Title: Stockholm Syndrome

Author: nostalgia

Rated: PG

Summary: What's a culture, when you get right down to it?

Disclaimathon: Paramount, blah, blah, etc.

Author's Notes: I have an exam tomorrow. I should be studying. Bugger. Beta'd by kbk, who writes pornography for her own amusement.


Three days previously, she had realised that she was in love with Captain Janeway. This in itself had presented Seven with no great dilemma, but the motivation behind these feelings had been a mystery to her. As always, she found her own lack of insight irritating.

Finally, in a footnote in an obscure psychology textbook, she had found an answer that appealed. Stockholm syndrome. The phenomenon of hostages developing emotional attachments to their kidnappers, in order to improve the odds of their survival.

In love with her captor; obsessed with her abductor. Captain Janeway was attractive, but not beautiful; intelligent, but not brilliant. Her one over-riding attribute was her control over the situation in which Seven found herself. She had taken Seven from her family. No wonder then that Seven had begun to consider her as a potential lover.

Captain Janeway was a great believer in cultural relativism, but she had never seen fit to extend this consideration to the Borg.

"The Collective used you, Seven," she had said, in various words, at various times, "They took you into their hive mind and they gave you nothing in return. They took you from your home, from your people."

And eventually, of course, Seven had begun to believe this. The Borg were evil; they were a scourge. They should be decimated, eradicated, exterminated. They were not her people; they were her enemy. Seven would have to reassert her humanity and triumph over the indoctrination of the Collective. That way, Seven would become free.

Two days previously, Seven had dreamt of the hive mind. She had seen the drones, and the cubes, and felt the swarming nanoprobes that joined them all as one. She had remembered the constant, aching awareness of imperfection.

When her regeneration cycle finished, she summoned recordings of the battle at Wolf 359, and remembered sharing the thoughts of the assimilated. The fear and the pain had been over quickly; they had become a part of something greater. Once joined with the Collective, they had been grateful.

Two days previously, Seven had become homesick. She had begun to question the wisdom of the woman who had claimed to free her. It was incorrect, surely, to reject perfection? Culture, the anthropologists assured, was everywhere. Seven considered the original aims of Species Zero, and the way those ideals had developed and evolved over time. They had allowed themselves unity, and transcended mere physical existence. Their thoughts lived on in the processors and databanks of the Collective, though their race had long since become extinct.

Seven had felt the stirrings of what in another context might have been called patriotism. The Borg were perfection. They should not be dismissed out of hand by arrogant, imperfect beings. The Borg were a benefit to organic life, bringing it ever closer to perfection. Evolution required that the weak must perish to allow the strong to survive. The Borg were proof of the thesis, the sterling example.

One day previously, she had reactivated the transmitters in her implants, to draw her siblings to her. She had sent the information they would need through channels that could never be traced. She heard the single, multiple voice in her mind as her family reached out to greet her. She felt welcomed. Loved.

She considered the contradiction that she now resented the woman she loved. Since her emotional response had formed in the hope of pleasing her captor, the attraction should have diminished since her epiphany. The problem was perplexing, but no doubt the matter would be resolved when she rejoined the Collective. The Unimatrix excelled at analysing seemingly insoluble dilemmas until a solution had been reached. The vast databanks of the Borg would provide an answer. Of this, Seven was positive.

She found herself perversely grateful to Captain Janeway. Without her encouragement, Seven would never have trusted her emotions to guide her. She would have remained with this alien culture until her death, observing their rituals and striving towards their goals. Human culture was a tiny, insignificant fraction of the Borg whole. Their outlook could never achieve perfection without the unity the Borg could offer. They squabbled among themselves, pursued individualist aims that were incompatible with their professed goals of advancement. They failed to understand the limitations of their cultural preconceptions. Other sources of insight were necessary, a fact that was central to the Borg philosophy. The integration of diverse forms was essential. The Borg accomplished this aim efficiently and without the petty divisions that would otherwise prevail.

Seven found that she was excited by the prospect of returning to her people. Soon, they would come for her.

Soon, she would be home again.

And now she sat, waiting for her people to come and reclaim her. She reflected that the pain of reassimilation would be brief, an entirely acceptable sacrifice.

And she knew, with utter certainty, that once Captain Janeway was part of the Collective, she would approve of Seven's course of action.