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I, Borg

By Marc Richard
Posted at December 25, 2004 - 5:41 PM GMT

See Also: 'I, Borg' Episode Guide

Captain's Log: We are mapping the star systems of the Argolis Cluster, where we have found an abundance of curious asteroids shaped like spheres, cubes and octahedra. I look forward to seeing what other oddities we will discover in the next system on our route.

Data: Sir, I am picking up an automated signal from the moon ahead of us.
Picard: What does it say?
Data: It is a single repeating word. I cannot decipher it, but it resembles the pseudo-Swedish dialect used by a certain culinary artist once featured on twentieth-century Earth television.

Riker: I'd better take down an Away Team. I've always wanted to have a chef aboard the Enterprise.
Picard: Aren't replicators good enough for you anymore, Will?
Riker: It's the one in my quarters that's the problem. I once called it an overgrown toaster and it never forgave me.

Crusher: There's a faint life-sign coming from inside the wreckage. Worf, push aside this big panel so we can see who the survivor is.
Worf: Yes, Doctor. (CLANG!)
Crusher: Oh my God!
Worf: Kahless preserve us!
Riker: Okay...definitely not Swedish.
Crusher: Why definitely? There's no reason the Borg couldn't have assimilated a few Scandinavians during the Battle of Wolf 359.
Riker: True. I just have trouble imagining what a blonde Borg would look like.

Picard: (over the comm) Away Team, return to the ship right now!
Crusher: The survivor needs medical attention! And he's only a teenager!
Riker: Doctor, we have to get out of here. The Borg always come back to collect their dead.
Crusher: But he's not dead! He's just resting!
Worf: He looks dead to me.
Crusher: It's probably because he's pining for the Collective.

Picard: Engineering, we're bringing a Borg survivor aboard. Set up a secure holding cell from which he won't be able to receive or transmit homing signals.
La Forge: (over the comm) Right away, sir.
Picard: And keep him away from our deflector dish!

Troi: Having a Borg on the ship could be stressful for you.
Picard: I can handle the situation perfectly well, thank you very much.
Troi: But your earlier assimilation may still be affecting you. Are you sure you wouldn't like to book a counseling session?
Picard: Insistence is futile.

Picard: The Collective is vulnerable because it's so interconnected. Can you devise an invasive program that we could load into this Borg before we return him to the hive?
La Forge: That depends on how good their security protocols are. Do you think they could be fooled into opening an unsolicited message attachment?
Picard: If we make the subject line enticing enough, yes.

Picard: The plan is to infect the Collective's great link with a logical paradox virus. Within months, the Borg will become so obsessed with solving it that they'll be powerless to do anything else
La Forge: In other words, think of it as a weapon of mass distraction.
Crusher: What you're proposing is immoral!
Picard: Doctor, we are at war with a ruthless enemy who means to end human life as we know it! We are justified in resorting to genocide in order to survive.
Crusher: Even if it means breaking the Federation's own anti-spamming laws?
Picard: As one of my illustrious predecessors would have put it, "whatever it takes, Trip."
Crusher: Don't call me Trip.

Guard: (over the comm) Captain, the Borg prisoner is awake. He demands to see a lawyer.
Picard: Tell him that as an illegal enemy combatant he can take his demands and stuff --
Beverly: Jean-Luc....
Picard: This is war, Doctor. I'm entitled to swear if I want to.

Picard: I allowed Doctor Crusher to rescue the injured Borg as a humanitarian gesture.
Guinan: Is that wise?
Picard: I also plan to use him to exterminate his entire species.
Guinan: So much for the quality of mercy not being strained.

Third of Five: We are the Borg. Our designation is Third of Five.
La Forge: That sounds so impersonal. Wouldn't you like to have a real name, like Hugh?
Third of Five: Hugh who?
Crusher: Just Hugh. Start thinking of yourself as an individual.
Third of Five/Hugh: I are the Borg.
La Forge: Better. Now let's talk about verb agreement.

Hugh: Here it is quiet. On a Borg ship, we always hear the voices of the others in our thoughts.
Crusher: You sound lonely.
Hugh: Yes, but there are compensations. On a Borg ship, much time is wasted complaining to the authorities about noisy neighbors.

La Forge: I'm having second thoughts about what we're doing.
Guinan: The Borg are ruthless monsters.
La Forge: I feel as if we're turning a lost kid into a walking bomb.
Guinan: They'll assimilate every single one of us unless we wipe them out.
La Forge: Hugh reminds me of a teddy bear I used to have. He's just a big softie at heart.
Guinan: La Forge!

Data: Long-range sensors show a Borg scout ship heading this way.
Riker: I hope La Forge will have enough time to get our teenage drone ready to infect the Collective when he's reassimilated.
Picard: I'm sure it will be child's play for him.

Guinan: You psychopathic zombies destroyed my world, assimilated my people and condemned the few survivors to a life of bitter exile!
Hugh: You must miss your mommy, just like I do.
Guinan: Sigh. Here...have a kleenex.

Data: This is the final design for the paradox virus.
Picard: It looks harmless enough. How does it work?
La Forge: I disguised it as an election-year campaign leaflet. It promises to cut taxes and balance the budget while eliminating the national debt and increasing public spending.

Guinan: Hugh has feelings. Before you use him as a genocidal weapon, you should at least look him in the eye.
Picard: It is not a he, it is an it, and it deserves no consideration whatsoever!
Guinan: That's not how you felt when Commander Maddox said the same thing about Data.
Picard: That was an entirely different case! My android second officer was being denied his fundamental human righ-- uh, what I mean to say is, um....
Guinan: Shall I book an appointment for Hugh in your office at 09:00 tomorrow?
Picard: Make it 10:00. I have a lot of important rationalizations to review first.

Picard: I am Locutus of Borg. You will assist me in assimilating this vessel.
Hugh: No. Assimilating people is wrong. I will not comply.
Picard: What? "I"? Why do you not call yourself "we"?
Hugh: If you can call yourself "I," then I can too!
Picard: Guinan was right. You do behave like a real teenager.

Picard: I've decided that it would be unethical to use Hugh to destroy the Borg. My plan now is to return him to the Collective with his new sense of personal identity intact.
La Forge: So they can all learn the concept of singularity when they reassimilate him?
Picard: Exactly. For a brief moment, they will discover how wonderful it is to be a free-thinking individual.
Riker: Good idea.
Data: I concur.
La Forge: So do I.
Troi: Me too.
Crusher: Count me in.
Worf: Agreed.

Picard: ...so that's our new plan.
Hugh: You approved this plan without asking me how I felt about it? Is that fair?
La Forge: He's right, Captain. We have a moral obligation to respect his choice about this.
Picard: I'm ashamed that we didn't realize this sooner. Hugh, we will abide by your decision.
Hugh: If I remain here the Borg will attack you, my friends. I will therefore sacrifice myself for your sake and return to the crash site to be reassimilated.
La Forge: Are you feeling as completely mortified as I am, Captain?
Picard: Yes, I think that just about covers everything.
(Hugh beams down to the planet at Conscientious Speed)


Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Marc Richard is one of the contributors of Five-Minute Voyager, where sci-fi episodes are reduced to "fivers" of one-twelfth their original length.

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