Geordi is impressed by a new crewmember being polite to the replicator. Considering it takes the whole conversation to spit out her hot chocolate, maybe she should - oh, she's just spilled it all over Picard. Way to make a first impression, Ensign Gomez. On his way back to his quarters to change Picard abruptly finds himself on a shuttlecraft talking to Q.
But enough of that, back to Geordi and Gomez (Tish! That's French!) heading for Ten Foward, where Guinen's spidey sense is tingling. She calls the bridge but they say nothing's wrong.
Back in the shuttle, Picard attempts fruitlessly to contact the Enterprise. Finally, the bridge crew work out that both Picard and a shuttle are missing, so they start searching. Six hours later, Picard finally gets Q to bring him back to the ship, where they arrive in a strangely deserted Ten Forward (other than Guinen who goes into a "so, we meet again!" routine and makes claw hands at him). Q says he's been kicked out of the Q continuum and wants to join the ship's crew. Picard shoos Worf out so the grown ups can talk. Even after Q offers to give up his powers, Picard turns him down.
Q argues that they need him, because they don't know what's out there. Scoffing occurs. To prove his point, Q bats the Enterprise halfway across the galaxy (well, ok, only 2 year's travel away) and vanishes.
Picard decides to explore a bit before going back. They find a planet with stuff scooped up like they saw in the neutral zone a while back, and then a big cube-shaped ship shows up. Despite hails, the ship doesn't reply. Guinen reports they're called the Borg. A Borg appears in engineering. I have a hunch this spells CERTAIN DOOM for Ensign Gomez.
Picard and a posse of security officers turn up in Engineering where the Borg is checking out their stuff. While Picard tries to make contact, Q turns up to heckle. After it becomes apparent the Borg is fiddling with the computer, Worf phasers it dead. Another Borg turns up to take its place, and the phaser is now ineffective. After fiddling with the computer a bit more, both Borg disappear.
Guinen relates how the Borg decimated her people. Finally the Borg make contact, in their usual brief and to-the-point manner. Then they activate their holding beam and cut a hole through the saucer section. After blowing a few holes in the cube, the holding beam is released.
In Engineering, Gomez angsts about the 18 dead crew while they try to get the shields back up. They get shields up while Q is gloating at the command crew. Riker suggests an away team to the Borg cube, which Picard agrees to despite Guinen's protests.
Hey, remember that time the original Enterprise (as in Archer's lot, not Kirk's) encountered these cyborg creatures, who - oh, never mind,
Riker, Worf and Data beam over and go on a tour of the Borg cube. Riker says he's going to try to access the main computer. Yeah, good luck with that. They stumble on a Borg nursery. You'd think they'd be taking photos or holograms or something. Data observes that the ship appears to be regenerating. On this news, Picard orders the away team beamed off, and they hightail it out of there. The Borg pursue. Even some photon torpedoes don't slow the Borg down, and Q turns up to gloat some more. If only they had Janeway on board! Picard suggests Q return them to Federation space, or he won't have anyone to gloat to. Q complies. Heh, Riker seems most put out at the way Q keeps teleporting him about. After Q leaves, Guinen says the Borg now know about humans and will be coming (surely if the Borg have been scooping Federation outposts from along the Neutral Zone, it's a bit late for that...) The end.
That was quite exciting! Shame later on the Borg turned into Janeway's chewtoy, but for now they're impressive.
Coincidentally both comics from the issue of TSV I put up yesterday contain references to Star Trek...