Cooperation xB Philosophy | Reclamation Protocols and Culture of Consent
Regarding Liberated Borg/Cooperation Societal Value of Consent (and Proceeding Acclimation to Reclamation Procedures)
I have written before that "our bodies are self-shaped temples — lovingly and laboriously built with tools we've Reclaimed from our Oppressors." We, as those Reclaimed and liberated from the Borg and their Hivemind, take great pride in the self-made individuals we are now and forever more, and we relish in the fact we are able to form our own persons once our fates are rightfully returned to us.
Yet with this fate, also comes one of our most treasured facets of choice: consent, and consent as to how those bodies of ours are Reclaimed.
If an xB does not wish to remove their optical implant, so may they keep it. We learned long ago that invasive questioning does no good to a person looking to find peace within themselves and their newly-forming identity, and that autonomy includes the choice of what to be done with their body. Should this same xB decide, many years later, to have said optical implant removed and be replaced with newly-knit flesh or a cybernetic eye, so may they request it, and so shall it be done. There is no shame in the reinvention of self, and that includes whatever direction they choose to further their own "transhumanism." The only time the Reclamation Project staffers will remove an implant or augment without direct consent is if said technology threatens the xB's life, if the xB is enduring a mental crisis at the augment's behalf, or if the xB is unconscious from the latter two causes and has no immediately-associated kin to reconcile their thoughts on the matter. Even then, this is done in only the most dire of circumstances, with extra observance and care given to the patient to ensure they do not feel the loss of this implant too deeply.
Augments will always fall from former Borg; be they extracted by surgery, or shed naturally by our own flesh's will. Throughout recorded Ohniakan history and other xBs the Reclamation Project encounters, it is a constant where our bodies will begin to reject certain implants- either from lack of use, irrelevancy, or if the xB's mental state can no longer stand the sight nor presence of the implants "gifted" to us from our Oppressor. The organic parts of ourselves begin to lurch under implants and overgrow our cybernetic extensions, and I speak from experience when I say how marvelous it is to see pigment return to the skin by the work of my own body, and fostered by my people's encouraged medical treatment.
Yet in that marvel, there is also a fear. A hesitation, at losing parts of a vessel that was, at one time, all we knew ourselves to be. For even though we can choose (or re-assume) names as we exist outside the Collective, and while there is great joy in that, there is also a great burden in transitioning from one identity to another, and making peace with the conflating concepts of "drone" and "person." Though the Consultation Division attempts to help ease this great mental tide we must cross as xBs, the consent that must be given to remove, replace, or retrofit drones from implants and augments is paramount for a people who had no understanding of the concept of "choice" in the first place.
We revel in the results of that consent. We are the people we are because of our ability to choose. Every day, the miracle of choice is one that we treasure deeply. And it lends our societal paradox of "Individuality's Needs, Community's Many;" that we should choose to live as ourselves, and support the other former Borg around us for their right to choose as well.
Though we may have common physical remnants of Reclamation: scarring, hydraulics ports, cybernetic limbs, exo-plating sheets buried deep in the skin, our ability to choose and consent to what we wish to keep, discard, improve, or cherish lends us a unique element to our diversity.
And I speak a beloved truth when I tell you there are no two xBs who look the same- no matter how many times the Collective used a certain assimilation template.