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The Interview

Her Majesty awaits serene in the Promenade. Her cranial crest rises a bit as Tabol and his group gets closer. Harry studies her icy moves on screen. DataEle geeks out in her work station. Quark trusts his guts on Borg business prospects.

DataEle: Commander! I managed to insert a polymorphic packer with survival options to assist your friends in their holographic adventure.

Harry Kim: Good job! Keep me posted!

Quark: Look! My girls' cat-walk is already distracting her attention.

Borg Queen checks out the Dabo girls. She is not very impressed. Negotiation team is all in the Promenade. Tabol stands proud before the Queen.

Tabol: Who are you and what do you want?

Harry wasn't expecting Tabol to behave so insolently after a beat down like that.

Queen: We're Borg. I'm a beginning, an end, a one who is many. I require Janeway.

Harry Kim: I'll be damned! She is a Borg Queen.

Tabol disregards Queen's request; and cut to the chase.

Tabol: Good for you! We're glad to meet you under current cease-fire status; and ready to negotiate compensation. On the matter of cargo losses, I would...

Queen: With no place of safety; negotiation is irrelevant. You are not Janeway.

Forbearance is a no-show in Tabol's dictionary.

Tabol: Lady; I'm sure there is something we can trade on preferential terms.

Queen: You are Species 2000. Your technology is indistinctive. Your bodies may be assimilated... only for purposes of tactical subsistence.

Tabol feels insulted.

Tabol: This is outrageous! You must at least take note of our rightful claims.

Queen: I don't process claims. I require Janeway. You must comply.

Quark grows impatient in the Control Room. Diplomacy is not Cardassians' best attribute.

Quark: Tabol; let my girls do the talking. They can be very seductive.

Harry Kim: Tabol; you better abort and leave. This is not working.

DataEle: Commander! Our long range sensors are picking up a broken signal. It is from Starbase 375. A Federation's Starship is coming our way at high warp. It's the USS Voyager!

Harry Kim: Voyager? Tabol! You should get out of there. This is about to get ugly.

Things are not better in the Holo-deck. Tom leaves a few tracks behind; but Hirogen hunters don't chase pitiful targets. They set their attention on B'Elanna; unaware that these preys could be much more challenging than they wished for.

Hirogen-β: Male uses greenhorn tricks to cover his tracks. He's fleeing.

Hirogen-α: Undeserving! He takes away our pride. The female though is a worthy one. She's trying to flank us!

Hirogen-β: HoHoHo! Poor thing... Where is she now?

Hirogen-α: Over there! It took me a while to spot her camouflage.

Hirogen-β: I see her too. She will make a fine trophy.

Hirogen-α: We'll pursue her first. I'll gladly thrust my knife in her for a quick kill.

Hirogen-β: What about the male?

Hirogen-α: Let him go! We'll encircle him later and make him suffer before death. We'll throw his remains to the wild.

Tom and B'Elanna execute their plan. She played decoy. He deceived the Hirogens; and together, they ambush their hunters. Tom surprises Hirogen-β and stabs him to death; but he gets hurt. B'Elanna trips over a ditch. Hirogen-α is determined to get her. Tom comes to her rescue. Hirogen-α is a brawny rival. He is about to finish Tom off; when B'Elanna climbs out of her trap and slices Hirogen-α in half with a single blow.

Tom Paris: Harry; thank you... it worked! We killed them.

B'Elanna: Yeah! We did it; Harry! Can you please get us out of here?

Tom Paris: He better hurry; this thing could reset itself and rerun the program.

B'Elanna: Gosh! I hate this Holo-Deck!

Tom reflects on their "happy" days.

Tom Paris: I miss our days in Voyager; out there in the Delta Quadrant. I wish we could do something like that again; something real, important... to sum us up.

B'Elanna: Hell no! You got to be crazy. No force in this Galaxy shall make me get onboard that Starship ever again.

Bhytor looks after Voyager's matter/antimatter reactor; and clarifies its process to Thamas: "Plasma goes through warp coils, generating a subspace displacement bubble to travel at FTL speeds". Thamas whispers. Bhytor answers: "No yet. It's too soon. This is a test flight". Thamas zips out delighted in anticipation of traveling very fast.

Voyager retakes DS9

Voyager drops out of warp. Merchant Armada's scattered debris hovers around. The Borg Cube scans the incoming vessel with its purple Polaron Array. A carroty beetle-like shuttle docked to DS9 briefly catches Janeway's attention, but she must focus on the threat. Tension builds up.

Seven: Borg's attempt to scan Voyager was fruitless.

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; they are charging weapons.

