Star Trek: Voyager, "Infinite Regress"

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Star Trek: Voyager, "Infinite Regress". #203 (25 November 1998),[1] or season 5 episode 7, running number for ST:V 101.[2]

See Anna Kaplan's summary at note 1 above (Cinefantastique 31.11 [April 2000]: 37). The Wikipedia entry summarizes the basic plot:

Continuing on course for home, Voyager's long-range sensors detect a debris field from a Borg cube. [...]

As their general course takes them closer to the Borg vessel's debris field, Seven [of Nine][3] begins experiencing a form of multiple personality disorder and alternate personalities begin to manifest themselves. [...S]he is taken to Sickbay to try to find the source of the neurological problem. Seven speculates that it could be due to an active and undamaged vinculum (transponder device [and processor "at the heart of every Borg vessel which interconnected the minds of all the drones, purging individual thoughts and disseminating information relevant to the Collective"][4]) still in the debris field from the Borg vessel. Voyager alters course to retrieve the vinculum and investigate further. Once at the debris field, they find the vinculum, still active, and beam it aboard for inspection.

Further scans reveal a synthetic pathogenic virus inhabiting it. [...T]hey deduce that the virus must have been introduced by the Borg cube's last assimilation, a small vessel carrying aliens referred to by the Borg as Species 6339. Voyager searches out these alien travelers, who reveal their attempt to infect the Borg Collective with a virus designed to shut it down. Thirteen of their people sacrificed themselves to be assimilated so they could spread the virus. Part of their plan depends on more Borg to find the vinculum and use it [...] to spread the virus further into the Borg network.

However, Captain Janeway wants to keep the vinculum for a short period [...] to separate Seven from it. Seven struggles to maintain control of the personalities splitting her consciousness[, ...] while Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres and her team begin the difficult task of shutting down the vinculum. Tuvok suggests a Vulcan mind meld to help calm Seven. The aliens protest Voyager's interference with their plan and attack the ship. In the end, B'Elanna is successful and Seven is freed from the link. The vinculum is beamed off the ship and the aliens disengage. (Wikipedia entry for "Infinite Regress")[5]

Note for complexity of psychology of Seven, and of the Borg. And for the ethical concerns raised by the choices to use a kind of biological warfare against the Borg, to sacrifice humanoids to the Borg Collective, to privilege resolving Seven's problems above resisting the Borg.

RDE, finishing, 7Jul22