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  • Lt. Cmdr. Dr. Amadeus O'Reilly

Cooperation xB Customs | Social Observances Regarding Courtship

Regarding xenoanthropological observations of Cooperation xBs seeking heightened relationships

While the author in me apologizes for two similarly-related archive entries beginning with anecdotes, the xenoanthropologist in me feels it is necessary to correlate these happenstances relating to this social observance (and I may yet convince the author that this will offer a satisfying ending to my narrative indulgence).

Following my encounter with the near ankle-spraining crack at our transit stop, Junction Horus and I arrived at our destination of an art gallery in the Cooperation Capitol, one with a recently-installed exhibit from a "Progenitor" (i.e.; a Liberated Borg from Cube 5219’s fall 23 years ago at time of 2391 publication). While a section later shall be elaborated upon with regards to common Liberated Borg art trends, the holographic sculpture exhibit Junction Horus and I frequented was, for a lack of better words, "macabre" and "haunting-" evoking graphic imagery and showing sickening abstract detail of the intricacies with regards to the Collective’s inherent invasiveness. I was informed that the artist in question, while elusive in nature, was known throughout Progenitor xBs as ‘rather blunt’ in dealing with her trauma, translating coping mechanisms into this form of art that her still-retained visual augments allowed her to craft. When inquiring Junction Horus as to why someone who was so obviously disturbed by the Collective’s actions in forcing augmentation upon those who did not consent actually chose to keep her own, Junction Horus merely replied with the xB proverb: "Honesty to the self and others makes for the best coexisting augment of all."

For the rest of our tenure at the gallery, I pondered on the Junction’s words– wondering how something as simple as "honesty" could correlate to one’s physical augments (and what they could mean to others). As we progressed, Horus' proverb became clearer to me: in both my observance of the sculptures, and how I saw saw xBs relate their fellow gallery-goers. Quiet conversations began to occur between xBs, with pairs and/or groups comforting those who seemed more personally impacted by certain pieces. The statues’ hard light presence might have dregged up horrid, relatable memories in the xBs’ shared horrors, but it also helped forge stronger bonds between friend and stranger alike– as I saw many disturbed or impacted individuals be lavished with physical assurances of comfort or verbal affirmations.

As we finished the exhibit, Horus and I were sharing our thoughts outside the gallery in the cold Ohniakan winter, when Junction Horus nudged my elbow to witness an xB social exchange.

While mentioned elsewhere in this publication that xBs value romantic involvement and commitment as very “lofty and precious societal treasures, " I must first discuss the observed phenomenon of this couple in context to my above-stated experience and realizations at the gallery.

Stirred by what they'd seen inside (or, perhaps, had planned this entire setting with their partner’s attendance and expected reaction in mind), one xB produced some sort of removed implant from their satchel and showed it to their partner. As the gifted-to xB reveled in the sight of the implant, I was told by Horus that this was a tradition xBs observed when offering themselves to be part of a romantic relationship, or a deepened bond of personal value. While similar to humans' various meanings in kisses or Vulcans touching two fingertips together, xBs gifting augments to each other is a physically signified trading of oneself to the other. It is a metaphorical (and literal) exchange of a physical relic as to the mental/emotional labor of relationships- to signify that they are willing to relinquish a part of themselves to complete the paradoxical nature of xBs: knowing oneself through another.

While wholly endearing to watch, the reader must be wondering, at this point, what makes this specifically-observed event so significant, that I felt the need to mention it in relation to a gallery rendering the horrors of Borg-instilled augments? Oddly, that they would associate declarations of kinship parallel to an artistic renditioning of their past hurt; that xBs would find beauty and kinship in the same technology that marred them so deeply, universally, and irreparably in both historical and personal significance?

Dear reader, I am pleased to tell you this: it so happened that the xB this person was gifting a part of themselves to, also had one of their own former augments with them— taking it from their pocket to the surprise of their now-partner.

xB society is bound by the universal trauma, pain, and horror of individual erasure the Collective once foisted upon them— this is true. But the fact this universal trauma, pain, and horror is overcome by the triumph, joy, and beauty of who the Reclaimed/xB/Liberated Borg is today allows xB society to pursue their own, never-ending apotheosis of personhood. While this aforementioned trauma may linger in the evidence of mental anguish, emotional weariness, and/or physical evidence, there is an awestriking community that has ruptured from the harsh, if not just-as-unsettling sculptures Junction Horus and I visited that evening. If Vulcans are bound by logic, Hirogen bound by the hunt, and Humans bound by diversity and need to explore, then xBs are bound by "individuality supporting community:" the transmogrification of the inescapable and horrific, into the beautiful and nirvana-like kinship they celebrate in themselves and each other.

The Liberated Borg of Ohniaka III speak of a proverb: "start, like all xBs do—

at your beginning, wherever that may be." For there is no greater finality in the knowledge that you exist as the byproduct of something that once, somehow, suddenly sparked into individual, unique existence.

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