So, how's the newest addition to our family?
At the moment, she's stable,
but the prognosis isn't clear.
Her human physiology has begun to reassert itself--
respiratory system, neurological functions, immune response.
But those systems are swarming
with Borg implants.
There's a battle being waged inside her body
between the biological and the technological,
and l'm not sure which is going to win.
Well, it's time we brought her up- to- date.
Wake her.
Captain Janeway.
What have you...?
The others; l can't hear the others.
The voices are gone.
We had to neutralize the neuro- transceiver
in your upper spinal column.
Your link to the collective has been severed.
You will return this drone to the Borg.
l'm afraid l can't do that.
You will return this drone to the Borg!
lf l were to turn this ship around
and head back into Borg territory,
l'd be putting my crew at risk.
l'm not prepared to do that.
Try to understand.
You have to stay on board Voyager,
but l'm offering you freedom from the collective,
and l assure you, we'll do everything
we can to help the transition...
You will supply us with a subspace transmitter
and leave us on the nearest planet.
The Borg will come for us.
lt's too late for that.
Your human cells are starting to regenerate.
You won't survive without medical care.
We need nothing from you.
We are Borg.
We ar...
This implant is being rejected by the tissue underneath.
lt's going to have to be removed.
You will suppress the human immune system!
l'm sorry, but the process has gone too far.
We've got to get you to Sick Bay.
No! We are Borg!
We are Borg!
This armor plating is anchored to the skull
with over 3 million microconnectors.
There's no time to cut through them.
l'm going to have to remove the outer layer of the skull itself.
Lieutenant, will you please leave the surgical bay!
This Borg is a security risk.
She is heavily sedated.
l assure you, she's not going anywhere.
Thank you.
Kes, l want you to anesthetize her cranial nerves.
20 milligrams anetrizine.
Yes, Doctor.
l don't know what happened.
l looked at the hypospray, and it just came to me.
Have you been experimenting with your psychokinetic abilities?
No, not for months.
But l have been feeling a little strange lately--
lots of energy, sleeping less...
l can see why.
Your serotonin levels are 62 percent above normal.
lt's the telepathic centers of your brain.
They're in a state of hyperstimulation,
like they were a few days ago,
when you were in contact with Species 8472.
Are they attempting to communicate with you again?
This time, it's different.
l don't feel their presence at all.
Perhaps she's experiencing an aftereffect of some kind.
A reasonable diagnosis...
for a security officer.
l'll run a full microsynaptic analysis,
but it will have to wait.
We should get back to our Borg.
Come in.
Ship's status report.
We've got two teams on the hull stripping off the Borg armor.
They're working around the clock,
but it's still slow going.
What about the warp drive?
Torres is having problems cleaning out the plasma relays.
lt's disrupting the antimatter reaction.
Until she's got it fixed, we're stuck at impulse.
She's requesting all personnel
with a level- 3 engineering rating or higher
to lend a hand.
Tactical update?
Long- range sensors are picking up
residual transwarp signatures-- Borg vessels.
They passed by probably three days ago.
So we're not out of the woods yet.
Having half our propulsion system overrun by Borg implants
doesn't make repairs any easier.
Seven of Nine could help us with that.
That might be true, if she were willing,
but she's not in the most cooperative mood.
That could change.
l just have to reach her somehow.
Annika Hansen.
Our Borg?
lt took some digging
through the Federation database,
but l managed to find a single entry
in the records of Deep Space 4.
Her parents were... unconventional.
They fancied themselves explorers,
but wanted nothing to do with Starfleet
or the Federation.
Their names were last recorded
at a remote outpost in the Omega Sector.
They refused to file a flight plan.
Apparently, they aimed their small ship
toward the Delta Quadrant, and were never heard from again.
For all we know,
Annika and her parents were the first humans
the Borg ever assimilated.
From what she's told me, that was almost 20 years ago.
So she was raised by the Borg.
lt's the only life she ever really knew.
lf you were thinking of bringing her into the fold,
that might not be possible.
What's the alternative-- toss her back to the wolves?
Sick Bay to Captain Janeway.
What is it, Doctor?
Could you come down here, Captain?
We're having some...problems.
l'll be right there.
lt's like peeling an onion.
