.
- Hello. - What is a doctor?
A doctor heals the sick and repairs the injured.
The sick and injured are reabsorbed.
Others take their place.
That isn't what happened to you. When we found you, you were dying.
- I saved your life. - Why?
It's my duty to help those who are hurt.
- You give us food. - Yeah.
Is that your duty?
Yeah, that's right.
Dr Crusher has repaired a lot of the damage to your biochip implants.
We want to run tests, make sure everything's working OK.
I'd like to show you a few diagrams and ask you questions about them.
You will be assimilated.
Yes, but before that, could we ask you a few questions?
- We will answer. - Terrific.
Hang on just a second here, Third of Five.
- What is your designation? - Designation?
- Third of Five. - You mean our names.
We don't have designations, we have names.
I'm Beverly. This is Geordi.
- Do I have a name? - Do you want one?
I'm Beverly, he's Geordi, and you...
- You. - You...
Wait a minute. That's it. Hugh.
- What do you think? - You.
No, not "you". Hugh.
- Hugh. - OK. Now...
- I'm Beverly. - I'm Geordi.
We are Hugh.
Imagine what this shape would look like turned inside out.
Which one is it?
- This one. - That's right.
He's gotten every one. Eight out of eight.
It blows the top off the spatial-acuity percentiles.
It's the prosthetic eye.
It seems to give him very complex visual information.
Like some kind of holographic imaging system.
That could be helpful.
Hugh, I'd like to take a closer look at your eyepiece. Is that OK?
When you are assimilated, you will have a similar device.
Hugh, do you understand we don't want to be assimilated?
Why do you resist us?
Because we don't want to live the way you do.
Here it is quiet. There are no other voices.
On a Borg ship, we live with the thoughts of the others in our minds.
Thousands of voices with us always.
I think what you are saying is that you're lonely.
When you have completed these tests, what will be done with us?
We'll send you home.
We will rejoin the collective?
When I started creating this invasive program, I had no problem with it.
The more I work with Hugh, the more...
Yeah. That's what we call him.
You named the Borg?
It was easier having something to call him.
So now you have a Borg named Hugh.
Right. And he's nothing like what I expected.
- How so? - I don't know. It's...
It's like he's just some kid who's far away from home.
You are the second person to refer to that Borg as a sort of lost child.
I'm having second thoughts about what we're doing.
Programming him like some sort of walking bomb.
- Sending him back to destroy others. - Let me tell you something.
When that kid's big brothers come looking for him,
they're not gonna stop till they find him.
Then they're gonna come looking for us and they will destroy us.
And they will not do any of the soul-searching
that you are doing now.
Why don't you talk to him? It might not be so clear cut then.
Because I wouldn't have anything to say.
Then why don't you just listen? That is what you do best, isn't it?
What is it?
We've picked up a vessel headed this way.
The vessel is travelling at warp 7.6.
Mass, 2.5 million metric tons.
Its dimensions indicate a scout ship like the one that crashed.
The star's radiation will shield us from their sensors.
We should remain undetected for now.
How long do we have?
At present speed, they will arrive in 31 hours, seven minutes.
You don't look so tough.
We are Borg.
Aren't you gonna tell me you'll assimilate me?
You wish to be assimilated?
No, but that's what you things do, isn't it?
- "Resistance is futile." - Resistance is futile.
My people resisted when the Borg came to assimilate us.
Some of us survived.
Resistance is not futile?
No. But thanks to you, there are very few of us left.
We're scattered throughout the galaxy.
We don't even have a home any more.
What you are saying is that you are lonely.
You have no others. You have no home.
We are also lonely.
What is Geordi doing?
I'm studying the components in your prosthesis.
We're trying to learn more about you.
Because you're different than we are.
Part of what we do is learn more about other species.
We assimilate species.
Then we know everything about them.
Yeah. I know.
Is that not easier?
Maybe it is. It's just not what we do.
Alright. Think of it this way.
Every time you talk about yourself you use the word "we".
"We want this. We want that."
You don't even know how to think of yourself as an individual.
You don't say "I want this" or "I am Hugh".
We are all separate individuals. I am Geordi.
I chose what to do with my life. I make decisions for myself.
For somebody like me, losing that individuality is worse than dying.
When you sleep, there are no other voices in your mind?
Are you ever lonely?
Sometimes. But that's why we have friends.
- Friends? - Sure.
Someone you can talk to. Who will be with you when you're lonely.
Someone who makes you feel better.
Like Geordi. And Hugh.
- That's it. - It looks harmless enough.
We had to disguise it. The Borg can screen out program anomalies.
How can a geometric form disable a computer system?
The shape is a paradox. It cannot exist in real time or space.
When Hugh imprints this on his biochips, he'll try to analyze it.
He will be unsuccessful and will store the shape in his memory banks.
It will be retained for further analysis.
When the Borg download his memory, they'll try to analyze it.
It is designed so that each step will spawn an anomalous solution.
The anomalies will link together to form an endless, unsolvable puzzle.
Quite original. How long before a total systems failure?
Not until the shape undergoes several hundred cycles.
- When can you begin? - In about 20 hours.
Dr Crusher wants to monitor the new implants.
Very well. Begin as soon as you're ready.
I have to admit I've been having second thoughts about this plan.
- In what way? - Well...
I've been getting to know him. The Borg.
He's not what I expected, Captain. He's got feelings. He's homesick.
I don't know. It doesn't seem right using him this way.
Centuries ago when lab animals were used for experiments,
scientists would become attached to the creatures.
