25 EXT. VENICE - EVENING
CHAKOTAY pours more blood-red wine into JANEWAY’s glass. She has to hold up her hand to stop him from pouring her the entire bottle. The pair have not moved all day, sat at their private table by the Grand Canal and talking, while the day and the crowds have moved on without them.
Whoa whoa whoa. You know we
can’t stay here all night.
Oh... did you have other plans?
You know what I mean.
Chakotay avoids the subject by pouring the rest of the wine into his own glass. Janeway watches him wistfully.
There is nowhere else I need to
be but right here, with you.
They need you.
They can manage without me.
You trained them well.
There’s no training for this,
Chakotay. You know that.
A SHADOW passes over, darkening the entire city. Only the tea-lights on the table keep it from total darkness.
Chakotay looks around, and suddenly he and Janeway are the only people in sight. Venice is deserted except for them.
Then Chakotay looks up... and a BORG CUBE is hovering in the sky, a black metallic hulk blotting out all the light.
Chakotay looks back to Janeway, who is in shadow...
There’s things you have to face.
No... I don’t want to.
Janeway leans forwards out of shadow into the dim light...
...and she is now the BORG QUEEN JANEWAY as seen in VOY 10x09 “Hungry” and 10x10 “Long Live the Queen.”
What you want is irrelevant.
Chakotay jerks back in horror..
MATCH CUT TO:
26 INT. VOYAGER - SICKBAY
Captain Chakotay - who had been sitting and staring blankly in a corner as we have seen him ever since VOY 10x20 “Dodo” - suddenly JERKS and YELLS out in horror.
The prototype DOCTOR, who had been engaged in scanning his captain with a tricorder, also JERKS and YELLS in reaction to the sudden movement, and TUMBLES over backwards onto his holographic ass. Chief engineer VORIK cocks an eyebrow.
Captain - you are awake.
Awake he may be, but Chakotay is still overwhelmed by the horror of seeing the woman he loves as a Borg Queen. His pulse is racing, his eyes are blurry, and he is only just starting to get his bearings back.
Vorik... where are we?
We remain at the Azure Nebula. It
is now two days, twenty hours and
forty-one minutes since aperture
twenty-seven C was opened.
Aperture 27-C blooms open, and an endless number of Borg ships emerge to ram straight through the blockade fleet.
Chakotay shudders, breathing fast.
Three days?! But the Borg... why
aren’t we chasing them?
Voyager was critically damaged in
the invasion. Forty percent of the
crew were killed, including Doctor
Kaz and Lieutenant Tare. Mister
Kim remains in critical condition.
Commander Paris has indeed
focused the surviving crew on
repairs to propulsion. However
that focus has recently changed
Because every Borg ship in the
Alpha Quadrant - which current
estimates place at almost four-
thousand - is on approach to
our position at maximum speed.
Chakotay absorbs that. His last attempt to stand up to the Borg didn’t work out so well. Will this time be any better?
I need to get to the bridge.
Chakotay stands suddenly, but his head and legs are not yet synchronised. Vorik moves to steady him. Chakotay YANKS himself away from Vorik - he doesn’t want any help - but he still wobbles on his feet. Under the above:
That’s out of the question. I may
have healed your physical injuries
- brilliantly I might add - but
there are clearly -
Thank you for your help, Doctor.
Vorik, with me. You can catch me
up on the way to the bridge.
Chakotay leaves the sickbay. Vorik follows. The Doctor tries to chase after them...
I am your chief medical officer
and that means -
(bounces off force
field at door)
Oh, for the love of...
(shouts out of door)
Come back! Come back, I say!
But they ignore him and keep walking. The Doctor turns back to his sickbay with a harrumph of disapproval.
Why can nobody remember to
turn me off when they leave?
Leaving the Doctor on his own, like in the old days...
27 EXT. SPACE – AZURE NEBULA
At first focusing on Voyager, where we can see work bees and figures in space suits manually rebuilding the port warp nacelle out of scraps salvaged from the other ships.
Then PAN ACROSS and UP to Axion, the giant Caeliar city-ship looming over our four Starfleet capital ships...
