|DELTA BLUES @ Reviewboy.com - Jim Reviews...|
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[Captioning sponsored by Paramount Television and United Paramount Network.]
Seven of Nine's cortical node needs an overhaul, or it's Dumb Blonde City.
Jump straight to the Analysis
[NOTE: This review and novelization is under construction.]
Voyager is parked in space, near a smaller alien vessel.
Janeway Captain's Log, Stardate 54038.4: it's a bittersweet day for the crew of Voyager. We've finally found a home for some of our most precious cargo.
Transporter Room. Janeway, flanked by Seven and Icheb, stand across from a friendly young alien woman, who stands beside Mezoti and Rebi and Azan.
Alien Woman Thank you again for taking care of them, Captain. We're very grateful.
Janeway We're just glad that Rebi and Azan will have a chance to grow up with their own people--and that you've been kind enough to let Mezoti join them.
Mezoti (walks up to Icheb) You can still come with us.
Icheb And you can still stay on Voyager.
Mezoti Adapting to your absence will be difficult.
Icheb (smiles slightly) I'll miss you, too.
Seven of Nine puts her arm on Mezoti's back to guide her away. "It's time."
Mezoti walks past Janeway, who brushes her hand maternally through Mezoti's hair. She leads the way to the transporter platform.
Mezoti (to Seven) I've been studying all available data relevant to this species, as you recommended.
Seven of Nine Familiarizing yourself with their culture will help you adapt.
Mezoti On Wysanti, it is not customary to say good-bye but I think I prefer the human way. (She drops her luggage, runs off the platform, and hugs Seven. Seven hesitates, then returns the embrace. Mezoti returns to the transporter pad; Azan and Rebi also hug Seven; she is quicker to respond this time now that Mezoti has broken the ice.)
Janeway looks over her shoulder to the transporter officer. Energize.
(Off they go. Seven sighs; she looks sad. Janeway puts arm of comfort around her shoulder.)
Seven of Nine We should deactivate the children's alcoves.
Icheb Right now?
Seven of Nine They're a drain on Voyager's power reserves. Is there a problem? (they stop walking)
Icheb It just seems like an insufficient amount of time has passed.
Seven of Nine You're having an emotional response to the children's departure. They'll be fine. We should be happy for them.
Seven of Nine Yes?
Icheb You're crying.
Seven of Nine My ocular implant must be malfunctioning.
[captioning sponsored by paramoun television and united Paramount network]
* * *
Doctor Crying is nothing to be ashamed of, Seven. You should have seen me the first time I heard puccini's tosca in the holodeck. I sobbed through the entire third act.
Seven of Nine You're a hologram. You can't cry.
Doctor Ordinarily, but Lieutenant Torres enhanced my emotional subroutines so I could truly appreciate the performance.
Seven of Nine Then your reaction was the result of a technological enhancement just as mine was the result of a technological malfunction.
Doctor Saying good-bye to the children was a traumatic experience. Crying was a normal response.
Seven of Nine Except that I was in complete control of my emotions.
( beeping )
Doctor Hmm. It seems I owe you an apology. According to this, your tears were the result of a glitch in your primary cortical node. Have you experienced any other malfunctions lately? Headache? Dizziness? Diminished motor function?
Seven of Nine (too quickly) No.
Doctor (skeptically) Really? Then you won't mind if I check the bio-monitors in your alcove just to be sure?
Seven of Nine I've experienced an occasional headache.
Doctor Why didn't you come to see me?
Seven of Nine (defensively) The malfunctions have not affected my work.
Doctor Seven, if you're having problems you need to let me know.
Seven of Nine If it will make you feel better I'll be more forthcoming in the future.
Doctor You're all heart. (seven hops off the table to leave) I'll schedule some follow-up tests and make my report to the Captain.
Seven of Nine I'd prefer to keep this between us. I don't want to worry the Captain.
Seven of Nine We've always kept her informed of your medical needs.
Seven of Nine It was my understanding that all members of this crew have the right to Doctor-patient confidentiality.
Doctor If you want to keep this between us that's where it'll stay.
Seven of Nine nods. Doc watches her go, concerned.
Icheb is working on something complicated.
Seven of Nine enters. Icheb quickly turns off what he was working on and switches to something that looks a lot simpler.
Seven of Nine Have you finished charting the nebula in sector 949?
Icheb Several hours ago.
Seven of Nine gets right to work. No time wasted on idle chitchat.