Store it in a biostasis chamber.
lt may still be active.
lf you think there's a risk, Mr. Tuvok,
you can throw one of your little force fields around the chamber.
A prudent security measure... for a Doctor.
l'm afraid we have a decision to make--
a difficult one.
Her human immune system has reasserted itself
with a vengeance-- body armor, Borg organelles
biosynthetic glands-- they're all being rejected.
Her life is in danger.
l have little recourse
but to remove the Borg technology.
Which is the last thing Seven of Nine would want.
Hence, the difficult decision.
lf a patient told me not to treat them--
even if the situation were life- threatening--
l would be ethically obligated to honor that request.
This is no ordinary patient.
She may have been raised by Borg,
raised to think like a Borg...
but she's with us now
and underneath all that technology,
she is a human being-- whether she's
ready to accept that or not.
And until she is ready,
someone has to make the decisions for her.
Proceed with the surgery.
Aye, Captain.
Let's begin with the microtubule network
embedded in the esophageal tract.
What's happening?
l'm not sure.
She's going into neural shock.
l can't localize the source.
Kes, try to stabilize her motor cortex.
Use a neuro sequencer.
Kes, l said to stabilize her cortex
or we're going to lose her.
l can see it.
l think the problem is in her colliculi.
Yes...l can see it.
A Borg implant-- it's pressing against her trochlear nerve.
Can you tell me how we might remove it
without severing the nerve?
l think l can do more than tell you.
The implant is deteriorating.
Her nervous system is stabilizing.
Nice work, Kes.
but effective.
They say the eye is the window to the soul.
ln this case, it's a little bit more.
l fabricated this artificial organ
to replace her eyepiece, but l've had
to retain some of the Borg circuitry
along the optic nerve.
As a result, she'll have increased acuity in one eye.
Note how perfectly l've matched
the pigment of the iris to her human eye.
Excellent work, Doctor.
l admire your attention to detail.
When can l speak with her?
She's out of immediate danger and l don't plan to resume
the extraction process until tomorrow.
l can wake her now if you'd like.
l would.
How are you, Kes?
l feel exhilarated, Captain.
l've never been so focused in my life.
And my telepathic abilities are stronger than they've ever been.
Your performance today was astonishing.
However, your psychokinetic powers are still undisciplined
and, as a result, unpredictable.
l feel like l'm in control.
Nevertheless, you must proceed with caution
and with my assistance.
What are you suggesting?
A series of guided meditations to help her explore the depth
of these new abilities.
l'm ready.
Well, then, if you'll excuse us, we should begin immediately.
Ready when you are, Captain.
Don't be alarmed.
You're in Sick Bay.
You're going to be fine.
What have you done to me?
Your body was rejecting the Borg technology.
You were dying.
l'm sorry, but we had no choice.
Those are dermaplastic grafts.
They'll help the regeneration process.
You should have let us die.
l couldn't do that.
This drone cannot survive outside the collective.
l beg to differ.
Now that the Borg implants are being excised,
your human systems are free to thrive and thriving they are.
As a matter of fact, l...
l want to help you,
but l need to understand what you're going through.
Do not engage us
in superficial attempts at sympathy.
lt's obvious that you're in pain,
that you're frightened,
that you feel isolated, alone.
You are an individual.
You are small.
You cannot understand what it is to be Borg.
No, but l can imagine.
You were part of a vast consciousness,
billions of minds working together,
a harmony of purpose and thought--
no indecision, no doubts.
The security and strength of a unified will--
and you've lost that.
This drone is small now.
One voice.
One mind.
The silence is unacceptable.
We need the others.
l can't give you back to the Borg,
but you're not alone.
You're part of a human community now--
a human collective.
We may be individuals, but we live and work together.
You can have some of the unity you require
right here on Voyager.
lt'll have to do.
And the fact is, this community needs you.
The Borg modifications you made to our vessel
are disrupting our warp drive.
We need your help to remove them--
Your cooperation.
You must comply.
All right.
l think l've got all the Borg garbage
out of the plasma intake manifold.
Let's try reinitializing the antimatter reaction.
Matter/antimatter reaction at 22 Cochranes and rising.
Damn! What happened?
lntake manifolds 1 1 and 13 are still blocked.
This is like pulling weeds.
You think you've got them all out, and then...
You have neglected to remove the autonomous
regeneration sequencers.
