Star Trek: Complete History of the Borg
Located primarily throughout the Delta Quadrant, the Borg Collective were a species of cybernetic-humanoids who grew their ranks and advanced their knowledge by assimilating distinct life forms and technologies, resulting in the conquest of countless worlds and systems. Suppressing individual identity, the Borg shared information and thoughts through a collective consciousness, allowing them to act a singular unified entity. Obsessed with achieving a state of perfection, they pursued a policy of focused aggression and ruthless expansion, where they assimilated anything deemed useful and destroyed any direct opposition. Yet this pursuit of efficient,
continued advancement was enacted without malice or intentional cruelty, meaning they largely ignored less developed species and technologies unless those beings attempted to interfere with Collective Operations. Although the exact origins of the Borg were unknown, with even their own memories fractured and incomplete, some believe their history traced back hundreds of thousands of years, when they may have once been a more typical humanoid species, whose great advances in cybernetics eventually transformed their society into the Collective. Others meanwhile have suggested alternative theories, claiming they may have originated from the merging of a humanoid species with non-organic, non-humanoid, group mind beings, formed from specialized atoms which acted as programmable matter, able to alter their physical state. In addition to these theories, there are some who believed the Borg resulted from failed experiments in nanotechnology, a rogue artificial intelligence program, or else might even have a connection to Earth through the Voyager 6 Space probe, later known as V’Ger, which may have travelled through a spatial anomaly sending them across the galaxy and back in time, where it landed on a planet inhabited by living machines. These beings then rebuilt and upgraded the probe, before sending it back into space with the ability to continue learning, allowing it to eventually achieve sentience. Adding to the uncertainty regarding their origins, the exact timeline of their development was also in question, with some believing their artificial components and technology developed over thousands of years, while only becoming a hostile space faring civilization a few centuries before the formation of the Federation. This rough approximation can be deduced by tracking the numbers they assigned
to species deemed worthy of recognition and through the testimony of the Vaadwuar, who claimed the Borg had only conquered a handful of Delta Quadrant systems by the 15th century. In any event, at some point in their development a Borg Queen emerged as a single unifying voice which represented their shared will, bringing order to chaos with the ability to speak and act as an individual while remaining part of the Collective. The Queen made her home and issued commands from the Central Nexus of the Borg Unicomplex, a vast region of interconnected ships and structures in the heart of their space. Though Borg drones often came from different planets, species and backgrounds, their appearance became more uniform after assimilation, losing body hair and greying their skin color. This
process began with the injection of nanoprobes, microscopic machines able to transform their physiology, causing the emergence of cybernetic implants. Their bodies were then surgically enhanced with external cybernetic components, usually resulting in the amputation of at least one biological arm and eye to be replaced with advanced prosthetics. Each Borg was also equipped with a Neural Transceiver keeping them linked to the hive mind, a cortical processor for the rapid assimilation of information, a neural processor which recorded communications with the Collective and assimilation tubules to inject nanoprobes into future victims. Those selected for specific roles within the Collective were then outfitted with specialized equipment like the installation of weapons on Tactical Drones, while Medical Drones were granted medical and diagnostic tools. With so many cybernetic implants and changes
to their biological bodies, individual drones were often far more physically capable then they were as members of their original species, made so strong and resilient they no longer required food, water or air, even able to survive in the vacuum of space. All they truly required was regular intervals spent in a regeneration unit, which powered their artificial components, allowing their internal system to perform maintenance and basic repairs. When injured beyond self-repair, drones were treated unless the damage was too great, in which case they were disassembled and parts scavenged for reuse. Yet even if a drone died,
their memories were preserved within the Borg’s collective consciousness. If however, a drone, ship or piece of sensitive technology was lost and could not be recovered, they possessed a built in fail-safe system, which allowed them vaporize or destroy themselves before falling into enemy hands. As for Borg vessels, which were designed and built in a strictly utilitarian manner, they often appeared in simple geometrical shapes like cubes and spheres, constructed with no living quarters or social comforts, as Drones were constantly working, and only paused to regenerate. As the Borg reproduced through assimilation, many of these ships were equipped with Maturation Chambers, where they stored and developed captured children, increasing their growth rate until reaching adulthood when they joined the collective. In addition to travelling at warp speed, Borg