Computer: Red Alert! Red Alert! Armory personnel report to battle stations!

Janeway: Chakotay; initiate evasive maneuvers!

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; Borg's arsenal is ineffective against our snail-ablative armor.

Janeway: Computer; Damage & Casualty Report!

Computer: Shields holding at 98%; No casualties!

Janeway: Tuvok; charge Isokinetic Cannon!

Tuvok: Cannon's trans-warped particle beam will only compromise cube's shields.

Janeway: I don't want it destroyed. I want to capture it. Fire!

Tuvok fires cannon.

Tuvok: Borg shields declined 87%.

Seven: Our Array Probe reveals Cube is 73% depopulated.

Janeway: That may not be good news. Where are they?

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; the Cube may have been partially populated all this time.

Janeway: We don't know that. Do we have audiovisual with DS9?

Chakotay: Negative! Borg Cube continues jamming its communication systems.

Janeway: Computer; clarify status for Cube and DS9!

Computer: Cube: unworthy for battle; DS9: irremediably outdated.

Janeway: Cardassian technology...

Seven: I'm detecting a Borg signature in the Promenade area.

Janeway: Tuvok! Fire transphasic torpedoes!

Borg Cube is destroyed. Its shields couldn't withstand asymmetric superposition of multiple subspace compression pulse phases. DS9 wobbles. Queen gets agitated.

Queen: I can't be a one without many. To have unity; I require a Collective.

Tabol: What? Your nonsense won't be inconsequential. This negotiation is over!

Queen: Your existence is superfluous. You will be now assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Quark begins to foresee trouble.

Quark: Kim! What's wrong with that Queen?

Harry Kim: Nothing! She's about to assimilate Tabol and your girls. Tabol! Get out of there!

Borg Queen's neck-frill puffs out and her cranial crest fully rises; and deploys concealed Neuroptera-like fore and hind wings. She displays superb athletics by high jumping over Tabol. She broadens her jaw and maxilla to protrude tubules out of her long razor-sharp canines, injecting Tabol with fast acting assimilation nanoprobes. Queen moves flashy around and between her rivals. Tabol contorts and falls down. Commander Harry Kim and the others witness in horror.

On Voyager...

Janeway: Miral! Have teleporter aligned to beam up Harry and your parents to AOR. Seven! Have Bhytor and Thamas in position. Tuvok! Destroy DS9 if it becomes compromised. Chakotay! You have the bridge...

Janeway departs. Chakotay can't wait any longer to talk to Seven.

Chakotay: Chakotay to Seven...

Seven: Send your traffic...

Chakotay: Do you read me?

Seven: Five by five...

Chakotay: I hope we could talk over dinner.

Seven: State the meaning of hope...

Chakotay: Huh? To cherish with confidence the obtainment of a desire...

Seven: I didn't cherish going back to Earth; but I thought a change would be positive for our marriage. You became emotionally unavailable as we got closer to our destiny.

Chakotay: Emotions? You got obsessed with searching and scanning incongruities in my personality.

Seven: I'm 18% Borg. Cortical implants hold back my feelings; making my 82% Human side somewhat forthcoming and resilient.

Chakotay: So that night; you left because you lost hope in me?

Seven: I left for a walk and Voyager pulled me in.

Bhytor and Thamas show up. Bhytor heads for Chakotay. Thamas draws near Seven.

Bhytor: If your spirit doesn't work with your hand; there is no art.

Chakotay briefly reflects.

Chakotay: True! My spirit could upset a happy puppy today. My art, not good! Isn't it? Thanks, you should now go back to AOR.

Thamas sits on a console panel facing Seven...

Thamas: Mommy; are you hurt?

Seven: Yes...

Thamas: Mommy is Human. I love you.

Seven gets a little emotional; but quickly collects herself.

Seven: I love you too. You may soon be needed in sickbay.

The children leave to their assignments. Chakotay is visibly embarrassed.

Chakotay: Seven! I'm sorry. I was fearful of rejection. I left Starfleet to join the Maquis. I wasn't sure my betrayal had been forgotten.

Seven: Going to Earth didn't excite me either. I wasn't sure of implications. I had been assimilated by Borg in my childhood. My memories terrified me.

Chakotay: I think; we had trouble with our insecurities. But; you're right, I withdrew from our relationship as we got closer to Earth.

Seven: Some degree of insecurity is healthy and acceptable.

Chakotay: Who told you that?

Seven: The Doctor! He was well versed in Human behavioral science.

Chakotay: Yeah; I bet he had complete files.

Seven: We could talk more over dinner.

Chakotay: Good! I like that.