Icheb I've been thinking. While I'm grateful for the opportunity to assist you in Astrometrics, I'd like to take on more challenging assignments.
Seven of Nine I can assign you additional diagnostics.
Icheb That's not what I meant. I want to work on the bridge.
Seven of Nine You don't have the proper training.
Icheb That's why I'd like to take the entrance exam for Starfleet academy. I could forward it to Earth in the next datastream transmission. If I pass, I could take the basic classes from Commander Tuvok. He was an instructor at the Academy.
Seven of Nine Your plan is ambitious.
Icheb Then you think it's a good idea?
Seven of Nine nods.
Icheb You could take the classes with me. Earn your own commission.
Seven of Nine I believe I've already assimilated enough Starfleet training.
Icheb I'll need a letter of recommendation from the Captain.
Seven of Nine I'll speak to her.
Seven's hand begins to bubble. She covers it up self-consciously.
Seven of Nine I have work to complete in the cargo bay. Can you finish here?
Icheb Of course.
Cargo Bay 2
Seven of Nine Computer, initiate regeneration cycle.
( beeping )
Computer: unable to comply.
Seven of Nine Why?
Computer The interface is incompatible.
Seven of Nine Run a diagnostic of alcove zero-one.
( beeping )
Computer Diagnostic complete. Alcove zero-one is operating within normal parameters.
Seven of Nine Initiate regeneration cycle.
( beeping )
Computer Unable to comply.
Seven of Nine Clarify.
Computer Your cortical node is malfunctioning.
Seven, alone, is on her third tall glass of "milk". She reads a PADD and has that glazed "all-nighter" expression.
( door opens; room brightens like God's Flashlight. Seven winces. )
Neelix Seven! I didn't see you.
Seven of Nine (rises, embarrassed) I was just leaving.
Neelix Before breakfast?
Seven of Nine (surprised) What time is it?
Neelix 0500. (mildly scolding) Don't tell me you've been here all night.
Seven of Nine I was unable to regenerate.
Neelix Anything on your mind?
Seven of Nine (hesitates) My alcove is malfunctioning.
Neelix Well, you should ask B'Elanna to take a look at it.
Seven of Nine (quickly) I didn't want to wake her.
Neelix (seeing glasses) What's all this? (walks over)
Seven of Nine Nutritional supplements. I thought they would compensate.
Neelix (sniffs and frowns.) Your own recipe?
Seven of Nine It's a mixture of metabolic enzymes and protein extract.
Neelix Let me make you one of my Talaxian omelets. It may not have as many enzymes but it'll taste better.
Seven of Nine That won't be necessary. I think I'll take your advice and wake...
Seven of Nine (loses her balance) Lieutenant... (collapses)
Neelix runs over. He grasps her hand and gasps when a new Borg implant sprouts.
Seven of Nine's flesh on her face and neck begins to form fault lines, exposing her cybernetic endoderm. Seven begins to spasm in obvious agony.
Neelix to Sickbay! Medical emergency!
* * *
Janeway You lost consciousness in the mess hall.
Seven of Nine struggles to sit up
Janeway Your body's begun to reject your implants.
Doctor I'm afraid it's a result of that 'glitch' we found in your cortical node. Apparently, it's more serious than we thought. (shows her a graphic on a computer monitor)
Seven of Nine The node is destabilizing.
Doctor It's no longer able to regulate your implants. They're shutting down one by one.
Seven of Nine When you've disconnected implants in the past I've always adapted.
Doctor Minor implants--an assimilation tubule here a few nanoprobes there--nothing crucial to your human physiology but these implants control your vital functions.
Seven of Nine And without my cortical node to regulate them, I'll die. Correct?
Neither Doctor nor Janeway answers.
Seven of Nine Borg technology is highly adaptive. My cortical node will repair itself in time.
Doctor I don't think so, Seven. If anything, the deterioration is accelerating.
Janeway You'll have to stay here for observation.
Seven of Nine I think I've been sufficiently observed.
Janeway (to Doc) Would you excuse us, please? (to Seven) I'm sorry for what's happening. You have every right to be angry but that isn't going to help us solve this problem.
Seven of Nine The node will correct itself.
Janeway Suppose it doesn't? For the sake of argument. Is it possible to replicate a new one?
Seven of Nine (frustrated) The technology is too complex.
Janeway What if this had happened when you were part of the collective? How would the Borg have repaired the damage?
Seven of Nine They wouldn't have. Trying to repair a node would be a futile exercise. The Borg would simply replace it.
Janeway gets an idea.