ships contained transwarp coils allowing them to fly 20 times faster than 24th century Galaxy Class Federation ships. This technology then made possible the creation of 6 Transwarp hubs, massive mega structures they used to rapidly deploy ships across all 4 galactic quadrants. Emerging as a superpower in the Delta Quadrant, the Borg began by assimilating and conquering neighbouring worlds sometime before the 15th century, so that by the 24th century, the Borg had eliminated all known rivals and major powers in the area, holding dominion over a vast region of space. Their influence even expanded beyond the Delta Quadrant, conquering worlds in both the Beta and Alpha Quadrants, becoming one of the most feared and well known species in the entire galaxy. Though most in the Federation was unaware of the Borg threat until 2365, by the 2350s rumours circulated about a species of hostile, technologically advanced beings from the far side of the galaxy, which had already made inroads into the Alpha and Beta quadrants by conquering peoples like the long-lived Listeners of the El-Aurian system. Though most did not give these stories any serious consideration, a pair of exobiologists named Magnus and Erin Hansen were convinced of their validity. Leaving their old lives behind,
they brought their daughter Annika on a deep space mission to the Romulan neutral zone, where they disobeyed Starfleet and broke Federation law by abandoning their original mission in order to find seek out the truth about this mysterious species. In time their determination paid off, as they found a Borg ship and even followed them through a transwarp conduit to the Delta Quadrant, where they continued to document their findings. Although they observed the Borg for some time without issue, the Hansan family was eventually discovered and assimilated by the year 2356. Annika, the young daughter of the Exobiologists was
placed in a maturation chamber until reaching adulthood, when she was given the designation Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One. After years of rumors and classified reports, the United Federation of planets finally began to comprehend the true extent of the Borg threat, when Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the USS Enterprise-D were visited by Q, a member of the Q species from the Q continuum, seemingly all powerful beings who observed the universe and sometimes manipulated events as they deemed necessary. Fascinated by humanity and curious about their potential, this rogue Q developed a somewhat amicable though antagonistic relationship with Captain Picard, seeking him out in 2365, after a rift developed with the other members of his species, leading to his exile from the Continuum. Hoping to spend some time amongst their crew, he offered his omnipotent services to Captain Picard, who rejected the proposal, believing the Federation should explore, learn and develop at their own pace and in their own way.
Deciding that Picard needed a stark lesson in the dangers awaiting them, Q transported the Enterprise 7000 lightyears away, far outside Federation borders, and introduced them to a mysterious cube shaped ship, populated by the members of the Borg species, describing them as a relentless and merciless cybernetic beings with the power to destroy the Federation. Hoping to teach Picard a lesson about their overconfidence and vulnerabilities, Q explained that the further Starfleet travelled into deep space, the closer they would come to encountering the Borg and other perilous threats. In fact the Borg had already launched limited attacks in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, responsible for the disappearance of the USS Tombaugh in 2362 as well as the Destruction of several Federation and Romulan outposts along the neutral zone in 2364. Yet because these attacks left no witnesses and occurred before the events of 2365, they went without explanation, leaving most entirely unaware that Borg raids into their space had already begun. Losing 18 crew members during their first experience with this hostile species, Captain Picard put aside his pride and pleaded for help, at which point Q returned them to their original location. Although the Enterprise-D
survived this initial encounter, it was less than two years later, in 2367, that this same Borg cube was spotted in Federation space, heading towards Earth. Once again, they engaged the Enterprise, this time capturing and assimilating Captain Jean Luc Picard, in order to use his knowledge of Federation technology and tactics to their advantage. Although their initial plans for the Picard Drone were to make him a leader and counterpart to the Borg Queen, he demonstrated significant mental resistance to the assimilation process, and so was instead given the unique designation as Locutus of Borg, so he might act as a representative of the Collective and facilitate the conquest of local species.
