Picard's nemesis, Q, returns to the Enterprise and requests to become a member of the crew. Picard refuses to let him and Q hurls the Enterprise across the galaxy. The Enterprise encounters an alien ship, a Borg cube. Two Borg then appear in Main Engineering and start draining information from the ship's computers. The Enterprise's defenses are useless against these powerful, part organic and part artificial life forms.
After studying the defensive capabilities of the Enterprise, the Borg demand its surrender. Picard refuses to surrender and a battle breaks out, leaving both ships badly damaged and 18 crew members dead. An away team is then sent to the Borg ship to learn more about this new enemy, which is not controlled by a single leader but by the collective minds of all of the Borg.
Data learns that the Borg quickly work to prepare their vessel, so the away team beams back. The Enterprise then tries to escape while the Borg are dormant, but the Borg ship follows.
As the Borg begin to catch up to the Enterprise while it is going top speed, Q reappears. As the Borg prepare to finish off the Enterprise, Picard admits to Q that he needs his help. Q then hurls the Enterprise back to safety.