First Officer's Log, Stardate 50614.2.
Ensign Kaplan and l are returning to Voyager
after completing a scouting mission in the Nekrit Expanse.
The nebula's completely scrambling
our navigational readings.
l still can't get a fix on our position.
Are you saying we're lost, Ensign?
That... depends what you mean by ''lost,'' sir.
as in you still can't get a fix on our position.
l'm sorry, sir.
Try hailing Voyager again.
No response. We must still be out of com range.
Then we'll just have to navigate
the old-fashioned way-- engage optical scanners.
l'm picking up an asteroid field at coordinates 1 13 mark 7.
That asteroid field?
lt's the same one we passed two hours ago.
We're not only lost, we're flying in circles.
lt's a Federation hailing beacon--
originating bearing 309 mark 4.
at least someone knows where we are.
Setting a course.
The signal's coming from the planet's surface.
ls it possible Voyager's landed?
Sensor readings are sketchy.
l'm detecting about 80,000 humanoid life signs
on the western continent,
some rudimentary structures and technology,
but no energy signature big enough to be a starship.
l'm getting another hail.
The signal's very weak...
and it's definitely not being sent by Voyager.
Try adjusting the bandwidth.
...Colony to Federation vessel.
We need your help, urgently.
This is Commander Chakotay of the Starship Voyager.
Please identify yourself.
l'm not reading you.
Federation vessel, please respond to this...
We lost them, sir.
They've identified us as a Federation ship.
Who would know that?
Whoever they are, they're asking for our help.
Launch a message buoy letting Voyager know
we've landed in response to a distress call.
This place looks like a war zone.
l can't pinpoint the source of the transmission.
l'm Commander Chakotay of the Starship Voyager.
We're responding to a distress call.
We're looking for whoever it was
that asked for our help.
Take him inside.
l'd lie still if l were you.
You've got a nasty head injury.
My name's Riley Frazier.
What's yours, Commander?
Why did you attack us?
Those weren't my people.
l'm the one who sent the distress call.
We rescued you.
What did you do with Kaplan?
She didn't make it.
l've got to get back to my shuttle.
Your shuttle isn't there anymore.
The people who attacked you have already pulled it apart.
l'm here to help you.
How did l get here?
l could ask you the same question.
l was pretty surprised
when l picked up a Federation ship out there--
not that l wasn't happy about it.
lt's a long story.
Why don't you go first?
Seven or eight years ago...
l was working as a Science Officer
on a vessel in the Bolian sector.
We were attacked without warning by aliens.
They overpowered us in minutes, and those of us who survived
were put in some kind of stasis.
The next thing we knew, we were here on this planet.
lt didn't take too many hours of stargazing
to realize we weren't in the Alpha Quadrant any longer.
There are other humans here?
Three that l know of besides me--
what was left of my crew--
along with some Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans,
and dozens of other species l'd never seen before.
And the ones that put you in stasis?
l don't know.
They must have had some kind of colony here at some time
because of the ruined buildings and equipment
they left scattered around.
We've never seen them again.
Everyone here has pretty much the same story.
They were just grabbed from wherever they happened to be
Why did those people kill Kaplan?
We were no threat to them.
There are dozens of different races on this planet,
all of whom were brought here against their will.
Many of them are suspicious of other species.
lt's not exactly a United Federation around here,
if you know what l mean.
So those kind of attacks-- they go on all the time.
Resources are pretty limited.
lt didn't take long for the fighting to start.
a group of Klingons attacked the Cardassians.
Then the Farn raided the Parein;
eventually things just got out of hand,
and now it's anarchy.
But some of us, a few hundred or so,
we've tried to make the best of it.
We've established a cooperative--
sharing work and whatever provisions we have.
l've got to contact my ship.
The raiders destroyed the communications array.
lt'll take days to fix it.
l can help you.
Our medic examined you.
You suffered serious neural trauma.
You're staying put.
And that's an order, Commander.
Captain's Log, Stardate 50622.4.
While Commander Chakotay
scouts for a faster route through the Nekrit Expanse,
we are continuing our month-long journey
through the sparsely populated region.
You know, they ought to rename
this place the ''negative expanse.''
We haven't run across anything interesting for days.
lf you're bored, Mr. Paris,
l'm sure l can find something else for you to do.
The warp plasma filters are due for a thorough cleaning.
Now that you mention it, Captain,
l find this region of space a real navigational challenge.
l believe l may have found something else
to pique Mr. Paris's interest, Captain.
lt's an unidentified ship on long-range sensors.
