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To go back and read Part Nine, click here, or to go to the beginning, click here. Part Ten begins after the jump.
Doctor Who and the Borg
by Mark Baker-Wright
The Borg had waited for the ship on the other side of the star to emerge. Now, it finally had done so. They began pursuit. Suddenly, a message ran through the Borg collective consciousness. "'Resistance... is NOT futile?'... 'I am Hugh'...' If I could choose,... I choose to stay with Geordi!'...'Goodbye, Geordi. I will try to remember you....'"
What was this? The Borg did not understand these memories. And yet they originated with one of their own members. This warranted study.
For now, the task of assimilating the other vessel was most important. The Borg continued their pursuit.
But what were these... feelings?
As the Enterprise warped around the star, it was apparent that something was wrong. Data attempted to compensate, but before he could announce the danger to the captain, it was all over.
The Enterprise came out of the warp field, and the Borg were still there....
...But so was Dinar VII! Not Dinar VII, the barren rock, but Dinar VII, the planet. Apparently complete with civilization.
But before the crew of the Enterprise could deal with this mystery, they had to deal with the Borg ship.
Data spoke, "It would appear that we were again unsuccessful."
Then the Borg ship exploded.
The Enterprise assumed orbit around Dinar VII to find that their attempt to defeat the Borg had unpredicted results.
Data had used the ship's sensors to obtain readings from the planet. He arrived in the captain's ready room to report his findings. "It would appear," he began, "that the Borg chased us into the sun's gravity well, as expected. Instead of destroying the ship right there, however, their warp field joined with ours, with the effect of taking us backward in time, rather than forward. I managed to make adjustments to keep ourselves from being destroyed upon arrival, but the Borg, never before having attempted this maneuver, were unable to do so."
The Doctor broke in. "So, when in time are we?"
"According to sensor readings, we seem to have been taken back almost 400 years."
The Doctor leaped up. "That's it! This is what caused the two alternate realities. The destruction of the Borg ship coming out of the time vortex must have caused a rift in the space-time continuum, creating two universes!"
Picard pondered the information. "So, which universe are we in now?"
"I'm not sure," the Doctor answered. "But I know how to find out."
The Doctor and Captain Picard stood outside the doors of the TARDIS. Picard just stared.
"You mean to tell me that you travel through time and space in that?" he asked.
"Maybe you'll understand better if you see the inside." The Doctor and Picard went through the TARDIS doors.
Picard took one look. "This is incredible. Your ship cannot exist in our dimension and still fit inside that cabinet!"
"Very good observation, Captain. Actually, the TARDIS does exist in relative dimensions. The space in here is near infinite."
The Doctor checked his readings on the TARDIS console. He was still unable to receive coordinates. "It would seem that we are still in your universe. You can go back to your own time from here and find your universe back the same way you left it."
"Then how will you get back to your own universe?" Picard asked.
"I should be able to go back in time to a point just before we arrived," the Doctor answered. "If I enter the time vortex at the same time as the Borg ship explodes, I should be able to reenter my universe."
"When will you leave?"
"I really don't have any further reason to stay." The Doctor started adjusting his instruments. "Please say goodbye to everyone for me, Captain."
Picard headed for the TARDIS doors, "I am glad to have met you, Doctor. Without your help, our entire way of life may have been destroyed."
The Doctor gave Captain Picard a firm handshake. "All in a day's work. Goodbye, Captain."
"Goodbye, Doctor," Picard went through the TARDIS doors and found himself emerging from a police box once again. He took a moment for another silent thought of gratitude as the box vanished from his sight.
The TARDIS passed through the rift, and arrived in the Doctor’s own universe. The Doctor checked the TARDIS console for coordinates. Sure enough, he’d found himself in the late twentieth century: the year 1982 by Earth standards. Data had apparently been correct about his assessment of the Daleks and Cybermen disappearing by this time. Apparently, aspects of reality had been split by the rift. Some aspects continued to exist only in one reality, while other aspects would only be found in the other. Certain general truths, such as the reelection of Ronald Reagan, the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, and the eventual movement of mankind into space, remained constants. However, as the time from the creation of the rift continued to grow in each universe, fewer similarities would exist.
One question continued to nag at the Doctor’s mind, however. If the rift was caused by the destruction of the Borg ship, how had the Doctor been pulled into it in the first place? Since the Doctor had been responsible for that destruction, a paradox had been created. How could the Doctor have fallen into a rift he could not have created until he had fallen into the rift? The Doctor had no answer. Undoubtedly, he would understand the true nature of the rift in time.
The Borg Queen considered this latest defeat. Twice now, the Borg had attempted to invade the Federation, and twice now they had been repelled by the same ship. When Jean-Luc Picard had been chosen to represent the Borg as Locutus, the Queen knew that she was choosing an exceptional specimen of humanity. But such ability to resist Borg domination was utterly unprecedented.
Still, this attempt was not a total loss. Before the cube's destruction, it experienced the phenomenon of time travel. Perhaps the technology and technique necessary to accomplish this feat could itself prove useful. Of course, it would take a while to work out exactly how to duplicate the process, as well as to research exactly what point of the Federation's history would be the most vulnerable target for a temporal attack....
The Queen smiled. Thanks to the strange being known as the Doctor, time was now something of which she had an unlimited supply....
A word about continuity: Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will no doubt remember that the sixth season cliffhanger of ST:TNG, which takes place after this story, depicts emotional, individual Borg, having been affected by Hugh's reabsorption. These Borg were lost, barely surviving when Data's brother Lore found them.
So, how do I reconcile that fact with the idea that otherwise non-affected Borg might possess a Hugh-borne vulnerability? I submit that only the Borg ship that directly reabsorbed Hugh was affected directly by his individuality. The existence of the Borg Queen (first seen in the movie Star Trek: First Contact) and Hugh's recognition of Locutus both reveal that other Borg ships do indeed have knowledge of what happens elsewhere in the collective. This must mean that other Borg ships, not directly affected as Hugh's ship was, nonetheless hold potential access to that information indirectly, but this would only be information, not total experience. Thus I suggest that, for most ships in the collective, Hugh's personality was placed in an "inactive" file, where it would not directly affect the collective. K-9's accessing of Hugh's "inactive" personality brought it to the forefront of this particular ship's consciousness, but it was destroyed before it had a chance to suffer Hugh's group's fate