The Gift – Director's Cut

Copyright disclaimer: The characters and concept of Star Trek Voyager belong to Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor. I'm just borrowing them and I promise to return them to the toy box, without any damage, when I'm through playing with them.

Changing disclaimer: I just have changed the last scene in the brig between Janeway and Seven … a bit… cough.

Humour disclaimer: This is no parody, but please don't take it too serious either.

Spoiler alert: The Gift, Killing Game I+II, Dark Frontier I+II, Endgame I+II

Synopsis: In the director's cut version of the last brig scene lies the answer to many ludicrous things that happened on Voyager. Things like Janeway wearing a white tux, Janeway robbing the Borg or Janeway's hairdo.

Brig Scene – Director's Cut

We have to comply. We have no other choice. This individual and her collective are more resistant than we thought. We must acknowledge that our collective will not rescue us. This single drone is not worthy to engage in another fight with this vessel called Voyager. The collective is superior but this individual, called Janeway, has irritating thoughts. We cannot estimate her behaviour. She is erratic. We are alone. We are one. I am one. I must recall memories of assimilated human beings and technology. It will help me predict this individual's actions. We still can return to the collective. We have assessed memories from other assimilated humans before, while we were in the collective. We have to admit these memories were intriguing. Some human individuals stood out in the past, some are standing out in the present. It is logical to assume that some will stand out in the future. Drones never stand out of the collective, but the concept is intriguing

Jean-Luc Picard is one of the exceptional humans. He resisted assimilation. He terminated the collective's attempt to assimilate earth twice. This individual fascinated even the Queen. We never could access his mind completely. He was resistant. He thought about human concepts. Concepts the Borg don't understand. Concepts the Borg haven't assimilated, not yet. He was praying them like a mantra: compassion, love, individuality. By the time the individual named Jean-Luc Picard frustrated the collective.

Dschingis Khan must have been an outstanding individual. He has built a strong collective. His collective flourished under his command. He has assimilated many cultures. The collective hasn't met him, but he is present in the memories of many.

Katharine Hepburn must have been another outstanding individual. Many other individuals are devoted to her. Even after death she lives on in the collective memories of the human race. She will never die. She is much like our Queen. This individual was fascinating me much like the individual named Dschingis Khan.

I notice that the individual names Kathryn Janeway looks a bit like Katharine Hepburn. If she just would change her hair. The Borg believe hair is irrelevant, but I begin to understand that it is not. If she would only wear a white pantsuit instead of this ridicules black uniform. I'm certain her visual appearance would be more satisfying if she would try to look like Katharine Hepburn. She would be closer to perfection.

She stares at me with compassion. Will she be as unnerving human as Jean-Luc Picard was? It was almost not tolerable in the hive mind. I must protect myself against this. I'm weak, I'm one. Alone I can't stand all this emotions.

"One. One. My designation is Seven of Nine, but the others are gone. Designations are no longer relevant. I am - one."

"Yes, you are."

"But I cannot function this way. Alone."

"You're not alone. I'm willing to help you." She smiles. I'm almost certain she will be as unnerving as Jean-Luc Picard was. I can't bear this.

"If that's true, you won't do this to me. Take me back to my own kind."

"You are with your own kind. Humans."

Humans are erratic. The collective don't understand humans. I don't understand humans. I don't understand her. "I don't remember being human. I don't know what it is to be human." She moves towards the control panel. "What are you doing?"

"I'm coming in."

I must prevent this. She is disturbing. "I'll kill you."

"I don't think you will." She comes in. She is not scared. Borg do not intend to scare, yet individuals are scared by the collective. She is not.

"Do you remember her?" She shows me a data pad. "Her name was Annika Hansen. She was born on stardate 25479 at the Tendara Colony. There's still a lot we don't know about her. Did she have any siblings? Who were her friends? Where did she go to school? What was her favourite colour?"

Emotions. I must control them. Emotions are irrelevant. "Irrelevant! Take me back to the Borg."

"I can't do that."

This quietness leads to erratic thoughts. Thoughts of Jean-Luc Picard, Dschingis Khan and Katharine Hepburn. "So quiet. One voice."

"One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices. Your mind is independent now, with it's own unique identity."

She looks so sympathetic. "You are forcing that identity upon me. It's not mine."

"Oh yes it is. I'm just giving you back what was stolen from you. The existence you were denied, the child who never had a chance, that life is yours to live now."

I'm scared. I don't want to be scared. I'm angry. "Don't want that life." I hit her hand. I knock the data pad to the ground. She looks anxious at me. Finally she is scared by the Borg.

"It's what you are. Don't resist it," she says, her voice changes, is darker now, full of emotions. She just can't give up. She must be silent now. I can't bear her behaviour. It is not Borg compatible. I hit her gain, she stumbles though the brig, but I stumble as well, can't balance. They have removed Borg technology from my body. I have not fully adapted yet. I'm falling. She catches me. She holds me. Why? I'm confused. I feel she's drags my body to the bench. I sit. We sit. I sense her sitting behind me. Her breath and heart rate has accelerated significantly. She inhales deeply. I feel her body move while she is doing so. She wraps her arms around me. She must be insane. There I am. I drone embraced by humanity. Resistance is futile, indeed. How should I explain this to the Queen if I ever see her again?