Janeway Harry, we passed a Borg debris field six or Seven days ago just outside the yontasa expanse. See if you can find it on long-range sensors.
Kim Yes, ma'am.
Chakotay It's not every day we go looking for the Borg. What's up?
Janeway Seven needs a new cortical node.
Tuvok Captain, need I remind you the Borg often return to salvage damaged cubes.
Janeway It's a risk I'm willing to take.
Chakotay I want to help Seven as much as anyone but if we're not careful we'll all end up with cortical nodes.
Paris That's why I'm taking the Flyer alone.
Kim I've located the debris field.
Janeway Transmit the coordinates to the Flyer. You have the bridge, Commander. (heads for turbolift)
Paris (rising) With all due respect... The last time you took the Delta Flyer to confront the Borg it ended up in a couple thousand pieces.
Janeway I intend to bring it back in one piece this time.
Paris (calls after her) A good pilot might be able to help you do that.
Tuvok Particularly if he's accompanied by an experienced tactical officer.
Chakotay You shouldn't do this by yourself, Captain.
Janeway Well, then, gentlemen, I guess you're with me.
Tuvok follows Janeway into the turbolift. Paris walks past Chakotay, and they share a conspiratorial wink and nod for a job well done. Operation Band Together To Save Janeway From Herself is working well. Paris catches the turbolift before the doors close.
Corridor. Janeway leads the way. All have their Away Team gear, which naturally includes Betsy-class boomsticks.
Janeway I'll meet you in the shuttlebay.
Icheb Have you talked to Seven?
Janeway Just a few minutes ago.
Icheb (crestfallen) And you don't approve.
Janeway Of what?
Icheb My request.
Icheb I'm sure Seven will discuss it with you when she has the chance. I'm sorry I bothered you.
Janeway Obviously, no one's told you.
Icheb Told me what?
Janeway Seven isn't well.
Icheb What's wrong with her?
Janeway Her cortical node is failing.
Icheb Her cortical node? She's going to die.
Janeway Not if we find a new node. We're on our way to search a Borg debris field.
Icheb I have experience in Borg technology. Let me come with you.
Janeway I appreciate the offer, but it's too dangerous.
Icheb I'm willing to take the risk.
Janeway I'm not willing to let you. I'll let you know how we did as soon as we're back. Don't worry.
Janeway leaves Icheb in the corridor.
Icheb stands over the sleeping Seven.
She wakes up.
Seven of Nine (irritably) Why are you here? (hops off table--weakly)
Icheb The Captain told me you were ill.
Seven of Nine I'm fine.
Icheb Then why are you in Sickbay?
Seven of Nine (angrily) That's not your concern. You have work to complete. Report to Astrometrics.
Icheb I've finished my work.
Seven of Nine Then I'll assign you more.
Doctor Is there a problem?
Seven of Nine I wish to be alone.
Doctor Come with me, please.
(Icheb follows Doc to his office, away from earshot of Seven)
Icheb Why is she so angry with me?
Doctor She's not angry with you. She's just angry.
Icheb I don't understand.
Doctor It's a common response to serious illness. She's frustrated to be confined--embarrassed to appear vulnerable.
Icheb She shouldn't be embarrassed in front of me. I'm her friend.
Doctor And her pupil. She doesn't want you or anyone else to see her when she's not at her best.
Icheb It's not her fault that she's sick.
Doctor Of course not but we have to allow her to deal with this in her own way... With as much dignity as possible. Give her time. She may decide she wants company, and if she does you're the first person I'll call.
Icheb leaves. Doc looks grim
Space. Delta Flyer II
Tuvok I have isolated a section that contains the bodies of approximately 37 drones.
Paris 37 doesn't sound approximate to me.
Tuvok These drones were killed in an explosion. There are only a few left intact.
Janeway Looks like there's still a breathable atmosphere inside. Any sign of any active Borg ships in the vicinity?
Paris Nothing on sensors.
Janeway That could change in a hurry. Run continuous scans.
Paris Yes, ma'am.
Borg vessel. Janeway and Tuvok claw through the darkness and the debris.
Janeway Tuvok, here. Help me get this off him. (they toss debris aside, revealing a dead drone.)
Janeway No apparent damage to the cortical node. (she breaks out a scanner, then a laser scalpel. She burns a hole in the drone's head, peels away the outer layer of skin, and uses a device to eject the cortical node. It glows green.)
Paris (on audio): Captain, we've got company. There's a ship approaching.
( static )
Tuvok Two to beam out.
