Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Seven bluffs the Borg - a new Voyager Conspiracy.
When Gene Roddenberry comes to me and complains, I'll stop.
Seven stepped onto the bridge just as the Borg cube dropped out of transwarp and onto the viewscreen.
"Red alert. Shields up, modulate shield frequencies, resist - you know the drill." Chakotay wasn't impressed by a few palefaced Borg nowadays. "Seven?"
"I sensed their approach, Commander."
He nodded, then summoned his animal guide: "Chakotay to Captain Janeway."
"Our cybernetic friends are back, Captain."
"Oh," she yawned into the comm link. "Well, I'll be right up. Janeway out." She, too, was bored with the Borg.
Even the Borg themselves sounded a bit jaded as they sent out their standard greeting, "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile."
Chakotay rolled his eyes. Tom made a crack about Daleks which only Harry understood. Seven, however, seemed mildly interested, even though she'd made that speech herself countless times. "Commander, I have an idea. May I respond to the Borg?" Tom caught Harry's eye - Harry glared at him.
Chakotay shrugged noncommittally, but said, "Ensign Kim, open a channel to the cubists."
"Borg vessel, stand down," Seven demanded.
"Resistance is futile," they repeated, though with slightly less conviction this time.
Seven drew herself up to more than her full height. "This is a Borg vessel. You are interfering with our function. You will stand down."
Even Chakotay was roused from his four-year blue funk by that one, but he tried not to look too surprised. The Borg were equally bemused. "Identify yourself," they demanded.
"I am Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One." Her Borg designation suddenly sounded less impersonal and more important than it ever had before. "This is Borg Vessel 110Q547L/5. Stand down and let us pass."
"We have no record of such a vessel."
"You records are flawed," Seven diagnosed.
Well, they had been having a bit of trouble with the vinculum lately. Four drones appeared on the bridge.
"Commander, they've sealed the bridge and disabled internal sensors," Harry reported.
"Elaborate," the drones ordered in unison.
"You have been unable to contact Unimatrix Zero One to confirm our identity. Therefore, I must conclude that your vinculum is...imperfect."
Was she just being literal as usual, or had she learned sarcasm? The Borg cared not. "Elaborate on the nature of your mission," they clarified.
"This is an expermental vessel under the aegis of Science Matrix Three Two, experiment 32/101.7F: Partial Assimilation of Humanoids and their Technology. This vessel is proceeding to its point of origin, where we will assimilate species 157, 1008, 3259, 3444, 5618, 5669, 5670, 5671, 5672..." Harry lost count as Seven droned on through what must have been every Alpha Quadrant species known to the Borg, "...8954, 9067, and others yet to be identified. Your interference is already tainting the experiment and undermining our ability to enter Federation space undetected. You will stand down."
The Borg scanned the ship. "We are detecting residual nanoprobes in the majority of this vessel's systems and a significant concentration of Borg technology in one section of the ship." The Borg paused. "We detect no partially assimilated humanoids. Corroborate."
"The command crew has been partially assimilated. The procedure was designed to be undetectable. Hence, you will be unable to verify it."
The drones silently communed with their brethren for several minutes. Finally, the four of them said, "Can you provide us with any circumstantial evidence to corroborate your claim?"
Seven listened to the question with a particularly cold gleam in her eye. Harry hadn't seen her looking so drone-like since before her hair had grown in. He shuddered as she began speaking in clipped, Borg fashion.
"At the start of the experiment, Commander Chakotay, 2 of 151, objected to my presence on this ship. He argued with his commanding officer, 1 of 151. She, however, put all thought of the ship's individuality aside and allowed me, a Borg drone, to remain aboard. Due to the partial assimilation process, she no longer fears the Borg, though we strike terror into the hearts of all other humans and humanoids. She was my greatest accomplishment. He is also functional, though somewhat lacking in animation."
"The Security Officer, 3 of 151," she added, pointing at Tuvok, "was an accomplished investigator. He should have detected my takeover of the vessel, and my mission, long ago, especially when the Borg Queen herself allowed me to return to Voyager after reporting to her in person. Thanks to the partial assimilation process, my mission has not been discovered."
"The vessel's engineer, 4 of 151, contains DNA from a particularly warlike humanoid species. She recognized instinctively the threat I posed to this vessel and to the Alpha Quadrant. She expressed an unacceptable amount of hostility towards me and tried to prevent me from infecting the vessel with nanoprobes. The partial assimilation process pacified her. Although I do not generally permit my drones to mate, I permitted it in her case to confirm the success of my experiment. She mated with the male she despised the most of the entire crew - an unqualified success for Science Matrix Three Two."
Tom's head sank slowly to his console and he missed the remainder of the exchange with the Borg. He had always suspected his relationship with B'Elanna was too good to be true, and he was never going to win in the J/C betting pools either, apparently.
Though the Borg drones were clearly impressed with the Queen's involvement in the case, they seemed skeptical at all the talk of feelings and matings. "What is the partial assimilation process?" they asked. "How do your drones function without a vinculum?"
"They are a somewhat inefficient collective, but they serve their purpose."
"What is the partial assimilation process?" they demanded again. Harry was sure he didn't want to hear the answer just as much as Seven didn't want to give it.
Seven looked annoyed, but she answered them. "The individuality of humans consists of a distinctiveness known as personality. Using advanced technology that the Borg obtained from Species 8947, I have assimilated these personalities. They have aided me in my attempt to pass as human." Her tone became more businesslike as she added, "All this evidence is corroborated by the ship's logs."
A drone approached Harry and plunged his assimilation tubules into the Ops console. The others took on that 'processing...please stand by' look again. After a full five minutes, the Borg Judiciary rendered its decision in Seven's case: "You may proceed on your course. Shall we destroy these specimens for you, now that they are aware of your mission?"
"That will not be necessary," Seven responded. "Humanoids have a convenient personality trait known as 'denial' - it will begin to take effect as soon as you leave the ship."
The drones waited for a few seconds - Harry suspected the pause was the Borg equivalent of a nod of acquiescence - then disappeared from the bridge. In an unsteady voice, the not-so-young-anymore Ensign reported that the internal sensors were back online. At the same time, 1 of 151 emerged from the turbolift.
"What happened here?" she asked.
The other drones waited for Seven to answer One's question. One, for her part, stared at her helmsman, who was still sobbing into his control console.
"I...bluffed. It would appear that my performance convinced both the Borg and Mr. Paris." With a parting glance of almost human pity in his direction, Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One, left the bridge of her ship.