What sort of ship?
Sensor readings are very limited,
but the vessel appears to be stopped
directly in our current flight path.
Harry, send a standard greeting.
They're not responding.
Try retransmitting the hail on wide-band subspace.
Still no response.
We are entering visual range.
All stop. Shields to maximum.
Stand by all weapons.
Tuvok, are they scanning us?
None of the Borg systems appears to be operational.
He's right. They're adrift.
Maybe they're trying to lull us into a false sense of security.
That would not be consistent with typical Borg tactics.
l want to try a multiphasic scan.
Tom, stand by to get us out of here in case they react.
Proceed, Mr. Kim.
l'm not picking up any active energy signatures.
And no life signs.
Well, that's a relief.
However, we should avoid complacency.
The Borg are known to retrieve
their damaged technology.
lt is quite possible
we will encounter additional Borg vessels
which are fully manned and powered.
That's exactly why we're going to board that ship.
This is a rare opportunity
to learn as much as we can about Borg technology.
l might be able to get one of their data nodes running
and find out what disabled their ship.
lf we're lucky,
we may find a weakness we can use against them,
in case we run into one
of their fully manned and powered ships.
Tuvok, assemble an away team.
...take us into transporter range.
We grow all our own food in a cooperative garden.
Sorry there's no meat.
l'm a vegetarian.
l have recurring dreams
about my mother's famous Texas barbecue.
So, your journey home--
how much longer do you expect it'll take you?
About 67 years.
Provided we don't find a wormhole
or some other faster way of getting back.
Haven't you ever thought about finding some nice M-Class planet
and putting down roots?
We'd be missing an incredible opportunity
to explore unknown space.
Besides, we've made a good life for ourselves on Voyager.
l'm sure Captain Janeway would be amenable
to take as many of your people with us as we can accommodate.
Take us with you?
l assumed that's why you sent the distress call.
We want to stay.
But you were brought here against your will.
You just said how dangerous it is.
For better or worse, this place has become our home.
The people in the cooperative...
they're like my ancestors--
l can understand that, but...
We have a deep connection
to one another that l've never felt before,
not even with members of my own family.
l guess it's because of what we've all gone through together.
What about those unfriendly neighbors of yours?
We've been able to bring a few of them into our group.
But you're right, they're a problem.
That's why we want your help.
medical supplies, maybe some weapons.
We're creating a society here--
one that's based on tolerance, shared responsibility,
and mutual respect-- that people like you and l
were raised to believe in.
We're not about to give it up just because it's difficult.
l'd better get back to work on the communications array.
l'll come with you.
You're still in no shape to fight, if we're attacked.
l'll be back to check on you soon.
lt's like a ghost ship.
Allowing yourself to become apprehensive
can only be counterproductive, Lieutenant.
l'm not being apprehensive, Tuvok.
l'm just nervous as hell.
This is one of the access nodes.
lf we can get it operational,
l should be able to tap into the main data systems.
there should be a compatible micro-power conduit
somewhere in that module.
Connect it to this generator.
As far as we can tell,
all activity on the Borg ship ceased abruptly five years ago.
Our scans have detected 1,100 corpses.
We located a breached section of the vessel
where the spatial vacuum preserved
several of the bodies perfectly.
We brought one aboard.
We're hoping that an autopsy
might give us some clue as to what killed them.
The question is:
Why have the Borg left one of their ships
and all its technology adrift in space for anyone to find?
lt is possible that the deactivation of the ship
and its systems
severed the link with the rest of the collective.
But what caused the shutdown in the first place?
lt could've been some kind of natural disaster...
Maybe the Borg were defeated by an enemy
even more powerful than they were.
Tuvok, continue scanning for any Borg vessels
in the vicinity,
as well as any other ships that might be more powerful.
B'Elanna, you and the Doctor get started on that autopsy.
ln the meantime, l think it would be a good idea
to rendezvous with Commander Chakotay
a little ahead of schedule,
and let him know we've run into some old friends.
Hello? Anybody there?
What are you?
Are you Borg?
We were Borg.
You mean you weren't just kidnapped,
you were assimilated by the collective.
At Wolf 359.
l was a Science Officer aboard the Roosevelt.
But five years ago,
our cube was damaged by an electrokinetic storm.
The next thing we knew,
our link to the collective was severed.
We were free.
We could think for ourselves again,
remember our names,
where we'd come from.
lt was like waking up from a long nightmare.
We took what we thought we could use,
and transported ourselves here.
Everything was new again-- the sounds of our own voices,
forgotten memories, the taste of food.
