Q Who?
Stardate: 42761.3
Original Airdate: 8 May, 1989

[Engineering]

SONYA: Hot chocolate, please.
LAFORGE: We don't ordinarily say please to food dispensers around here.
SONYA: Well, since it's listed as intelligent circuitry, why not? After all, working with so much artificial intelligence can be dehumanising, right? So why not combat that tendency with a little simple courtesy. Thank you.
LAFORGE: For someone who just arrived, you certainly aren't shy with your opinions.
SONYA: Have I been talking too much?
LAFORGE: No.
SONYA: Oh, I do tend to have a bit of a motor mouth, especially when I'm excited. A nd you don't know how exciting it is to get this assignment. Everyone in class, I mean everyone, wants the Enterprise. I mean, it would have been all right to spend some time on Reiner Six doing phase work with anti-matter. That's my specialty.
LAFORGE: I know. That's why you got this assignment.
SONYA: I did it again. It's just that
LAFORGE: I know, you're excited. Look, Sonya.
SONYA: Yes.
LAFORGE: I don't think you want to be around these control stations with that hot chocolate, do you?
SONYA: Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't even have this in Engineering. It's just we were talking and I forgot I had it in my hand. I'm going to go finish it over here. Lieutenant La Forge? This is not going to happen again.
(So she turns around and her drink collides with Captain Picard, going all over his uniform)
SONYA: Oh, no! Oh, I'm sorry. Oh, Captain.
LAFORGE: Actually it's my fault, sir.
PICARD: Indeed.
SONYA: Oh, I wasn't looking. It's all over you.
PICARD: Yes, Ensign. It's all over me.
SONYA: At least let me, sir.
PICARD: Ensign er, Ensign?
SONYA: Oh, Ensign Sonya Gomez.
LAFORGE: Ensign Gomez is a recent Academy graduate. She just transferred over at Starbase One Seventy Three.
PICARD: Is that so? Well, Ensign Sonya Gomez, I think it will be simpler if I simply change my uniform.
LAFORGE: Captain, I must accept responsibility for this.
PICARD: Yes, Chief Engineer. I think I understand.
SONYA: I just want to say, sir, that I'm very excited about this assignment and I promise to serve you and my ship, your ship, this ship, to the best of my ability.
PICARD: Yes, Ensign, I'm sure that you will. Carry on.
(Picard leaves)
SONYA: Oh, my. First impressions, right? Isn't that what they say? First impressions are the most important.
LAFORGE: I'll give you this. It's a meeting the Captain won't soon forget.

[Turbolift]

PICARD: Deck nine. Officers' quarters.

[Shuttlecraft]

(But instead of a deck, he steps out into a shuttlecraft in space)
PICARD: Crewman? What is going on?
Q: Welcome, Picard, to shuttlecraft six.
PICARD: Q.
Q: There, there, haven't we been careless. A little cleaning service I'm only too than happy to provide.
(A wave of the hand and the uniform is clean again)
PICARD: We agreed you would never trouble my ship again!
Q: I always keep my arrangements, sir. Look, we're nowhere near your vessel.

[Corridor]

LAFORGE: I read your graduating thesis. Now, I wouldn't have requested you if you weren't the best.
SONYA: Where are we going?
LAFORGE: Ten Forward. We're going to forget about work. We are going to sit, talk, relax, look at the stars. You need to learn how to slow down.
SONYA: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I can't do.
LAFORGE: You know, you're awfully young to be so driven.
SONYA: Yes, I am. I had to be. I had to be the best because only the best get to be here. Geordi, Lieutenant
LAFORGE: It's okay. Go on.
SONYA: Whatever is out here, we're going to be the first humans to see it. And I want to be a part of that. I want to understand it.
LAFORGE: Sonya, relax. You're here. You've made it. But you won't last long banging into walls. It'll be there for you, believe me.
SONYA: Okay.
LAFORGE: Look, I promise I won't let anything exciting slip past without letting you know, okay?
SONYA: Okay.
LAFORGE: Okay.