Lieutenant Torres, Ensign Kim, you remember Seven of Nine.
How could we forget?
We can't afford to delay repairs any longer.
So l've asked her to help us remove the Borg modifications.
She only has a few hours before she returns to Sick Bay.
l suggest you put her to good use.
You can start with the plasma relays.
They're in Jefferies Tube 13...
Jefferies Tube 13- Alpha, Section 12.
We fully recall the engineering specifications
of your vessel.
Good. Can you also recall the way it looked
before you turned it into a Borg circus?
Well, now that the pleasantries are over,
why don't you get to work?
l want updates every hour.
Yes, Captain.
The flame of the lamp is fire disciplined--
tamed and under control.
lt is the appropriate focus for the task ahead of us.
How do we begin?
l will attempt to guide you in manipulating the flame
at the subatomic level.
Concentrate on the flame-- try to see past
the surface... past the light...
to the patterns of energy and matter.
l can see the essence of the fire.
Now, reach out with your mind
and intensify the flame.
l'm making it hotter, brighter.
Now, with your thoughts...
reduce the flame.
You've never demonstrated this level of control before.
lt's as though l knew what had to be done and...
What's wrong?
Something's happening.
l can see further, beyond the subatomic.
Kes, there is nothing beyond the subatomic.
But l can see it, Tuvok.
lt's a new level of reality.
lt's beautiful.
Perhaps we should stop for now.
Wait a few seconds.
l want to try to control it.
Don't worry, Tuvok.
What about these linkages?
Every time l pull one out,
another one comes back in its place.
Autonomous regeneration sequencers.
They function to counteract resistance.
How did you come up
with the pattern- duplication design?
We came up with nothing.
The Borg assimilated this technology
in Galactic Cluster 3 from Species 259.
l'm not interested in a history lesson.
How do we disable it?
You must disconnect each sequencer conduit
at the insertion juncture.
Why don't you two work in the Jefferies tube?
Start with the plasma relays.
l'll start here.
You said the Borg got this stuff from Species 259.
Who were they?
l guess the Borg meet a lot of people, don't they?
Stupid question.
So what's it like out there in Galactic Cluster 3?
Beyond your comprehension.
Try me.
Galactic Cluster 3 is a transmaterial energy plane
intersecting 22 billion omnicordial life- forms.
Oh. lnteresting.
Ensign Kim, your assistance.
Captain, somebody's trying to access
the subspace transmitter.
Captain, l don't know how,
but she's erected some kind of force field around the door.
We can't break through it.
She's bypassed our security protocols.
Disable the transmitter.
lt's too late.
lt's obvious your mental abilities have progressed
beyond this particular Vulcan exercise.
l suggest we...
What is it?
Something's wrong.
The Borg is trying to contact her people.
Tuvok to Security Team 1.
lntruder alert in Engineering.
l think l can stop her.
lt's over.
Tuvok to Bridge.
There was some kind of explosion in the Jefferies tube
just as she was about to initiate her transmission.
We don't know what caused it.
l believe l may have the answer, Captain.
l can tell by the expression on your face,
that you've got some bad news.
l have no expression on my face.
However, you are correct.
The news on two separate fronts is not good.
l checked the subspace bandwidths.
At least a partial signal was transmitted from Voyager.
Enough for a Borg ship to track?
And the second front?
l believe there's also cause for concern regarding Kes.
lnternal sensor logs show that she destabilized
the Jefferies tube at the molecular level.
The effect weakened
the infrastructure throughout the deck.
She wishes to develop her abilities further.
l am not certain it would be safe...
for Kes or Voyager.
l've got an Ocampan who wants to be something more
and a Borg who's afraid of becoming something less.
Here's to Vulcan stability.
Wait for me.
So this is human freedom.
l've decided to keep you in the brig
until l'm certain you won't try to harm us again.
lf necessary, the Doctor can treat you here.
l honestly believed you were going to help us.
You were not deceived, Captain Janeway.
lt was my intention to help you.
What happened?
There was a chance to contact the collective.
l took advantage of it.
Your attempts to assimilate this drone will fail.
You can alter our physiology,
but you cannot change our nature.
We will betray you.
We are Borg.
l've met Borg who were freed from the collective.
lt wasn't easy for them to accept their individuality,
but, in time, they did.
