The veS’Targ retreats back to the fleet, issuing a warning that several Borg ships are due to cross paths with the fleet on its current course. With the new information, the fleet alters course – and one Borg cube leaves the pack, heading their way.
Now under active pursuit, the crew drops into crisis mode. Dash and the engineering group finish the programming for early-warning scout probes, nicknamed whiskers, and launches them. Additionally, the engineering staff had begun the process of placing some of the myriad alien sensors on the ship’s sensor platforms. While the senior staff organizes a plan to evade the Borg, Petra works with the non-corporeal energy being Adams had found and offered refuge to. The entity (responding to Peebee after suggestion from Petra) explains that a nearby cluster of quantum singularities is a sanctuary for its people, the T’l. With an option to at least get clear of the Borg for the short term, the crew enacts a plan.
Approaching a singularity while the Borg are still pacing them, the Commodore takes the helm for a dangerous maneuver – the ship drops out of warp and ejects the salvaged shuttle equipped with explosives to scatter debris. Dash attempts to activate the explosives but they fail – so the backup plan is activated. Adams fires a torpedo at the salvage, detonating it and scattering the debris across the face of the singularity. And while the explosion takes off, the Odyssey warps away again, giving the impression to their pursuers that they just exploded in the accretion disc of the anomaly.
Safe for the moment, the fleet regroups inside the ‘Hollow’, as Peebee had taken to calling it. Soon after, the crew is attacked on the bridge by another of Peebee’s kind. After damaging several consoles, Peebee is beamed directly to the bridge, and the crew learns more about the situation.
The T’l’s Hollow has become the last bastion for them. They cannot travel fast enough to escape Borg space, and the implacable cybernetics have been absorbing the T’l into their ships, seemingly assimilating them. Initially, the defender is uninterested in the fleet’s plight, but as the two groups discuss their common plight, a plan is formed. The Hollow spans a few hundred light years. This gives the fleet a breather for a time in Borg space as they travel it – and at the far end, the Odyssey will have set up space aboard to ferry the last hundred or so T’l away from the Hollow, hopefully to find somewhere new to exist in peace.
Peebee is identified as the reason the Borg found the T’l, and its people are uninterested in welcoming the exile back – the situation is too tense to fully unpack this revelation, but discovering their passenger may be the reason its people are in peril leaves the crew uncertain how to proceed with Peebee for now.
The fleet has some precious time, but they remain hidden in the territory of an implacable enemy, and now are responsible for a hundred more souls besides. As they prepare to ferry the T’l, the Borg outside continue to consume life nearby.