Our original skin pigmentation began to come back.
Many of us were able to remove our Borg appendages.
l was even lucky enough
to get a prosthetic arm Orum created,
using Borg replication equipment.
ln spite of how little we had, it was a joyous, hopeful time.
After the euphoria wore off,
people started looking around,
and found they were living among other cultures
they didn't understand--
or worse, species they'd been taught to hate.
They turned against one another.
Things became chaotic.
The fighting, the raids...
But we're not all like that.
Everything l told you about forming a cooperative,
building a new society-- l meant it.
Riley's telling the truth, Commander Chakotay.
Look at me-- l was Romulan.
l was taught to hate humans, the Federation--
but Riley and l are friends now.
l'm part of the cooperative.
Orum's our medic.
He's the one who examined you.
Why didn't you tell me all this in the first place?
l know how people feel about the Borg,
and they're right.
We did terrible things.
You'd been assimilated.
You weren't in control of your actions.
Then you'll still help us?
l think, right now,
it's Commander Chakotay who needs our help.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
We've detected a message buoy
launched from Chakotay's shuttle
and are heading toward it.
The autopsy of the Borg corpse is underway.
l must say, there's nothing like the vacuum of space
for preserving a handsome corpse.
Subject's abdominal organs are unremarkable.
Pulmonary system exhibits evidence
of extensive alveolar damage, as well as a slight swelling
consistent with exposure to space...
ln addition, there are signs
of severe cardiac depolarization.
lt sounds like he was electrocuted.
Very good, Kes.
That would support our theory
about what happened aboard their ship.
We think that their main power conduits were overloaded
by a massive electro-mechanical discharge.
This is intriguing.
What do you think that is?
lt may be some sort of axonal amplifier.
Kes, hand me a cortical probe.
Shut it down!
What the hell happened?
ls it still alive?
Of course not.
Apparently, l inadvertently activated
a backup neuroelectric power cell.
The response was purely autonomic.
There's no reason for concern.
l wouldn't be so sure about that.
What do you mean?
That ''autonomic response'' caused this drone
to reset back to its original programming.
lf the rest of those corpses somehow reactivate--
we'd have a major problem on our hands.
l'm afraid he's getting worse.
There must be something we can do for him.
You know better than anyone
how limited our medical resources are.
As far as l'm concerned, there is only one option.
Would it be safe?
Would... what be safe?
As l'm sure you're aware,
the Borg collective consciousness
is extremely powerful.
lt allowed us to transfer information instantaneously--
to think with one mind.
But what you may not be aware of
is the link also has inherent medical applications.
We were connected by a continuous
neuroelectric field that was capable of regenerating
the damaged components of an injured Borg.
Think of it as a subspace transfusion.
Only instead of one person giving blood,
there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of donors
simultaneously transmitting neuroelectric energy
to whoever needed it.
This process was often successful
in healing both organic and inorganic body parts.
This is all... very fascinating,
but l don't see how it helps me.
We still have Borg neural processors implanted
in our nervous systems.
Removing them would've killed us.
Using a portable neuro-transponder,
we have the ability to relink our brain patterns.
l thought you said the link was severed.
But we can reinitiate it
among a small group, for a short time.
We could generate a neuroelectric field
that could heal your injuries.
You want to... hook up my mind to some... Borg collective?
No, no, that's not it at all.
We'd be in complete control.
You'd simply be linked, for a limited period of time,
to Riley, me, and a few of the others in our group
willing to help you.
l'm not letting anyone implant
some neural processor in my brain.
That wouldn't be necessary.
l'd simply attach a small neuro-transceiver
to the base of your skull.
We'd initiate the link, and the transceiver
could be removed as soon as the procedure was over.
l assure you, other than repairing neural tissue,
there would be no lasting effects.
but l don't think so.
l-l can see why you're skeptical.
l would be, too.
Look around you-- Orum and l, the others--
We have distinct personalities.
We're not about to turn you into some kind of automaton.
l'll take my chances and wait for Voyager.
l'm afraid that help may come too late, Commander.
lf we don't do something
to slow the neural degradation immediately...
you will die.
you have to make a decision.
Any sign of Voyager?.
l can't change who we are.
l wasn't truthful with you before, and l'm sorry,
but please, believe me when l tell you
we only want to help you.
Orum will take every precaution.
At least let us try and save you.
lt's either that
or the happy hunting grounds, huh?
This is the neuro-transceiver.
Don't be afraid, Chakotay.
We're here to help you.
Open your mind to our thoughts,
and concentrate on getting well.