Refusing to consider surrender, an armada of 40 Starfleet ships led by Admiral J P Hanson, engaged the Borg Cube at the Battle of Wolf 359, leading to the greatest loss in federation history. Despite spending the last 2 years preparing for this invasion, the Borg were far more advanced than anything they’d face before, leaving 39 of 40 Starfleet ships destroyed, while thousands were assimilated or killed. The Cube meanwhile, was practically undamaged and continued towards Earth. Eventually the threat was eliminated when Picard was recaptured by the crew of the Enterprise, who then used his Borg implants to communicate with the Cube, creating a malfunction which caused the ship to self-destruct. Although the physical changes to Captain Picard were quickly reversed, the memories remained and haunted him for many years to come. Though the Borg threat diminished for a time,
the crew of the Enterprise saw an opportunity to strike back when they discovered an injured but still functional drone in 2368, hoping to place a virus within its systems before sending it back to the collective. Yet their plans were derailed when the Drone recovering from his injuries and learned he was no longer connection to the Hive Mind, causing his individuality to re-emerge. Taking the name Hugh, the Drone started befriending members of the crew, eventually convincing Captain Picard they could not use him as a weapon of mass destruction. Though they offered him asylum, Hugh understood the Borg would not stop pursuing him, and so ultimately volunteered to re-join the Collective, in order to protect the Enterprise crew.
And while they did not realize it at the time, Picard’s initial plan to strike a blow against the Borg succeeded, as Hugh was changed during his time aboard the Enterprise, and thus returned to the Borg with the memories of his individuality which then spread to other drones, causing a severe disruption to ship operations. Hoping to contain this threat to Collective cohesion, the Borg cut off Hugh’s ship from the rest of the hive mind, leaving its Drones confused and without purpose. When the ship was then discovered by the android Lore, brother to Data, he saw great potential in these lost drones and took advantage of the opportunity by installing himself as their new leader, thereby bringing order to chaos. Yet the new found individuality of these drones was not easily overcome, leading many to follow Hugh in rebellion against Lore’s selfish and untrustworthy leadership. With Lore defeated, Hugh became the leader of a new and independent Borg collective.
Learning more about their enemy with every encounter, the Federation successfully upgraded their ships, technology and tactics allowing them to better defend themselves in 2373, when the Borg launched yet another invasion against Earth, resulting in the Battle of Sector 001. Despite suffering heavy losses, the Federation managed to destroy the attacking Borg cube, only for a smaller spherical ship to emerge from within, escaping the explosion. Believing the vessel was headed for Earth, the Enterprise E gave chase, but to their astonishment, the sphere opened a temporal vortex and travelled to the year 2063, with Picard and his crew close behind. Hosting the Borg Queen onboard their ship, they planned to Assimilate Earth before Humanity’s first contact with the Vulcans, thereby preventing the creation of the Federation. Yet their efforts were undone by the Enterprise E, which destroyed the Borg sphere, killed the Borg Queen and ensured the success of First Contact.
Eventually Picard and the crew were able to duplicate the temporal vortex that brought them to the 21st century, and returned to their own time. Despite yet another victory against the Collective, this encounter resulted in significant unforeseen consequences, as some of the debris from the Borg sphere landed on Earth, buried in the snows of the Arctic Circle. The wreckage was then discovered less than a century later in 2153, when researchers uncovered a number of frozen but still functional Borg drones. Unaware of the threat posed by these cybernetic beings, the Borg were removed from the ice, allowing them to eventually awaken, assimilate the research team, steal a ship and launch into space. Learning of this strange occurrence, Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the