[Ten Forward]

(Guinan gets a strange feeling and leaves her bar to look around)
GUINAN: Bridge, this is Ten Forward.

[Bridge]

RIKER: Guinan? I don't remember you ever calling the Bridge before.
GUINAN [OC]: Is everything alright?
RIKER: How do you mean?
GUINAN [OC]: Is there anything unusual happening?
RIKER: No Guinan, nothing out of the ordinary. Why do you ask?

[Ten Forward]

GUINAN: I'm not sure. It's just a feeling. I've had it a couple of times before. It's probably nothing. Forget that I called. Ten Forward out.

[Shuttlecraft]

Q: The locator beacon won't help. They'll never think to look for you this far away.
PICARD: Enterprise, this is Picard. Stop this foolishness, Q. Return me to the Enterprise.
Q: I suggest you change your attitude. Petulance does not become you. We have business, Picard.
PICARD: Keeping me a prisoner here will not compel me to discuss anything with you.
Q: It will in time.

[Ten forward]

SONYA: I appreciate your advice, Lieutenant. And, I'll take it to heart.
LAFORGE: Guinan?
GUINAN: Can I get you something?
LAFORGE: We're fine. Is everything all right?
GUINAN: I don't know.
LAFORGE: I think I'll go check out Engineering.
SONYA: I'll go with you.

[Bridge]

TROI: Where's the Captain?
RIKER: In his quarters?
TROI: Captain, this is Counsellor Troi.
RIKER: Computer locate Captain Picard.
COMPUTER: The Captain is not on the ship.
WORF: Commander, there is a shuttle missing from bay two.
RIKER: All stop.
WESLEY: Answering all stop, sir.
WORF: I have hailed the shuttle on all frequencies. No response.
DATA: Sensors indicate no shuttle or other ships in this sector.
RIKER: We think we can assume the Captain is aboard that shuttle.
WESLEY: How could he get to the shuttlebay and leave the Enterprise without us knowing? That's not possible.
RIKER: Take it easy, Wes. We're going to find him. I want to begin a methodical search. Worf, set sensors on maximum scan. Data, use our present location as a centre. Plot a search pattern from these coordinates to cover the most area in the least time.
DATA: Search pattern has been input, sir.
RIKER: Engage, Mister Crusher.

First officer's log, stardate 42761.3. We have not been able to determine why, or how, Captain Picard left the Enterprise. We can't even be certain he is in the missing shuttle, although that is the assumption on which we are proceeding. For the last six hours, we have been searching without success.

[Bridge]

DATA: We have covered the area in a spherical pattern which a vessel without warp drive could traverse in the time allotted.
RIKER: Widen the area.

[Shuttlecraft]

(Q is doing his Virgil Hilts impression with a baseball, glove and bulkhead)
Q: Do we stay out here years? Decades? I am ageless, Picard. You are not.
PICARD: The Enterprise will continue with Riker as Captain.
Q: You are an impossibly stubborn human.
PICARD: Return me to my ship!
Q: If I return you to your ship, will you agree to give my request a full hearing?

[Ten forward]

(a seamless transition to an empty room)
Q: You're right Picard. This is the proper venue for our discussion.
(Guinan pops up from behind the bar)

[Bridge]

WORF: Commander. My status board indicates that the shuttle is back in bay two.
RIKER: Computer, locate Captain Picard.
COMPUTER: Captain Picard is in Ten Forward.

