Kerry awoke in an unfamiliar room, her head ans spine still tingling from the effects of the hypospray.
"Ah, you're awake," Commander Craig addressed the young woman. "I hope you're comfortable, we have a lot of work ahead of us."
"Where am I?" Kerry asked, trying to focus her severely blurred vision.
"Huygens City," the Starfleet officer replied. "I wanted somewhere where we could continue our conversation in private."
"And the closest place you could think of was Titan?" Kerry retorted as her vision finally came into focus and she saw the Commander standing there next to two other Starfleet officers. What confused Kerry, however, was that those two officers' undershirts- signifying their division with Starfleet- were jet black.
"No doubt you're disorientated," Commander Craig continued. "That's unfortunate as we need you lucid for the next stage of the plan, but I guess we'll just have to work around it for now."
"What plan?" Kerry asked, her level of panic and anger rising as she steadied herself to rise from her biobed. "Who are yo-"
Kerry's sentence was cut short as she was thrown back onto the bed by a the familiar sting of a restraining field. Reaching out all around her, Kerry quickly deduced that the field surrounded the entire bed. She was trapped.
"We operate under article 14, section 31 of the Starfleet charter," the Australian commander explained. "In times of great threat to the Federation, we are required to take certain measures to ensure the safety of its citizens."
"What great threat are you referring to?" Kerry enquired, before a look of realisation washed over her face. "Oh."
"Yeah," Commander Craig continued. "Your recent experiences have brought you to our attention. You have the potential within you to serve the Federation in ways you never dreamed were possible."
"Why, just because I had nanoprobes dumped into my ass on a daily basis for the last few months?" Kerry spitefully retorted.
"Believe it or not," Commander Craig stated in a calm voice, "I know what you're going through."
"How could you possibly know what I'm going through?" Kerry asked incredulously.
"Because I was on the Enterprise during the battle of sector 001," the Australian woman confessed. "all three of us were." Anne pulled a chair up to Kerry and sat down, preparing to tell the young Englishwoman her story.
"We were some of the last to be assimilated," Commander Craig explained. "After Captain Picard destroyed the deflector dish, the Borg began rampaging through the ship. I was stationed on deck 7 when it was overran. We got a proximity alert and just fifteen seconds later, I was captured, my carotid artery punctured and filled with nanoprobes. Within two minutes I had lost control of my body, my mind... I was taken to the main shuttlebay to be operated on further. Just twenty minutes after my assimilation, everything went dark. The drones that were operating on me spasmed and died, and my implants all simultaneously failed, and began to be rejected by my organic systems. I was stuck there for over two hours with their operating tools spinning in place inside my body before I was finally rescued. But those two hours were enough to convince me."
"Convince you of what?" Kerry asked unsympathetically.
"To convince me that the Borg need to be exterminated by any means necessary," Anne replied.
"You're kind of preaching to the choir here," Kerry stated with a sigh.
"I figured as much," Anne continued, "but I couldn't simply state my intentions to you out in the open then let you walk away if you rejected our offer."
"Cut to the chase," Kerry spat impatiently. "What exactly is it you're offering?"
"The chance to destroy the Borg once and for all," Anne stated boldly. "That weapon that switched off your connection to the collective? We've got our hands on a prototype, and we reckon if we connect it to a Borg cube's primary beacon-"
"-You can deactivate every drone on that ship simultaneously, before they have a chance to adapt or transmit anything to the collective," Kerry realised.
"Precisely," Anne stated with a smile. "We get our hands on a cube- or even a sphere will do- fly it into the unicomplex and set off a beacon there. It'll dissipate down through every beacon in every drone in the galaxy, and poof, no more collective."
"Using the Borg's own inter-connectivity against them," Kerry mused. "It's ambitious and might just work, but why do you need me?" Kerry's eyes widened as she realised what lay ahead of her. "No. Absolutely not!" Kerry struggled and thrashed against the restraining field, but in vain.
"The unique feature about this weapon," Anne calmly informed the panicking young woman, "is that whilst it disconnects a drone from the collective, the collective as a whole doesn't realise that the drone is gone. So you can just slip back aboard a Borg vessel- provided you're broadcasting the correct frequency, of course- and set off the beacon. No drone will question your presence on the ship, they won't even notice you. The thing is, Kerry, you're the only person in the entire galaxy with this opportunity."
"Find someone else," Kerry panted, worn out from her futile struggle against the restraining field.
"On average, Starfleet loses one starship each month in unknown circumstances," Anne stated coldly. "Some say it's due to spatial or temporal distortions, or unexpected equipment malfunctions, but we all know that it's due to the Borg. They rampage through our space taking whatever they damn well please, and all we can do is pray that we don't run into them. Fortunately for us, the galaxy is big, but it's getting smaller every day. Soon we'll have the entire collective breathing down our necks. The window of opportunity is almost closed Kerry- we need you to slip through it."
Kerry closed her eyes and contemplated all that she'd been through. All the friends she had lost on board the Reed, all the months she had lost, the violation of her mind, body and soul. She thought of the countless trillions across the galaxy who had endured for years what she had endured for only a few months, and how she had a chance to put an end to it once and for all. If she succeeded, she be a hero to virtually the entire galaxy. Kerry closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"What do you want from me?" She asked.