Janeway Delta Flyer, respond.
Tuvok Three humanoids have just transported aboard this vessel.
Pissed-off alien (big and black with a Don King 'do): The only drones here are dead! And they belong to us.
* * *
Don King Who are you?
Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Voyager.
Don King This is my debris field, Captain.
Janeway We weren't aware of that.
Don King What have you taken?
Janeway A cortical node. We needed to save one of my crew.
Don King Everything here belongs to us. (towers over Janeway to intimidate her. Janeway gets medieval on his too-tall booty and holds the laser scalpel to his throat)
Janeway Put down your weapon and I'll consider not activating this laser scalpel.
Don King whips his hand back Bruce Lee style. Tuvok pumps a few of Betsy's finest boom balls into one of the other aliens, then another. The third gets a shot off, and Tuvok reels. Janeway reaches for her own weapon, but a steel-toed boot crunches down on her hand-- Don King has a weapon trained on her skull.
She beams out just as he fires.
Only in the Delta Quadrant! Rage in the Cage! Melee in the Debris! Knockdown in Borg Town!
Janeway and Tuvok find themselves aboard the Delta Flyer. Janeway helps the still-staggering Tuvok to the nearest seat.
Paris Sorry about the delay. They knocked our transporters off-line.
Flyer races away through the debris field, in hot pursuit by the alien vessel. The shattered Borg parts act as cover, which Paris uses well, but it's not enough to avoid all the alien's fire.
Paris I need you at tactical! When I bring us around, target their engine core.
Janeway (without irony, leaves Tuvok and heads to the station) Aye, sir!
Flyer pulls off a deft maneuver. It gets behind the alien vessel, and fires off a trio of torpedoes. The last connects and sends the ship reeling.
Paris Nice shot.
Janeway leans back, looking proud of herself. She blows on her trigger fingers for emphasis.
Paris They're breaking pursuit.
Doc is at his desk, researching Seven's condition. He hears noises. He looks over his shoulder and sees Seven of Nine standing up and working. He sighs irritably and leaves his office.
Doctor May I ask what you're doing?
Seven of Nine Your filing system is inefficient. I'm implementing a new one.
Doctor You should be in bed.
Neelix Delivery for Seven of Nine. Tarcanian wildflowers. Cheery, don't you think?
Seven of Nine ignores him.
Neelix Oh, well, if you prefer gladiolas I could go back to the airponics bay...
Doctor That won't be necessary, mr. Neelix. The flowers are lovely, aren't they, Seven?
Seven of Nine Thank you. I'll admire them later.
Neelix Actually, I thought I'd stay and keep you company.
Seven of Nine ignores him.
Doctor Seven prefers not to have visitors right now.
Neelix Not even a visitor with a kadis-kot board?
Seven of Nine Correct.
Neelix But it's your favorite game.
Doctor (pulls Neelix aside; he has an idea. He speaks in sotto voice) Personally...I can't blame her. You're being extremely insensitive.
Neelix (confused) I am?
Doctor You know perfectly very well Seven is in a weakened state. She wouldn't stand a chance against you.
Neelix (catching on) You're right. I-i don't know what I was thinking. We'll play later when you're feeling up to it.
Seven of Nine (irritated) Green.
Neelix I beg your pardon?
Seven of Nine I prefer the green pieces. You'll use red.
Neelix Doctor, do you think she's up to it?
Doctor As long as you go easy on her.
Seven's nostrils flare.
Janeway to the Doctor.
Doctor Yes, Captain.
Janeway We are back and we have the node.
Sickbay. Seven's on a table while Doc, Paris and Janeway handle the operation.
Doctor I'm ready to disengage the damaged node. Transfer Seven's cortical functions to the computer.
Janeway Understood. (does so) Done.
Doctor Initiating the extraction. (opens hole in Seven's head. Extracts flickering node--yup, looks like it's broke)
Janeway Vital functions are stable.
Janeway 20 seconds.
Doctor (waving off Paris who holds replacement node) Not yet. I have to realign her primary neurodes first.
Janeway The computer can't maintain her cortical functions much longer.
Janeway Her neural relays are going to destabilize in ten seconds, nine...
Doctor Almost finished.
Seven of Nine Eight, Seven six, five...
Doctor Transfer Seven's cortical functions to the new node.
Janeway Something's wrong.
Paris She's going into anaphylactic shock.
Paris Her implants aren't adapting. They're rejecting the new node.
( alarm beeping )
Paris She's losing synaptic cohesion.