Hear our voices.
Open your mind to our thoughts.
Our collective strength can heal you.
You're safe with us.
Feel the connection.
We're with you.
See who we are.
You're not alone.
Our strength is your strength.
We can overcome your pain.
We welcome you into our thoughts.
There's nothing to fear.
We won't let you die.
We're all one circle-- no beginning, no end.
How do you feel?
Don't worry. lt's gone.
lt looks like the treatment worked.
Orum says the degraded tissue has shown marked improvement.
lt was incredible.
l heard all of you-- your thoughts inside my head--
as if they were my thoughts.
And l could see myself...
through your eyes.
Then you must have caught me staring.
What were they?
lmages from the minds of the people who linked with you.
Members of their families, their homes...
l know things about all of them...
You like bluebonnets.
My favorite flower.
You used to pick them
back home in Texas with a man who carried a walking stick.
l know so much about you.
We shared a very rare experience.
l felt that.
What about this?
lt's a residual effect from the link.
How long will it last?
Can you still hear what l'm thinking?
Then you know l want to be closer to you.
l want us to know everything about each other.
l want you to feel everything l feel.
According to the buoy,
Commander Chakotay and Ensign Kaplan
landed on the surface in response
to a distress call three days ago.
Can you locate the shuttle?
There is no sign of it anywhere on the planet.
What about their combadges?
l'm only picking up one signal.
lt's in a heavily populated region.
Signal's very weak.
Voyager to Commander Chakotay.
Do you read?
Ensign Kaplan, this is Captain Janeway.
Electrodynamic turbulence from the nebula
is interfering with the transmission.
lt's going to take me a while to clear it up.
Hand me that hyper-spanner.
That should at least get
the short-range transmitters operational.
Now, if we can get
the signal amplifiers on line...
l never would've figured you
to be quite so handy with a circuitry panel.
Well, l guess you haven't learned
everything about me, have you?
Commander, l just wanted to say how grateful to you we all are.
You're the ones who saved my life.
But you've added so much to the cooperative--
a renewed sense of hope, an infusion of energy.
You have no idea how invigorating it was
to have a new mind in the link,
even if it was only for a short time.
There have been so few of us for so long, l...
Well, l'll let you two get back to work.
l was so resistant to being linked.
Now l'm almost sorry it's over.
Last night, when we were still connected,
l realized what it is you really want from us.
lt's more than just supplies and security upgrades.
lt's a pretty radical concept.
Sometimes radical problems require radical solutions.
Riley! Commander Chakotay!
We've detected a ship in orbit.
lt must be Voyager.
l hope you'll at least discuss our idea
with your Captain.
Why don't you tell her about it yourself?
We've given it a great deal of thought,
and we believe the solution to our problem
is to reestablish the neural link
among all the former Borg living on the planet.
You can't be serious.
l know it sounds extreme, Captain,
but l think you should hear her out.
lf you'll think about it, Captain,
when we were linked, we had no ethnic conflict.
There was no crime, no hunger, no health problems.
We lived as one harmonious family.
With all due respect, Dr. Frazier,
you were ''one harmonious family''
bent on the violent assimilation of innocent cultures.
But we're not Borg anymore, and we've learned from our past.
All we want to do is to take the one good thing
that existed in the midst of all that horror--
our unique ability to cooperate and problem-solve--
and use it to create a safe and productive community.
Tell me how, exactly.
The neuro-transponder we've built
is only powerful enough to link a small group of people,
like the one that helped heal Chakotay's wounds.
ln any case, the effect is only temporary.
ln order to reconnect the entire population permanently,
we'd need a much bigger neuroelectric field generator.
l'm afraid we don't have anything like that.
But the Borg cube does.
What they're asking us to do
is reactivate that ship's neuroelectric generator
and redirect it toward the planet.
They want us to reactivate... a Borg ship?
Not the whole ship, just the generator.
And it only needs to be operational for a few minutes,
in order to reactivate the link.
There's no telling what would happen
if we turned on one of those generators, even for an instant.
For all we know, it would attract other Borg vessels.
Captain, l can assure you, we'd take every precaution.
Dr. Frazier, l admire your tenacity.
l respect your courage.
l'll give you medical supplies.
l'll assist you with upgrading your security.
l'll even take some of you with us,
if you want to come.
But as to what you're proposing,
l have to tell you, l'm extremely skeptical.
ln fairness, however,
l will give it some further thought.
What do you think?
lf you're asking me whether or not she's sincere,
l have to say yes.
You got to know them very well?
