Introductory letter for readers of The Ohniaka III Project from Exec. Director Hugh
Before I begin this introduction, I must disclaim to the reader now that former Borg do not enjoy speaking either for or over other former Borg. As principle, we value individual thoughts and voices in the highest regard, and as such, we prefer to let those in our company speak for themselves rather than be spoken for.
With this preamble concluded, to the xBs that visit this archive: I thank you for allowing me this opportunity to represent our people, our history, and our livelihoods.
And to those untouched by the Collective who wish to learn more about the Liberated Borg Cooperation, the Reclamation Project, and the xBs who claim Ohniaka III as their home: welcome.
May spontaneity guide you, may agency lead you, and may clarity enlighten you.
Perhaps non-xBs are surprised at the verbal eloquence already in this letter, coming from a former Borg. Individuals who, granted, upon their first moments of reclamation from the Collective's sway, can hardly speak from the shock, or can hardly choose words for themselves due to the Hive's sudden, near-painful absence. I tell you two truths, to counter this assumption. The first is an admittance; it took me many years to become the man I am today, and many more to have the eloquence by which I speak as I do now. The second truth, you shall see proven by my forthcoming words:
xBs are a people of paradoxes.
We find camaraderie in the fact we've come from a singular entity; a half-life of collective consciousness, suddenly distilled into a singular, tiny body. The Borg's smothering unity is our common factor; this is what binds us as xBs. We were once many, we were once each other– and now we are not. The augments and scars that dapple our bodies, the implants that can be shed, replaced, repaired, and even removed– these are the physical marks that cement that tie us to that past of a great and terrible hive.
Yet in that common, supposedly-monotonous factor, we find fractals of our experiences. Divergences. Variations, in our emergence from the Collective. "Divergence, variation, fractals:" these are all words the Collective loathes, in relation to itself. It will gladly take lives and societies these three words embody and add to the Collective's own mass, certainly, but never apply it to the billions of bodies it inhabits and utilizes. But we, xBs, can be separated from the Collective differently, speak differently, and yes: even act differently. What a joyous sensation it is, to explore the self and discover habits, likes, dislikes, and yes: even words, in the comfort and company of those like us.
We find comfort in the company of those who share share similar scars, and delight in the people we have become now. This, eternally, is the mission of the Reclamation Project: to offer xBs a sanctuary of care, and a new beginning in this life surrounded by those like them– to exist as their whole selves in the Cooperation, unhindered by the prejudice and bigotry that might threaten those like us beyond our shores. The Reclamation Project's motto is a simple one: "Know Thyself." It is to compliment the Cooperation's: "Individuality's Needs, Community's Many." For one must know and fortify themselves — at least somewhat — before being flung into the overwhelming world of individuality: of singular life as we know it now, rather than the imposed functionality of the Collective.
I recall specific words from my speech given at the Ohniakan Accords of 2379's signage day. I will repeat them here, in writing, in the hopes of leaving you with the same optimism I had then:
"I am no longer Third of Five, and yet I carry him with me every day of my life. For I have learned not to rue what I once was; instead, I celebrate what I have become. Every former Borg you meet is a marvel; for they are no longer part of the Hivemind they were once created by, taken, or indentured to be submerged within. They are, instead, a person; an individual. A mesmerizing concept, for those such as ourselves: for those who once drowned in a choir of innumerable voices, and for those who had eyes that spanned the stars. These individuals who gather together, in clarity-given agency and free will, to help others like ourselves become their own individual: that is what the Reclamation Project is. We strive to ‘reclaim’ what was taken. We strive to reclaim minds, personalities, bodies, homes, and families, because the Collective does not leave its cast-off drones with much in the ways of parting gifts. We will 'reclaim' these tools foisted upon us, and build something great in turn. And it is a 'Project,' because our work has no definitive end. Just as we ourselves are, forever, works-in-progress. It shall be a ‘Project’ so long as the Cooperation exists, so long as the Collective exists, and so long as there are those who will resist against it."
These words, despite their age, remain true, and unfortunately we must continue to remind those who visit us or interact with us these same basic principles.
I offer you a parable elder xBs developed, in our society's early days. "Start, from your beginning, like all xBs do; wherever that beginning may be." No matter what their lives may have been before the Hivemind, all former Borg have a point of beginning, once severed from the Collective, and it is when their lives may begin once again. So too do adventures, endeavors, personal truths, and stories all have beginnings, and I am grateful to welcome you as you begin your journey into learning more about us.
We wish you peace. We wish you prosperity. We wish you see us as no longer Borg.
Most of all, we wish to live. And that, above all, is treasured beyond all else to those who did not truly live before.
-Reclamation Project Exec. Director Progenitor Hugh, the First of Us letter published Stardate 76006.62