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Edited Length: 45:24
U.S. Airdate: May 21, 1989
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.3/3]
Special Appearance By
Diana Muldaur: Doctor [Cmdr. Katherine "Kate"] Pulaski
John de Lancie: ["Q"]
Lycia Naff: [Ensign Sonya Gomez]
Colm Meaney: [Chief O'Brien]
and Special Guest Star
Whoopi Goldberg: Guinan
Line Producer: David Livingston
Producer: Robert L. McCullough
Co-Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Co-Executive Producer: Maurice Hurley
Written By: Maurice Hurley
Directed By: Rob Bowman
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Associate Producer: Peter Lauritson
Executive Script Consultants: Hans Beimler & Richard Manning
Story Editor: Melinda M. Snodgrass
Creative Consultant: Tracy Tormé
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When Picard enters a turbolift to go clean his uniform after a young Ensign spills hot chocolate all over it, he finds upon leaving that he's in a shuttle, with Q piloting. When Picard reminds Q of his promise never to trouble the Enterprise again, Q shows Picard that they're nowhere near his ship.
Guinan, visibly jumpy, asks the bridge if everything is all right. Unsettled, Riker and company quickly discover Picard is missing, and begin the search, which proves unsuccessful. When Picard tells Q that if he is returned, he will at least give Q's request a fair hearing, they immediately reappear in Ten-Forward, clear of all personnel but Guinan, who claims to have had "dealings" with Q two centuries ago. After a brief argument with Guinan, Q tells Picard and Riker that he's been asked to leave the Q- continuum, and he wishes to become a member of the crew. When Picard initially refuses, Q claims they need him as a guide, saying that humanity is not prepared for what awaits them. When Picard insists they are, Q snaps, "we'll just have to see how ready you are!", snaps his fingers, and hurls them seven thousand light- years away, well out of any explored space. Guinan, whose people know this sector, merely tells them that "if I were you, I'd start back now." Picard decides to investigate anyway, and finds evidence of destruction similar to that of the outposts along the Neutral Zone. Soon, a ship appears, identified by Guinan as the Borg, and soon after that, a Borg appears in Engineering (having beamed right through the shields).
The intruder taps into their computers, then tries to seize control of the ship. When Worf manages to "kill" the first one with his phaser, a second appears-with a deflector shield. It finishes downloading the information the first one obtained, and leaves. In a conference, Guinan tells the crew that the Borg destroyed her world, that they are a collective intelligence (a mixture of organic and artificial life), and that they cannot be reasoned with. Suddenly, the Borg lock on a tractor beam. All attempts at escape fail, and when shields go down, the Borg extract a slice of the saucer, killing 18 crewmembers. Several full-power phaser shots manage to damage the Borg enough to terminate the beam, and Riker, Data, and Worf decide to beam over to their ship, since no life signs are detected.
What they find is chilling. After seeing all the Borg (still quite living) working as part of a collective intelligence, and visiting the Borg nursery, they discover that the Borg's collective effort is going into repairing the ship. When Picard hears this, he immediately beams the team back and orders the ship to flee. The Borg give chase, and eventually knock down both the Enterprise's shields and the warp engines. No weapons seem to be able to harm it. When Q appears one last time to say goodbye, Picard admits to Q that they are inadequate, and says he needs Q. Q smirks, snaps his fingers, and returns them to their own space, impressed by Picard, but still reminding them that space is "not for the timid." Picard is relieved, but Guinan reminds him that since the Borg now know of the Federation, they will be coming...
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: July 12, 1999