[Ten forward]

GUINAN: I knew it was you.
Q: You! Picard, if you had half the sense you pretend to have, you would get her off your ship immediately. And if you like, I'd be more than pleased to expedite her departure.
PICARD: You know him?
GUINAN: We have had some dealings.
Q: Those dealings were two centuries ago. This creature is not what she appears to be. She's an imp, and where she goes, trouble always follows.
PICARD: You're speaking of yourself, Q, not Guinan.
Q: Guinan? Is that your name now?
PICARD: Guinan is not the issue here. You are. We had an agreement that you would stop meddling with us.
Q: And so I have.
PICARD: What do you want, Q? You state your business. Get on with it.
Q: I agree, Captain. Enough about this creature. She's diverting us from the purpose of my being here.
(Riker enters with Worf)
RIKER: Which is?
Q: Ah, the redoubtable Commander Riker. And Micro-brain. Growl for me. Let me know you still care.
PICARD: Worf.
Q: My purpose is to join you.
RIKER: To join us as what?
Q: As a member of the crew. Willing and able. Ready to serve. This ship is already home for the indigent, the unwanted, the unworthy. Why not for a homeless entity.
RIKER: Homeless?
Q: Yes.
RIKER: The other members of the Q continuum kicked you out.
GUINAN: Not all the Q are alike. Some are almost respectable.
PICARD: Ready and willing. Able to serve. What would you do? Would you start as an ordinary crewman? What task is too menial for an entity?
Q: Sir, do you mock me?
PICARD: Not at all. That's the last thing I would do. You, by definition, are part of our charter. Our mission is to go forth to seek out new and different life forms, and you certainly qualify as one of the most unique I've ever encountered. To learn about you is, frankly, provocative. But you're next of kin to chaos.
Q: Captain, at least allow me to present my argument.
PICARD: Worf.
(Worf goes to stand guard outside)
Q: After our last encounter, I was asked to leave the Q Continuum. Since then, I've been wandering vaguely, bored really, my existence without purpose. Then I remembered all the good times I had with you.
RIKER: The good times? The first time we met you, you put us on trial for the crimes of humanity.
Q: Of which you were exonerated.
RIKER: The next time we saw you, you asked me to join the Q Continuum.
Q: A big mistake that you did not accept my offer. More and more I realise that here, here is where I want to be. Think of the advantages. Now, I neither expect nor require any special treatment. And if necessary, although I can't imagine why, I will renounce my powers and become as weak and incompetent as all of you.
PICARD: No.
Q: No? Oh, Captain, in fairness, let me try, I deserve at least that much.
RIKER: In fairness? You disrupt this ship, you kidnap the Captain.
Q: I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain. Where's your adventurous spirit, your imagination. Think, Picard, think. Think of the possibilities.
PICARD: Simply speaking, we don't trust you.
Q: Oh. Well, you may not trust me, but you do need me. You're not prepared for what awaits you.
PICARD: How can we be prepared for that which we do not know? But I do know that we are ready to encounter it.
Q: Really?
PICARD: yes. Absolutely. That's why we're out here.
Q: Oh, the arrogance. They don't have a clue as to what's out here.
GUINAN: But they will learn, adapt. That is their greatest advantage.
Q: They're moving faster than expected, further than they should.
PICARD: By whose calculations?
Q: You judge yourselves against the pitiful adversaries you have encountered so far. The Romulans, the Klingons. They are nothing compared to what's waiting. Picard, you are about to move into areas of the galaxy containing wonders more incredible than you can possibly imagine, and terrors to freeze your soul. I offer myself as guide only to be rejected out of hand.
RIKER: We'll just have to do the best we can without you.
Q: What justifies that smugness?
PICARD: Not smugness, not arrogance. But we are resolute, we are determined, and your help is not required.
Q: We'll just have to see how ready you are.
GUINAN: Q!
(The Enterprise is thrown through space at even more incredible speed than usual)
PICARD: Bridge, this is the Captain. All stop.
WESLEY [OC]: Answering all stop, sir.
PICARD: Status?

[Bridge]

DATA: According to these coordinates, we have travelled seven thousand light years

[Ten Forward]

DATA [OC]: And are located near the system J two five.
RIKER: Travel time to the nearest starbase?
DATA [OC]: At maximum warp, in two years, seven months, three days, eighteen hours we would reach Starbase one eight five.
RIKER: Why?
Q: Why? Why, to give you a taste of your future, a preview of things to come. Con permiso, Capitan. The hall is rented, the orchestra engaged. It's now time to see if you can dance.
(Q vanishes)
PICARD: Guinan, your people have been in this part of the galaxy.
GUINAN: Yes.
RIKER: What can you tell us?
GUINAN: Only that if I were you, I'd start back now.