Doctor Apply a 20 millijoule neurostatic pulse on my mark.
Janeway No effect.
( continuous beep )
Janeway Increase the pulse. 30 millijoules.
Doc gives up. He pulls the node from Seven's head.
Doctor (bleakly) Computer, end simulation.
Sickbay disappears. Holodeck.
Janeway Why did you stop?
Doctor It wasn't working.
Janeway Run it again.
Paris Captain, this was our 12th simulation. Something tells me 13 won't be our lucky number.
Doctor The salvaged node has been inactive too long.
Janeway Then we'll find one that hasn't.
(Doctor and Janeway exit holodeck)
Doctor No matter how many debris fields we sift through a node from a dead drone isn't going to work.
Janeway Who said anything about a dead drone?
Doctor What's that supposed to mean?
Janeway We've infiltrated Borg vessels before. If that's what it takes to save Seven we'll do it again.
Doctor Are you suggesting ending one life to save another?
Janeway I'm not giving up on her.
Doctor (stopping her in the corridor) Neither am I!
Doctor I'll do everything in my power to help her but we both have to face the possibility that it may not be enough.
Janeway rubs her face with her hand.
Neelix Red. Grid 13-3.
Seven of Nine They should've finished the simulation by now.
Neelix I'm sure they'll let you know as soon as they do. Your move.
Seven of Nine Don't you have more important duties to attend to?
Neelix Nothing that can't wait.
Seven of Nine Despite what the Doctor told you I feel perfectly fine.
Neelix Really? Because it looks to me like you're about to lose.
Seven of Nine (stomps neelix easily) Kadis-kot.
Neelix (badly acting his surprise) I should've seen that coming. Oh, well, that makes what? 16-3, your lead?
Seven of Nine 16-2.
Neelix (smiles) Oh. My mistake.
( door opening - Janeway and Doctor enter)
Neelix Oh, uh...Well, I should really see how things are going in the mess hall... But I'll be back later for a rematch. (exits)
Seven of Nine Are you ready to proceed?
Janeway According to the simulations the salvaged node isn't going to work. I'm sorry.
Doctor: I'm still researching alternative treatments and Harry and B'Elanna are going to try to repair the faulty node using components from your alcove.
Seven of Nine (weakly) They'll fail.
Doctor We're not giving up hope. Neither should you.
Seven of Nine With your permission I'd like to return to my duties.
Doctor That's not possible. I need to monitor your condition.
Seven of Nine Captain?
Seven of Nine I'm afraid I have to defer to the Doctor.
Doctor If you'd like, I can ask Icheb to bring some of your work here.
Seven nods silently.
Icheb (enters an empty sickbay) Doctor?
Icheb Computer, locate the Doctor.
Computer The emh is off-line.
Icheb Activate the emh.
Doctor (appears, waving finger angrily) ...forced to sedate you!
Doctor I'm sorry, Icheb. I wasn't talking to you.
Icheb Where's Seven?
Doctor I wish I knew. When I refused to release her she overrode my autonomy protocols...In the middle of a sentence, no less.
Icheb Computer, locate Seven of Nine.
Computer Seven of Nine is in Sickbay.
(they see Seven's combadge on top of a terminal)
.doc ( sighs )
Torres He's looking for you...The Doctor. I ran into him in the corridor. He was about 30 seconds away from calling a ship-wide alert.
Seven of Nine Are you going to tell him where I am?
Torres Nope. I know what it's like to be stuck in Sickbay. I've escaped the Doctor myself once or twice.
Seven of Nine Thank you.
Torres Any time. (takes off)
Seven of Nine Lieutenant... (Torres stops) When you die do you believe your spirit will go to Sto-Vo-Kor?
Torres You shouldn't be thinking about dying.
Seven of Nine According to the Doctor's simulations any attempt to adapt the salvaged node will fail.
Torres has no response.
Seven of Nine Sto-Vo-Kor, Lieutenant...Do you believe you'll go there?
Torres I guess it all depends how…honorable my death is.
Seven of Nine But you do believe there's something after death?
Torres I hope so. What about you?
Seven of Nine The Borg have no concept of an afterlife. However, when a drone is deactivated, its memories continue to reside in the Collective's consciousness. As long as the hive exists, so will the part of that drone.
Torres (gently) You don't seem to take much comfort in that.
Seven of Nine My link to the collective has been severed for nearly four years. If I die, everything that I've accomplished in that time--everything I achieved as an individual--will be lost. My memories, my experiences...It will be as if they...As if I never existed.
