Upon losing contact with a Federation colony, Starfleet sends the Enterprise to determine whether the Borg are responsible, assigning the ambitious Commander Shelby to the ship because of her expertise on the Borg. Shelby has learned that Starfleet offered Riker command of the USS Melbourne and is hoping to be chosen to be his replacement as first officer, though Riker is reluctant to accept the promotion, though Picard encourages him to do so for the sake of his career. The demolished colony shows evidence of a Borg attack, and when a starship disappears nearby, the Enterprise investigates, encountering and engaging a Borg cube. After the Borg seriously damage the ship, Picard hides the Enterprise in a nebula and puts Shelby in charge of figuring out a way to fight the Borg while Starfleet puts together an attack fleet. Shelby has discovered a resonance frequency to which Borg technology appears vulnerable, but it may destroy the Enterprise to fire a concentrated burst. Wesley Crusher suggests using the deflector dish and Shelby recommends separating the saucer section, but when Riker says he'll take it under advisement, Shelby goes to Picard herself. Once the Enterprise is forced out of the nebula, the Borg pursue and beam aboard agents who abduct Picard to their ship. Then the Borg set a course for Earth. Riker wants to lead an away team to recover Picard, but Shelby points out that he is now in command, needed on the bridge, and Troi agrees with Shelby. On the cube, Shelby's team disables some systems and locates Picard but are unable to retrieve him once they discover that the Borg have made him one of them. Shelby requests permission to try again, but Riker, taking advice from the engineering team, believes the Enterprise has only one chance to destroy the cube, and orders Worf to fire.
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