Enterprise NX 01 confronted and destroyed the vessel, preventing their escape, but could not stop them from sending a signal to Borg space, which they calculated would take 200 years to arrive at its destination. Therefore this was likely the original catalyst which taught the Borg about Earth and brought them to the Alpha Quadrant in the first place. Since Q was aware of these events all along, transporting the Enterprise E to meet the Borg in 2365 may not have been a reckless game for his own amusement, but was actually meant to serve as a warning, giving the Federation time to prepare for the inevitable threat fast approaching. After two failed invasions of Earth, the Borg diminished as a threat to the Federation throughout the 2370s, due to a series of catastrophes in the Delta Quadrant which forced them to focus on securing their own space. Though they continued to engage in occasional battles against the Federation within the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, they endured their greatest struggles in their fight against the USS Voyager, a lone Starfleet ship pulled into the Delta Quadrant in 2371 by the Caretaker, a powerful being searching the galaxy for a compatible mate. When the Caretaker died and his technology was destroyed, Captain Janeway and the Voyager crew had no choice but to make the long, 70,000 lightyear journey back to Federation space. A task they believed could take up to 70 years
and which eventually required them to pass through Borg space. After discovering the Sakari, a species nearly annihilated by the Collective, Voyager had their first encounter with the Borg in 2373, when they identified a non-functional Cube while travelling through the Nekrid Expanse. Sending their people aboard the ship, Voyager took the opportunity to learn all they could about their enemy’s advanced technology and soon uncovered that some of the Borg survived the electro kinetic storm which damaged the Cube in 2368. Yet much to their surprise, the accident severed the link between these
drones and the hive mind, allowing them to gradually reclaim their individuality and former appearances, using salvaged Borg technology to remove many of their implants. Making their home on a nearby planet, these former drones eventually divided into factions and went to war over resources, leading a few hundred to create a cooperative, where they promoted peace and equality while defending themselves from the more aggressive groups. Hoping to end the fighting on their world, the Cooperative planned to reactivate the neural electric generator onboard the damaged Cube, thereby allowing those on the planet to share thoughts in a new Hive Mind, separate from that of the larger Collective. Unable to enact this plan themselves, they found their opportunity after rescuing Voyager’s first officer Chakotay, who was attacked by a violent faction shortly after landing on their planet. Using a neural transceiver to link their minds to the First Officer, the Cooperative healed his wounds but also gained access to his thoughts, allowing them to temporarily take control over his mind. Although they attempted to ask for Voyager assistance, Janeway denied their request, and so they used their link to force Chakotay to board the Cube and reactivate the generator. With the new Hive Mind established, they made peace among the
factions, released Chakotay from their control, destroyed the Borg Cube and apologized to Voyage for their actions, claiming it was necessary for their survival. Continuing their journey to the Alpha Quadrant, Voyager soon entered into Borg Space where they found that an even greater threat was wreaking havoc throughout the Collective. The trouble began when the Borg discovered Fluidic Space, an extra-dimensional realm where they found Species 8472, beings whose physiology they described as the Apex of Biological Evolution. Breaking through the dimensional barrier, the Borg sought their assimilation
but were quickly outmatched and defeated. In response to this invasion, Species 8472 retaliated by attacking the Delta Quadrant, where they sought to exterminate all life. In addition to possessing heavily armoured, warp capable organic ships, operated by a single pilot, Species 8472 were telepathic, up to 3 meters tall, physically powerful, did not require sleep, could survive in the vacuum of space, produced a biogenic field protecting them from sensors, could infect enemies with cells that consumed them from inside and had an immune system which destroyed nearly any foreign substance, making them resistant to nanoprobes and assimilation. Fighting a vicious war from 2373-2374, the
Borg suffered massive casualties, losing ships, planets and entire systems until forming an alliance with the USS Voyager, whose Doctor discovered a way to modify nanoprobes, thereby neutralizing the infectious cells of species 8347. Promising to aid the Borg in exchange for safe passage through their Space, Voyage worked with the Collective for a time, creating weapons and defenses to use against their common foe. In order to facilitate communication between them, the Borg selected the drone 7 of 9, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix 01, as their representative, eventually sending her to work aboard the Federation ship. In the end, Voyager’s new nanoprobe technology allowed the Borg to defeat Species 8472, forcing their bioships back into Fluidic Space. With the war over, the Borg attempted to turn against
