Third of Five was rescued from the wreckage of a crashed Borg scoutship by the crew of the Enterprise-D in 2368 (Stardate: 45854.2). The Enterprise crew treated Third of Five medically. The drone’s link to the Collective had been severed, and, as a result, a sense of individuality was restored. The name “Hugh” was given to the drone by the Enterprise crew. Hugh began using the pronouns “I” and “me”, rather than “we”, as is usual for Borg drones.
While treating Hugh’s injuries, an invasive computer programme was devised that Hugh would unwittingly introduce to the Borg Collective. However, it was decided by Picard that to use Hugh in such a way would be unethical. Hugh was returned to the site of the crash where the Enterprise crew had found him, where he was retrieved by the Collective and reassimilated.
The individuality regained by Hugh while he was onboard the Enterprise quickly spread to the Borg closest to him. These Borg then split from the main Borg Collective. They did not become individuals, however, but existed as a “mini collective”. Their sense of aimlessness was countered when the encountered Lore, who took leadership over them.
Lore’s leadership techniques and unusual medical experiments on drones lead Hugh to believe that Lore could not fulfil his promises of making the rogue Borg into entirely artificial lifeforms that would take over the Federation. Hugh assisted the Enterprise crew in defeating Lore, which lead to Hugh becoming the new leader of the group. Hugh hoped that the group would, in time, be able to function as individuals as well as a group.