You're no different.
Granted, you were assimilated at a very young age
and your transition may be more difficult,
but it will happen.
lf it does happen, we will become fully human?
Yes, l hope so.
We will be autonomous, independent.
That's what individuality is all about.
lf at that time, we choose to return to the collective,
will you permit it?
l don't think you'll want to do that.
You would deny us the choice,
as you deny us now.
You have imprisoned us in the name of humanity,
yet you will not grant us
your most"cherished" human right--
to choose our own fate.
You are hypocritical, manipulative.
We do not want to be what you are!
Return us to the collective!
You lost the capacity to make a rational choice
the moment you were assimilated.
They took that from you.
And until l'm convinced you've gotten it back...
l'm making the choice for you.
You're staying here.
Then you are no different than the Borg.
Talaxian champagne.
Moon- ripened.
Your favorite.
Neelix, where did you get this?
l put a bottle away...
for a special occasion.
Remember when we last sipped this together?
Three years ago.
lt was when we first arrived on Voyager.
And do you remember the toast l made?
Yes. "To the adventure."
"To the adventure."
When you left Ocampa,
you said that your people were being held back.
That if you were only given the chance,
you could become something so much more.
And you have.
l know things haven't worked out exactly the way we planned.
l was only holding you back.
That's obvious to me now.
No. l couldn't have come this far without you.
And l love you.
l always will.
lt's just, uh...
My cooking. You've always hated my cooking.
That's exactly what it was.
So tell me more about what's happening to you.
What does it all mean?
l don't know, and that's what makes it so exciting.
lt's as if l can see into a place
where the distinction between matter and energy and thought
no longer exists.
And that's only the beginning.
l feel as if all the boundaries within me
are about to fall away.
lt sounds...
l only have to look at an object,
gaze at it, and l can begin to see...
that the space between the atoms
is being filled with something else.
Uh, Kes...
l can see...l see...
Uh, Kes, stop!
Captain, l'm picking up some strange energy readings
from Deck 2, the Mess Hall.
Bridge to Neelix. What's going on down there?
Neelix, report.
The bulkhead in that section is coming apart.
lncrease the structural integrity field of Deck 2.
l've run every conceivable neural analysis--
everything short of dissecting the brain itself.
Her telesynaptic activity is increasing,
but l don't know why, or how to stop it.
Have the ship's internal sensors revealed anything?
For 17. 4 seconds, Kes's body went
into a state of cellular flux.
She began to destabilize at the subatomic level.
And for some reason,
her atoms reestablished their bonds
and she was back in one piece.
But what about the next time?
Her condition is escalating.
We must find a way to suppress it
or the last we'll see of Kes could very well be
her molecules blowing through the ventilation ducts.
Tuvok, enhance the structural integrity fields
throughout the ship.
lf she has another incident, l'd like to avoid a hull breach.
Doctor, maybe it's time we broaden our horizons.
This appears to have gone beyond medical science.
We're into particle physics now.
l'll try looking
through the quantum substructure database.
Maybe it'll give me some...inspiration.
Keep me informed.
Kes, until l can devise another diagnostic procedure,
you're free to return to your quarters.
Actually, l'd like to stay here, help with the research.
l don't want you to overexert yourself
and risk precipitating another telepathic incident.
Try to get some rest.
Just let me stay a little while.
l haven't seen you much over the past few days.
l miss you.
All right, just for a while.
Ensign Ayala to the Bridge.
Go ahead, Ensign.
You'd better come down to the brig, ma'am.
My designation is Seven of Nine...
but the others are gone.
Designations are no longer relevant.
Yes, you are.
But l cannot function this way-- alone.
You're not alone.
l'm willing to help you.
lf that's true, you won't do this to me.
Take me back to my own kind.
You are with your own kind-- humans.
l don't remember being human.
l don't know what it is to be human.
What are you doing?
l'm coming in.
l'll kill you.
l don't think you will.
Do you remember her?
Her name was Annika Hansen.
She was born on Stardate 25479 at the Tendara Colony.
There's still a lot we don't know about her.
Did she have any siblings?
Who were her friends?
Where did she go to school?
What was her favorite color?
Take me back to the Borg.
l can't do that.
One voice.
One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices.
Your mind is independent now with its own unique identity.