Captain's log, stardate 42761.9. Despite Guinan's warning, I feel compelled to investigate this unexplored sector of the galaxy before heading back.

[Bridge]

WORF: Captain, the sixth planet in the system is Class M.
DATA: There is a system of roads on this planet, which indicates a highly industrialised civilisation. But where there should be cities there are only great rips in the surface.
WORF: It is as though some great force just scooped all the machine elements off the face of the planet.
DATA: It is identical to what happened to the outposts along the Neutral Zone.
WORF: Captain, we are being probed.
RIKER: What is the source of the probe?
WORF: A ship. It is on an intercept course.
PICARD: On screen. Magnify.
(A cube is sailing through space)
RIKER: Full scan.
PICARD: Go to Yellow Alert.
WORF: Going to Yellow Alert.
RIKER: Keep the shields down. We don't want to appear provocative.
WORF: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Mister Data, what can you tell us?
DATA: The ship is strangely generalised in design. There is no specific bridge, no command centre. There is no engineering section. I can identify no living quarters.
RIKER: Life signs?
DATA: There is no indication of life.
RIKER: Lieutenant Worf, what is its alert status?
WORF: I detect no shields, no weapons of any known design.
PICARD: Hailing frequencies.
WORF: Open.
PICARD: This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.
WORF: No response.
PICARD: This is Captain Picard representing the United Federation of Planets. Guinan.

[Ten Forward]

PICARD [OC]: Activate your viewscreen. I would like you to monitor what's going on up here. I may need your input.

[Guinan's office]

(Just down the corridor from Ten Forward)
GUINAN: I'm here, Captain.

[Bridge]

GUINAN [OC]: Viewscreen's activated. I have the other ship.
PICARD: You're familiar with this life form?
GUINAN [OC]: Yes.

[Guinan's office]

GUINAN: My people encountered them a century ago. They destroyed our cities

[Bridge]

GUINAN [OC]: They scattered my people throughout the galaxy.

[Guinan's office]

GUINAN: They're called the Borg. Protect yourself, Captain, or they'll destroy you.

[Bridge]

RIKER: Shields up.
WORF: Aye, sir.

[Engineering]

RIKER [OC]: All decks, stand by.
(A humanoid with a mechanical arm beams in)
LAFORGE: Security, report to main Engineering. We have an intruder.
(The intruder is studying wall panels and consoles while the tiny Enterprise hangs nose to whatever with the huge cube)
PICARD: Lieutenant? Status.
LAFORGE: It seemed to make a visual survey of the engine core, sir, then it moved in here.
Q: Interesting, isn't it? Not a he, not a she. Not like anything you've ever seen. An enhanced humanoid.
PICARD: What is it you want? We mean you no harm. Do you understand me?
Q: Understand you? You're nothing to him. He's not interested in your life form. He's just a scout, the first of many. He's here to analyse your technology. He may attempt to gain control of the ship. I wouldn't let him.
(The mechanical arm is used to pass a green light to the console)
PICARD: Stop! I cannot allow you to interfere with the operation of this ship. Mister Worf.
WORF: Ensign.
(The security man is casually thrown across Engineering. Worf's phaser has no effect. Now the Borg steps up his electronic infiltration of the engineering systems, and the lights go out)
PICARD: Mister Worf, use whatever means to neutralise the intruder.
(A phaser on full kill knocks it down, and another Borg beams it to carry on where it left off. This time, Worf's phaser is blocked by a force field. The second Borg then goes to the dead one, removes a few attachments and beams out. The dead Borg dissolves to a dirty mark on the carpet)

[Observation lounge]

