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Approaching the Azure Nebula, Enterprise is set upon by three Borg cubes at once, and is almost overwhelmed with many casualties, but is saved by the unexpected arrival of Aventine. Crusher and her team fight to save survivors. Dax reports that she returned to the Alpha Quadrant via a subspace tunnel – perhaps that is how the Borg have been getting here as well. While chief engineers LaForge and Leishman work on repairs to both ships, Enterprise’s science officer Elfiki and ops manager Kadohata work together on detecting another tunnel at the nebula – only to find dozens, each leading somewhere different in the galaxy. Dax suggests mining the nebula like they did the wormhole (DS9 5x26 “A Call to Arms”), but simulations say the region is too unstable for mines to work. Picard orders the crew to find a way to destroy all the tunnels, no matter their potential for exploration – an order which pleases no-one. 




2381: Titan is trapped in orbit of the shelled planet, unable to move or communicate. The Caeliar will not let the Starfleet ship go in case they tell others what they found. On Axion, Hernandez explains her backstory to Troi, who continues to suffer from her deteriorating pregnancy. 1519: The city-ship Axion drifts through space, on a years-long journey to find a new homeworld. The gestalt – the Caeliar’s shared consciousness – is weakened after so many died in the Cataclysm. The humans are not to blame, as readings suggest the feedback pulse was caused by one of the other lost city-ships, Kintana, making the whole thing a predestination loop. The four remaining human women are given every comfort but are unable to leave, and the lack of purpose wears. To fill the time, Hernandez begins helping Inyx in the search for a new homeworld. 2381: Vale, Keru and the away team start planning their escape.




Dr Kaz proposes fooling the Borg into destroying themselves via a ‘critical failure’ bug. Counsellor Cambridge objects – isn’t this genocide? Chakotay won’t lose any sleep, which only worries Cambridge more. Kaz and Vorik work on the technical aspects while Kim hunts for a target. Voyager sets course for a small tactical probe, and Paris pilots the Delta Flyer as distraction – enough to drop the Borg’s shields, beam five drones off, then destroy the probe. Kaz injects the captured drones with modified nanoprobes, then they lure another cube into a Badlands-like region where mines and plasma storms disable the cube enough to beam the captured Borg back aboard. As Voyager runs and the cube pursues, it looks like the plan hasn’t worked – but Drone Five reaches the central plexus, injects the nanoprobes, and the cube explodes. Chakotay is disappointed that it didn’t spread to the entire collective, while Cambridge is quietly relieved – for Chakotay’s sake.

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