Voyager, but they anticipated this betrayal, and incapacitated Seven of Nine, cutting off her connection to the Hive Mind which allowed them to escape and continue on their journey. Free from the Collective, Seven of Nine slowly regained her individuality and became a prominent member of the crew. And while the Borg made a number of attempts to get her back, their efforts ultimately failed. With Seven of Nine acting as a bountiful resource for information about the Collective, Voyager learned much about these cybernetic beings, including their interest in the Omega Molecule, an unstable molecule described as the most powerful substance in existence. With a single molecule possessing the energy of warp core, while a chain of them could power an entire civilization. The Borg first learned about,
what they called Particle010, in 2145 through the assimilation of 13 species, and after much experimentation were able to synthesize and stabilize a single molecule for 1 trillionth of a nanosecond, before it detonated. In total, the Borg lost 29 vessels and 600 000 drones to these experiments before they ran out of material to synthesize more. Yet in spite of their losses, they were so impressed by the substance they sought to assimilate any information possible, believing it existed in a flawless state, infinitely complex yet harmonious and therefore represented perfection. Therefore when Voyage came across the wreckage
of another civilization in 2374, who were conducting their own experiment with Omega, Seven of Nine demonstrated a profound reverence for the molecule, comparing her feelings to that of religious worship. In the years that followed, as Seven’s personality continued to emerge and develop, she became a mentor to a number of former Borg Drones encountered by Voyager, teaching them to reclaim or foster individual identities. Her first student emerged in 2375, when a transporter malfunction incorporated Seven’s Borg nanoprobes into the Doctor’s mobile holoemitter. Using the holoemitter’s , 29th century technology acquired during a mission involving a timeship from the future, the nanoprobes built a maturation chamber, extracted DNA from a voyager Ensign and created a powerful new lifeform, which in essence was a 29th century Borg. Hoping to use this advanced being to defend them against the Collective, Janeway allowed the fetus to develop, entrusting his development and education to Seven of Nine. Developing 25 times faster than a normal Drone, the fetus
quickly became a full grown adult male who chose the name One, and with Seven’s help, was accepted as a member of the crew. Yet in spite of disconnecting his link to the Hive Mind, his advanced technology allowed for a secondary neural transceiver to emerge which inadvertently contacted the collective. Coming under threat from a Borg Sphere, One upgraded Voyager’s shields and phasers, but it was not enough, and so he transported onto the enemy ship, destroying it from within. Recovering his body, Voyager’s doctor attempted to heal the damage to his organic parts, but One now understood the Collective would never stop pursuing him, and so chose death in order to protect Voyager.
In 2376, Seven of Nine once again became a mentor to a group of Borg Children rescued from a damaged cube, becoming a mother figure to them as they regained their individuality. Although they eventually found a home for the 3 youngest children, the eldest boy Icheb became a permanent member of the crew. Between 2376 and 2377, the Borg suffered yet another catastrophe when the Queen learned about the existence of Unimatrix Zero, an alternate reality within their Collective Consciousness, allowing those with a recessive genetic mutation to temporarily restore their former identities. Affecting only 1 in every million drones, they accessed Unimatrix Zero while regenerating but were unable to remember these experiences once awoken. Yet while present within this shared dreamlike state, they were free to live as individuals, form relationships and alter their appearance however they wished. Seeking to destroy this Oasis of individuality within the Collective, the Queen began identifying, interrogating and dissecting those with this specific mutation, in order to extract the interlink frequency which bound them together. Seeing their numbers dwindling, and fearing
the end of their virtual lives, the drones within Unimatrix Zero sought help from Seven of Nine, contacting her as she regenerated aboard the USS Voyager. Bringing her into Unimatrix Zero, they informed Seven she shared their mutation and was once a regular visitor to this reality, making her the perfect candidate to provide assistance, as she was now free from the Hive Mind and would remember their discussions when she awoke in her alcove. Agreeing to aid them, Seven and the Voyager Crew, sought to transmit a nanovirus into the Collective which would mask the identities of mutated Drones.
