Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy."
- Romeo and Juliet, Act i Scene 4
She dreams, but it is not what we are familiar with. Her dreams are nothing but reassurances that everything is as it should be. Normal. Familiar. Order in chaos.
She takes comfort in the thoughts of her "children" for that is how she thinks of them. Not colleagues, friends, or acquaintances. She knows all of them, intimately, as only a mother can know her children. She gives them guidance, purpose, nurtures and loves them. They are her life, her raison d'Ítre. Without them she is nothing. Irrelevant.
This time is different. Something is wrong. The voices are quieter somehow, disjointed almost. She detects independent thought in one, emotions in another. Multiplying, growing stronger. Some are cut off, and she can no longer hear them. It's as if her children don't need her anymore.
Borg vessels make my skin crawl.
It is Janeway. Here? Now? An errant thought remembered because of the chaos, that's what it must be. Her confrontations with the human have not been many, but all have been memorable. She hates to lose, especially one she admires so much. They could have ruled the universe together.
Nightmares are caused by irrational fear. They can't hurt you.
Is this a nightmare, what she is having? It is an aberration, one she has no desire to continue. But that is too human a word, desire. She doesn't have emotions, does she? She was angry that Janeway eluded her. An image pops into her mind, Janeway kissing Chakotay. It's one of lovers, not friends. She wills away the surge of jealousy, envy. Emotions are irrelevant, she tells herself.
Our thoughts are one.
The others ignore her. Individuality surrounds her, threatens to drown her.
Her eyes flicker behind closed lids, the only sign of her inward distress. She is losing her center, her children have turned against her. Their thoughts are of her, hideous thoughts that leave her chilled and uneasy. They are coming for her, coming to deactivate and dismantle her. She cannot escape, to save herself. She cannot exist without her children. She has to regain control. Control has always been hers. Always will be hers.
Their thoughts overwhelm her, thoughts of rage and contempt, and pure hatred. Louder and louder until...
Silence. Silence so loud it deafens.
She awakes with a start, eyes darting around the chamber, searching for drones that aren't there.
There's nothing more frightening than the Borg.