Torres (after a moment's pause) I think you're a little more memorable than you're giving yourself credit for. You don't need the Collective to validate your existence. You've made an impact on every member of this crew. That's your legacy.
Doctor: there you are! (sees Torres) I should have known she'd be the one to harbor a fugitive.
Torres (leaning defiantly against ramp in upper engineering) We difficult patients need to stick together.
Doctor I want you to return to Sickbay immediately.
Seven of Nine Have you devised a new treatment?
Doctor Not yet.
Seven of Nine Then it's best that I don't distract you from finding one.
Doctor Seven, if you continue to exert yourself your condition will only deteriorate more rapidly. Is that what you want?
Seven of Nine What I want is to be useful.
Torres I really could use her help. I promise not to let her overdo it.
Doctor You can stay, provided you wear this cortical monitor. (tosses it upstairs)
Seven of Nine Thank you.
Torres acknowledges silently, and exits. Seven resumes her work.
Astrometrics. It's dark.
Seven enters. Icheb is working.
Icheb Are you feeling better?
Seven of Nine My condition is unchanged. I've spoken to the Captain about your desire to apply to Starfleet academy. She's agreed to administer the entrance exam before we send the next datastream to earth. (hands him a PADD) It's a list of crewmen who can help you study. Lieutenant Torres is extremely well-versed in warp mechanics. Ensign Kim claims to have 'aced' the quantum theory section.
Icheb What about Astrometrics?
Seven of Nine You know more about Astrometrics than most Starfleet officers.
Icheb Still, I'll need someone to review the material with me.
Seven of Nine I'll ask Lieutenant Paris to set aside some time.
Icheb I'd rather study with you.
Seven of Nine You've become too dependent on me. You must learn to rely on others.
Icheb And if I don't want to?
Seven of Nine What you want is irrelevant.
Icheb Why are you acting like this? Is it because you think you're dying?
Seven of Nine I am dying.
Seven of Nine I'm sorry.
Icheb You may have given up. But I haven't. (storms off)
(note to self. Passion suits Icheb--and the actor playing him--very well. I'm glad they decided to keep him on as a recurring character.)
* * *
Astrometrics. Icheb studies Seven's condition using multiple methodologies. One looks promising.
Icheb: I know how to save her.
Doctor I'm certainly open to suggestions.
Icheb I've been analyzing the simulations you performed and they failed because you tried to implement a cortical node from a dead drone.
Doctor That's correct.
Icheb What you require is a live drone.
Doctor (heatedly) I've already been through that with Captain Janeway.
Icheb My cortical node is operational. I want you to remove it and give it to Seven.
Doctor (furiously) Absolutely not!
Icheb Well, at least review my research.
Doctor It may as well be a suicide note!
Icheb I don't agree.
Doctor Well, that's comforting.
Icheb (doggedly) You took these scans of me when I left the collective. By your own estimation I emerged from my maturation chamber before I was fully assimilated. As a result my physiology is less dependent on my implants.
Doctor They still regulate many of your vital functions.
Icheb What about my age? I'm younger, so it should be easier for my body to adapt to the loss.
Doctor You're obviously too young to understand the risks involved.
Icheb I understand the risks perfectly. If we continue to do nothing, Seven will die.
Doctor And if we proceed with your idea, you could both die!
Icheb According to my research, there's an 86.9% chance that Seven's implants will adapt to my node.
Doctor (surprised) 'eighty-six...'
Icheb --Point nine!
Doctor (more softly, takes padd) And what about you? Without a cortical node how will you regulate your implants?
Icheb You should be able to compensate with genetic resequencing. This isn't suicide, Doctor. I believe it can work and all I ask is that you consider it. (holds out another PADD)
Doctor takes it.
( door opens )
Janeway: earth's biggest ditch. That's what my father used to call it. We hiked the north rim when I was nine.
Seven of Nine It's an impressive geological formation.
Janeway Too dusty. I've always preferred farm country myself.
Seven of Nine pulls up another view.
Seven of Nine Bloomington, Indiana, your hometown. You've mentioned it on several occasions.
Janeway So, what do you think?
Seven of Nine It appears to be a pleasant environment.
Janeway (gently) When we get to Earth, I'll take you there.
Seven of Nine It's more likely this crew will reach earth without me.
Janeway You don't know that.
Seven of Nine You refuse to acknowledge the severity of my condition just as I did at first.
Janeway Are you giving up?
Seven of Nine I'm merely accepting reality.