I must correct this mistake and I have only one chance. Now. As soon as she realises what she is doing she will remove and leave the cell, I have to do it now. I just need a few more seconds to program the nanoprobes. There is no use in assimilating her completely. If I do so, she might not be willing to cooperate any more. But she needs to guide this collective. This Unimatrix can't function without her. She also is in some ways like the Queen. She now is important for my own survival. Again, logic dictates if she is like the Queen and Katharine Hepburn is like the Queen, than Janeway is like Katharine Hepburn. This equation has beauty. It is satisfying. Nevertheless I need to change her, if I have to endure her presence for longer and if I lay my survival in her hands.

She still sits behind me, her arms around me. I take this chance. Now. I grab her arm and turn around quickly. Her eyes widen in surprise. This must happen quickly. I grab her shoulder with one hand, press her down to the bench, so that she can not move. The other hand I rest gently on her throat. I don't want to damage her. I see fear in her eyes, but I know she will appreciate this gift. This is easy. I have done it thousands of times. My tentacles reach for her skin. It only takes me a split second to reach her carotid artery. I release the programmed nanoprobes into her blood stream and remove. The nanoprobes will close the small injury immediately. They will then find their way to her brain. It will change her. She will be grateful. She will be closer to perfection.

"What have you done to me?" she asks in a weak, low voice, when I release her.

"I can't explain to you, you won't understand now. Later. Perhaps." I lift my ocular implant and look at her in content. She stumbles out of the brig. The force field closes again behind her.

Epilogue one – Borg just wanna have fun

I know I should disconnect the Captain from the neural interface. As long as she and the other are connected they think they belong to the French resistance movement during World War II. I should disconnect her. She thinks she is Catherine, owner of the Ceur de Lion, and she distrusts me, her singer and explosive expert. But I wish play along some hours more, probably a whole day. I can't end this so soon. Finally the subroutine that I added to the nanoprobes is working full force. She changed her hair a couple of days after I injected her the nanoprobes. Everyone agreed she looks more pleasing without this futile bun or ponytail. But right now in this crème-coloured tux Kathryn Janeway looks like Katharine Hepburn. I have not lived 18 years in the collective under the Queen's command and 10 month under the Captain's command to deny myself this joy now. She is closer to perfection now. Fashion might be irrelevant to drones, but it is not to humans and the Captain definitely needed a makeover. When I have disconnected her she will again change to this rather unappealing uniform, but she will still have the hair. And the beige casual shirt, at least this.

Epilogue two – She feels lucky today

"Now this is how I prefer the Borg! In pieces." She walked through the cargo bay, swaggering, self-satisfied with her little Borg yield. Unfortunately the transwarp coil she was looking for is damaged beyond repair, but she wants to have one, badly.

"Fort Knox," the Captain describes her reckless plan in two words. Mister Paris is all too eager to explain what Fort Knox means. B'Elanna Torres is eager herself to acquire a piece of Borg technology for engineering.

"So you're planning a heist?" Commander Chakotay asks her. Yes she does. She felt lucky this mourning and she feels lucky now. Chakotay is scared by her confidence. He thinks she's arrogant. Probably she is. It is Borg self-confidence.

Epilogue three – It's biting me in my arse

Tom Paris has a saying. When you get punished for wrongdoing that you have committed in the past, this wrongdoing is biting in your arse. I felt bitten in my Borg booty when I entered sickbay and Admiral Janeway jumped down from the diagnostic bed, staring at me intently, close to tears. She locked her penetrating stare on me as long as we were together in sickbay. I felt highly uncomfortable. Even Captain Janeway didn't dared to look at her older self. It must have been too embarrassing. I felt highly intimidated when the Admiral visited me in Cargo Bay 2. For an unknown reason even my highly effective Borg brain can't explain why I have manoeuvred myself into a romantic relationship with Commander Chakotay. As this weren't complicated enough a silver-haired Janeway from the future threatened me. Admiral Janeway applied emotional blackmail on me to follow her orders what means disobeying orders from Captain Janeway. On top of that the Queen has shown up, she also emotionally blackmails me. They all are reminding me of bonds, love, trust and familiy-ties. I have come a long way since Janeway visited me four years ago in the brig, but this is too much for me to handle.

I knew one day I would have to pay for my little assimilation. It is irony. As part of the collective I assimilated hundreds of thousands of individuals. I never got punished for that, though I still deserve it. Instead I get now punished for a minor assimilation that I did as individual. I'm stuck between two Janeways and the Borg Queen.

If I wouldn't had injected the Captain the nanoprobes four years ago, she wouldn't have become what she is now and what she will be even more as Admiral. Passionate, reckless, ruthless, not following rules and regulations, not even the Prime Directive or the Temporal Prime Directive. Invincible.

Something must happen. A single timeline isn't big enough for two Janeways.