PICARD: Because her people had contact with the Borg, I have requested Guinan to participate in this conference. You are aware of what occurred just now in main Engineering.
GUINAN: Yes.
PICARD: What happened between your people and the Borg?
GUINAN: I wasn't there personally, but from what I'm told, they swarmed through our system. And when they left, there was little or nothing left of my people.
RIKER: Guinan, if they were that aggressive, why didn't the Borg attack? They could have but they didn't.
GUINAN: They don't do that individually. It's not their way. When they decide to come, they're going to come in force. They don't do anything piecemeal.
DATA: Then the initial encounter was solely for the purpose of gathering information.
GUINAN: Yes.
PICARD: How do we reason with them? Let them know that we are not a threat?
GUINAN: You don't. At least, I've never known anyone who did.
WORF [OC]: Captain, we are being hailed.
PICARD: On screen.
(An interior view of the cube, all girders and scaffolding)
PICARD: This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the
BORG: (many voices speaking as one) We have analysed your defensive capabilities as being unable to withstand us. If you defend yourselves, you will be punished.
PICARD: Counsellor?
TROI: We're not dealing with an individual mind. They don't have a single leader. It's the collective minds of all of them.
PICARD: That would have definite advantages.
TROI: Yes, A single leader can make mistakes. It's far less likely in the combined whole.
Q [on viewscreen]: Picard. Picard, are you sure you don't want me as a member of your crew?
WORF [OC]: Captain, the Borg have locked on to us with some form of tractor beam.
PICARD: We're on our way.

[Bridge]

(The tractor beam is green)
PICARD: Report, Lieutenant.
WORF: The beam is draining our shields.
RIKER: If they pull down our shields, we're helpless.
PICARD: Warp eight, any heading. Engage.
WESLEY: Captain, the beam is holding us here.
RIKER: Increase power!
WORF: Shields weakening.
DATA: Shields will be down in eighteen seconds.
PICARD: Locate the exact source of the tractor beam. Lock on phasers.
WORF: Phasers locked on target.
PICARD: Fire.
WORF: They still have us.
DATA: Shields are down, sir.
(A circular cut is made in the hull, and a section of several decks is pulled out)
WORF: A type of laser beam is slicing into the saucer section.
RIKER: Carving us up like a roast.
PICARD: With whatever force necessary, terminate that beam. Fire when ready.
(They blast a big hole through an edge of the cube)
PICARD: Again, Mister Worf.
(Two more holes are blown in the scaffolding)
DATA: Tractor beam is released, sir. Force field is maintaining our hull integrity.
RIKER: Damage report?
WORF: Coming in, sir. Sections twenty seven, twenty eight, twenty nine on decks four, five and six destroyed.
PICARD: Casualties?
WORF: Eighteen were in those sections and are missing.
PICARD: What is the condition of the alien ship?
WORF: They have sustained damage to twenty percent of their vessel. Life support minimal.
PICARD: Conference.

[Engineering]

SONYA: I can't get the shields up.
LAFORGE: Divert power from anywhere you need it. Anywhere except for life support.
SONYA: No, it wouldn't help. The circuits which control the shields, they've been fused.
LAFORGE: If you can't reprogram, then reroute.
SONYA: Eighteen people. Dead, just like that.
LAFORGE: I know. Just put it out of your head.
SONYA: No, I can't. I keep seeing them.
LAFORGE: Sonya, stop it. We'll have time to grieve later. Right now, let's just get those shields operative.
SONYA: Right, right, of course.

[Observation lounge]