Janeway (lightly) If I'd accepted reality six years ago I'd have settled on the first m-class planet we came across. Instead, I'm 30,000 light-years closer to Bloomington, Indiana.
Seven of Nine Minus several members of your crew. (pulls up list) Ensign Marie Kaplan Ensign Lindsay Ballard, Crewman Timothy Lang...
Janeway (coldly) Is there a point to this?
Seven of Nine Every person on this list died under your command. You accepted their deaths. But I don't believe you'll accept mine.
Janeway That's presumptuous.
Seven of Nine I'm not being egotistical. On the contrary, I'm trying to make a point.
Janeway Which is?
Seven of Nine All of these crew members came to Voyager with unique personalities but I've required your constant assistance to develop my individuality.
Janeway And you've come a long way.
Seven of Nine But not far enough. I've disappointed you. You feel your task is incomplete. That's why my death will be difficult for you to accept.
Janeway Is that what you think? That you haven't lived up to my expectations?
Seven of Nine Clearly, I haven't but I want you to know that the failure has been mine, not yours.
Janeway You haven't failed. You've exceeded my expectations. You've become an individual...An extraordinary individual. If I'm having trouble accepting your condition . . . it's only because I don't want to lose a friend.
Doctor to the Captain. I need to see you and Seven right away.
Janeway: it would be a complicated procedure.
Doctor No doubt.
Janeway But you believe it'll work.
Doctor There are significant risks involved...to Seven and Icheb--but if you're asking me if it's possible I'd have to say yes.
Janeway What sort of precautions...?
Seven of Nine No matter how many precautions you take it's not worth the risk to Icheb.
Icheb Seven, this could work.
Seven of Nine I'm not willing to extend my life at the cost of yours.
Icheb But you haven't reviewed all the data.
Seven of Nine As long as there is any chance you won't survive, the data is irrelevant. I'd like to return to Sickbay now.
Doctor As you wish. (seven and doc leave)
Icheb You're the Captain. You could order her to do it.
Janeway I have to respect her wishes.
Icheb Even if it kills her?
Janeway I want to help her just as much as you do.
Icheb If that were true you wouldn't let her die.
Doctor Is there anything I can bring from the cargo bay to make you feel more at home?
Seven of Nine No, thank you.
Doctor Something from the mess hall? A piece of fruit?
Seven of Nine Are you offering me my last meal?
Doctor (speechless) I...Of course not. Is that what you thought?
Seven of Nine I was attempting to lighten the mood.
Doctor Ah, yes. (fake laugh) Well done.
Icheb to the Doctor. Report to cargo bay two immediately.
Seven of Nine (irritably) He's persistent.
Doctor Not to worry. I'll make it clear to him that persistence is futile. (wakka wakka)
Doctor You were summoned, too?
Janeway Icheb doesn't seem to have grasped the chain of command yet.
Doctor (smiling) Remind you of anyone we know?
Door to cargo bay two opens. The light mood is broken instantly. Icheb is hunched over and sweating profusely
Janeway Icheb! (runs over to him)
Doctor He's disengaged his cortical node!
Janeway (to Icheb) How?
Icheb My alcove...I programmed it to disconnect my neural relays.
Janeway Can you reconnect them?
Doctor He's locked me out of the controls.
Janeway (anger and worry) How could you do this?
Icheb (defiantly, between convulsions) It was the only way I could prove to you that it would work.
* * *
Seven, lying on her bed, jumps when she sees Doc, Janeway and Icheb beam in
Seven of Nine what's wrong with him?
Janeway Icheb decided to perform a little operation on himself.
Seven of Nine You have to reconnect his node immediately.
Doctor I intend to.
Icheb No! if Seven can refuse treatment, so can i.
Doctor We don't have time for this.
Icheb Well, then, check your scans. I'm already adapting.
Doctor Some of your implants have adapted, but not all. Apply the resequencing technique I researched.
Seven of Nine This debate is pointless. I won't accept the node.
Icheb And I won't keep it.
Doctor Someone had better use the damn thing! If it stays disconnected much longer it won't do either of you any good.
Seven of Nine You're acting like a child.
Icheb I'm trying to save your life.
Seven of Nine Only because you've grown too dependent on me.
Icheb You think I need to learn to rely on other people?
Seven of Nine Yes.
Icheb What about you? You've refused to rely on a single member of this crew. You hid your condition from the rest of us. You deactivated the Doctor, and now you're rejecting my help. You're the one who needs to rely on others. Isn't that what people on this ship do? They help each other?