Working towards the opposite purpose, the Queen killed and examined over 200 Borg to learn their interlink frequency, but even so found she was unable to terminate the connection. Therefore she sent her own drones into Unimatrix Zero, where they attacked and identified those they encountered. Although their original plan to save this Alternate Reality failed, the Voyager crew ultimately succeeded in saving many lives and struck a significant blow to the Collective as a whole, by allowing these mutated drones to remember their experiences and individual identities in the real world when they awoke from regeneration. As a result, many of these liberated Borg seized control of their ships and rebelled against the Queen. While the events surrounding the discovery of Unimatrix Zero struck a serious blow against the Collective, an even greater victory came in the year 2378, when the USS Voyager once again faced off against the Borg, enacting a plan which allowed for the capture and assimilation of Admiral Janeway, a future version of the captain who travelled back in time to help her crew return home to the Alpha Quadrant. Though the original mission underwent several changes, the Voyager ship, upgraded with advanced tech like ablative armor and transphasic torpedoes provided by the Admiral, were able enter a Borg transwarp hub, transporting them thousands of light years away into Federation space. While this occurred, Admiral Janeway allowed
herself to be assimilated so she could spread a neurolitic pathogen disrupting the connection between individual drones and the Hive Mind. The ensuing chaos and battle with Voyager resulted in the destruction of many Borg ships and structures as well as the death of the current iteration of the Queen, yet even so, as her body was failing, she was able to send one last Sphere to chase after Voyager. Seeking to do even more damage to the Collective, Voyager used their transphasic torpedoes to collapse the Transwarp Hub as they passed through, thereby damaging the Borg’s ability to travel quickly throughout the galaxy. As they left the Transwarp conduit, Voyager was captured by the Borg Sphere which was immediately confronted and fired upon by an Armada of Starfleet ships, as they detected the opening of an exit aperture in their space. Although the Federation Armada did little damage, Voyager fired a transphasic torpedo from inside the ship, destroying the Sphere. Having completed their mission, Voyager successfully returned home after 7 years in the Delta Quadrant, while also leaving their Borg enemies scattered and chaotic, without communication, leadership or direction. Although they suffered severe setbacks throughout
the 2370s, by the 2380s the Collective were sufficiently recovered to the point they were once again seeking out distinctive species and technologies, resulting in the assimilation of a Romulan crew and Vessel by a Borg Cube. Yet this proved a serious mistake as one of the Romulans on board was a member of a secret society within the espionage agency Tal Shiar, who’d been driven mad after witnessing an apocalyptic vision of the past in 2385. This vision, granted to all operatives selected for the Zhat Vash, was originally meant to be seen by artificial lifeforms, as the imagery was so powerful and appalling, it did lasting damage to mind of most organic beings. Therefore, when this Romulan agent was assimilated, her traumatic experiences were transferred into the Borg’s collective consciousness, triggering a submatrix collapse in the cube ship where she was located, cutting them off from the rest of the hive mind. Left alone and abandoned, the cube was claimed by the Romulan Free State, which succeeded the Romulan Star Empire after its collapse following the destruction of their homeworld in 2387. Renamed the Artifact, the Cube ship provided the Romulans a great deal of advanced technology they could use for their own purposes or sell for profit. While also giving them a great deal of prestige and political influence
by hosting the Borg Reclamation Project, an independent organization, protected by a treaty between the Free State and Federation, allowing scientists to study the ship and help drones recover and reclaim their individuality. By 2399, the Reclamation Project was led by Hugh, the former drone liberated by the Enterprise D, who was now a Federation citizen with most of his implants removed. When Jean-luc Picard came out of retirement to investigate the creation of a new Android species, Hugh helped his old friend locate one of these Androids working aboard the Artifact, and in doing so incurred the wrath of the Tal Shiar. After helping Picard escape the ship, Hugh and many of the former drones, now called XBs, were murdered by a particularly merciless Romulan Agent pursuing the Androids. In order to protect the remaining XBs aboard the Artifact, Seven of Nine, now working as an independent Ranger and associate of Picard, took control of the Borg Cube, travelled to the Android homeworld of Ghulion IV and landed on the planet’s surface.
During her years as a Ranger, seeking to impose law and order in regions where larger powers held no influence, she discovered that criminal elements were capturing former Borg in order to extract their cybernetic components for sale on the black market. Traumatized by all she saw and experienced since leaving Voyager, including the death of Icheb, who was captured and tortured for his implants, Seven lost all faith in the Federation and larger organizations, preferring to remain independent, in order to administer justice as she saw fit. This eventually led her to help Picard in his mission, as he too was acting without Starfleet approval, and after reuniting with him on the Android homeworld, joined his crew aboard the ship La Sirena.