[I meet Annika Hansen in a cafeteria at the Daystrom Institute. Formerly known as Seven of Nine, a Borg drone, Hansen now looks almost completely human. Her residual Borg implants are barely noticeable. She does, however, retain the brevity of words and directness her fellow crewmembers from USS Voyager described. I thank her for joining me today. As is typical for her, she cuts to the chase immediately.]
You wish to ask me about why I left Starfleet.
Yes. You yourself have said that one of your dearest aspirations was to belong to Starfleet. Why, then, did you leave?
Clarification. I wished to be counted among those I admired during my time on Voyager. Admiral Janeway, Captain Chakotay, and several other crewmembers convinced me of the honor and competence of Starfleet. Seeing that to be the case, I wished to also belong to Starfleet. However, I have found that, while many members of Starfleet are indeed quite admirable, the direction Starfleet, as a collective, is taking is neither admirable, honorable, nor competent.
You’re referring to the dissolution of the Borg Task Force last month.
Yes, I am. Starfleet has come to the flawed conclusion that the Borg are no longer a threat simply because the Borg have not attacked us recently.
There have been no signs of the Borg since Voyager’s return in 2378. That’s seven years.
That is nothing. Do you actually believe that seven years, or twenty years, or a hundred years, would be anything more than a brief setback for the Borg? The Borg do not reckon time as humans do. The Borg are not limited by the life spans of individuals. The collective lives on. What one knew, all know. What one remembers, all remember.
Isn’t it possible that Admiral Janeway’s actions destroyed the Borg?
That would be a lovely fairytale. Admiral Janeway’s actions likely destroyed that hub. But the Borg are far wider spread and have contingency plans dating back to before humanity achieved warp speed. We may have delivered a crippling blow, but it was not a killing blow. The Borg still exist. So long as they exist, they will not accept defeat. They persist. They choose a goal and continue until they achieve it. The Borg are infinitely patient. They can afford to be.
I understand that Starfleet may wish they were gone. I do not understand the stubborn refusal to deal with reality. We cannot simply ignore the Borg threat and assume they will not notice us.
The dissolution of the task force was unfortunate and ill conceived. Wishing that the Borg won’t return does not make it so.
So you left Starfleet and came to the Daystrom Institute.
The Daystrom Institute made me an offer long before Starfleet dissolved the task force. I neglected to accept that offer at the time. However, they were perceptive enough to understand the importance of preparing our defenses against the Borg and were amenable when I spoke to them again. They have provided me with all the resources I need to continue my work. We will have the Daystrom Institute to thank for preparing us against Borg attack. Unfortunately, without Starfleet maintaining vigilance, I cannot predict how effective our efforts will be.
What of the young man, Icheb, who I believe you adopted as family? Who was also former Borg. How do you feel about his continuing presence in Starfleet Academy?
That is Icheb’s choice, and I am proud of him for making it.
What do your former crewmates from Voyager think of your predictions?
They listen. They know, just as I do, that the Borg remain a threat.
Do you remain in contact with Captain Chakotay?
I’m afraid I do not see the relevance of your question.
Please, humor me.
Naturally, I remain in contact with most of the crewmembers from Voyager. We all spent a great deal of time together and remain close.
What do you think of the legal case involving the EMH known as the Doctor?
I think it is another example of Starfleet short sightedness. They are ignoring his individuality, and the significance of what this means about sentience, in favor of studying short term technological applications.
That seems like a strange approach coming from you.
Because I was once Borg? I am human, now. I am an individual. I have a better understanding of what that means, and what it means for the Doctor, than any normal human who takes it for granted.
When do you think we’ll see the Borg again?
I cannot predict when, only that it will happen.