Janeway Whenever we can.
Icheb If the Captain were dying...You'd risk your life to save her, wouldn't you? (to Janeway) And when you respond to a distress call you're risking the life of everyone on this ship to respond to the aid of strangers.
Janeway He's right.
Seven of Nine Captain, he's just a child.
Janeway I don't think he is...Not anymore. (walks over to stand by Icheb)
Seven of Nine Doctor!
Doctor (softly) Don't look at me.
Icheb Please. Just let us help you.
Sickbay. For real this time. Doc, Janeway and Paris operate. Icheb and Seven are on twin tables in the main operating theater.
Doctor Let's begin.
Slowly, silently, the cortical node transplant is performed. The faulty node is removed from Seven and replaced with the healthy node from Icheb.
No computers beep in warning. No plot complication.
Cargo Bay Two.
Seven awakens in her alcove.
Janeway Good morning.
Seven of Nine How long have I been regenerating?
Doctor Six days. We needed to make sure your implants had completely adapted to the new node.
Janeway The good news is they have.
Seven of Nine Icheb...
Doctor His road to recovery has been a little bumpier than yours.
Seven of Nine Has he suffered any permanent damage?
Doctor I don't think so. He's been experiencing some pain but I believe it's temporary.
Seven of Nine (guilty) Pain I caused him.
Doctor Pain he was willing to endure. (awakens Icheb)
Icheb (weakly, smiling) You've recovered.
Seven of Nine I expect the same from you.
Icheb The Doctor wants to keep me here another week but I'm sure I'll be back on my feet in half that time.
Seven of Nine I suggest you get as much rest as you can. You're going to need it.
Seven of Nine I've decided to help you prepare for the Astrometrics portion of the academy exam. You can expect a rigorous and grueling schedule. (smiles)
Icheb (smiles, then looks worried) Seven...
Seven of Nine Yes.
Icheb Your ocular implant--it's malfunctioning again.
Doctor scans. Smiles.
Doctor Actually...It's functioning perfectly.
Seven wipes tears from her eyes.
This was a pleasant surprise.
The crew has said goodbye to almost all the Borg kids. The one remaining, Icheb, is mostly grown up, but still has some maturing and some proving to do. Although I haven't always been impressed by his performances in the past, he more than exceeded expectations this time out.
The story didn't follow expectations. When Seven required a cortical node from a living drone, the expectation was that Icheb would die to save her. Failing that, that Icheb would--just as he had the hopes of joining Starfleet Academy--lose the one gift that the Borg had given him, his amazing intelligence.
Instead, the story allowed Icheb to come into his own--intellectually, and socially. The student becomes the teacher. Icheb's stubbornness matches Seven's blow for blow. He comes up with the solution that saves Seven, and though it required a sacrifice on his part, he gained something in turn--a little more freedom from his Borgness, greater esteem in the eyes of Janeway and the crew, and a more socially interactive mentor in Seven of Nine.
Seven's struggles cover the standard progression of dealing with loss. denial, anger, negotiation, acceptance, etc. Her struggles are well portrayed, and allow Jeri Ryan to show a nice bit of range in her character. She has strong moments with many in the cast, including a--hopefully non-unique--bit of sisterly bonding with Torres in Engineering. The Seven/Icheb scenes were particularly effective. The episode allowed for light moments as well as serious, and the tone was nicely character-centric.
The special effects were well used--not overused. the brief firefight between the Delta Flyer II and the alien vessel was exciting but didn't take up a whole lot of the episode. The resolution wasn't technical or action-packed, but these scenes didn't detract. The aliens could have been given more exploration--but why? Sometimes you're going to have hit-and-run encounters with other species, and I'm glad there wasn't a whole lot of talking this time out.
Yes, the Delta Flyer was destroyed last week. And yes, I noticed the ring on Tom's (and B'Elanna's) finger. This episode was shown before "Drive" for some reason--probably because it's been traditional the last several years for the "Seven of Nine" episode to be the second of the season, and the "Torres" or "P/T" episode to be the third. This does bring up some confusion, but I tend to blame the network for airing them that way than the production staff, which filmed them in an order that made sense. Suffice to say, if you were confused by the rings or the Delta Flyer, just wait for "Drive" and pretend it aired first. (If you live outside the US or Canada, that might well be the order you see it in.)
All in all, I really enjoyed this. Call it (* * * 1/2) on a 4 star scale.
Next week: Tom drives fast with his best girl by his side.
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