Tuvok shows again signs of illness.

On DS9...

DataEle: Queen is an outstanding specimen of unknown origin.

Quark: My Dabo Girls! Kim! Do something to stop that Demon!

Harry Kim: Voyager! We have a problem! A Borg Queen like no other is at large in our Promenade...assimilating people. Do you copy? Please, respond!

Janeway materializes in DS9 Control Room.

Harry Kim: Vice-Admiral! I'm so happy to see you. Is it really Voyager out there?

Janeway: Yes Harry; It is. I need to talk to that Borg Queen right away.

Harry Kim: She wants to see you too.

Janeway: Is that so? She then better be worth of my kindness.

DataEle: Queen didn't want to negotiate without place of safety.

Janeway: Well; she might be asking too much. Her cube is gone.

Quark: Admiral; my gratitude for your well-timed operation.

Janeway: Vice... You're welcome!

Quark: Vice? We could talk about that too... in private.

Harry Kim: Vice-Admiral...

Quark: Oh! You Humans! This brings us to a rewarding business opportunity.

Harry Kim: Quark; this isn't appropriate.

Quark ignores Harry's warning.

Quark: I offer yo my Na'Far pod in exchange for the exclusive rights to salvage whatever is worth of those remains.

Harry shakes his head. DataEle calculates.

Harry Kim: Quark...

Quark: Why not? My pod has History. It served in a D'Kora Marauder. It is fast, durable and low maintenance. It has a replicator onboard.

Janeway looks sideways as Quarks elaborates on his offer.

Janeway: I like your pod; but don't touch a fragment of that debris or I'll personally stick it up your big ears. Harry; let's go!

Quark is taken aback by her answer. Harry and Janeway reach their destination. Tabol, his comrades and the Dabo girls are all Borg drones. They escort their Queen.

Queen: You are Janeway. Negotiation is now relevant... with place of safety.

Janeway: Negotiation? We had to destroy your Cube.

Queen: An unfortunate outcome... our appreciation was terminated.

Janeway: You attacked a Federation Deep Space Station.

Queen: Borg didn't attack Federation. Species 2000 attacked Borg.

Janeway: Your Cube opened fire on Voyager.

Queen: Your ship was adamant. Cube was a valuable resource for what lies ahead.

Kim talks to Janeway in low voice.

Harry Kim: Vice-Admiral; she came in peace or so she believes.

Janeway: And her Cube was meant to be a testimony of her appreciation.

Harry Kim: Appreciation for what?

Janeway: For a safe-place! Harry; this Borg Queen is requesting Asylum.

Control Room...

Quark: DataEle! This doesn't work either. Vice-Admiral Janeway isn't skillful enough to conciliate. She won't be able to recover my Dabo Girls.

DataEle: My preliminary assessment shows your Dabo Girls are hopelessly lost; they are irretrievable without biotech currently unavailable on DS9.

Quark: This is a financial calamity! All I got left is my Na'Far pod docked outside.

DataEle: I wouldn't worry. You're a savvy merchant; familiarized with cutting losses. You survived your major competitors. Your market position is enviable.

Quark listens thoughtfully to DataEle's assessment.


Queen: This discussion is immaterial. We have an offer mutually convenient.

Janeway: I'd certainly like to hear it and it better be good.

Queen: You may download our technological distinctiveness from this storage device and make it your own. In exchange; you will update our bio-weapons. We will assist you in going through our network of conduits to strike Species 8472.

Janeway: Why should we be interested? You are no longer a threat. We already have plenty of Borg technology; and perfectly capable of deploying our bio-weapons against 8472 in case they invade the Alpha Quadrant. I don't see what you can do for us.

Queen: Species 8472 adverse both of us and must be stopped. Our cooperation shall save your kind in the Delta Quadrant.

Harry Kim: Our kind? What're you talking about?

Queen: Species 8472 is the apex of biological evolution. They're well judged in military matters. They have anticipated our encounter and will terminate your kind.

Harry Kim: Vice-Admiral! Is she referring to the 37's?

Janeway: I'm afraid so; Harry.

Harry Kim: How do we know there are 37s in this time-line?

Janeway: Borg and Fluidians don't care about alternate realities.

Harry Kim: Right! They can transwarp at will.

Janeway: Queen! We can't just go ahead and launch a preemptive attack on Fluidians based on a Borg hunch.

Borg Queen doesn't understand Janeway's hesitation.

Queen: I intercepted and decoded their messages with details of purification plans. It is all recorded in your storage device.

Janeway: I'll have to confer with my colleagues and be back with a decision.

Queen: Colleagues?

Janeway: My Collective...

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