This would be a problem if the experiment involved killing them.
I would suggest that you unattach yourself from the Borg, Mr. La Forge.
Guinan. Please come in.
Are you sure? You look like you're preparing for a quiet evening.
No, I'm delighted to see you. Can I get you a drink?
No, thank you.
I was thinking how you said the other day that my foil was dipping.
That I should get some exercise and strengthen my arm.
A strong forearm is certainly an advantage in fencing.
About the Borg.
Aren't you the least bit surprised by him?
- Surprised? - You know he has a name?
La Forge gave it to him.
His name is Hugh. And he's lonely.
I don't know what made me go see him.
La Forge said I should, but I said no.
And suddenly there I was standing there, staring at him.
I thought it was just curiosity.
I need to hear you say that you are sure you're doing the right thing.
If you're here to persuade me not to use the program...
No. I think I need you to persuade me.
Two days ago, you were so upset the Borg was even on the ship
that you tore my foil out of my hand.
And now you're questioning whether it should be treated as the enemy?
No. But when you talk to him,
can you honestly say you don't have any doubt?
- I haven't talked to it. - Why not?
- I saw no need. - If you're gonna use this person...
It's not a person, damn it, it's a Borg!
If you are going to use this person to destroy his race,
you should at least look him in the eye once before you do it.
Because I am not sure he is still a Borg.
Because it's been given a name doesn't mean it's not a Borg.
Because it's young doesn't mean that it's innocent.
It is what it is.
And in spite of efforts to turn it into some kind of pet,
I will not alter my plans.
But if you don't talk to him at least once,
you may find that decision a lot harder to live with than you realize.
- Worf to Capt Picard. - Yes, Lieutenant.
We are ready to transport.
Lieutenant, you may wait outside.
I am Locutus of Borg.
- Why are you here? - This is a primitive culture.
I am here to facilitate its incorporation.
- We are Hugh. - This is not a Borg identification.
Third of Five.
This culture will be assimilated.
- They do not wish it. - Irrelevant.
- They will resist us. - Resistance is futile.
Resistance is not futile.
- Some have escaped. - They will be found.
It is inevitable. All will be assimilated.
- Must Geordi be assimilated? - Yes.
He does not wish it.
He would rather die than be assimilated.
Then he will die.
Geordi must not die.
Geordi is a friend.
You will assist us to assimilate this vessel.
You are Borg. You will assist us.
I will not.
What did you say?
I will not assist you.
Geordi must not be assimilated.
But you are Borg.
I am Hugh.
I think I deliberately avoided meeting the Borg
because I didn't want anything to get in the way of our plan.
But now that I have...
He seems to be a fully realized individual.
He's even accepted me as Picard, ship's Captain, and not as Locutus.
- You've reconsidered the plan? - Yes.
To use him in this manner,
we'd be no better than the enemy that we seek to destroy.
So, I want other options.
We can return him to the crash site.
Remove his memory of the Enterprise.
But if we erase his memory, who he is or who he has become is destroyed.
Isn't that the point? He'd be reassimilated.
Does it seem right to help him become an individual and then take it away?
Will the Borg destroy him if they find out what happened?
I doubt it. More likely they'd wipe out his memory of those experiences.
Then either way, his memory would have been erased.
But perhaps, in that short time before they purge his memory,...
..the sense of individuality which he has gained with us
might be transmitted through the entire Borg collective.
Every Borg given the opportunity to experience the feeling of...
Perhaps that's the most pernicious program of all.
The knowledge of self being spread throughout the collective.
And that brief moment...
..might alter them forever.
We leave his memory intact.
I have a question. What if he doesn't want to go back?
- Hello, Hugh. - Hello, Geordi.
Hugh, a Borg rescue vessel is coming. It will be here within three hours.
We can return you to the crash site. They will find you and take you home.
Or if you wish, you can stay here with us.
- What I wish is irrelevant. - It's not irrelevant, Hugh.
- It matters to us. - No Borg leaves the collective.
If they find I am missing, they will come for me.
Well, we'll deal with that later. We must know what you want.
You are many, I am one.
What I want is not important.
Don't you understand? We're giving you a choice.
- Choice? - Yes, a choice.
Do you want to go back with the Borg or stay with us?
- I could stay with you? - We could grant you asylum, Hugh.
Choose what I want?
I would choose to stay with Geordi.
But it is too dangerous.
They will follow.
Return me to the crash site.
It is the only way.
Hugh. Think about this.
Are you sure?
The Borg ship will enter orbit in one hour. You'll soon be headed home.
We'll beam him down and wait in the star's chromosphere.
The interference will hide us.
Goodbye, Hugh. It was nice getting to know you.
Goodbye, Beverly. You saved my life.
Hugh, it's not too late to change your mind.
I must return.
Captain, I'd like to go down with him.
In my experience, they'd ignore him. Do you agree?
The Borg assimilate civilizations, not individuals.
But they kidnapped you.
They needed a liaison to communicate.
They ignored our away teams, including yours, Doctor.
You may accompany him.
Captain, I do not want to forget that I am Hugh.
We found you there, in the middle of that debris.
Then that is where I will wait.
We are now entering position. Radiation levels are rising.
Increase power to the shields. Hold us here.
Status of the Borg ship?
Radiation is rendering our sensors inoperable.
At last known course and speed,
the Borg ship will enter the system in three minutes.
Well, I guess this is it?
- So long, Hugh. - Goodbye, Geordi.
I will try to remember you.