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To go back and read Part Eight, click here, or to go to the beginning, click here. Part Nine begins after the jump.
Doctor Who and the Borg
by Mark Baker-Wright
Captain Picard watched the image of the star in front of him one more time. Hours had passed, and nothing had happened. The Borg were quite capable of waiting out the Enterprise indefinitely. It was only a matter of time before the Enterprise would have to move, and be destroyed.
Picard's concentration was interrupted by the hissing of the turbolift doors. He looked around to see the Doctor walking through. The Doctor's face looked bright and cheerful. How did the man always seem to stay so happy? "Captain, you never told me that you actually had a Borg on this ship before."
Picard was confused. "We have been invaded by the Borg several times in the past, I don't see what you are getting at."
"I'm referring to a Borg that one of your crewmembers named 'Hugh.'"
Picard still didn't quite understand. "Hugh was the lone survivor of a recent Borg survey team. We were going to use him to help destroy his people, but some ethical questions came up as Hugh seemed to become an 'individual.'"
"My point exactly," the Doctor pointed out. "Hugh began to develop a sense of individuality that was alien to the rest of his people. He learned the concepts of 'you,' 'I,' and 'friend,' instead of the collective 'we.' Hugh was then re-assimilated into the Borg collective. Your records indicate that you don't know what happened to Hugh after that."
"While I admit that we had some small hope that the Borg might learn some of Hugh's individuality for themselves, we always assumed that if and when the Borg located that part of Hugh's new identity, his memory would be erased. Hugh would then have lost that sense of himself."
"But what if the Borg collective does still retain part of Hugh's experience?"
"We've asked ourselves that question, as well, although the fact that our adversaries remain out there, as implacable as ever, would seem to argue against it. But even if it were true, how could we make use of that information?"
"I've met up with many creatures that have created a symbiotic relationship with computers, yet the Borg seem unsurpassed in their ability to perform near-instantaneous computer calculations. When we tried to time jump using the sun's gravity, the Borg would have only had the merest fraction of a second in which to correct their course and escape. I'm convinced that what separates the Borg from other computer-related species I've encountered is their utter lack of individuality. Indeed, they seem more like an insectoid race of my acquaintance than anything remotely humanoid. Any computer that had to cope with competing thoughts in its memory would not be able to respond that quickly. Individuals would have differing ideas of what course of action to take. They would have to start asking 'which option do I choose' before changing course. The Borg must have eliminated even this basic sense of individuality. Acting as a single unit, the collective would make their corrections first, perceiving the danger, saving any questions of 'what happened' and 'why' for later."
"That would again seem to argue that the Borg did not retain Hugh's sense of individuality."
"But suppose that the Borg simply put Hugh's consciousness into an 'inactive file,' if you will. The ideas would still be there, but they would not interfere with normal operations."
"So how do we access this 'inactive file?'"
The Doctor just smiled. "I think I've got just the thing!"
The Doctor entered the ready room followed by K-9. "Captain, allow me to introduce K-9, my robotic assistant."
K-9 wagged his tail for a moment.
Captain Picard looked down at the strange, metal dog. "How is this going to help us with the Borg?"
"When I was on the Borg ship earlier, K-9 was able to communicate with the ship for a moment. After having left us alone on their ship for several hours, that contact apparently alerted them to my presence. Anyway, K-9 now knows the communication makeup of the Borg, and can search through their data banks for information regarding Hugh's experience with the Enterprise. Once he finds it, K-9 can then get the Borg to focus their attention on that piece of information. On Hugh's individualized personality. If my theory is right, if we try the same technique as we did last time, the Borg will be too preoccupied as they explore the implications of that information to avoid being destroyed."
"I can only hope that you're right, Doctor. Make it so."
The Doctor and K-9 set up in engineering. Geordi made a last check over the ship's engines, then tapped his communicator. "Captain, we're all set down here. With the exception of K-9's communications link, everything should work exactly the same as before."
The Captain's voice came through the communicator. "Good. Tell the Doctor to begin."
K-9 extended his antenna and established contact.
Geordi spoke into his communicator again. "Beginning breakaway sequence."
To Be Continued...