That's an understatement.
l heard their thoughts, felt their feelings,
saw through their eyes.
And, in all the time you were linked,
you never sensed anything negative--
no hidden agenda, no destructive intent?
Do you think we should do what they're asking?
l really care about what happens to these people.
So, in my heart, l'd like to do everything we can to help them.
But, if l were sitting in your chair,
l'd have to take other considerations into account.
Not only would it mean imposing a choice
on thousands of people who had no voice in the decision,
but it would also be taking a terrible risk.
Helping to create a new collective?
Who knows what the repercussions might be?
l'll let Riley know.
l'm afraid her decision was final.
l wish it weren't, but l expected as much.
What about the raiders?
How long do you think you can hold out against them?
Well, we'll just have to do the best we can.
Who knows, maybe we'll find some other way to get to the cube
and reinitiate the link.
Come with us.
We could replicate some Texas barbecue.
l'm sure it won't compare to your mother's,
but l think it...
Don't think it's not tempting.
But my place is here.
l know you understand.
l've never understood anyone better in my life.
Well, we're finished laying in the supplies.
Thank you, Neelix.
Uh, we'd better get going.
What you need is a good thrashing on the hoverball court
to take your mind off things.
Good. l'll reserve some holodeck time
as soon as we're back.
Chakotay, can you hear us?
Did you say something?
Are you getting a com transmission?
Must've been my imagination.
You sure you're okay?
Chakotay, we need your help.
We need your help.
l'm going to tell the Doctor
he needs to take a look at you as soon as we're back.
Torres to Sick Bay.
Don't do that.
Chakotay, give me the phaser.
Captain, Commander Chakotay's shuttle
has changed course.
Try hailing them.
They are increasing speed to maximum impulse.
Tom, lay in a pursuit course.
Tell Neelix we'll rendezvous with his shuttle later.
Chakotay, transport to module 47 omega.
The bunker is under attack.
Section nine, mark coordinates.
We are under attack.
Nine alpha alpha.
We must hurry.
The bunker is under attack.
We are under attack.
Proceed to interlink console three beta six.
Hear our thoughts.
Our thoughts are one.
lnterlink three beta six.
Proceed to interlink console three beta six.
Hear our thoughts.
Check that area out.
Lower right panel, attach power conduit 166.
Pathway pi two.
We are under attack.
Pathway pi two.
Activate the neuroelectric generator.
Power circuit mechanism.
Activate the generator.
We must activate the neuroelectric generator now.
Chakotay, need your help.
Commander, take your hand away from that console
or l will be forced to fire.
You must not let them stop you.
You must do this.
You must move power circuit mechanism alpha
to position one.
Hear our voices.
We welcome you into our thoughts.
Feel the connection.
Voyager, emergency beam-out.
Chakotay, B'Elanna and the away team are all back,
and we've tractored in the shuttle.
Take us out of here slowly.
Captain, the Borg ship is powering weapons.
Mr. McKenzie, full power to the shields.
Arm all phaser banks and prepare to fire.
Captain, the Borg ship
has initiated a self-destruct sequence.
lt'll go in three seconds.
Get us out of here.
Shields are holding.
No injuries or hull damage.
What the hell happened back there?
Audio transmission, Captain.
From the planet's surface.
Let's hear it.
We are the new cooperative.
We have destroyed the Borg cube.
We regret that we forced Commander Chakotay to assist us,
but it was necessary for our survival.
His link with the cooperative has now been severed.
Our lasting gratitude.
His neuropeptide levels have returned to normal.
And there are no residual traces of the link?
How were they able to reestablish the connection?
My best guess is that the residual neuropeptides
heightened his telepathic receptivity.
l thought their limited equipment made it impossible
for them to form the link over great distances.
Apparently, once they repaired their communications array,
they were able to use it to amplify the signal
from their neural transponder.
Would you two please excuse us?
l don't know what to say, except... l'm sorry.
Based on what the Doctor's told us,
it's clear you were acting against your will.
But somehow that doesn't make me feel any better.
l helped them repair their communications array,
and l told you they were sincere.
Helping others, Chakotay, that's part of who you are.
Given everything you believe in,
l don't see how you could've behaved differently.
But l couldn't have been more wrong about them, could l?
l don't know.
l'm not saying l'm happy about what happened.
But, so far, they haven't acted like typical Borg.
They saved us from that cube,
and they let you go.
But they didn't hesitate
to impose their collective will on me
when it served their interests, did they?
No, they didn't.
l wonder how long their ideals will last
in the face of that kind of power?