PICARD: Guinan, how much more can you tell us about these creatures?
GUINAN: Bits and pieces.
PICARD: Anything would help.
GUINAN: They're made up of organic and artificial life which has been developing for thousands of centuries.
Q: The Borg is the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced. They're not interested in political conquest, wealth or power as you know it. They're simply interested in your ship, its technology. They've identified it as something they can consume.
RIKER: You brought us here, you exposed us to them, and you cost us the lives of our shipmates
Q: Oh, please.
PICARD: Number One. Eighteen of our people have died. Please, tell us this is one of your illusions.
Q: Oh, no. This is as real as your so called life gets.
(And he vanishes)
LAFORGE [OC]: This is Lieutenant La Forge, Captain. We've been able to restore power to the shields.
PICARD: Very good. 
WORF [OC]: Captain, I have the casualty list coming on screen.
PICARD: Cancel. We'll deal with that later.
RIKER: Sir, if we're going to have further dealings with the Borg now or in the future, I think that we should find out all we can about them.
PICARD: Visit their ship?
RIKER: In my opinion, that's the only choice.
PICARD: Assemble a minimal away team.
GUINAN: What?
RIKER: Mister Worf, transporter room three. Data.
GUINAN: I wouldn't go there if I were you.
RIKER: Oh, I don't know, Guinan. They paid us a visit. It seems only fair that we return the courtesy.

Captain's log, supplemental. We have been attacked without provocation by an alien race which Guinan calls the Borg. It appears that we have neutralised their vessel. Commander Riker is leading an away team in an attempt to learn more about them.

[Transporter room]

WORF: There are no life sign readings.
O'BRIEN: I've laid in coordinates which should set you down in the least damaged section of the Borg ship.
RIKER: Set phasers on stun. Be ready to increase power in case we need it. Energise.

[Borg ship]

(They are on one of the many walkways. Lots of wall panels, ducts and cabling overhead, Borg hooked up to alcoves everywhere)
RIKER: I wonder why they don't react to us, or why the Enterprise didn't read any life signs, especially with this many of them.
DATA: Perhaps because this ship was scanned for individual life signs. Apparently when they are in these slots, they become part of the whole and no longer read as separate life forms.
RIKER: Captain.

[Bridge]

PICARD: Go ahead, Number One.
RIKER [OC]: Our readings were incorrect. The Borg crew survived

[Borg ship]

RIKER: They appear to be in some kind of stasis.
PICARD [OC]: Explain.
RIKER: There are slots along the wall, kind of like compartments. There are two Borg in each.
DATA: Captain, I would theorise that the Borg are somehow interconnected through these slots and are working collectively.
RIKER: We're going try to access their main computer.
(Data steps into a slot - or alcove)
DATA: Commander, I believe each slot is designed for a specific Borg. Here is where the connection is made.
RIKER: Like a juggernaut, it could begin moving at any moment.
DATA: The technology required to achieve this biological and artificial interface is far beyond our capabilities. There are many advantages.
RIKER: Speed being the most obvious. This ship literally just thinks what it wants, and then it happens.
(A Borg walks past them, taking no notice)
DATA: Fascinating.
RIKER: They either don't see us, or don't see us as a threat.

[Bridge]

PICARD: Transporter Chief.

[Transporter room]

O'BRIEN: O'Brien here, Captain.
PICARD: If your lock on the away team wavers in the slightest, beam them back immediately.
O'BRIEN: Count on it, sir.

[Borg ship]

(They have reached a different part of the ship. There are baby noises, and incubator units maintained by a lot of machinery)
RIKER: Captain this is incredible. We've entered what appears to be the Borg nursery.
PICARD [OC]: Describe it.
RIKER: From the look of it the Borg are born as biological life form. It seems that almost immediately after birth they begin artificial implants. Apparently the Borg have developed the technology

[Bridge]

RIKER [OC]: To link artificial intelligence directly into the humanoid brain.

[Borg ship]

RIKER: Astounding.
DATA: Commander?
RIKER: What is it?
DATA: The ship appears to be regenerating. Perhaps this explains why they have not taken notice of our presence. Their collective effort is being directed into repairing this vessel.
RIKER: Captain,

[Bridge]

RIKER [OC]: The Borg seem to be using their combined power to repair the ship.
PICARD: Transporter Chief, beam the away team directly to the Bridge.
(O'Brien does so)
PICARD: Let's get the hell out of here. Warp eight. Now, Mister Crusher. Engage.
DATA: Captain, the Borg are in pursuit.
PICARD: On screen. Magnify.
RIKER: Increase to ten to the third power.
(They see bent metal straightening)
RIKER: It's continuing to regenerate.
PICARD: Let's see if we can outrun them. Lieutenant La Forge, I want maximum warp

[Engineering]

PICARD [OC]: For as long as we can hold it.
LAFORGE: Yes, sir. We are passing warp eight point five.

