Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard - Icheb and the Fenris Rangers, Explained

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 5 of Star Trek: Picard, "Stardust City Rag," now streaming on CBS All Access.

While both Jean-Luc Picard and Seven of Nine had long left Starfleet behind by the start of Star Trek: Picard, Seven opted for a very different kind of post-Starfleet career in contrast to Picard's decision to quietly run his family vineyard in France. Instead, Seven had tried to live a life of peace with her surrogate son Icheb, a member of the Brunali race who had been assimilated by the Borg Collective before being freed by the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager during the events of Star Trek: Voyager.

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And Icheb's final fate led Seven to become more active with a much different kind of peacekeeping force than Starfleet: the enigmatic Fenris Rangers.

Raised by Seven as the Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant, Icheb had successfully applied to Starfleet Academy and served as a science officer aboard the U.S.S. Coleman. After Seven disclosed to her friend Bjayzl the nature and whereabouts of Icheb, the woman posed as a Fenris Ranger to the former Borg drone before ambushing him and harvesting the cybernetic implants in his body left by the Borg. Mortally wounded and in deep pain, Icheb convinced Seven to put him out of his misery as she came to his rescue moments too late to save her adoptive son.

Following Starfleet and the Federation taking much more isolationist policy in the face of a massive influx of Romulan refugees and after enduring a devastating attack on Mars by rogue synthetics, the fringes of Federation space had fallen into lawlessness -- especially in the territory formerly belonging to the Romulan Star Empire before the destruction of their homeworld. To bring order to the region in the wake of Starfleet retreating to Federation space, the Fenris Rangers -- named after the mythical Norse wolf -- were created as a sort of interstellar vigilante force maintaining the fragile peace in Starfleet's visible absence.

Seven of Nine is one of the most prominent of the Rangers, who pursues forces preying on other liberated Borg while helping defend the Qiris Sector. Among the Rangers' accomplishments is establishing automated planetary defense systems of Romulan refugee colonies, including the planet Vashti, after Starfleet reneging on its pledge of refugee aid. After Picard and the crew of La Sirena were attacked by a space pirate piloting a repurposed Romulan Bird of Prey while leaving Vashti, Seven had come to their rescue at the expense of her own starship with the Rangers.

With Seven achieving her revenge on Bjayzl and her associates by avenging Icheb's death, it is unknown if she will return to continue her services with the Fenris Rangers, however, no longer a part of Starfleet, the former Voyager officer apparently has nowhere else to go. And with Starfleet compromised at its highest levels and showing no signs of reclaiming its mission statement to become the galaxy's biggest peacekeeping, diplomatic force, the Fenris Rangers are more vital than ever.

Icheb's death marks the first demise of a major recurring Star Trek character introduced before Picard, and one especially close to the characters of Voyager. Setting up Seven of Nine's darker, angrier role in the new series, Icheb's death is one of the more visceral moments in the series to date. And while it is unknown if Seven will reunite with Picard and La Sirena moving forward, the Fenris Rangers could provide timely assistance, with the retired Starfleet admiral working with the Federation's support for the first time in his life.

Star Trek: Picard stars Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway. New episodes of the series premiere every Thursday on CBS All Access.