28 INT. AXION
Hernandez propels herself across the open air over the city. She looks up through the transparent forcefield that is keeping the air in, and all she sees is the blue wisps of the Azure Nebula and the debris of the blockade fleet.
Looking down at the city beneath her, all looks peaceful. The conflict has not touched the Caeliar, and the city remains a perfect blend of inexplicable alien architecture and tranquil pockets of nature.
From a distance, she spots what she was looking for - INYX, standing quietly beneath a single tree on the edge of a pool of water. Hernandez smiles wistfully and descends.
Hernandez lands on the water itself, walking on its surface towards Inyx. The alien feigns boredom.
I wondered how long it would be
before you learned that trick.
Less than eight-hundred years.
Told you I was a fast learner.
You left the Quorum in a hurry. I
hadn’t even finished my proposal.
I have made my objections clear.
But of course you know that, since
you are apparently completely
attuned to the gestalt and can
share in it whenever you please.
I’m sorry I lied to you, Inyx.
But your people aren’t the
only ones who value privacy.
There is a difference, Erika,
between privacy and deception.
But what’s done is done. I’m
more concerned about your
I know it’s a risk. But I think
it’s one worth taking, and I’m
certain it will work.
There is also a difference between
certainty and infallibility.
If I’m wrong, if I fail... I’m
counting on you to persuade the
Quorum to honour our agreement.
I cannot promise that, Erika. But
I will try. I... wish it didn’t have
to be you taking this risk.
It’s not like anyone else is in a
position to do it. And if there
was another way, I’d take it.
If you do not wish to make
this sacrifice, why do it?
Because my people need me, Inyx.
They need me to do something only
I can do. I let the Romulans get
the drop on me. I led my crew into
captivity, then failed to control
them, and millions of your people
died. I’ve been living with those
failures for centuries, and I
finally have a chance to atone.
The consequences of failure seem
clear. But what is the price of
success? What will become of you,
Erika? Will I ever see you again?
I don’t know. But in case I don’t
get a chance to do this later...
Hernandez reaches up and gently grasps Inyx’s frowning alien face, pulls it down to her... and KISSES him.
29 INT. ENTERPRISE - CONFERENCE ROOM
PICARD stands at the head of the conference table, Axion and the nebula visible through the window. Captains RIKER, DAX and a stern Chakotay sit around the table.
Whatever Captain Hernandez is
planning, it undoubtedly has the
potential to go horribly wrong.
So you want a contingency plan for
what to do after we’re surrounded
by four-thousand Borg cubes?
Better than not having one.
I guess. For that matter, we’ll
need one even if she succeeds.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves.
As powerful as the Caeliar seem,
I doubt they - or any other entity,
short of the single-letter variety
who shall not be named - can
do what they are proposing.
There’s another scenario to
consider. What if they succeed,
but only temporarily? The Borg are
based on adaptation, after all.
These are all valid concerns. In
just over eight hours, the Borg
Collective in its entirety will reach
the Azure Nebula. Whatever back-
up plan we intend to prepare, it
needs to be ready by then.
If this turns into a shooting
match, I think the Caeliar can
take care of themselves.
Against these odds?
I don’t know. But if the fight turns
against them, they can just open
up a subspace tunnel and slip away
to safety. Which doesn’t help us
much, but at least it keeps
Caeliar tech out of Borg hands.
A team of twenty-second century
MACOs outmanoeuvred the Caeliar.
I don’t think strategy is their strong
suit. What if the Borg get the better
of them? What if they can’t escape?
Then we have a problem.
More than a problem - a disaster.
Regardless of Captain Hernandez’s
plans, our priority must be to
prevent the Borg from assimilating
anything of the Caeliar.
What about the Omega generator?
What about it?
If we can destroy that, while the
Borg are on top of us... we wipe
out the entire armada instantly.
As well as ourselves, the entire
Federation we’ve been fighting so
hard to save, and pretty much
the whole galaxy. We’d also end
warp flight for every other galaxy
in the local group. Not exactly
what I’d call a plan for victory.
Captains, we must consider every
alternative at this stage. If the
only way to stop the Borg from
assimilating the Caeliar is to
destroy them both... so be it.
Picard and Chakotay seem equally resolute. Dax and Riker seem equally horrified...
END OF ACT TWO