[Bridge]

LAFORGE [OC]: Eight point eight. Warp nine.
RIKER: Arm the photon torpedoes. See if we can slow them down.
WORF: Torpedoes armed.
PICARD: Fire.
(Two nice big fireballs on the cube)
WORF: They had no effect.
LAFORGE [OC]: Bridge, this is Engineering. We are now at warp nine point six five.
WORF: The Borg are still gaining.
Q: They will follow this ship until you exhaust your fuel. They will wear down your defences. Then you will be theirs. Admit it, Picard. You're out of your league. You should have stayed where you belonged.

Captain's log supplemental. We are unable to maintain the gap between the Enterprise and the Borg ship.

[Bridge]

LAFORGE [OC]: Engineering to Bridge.
PICARD: Go ahead.
LAFORGE [OC]: You've got all we can give you.
PICARD: I understand, Mister La Forge.
WORF: Captain, the enemy vessel is firing on us. There are no reports of any damage to the Enterprise.
DATA: Captain, the target was not the ship. The weapon was designed to drain the shields.
WORF: Confirmed. Shield effectiveness has been reduced twelve percent.
WESLEY: Captain, the Borg ship is closing.
WORF: They're firing again. Shields have been reduced forty one percent. Another hit and we will be defenceless.
RIKER: Arm the photon torpedoes.
WORF: Torpedoes armed.
PICARD: Fire the photons.
WORF: The Borg ship was not damaged.
Q: You can't outrun them. You can't destroy them. If you damage them, the essence of what they are remains. They regenerate and keep coming. Eventually you will weaken, your reserves will be gone. They are relentless.
WORF: The Borg ship is firing. We have lost shields again.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Captain, we've just lost the warp engines.

[Bridge]

Q: Where's your stubbornness now, Picard, your arrogance? Do you still profess to be prepared for what awaits you?
WORF: The Borg ship is re-establishing its tractor beam.
RIKER: Lock on photon torpedoes.
WORF: Yes, sir.
DATA: Without our shields, at this range there is a high degree of probability that a photon detonation could destroy the Enterprise.
RIKER: Prepare to fire.
(Q swaps places with Data)
Q: I'll be leaving now. You thought you could handle it, so handle it.
PICARD: Q. End this.
Q: Moi? What makes you think I am either inclined or capable to terminate this encounter?
PICARD: If we all die, here, now, you will not be able to gloat. You wanted to frighten us. We're frightened. You wanted to show us that we were inadequate. For the moment, I grant that. You wanted me to say I need you. I need you!
(With a snap of Q's fingers, the Enterprise goes whirling through space again)
RIKER: Position.
WESLEY: Zero seven zero, mark six three, sir. Back where we started.
(Q swaps places with Riker)
Q: That was a difficult admission. Another man would have been humiliated to say those words. Another man would have rather died than ask for help.
PICARD: I understand what you've done here, Q, but I think the lesson could have been learned without the loss of eighteen members of my crew.
Q: If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross, but it's not for the timid.
(Q vanishes and everyone is back in his own seat)
PICARD: Mister Crusher, set course for the nearest starbase.
WESLEY: Course laid in for Starbase Eighty Three, sir.
PICARD: Engage.

[Ten forward]

(Guinan and Picard are playing a version of 3D chess)
GUINAN: Q set a series of events into motion, bringing contact with the Borg much sooner than it should have come. Now, perhaps when you're ready, it might be possible to establish a relationship with them. But for now, for right now, you're just raw material to them. Since they are aware of your existence
PICARD: They will be coming.
GUINAN: You can bet on it.
PICARD: Maybe Q did the right thing for the wrong reason.
GUINAN: How so?
PICARD: Well, perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency, to prepare us ready for what lies ahead.

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