A transporter accident leads to the creation of a Borg who is a mix of the transporter chief’s DNA and the EMH’s mobile emitter. Seven tries to raise him as an individual, but the Borg Collective isn’t that easy to shrug off. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch gives us the life cycle of a “Drone.”
What sells this particular iteration of the plot is two fantastic performances by Jeri Ryan and J. Paul Boehmer. The latter’s is pretty straightforward, but he has the same delightful curiosity that we’ve seen before in Brent Spiner’s Data and Hallie Todd’s Lal and will see again in Manu Intiraymi’s Icheb and Isa Briones’ Soji. And Ryan is simply stellar here, as we see how she’s trying to become more human than Borg, and then she uses Borg trappings to help teach One to be a person, and then she finds herself devastated when she realizes she’s going to lose him. The final dialogue exchange between the pair of them before One expires is devastating. She begs him to lower the force field so the EMH can treat him, and he refuses. “You must comply,” she begs, “please—you’re hurting me.”
“You will adapt.”
Again, Borg trappings, but for a human moment. And One dies, not as a drone, but as a hero who saved the ship.