You are forcing that identity upon me.
lt's not mine.
Oh, yes, it is.
l'm just giving you back what was stolen from you--
the existence you were denied,
the child who never had a chance.
That life is yours to live now.
l don't want that life!
lt's what you are.
Don't resist it.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
Warp drive is still off- line
and we don't know whether the Borg have detected us.
Kes's psychokinetic abilities continue to damage the ship's
structural integrity, and as a result,
our defenses have been compromised.
Come in, Captain.
You wanted to see me?
Oh, Tuvok's meditation lamp.
l was with him when he got it
six years ago, from a Vulcan master...
who doubled the price when he saw our Starfleet insignia.
l'm sure it was the logical thing to do.
l've been thinking about everything
that's been going on...
and l know what l have to do.
lt's time for me to leave Voyager.
Oh, Kes...
Something important is happening to me
and l want to explore it,
but l can't stay here any longer.
l'm a danger to all of you.
We're going to get to the bottom of this.
The Doctor's already working on a new approach...
Everybody thinks that what's happening
is a medical condition.
That's not it at all.
l'm going through a transformation.
l don't know how or why, but every cell in my body
is telling me that l'm changing into something more.
But what if it's not true?
What if you're simply being swept up
in the excitement of what you think is happening,
but it's not real.
On the basis of a feeling, an intuition,
you're asking me to let you go?
Quite likely forever?
Kes, l just can't do that.
lt's my decision-- my fate.
Would you really try to stop me?
But argue with you,
even plead with you to reconsider?
Absolutely, for as long as it takes.
lt won't work.
Look at me, Captain.
l'm the same Kes you've always known.
l haven't lost my judgment.
l'm not under some alien influence.
l believe something crucial is happening to me
and l want to see it through.
You've lived most of your life here.
Voyager has been your home...
and you've been a vital part of this family.
Oh, l'm going to miss you.
Now, all l have to do is tell the Doctor.
He's not going to be happy.
lt's starting.
Janeway to Bridge.
Chakotay here.
Prepare a shuttle for launch
and have Tuvok meet me on Deck 6.
Kes is leaving us.
Come on.
Captain, l can't stop it.
Janeway to Chakotay.
Beam us directly to the Shuttle Bay.
The molecules in Kes's body are destabilizing.
lt's interfering with the transporter.
Captain, we can't get a lock.
Looks like we're going to have to do this the hard way.
What's happening?
The hull is destabilizing.
The molecular bonds are breaking down.
l can't keep going.
l will attempt a mind- meld
to help you delay the transformation.
Our minds are one.
Our thoughts are one.
Try to regain control...
for a moment.
Only for a moment.
Only for...a moment.
You must hurry.
Hull breach on Decks 3, 4 and 5.
Emergency containment fields.
Janeway to the Bridge. Kes is aboard the shuttle.
lnitiate launch sequence.
Shuttle distance: 100, 000 kilometers.
Speed: one- quarter impulse.
Can you hail her?
l've been trying.
lt's happening.
lt's happening to me.
Her atomic structure is completely destabilizing.
My gift to you.
Torres to Bridge.
The warp core just came on- line.
Matter/antimatter reaction at 102 percent...
110 percent?
This can't be right.
Our speed is...
lt's impossible!
We're coming apart!
We've just dropped out of...
whatever it was we were in.
Systems coming back on line.
On screen.
Where are we?
9. 5 thousand light- years from where we just were.
She's thrown us safely beyond Borg space.
Ten years closer to home.
l've extracted 82 percent of the Borg hardware.
The remaining bio- implants are stable
and better than anything l could synthesize
at such short notice.
lt is acceptable.
Fashion, of course, is hardly my forte.
Nevertheless, l've managed to balance
functionality and aesthetics in a pleasing enough manner.
l also took the liberty
of stimulating your hair follicles--
a vicarious experience for me, as you might imagine.
You'll have to spend a few hours each day
regenerating in a Borg alcove until your human
metabolism can function on its own.
We'll leave one operational.
Let's see how things go over the next few weeks.
l'll consider granting you access to the rest of the ship
once l can trust that you won't try
to get us all assimilated again.
lt will not happen again.
lf you need anything, contact me.
The child you spoke of... the girl.
Her favorite color was red.

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